AT every campaign rally of President Estrada and Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino – and most recently in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija — former Senator Kit Tatad always asks the thousands in the audience whether anyone of them has ever been surveyed by Pulse Asia, SWS, and other firms conducting surveys in the current campaign.
After eight weeks of Pwersa rallies in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao which millions have attended, not one voter has yet answered “Yes” to Tatad’s question.
When asked further whether they know of anyone who has been surveyed, the answer has been also in the negative.
In Cabanatuan City, Tatad told members of the media: “Where are these 1,800 voters that the survey firms have surveyed and whose opinions are supposed to represent our 50 million voters? Are they talking only to themselves and members of the families of their staff?”
The senatorial candidate said that there are more questions than answers coming from the polling firms, ever since he exposed last month that local pollsters are using descredited methodologies and questionable practices in their polling.
Tatad disclosed that he has written to Pulse Asia, SWS, TNS and Stratpolls for full details about their recent surveys with respect to sampling, methodology, questionnaire and sponsorship.
“After two weeks, only Pulse Asia has so far replied,” he said. “The others keep offering excuses. And Pulse Asia steadfastly declined to divulge the identity of sponsors on the grounds of confidentiality of its sponsorship agreements.”
Tatad contends that disclosure of the contracts is required under the election act because sponsorship of surveys is an election expense. And candidates are required by law to disclose all expenses to the Commission on Elections.
He said that if elected to the Senate, he will file a bill in Congress for the rationalization and enforcement of standards in public opinion polling in the Philippines.
“It’s time we have such a law,” he said. “If many advanced countries enforce regulations on election surveys to ensure the integrity of their democracy, even more should we protect ours from unscrupulous operators.” #