Noynoy’s Relatives and Cohorts Behind SWS, Pulse Asia

May 6, 2010

SENATORIAL candidate Francisco “Kit” Tatad cast doubt on Wednesday on the integrity and fairness of SWS and Pulse Asia poll surveys following his discovery that the two firms are directed and owned behind the scenes by relatives and associates of Noynoy Aquino.

Tatad bared a research paper and SEC documents that showed members of Aquino’s family and former associates of President Corazon Aquino as directors or stockholders of the corporations.

Two prominent cousins of Noynoy are named in the documents: Rafael Cojuangco Lopa and Antonio “Tonyboy” Cojuangco. Lopa is a director and president of Pulse Asia until last year, when he resigned to camouflage the firm’s support for Noynoy’s bid for the presidency.

Tonyboy Cojuangco bankrolled the setting up of Pulse Asia in 1990.

Tatad branded as unusual the presence of former DPWH secretary Jose de Jesus (under the Aquino administration) as an incorporator and director in both firms. “This suggests that there was a plan from the beginning by the Aquinos to control public opinion polling in the country,” he said.

With respect to the survey practicioners in the firms, Tatad pointed out an overlapping of names in the ownership. Felipe Miranda, Rosalinda T. Miranda, Gemino H. Abad and Mercedes R. Abad appear in SEC records as founders and/or stockholders of both SWS and Pulse Asia.

Mercedes R. Abad is the president of TRENDS-MBL, which has been conducting the field research for both SWS and Pulse Asia until recently.

The details of the interlocking directorships in the survey firms were first disclosed by Prof. Alfredo Sureta in a paper released in December 2009, but only brought to light in the Internet last week. Sureta called for the establishment of polling firms not owned by an avid Aquino supporter or an Aquino relative to “enhance not only the credibility of the science of polling in the country but also allow for a better flow of information to the voting public on the agenda and platforms of the candidates.”

Tatad said that the new revelations on ownerships/directorships add to the many doubts about SWS and Pulse Asia, which have failed to comply with the election law in providing information on how they conduct their surveys and come up with their numbers.

“We have to wonder, given this new information, whether the plan to elect Noynoy Aquino to the presidency was one big plot from the beginning, involving the survey firms,” he said.


Tatad Asks COMELEC Sanction vs Pulse Asia, SWS

April 28, 2010

Senatorial Candidate Francisco “Kit” Tatad formally asked the Commission on Elections en banc this Wednesday to enforce the Fair Election Act (Republic Act No. 9006) against Pulse Asia, SWS and other polling firms for not complying with the law’s provisions on election surveys. (See Letter to COMELEC En Banc HERE)

The former senator pointed out that the law requires polling firms and media organizations to fully disclose the identities of survey sponsors and to open their data and survey methods to candidates, political parties and the COMELEC whenever survey results are published or reported.

Tatad pointed out that Pulse Asia has repeatedly refused to disclose the sponsors of its surveys on the grounds that their contracts are “confidential.” “This is an election offense,” he said.

He also complained of the refusal of SWS to provide full information about its surveys, including questionnaires, methodologies and sponsorships, despite repeated written requests. “This is also an election offense,” he said.

Tatad said that the controversy over the surveys can only be resolved through immediate and decisive COMELEC action because the survey firms have become more brazen in releasing highly doubtful survey results.

He cited the unbelievable claim of SWS that it was able to conduct three nationwide surveys in the span of 28 days: one on March 19-22, a second one on March 28-30, and a third one on April 15-17.  “This is impossible to  do in our archipelagic and multilingual country,” he said. “Even one survey per month is a daunting task.”

He said all this only proves that the surveys are being manipulated for candidates who are paying for them. “All the contracts for the conduct of surveys should be disclosed so that the public will know who and what are really behind the surveys,” he said. #

Comelec Urged to Sanction Pulse Asia, SWS, etc.

April 23, 2010

SENATORIAL candidate Francisco “Kit” Tatad has challenged  the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to  sanction  the opinion polling firms and  media establishments for publishing and reporting pre-election surveys without disclosing their sponsors and other necessary information as required by Republic Act 9006, or the Fair Election Act of 2001.

At the same time, Tatad urged all presidential, vice presidential and senatorial candidates who are skeptical about the opinion polling of Social Weather Stations, Pulse Asia and other polling firms to demand that said firms open all their polling records for inspection, copying and verification, as authorized by law.

Section 5.2 of RA 9006 provides that  during the election period, any person, natural as well as juridical, candidate or organization who publishes a survey must likewise publish the necessary material information about  it  to enable the public to determine its reliability.

This information includes full disclosure of the name or names of the person, candidate, party or organization who commissioned or paid for the survey, and the survey methodology used, including the number of individual respondents and the areas from which they were selected, and the specific questions asked.

The law also provides  that the survey, together with the raw data gathered to support its conclusions, shall be available for inspection, copying and verification by the Comelec or by a registered political party or candidate or any Comelec-accredited citizens’ arm.

Tatad said the polling firms have been more interested in manufacturing public opinion in favor or against certain candidates, instead of measuring actual opinion.  He was particularly critical of the polling firms’ practice of  selling to candidates sponsorships of the surveys and the right to introduce their own questions, but without disclosing to the public their individual identity.

Pulse Asia says the matter is covered by a “confidentiality” agreement.  But Tatad says the fair election law requires them to disclose the names of candidate sponsors of the surveys.

Moreover, “it is an election-related expense which every candidate is required to report to the Comelec. It is also part of the polling firm’s income which must be reported when paying taxes,” Tatad said.

The former senator said that it is possible the pollsters “are selling not only the right to participate in the survey but also the right to appear in the ratings.”  This could be the explanation why some sitting senators who are widely ridiculed as completely useless Senate furniture are still rated as ‘popular’, and some nationally  known solid personalities do not figure in the charts at all.

Tatad was the first candidate to openly criticize  SWS and Pulse Asia for using “quota sampling” and “face-to-face interviews” after  these methods had been  abandoned in the United States, where over the years leading pollsters had made serious miscalls in the  presidential elections.

Several presidential candidates, notably Senators Richard Gordon and Jamby Madrigal, have since joined in criticism of local pollsters and their surveys. Some Filipino statisticians and survey science experts have also joined the issue. The tabloid press has run headlines and editorials about it, in stark contrast to the mainstream press which has not given it as much space.

Quoting American polling experts, Tatad also faulted the local pollsters for using the old  hypothetical question—-“If elections were held today, whom would you vote for, among the named candidates?” He said  the question compels even the undecided to give a “top of the head” answer;  that is why it is called  a “forced-choice question” which suppresses and distorts  the real numbers of  “undecided.”

US expert David Moore, a former Gallup vice-president, says that the practice leads to survey firms manufacturing public opinion instead of measuring it.

Tatad has accused  the polling firms of biasing their surveys to suppress  the torrid expressions of popular support that PMP presidential candidate, former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada has been getting  in all parts of  the country.

“This is why in every mammoth rally we have I always ask the crowd, whether they had been surveyed by anyone, and whether they knew of anyone who knew anyone who knew anyone who had been surveyed at all.  The  answer to this is always a great no,” Tatad said.

Tatad questioned the ability of the polling firms, notably SWS,  to come up with nationwide surveys almost within one week of each other, when independent experts maintain that one such survey normally takes two to three months to finish.

In its latest survey, SWS put the size of “undecided” at four to five percent, although in 1998, it said that one out of every voters remained undecided until election day,  while in 2004, 12 percent remained undecided and another 12 percent uncommitted until election day.   No explanation was offered for the statistical change, he noted.

Tatad said he may have found a “smoking gun” to support his charge of manipulation when someone called a radio program (Karambola) on DWIZ in Manila last week to report that an SWS interviewer in Cebu was asking his “random respondents” to choose between Manny Villar and Noynoy Aquino for president, and that when he protested  there were ten candidates to choose from, he was told that the choice had been narrowed down to two.

“It’s really a crooked business,” Tatad said.  He recalled that in 1992, upon his election to the Senate as a pro-life candidate, Mahar Mangahas of SWS showed a senators’ workshop the alleged results of a survey showing that any senator who did not support the government’s family planning program (now called “reproductive health”) would not get reelected.

“Not only was I reelected with flying colors in 1995, I also became Senate majority leader to five Senate presidents.  But that SWS presentation  had a lasting impression on me, on how polling could be used to promote certain advocacies.  Mangahas has not deviated from that course since.  He is still playing the same ugly game,” Tatad, whose pro-life work has expanded to the international scene,  added.

“In the 2004 presidential elections, Mangahas came up with an execrable exit poll in Metro Manila  that showed Mrs. Arroyo leading her rival Fernando Poe Jr. all the way. The official Comelec count, however,  showed FPJ taking all of Metro Manila, except for Las Pinas,” Tatad said.

“Despite that scandalous incident, SWS continues to do pre-election polling as though its reputation had never been tarnished,” Tatad lamented.  “In the US, the Literary Digest quietly folded up after it had erroneously predicted the defeat of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Alf Landon in 1932, and the House of Representatives as well as the US Social Science Research Council investigated Gallup, Roper and Crossley after they had unanimously but erroneously predicted that President Harry Truman would lose to Thomas Dewey in 1948,” he pointed out.  #


April 17, 2010

The following is a series of blogs by Billy Almarinez, published in his facebook notes. I am sharing this with you because it gives a revealing insight on those SWS and Pulse Asia surveys. You can likewise access his notes directly on his Facebook account by clicking HERE.

1.Analysis of Pulse Asia and

Social Weather Station Survey Methods

by Billy Almarinez

27 March 2010

Sample Size – Part 1

Not only have I been studying and teaching statistics as a college instructor, but I have also been using it as a scientist and researcher for quite some time now. However, it was only during the early morning of March 26, 2010 that I thought of trying to scrutinize SWS and Pulse Asia surveys from a statistical standpoint. Although SWS and Pulse Asia never reveal how they actually conduct the surveys (aside from indicating the questions asked, the number of respondents, and the margin of error they set) and that they usually argue that their methods are “tried and tested” ones, I think it

would not hurt if we try to take a look at how representative their survey results are of the entire population of registered voters, using another generally accepted and “tried and tested” method we use in statistics.

I’m talking about Slovin’s formula.

It is only from members of a sample (as respondents) that data would be obtained through a survey, since a census (or gathering data from the entire population) is not feasible for data gathering given a short span of time and limited resources. It is important, however, that the sample used be as representative of the population as possible, so that inferences derived from analysis of sample data may be more or less applicable to the whole population. This may be ensured by using appropriate sampling methods and using appropriate sample sizes.

In statistics, Slovin’s formula is a generally accepted way of how to determine the size appropriate for a sample to ensure better representation of the population of a known size. The formula may be expressed as follows:

n = N / (1 + Ne^2)
where n = sample size

N = population size

e = margin of error
Again, in the context of SWS and Pulse Asia surveys, these groups could argue that they use formulas other than Slovin’s formula in coming up with sample sizes of 2,100 and 1,800 respondents respectively (I did a review of news clips from the ABS-CBN News web site, and noted that these two figures are the most commonly used sample sizes of the two survey groups). However, if we use Slovin’s formula (which is, again, a generally accepted and commonly used method in statistics), rather alarming ideas may be derived (alarming, considering how some Filipinos base and defend their decisions on who to vote for on survey results).

Considering that both survey groups usually set the margin of error at plus or minus 2 percent (or 0.02), here’re what Slovin’s formula says about the SWS and Pulse Asia sample sizes (anybody with a considerable aptitude in algebra may verify these):

  • SWS’s survey over 2,100 respondents, with margin of error set at 0.02, assumes a population composed of only 13,125 individuals. In the context of election-related surveys, that would point to the survey results being possibly representative of a population of 13,125 registered voters nationwide.
  • Pulse Asia’s survey over 1,800 respondents, with margin of error set at 0.02, assumes a population composed of only 6,429 individuals. In the context of election-related surveys, that would indicate that the survey results may be representative of a population of 6,429 registered voters nationwide.

Now let’s see…. Based on Slovin’s formula, the SWS sample size seems to assume that there are only 13,125 registered voters, while the Pulse Asia sample size seems to assume that there are only 6,429 registered voters nationwide. How many registered voters are there in the country? Can anyone provide the actual population size of registered voters? Is there anybody reading this who knows anyone from COMELEC? I’m sure there’s a definite figure.

Well, with or without the actual figures from COMELEC, I believe 13,125 and 6,429 are gross underestimations of the actual number of registered voters in the country.

I’m not trying to disprove SWS or Pulse Asia here. Again, it is highly likely that they are using methods that do not include Slovin’s formula. However, here’s my case in point: Before you believe that SWS and/or Pulse Asia survey results are what can actually be expected if elections were held then and there, think more than twice; it is also highly likely that the results may not really be reflective of what the entire Filipino electorate may actually and ultimately reflect, from a statistical standpoint.

And that is not yet considering the sampling method employed by these survey groups.

Hence, to the SWS and Pulse Asia survey frontrunners and their supporters, I suggest for you not to keep your hopes too high, or you may end up disappointing yourselves if the actual results of the elections will not reflect the trends reflected by those survey results. And to survey tailenders and their supporters, there may actually be valid bases for you not to give much credence to these survey results. Quoting from Sen. Gordon: “The real ‘survey’ is on May 10, 2010.”

‘Nuff said!




By Billy Almarinez

27 March 2010

Sampling Method Part 2

Last time, I attempted to discuss the questionable sample sizes being employed by SWS and Pulse Asia in their surveys. Here, I am going to give my take on the sampling method.

Again, as an instructor of college statistics and methods of research, I am inclined to question the methodology used by SWS and Pulse Asia in their conduct of surveys. Why? Because it is actually dubious how these two survey firms come up with results almost every few weeks if they’re actually using scientifically and statistically sound methodologies. The question is rooted mainly in the reluctance (for some reason or another) to disclose the details of the procedures they employed. Scientific technical reports like those that present results of surveys should include a detailed description of how sampling was carried out, and unfortunately every time SWS and Pulse Asia come up with results of their survey they only provide findings without specifying in detail how they conducted their study. They only indicate the sample size used and the margin of error they set as well as the question they gave a respondent, but the sampling method and how they actually conducted the survey (i.e., how they distributed the survey questionnaires) seem to remain undisclosed to the general public.

Recently, news reports (mainly from ABS-CBN and GMA 7) on the most recent Pulse Asia survey results indicate that the survey firm used a “multistage random sampling method”. What did Pulse Asia mean by that? And how did they actually determine who the respondents would be? It is very easy for a researcher to say that he/she used or is going to use a random sampling method, but conducting such is actually not that simple. It is not as simple as going out in the street and handing out a survey form to somebody the researcher meets “randomly”. Such an activity is not a probability (random) sampling method, in which all members of the population are supposed to have an equal probability of being selected into the sample. In the case of surveys conducted via true random sampling, all members of the population of registered voters (including me and you) should have an equal chance of being selected as a respondent
How should sampling for an election-related survey (like the ones Pulse Asia and SWS supposedly conduct) be carried out in order for the results to be valid and reflective of the characteristics of the population? Here’s my take, and my attempt to discuss why it is not as simple and as easy as how Pulse Asia and SWS want us and gullible voters to believe:

  • Given that the population size of registered voters is actually known, the general sample size should be determined using a tried-and-tested, statistically and generally accepted formula like Slovin’s formula, which I attempted discussing in my previous entry.
  • Given the heterogeneity (i.e., differences) and at the same time homogeneity (i.e., similarities) in demographics inherent in Filipino voters, a multi-stage sampling method composed of both cluster and stratified sampling methods should be employed. This further complicates the methodology, since registered voters can be subdivided into homogenous groups in many ways. Sub-grouping can be done based on age range, economic status, occupation, and other demographic parameters. Complications further arise since the proportion of each stratum (homogenous sub-group) and the proportion of elements in a cluster (which in this case is a geographic location) in the population should be considered in the sample size. For instance, if the sample size is determined to be 2,500 and 20 percent of the population is in Metro Manila, then 500 respondents should come from Metro Manila. This is not yet considering the percentage of each strata identified (for instance, the youth sector). To make things less highfaluting, in short, sampling is not as simple as it seems.
  • Identification of respondents is another complicated aspect, especially if random sampling is to be employed. The researcher should first have a list of names of all of the members of the population. In this case, a complete list of registered voters from the COMELEC is to be used. Elements of sub-samples (following cluster and stratified sampling) are to be identified from the voters list. Here, another complication exists in the fact that although the names in the list are usually arranged alphabetically and divided by precinct, they are not grouped according to demographic parameters like gender, age range, economic status, and others. Hence, the burden of grouping the names according to gender, or age range, or economic status, or other demographic variables lies in the researcher. And that would require painstaking and time-consuming effort. And then the prospective respondents (elements of the sample) are to be chosen randomly, first by assigning numbers to each member of the population in the voters list and then choosing numbers via lottery (via fishbowl or tambiolo) or by using a table of random numbers, or by systematic sampling (where every nth member is chosen, n being a random number).
  • Another tricky part is the distribution of survey questionnaires to the respondents selected from the voters list. The researcher should exhaust all possible means of making sure a survey questionnaire is given to the specific name that has been selected as a respondent. Since the COMELEC voters list also contains addresses of the registered voters, distribution of the questionnaires can be done either by sending them through mail or courier or by conducting actual house visits. Complications may further arise if: (a) the voter selected as a respondent has already transferred residence but has not updated his/her address; (b) the selected respondent is unavailable during the time a house visit was conducted by the researcher; or (c) the selected respondent declines to send back an accomplished questionnaire that has been received by courier or mail. The third case is very common in the conduct of surveys via courier or mail, hence a researcher usually sets a sample size that is greater than the one determined via Slovin’s formula for contingency purposes.

You may ask, what or where am I getting at with those technical hullaballoo that I just presented? Well, let me put it in the way of another list of points:

  1. Surveys conducted by asking or giving out questionnaires to random passersby or just visiting random households, even if researchers conduct such methods in different locations, is not following statistically and scientifically sound sampling protocols. The burden of explaining whether or not this is the type of method employed by SWS or Pulsa Asia lies in these survey firms, and unfortunately they decline to disclose specifics of their protocols.
  2. Respondents have to be selected via systematic or simple random sampling from the complete list of registered voters. Just asking or giving out questionnaires to random passersby or visiting households at random will not suffice, because doing so is not really a probability or random sampling method as not all members of the population of registered voters will not have an equal chance of being selected as a respondent.
  3. Do SWS and Pulse Asia select their respondents randomly from the COMELEC list to ensure that the people they get data from are actually registered voters? This one is highly doubtful about these commercial survey firms, because I learned from one Facebook user that a household helper under his employ was onceselected as a respondent of a survey of either of the two firms (I can’t remember which), when in fact she (the household helper) wasn’t even a registered voter. This implies that it is possible that Pulse Asia and SWS are choosing respondents who may not actually be registered voters, further pointing to the possibility that they do not select their respondents from the COMELEC list of registered voters. It is possible that they may be merely handing out questionnaires to random passersby or conducting visits of random households without employing a true random or probability sampling protocol.
  4. Since the burden of answering with clarity the question in the previous item lies with Pulse Asia and SWS, if they do not prove that they are conducting their surveys properly by using a statistically valid and scientifically sound methodology (as they haven’t done so with their reluctance to provide specifics on the methodology that they carried out), then it is but proper for them not to present the results of their survey as if they actually reflect the characteristics of the voting population. As in any scientific report like a thesis or a dissertation, validity of findings must be established by also establishing the validity and reliability of the methodology employed in the study.
  5. Given that a properly conducted survey would entail a huge amount of effort and would consume a considerable amount of time and resources, isn’t it very dubious how SWS and Pulse Asia seem to very easily come up with results almost every month, whose trends seem to vary very minimally? Take for instance the percentage ratings of Sen. Noynoy Aquino, Atty. Gibo Teodoro, Sen. Dick Gordon, Bro. Eddie Villanueva, Sen. Jamby Madrigal, Mr. Nick Perlas, and Coun. JC de los Reyes. Isn’t it suspicious how their ratings seem to have become almost static? Unless SWS and Pulse Asia are conducting their periodic surveys over the same respondents again and again, variations should be present in the results, but that is not what we are seeing, is it? Come to think of it, it is indeed much easier if surveys are conducted over the same people; much less hassle in sampling, no need to go through all of the scientific and statistical hullaballoo I presented earlier, don’t you think? Pun intended, of course.Given the points and arguments I have discussed herein, let me reiterate what I mentioned in my previous blog entry: To the SWS and Pulse Asia survey frontrunners and their supporters, I suggest for you not to keep your hopes too high, or you may end up disappointing yourselves if the actual results of the elections will not reflect the trends reflected by those survey results. And to survey tailenders and their supporters, there may actually be valid bases for you not to give much credence to these survey results.

Unfortunately, the alarming thing is that gullible Filipinos readily believe that Pulse Asia and SWS survey results are reflective of what the results of the election would be, and that gullible voters even tend to base their decisions on who to vote for based on these surveys. Minds of the Filipino electorate are just being conditioned to believe that what the results of these survey show may be the same results that can be expected in the May 10 elections. Survey frontrunners hail and tout Pulse Asia and SWS as highly credible and almost infallible, and they and their spin-doctors already presume and arrogantly declare that the presidential elections are going to be merely a two-man competition. Their supporters are being conditioned to think that the only way they would lose is if they are cheated out of victory, so that they would have a reason to vehemently protest an outcome that may be different from what they are expecting.

Again, quoting from Sen. Gordon, “The real ‘survey’ is on May 10, 2010” (Technically, it is not a survey but a census.) Do not be surprised should the results of the May 10 elections turn out to be different from what the results of Pulse Asia and SWS surveys indicate.

Comments and rebuttals are most welcome.

‘Nuff said!

SWS Manipulating the Public – Tatad

April 14, 2010

Senatorial candidate Francisco “Kit” Tatad accused the Social Weather Stations (SWS) on Wednesday (April 15) of foisting on the public questionable results from two recent surveys that it supposedly conducted within a week of each other in March.

He also charged the poll survey firm with presenting dubious data on undecided and uncommitted voters, which markedly differ from clear trends already established in its own surveys for the 1998 and 2004 presidential elections.

Tatad questioned the capability of SWS to conduct separately, as it reported, its survey for Business World on March 19-22 and the survey for Rep. Ronaldo Zamora on March 28-30.

“For a firm that only started conducting its surveys in-house only a few years ago, SWS would have us believe that it can now conduct a national survey every week,” Tatad said.

“This is incredible and local polling experts say so. The work involves interviewing respondents face-to-face and house-to-house all over our far-flung archipelago, collating the data, and analyzing the results,” he pointed out. “In the past, this work usually took three months, with SWS outsourcing the survey to a professional market research firm. Now, overnight, SWS is claiming an unbelievable capability for rapid polling.”

The former senator said that he strongly suspected that SWS did not conduct separate surveys for the two commissioned jobs. “It’s possible that SWS just transferred percentages from one candidate to another to produce the second poll,” he said.

The SWS Zamora survey reported an increase of 1 percent for Villar and 2 percent for Teodoro, and a decrease of 2 percent for Estrada and 1 percent for Gordon, while retaining the same percentage for Aquino when the two survey results are compared with each other.

Tatad also questioned the stark difference in undecided voters between the recent SWS surveys and its concluding surveys for the 1998 and 2004 presidential elections.

SWS reported in its surveys for Business World and Congressman Zamora that the number of undecided is only 4 to 5 percent of voters. This differs considerably from the historical pattern of about a quarter of Filipino voters being undecided just before election day.

“No less than Mahar Mangahas himself reported that in its May 1-4 pre-election survey for the 2004 election, there were 12% undecided and 12% uncommitted,” Tatad said.

He also quoted Mangahas’ own statement that “in 1998, one out of every five voters decided on whom to vote for president only on the day of the election itself.”

“Have we Filipinos changed so much and has the country changed so dramatically over the past six years that we are more decided now for the May elections?” Tatad asked. “Or is this a case of the pollster just being more decided and committed?”

The former senator said that the statistical inconsistency is too glaring to be ignored. “The current SWS figures are incredible in light of the fact that historically and in many countries some 25 percent of voters make their decisions on who to vote for during the week of the election,” he said.
He said that the dubious data from the recent SWS surveys reinforce his earlier reports that Philippine election surveys are fatally flawed and should not be allowed to dictate on the May 10 election. #

Not One Voter at Erap’s Campaign Rallies Has Ever Been Surveyed – Tatad

March 29, 2010

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.

Tatad asks who in nthe crowd has been surveyed during a Pwersa Ng Masang Pilipino Rally

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.

Tatad greets supporters in Cabanatuan

“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.” #

Pulse Asia Evades Disclosure of Sponsors; Election Surveys Suppress Number of Undecided Voters; Insiders Blow Whistle on Local Pollsters

March 29, 2010

Survey Watch

Bulletin No. 3

6 March 2010

Pulse Asia Evades Disclosure of Sponsors;

Election Surveys Suppress Number of Undecided Voters;

Insiders Blow Whistle on Local Pollsters

by Francisco S. Tatad

The release yesterday by Pulse Asia of the results of its February preelection survey comes at a time when there is widespread public questioning of the methods and practices of opinion polling firms and the injurious effects of surveys on the election campaign. The criticisms that many of us have raised probably came too late to influence in any manner the way this recent Pulse Asia survey was done. But some omissions could have been rectified but were not. We detail these objections in this bulletin, along with a new important research finding that should make the nation more skeptical of survey results.

The media and the public should not be lulled by the positional or percentage changes in the horse race into thinking that the Pulse Asia has improved in methodology or the malpractices have been corrected. They have not.