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Publishing survey results close to polls not prohibited – Comelec

Evelyn Macairan - The Philippine Star
Publishing survey results close to polls not prohibited â Comelec
Composite campaign photo of top five presidential candidates for the May 2022 elections.
Philstar.com / file

MANILA, Philippines — Survey firms are not prohibited from publishing survey results close to election day, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) yesterday said.

This was the reply of Comelec spokesman James Jimenez when asked on Twitter if the publication of Pulse Asia’s survey less than 15 days before the election is a violation of Republic Act (RA) 9006 or the Fair Election Act.

“No. The provision being cited – Sec. 5.4 of RA 9006 – was struck down by the Supreme Court (SC) for being unconstitutional. SWS v. Comelec GR No. 147571 May 5, 2001,” Jimenez said referring to Social Weather Stations, one of the survey firms in the country.

Section 5.4 of RA 9006, which was declared unconstitutional by the SC, states that surveys affecting national candidates shall not be published 15 days before an election, and surveys affecting local candidates shall not be published seven days before an election.

Pulse Asia’s latest survey for the presidential, vice-presidential and senatorial candidates was made public last Monday.

The survey was conducted from April 16 to 21, involving 2,400 respondents nationwide.

In the latest survey, the tandem of former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio emerged at the top of the presidential and vice presidential race.

Meanwhile, senatorial aspirants who made it to the Magic 12 are broadcast journalist Raffy Tulfo, former senator Loren Legarda, actor Robin Padilla, Taguig City-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, Sorsogon Gov. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri, former public works secretary Mark Villar, former senator JV Ejercito, former vice president Jejomar Binay, Sen. Risa Hontiveros and former senator Jinggoy Estrada.

In a related development, Pulse Asia president Ronald Holmes yesterday defended the sampling of respondents that his survey firm used for its pre-election surveys.

Responding to concerns that there were under or oversampling of some respondents in some segments, Holmes explained the surveys are representative of the overall population of the country.

“Our sampling method secures that there is representation and that the total survey results would be the representative of the entire country,” he said in an interview with CNN Philippines.

“We’ve done the surveys and we feel that it is nationally representative,” he added.

Former National Statistical Coordination Board secretary general Romulo Virola had earlier noted that some segments – particularly the youth and those who reached college – were underrepresented in the surveys conducted by Pulse Asia.

Virola also cited the lack of respondents from classes A and B, which he said could have an impact on the survey results.

Holmes said he would verify if the supposed under or overrepresentation in some segments would have an impact on the overall results.

“Whether there’s an undersampling of age group, I need to check whether this is something within the margin of error for that particular segment,” he said. — Janvic Mateo

COMELEC

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