Pulse Asia, SWS decline to name survey subscribers



MANILA, Philippines – Survey firms Pulse Asia and Social Weather Station (SWS) on Tuesday declined to say whether there were politicians among their subscribers who pay in order to get access to certain unpublished data.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said a letter from United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) spokesman and Navotas Representative Tobias Tiangco asking to clarify the way election surveys were conducted prompted the poll body to hold the hearing.

“Our position is that subscribers pay only to get access to data that has not been published,” SWS counsel Froilan Albert Bacungan said at the hearing.

“The law does not require us to disclose the subscribers precisely because it is our position that they did not pay for the survey,” he added.

Pulse Asia was also present at the hearing and held the same position of SWS.

Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. however said that subscribers who pay the research firm to obtain data are in effect funding them so they can conduct more surveys.

“The amount that is given by way of subscription goes into the common fund of the survey entity, therefore when you conduct your own survey you are using the funds of your subscribers,” Brillantes said at the hearing.

“Effectively, it is the subscribers’ money that is being used for the political surveys,” he said.

Brillantes told reporters after the hearing that it is important to know who the subscribers are so as to remove doubts on the objectivity of the survey firm.

“Can you just imagine if the [sources] of subscriptions are the political parties and the candidates? Of course there will be a question on their voter’s preference (survey results),” he said.

The Comelec will deliberate on the matter and could issue a resolution compelling the survey firms to disclose their subscribers.

“If we feel they have to disclose [the names of subscribers], we can order them, if they will not, we can prosecute them for violations of the law,” Brillantes said.

“If candidates pay subscription [to get survey results], they will have declare that as an election expense and it will have to come out in their contributions and expenditures statement post-elections,” he said.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • david

    pano magiging credible ang surveys kung di naman sila transparent. they serve paying customers, so me bahid ng bias at “daya.”

  • Maldi2

    There you go. It’s high time that a law be passed how to regulate these survey firms. For sure these firms are earning too much for propaganda purposes.

  • Horst Manure

    How do they know the info is accurate, they could be putting in info they know the paying parties like to hear after the credit rating companies do the same thing as long as you pay them.

  • CommonSens6

    Great job Chairman Brillantes, sir, it’s high time that any survey, study or research– private or state originated– carry a mandatory financial disclosure statement when published. This is standard and the law in most civilized societies. Any study or research could be subject to manipulation in the process like asking of biased questions, un-blinded sampling, application of selective data interpretation, etc…all of which could very well favor the interests of the fund-source. Cheers!

  • jose_avila

    I have nothing against the survey but the transparency should start with the Government to declare if these survey firm was operated/funded by the by outsiders. if it does it should be treated as alien agency therefore a proper amount of tax and licensing fee to operate should be collected. They’re making business since more than 25 years ago everybody should be transparent in paying due to the Government in fairness to the Filipinos .

  • kilabot

    if there are guns for hire,
    and sex for hire,
    and pens for hire,
    there are also
    surveys for hire.
    if there is nothing to hide,
    release the subscribers, pa/sws.

  • rlo

    Can someone ban this practice?

  • buttones

    I suspect clients who commission surveys on this or that demand some sort of confidentiality- next thing you know everybody’s tax records will be all over the newspapers [oops!]

  • boybakal

    This is the survey that the pulse asia cannot disclose….because it is true.

  • XY ZEE

    Ika nga, “pela-pela lang yan”.

  • Javier A. Quintos

    Brilliantes should focus on more serious problems like the unavailable source codes than fret over who pays for the surveys.

  • lostRunes

    Hindi ito survey firms for hire. Survey firms of Cojuangco-Aquino to..

    Speaking of for hires.. saan na yung mga Malacanang bloggers for hire dito?

  • Ako_Hiking

    You should not trust surveys because at the end of the day it is a business. The owners and those running the survey company must make money and earn so it is just truly difficult to believe that those surveys and data are accurate. Another reason that it is hard to trust these surveys is because you don’t know who they are surveying and how they come up with their data.


    The data itself is surprising,if they surveyed 1,200 people how come they could just tally it in just a week,bogus dat providing age bracket and gender.now show to the public who fincance and paid for the surveys..If that so happen people will now have a clue if this candidate wins,how she or he will get back the amount he invested.

  • blowcoldblowhot

    Political surveys in the United States, to cite an example, are conducted by different pollsters, but the results are more or less the same. Not so in this country with the yellow pollsters that can even conduct a nationwide face-to-face polling of 1,200 respondents in just three days. How is that possible?

    SWS claims its field work is being done by its in-house field workers. The survey firm does not say how many it has, but considering that the survey is claimed to have been conducted in just three days nationwide, SWS would have to have hundreds of field workers that work only when there are polls. That is unbelievable.

    Field researchers can at most, interview just five respondents in a day, if the so-called random picks are strictly followed. It is just impossible to conduct face-to-face interviews of 1,200 respondents and finish the field work in just three days. Telephone interviews, yes, but face to face?

    It is improbable that the first five people selected at random would be easily accessible to the field worker. This means that the field worker would have to skip at least five places to get another random respondent and skip that again if that respondent does not respond.

    What is likely is that the respondents are not chosen randomly but have been predetermined, in which case, the survey results from these yellow survey firms are highly suspect. Having predetermined respondents would translate to ensuring that the survey results would go the way the survey firm and its backers dictate.

    SWS, for instance, once had an exit poll that strangely enough, even had “undecided voters” included. How on earth can there be undecided voters in an exit poll? Also, that same SWS exit poll survey even had a percentage of Iglesia voters and came out with the conclusion that the Iglesia vote is not solid. But in exit polls, the only question that is to be asked is who these voters coming out of the precincts voted, not their
    religion. The only answer is that the respondents were not only predetermined,
    but that the exit polls were not conducted with voters exiting from the voting

    More to the point, those predetermined respondents may have been chosen by these yellow surveys in administration-friendly areas, apart from the Palace ordered results.

    Besides, whether it is Pulse or SWS, these surveys are hardly conducted nationwide, as they merely do their polling in 20 provinces, if at all, when there are 80 provinces in the country.

    Worse, with predetermined respondents, and obviously chosen respondents by these yellow surveys, none of these surveys can be claimed to be the pulse of the people ,

    What these surveys represent would be the work
    of yellow survey manipulators and the Palace people, maybe. Not the people.

  • superpilipinas

    He-he-he. That is why I never believed both even if the results are favorable to me.

    I think people who believe those are foolish. Any official who uses them as reference to support their cause or purpose should be considered as incompetent and merely resorting to propaganda.

  • disqusted0fu

    Isn’t it obvious? Why do survey results always favor the richer and the more powerful? And why do the results come out ever so timely? Surveys are perfect propaganda tools for those who know nothing else but to create propaganda

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos