Survey firm told to publish sponsors
The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines – Former senator Francisco “Kit” Tatad yesterday urged the survey firm Pulse Asia to make public who paid for its regular surveys on candidates for the May 10 elections.
Tatad issued the call after Pulse Asia reportedly sent invitations to national candidates to avail themselves of its Ulat ng Bayan survey for the month of March.
Tatad criticized the pollster for selling its services to the highest bidder.
“Contrary to what appears to be sound ethical practice, the firm has been inviting politicians to participate in its survey at the rate of P400,000 per head and to introduce a ‘rider’ question about their candidacies at P100,000 each,” Tatad told the weekly Kapihan sa Sulo Hotel news forum.
Tatad, who is running for senator under the Grand Alliance For Democracy with former President Estrada’s Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) and United Opposition, said the names of the sponsors of the surveys were not made public by Pulse Asia and the promised rider questions were never made.
Since the questionnaire forms the soul of the survey, Tatad stressed it should be neutral.
“But the fact that paying politicians are allowed to contribute their own question is not the best way of ensuring the neutrality and objectivity of the survey and it does not prevent anyone from asking what else is being sold aside the question,” he said.
Pulse Asia president Ronnie Holmes, on the other hand, explained that there is a confidentiality clause in the contract between the firm and the sponsor of the survey.
But Holmes claimed Pulse Asia adheres to the standards of neutrality in their surveys.
Holmes also said candidates are not allowed to formulate or write the rider questions since it would violate the neutrality of the survey.
Holmes also pointed out that surveys conducted are snapshots of what could change in the next few months. – Perseus Echeminada