The Manila Times : 'Surveys are reliable'

By Kaithreen Cruz | The Manila Times

SURVEY firms Pulse Asia, OCTA Research and PUBLiCUS maintained that pre-election survey results are reliable in predicting public sentiment as can be shown by the results of the unofficial tally of votes.

As of writing, 98.27 percent of election returns were reflected in the Comelec Transparency Server with presumptive president Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. leading the race after receiving more than 31 million votes, or around 58 percent of the total votes. Presumptive vice president Sara Duterte-Carpio received 31.5 million votes, or 61 percent of the total votes.

In the latest survey by Pulse Asia conducted from April 16 to 22, Marcos was supported by 56 percent of respondents while Duterte-Carpio received 55 percent, with a ±2 percent margin of error.

The former senator also got 58 percent in OCTA Research's April 22 to 25 survey and 54 percent in the PUBLiCUS May 2 to 5 survey. The Davao City mayor received support from 56 percent of OCTA Research respondents and 59 percent in PUBLiCUS.

Both surveys had a ±3 percent margin of error for national results.

With the pre-election survey results and the partial unofficial votes reflected in the Comelec Transparency Server, Pulse Asia Research Director Ana Maria Tabunda said that its survey results reflected the sentiments of the people.

"[T]he fact that our results mirror the Comelec count shows that surveys are reliable. The pre-election survey results are just one source of information for the public to consider in choosing their candidates, so surveys cannot be regarded as mind-conditioning tools," she added in a message to The Manila Times.

Similarly, PUBLiCUS Executive Director Aureli Sinsuat said that the results transmitted through the transparency server appear to have validated the consistent findings of the survey firm throughout the election season.

"[Our findings were consistent that] Bongbong Marcos and Sara Duterte-Carpio would win by large margins on Election Day. This is a vindication of the scientifically-sound polling methods employed by legitimate survey firms," he said.

OCTA Research fellow Ranjit Rye said in an interview with The Manila Times that the elections validated the reliability of surveys, specifically those that use scientific methods in gathering data and have transparent and accountable process in releasing their methodologies and results.

"Surveying, for a first-timer like us, it is very important to get it right. Surveys are scientific, they are reliable. There were a lot of criticisms in the past, but the surveys have again been proven to be reliable," he added.

However, Rye noted that there could still be some discrepancies in a pre-election survey, as observed with the percentage of support garnered by Vice President Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo. He said that they expected her to receive 10 million to 12 million votes. But instead, she was supported by more than 14 million voters as shown by the Comelec Transparency Server.

The OCTA fellow added that their results were similar to the results for senators, but in jumbled positions — especially for actor Robin Padilla being the top senatorial bet.

Overall, survey firms Pulse Asia, OCTA Research and PUBLICUS affirmed that results of the pre-election surveys mirrored the partial unofficial election results from the Comelec Transparency Server and maintained that survey results remained reliable in reflecting public sentiment on Election Day.