Pulse Asia, OCTA Research: Be wary of 'kalye surveys'

Mico Abarro, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 23 2022 03:22 PM

MANILA - Opinion pollster Pulse Asia and analytics group OCTA Research called on Filipinos to be more discerning of election survey results, especially so-called "kalye surveys", in the run p to the May 9, 2022 National Elections. 

Pulse Asia President Ron Holmes said "kalye surveys" cannot be counted as representative of all Filipinos. 

"When you do a convenience sampling, which I think what a kalye survey is, if you go along the street and you ask people what they feel, that's not a random sampling. People who would answer are people who would basically be willing to share their opinions," Holmes said in a virtual forum.

"You cannot reflect that as a opinion of other people who basically were randomly selected." 

He lamented that such surveys have already been reported in the media without any details on how the survey was carried out and what their sampling methods were. 

"I cringe when I hear the survey results without any indication of the method that was used by the survey organization," Holmes said. "Anong method ang ginamit, kailan kinollect yung data, ano yung questionnaire, and all of the other things that come in place in the conduct of the survey."

(What method was used, when was the data collected, what the questionnaire was, and all of the other things that come in place in the conduct of the survey.) 

OCTA Research fellow Dr. Guido David, who was also at the forum, said the results of "kalye surveys" could be problematic without the proper use of statistical and mathematical methods in conducting them. 

"We can't put a high level of reliance on these results if the methodologies are not very sound," Guido said. 

The statements came after faculty members of the University of the Philippines' School of Statistics urged the public earlier this week to be cautious of online opinion polls made with what it called unclear methodologies. 

Both OCTA Research and Pulse Asia said they have been open with how they conducted surveys. They also called on Filipinos to scrutinize the organizations that carried out a particular survey, especially their background. 

"If the organization is handling candidates, marketing candidates and they do surveys, that's a big problem for us," said OCTA Research Fellow Dr. Ranjit Rye. "Kung may kandidatong tinutulungan to, kung naka-align, makikita niyo naman po eh. I think you can smell that ten miles away." 

(If they are helping a particular candidate, you'll see it anyway.) 

'Vote according to what you believe in' 

Both polling groups reminded Filipinos that surveys were a snapshot of public opinion at a certain point in time, and they should still vote according to their personal beliefs.

"Vote according to what you believe in, based on the aspirations that you have, and whether you think that the candidate that you're voting for, or selected, would work on those aspirations," Holmes said. 

"The people who really use the surveys are the candidates themselves because they are the ones who are directly affected by it," Guido said. 

"Instead of saying 'the survey must be wrong' because this candidate is lagging, we should flip the question and ask 'why are people choosing the other candidates and not the candidate I prefer?'," he added. 

Currently, presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. is the frontrunner in both the latest election surveys carried out by Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations or SWS. Meanwhile one of his rivals, Vice President Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo, came second in both polls.