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PIA Press Release
2007/12/18

Statement on the Pulse Asia Survey

By Professor Emmanuel J. Lopez, PhD
Chairman, Social Science Department, University of Santo Tomas


On Pulse Asia, Survey, Efficacy and the Likes

Webster's dictionary defines survey as to examine as to condition, situation, or value: appraise, to query (someone) in order to collect data for the analysis of some aspect of a group or area. Further, to view or consider comprehensively.

Pulse Asia survey, a few days back states that Filipinos believe that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is the most corrupt leader the Philippines has ever had, worse than late dictator Ferdinand Marcos who ruled the country for more than 20 years, a survey showed Wednesday. The survey, conducted by Pulse Asia Inc. in late October, showed that 42 per cent of 1,200 respondents nationwide tagged the 6o-year-old economist as "the most corrupt (president) in the history of the Philippines" (Asia World Dec. 13).

On record, We have yet to see the detailed components of the survey instrument, sampling procedure, universe versus, the sample size per area and of course the sample in itself which includes the quality of samples. Indicative of the doubts that envelopes the result of the survey is the fact that an opposition leader funded the study. Although, we don't doubt the integrity of the survey firm, but studies would normally comply with whims and standards of the funding personality or agency.

Furthermore, we don't doubt the empirical nature of the outcome but we have yet to see the quality of the respondents. This definitely affects, the outcome considering that it normally conforms to the objectives that is propounded by the funding personality. Although not stated, but the identity of the "fonder" speaks of the anticipated outcome of the study.

The timing of the survey was suspicious. It was done at a time when a blood-thirsty Senate, predominantly opposition, was conducting investigation on new corruption charge against the executive branch. To borrow from Webster's definition, survey is a query in order to collect data for the analysis of some aspect of a group or area.

Obviously, the outcome was culled from a group of opposition bailwicks. Although, it's still a survey in so far as the nature, it only speaks of a group but not the Philippine population in its entirety or better still it's speaks of a group that go against Certain personalities. For lack of more informative and hot issues to evolve with, the media took advantage of the "evidence- less" issue to cult the people & generate more commercial viabilities in their job that will put the media to the center stage regardless of the instability it will create.

The ingredients of political biases as well as instigated and anticipated outcome of the survey issue. are all existing in this issue. With a vulnerable population waiting to be set-off, this could create social disturbance. Thanks to a more mature and sober population, this kind of political agenda that sorely lacks truism that seeks to address societal mess was not taken seriously. (OPS/PIA) [top]

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