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Pulse Asia survey ‘inaccurate, misleading’–party-list solon
In The Press Posted on December 21st, 2009.
A MILITANT legislator described as inaccurate and misleading the analysis made on the latest Pulse Asia’s presidential pre-elections survey.
In particular, Party-list Rep. Teodoro Casiño of Bayan Muna assailed what he termed as Pulse Asia’s Ana Maria Tabunda’s analysis of the impact of Sen. Francis Escudero’s withdrawal on the poll ratings of other presidential candidates, particularly that of Sen. Benigno Aquino III.
“The key question that Pulse Asia failed to address is why is Sen. Noynoy Aquino’s rating unchanged despite Senator Escudero’s public support for his candidacy? I don’t understand why Tabunda is harping on Sen. [Manuel] Villar’s 4-percent increase in his ratings, saying it did not go up as much as it should,” said Casiño in a statement.
Worse, he said, Tabunda even concludes that it was the Nacionalista Party’s (NP) support for senatorial aspirants Party-list Reps. Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza of Bayan Muna and Gabriela, respectively, that caused Villar’s ratings to increase only so much.
“Tabunda’s statement is not factual. At the time the survey was conducted, Representatives Ocampo and Maza were not yet included in Senator Villar’s lineup, and they had just declared themselves as independent candidates. Given this, there was no inclusion into the NP slate that she says had a negative impact on how the public viewed Senator Villar and his campaign for the presidency at that given period,” Casiño said.
He said Ocampo and Maza were officially declared guest candidates of the NP on December 14, clearly after the December 8 to 10 Pulse Asia survey was made.
He said Ocampo and Maza will bring their own 3-million voter base into the senatorial fray, and the figure can only grow as the official campaign period comes closer.
“We are confident of the people’s support,” he said.
“It’s quite noticeable that Tabunda did not bother to explain the standstill in Noynoy Aquino’s popularity ratings despite the support he received from Senator Escudero. Senator Villar’s ratings, in contrast, increased by 4 percent even if Escudero is more identified with former President [Joseph] Estrada’s camp,” Casiño added.
‘Gibo’ unfazed by survey result
LAKAS-Kampi-CMD presidential candidate Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro, meanwhile, said it is the result of the voting and not poll surveys that will determine the next president of the country.
Teodoro made the statement in response to the results of the latest public opinion survey showing that Aquino, Villar and Estrada are the leading presidential contenders.
“Voting results and not poll surveys will determine the victors in next year’s presidential race,” the former defense secretary said, adding that the elections are still four months away and a lot of things could still happen.
The administration standard-bearer said he is gaining ground in time for the elections next year.
“We are making excellent progress,” he said.
Teodoro said he was satisfied with the results of the Pulse Asia survey, but still he must work.
Barely a month after being formally named by the Lakas-Kampi-CMD as its standard-bearer, Teodoro’s rating climbed to 5 percent, up by three percentage points from the previous survey.
Lakas-Kampi-CMD Rep. Mitos Magsaysay of Zambales, Teodoro’s spokesman, believed the former defense secretary will succeed President Arroyo.
“The election is more than four months away, and we continue to be encouraged by the growing excitement that Secretary Gibo Teodoro has begun to generate among young and thoughtful Filipinos in many areas of the country,” she said.
“We are confident that his ratings will climb dramatically as more Filipinos get to know his program of government, his character and his integrity in public office as the epitome of the new generation of high-achieving Filipino leaders. More recent mock polls in colleges and universities and in the business community are pointing to this direction convincingly,” she added.
‘Chiz youth votes went to Erap’
“THE latest Pulse Asia survey reflects that the votes for Sen. Chiz Escudero, who had captured the youth vote, but had backed out of the presidential race, went to former President Joseph Estrada.”
This was the observation of the Estrada camp, according to Estrada’s spokesman, Margaux Salcedo.
The survey reflects that while Estrada improved across all demographics, the biggest increase in his ratings was among the youth ages 18 to 24, where Estrada improved by 12 points from 10 percent in October to 22 percent in December, Salcedo said.
“This is significant because these are voters who were only 8 to 14 years old when former President Estrada became president in 1998 and would generally be unaware, for sheer reason of their youth, of the legacy of President Erap and his contributions to the poor,” Salcedo explained.
“This shows that President Erap has captured even this youth market.”
United Opposition campaign manager and spokesman Ernesto Maceda said: “This shows that contrary to what had been assumed by the Liberal Party, the votes of Chiz did not go to Noynoy, whose overall survey rating went down from 47 to 45. Noynoy obviously does not have a monopoly of the youth vote.”
Maceda said this reflects what he has seen on the ground during the Lakbay Pasasalamat of the former President, wherein Estrada was enthusiastically received by the youth. “We have seen during our school visits that the Erap magic extends even to the youth of today, who never saw his movies nor followed his earlier political career,” Maceda observed.
Help average students, too—Edu
LAKAS-Kampi-CMD vice-presidential candidate Edu Manzano is batting for the adoption of an educational assistance program that would provide financial support to poor students on the basis of need, rather than on the basis of scholastic performance.
Manzano pointed out that the current practice is to extend college scholarships to students who pass the required examinations that agencies like the Department of Science and Technology conduct annually. This financial help, he said, is based on academic excellence.
Helping bright students is a commendable thing in itself, Manzano affirmed. “Bright students already enjoy an advantage in life, but what about average students from poor or truly destitute families, especially in the rural areas?” he asked. He is appalled at the huge waste of human resources caused by the very high dropout rate in all levels of the educational system, mainly because of financial difficulties encountered by families of students.
“In my trips to the provinces, I have been told of many cases where such students, despite a discount, still cannot afford the tricycle fare of as low as P14 a day,” Manzano said. In addition to this problem, schools are also authorized to solicit five different contributions from students for the Red Cross, Parent-Teachers Association, the Boy and Girl Scouts and other causes, which total about P200. “Even if there’s only one student in a family, these expenses become unaffordable, and it is from the ranks of these poor students where the majority of these dropouts come,” said Manzano.
He proposed to direct financial assistance specifically to average students from poor families even if their grades do not come up to levels of excellence. “In other words, we should help these students because they need to be helped, not necessarily because they are bright,” Manzano stressed. The financial assistance could come in the form of subsidies or allowances for students from the destitute families, and they can be identified through the teachers and the principals, with the cooperation of barangay officials, he added.
“I am informed that, at present, only 68 out of every 100 children who enter Grade 1 finish elementary education, and of the 68, only 48 ever graduate from high-school. Of these high school graduates, only 23 are able to enter college, of which a mere 17 will receive college diplomas. This means that from Grades 1 to 6 alone, we have a very high dropout rate of 32 percent, which increases to an even higher rate of 52 percent by the time they reach fourth-year high school,” Manzano rued.
(With R. Acosta, C. Mocon and J. Perez)