NEWS7 May 2013

Manila survey companies seek delay on disclosure regs

Asia Pacific Government Legal

Survey firms in Manila have appealed to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to defer implementation of a resolution ordering the disclosure of subscribers.

Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes told reporters that survey companies Social Weather Stations (SWS) and Pulse Asia had written to him asking for the implementation of Comelec Resolution 9674 to be put on hold as they look to the Supreme Court for a ruling on the matter.

Under the resolution all subscribers will have to be named or violators may face up to six years in jail if charged with an election offence.

All reports from the survey companies would be kept confidential and would not be published, however, candidates who subscribe to any survey would have to include them in their campaign expenses report after the election.

At a hearing last month, SWS legal council Albert Bacungan denied that candidates were paying for surveys and that they are “paying a fee to obtain access to certain data on non-commissioned questionnaire items”.