NEWS24 April 2013

Philippine election survey providers ordered to reveal subscribers

Asia Pacific Government Legal

PHILIPPINES — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) in the Philippines has ordered all survey companies to name those financing election-related surveys.

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

Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes told the Manila Standard: “We approved a resolution directing them to divulge the names of their subscribers because the subscriber pays for at least part of the survey.”

He added that all reports from the survey companies would be kept confidential and would not be published.

However, the candidates who subscribe to any survey would have to include them in their campaign expenses report after the election.

In a hearing last week, Comelec asked survey firms Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia if candidates or political parties had been commissioning surveys in connection with the 13 May mid-term polls.

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,” according to the Manilla paper.