Editorial: When Opinion Surveys Differ

Manila Bulletin, October 27, 2015 | Go to article overview

Editorial: When Opinion Surveys Differ


For years now, public opinion surveys have come up with all sorts of findings on what the people think about various issues. Such economic issues as continued mass poverty have invariably come out as their principal concerns, ahead of such other issues as peace and order and relations with other countries.

Understandably, the government is concerned about the people's perception of its performance and their trust and confidence in its officials. In the latest report of Pulse Asia, the President's approval and trust ratings were a high 54 percent and 49 percent, respectively. The Social Weather Stations (SWS) in its own survey reported a plus-37 net satisfaction rating for the national government, which it described as "good."

A few days later, the public relations firm EON released its Public Trust Index (PTI) 2015, which gave the Church the highest rating at 73 percent, followed by the academe at 51 percent, and media at 32 percent. The government had a rating of 12 percent; business, 9 percent; and non-government organizations, 9 percent. In the government, the PTI survey said, the Office of the President had a trust rating of 15 percent; the Senate had 10 percent; and the House of Representatives, 8 percent.

There is a glaring difference in the findings of the polling organizations on people's trust in the government. It makes some people wonder about the capability and expertise of the various polling organizations and the reliability of opinion surveying in general. …

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