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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Solons nix Cha-cha survey

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Lawmakers on Sunday questioned the recent Pulse Asia survey on Charter amendments, raising concerns over the use of biased and unrelated or leading questions that may have influenced the results.

“Why include questions that people don’t want and are not related to the ongoing process in Congress? Is this black propaganda?” Majority Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe of Zamboanga City said.

“Including unrelated questions in the survey only serves to confuse and mislead the public,” he added.

The survey showed that 74 percent of the respondents believe the 1987 Constitution “should not be amended now nor any other time.”

However, Pulse Asia president Ronald Holmes stood by the results of the latest survey.

“We have been running the questions for 20 years,” Holmes said in a text message to ABS-CBN News.

“The sequence is we start with asking if they favor charter change, ingeneral, then the specific changes proposed now and before are posed later.”

House Assistant Majority Leaders Jil Bongalon of Ako Bicol party-listgroup, Paolo Ortega V of La Union, and Zia Alonto Adiong of Lanao del Sur said the survey questions appeared to conflate various aspects of constitutional reform, which potentially could confuse respondents.

“The wording of the questions used by Pulse Asia seemed designed to lead respondents towards a particular viewpoint on Charter amendments,” Bongalon, a lawyer, said.

He said the proposed amendments in the survey are not aligned with those currently under discussion in Congress.

These include political issues such as changing the unitary system toa federal system of government, term extension for national and local elective officials, change of the presidential system to aparliamentary system of government, and shift from bicameral to a unicameral legislature.

Ortega said the survey also contained a biased question regarding “allowing foreign individuals and companies to exploit Philippine natural resources.”

“The survey questions, particularly those addressing contentious issues such as term extension, foreign exploitation of natural resources, and a shift from a presidential to a parliamentary systemof government, may have inadvertently skewed responses and fosteredopposition to Cha-cha,” Ortega said.

Adiong also underscored the importance of accurately reflecting the content of proposed amendments in survey questions.

“Surveys on complex issues like Cha-cha require clarity to accuratelygauge public opinion. It is essential for survey firms to ensure thatquestions are clear, specific, and free from bias to obtain accurate results,” he said.

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