Thursday, February 9, 2023

Delivering Stories of Progress


FIRING LINE: Who’s vetting the polls?

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By Robert B. Roque, Jr.

Did anybody read the story on a supposed nationwide survey conducted by the RP-Mission and Development Foundation, Inc. or RPMD? It showed President BBM and Vice President Sara Duterte had a trust rating of 87 percent and a performance approval of 83 percent and 81 percent, respectively.

The RPMD claimed it conducted its “Boses ng Bayan” poll from Nov. 27 to Dec. 2, using face-to-face interviews with 5,000 adult respondents. It added that its non-commissioned survey had a margin of error of +/- one percent.

Wow, this newbie polling firm is claiming a better statistical accuracy than its heralded and long-established counterparts – Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations (SWS), whose surveys usually claim a margin of error of +/- two percent.

Honestly, if this story were not carried by reputable national dailies, I would have dismissed it as fake news. Apparently, RPMD has been around for 11 years, yet its official website has no tabs on the organization’s history or the statistical work it does.

I hate sounding like a cynic, but in this time of purveyors of misinformation and disinformation, I’d question the veracity of such poll results, demand a more detailed explanation of its survey method and the accompanying data like the percentage of poll respondents who answered in the negative or were undecided or the geographical distribution of the respondents.

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Last week, at least 1,000 bags of smuggled onions worth close to P1.7 million were confiscated in a multi-agency operation led by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in Manila.

Customs insiders said the seized onions would be turned over to the Department of Agriculture (DA), which would sell them at Kadiwa stores at a price of about P120 per kilogram.

Given that Filipino consumers are grappling with the very high price of this agricultural product these days – as high as P320 per kilo for red onions in Metro Manila – this is a welcome development.

Might I suggest the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), in its recalibrated implementation of Fisheries Administrative Order (FAO) No. 195 Series of 1999, target the seizure of illegally imported pompano and pink salmon from storage facilities in Navotas. Then, follow suit as the DA and BOC and sell the seized fish products at lower prices. What do you say, BFAR Officer-in-Charge Demosthenes Escoto?

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SHORTBURSTS. For comments or reactions, email or tweet @Side_View. Read current and past issues of this column at

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