April 2022 Nationwide Survey on the May 2022 Elections

Pulse Asia Research, Inc. is pleased to share with you some findings on the May 2022 Elections from the April 2022 Pulso ng Bayan Pre-Electoral national survey. We request you to assist us in informing the public by disseminating this information.

The survey fieldwork was conducted from April 16 – 21, 2022 using face-to-face interviews. This nationwide survey is based on a sample of 2,400 representative adults 18 years old and above, who are registered voters and likely to vote in the May 2022 elections. It has a ± 2% error margin at the 95% confidence level.  Subnational estimates for each of the geographic areas covered in the survey (i.e., Metro Manila, the rest of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao) have a ± 4% error margin, also at 95% confidence level. Those interested in further technical details may refer to our website (www.pulseasia.ph)

The following are among the key developments that took place in the weeks prior to and during the conduct of the interviews for the April 2022 pre-electoral survey of Pulse Asia Research:

1. Metro Manila and 60 other areas across the country were placed under COVID-19 Alert Level 1 from 01-15 April 2022, later extended to 30 April 2022. Six (6) local government units (LGUs) – all in Metro Manila – experienced an increase in the number of active COVID-19 cases from 12 to 18 April 2022, according to the Department of Health (DOH). The agency warned that the decline in compliance with minimum public health standards under Alert Level 1 could result in about 35,000 active cases by election day. The DOH also recommended that safety officers be assigned to polling areas across the country to ensure strict compliance with safety protocols.

Senators rejected DOH Secretary Francisco Duque’s proposal to make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory since it is unreasonable to require the public to get vaccinated just because there are 27 million vaccine doses expiring in July 2022. Senate President Vicente Sotto III pointed out that by making vaccination mandatory, the DOH is only passing on to lawmakers the problem of continued reluctance on the part of people to get their COVID-19 vaccines or booster shots.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the country approved the administration of second booster shots against COVID-19 to senior citizens, immunocompromised individuals, and frontline healthcare workers. Second booster shorts may be given at least four (4) months after the first booster. However, the giving of second booster shots is on hold until the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) has given its final recommendation.

2. 0n 20 April 2022, the First Division of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) dismissed the last petition seeking to disqualify former Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. from the May 2022 presidential election. The petition argued that the former lawmaker is disqualified from running for president due to his conviction for violating the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (QCRTC) in 1995. The COMELEC First Division explained that the case against former Senator Marcos does not fall under tax evasion and although he failed to pay his tax liability, he did not do so willfully.

In a related matter, various groups have called on the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to collect the P 203 billion estate tax that the Marcos family still has to pay. Although the BIR said that it already sent a claim letter to the Marcoses in December 2021, the tax liability still remains unpaid. Likewise, President Rodrigo R. Duterte asked the BIR to explain why it has failed to collect the estate tax of the Marcos family.

3. In a press conference held on 17 April 2022, three (3) presidential candidates and two (2) vice-presidential bets declared that they will not withdraw from the coming elections. Manila Mayor Francisco Domagoso even went as far as to call on Vice-President Maria Leonor G. Robredo to make the ultimate sacrifice by withdrawing from the presidential race. Senator Panfilo Lacson and former Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Norberto Gonzales, although present during the press conference, distanced themselves from the Manila Mayor’s withdrawal call. Senator Emmanuel Pacquiao, who was supposed to attend the press conference but failed to do so, also rejected the withdrawal call.

4. Although President Duterte has not yet endorsed any presidential candidate for the coming elections, he endorsed 17 senatorial candidates during the grand proclamation rally of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) in Cebu on 31 March 2022. Those endorsed by the President come not only from PDP-Laban but also from the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) and the UniTeam coalition, as well as an independent candidate.

Senator Lacson resigned as chairperson and member of the Partido Reporma on 24 March 2022 shortly before the party’s president and other party leaders announced they would shift their support to Vice-President Robredo in the May 2022 elections. Despite this, the lawmaker remains in the presidential race but as an independent candidate. Meanwhile, former Senator Marcos was endorsed by the PDP-Laban wing led by Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso Cusi and the National Unity Party (NUP).

5. During a trip to Quezon, Bukidnon on 19 April 2022, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) Chairperson Leodegario de Guzman nearly got hit as security guards of a pineapple plantation where he was visiting an indigenous community fired on the group. The standard-bearer of the Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) and two (2) senatorial candidates were in the area to visit members of the Manobo-Pulangihon community who were attempting to occupy a portion of their claimed ancestral domain within the plantation. Malacañang condemned the incident and called for an investigation into the shooting.

6. COMELEC Commissioner Socorro Inting resigned as head of the poll body’s Committee on the Ban on Firearms and Security Concerns (CBFSC) on 12 April 2022 following the approval of COMELEC Resolution No. 10777 that gives COMELEC Chairperson Saidaman Pangarungan blanket authority to grant exemptions to the gun ban. COMELEC Commissioner Inting resigned because her post has been rendered redundant by the approval of the said resolution via a vote of 4-3. Additionally, the resolution also grants the COMELEC Chairperson the authority to place election hotspots under the poll body’s control.

7. The COMELEC completed the printing of 67.4 million ballots to be used for the May 2022 national and local elections on 02 April 2022. Of this total, 319,138 ballots will still undergo further evaluation and checking while 178,999 will be reprinted as they are considered defective. The poll body has also started deploying vote-counting machines and other equipment to be used on election day.

The Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV), which began on 10 April 2022, got off to a rocky start with complaints of pre-shaded ballots, lack of vote-counting machines (VCMs), misspelled names on ballots, and voters receiving more than one ballot. Bayan Muna Party-List lawmakers called for an investigation into these claims to prevent the “massive disenfranchisement of overseas voters”.

In the meantime, on 19 April 2022, COMELEC Chairperson Pangarungan disclosed to the Senate Electoral Reforms and People’s Participation Committee that the poll body has withheld the third tranche of its payment to Smartmatic, a total of P 90 million. This is due to the alleged data breach in January 2022 that was traced to a contractual employee of Smartmatic. The payment will be released to Smartmatic once the COMELEC is convinced that it is not involved in the data breach.

8. President Duterte vetoed the Subscriber Identify Module (SIM) Card Registration Act that requires the registration of SIM cards and social media accounts to deter electronic communication-aided crimes. The President expressed concern over the inclusion of a provision covering social media accounts in the mandated registration as this might threaten the people’s rights under the 1987 Philippine Constitution.  On the other hand, a 10-point policy agenda that seeks to fast-track the country’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic was signed by the President on 21 March 2022. Among others, the plan prioritizes strengthening health care capacity, expanding the COVID-19 vaccination program, and further reopening the country’s economy.

9. Following the release of Dr. Raquel Fortun’s initial findings of her postmortem examination of 46 victims killed in the Duterte administration’s anti-illegal drugs campaign, Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the government panel tasked to look into President Duterte’s “war on drugs” will investigate the alleged fraudulent death certificates of some of those killed in the operations. According to Dr. Fortun, the doctors who signed such death certificates should be held accountable for their actions.

10. On 27 March 2022, the Philippine Coast Guard reported a “close distance maneuvering” incident with a Chinese vessel in the Scarborough Shoal, part of the disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea. As a result of the incident, President Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to “exercise restraint” and “exert all efforts” to maintain peace, security, and stability in the region.

11. Tropical Storm (TS) Agaton, which made its first landfall in the country on 10 April 2022 in Eastern Samar, left as many as 224 dead, 147 missing, more than 100,000 in evacuation centers, damages to agriculture amounting to P 2.3 billion and to infrastructure totaling P 1.45 billion, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). Prior to TS Agaton, a low pressure area (LPA) caused massive flooding in the Davao Region. At the height of the flooding on 06 April 2022, the Davao City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (DCDRRMCO) reported that 2,064 families were evacuated to safer ground. The Davao de Oro provincial government declared a state of calamity on 08 April 2022 due to the extensive damage caused by the LPA.

12. On economic and financial matters, after two (2) consecutive price rollbacks, oil prices went up again on 19 April 2022 – gasoline at P 0.45/liter, diesel at P 1.70/liter, and kerosene at P 0.45/liter. Global oil supply remained tight due to the continuing Russia-Ukraine war. The April 2022 electric bills of customers of the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) goes up by 53.63 centavos per kilowatt-hour (kWh) due to the higher cost of electricity from independent power producers and the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM). The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) disclosed that the national inflation rate went up from 3.0% in February 2022 to 4.0% in March 2022, the highest since October 2021. The rise in the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages, housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, and transport resulted in the increase in the overall inflation rate. The petition for an across-the-board minimum wage increase in the amount of P 470 was rejected by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) on 22 March 2022. The latter dismissed the petition, filed by the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), on the grounds that it falls outside its jurisdiction.

Pulse Asia Research’s pool of academic fellows takes full responsibility for the design and conduct of the survey, as well as for analyses it makes based on the survey data. In keeping with our academic nature, no religious, political, economic, or partisan group influenced any of these processes.  Pulse Asia Research undertakes pre-election surveys on its own without any party singularly commissioning the research effort.

For any clarification or questions, kindly contact Ana Maria Tabunda, Research Director of Pulse Asia Research at 09189436816 or Ronald D. Holmes, Pulse Asia Research President via Viber or Telegram at +639189335497 or at ronald.holmes@gmail.com (via email).

Former Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. remains the choice for president of most voters (56%); presidential voter preferences are essentially constant between March 2022 and April 2022

If the May 2022 elections were held during the survey period (16-21 April 2022), 56% of likely voters with valid responses[1] (hereinafter referred to as likely voters) would elect former Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. as the next Philippine president. The latter registers majority voting figures in most geographic areas (54% to 67%) and all socio-economic classes (56% to 57%). In the Visayas, less than half of votes (47%) express support for the presidential bid of the former lawmaker. These figures are virtually the same as those recorded by the latter in March 2022. (Please refer to Tables 1 to 2.)

In second place is Vice-President Maria Leonor G. Robredo, with 23% of likely voters backing her candidacy. Across geographic areas and socio-economic groupings, levels of electoral support for the Vice-President range from 11% in Mindanao to 34% in the Visayas and from 24% in Class E to 29% in Class ABC, respectively. Although there is a 9-percentage point increase in the latter’s voter preference in Metro Manila and a 6-percentage point decline in her voting figure in the rest of Luzon from March 2022 to April 2022, these movements fall short of being significant given the relevant error margins for these subgroupings.

The voter preferences of the other presidential candidates range from 0.1% for former Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Norberto Gonzales and Atty. Jose Montemayor, Jr. to 7% for Senator Emmanuel Pacquiao. In contrast, 5% of likely voters did not fill up the sample ballot while 1% did not indicate their preferred candidate for president on the ballot. (Please refer to Table 1.)

A small majority voter preference (55%) puts Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte in the lead in the vice-presidential race; public opinion regarding the May 2022 vice-presidential election is almost unchanged from March 2022 to April 2022

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte is the choice of 55% of likely voters to replace Vice-President Robredo. The local chief executive has majority voting figures in Metro Manila (51%), Mindanao (80%), and every socio-economic grouping (51% to 60%). The latter is also the choice for vice-president of near majorities in the rest of Luzon and the Visayas (46% and 50%, respectively). Davao City Mayor Duterte’s April 2022 voter preferences hardly differ from those recorded a month prior. Even the 12-percentage point drop in the level of support for the latter’s candidacy in Class ABC falls within the relevant error margin for the said socio-economic class. (Please refer to Tables 3 to 4.)

Sharing the second spot are Senate President Vicente Sotto III (18%) and Senator Francis Pangilinan (16%). Across areas, the voting figures of these lawmakers range from 6% to 25% for Senate President Sotto and from 8% to 29% for Senator Pangilinan. In terms of classes, the former’s voter preferences vary from 15% to 18% while the latter’s levels of support are from 15% to 25%. Between March 2022 and April 2022, support for Senate President Sotto eases in the Visayas (-12 percentage points) while preference for Senator Pangilinan becomes more pronounced (+10 percentage points).

Levels of electoral support for the other candidates for vice-president range from 0.1% for Mr. Rizalito David to 3% for Dr. Willie Ong. Of those with valid responses in terms of their choice for vice-president, 5% did not fill up the sample ballot. In addition, 1% did not express support for any vice-presidential candidate. (Please refer to Table 3.)

Click here for breakdown of Presidential and Vice Presidential preferences.

Less than half of likely voters (41%) have a complete slate for the May 2022 elections; out of 64 senatorial candidates, 12 have a statistical chance of winning in the May 2022 elections

In April 2022, 41% of likely voters have a complete slate for senator (i.e., they are naming a total of 12 of their choices for the post). Majority figures are recorded in the Visayas (58%), Mindanao (55%), and Class E (55%). Only around a quarter of those in the rest of Luzon (26%) express support for 12 senatoriables. Meanwhile, likely voters name a mean of 8 and a median of 9 of their favored senatorial bets for the coming elections. (Please refer to Table 5.)

More than half of the probable winners in the May 2022 senatorial election are either former or incumbent lawmakers. Currently sharing the top spot are Mr. Raffy Tulfo (50.4%) and Antique Representative Loren Legarda (49.4%), both of whom have a statistical ranking of 1st to 2nd places. Mr. Robin Padilla’s overall voter preference of 42.9% puts him in 3rd to 4th places while Taguig City-Pateros Representative Alan Peter Cayetano’s national voting figure of 42.3% lands him in 3rd to 5th places. Two (2) reelectionist senators occupy 5th to 9th places – Senator Sherwin Gatchalian (37.0%) and Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri (37.0%). Former Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar is in 5th to 12th places, with a voter preference of 35.9% while former Senator JV Estrada Ejercito lands in 6th to 12th places, with the support of 34.3% of likely voters. Completing the list of probable winners are former Vice-President Jejomar Binay (32.5%), Senator Risa Hontiveros (32.3%), and former Senator Jinggoy Estrada (32.3%), all of whom are ranked 8th to 12th.

Among those with valid responses to the senatorial electoral probe, 5.3% did not fill up the sample ballot used for the president survey while 2.8% did not express support for any of the 64 candidates for senator running in the May 2022 elections.

Among the 177 participating in the May 2022 party-list election, 10 succeed in surpassing the 2.0% voter preference threshold needed to secure at least one (1) seat in the House of Representatives.

Most likely voters (79%) express support for a party-list group. Of the 177 participants in the May 2022 polls, 10 groups are able to attain at least 2.0% of the total number of votes cast for the party-list election and this enables them to win at least one (1) congressional seat in the first round of seat allocation as stated in the 17 February 2017 resolution issued of the Supreme Court. These party-list groups are ACT-CIS (7.07%), 4PS (5.17%), Ako Bicol (4.76%), Ang Probinsiyano (3.98%), Tingog (2.63%), Senior Citizens Partylist (2.33%), Probinsyano Ako (2.28%), Kalinga (2.20%), Uswag Ilonggo (2.19%), and CIBAC (2.01%). (Please refer to Table 7.)

Following the procedure for allocating the maximum number of 63 seats for party-list representatives in the Lower House, four (4) party-list groups would earn additional congressional seats, which would enable them to obtain a total of three (3) congressional seats, the maximum number of seats a party-list group can win in the party-list elections. These groups are ACT-CIS, 4PS, Ako Bicol, and Ang Probinsiyano. Meanwhile, Tingog, Senior Citizens Partylist, Probinsyano Ako, Kalinga, Uswag Ilonggo, and CIBAC would get a total of two (2) seats while 39 other groups would win a single seat each.

Pulso ng Bayan April 2022 Technical Details

Pulso ng Bayan April 2022 Socio-Demographics Error Margins

[1] Respondents, all likely voters, were asked to fill up a sample ballot for Pulse Asia Research’s April 2022 pre-electoral survey. The base used to these pre-electoral probes are those likely voters with valid responses. This grouping includes those with valid votes (i.e., no erasures on the sample ballot, no overvoting, no preference shaded) and those who refuse to fill up the ballot.