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Pulse Asia Research, Inc. is pleased to share with you some findings on the May 2019 Senatorial Elections from the June 2018 Ulat ng Bayan national survey. We request you to assist us in informing the public by disseminating this information.

The survey fieldwork was conducted from June 15 – 21, 2018 using face-to-face interviews. In the weeks leading up to the fieldwork for this survey and during the actual conduct of the interviews, the following local and international developments dominated the headlines:

The following are several of the key developments which dominated the headlines in the weeks prior to and during the conduct of the interviews for this survey:

1. The 19 June 2018 decision of the Supreme Court, via an 8-6 vote, affirming its earlier ruling that led to the ouster of then Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes A. Sereno on the basis of a quo warranto petition filed by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG);

2. The reversal by Ombudsman Cochita Carpio-Morales of her 03 March 2017 decision clearing former President Benigno S. Aquino III of criminal liability arising from his usurpation of the budgetary powers of Congress in connection with his approval of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP);

3. The start of the regional consultations on the draft federal constitution on 17 June 2018;

4. The conflicting statements of President Rodrigo R. Duterte and Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on the West Philippine Sea (WPS) situation, with the President reiterating his no-to-war stance toward China and the DFA Secretary claiming that the former is ready to declare war on China or any other country that attempts to exploit natural resources in the WPS;

5. The approval on third and final reading by the House of Representatives of a bill seeking to strengthen the powers of the OSG;

6. Calls for a wage increase from labor groups and other sectors in the face of the continuing increase in oil prices and the depreciation of the local currency vis-à-vis the American dollar;

7. The remarks made by President Duterte and Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno that suspending the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law will undermine the delivery of basic services and will only do more harm than good to that national economy;

8. President Duterte’s official visit to South Korea from 03 to 05 June 2018 during which he and South Korean President Moon Jae-in affirmed the “special friendship” between their countries;

9. The suspension for three (3) months of the peace negotiations between the Philippines and the National Democratic Front (NDF);

10. The signing into law by President Duterte of the Mental Health Act on 20 June 2018 which seeks to provide state-funded mental health care at the grassroots level and to promote mental health education in schools and workplaces;

11. The killing of Fr. Richmond Nilo in Zaragoza, Nueva Ecija on 10 June 2018 and that of Mayor Ronald Tirol of Buenavista, Bohol on 27 May 2018;

12. The arrest of more than 7,000 loiterers or “tambays” in Metro Manila alone since President Duterte’s 13 June 2018 order for the police to be stricter against loiterers;

13. The statement made by Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra clearing Solicitor General Jose Calida of any wrongdoing in connection with various contracts entered into by a security firm owned by his family with the DOJ;

14. The confirmation by the Commission on Appointments of Department of Agriculture (DA) Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat as the new Department of Tourism (DOT) lead official;

15. The passage on third and final reading of their respective versions of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) by the House of Representatives on 30 May 2018 by a vote of 227 to 11 and by the Senate a day after via a 21-0 vote;

16. The 12 June 2018 peace agreement signed by United States (US) President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un; the transfer of the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; and the withdrawal of the US from the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council;

17. In economic and financial developments, the decline in the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) which plunged to 7,098.15 points on 21 June 2018, the lowest closing level since 04 January 2017, due in part to market uncertainties; the continued weakening of the Philippine peso against the American dollar which makes the local currency one of the worst performing currencies among so-called emerging economies in the first half of 2018; the statement of a National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) official that a Filipino family of five (5) would be able to survive on P 10,000 per month which led various labor groups and individuals to challenge the country’s economic managers to live on P 10,000 monthly; a clarification was issued by NEDA Director General Ernesto Pernia to the effect that a typical Filipino family would need P 42,000 monthly to be able to live decently.

Based on a multistage probability sample of 1,800 registered voters 18 years old and above, Pulse Asia’s nationwide survey has a + 2% error margin at the 95% confidence level.  Subnational estimates for the geographic areas covered in the survey have the following error margins at 95% confidence level:  + 6% for Metro Manila, + 3% for the rest of Luzon and + 5% for each of Visayas and Mindanao. Those interested in further technical details may refer to our website (www.pulseasia.ph)

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 Ulat ng Bayan surveys on its own without any party singularly commissioning the research effort.

For any clarification or questions, kindly contact Dr. Ana Maria Tabunda, Research Director of Pulse Asia Research at 09189436816 or Ronald D. Holmes, Pulse Asia Research President at 09189335497 (via mobile, Viber, or Telegram) or at ronald.holmes@gmail.com (via email.).

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Senator Grace Poe leads probable candidates for the May 2019 senatorial race

If the May 2019 elections were held during the survey period, 13 out of the 58 individuals included in this survey’s senatorial probe would have a statistical chance of winning. Practically all of the probable winners are either incumbent or former members of Congress. Senator Grace Poe registers a voter preference of 67.4% for a ranking of solo 1st place. Taguig City Representative Pia Cayetano’s probable bid to return to the Senate has the support of 55.7% of Filipinos. This translates to a 2nd place ranking. Another re-electionist, Senator Cynthia Villar, garners 50.1% voter preference that translates to a statistical ranking of 3rd to 4th places. Close behind is Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio, ranked 3rd to 5th with a 46.2% level of support. Completing the top five (5) is Senator Edgardo Angara, Jr. who  is backed by 41.9% of Filipinos. The latter’s ranking is 4th to 8th places. (Please refer to Table 1.)

The other probable winners if the May 2019 senatorial elections were held during the survey period are former Senator Jinggoy Estrada (37.9%), Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Chief Ronald dela Rosa (37.7%), and Senator Aquilino Martin Pimentel III (37.7%), all of whom are ranked 5th to 12th; Senator Nancy Binay (37.1%, 6th to 12th places), former Senator Sergio Osmeña (36.6%), former Senator Lito Lapid (36.2%), and Senator JV Ejercito (35.6%), who all have a statistical ranking of 6th to 13th places; and, Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino (32.1%), who is ranked 10th to 16th. Only 4.8% of Filipinos are not inclined to support any of those listed in the senatorial probe.

Most Filipinos (55%) already have a complete slate for the midterm senatorial elections

With about 11 months to go before the midterm elections, a small majority of Filipinos (55%) already have a complete slate for the senatorial race. Majority figures are recorded in virtually all geographic areas and socio-economic groupings (55% to 63% and 54% to 59%, respectively), with the only exception being the rest of Luzon (47%). Furthermore, Filipinos are currently naming a mean of 9 and a median of 12 (out of a maximum of 12) of their preferred senatorial candidates. Across geographic areas and socio-economic classes, mean figures range from 9 to 10 while median figures vary from 10 to 12. (Please refer to Table 2.)