March 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 March 2022 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 March 17 – 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. 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 (

Among the key national and international developments that took place in the weeks immediately before and during the conduct of the interviews for the March 2022 Ulat ng Bayan survey are the following:

1. As the number of reported COVID-19 cases continues to decline, Metro Manila and 38 other areas across the country were placed under COVID-19 Alert Level 1 from 01 to 15 March 2022, and later extended to 31 March 2022. Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III expects the country to remain at this level until the end of the Duterte administration. Under Alert Level 1, face-to-face classes, intrazonal and interzonal travel regardless of age and comorbidities, and full-capacity operations for business establishments and public transport are allowed.

The DOH reported that as of 18 March 2022, over 65 million Filipinos, or about 72% of the target recipients, have been vaccinated against COVID-19. During the 4th phase of the Bayanihan Bakunahan from 10 to 18 March 2022, around 1.8 million shots were administered, which is nearly 97% of the DOH’s target of 1.87 million. And in an effort to streamline government COVID-19 data, the Department of Health (DOH) shifted from its daily COVID-19 reporting to a weekly format beginning 07 March 2022, with focus being on severe and critical cases and the utilization of intensive care units (ICUs). As regards the variants of COVID-19 that have been detected in the country, the Omicron variant remains dominant, with no Deltacron variant being detected as of 18 March 2022.

2. The first presidential debate, held on 27 February 2022 and hosted by CNN Philippines, focused on such topics as corruption, economic recovery, pandemic response, foreign policy, and even the importance of debates in elections. Another debate, organized by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and held on 19 March 2022, saw the candidates tackling issues like pandemic recovery and the repercussions for the Philippines of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. With the exception of former Senator Ferdinand Marcos, all other candidates for president participated in both events.

Although President Rodrigo R. Duterte has not openly endorsed a presidential candidate for the May 2022 elections, he explained during an interview that he would like the next president to be a lawyer as well as someone who is decisive, compassionate, and pro-people. Meanwhile, the President appointed ex-Lanao del Sur Governor Saidamin Pangarungan as ad interim COMELEC Chairperson as well as Atty. George Erwin Garcia and former Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Aimee Neri as COMELEC Commissioners. Atty. Garcia has inhibited himself from cases pending before the COMELEC that involve his former clients, including ex-Senator Marcos.

On 08 March 2022, the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the COMELEC for it to desist from further removing campaign materials displayed on private properties while the High Court is still hearing the petition filed by supporters of Vice-President Maria Leonor G. Robredo against the poll body’s “Oplan Baklas”.

3. The prices per liter of gasoline, diesel, and kerosene in the Philippines have been rising since January 2022. With transport groups calling for an increase in transport fares, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released on 10 March 2022 P 3 billion to help public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers and agriculture producers cope with soaring oil prices, in the form of fuel subsidy and fuel discount cards. On 21 March 2022, the last day of the interviews for the present survey, oil companies announced a major rollback in the prices of diesel, gasoline, and kerosene due to the decline in global prices of oil products in the previous week.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), citing the importance of balancing the rights of public commuters and those of transport operators, denied the petition for a P 1 provisional fare hike for PUVs filed by several transport groups due to the rise in oil prices. Still pending before the LTFRB are petitions to raise the minimum fare to at least P 14 and to increase the base fare for transport network vehicle services (TNVS) by P 15.

Furthermore, the National Wage Productivity Commission (NWPC) reported that as of 21 March 2022, 10 petitions for wage increase have been filed by regional wage boards in Metro Manila and Regions 3, 4A, 6, 7, and 8. In Metro Manila, for instance, workers’ groups have called for an across-the-board increase of P 470 in the daily minimum wage in the region. In response, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion cautioned that small and medium enterprises might find it difficult to sustain their operations should the daily minimum wage in Metro Manila be raised from P 537 to P 1,007.

4. Amidst surging prices of oil products and other basic goods, President Duterte opted to grant a monthly subsidy of P 200 per indigent household instead of seeking the suspension of the excise and value-added taxes. Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez III described this as the more sustainable and affordable measure at the moment. Critics, however, said the P 200 monthly subsidy is not only inadequate but also insulting to all Filipinos, especially the poor.

Meanwhile, the House Committee on Energy approved on 15 March 2022 a bill amending the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act. This move follows the President’s call for legislators to study the Oil Deregulation Law as part of his administration’s response to the Russian-Ukrainian crisis.

5. Customers of the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) will be paying more in March 2022 as the company announced an increase in its overall rate due to higher demand and an increase in generation charges as well as charges from independent power producers. The Philippine peso also dropped to a two-year low on 14 March 2022, as it closed at P 52.475 vis-à-vis the American dollar. On a more positive note, Manila Water and Maynilad announced in early March 2022 that their customers will be paying less beginning 21 March 2022 as a result of the removal of the 12% VAT.

6. Due to the worsening crisis between Russia and Ukraine, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) raised its crisis alert level in Ukraine to Level 4 on 07 March 2022. This means the mandatory evacuation of Filipino citizens in Ukraine at the government’s expense. As of 15 March 2022, 370 Filipinos have left Ukraine, with 286 repatriated and 84 evacuated. Meanwhile, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that as of 18 March 2022, more than 3.2 million refugees have fled Ukraine while 6.5 million have been internally displaced within the country. Also, various companies have either suspended or scaled-down their business operations in Russia following its invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022. Although Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called for meaningful and honest negotiations on peace and security in the region, Russia has continued its attacks on the country.

7. President Duterte signed into law legislative measures raising the age of sexual consent from 12 to 16 years old, allowing foreign entities to set up and fully own small and medium-sized businesses, and allowing full foreign ownership of businesses in the Philippines in such industries as telecommunications, airlines, and railways.

8. The country observed the 36th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution on 25 February 2022, with President Duterte calling on the Filipino people to express their gratitude to those who strive to keep the legacy of the “peaceful and non-violent revolution” alive. For her part, Vice-President Robredo said the spirit of the People Power Revolution continues today through the efforts of people helping others in need and those who continue to work for an honest government.

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 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 (via email).

Former Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. remains the frontrunner in the May 2022 presidential race (56%) while Manila Mayor Francisco Domagoso posts the highest second-choice voter preference (23%); few significant changes in voting figures occur between February 2022 and March 2022, with Vice-President Maria Leonor G. Robredo gaining support (+9 percentage points)

Most likely voters (56%) would elect former Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. as the country’s next president if the May 2022 elections took place during the survey period. The ex-lawmaker’s presidential bid is supported by near to sizeable majorities across geographic areas and socio-economic classes (48% to 64% and 52% to 56%, respectively). Meanwhile, nearly a quarter of likely voters (24%) back the candidacy of Vice-President Maria Leonor G. Robredo. The other presidential contenders register voter preferences of at most 8%. Additionally, 1% of likely voters are still undecided about whom to vote for as president, another 1% are not supporting any candidate for the post, and 0.5% refuse to identify their preferred presidential bet. (Please refer to Table 1.)

Breakdown of pre-election Presidential preferences

First-choice presidential voter preferences are essentially constant during the period February 2022 to March 2022. The only exceptions to this observation are those recorded by former Senator Marcos and Vice-President Robredo. Electoral support for the ex-lawmaker eases in Class D (-5 percentage points) while Vice-President Robredo’s voting figures increase not only in the Philippines as a whole (+9 percentage points) but also in the rest of Luzon (+14 percentage points), Mindanao (+9 percentage points), and Class D (+10 percentage points). (Please refer to Table 2.)

If their original choice for president does not pursue his/her candidacy for whatever reason, 23% of likely voters would instead vote for Manila Mayor Francisco Domagoso. Senator Panfilo Lacson (13%), Senator Emmanuel Pacquiao (13%), and Vice-President Robredo (10%) share 2nd place while the other presidential bets have second-choice voter preferences of at most 8%. Interestingly, 28% of likely voters do not have an alternative candidate for president. Indecision regarding their second choice for the post is expressed by 3% of likely voters. (Please refer to Table 3.)

Small to sizeable pluralities in the rest of Luzon and Class D (37% and 29%, respectively) are not inclined to vote for another presidential candidate if their original choice for president withdraws from the May 2022 elections. In Metro Manila, 35% identify Manila Mayor Domagoso as their second choice for president while among Visayans, Mindanawons, and those in Class E, Manila Mayor Domagoso and Senator Pacquiao have basically the same second-choice voting figures (18% to 23% and 20% to 23%, respectively). However, non-support for an alternative presidential bet is shared by about the same percentages of those belonging to these subgroupings (17% to 24%). In Class C, Manila Mayor Domagoso and Senator Lacson enjoy around the same second -choice voter preferences (28% and 15%, respectively) but non-support for any second-choice presidential bet is expressed by 26%.

It is only Senator Pacquiao who experiences a notable movement in second-choice voting figures between February 2022 and March 2022 – a 14-percentage point improvement in Class E. What changed significantly during this period is the percentage of those without an alternative presidential bet/are undecided on the matter of whom to vote for should their first-choice candidate withdraw from the elections/refuse to name their second-choice presidential candidate. Figures go up in the Philippines as a whole (+5 percentage points) as well as the rest of Luzon (+7 percentage points), the Visayas (+11 percentage points), and Class D (+8 percentage points) but a decline occurs in Metro Manila (-14 percentage points). (Please refer to Table 4.)

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte continues to lead in the vice-presidential race (56%) while the top alternative vice-presidential candidate is Senate President Vicente Sotto III (34%); public sentiment regarding preferences for vice-president is essentially constant between February 2022 and March 2022

With 56% of likely voters supporting her, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte would be elected as vice-president if the May 2022 elections coincided with the conduct of the interviews for the March 2022 Ulat ng Bayan survey. The latter is the favored vice-presidential candidate of big pluralities to overwhelming majorities across geographic areas and socio-economic classes (44% to 83% and 55% to 63%, respectively). Senate President Vicente Sotto III has the support of 20% of likely voters while Senator Francis Pangilinan’s senatorial bid is backed by 15%. The other vice-presidential bets register first-choice voter preferences of at most 5%. The rest of likely voters are undecided about whom to elect as the next Philippine vice-president (2%), are not voting for any candidate for the post (1%), or refuse to identify their choice for vice-president (0.4%). (Please refer to Table 5.)

Breakdown of pre-election Vice-Presidential preferences

For the period February 2022 to March 2022, the only marked changes in first-choice voter preferences for vice-president are recorded by Senate President Sotto and Senator Pangilinan. Support for the former eases in the rest of Luzon (-9 percentage points) while the reverse occurs in the latter’s case (+9 percentage points). (Please refer to Table 6.)

Senate President Sotto is the alternative choice for vice-president of 34% of likely voters. Second place in terms of second-choice voting figures is shared by Senator Pangilinan (14%) and Dr. Willie Ong (11%). The other vice-presidential candidates have second-choice voting figures of at most 7%. More than a quarter of likely voters (28%) do not have an alternative candidate for the post. In addition, 3% are undecided about their second choice for vice-president. Overall second-choice voting figures remain essentially unchanged between February 2022 and March 2022 but there is a 6-percentage point increase in the percentage of those without an alternative vice-presidential bet/are ambivalent on the matter/refuse to name their second-choice candidate for the post. (Please refer to Tables 7 to 8.)

The plurality alternative vice-presidential candidate of Metro Manilans and Mindanawons is Senate President Sotto (35% and 44%, respectively). In contrast, a sizeable plurality of those in the rest of Luzon (35%) do not have a second-choice vice-presidential bet. The leading alternative candidates for vice-president of Visayans are Senate President Sotto (31%) and Senator Pangilinan (22%) but around the same percentage of Visayan likely voters (27%) do not have a second choice for the post. In every area and class, around the leading alternative candidate is Senate President Sotto (32% to 35%). However, essentially the same percentages of likely voters, regardless of their socio-economic status, are not inclined to vote for an alternative vice-presidential bet (25% to 33%). (Please refer to Table 7.)

The only notable change in second-choice voter preferences from February 2022 to March 2022 is recorded by Davao City Mayor Duterte – an 8-percentage point drop in her voting figure in the rest of Luzon. However, as is the case with alternative presidential preferences, there is also an increase in the percentage of likely voters in the rest of Luzon (+11 percentage points), the Visayas (+11 percentage points), and Class D (+6 percentage points) who do not have a second choice for vice-president/are ambivalent on the matter/refuse to name their alternative vice-presidential candidate. The reverse may be noted in Metro Manila (-13 percentage points). (Please refer to Table 8.)

Among the 64 senatorial aspirants, 14 have a statistical chance of winning; most likely voters (58%) already have a complete slate for the May 2022 elections

With less than two (2) months to go before the May 2022 polls, 58% of likely voters are naming 12 of their preferred senatorial candidates (i.e., out of a maximum of 12). Likewise, majority figures are recorded in Metro Manila (55%), the Visayas (77%), Mindanao (82%), and all socio-economic groupings (55% to 68%). Likely voters are naming an average of 10 of their favored senatorial candidates, with mean figures ranging from 8 to 11 across areas and classes. (Please refer to Table 9.)

Although most of the probable winners in the May 2022 senatorial race are either incumbent or former members of Congress, solo 1st place as of March 2022 is occupied by Mr. Raffy Tulfo (65.6%). The other senatoriables with a statistical chance of winning are:

1. Antique Representative Loren Legarda (58.3%, 2nd to 4th places);
2. Taguig City-Pateros Representative Alan Peter Cayetano (56.4%, 2nd to 5th places);
3. Sorsogon Governor Francis Escudero (54.4%, 2nd to 5th places);
4. former Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar (52.4%, 3rd to 7th places);
5. Senator Sherwin Gatchalian (50.3%, 5th to 7th places);
6. Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri (50.1%, 5th to 7th places);
7. Senator Joel Villanueva (43.9%, 8th to 10th places);
8. Mr. Robin Padilla (42.5%, 8th to 10th places);
9. former Vice-President Jejomar Binay (42.5%, 8th to 10th places);
10. former Senator Jinggoy Estrada (36.5%, 11th to 14th places);
11. former Senator JV Estrada Ejercito (35.9%, 11th to 14th places);
12. Senator Risa Hontiveros (35.6%, 11th to 14th places); and
13. former Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista (34.3%, 11th to 14th places). (Please refer to Table 10.)

Indecision as regards their choices for senator is expressed by 1.8% of likely voters while 1.7% are not voting for any senatorial candidate and 0.2% refuse to name whom they are electing as senator in the May 2022 elections.

Eight (8) party-list groups, out of the 177 participating in the May 2022 party-list election, surpass the 2.0% voter preference threshold needed to secure at least one (1) seat in the House of Representatives

In March 2022, 82% of likely voters express support for a party-list group. Among the 177 groups running in the May 2022 polls, eight (8) register voter preferences of at least 2.0% of the total number of votes cast for the party-list elections. With this level of support, the following entities are able to surpass the 2.0% voter preference they need to win at least one (1) congressional seat in the first round of seat allocation as stated in the 17 February 2017 resolution issued by the Supreme Court – ACT-CIS (9.09%), Ako Bicol (6.46%), Ang Probinsiyano (4.48%), An Waray (3.68%), Senior Citizens Partylist (3.03%), Gabriela (2.66%), 4PS (2.27%), and Ako Ilocano Ako (2.14%). (Please refer to Table 11.)

Based on the procedure for allocating the maximum number of 63 seats for party-list representatives, four (4) party-list groups would earn additional congressional seats, which would enable them to obtain a total of three (3) seats in the House of Representatives, the maximum number of seats a party-list group can win in the party-list elections. These groups are ACT-CIS, Ako Bicol, Ang Probinsiyano, and An Waray. Meanwhile, Senior Citizens Partylist, Gabriela, 4PS, and Ako Ilocano Ako would get a total of two (2) seats while 43 other groups would win a single seat each.

Ulat ng Bayan March 2022 Technical Details

Ulat ng Bayan March 2022 Socio-Demographics Error Margins