CPM’s labor leaders awareness survey in Luzon 2019!
by Maclane Cobarrubias and Esperanza Nocum, PUP Interns
MANILA, Philippines — In line with the upcoming senatorial elections on May 2019, the Center for People’s Media (CPM) in collaboration with interns from Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) conducted a survey that aims to measure the awareness of randomly selected registered voters around the Philippines regarding the five (5) labor leader senatorial candidates— Atty. Ernesto Arellano, Atty. Allan Montano, Neri Colmenares, Atty. Sonny Matula and Leody De Guzman. Our team of two was assigned to survey voters from Luzon, where a total of two hundred eighty-four (284) respondents out of the target number of five hundred (500), answered. The questionnaire consists three sets of questions— queries to determine the demographic profile of the respondents; queries as regard to their interest in politics and the upcoming election; and questions about their awareness about the five labor leader candidates.
The survey was done from January 24 to February 3, 2019, through online platforms and face to face interaction. The results of the first part of the survey show that majority of the respondents’ age is from 18 to 24 at 26%, followed by 25-31 with 18% and 46-52 being the least at 9%, with female outnumbering the male at 54% and 46% respectively. Blue collared workers mainly vendors and tricycle drivers hold the most number of participants while the rest are assortment of white collared workers, housewives, students, traffic enforcers and barangay officials mostly residing in the National Capital Region (NCR).
The second part of the survey with 5 questions having 5 point Like at scale (Strongly Agree, Agree, Neutral, Disagree or Strongly Disagree), present the strong interest of the respondents towards politics, the coming May election and the certitude that they will vote on the day. A huge majority at 78% said that they have not come up yet of the list whom to vote while a meager 6.7% are aware of the 5 labor leaders who are running for senatorial seat.
In terms of how well aware are the respondents regarding the 5 candidates organically coming from the labor sector, former congressman Neri Colmenares is the most known contender garnering 53%, a long stretch from the other four with Atty. Ernesto Arellano 10%, Atty. Allan Montaño 8%, Ka Leody De Guzman 6% and Atty. Sonny Matula at the bottom with 3%. Perhaps, this advantage is gained by the fact that Colmenares is a regular face on news in television while incumbent party-list congressman of Bayan Muna and the tagline “Call Me” may yet clings to the voters’ memory in his failed first attempt to the senate.
None of the 5 will make it to the magic 12 is the verdict of the respondents when asked about their winnability. Again, Colmenares got the most number of “Yes” although a far cry from the needed number to gain a seat with 21%; 54% neutral and 15% no. After Colmenares, Arellano and Montaño both got 5% of the respondents’ affirmation while De Guzman and Matula got 4% and 3%, respectively. Moreover, despite being lawyers, activists and champions to peasants and workers, these qualifications fall short of the needed experience to secure a spot in the Senate. Only thirty one percent (31%) of the respondents believe that Colmenares’ experience as a labor lawyer is enough to make him to the Senate, but the majority (58%) of them are neutral and 15% said no. Of Arellano, 13% affirmed, 20% said no and the majority is neutral at 67%, as all the remaining three candidates Montaño with 66%, De Guzman with 65% and Matula with 64%. Almost the same result is scored by all 5 senatorial hopefuls to the question whether the candidates’ exposure to Philippine politics is enough for them to win the election where most answers are neutral. Colmenares got 30% of the respondents’ yeses, 19% no and 51% neutral, only a small margin away from Montaño with 67%, Arellano with 65%, De Guzman with 63% and Matula with 60%. Not surprisingly, none made it to the 50% grade as far as being capable to become a senator of the Philippines. Colmenares got the highest percentage of positive answers among the five
candidates, with 36%, followed by Arellano with 16%, Montaño with 13%, De Guzman with 11% and Matula with 10%.
The survey is surely inadequate in terms of number of respondents and coverage compared to the more sophisticated methods of known survey institutions like Social Weather Station (SWS), IBON Foundation and Pulse Asia. This venture is only an attempt by the CPM to gauge the fighting chance of a new comer however qualified and well-intention in an expensive and “TRAPO” dominated election process in the country. It remains, as the survey shows, almost impossible, if not very difficult to permeate voters’s awareness if you are not ultra rich or a consort to a political giant, or a showbiz personality. This hard and grim reality poses a great challenge to the 5 labor candidates who are subjects of this survey. Campaign period is on and so the race for all the candidates to secure themselves a spot in the magic 12, WHAT NOW? CPM