Are GenZs, Millennials underrepresented in Pulse Asia surveys? Holmes responds

MANILA – Pulse Asia’s chief on Monday explained that the polling firm has been using the same survey sampling method for the past two decades.

According to Pulse Asia President Ronnie Holmes, they use the probability sampling method, and they do not set quotas on respondents based on their age or educational attainment.

“‘Yung sampling namin hindi naman nagbago nitong nakaraang dalawang dekada. Ito ay probability sampling, so ibig sabihin, lahat tayo ay may pare-parehong patas na tsansa na maaring mapili,” he told Teleradyo.

(We have been using the same sampling method for the past two decades. This is probability sampling, which means everyone has a fair chance to be chosen as a respondent.)

“Hindi namin sine-set ‘yung quota para sa mga edad at kung anong natapos mong pag-aaral,” Holmes added.

(We do not set a quota based on age or educational respondent.)

Holmes was responding to opinion pieces written by statistician Romulo A. Virola, who said that some groups are overrepresented in the Pulse Asia’s February 2022 surveys, while others are underrepresented.

Virola is the former secretary-general of the then-National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) of the Philippines, now part of the Philippine Statistics Authority. 

According to Holmes, with their sampling method, it is really possible to have more respondents from a certain age group or bracket, since they only need the respondents to be over the age of 18, a registered voter, and likely to vote in the May 9 elections.

“So sa ganitong sampling, ang mangyayari nga niyan, ang mga makukuha mong respondent ay maaring manggaling sa iba’t ibang grupo at hindi necessarily proportionate doon sa sinasabing laki ng grupo na ‘yun,” he explained.

(In this kind of sampling, you can get respondents from different groups and the number may not be necessarily proportionate to the size of the group.)

“Pero ito ‘yung limitasyon noong aming multi-stage probability sampling. Maari kang gumamit ng ibang sampling method pero kapag gumamit ka ng ibang sampling method, dagdag ang cost doon, mas maraming trabaho, at mayroon ding maaring pagkakamali ‘yung ibang sampling method,” Holmes added.

(This is the limitation of our multi-stage probability sampling. You can use other sampling methods but if we do, that will add more costs, more work, and there might be errors in other sampling methods.)

Holmes maintained that respondents are chosen randomly, which means the results of the survey may reflect the overall opinion of voters in the country.

“Ang sinasabi ko lang dito, dahil sa pamamaraan na aming ginagamit, hindi mo pinipili ang respondent batay sa kaniyang edad, batay sa kaniyang natapos na pag-aaral. Sila ay pinipili na sila ay adult Filipinos, registered voters at likely to vote,” he said.

(What I’m saying is that because of this method, you do not choose the respondents based on their age or their educational attainment. They are chosen because they are adult Filipinos, are registered voters, and are likely to vote.)

“Random ‘yan. So ibig sabihin, kung anong nakuha natin dito sa survey, maari siyang kumakatawan doon sa kabuuan ng ating botante sa ating bansa,” Holmes added.

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