Roxas 2nd spends P257 million on TV ads to boost ratings

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Presidential candidate Manuel A. Roxas 2nd spent P257 million on television ads from Aug. 15 to Sept. 15 to push up his ratings in the presidential preference polls undertaken by PulseAsia from Sept. 8 to 14, and by the Social Weather Stations from Sept. 2 to 5 as well.

Given the basic flaw of such polls as practiced in this country, the massive spending for ads in a month’s time – P9 million a day – raised Roxas 2nd’s ratings to 20 percent from the poll body’s survey in June, when only 10 percent of the respondents said they would vote for him in 2016.

The Roxas camp, I was told, has also put up billboards worth P100 million mostly outside Metro Manila to increase his name-recall. (Never mind, of course, that this practice is illegal before the official campaign period starts. “Just don’t say in the ad, ‘Vote for me’,” an election lawyer I asked explained.)

The TV networks supplied Roxas’ advertising costs, although instead of the actual billings, they used the advertising firm Nielsen’s rate cards, which contained the networks’ advertising rates, and for each time slot.


Roxas’ camp initially wanted the PulseAsia polls to be undertaken in August, right after President Aquino announced on July 31 that his DILG Secretary would be their party’s candidate for President in the 2016 elections.

The survey, however, was delayed for technical reasons. The polling firm in its report, though, still referred to Aquino’s “official endorsement” as one of the “key developments that took place in the weeks immediately prior to and during the conduct of the interviews for the survey.”

Roxas 2nd’s strategy was to conceal the impact of the massive TV ads. Instead, it portrayed the doubling of his ratings – from 10 percent in June to 20 percent in September – as a result of Aquino’s “endorsement” power.

Roxas 2nd’s campaign billboard: Good that can’t happen with TV ads.

Roxas 2nd’s campaign billboard: Good that can’t happen with TV ads.

Aquino’s cousin, Rafael Lopa, had been president of PulseAsia – that was just a few years back, during which he studied the intricacies and nuances of polling in the Philippines, including how to use it for propaganda. While neither Lopa nor any of Aquino’s relatives still remained with PulseAsia at the time of the September poll, it is believed that the Liberal Party or some financial supporter has been commissioning most of the firm’s surveys.

TV ads crucial
The reason why TV ads are crucial in presidential surveys is the fact that TV news now has become the main source of information for 50 to 70 percent of respondents, according to surveys I have seen.

Only 30 percent of respondents report that their main source of information is “family and friends.” Radio news accounts for 28 percent, while newspapers (mostly tabloids, and only one of them) 10 percent. Other surveys even report that only 5 percent of respondents say that they get their information on national issues and politics from newspapers. Despite all the hype on social media, it reaches barely 4 percent of voters, which is not surprising since most Filipinos are poor and don’t own PCs.

“Talo ka na kaagad, if you don’t have TV ads,” Richard Gordon, who ran in the 2010 presidential elections said. “We had no choice but to have TV ads, but then we didn’t have the money to sustain that,” he explained.

It is indisputable even among pollsters in the US that a survey’s timing is crucial in the kind of response interviewers receive from their sample. The Aquino camp, in collaboration with PulseAsia, has been adept in using this technique.

For example, in its bid to trigger a coup in 2007, PulseAsia all of a sudden came up with a survey that posed the question: “Who do you think has been the country’s most corrupt President?” President Arroyo came out as the most corrupt in that survey, with President Joseph Estrada, who was convicted of plunder, coming in third, after Marcos.

Of course she would, given that weeks and days before the survey, newspapers’ front-pages had banner headlines on allegations of corruption against Arroyo and her family – although not a single one of those allegations had been proven after seven years, so that today some other names than hers come to the fore when questions about corruption are raised. What respondent at that time would bother to jog his memory to remember Estrada’s graft money from jueteng and the tobacco excise tax?

Who asked and paid for the survey? “I did,” said Senator Sergio Osmeña 3rd at that time, one of the most vocal allies of Aquino. “Any problem with that?” the haughty senator said with an ear-to-ear grin.

Roxas’ face appeared in the ads for a month, and for a few minutes on primetime TV. That would somehow stick in viewers’ minds.

After that, a PulseAsia interviewer approaches a respondent and asks “Quick, quick, who would you vote for if elections were held today, and you’ve got to choose or you’d appear stupid?” Naturally, the respondents will choose the name of the first image that comes to their mind.

Note that PulseAsia and SWS have never asked a critical question that would change poll results very radically, as numerous critiques of opinion polling all over the world have pointed out. This is the question: Have you decided which candidate to vote for as President in the May 2016 election? Responsible and professional pollsters abroad would not force respondents to choose a candidate if he replied first that he hadn’t made his choice. More on that in my future columns.

It’s “quick, quick” because PulseAsia and its rival SWS often ask a respondent (would you believe?) 150 to 200 questions – “rider questions” they call these – for each of their survey “runs.”

These often include such market-research questions as the kind of toothpaste or deodorant a respondent uses, since a particular survey may involve dozens of “riders,” each with his own set of questions, for which they paid the pollster P50,000 to P1 million, for a sample of 1,200 respondents. (Why can’t PulseAsia and SWS, which claim to be champions of democracy, be transparent and tell us how many questions they ask, and what are these for every survey they undertake, and how much income they get for these?)

I wonder if PulseAsia and SWS ask before the who-will-you-vote-for question: Do you believe the allegations of corruption against Binay being investigated in the Senate?

We wouldn’t know whether such questions were asked unless these pollsters make public their actual survey questionnaire, but they have never done so.

This, dear reader, is what our purportedly noble exercise in democracy has come to. Toward May next year, the amount of TV ads a candidate can pay for could determine who would be in charge of the fate of 100 million Filipinos for the next six years.

And that’s why Aquino and Roxas, who have spent the past five years making sure that by hook or by crook they have the campaign funds, are confident they’ll still win, despite the utter mess they’ve done to the country.

Why Duterte begged off
I wouldn’t be surprised if ex-would-be presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte had heard of Roxas 2nd’s P257 million splurging on a TV ad campaign for just a month, and decided it’s useless for him to run.

Ignoring the reports that he was ill, Duterte likely refused to run because – despite all the prodding from his fans, who even held a demonstration in Manila to show him their support – the rich businessmen egging him on to run hadn’t really put their money where their mouths were. Other than the Dominguez and Alcantara clans of Davao, there hasn’t been a report of a tycoon taking action to support his bid. And both the Dominguezes and Alcantaras aren’t exactly the type to put up front “real” contributions in the scale of say P100 or P200 million.

Yes, that’s the kind of money our elite give to the candidates they bet on, with probably half of that going to the likely runner-up, and maybe even a third to a basement dweller. That’s why if you look back: those who ran for the presidency and vice presidency and lost, didn’t brood in melancholy, but often transferred to a more posh village or bought a Manhattan apartment.

I was told that yes, some businessmen were donating to Duterte’s campaign chest, but gave only ‘loose change,’ that is, in the scheme of things, a million pesos here, maybe 2 million there. Duterte was waiting till the last minute to get pledges of the real kind. But nothing came.

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35 Comments

  1. yang si roxas walang panalo yan sa aming mga government employees lalo na sa national. matatapos na termino ni panot wala man lamang nagawa sa ikaka ginhawa ng mga naglilingkod sa gobyerno!

  2. iboto nyo kung sino ang gusto nyo sa mga presidentiables but never never choose roxas! SusMARyosep! To the victims of super mega typhoon yolanda, now is the time to unite para sabihin kay roxas na “bahala ka rin sa buhay mo”!

  3. GISING MGA MAMAYANG FILIPINO, HUWAG IBOTO ANG MGA KANDIDATONG KUNG GUMASTOS PARANG BALE WALA LANG ANG MILYONES… PINAYAYAMAN LANG NILA ANG KANILANG MGA KAKUTSABA NA MGA NETWORK NA NAGBABALITA PABOR SA KANILA… PALIBHASA HINDI KANILANG PERA ANG KANILANG GINAGASTOS. PERA NG BAYAN ANG MGA ITO.. ZERO VOTE TO ALL LIBERAL PARTY, THE GREATEST THIEFS OF THIS NATION….BIGYAN KAYO NG PERA KUNIN NINYO PERO HUWAG PO NATING IBOTO… PAGNAKAUPO NA IYAN SILA, SIGURADONG BABAWIIN NILA ANG KANILANG GINASTOS AT TAYONG MAMAYAN ANG PAHIHIRAPAN NILA……

  4. Presidents salary per year inc bonuses etc etc is just over 8.000.000 pesos !!
    so for his 4 years in office he officially earns 32 million pesos !
    so why would anyone wanting to be president pay out 250.000.000 pesos in a month to earn 18.000.000 ?
    dont watch a lot of the Filipino TV espec GMA ( Great Many Adverts ) Channel
    But I suppose the Villar Foundation adverts are running again ( why dont we see them when its not election time )
    What the Philippines needs is a another People Power where all the current lot of
    Senators-Mayors-etc etc are thrown out and a new lot sworn in.
    Someone who will actually think of the country and its people and not themselves !
    But going by the recent past it will be the same old lot again Estrada-Marcos-etc-etc
    who along with the rest of the so called elite will get richer and richer while the rest
    of the country live in poverty !

  5. Rodan Guerrero on

    Saan napunta ang mga foreign cash donations para sa mga Yolanda victims? Pinakialaman ni Roxas ang NHA, Billions ang najuggle sa DILG noong pinamunuan nya….sa MRT 5 Billion ang nawawalang pera….yong national budget ni Panot umabot ng 13 Trillions…nasaan ang mga perang yon? Syempre sa takot nilang mabilanggo naglaan sila ng gabundok na campaign funds para siguradong manalo! Maraming kalukuhan at illegal na paglustay sa kaban ng bayan ang ginawa nitong si ROXAS….kasama dapat yan ni PIGNOY na mabilanggo….

  6. Sir Mr. Tiglao, have you heard at internatioal news Al Jazeera that Australian government will give $150 miilion to the Philippine government to help the ease of refugees coming to Australia. They want to transfern some of refugees in our country in return of the above amount… I dont know if this news was being told at our local tv network..??

  7. Publicity (bad or good) wise, actually Binay was more popular for all the corruption scandals attributed to him. He was always in the news in TV-Radio forums and chats in the social media and wherever he goes the media is hounding him. At the Polling Place unprepared voters can remember immediately a popular short name and write it if they can not think of others.. Sana huwag naman mangyari ito, we dont want a corrupt leader with 5 plunder charges under his name who needed badly an immunity from suit. If I am rich enough I will contribute to the campaign funds of the LP to make Roxas name a by word in every household. I’ll just pray his in jail during the campaign-election period.

  8. Quick..Quick..Which of the Billboards of Candidates you urinate when the call of
    nature comes? Naturally its Roxas because his face are all over the place..

    Seriously, mind conditioning really works. It may be effective to others who miss to be informed of real situation and background of candidates. Hopefully voters come to choose the right candidate that the country needs at this time.

  9. maliit lang yan sabi ni roxas 257million lang yan e billion billion ang nanakaw nila sa kaban ng bayan pahit ubusin pa isang billion wala lang yan sa kanila saan kaya galing mga pera na yan… isip isip kayo mga botante kasi pag nanalo yan tiyak kawawa tayong mga pilipino. bwesit…

  10. Imbes na gastusin niya sa TV ADs ang ganitong kalaking pera bakit hindi niya gamitin na lang ito sa pagtulong sa ating mga mahihirap? Sa pagwaldas niya ng ganito kalaking pera para lang sa kanyang kapakanan, totoo ba talaga ang layunin niyang maging pangulo para maiahon tayo sa kahirapan o para lang yumaman lalo siya at ang kanyang mga financial supporters? Maraming beses na tayong niloloko at nalulugmok sa kahirapan dahil sa mga walang kwentang namumuno sa atin, kaya panahon na na tayo ay gumising at manindigan ngayong darating na 2016 eleksiyon. Bantayan ang ating boto at siguraduhin na hindi tayo madadaya uli ng PCOS machine. Tandaan natin na walang saysay ang eleksiyon kung madadaya lang tayo sa PCOS machine.

    • lahat naman ng tumatakbo dyan ng mga politiko na may pera talaga ay kasapi ng isang sindikato,,,,,mga smuggling lords, drug lord, KFR, mga buwaya sa BOC BIR, mga tax evaders na mga negosyante, lahat ng lords pati praise the lord,,,,,,ung opposition the same set of sindikato,,,, na gusto rin maging makapangyarihan at maka take advantage pagdating ng panahon,,,,,so kung titingnan mo walang matino sa kanila lahat dyan,,,,,,tingnan mo ung mga magaganda ang hangarin 1 term lang kasi di nila masikmura ang kalakaran sa politika,,,,,,pera pera lang yan,,,,,,,simula noon hanggang ngaun puro para sa mahirap ang slogan nila,,,,,pero ang totoo para tayo maghirap ,,,,,,,,hindi para i aangat ang mahirap,,,sino pa lolokohin nila kung wala ng mahirap? Kill them allllllllllll

  11. MARangal ihian, Marunong ihian at lalong lalo na MARapat ihian (look closely at the billboard). Add to these MARahil gay. MARuming manreydor. MARder sana sa botohan sa May 9, 2016.

  12. Look at the picture Mar ad, iniihian na ng mga taong nagdaraan dyan, yang ang bagong Male Toilet courtesy of fund from Malacanan Palace, marami na nyan lalo na sa mga probinsya, pag dumaan ka dyan maamoy mo mapanghi na parang pinagsamang amoy ni Boy padyak at Korina!

  13. Ganito po ang magiging plataporma ni Roxas: Huwag po kayong mag alala palalawakin ko pa ang droga sa mga remote areas para kayong lahat ay maging bangag at hindi makaranas ng gutom dahil kapag kayo’y maraming gawain sigurado pong hindi kayo gugutumin iyan po ang napakagandang epekto ng DROGA sa katawan, wala na pong magugutom sa patuloy na sinimulan ng administrasyon ni President Aquino dahil sa pagpapatuloy ng aking pamamalakad. So LiGTAS sa gutom!
    Mukhang kayang i achieve ni Roxas kapag ganito ang naging umpisa ng DEBATE na magaganap, tuwang tuwa ang mga tao dahil patuloy na mamayagpag ang DROGA, the new source of LIVING!

  14. That’s right, the best way to destroy Mar is to show the world how much he is spending in this campaign. That is a line of attack for which he has absolutely no defense.

  15. So tama ang lihim na corruption na nagaganap sa lokal na pamahalaan. Well kung manalo ka man Roxas, we know why, it is not the integrity of you, we are not satisfied to your performance ngayon pa lang. Why Drug Syndicates are roaming because of Noynoy, the protector at ganyan din ang mangyayari sa Mar Roxas administration mas lalala pa po ang bentahan ng droga….they are not strict kaya ganyan karami ang perang pondo dahil supporters nila financially ang DROGA at ang corruption na hindi kailanman mawawala. Pwede pa naman tayong mag abroad kung ang SAFETY natin ang concern dahil malabong kahit paano ang criminality dito sa bansa…tayo na lang ang umiwas kung gusto nating maligtas.

  16. Lets do a manny villar on mar roxas. Let LP spent all that money and do not vote for mr tekateka

    • Now that Duterte is not running, Miriam and BBM are the nationalistic team, willing to serve as public servant of our beloved Philippines.

    • I AGREE, WITH MAID MIRIAM JOINING THE RACE, I WOULD HAVE SOMEONE TO VOTE FOR. pa urong sulong si duterte kaya hindi na siguro sya susuportahan ng mga gustong sumuporta dahil sa kanyang sulong urong attitude. alam naman nating wala syang perang bilyon bilyon katulad ni boy pickup courtesy of dap, pdaf, malampaya funds pero todo suporta pa rin tayo. takot kaya syang matalo?? kung hindi papasok si maid miriam si pamatong na lang ang iboboto ko kasi kailangan may ilagay ka sa balota kung hindi baka gawing void ang balota mo ng hocus pcos machine.

  17. And after the election question of overspending will be charged by Comelec to whoever they want as what had happened to ER Ejercito and others on the proddings of Malacanang All candidates must spend millions to win the race and it is the common practice, otherwise. What the Comelec must do is to watch any irregularities and cheating during the election rather than running on candidates who overspend as it will exempt no one even the lowly Konsehal ng barangay.

  18. Hindi ba napapansin ng independent body COMELEC ito. Pnoy gave the impression na ayaw/bawal ang ganito. Ayaw niya daw na makikita ang pangalan ng mga ambisyosong tao nakakalat-kalat sa mga kalsada… Nasaan ang consistency ni Pnoy.

    Basta kasapakat niya, OK lahat. Pag hindi niya kasapakat…MALI AT NAMUMULITIKA… Nakakahiya ka Pnoy.

  19. Roxas is using peoples money for his own gain. That’s STEALING!
    Those Millions n Billions being spent are not his, that is why he can easily waste it.
    NO VOTE TO ROXAS ! Should be placed beside his ADS and Commercials.
    LP party candidates are all Bullies. BIggest one is BSAquino n Roxas.

    • Kaya yung mga kamag-anak ko sa province. specific sa leyte… before ang na announce na ibibgay sa mga kamag-anak ko na biktima ng YOLANDA..is 30k per family.. pero naibigay this september 2015 lang.. sobrang tagal na. nabawasan pa ng doble.. yun na ang mga pina-hati-hati ng mga nakaupo ngayon… isipin nyo yun.. GRABEH TALAGA…

  20. 257 at 100 million gastos ni MAR sa ngayon ,sisiw lang yan sa pondong nakalap at pinaghahatian nila,wala pa diyan ,ang pondo galing sa yolanda.Wala pang isang billion yan,kumpara sa billion -billion hawak ni aquino .Ganito ka sidhi ang pagkagusto ni mar na maging pangulo,kahit ubusin ang pondo ng bayan matupad lang niya ang pangarap.
    Itong pull asia at switik sws pollstersurvey ay nabibilang na ang araw na magtitiwala pa ang tao sa kanila,magiging basura na lang ang tingin sa kanila sa darating na panahon.
    Sayang ang napakahabang panahon na ginugol ni Duterte at ng pagod na ginawa niya sa paglibot sa buong pilipinas para sabihin na wala siyang pondo para dito,saan niya kinuha ang gastos niya upang makilala siya ng tao,
    Isa lang ang nakikitang tunay na dahilan diyan,kung paano sinisira ang pamilya ni binay,malamang meron din ganoon siyang nakikita na darating sa kanila.
    kung demonyo ang pagpapakilala niya sa sarili mas demonyo pa itong naka abang sa kanya.hahaha! pagsamahin mo ang 666 at yellow dapat ka lang matakot.sana mali ako!

  21. if there is really no money to make outside of the president’s yearly income, do we really think that these presidentiables will run for such office? of course not. but since there is, they will and they are. 9 million pesos a day just for ads. imagine how many poor filipinos will benefit from that amount. ads are useless if i may say so. if you are an honest to goodness candidate, even without ads, you will win. plain and simple.

  22. Do not believe the Araneta-Roxas family will part of such huge funds at P257 million so easily and wantonly. Part of or majority of this amount comes from the LP war chest or some corrupt individual/supporter produced majority of the money for Boy driver Mar who wants more in return.

    • You are right Inocent, recently in the news that Drugs are used in the campaign and the SSS fund for the pensioners now. They beg to disagree for the increase pensions hindi ba…patuloy ang TUWAD na DAAN…globally they want Philippines competitive enough but in the local areas, how can we be protected. Hindi talaga gagasta ang Araneta hypocrite ang mga elitistang iyan…kung anong typhoon ang dumaan sa atin expect the vengeance of each politicians…this is so shameful!

  23. P257 MILLION AND STILL 7 MONTHS TO ELECTION DAY. WHERE DID ALL THIS MONEY COME FROM? DO PHILIPPINES HAVE A LIMIT IN ELECTION SPENDING FOR CANDIDATES? AT THE RATE MAR ROXAS IS SPENDING, HE COULD EASILY REACH 1 BILLION PESOS TO ELECTION DAY! TO RECOVER THIS MONEY SPENT HE HAVE TO STEAL FROM THE GOVERNMENT IF EVER HE WILL BVE ELECTED.

    • Remember the donations for Yolanda victims na ang sabi hindi pa nagagalaw, napakaliwanag na nasa kamay ng HUDAS at ngayon gagamitin na sa election. Ano naman kayang black propaganda ang gagawin kay Merriam just to ruin her.

  24. Roxas will not spend millions if it is coming from his pocket. I’ll leave it to your imagination.

    • Yeah you are right…they will steal, the same as Binay what LP stands now. We wont believe LP, better to look for other candidates and never LP.