Full Disclosure on Surveys Sought

Pollsters may face up to one year imprisonment or a fine not less than P20,000 if they do not reveal the complete source of funding for surveys which are disseminated to the public.

Survey firms may face criminal liability if they refuse to disclose funding sources of surveys released to the public should Congress pass House Bill 4475 filed by Leyte Rep. Sergio Apostol.

The measure titled “An Act Mandating Full Disclosure of Source of Funding and Financing of Surveys” is currently pending on the House Committee on Rules in substitution of a similar bill earlier filed by Apostol which was approved by the Committee on Public Information.

“Revealing the true source of funding and financing surveys rightfully apprises the public of who may be truly behind the conduct of the same and their intention of doing so,” the congressman wrote in the Explanatory Note of the bill.

Pollsters may face up to one year imprisonment or a fine not less than P20,000 if they do not reveal the complete source of funding for surveys which are disseminated to the public.

The bill also seeks to include non-disclosure of funding as an election offense. Justice Secretary Leila De Lima expressed reservations though on the section making such violation an election offense. She said that Section 5 of the bill would amend the Omnibus Election Code altogether.

“The title of the bill itself gives no inkling or notice whatsoever to the public regarding the creation of another kind of election office,” she said.

The bill qualifies that surveys done purely for scholastic work by academic institutions, for personal use and information, or for the consumption of private entities limited for their own purposes are exempt from any liability.

De Lima has extended support to the measure believing that it “would prevent confusion and the general public would be spared from misleading surveys.”

The bill has been referred to the Committee on Rules where it awaits approval.

 

HB 03188

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