Poll: Mabilog down, Ynion up

Limuel Celebria

FIRST, the good news for the incumbent. Had elections been held about a week ago,

Jed Mabilog would still be re-elected city mayor, according to the results of a survey conducted by University of the Philippines Visayas professor Joseph Loot and students of the UPV College of Management. The bad news? His numbers are going down drastically.


And now comes the surprise: businessman Rommel Ynion came in a statistical tie for second place with former mayor, now rep. Jerry Treñas, former Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez Sr., former Undersecretary Larry Jamora. Ynion actually ranked fifth (as earlier reported) based on the number of choices he received in the survey. But Prof. Loot, a noted pollster, pointed out that when the plus and minus three percent margin of error is applied, Ynion could easily gain second spot behind Mabilog.

The ‘political awareness’ survey was conducted in 60 randomly selected barangays with 900 respondents during the period June 25 and 26, 2011. The survey was designed to determine the “awareness of voters in Iloilo City of selected political issues” using the “recall method” which means that the respondents were not prompted with any choices but were asked to provide answers based on their prevailing personal sentiment or state of mind at the time of the survey.

The said survey showed that Mabilog got the nod of 40 percent of the respondents. The undecided was at a sizeable 21.9 percent while the choices for second to fifth place ranged from 9 to 5 percentage points. Aside from those above, the respondents gave out at least 20 other names as their choice for mayor.

Prof. Loot, who has conducted pre-election polls for several candidates in the run up to the May 2010 elections, expressed surprise at the dip in Mabilog’s numbers. In previous polls, Mabilog scored as much as 67 percent.

Prof. Loot did not offer any explanation over the drastic drop in Mabilog’s rating but observers say this could be due to a growing dissatisfaction at Mabilog’s style of governance. Notably, one poll respondent said, “Si Mabilog puro lang proposed project wala man ginapakadtuan.” Roughly translated the respondent opined that Mabilog has a lot of proposed projects but has delivered nothing.

After serving a full year in office, Mabilog’s administration has largely earned media criticism for indecisiveness and, lately, tales of abuse if not corruption in the use of public funds. The same survey showed that 65.7 percent of the respondents are aware of the issue raised against an overpriced city hall and that 73.8 percent approve of the exposé.

As the Commission on Audit continues to come up with sordid tales of city government’s infidelity with or mishandling of the people’s money, it is expected that Mabilog’s approval and satisfaction ratings will continue to plummet.

Surprisingly, Ynion, who initiated the anti-corruption campaign, got acknowledgment on this issue from only 8 percent of the respondents. 74.3 percent of the survey respondents had no idea who started the campaign.

The survey results showed that Ynion’s recognition factor stemmed largely from his philanthropic work. About four months ago, Ynion began distributing free rice and bread to the destitute residents of Iloilo City through the Ang Ynion Abyan Foundation. Survey showed that 50.6 percent showed an awareness of the program with 85 percent of those polled giving their approval to the program.

Mathematically, Mabilog’s 40 percent poll, though high, is not unassailable. The 60 percent (with 21 percent undecided and the rest scattered among various choices) is up for the picking of whoever wishes to challenge Mabilog in 2013.

Ynion’s poll numbers, surprising for a relatively unknown non-politician with no announced political plan, puts him in a good position should he decide to run for elective position two years from now.

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