Independent survey shows 80% of city electors prefer Espinosa for Congressman

Atty. Jose “Joe III” Espinosa

Transparency, clean elections and better public governance are the main concerns of Iloilo City voters, with 8 out of 10 electors preferring Atty. Jose “Joe III” Espinosa as their congressional representative for the city’s sole district in the May 2022 polls.

These were the main findings of the latest survey by an independent group of political-science graduate students from some of the country’s top universities.

The survey is the second in a series of polls aimed at determining key concerns and preferences of Iloilo City voters, according to student-surveyors from the Ateneo De Manila University, University of San Carlos, and the University of the Philippines in Diliman.

The students are variously doing master’s degrees in political science, sociology and public management. The survey is part of their research case study focusing on current issues and problems in the country’s governance and politics.

According to the survey, 82.5% of the city’s voters will pick Espinosa as their next congressman, compared with 8.3% for incumbent Rep. Julienne “Jam-Jam” Baronda, 2.2% for other candidates, and 7% still undecided.

This second survey was conducted on October 12-16, 2021 and covered some 600 respondents from a cluster sampling of the city’s 180 barangays.

In the first survey, conducted in the week of September 27 to October 3, 2021, about 75% of voters chose Espinosa as their next congressman, compared with 15% for Baronda and 10% for Plaridel Nava.

Nava subsequently announced he was running for city councilor. He has since thrown his party’s support behind Espinosa’s congressional candidacy.

“With this survey, we hope to analyze the preferences of the target voters and understand the needs of the constituents. We also want to find out the preferred candidates at the congressional level, as well as the kind of programs and projects voters are looking for,” said Phoebe Duque, a student of the the Ateneo de Manila’s political science graduate school who was part of the survey group.

“A big majority of the respondents prefer good, honest and intelligent congressional representation. They want big improvements in the delivery of public services at the community level. They really want change and strong leadership in the fight against corruption and illegal drugs, and in ensuring peace and order,” Duque added.

As in the first survey, respondents continue to press for jobs, livelihood and “ayuda” or financial assistance amid the economic difficulties due to the Covid19 pandemic. They are also seeking a sustained campaign against nepotism and political favoritism.

The survey methodology used multi-stage cluster sampling at the district level, and proportionate stratified sampling at the barangay level. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 5% and a 95% level of confidence.