WHAT’S in a survey?

Most often surveys serve as measuring tools for politicians in assessing primarily their popularities and respective followings. They often hire either student groups of professional firms to do the job for them.

Anyone can do a survey actually. In fact, if someone doubts the credibility of a certain survey result (which – in local political scenario -- often tends to take the side of a political group that commissioned it), one can do his own survey.

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I do that myself.

On many occasions, I get to ask people who are favored to win in their localities. The question has always been in the vernacular just for good measure.

“Sino po malakas sa lugar ninyo?” Or if I get the courage to be more blunt “Sino po iboboto ninyo?”

In my town in Mabalacat, it is interesting how things are shaping up, particularly in the race for the eight seats in the Sangguniang Bayan (SB).

A random survey of my own yields the topnotchers in Rox Pena, Cherry Manalo and Moc Candelaria. While other names such as Jun Castro and others, these candidates emerge as the top three.

I am not surprised anymore with the often-uttered names. I am not surprised either that they are being mentioned by people I asked from the cross-section of society. Classes A to E, in short.

Roland Dungca Peña or Rox to a lot of people is an environmentalist and a media personality. But his name does not crop up in the informal survey I make because of these two factors but for another reason: name recall.

People remember him to have run for the same post in the 2007 elections and wish that he won, actually. In further questioning, people would tend to speak of their regrets on why he did not make it to the eight SB seats.

“Sayang hindi siya pumasok, siya binoto naming, gusting-gusto naming siya,” often would be their remarks.

Rox landed ninth in the counting three years ago or one seat shy of the mandated eight spots.

At the rate Rox’s name is being mentioned by people without batting an eyelash, this civil engineer by profession would make it this time. His name is like a consumer product now.

Rox has such a sterling background and I bet that even hi fellow candidates would be unmindful when he wins this time.

What made me say that? Intelligent voters know that Rox is very much deserving of a seat in the SB. He is a multi-awarded fellow with MOKA (Most Outstanding Kapampangan Award) as his main laurel, he has units for masteral degree at University of the Philippines, he has held top positions in prestigious civic, business and professional organizations, including the presidency and chairmanship of Metro Angeles Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

What more would voters want for a candidate? You bet his background would even be fit for a higher post such as mayor.

Rox Pena would definitely know the kind of job that a councilor must do and should be doing.

It takes more than just dolling out cash or kind or any other material items to people when a candidate is elected as councilor.

A councilor is supposed to be legislating laws, ordinances and passing resolutions. With Rox’s background in government bodies such as the Pampanga and Angeles Solid Waste Management Boards, he knows how it is to be pushing for key projects and programs for the people.

And that is just one of the many public service tasks he has already been doing.

He could definitely do more for Mabalacat.