King of (mock) polls | Inquirer Business

King of (mock) polls

/ 12:13 AM May 06, 2016

With the election season nearing its climax, mock polls turn more popular than ever as Filipinos try to divine what the future holds for the country.

One of the most popular is 7-Eleven’s unique survey that relies on its customers’ choice of paper cups whenever they buy the convenience store chain’s “Gulp” drinks.

Dubbed “7-Elections,” customers can “vote” by choosing cups with colorful designs and images representing the presidential candidates, namely Vice President Jejomar Binay, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Sen. Grace Poe, former Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, Sen. Miriam Santiago, and a cup representing the undecided voters.


So after a three-month selling period (which runs parallel to the national campaign period), the near-final results are in. As of Thursday—and with only three days to go before the actual election day—the overwhelming choice for president of 7-Eleven clients nationwide was Duterte with a stunning 53 percent of total “votes” cast.


Surprisingly, however, the gray cup representing undecided voters came in at a strong second with 17 percent.

Poe came in third with 10 percent, Santiago at 8 percent and Binay at 7 percent.

Bringing up the rear was Roxas with a mere 5 percent, nationally. But he ranked third in his bailiwicks of Central and Western Visayas. Everywhere else, the results were consistently for Duterte.

Of course, these results represent only a certain demographic of convenience store clients, predominantly shoppers aged 25 to 39.

But one must remember that this very same 7-Eleven mock poll correctly predicted President Aquino’s victory in 2010.

Now that’s something to think about. Daxim L. Lucas


Speaking of which…

There’s another novel survey scheme being used by Kamuning Bakery of opinion writer and realtor Wilson Lee Flores.

The 77-year-old Quezon City establishment polls its customers by tallying which kind of pandesal snack they buy.

To “vote” at the Kamuning Bakery Cafe, a person has to order a presidential pandesal sandwich, such as Pan de Poe (corned beef pandesal sandwich), Pan de Binay (longganiza pandesal sandwich), Pan de Duterte (spicy burger pandesal sandwich), Pan de Roxas (chicken pandesal sandwich), Pan de Miriam (tuna pandesal sandwich) and Pan de Nada for “None of the Above” (ham and egg pandesal sandwich).

As of Thursday, Duterte had a commanding 40-percent lead, while Poe is second at 21 percent.

Vice President Binay has been eclipsed by a narrow margin by the new third-ranked Roxas at 13 percent, while Binay now has 11 percent.

Santiago and “Pan de Nada” are tied at last place.

In an interesting development, Kamuning Bakery said a businesswoman and Duterte supporter bought orders of 200 Pan de Duterte, and asked that these pandesal sandwiches be given to the poor or needy (which the bakery did with the help of the nearby parish church). Naturally, this big order was not included in the survey results.

So… mock polls using pandesal and paper cups? What will they think of next? Daxim L. Lucas

Where to, APC?

A top executive of a Makati-based health maintenance organization (HMO) trumpeted that he was voting for Duterte and urged company officials and personnel to do the same by handing out Duterte’s trademark red-blue campaign ballers.

For many in the business sector, Duterte’s ascent as the next President is a foregone conclusion, although the motley issues he faced were also a test for his running mate Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano.

A stock analyst says that with Duterte keeping the top spot as well as a double-digit spread in the latest SWS and Pulse Asia surveys, Duterte has weathered what his camp described as a vicious black propaganda campaign.

The analyst credits the senator for staying in the fight despite the long odds, saying “a lesser man would have tucked his tail between his legs and left Duterte, but Cayetano stayed and helped deflect the attacks against his president.”

As such, Cayetano has scored a victory for himself and will certainly play a big role in a prospective Duterte administration. After all, Duterte himself said he needed Cayetano to guide him on state affairs.

This early, one Cabinet post supposedly being reserved for him is the Department of Justice portfolio. Let’s see. Daxim L. Lucas

Moving on

With just a few days before 55 million Filipinos choose their new leaders, personalities who were dragged into the political fray are looking forward to quieter and, hopefully, more prosperous days ahead.

For businessmen like Agrinurture Inc. (ANI) president and CEO Antonio “Tony” Tiu, the time has come to move on and move forward by concentrating on his businesses and seeking retribution for what he calls “political persecution” in the last two years.

Tiu’s listed firm is aggressively expanding its fruit and vegetable trading in Hong Kong, China and Australia. In the Philippines, the company continues to focus on exports, local distribution, retail and franchising, banana farming, and others. It exports bananas, coconut water, mangoes and pineapples to mainland China, Hong Kong, Middle East, North America and Europe. It’s Big Chill brand is doing very well, judging from the long queues for its health drinks in the arrival area of the Hong Kong International Airport.

While focusing on growing his businesses, Tiu is also bent on rebuilding his image. He recently filed perjury raps versus the Anti-Money Laundering Council to put closure to almost two years of being dragged into a political mess. Wanting to clear his name, Tiu sued AMLC executive director Julia Bacay-Abad in the Department of Justice for allegedly using false information to justify freeze orders against his bank accounts.

He was particularly incensed by Abad’s insistence on linking him to the money laundering case against Vice President Jejomar Binay for allegedly purchasing $20 million in foreign exchange from Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) Forex Brokers Corp. in 2008, a charge he vehemently denies. He stressed that while RCBC attests that no transaction took place, AMLC proceeded to freeze his accounts and even filed forfeiture proceedings against him.

When the smoke clears after the polls, expect to hear more from Tiu and his quest to seek redress. Daxim L. Lucas

Rought time for Rocket

IT’S been a rough period for shareholders of Germany-based technology company Rocket Internet, especially for large and pre-initial public offering investors like Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co.

The Berlin-based company, known for replicating successful startup models around the world and launching them in emerging markets, has always been a bold investment move by PLDT—or any Filipino company, for that matter. PLDT in 2014 bought a 10 percent stake for 333 million euros.

Rocket, known here as the company behind successful online retailers like Lazada and Zalora, for a time looked good on PLDT’s books. Even if PLDT’s stake slid to about 6.1 percent post-IPO, Rocket’s value had increase to more than half the telco’s entry price.

But it’s a different picture as of late. Rocket’s share price has been falling and a charge associated with this decline caused PLDT to book its first quarterly loss in over a decade in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Rocket continued to decline and PLDT again booked a P1.6-billion impairment charge for the first quarter of 2016.

Its slide didn’t stop there. It’s is now trading at under 20 euros apiece, down by more than 29 percent year-to-date, due to a  big valuation cut for its e-commerce business Global Fashion Group late last month.

(Rocket for a time recovered to 29 euros per share in early April after Chinese retail behemoth Alibaba entered Lazada).

To put things into perspective, PLDT’s stake in the company is now worth about 198.9 million euros, more than 40 percent below the acquisition price.

PLDT chair Manuel V. Pangilinan said they were willing to give Rocket founder and CEO Oliver Samwer more time and nothing was being formally discussed with regard to its holdings in the company.

“We want to give him time and space,” Pangilinan said. “He’s obviously under some pressure from shareholders to perform.” Miguel R. Camus

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TAGS: 7-Eleven, Biz Buzz, Business, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, economy, News, Sen. Grace Poe, Vice President Jejomar Binay

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