60% vs 16%: The battle of 2 meeting de avance

By: Gerome Sanchez


Tonight ends the grueling, heart-wrenching, exhausting yet exciting 90-day campaign period for the national candidates – the presidentiables, vice-presidentiables, and senatoriables.

As it ends, the two frontrunner teams UNITEAM of BBM-Sara tandem and TROPA of Leni-Kiko tandem, gives all out for there respective meting de avance.

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Survey Sampling: Why are we not included?

Years ago, Lafayette Limited, one of the mining companies operating in the Rapu-rapu, Albay, had to open its gates for experts to conduct different kinds of tests to ensure that its operations are safe and does not harm the environment. Specialists were deployed including a team that collected water samples from a stream. During the collection process, one team member slipped and fell into the water that the rest have to wait for the sediments to settle down before completing the task. Just then, an onlooker residing near the area quipped: Why not just collect samples from the edge where the water was not disturbed?

The suggestion was practical, but the team leader just ignored the statement. Whether it was because of the “I am the expert here” attitude or he just didn’t care, nobody knew. What is clear is that one cannot just pick samples anywhere. There must be some standards to follow just like in judging the taste of an instant coffee. To judge whether the coffee is sweet or bitter, one need not drink the contents of whole cup. A spoonful would be enough, and that spoonful is what we call the “sample”. But of course, we need to stir the coffee first before we take our spoonful. Otherwise, we may just be collecting a wrong sample similar to the proposal of just collecting water from the edge of the stream.

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on Pexels.com

The concept of sampling, be these in streams or in cups of coffee, is the same as in the conduct of surveys. But since we cannot literally stir the people to be able to get a “spoonful” of sample, we follow protocols on how and where to select the respondents. To determine the “how” and the “where” we go back to the “why” – that is, the purpose of our survey.

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Russia-Ukraine war: Not our battle to fight?

In a speech in Palo, Leyte on Thursday, President Rodrigo Duterte maintained the Philippines must remain neutral in the ongoing military conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Otherwise, baka madamay ang Pilipinas. But, are we not dragged in the situation already?

“Sa ibang parte ng mundo, nagpapatayan na sa Europe, Russia. So, we better, yung neutrality natin, we just maintain it. Umiwas tayo para hindi tayo madamay,” Duterte said.

Either Duterte is not anymore grounded or he really lost his balls somewhere. Why?

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Mandatory face shields — for profit or for health?

Yesterday’s Senate hearing on the questionable Pharmally procurement revived the face shield debate that started last year. Can the piece of plastic really protect us from COVID-19?

There was no easy answer. Even the Secretary of Health, Francisco Duque, was unsure despite being one of the policy makers who mandated the wearing indoors and outdoors. Otherwise, he would have just answered directly the question of the Senators on why use face shields rather than point to Dr. Edsel Salvana and others. Even President Rodrigo Duterte, claimed by his supporters as the “best and the brightest” heading a team of “best and brightest” officials, had been changing his mind on the use of the plastic being uncertain if it really works (see also this link). Because of the mandatory face shield policy, the Philippines appears to be only country in the world that mandates the use of said plastic as a protection against COVID-19. But are plastic visors really effective against the new coronavirus?

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