The Communications office of Malacañang spent P5.58 million for commissioned surveys in 2012, according to a report released by the Commission on Audit. It was the single biggest item in the 2012 expense report of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO). It accounted for 26.71% of the P20.88-million increase in the office’s budget for Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses, and was an entirely new item. No such expense was reported in its 2010 and 2011 expense breakdowns. The money spent went to private survey firms Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations. PCDSPO chief Ricky Carandang said his office subscribed to the surveys only in 2012 and that it was part of his function “to know and understand public opinion.”
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