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Groups distribute materials to educate voters on polls

CEBU CITY, March 30 – The Asia Foundation, in collaboration with the Foundation for Communication Initiatives and in consultation with the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, introduced on Monday various voter education materials to help the electorate prepare for the May 10 elections.

The print, video and radio materials were turned over to the Cebu media for free, in the hope of promoting better voter awareness of the changes introduced in the coming elections.

The materials were produced with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) oversight, said Asia Foundation managing director Jose Ma. Mendoza.

Program director Maribel Buenaobra said there was a pressing need for a voter education campaign, as there were significant changes in the voting process, as a result of automation.

”Clearly, the shift to computerized polls brings with it changes that must be made more familiar to the voting public, so they won’t be surprised on May 10,” Buenaobra said.

Buenaobra said they decided to work with media networks and industry associations, such as the Kapisanan ng mga Broddkaster ng Pilipinas, to promote the campaign more aggressively.

”The materials are available copyright free and may be edited or re-mixed by media networks to suit their content formats,” Buenaobra said.

Rev. Fr. Euselito Tulipas, archdiocesan coordinator of the Cebu citizens Involvement and Maturation in People’s Empowerment and Liberation (C-Cimpel), said they were conducting voters’ value formation and introducing automated elections.

In value formation, Tulipas said they discuss the difference between patronage politics and participatory politics.

”The way politics is done in this country is patronage politics. But we want to educate our people to realize that we should try to develop participatory politics,” he said.

He said they also discuss indices of good governance, such as transparency, working bureaucracy and accountability.

On the introduction of automated elections, Tulipas said C-Cimpel volunteers had shown voters the actual length of the ballot.

”The ballot is about two feet and people are not intimidated, except for a few old men and women. They are not intimated that the ballot is long, and it’s a good indication that people are really interested to cast their votes,” Tulipas said. (PNA) RMA/EB/ad

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