MANILA -- Less than three months away from the 2019 midterm elections, the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) on Friday offered communities interested with a free voters' education seminar.
"If you want us to provide voter's education seminar, please invite us. As I've mentioned, we have recently launched a free voters' education online course," Maria Isabel Buenaobra, PPCRV executive director said at the side of the "Election Pulse 2019" forum at the National Press Club (NPC) in Manila.
Buenaobra said that voters' education would be the best way to combat election rigs as cheating often occurs on the ground.
"Naniniwala kami na kailangan magkaroon ng voters' education kasi ang pandaraya ay 'di nangyayari sa makina kundi nangyayari on the ground (There is a need for voters' education because poll rigging does not happen inside the machine but on the ground). You have what you call retail cheating and vote sale cheating," she told reporters in an interview.
With the renewal of the PPCRV's role as the citizens' arm of the Commission on Elections, Buenaobra vowed that the council would guard the ballots and validate the election returns through their unofficial parallel count.
She urged the public to register as volunteers for the PPCRV citing their need for about 300,000 poll watchers in the May elections. Last midterm polls in 2010, the PPCRV have registered 500,000.
The 2019 election, which coincides with the year of the youth, is also a "time" for the younger generation of the country to act and exercise their right of suffrage, she stressed.
Of the 61 million registered voters in the country, she said the youth makes up about 2.1 million.
"Hopefully, the youth voters would make a dent in Philippine politics. If they want change in the Philippines, the change has to begin with them and they should not veer away from making decisions about voting for candidates," Buenaobra said.
In the latest "Election Pulse 2019," a regular media forum in Manila leading to the May 13 elections, the NPC also invited senatorial candidate Glenn Chong and 1-Ang Edukasyon Partylist Representative Salvador Belaro, Jr. who both presented their campaign platforms focused on education and election reform, among others.
Source: Philippines News Agency