ASIA/PHILIPPINES - Elections are being prepared: Catholics at work for a "responsible vote"

Wednesday, 27 March 2019 elections   politics   human rights   voluntary work   civil society   local churches  

Manila (Agenzia Fides) - The Filipino Church is committed to ensuring "a responsible vote" on the eve of the "mid-term elections" in the Philippines, scheduled for May 13th. A special ecclesial body, the "Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting", PPCRV is recruiting volunteers to carry out its mission of control during the vote. The Council, which is officially accredited by the Governmental Commission for Elections, will contribute, thanks to 300,000 observers and volunteers, "to guarantee transparent, honest, accurate, meaningful and peaceful elections", says a note sent to Agenzia Fides.
PPCRV acts as a "citizen's arm" and cooperates with the election commission, guarding the electoral ballot and validating the votes through an unofficial parallel count. The PPCRV was established in October 1991 by the Archdiocese of Manila, ahead of the 1992 elections. Maria Isabel Buenaobra, Executive Director of the Council, is conducting education seminars in various parishes and church institutions, throughout the nation, with the intention of forming consciences and "fighting fraud".
According to the Filipino system, in the "mid-term elections", members of the House of Representatives are elected, 12 senators, and all the offices in the regional, provincial and municipal administrations are renewed.
"The 2019 elections are also an opportunity for the younger generation to act and exercise their right to vote", stressed Buenaobra. Of the 61 million voters registered in the country, more than 20 million young people between the ages of 18 and 35 make up about a third of the electorate. "It is hoped that young voters get involved in Filipino politics: if they want a change in the Philippines, the change must begin with them and from them", notes Buenaobra. About 1.9 million voters are emigrant citizens, the so-called "Overseas Filipino Workers". (SD) (Agenzia Fides, 27/3/2019)