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Comelec to blog election updates

Posted on: February 24, 2009

http://blogs.inquirer.net/blogaddicts/2009/01/28/comelec-to-blog-election-updates/

01/28/09

Posted under News, Politics, Social Networks

By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net

REALIZING the power of blogging to disseminate information, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is tapping the Elections Education and Information Department (EID)’s blog to give updates on the ongoing voters’ registration.

“Now that we have the technology available and stable, the Comelec will use the bagongbotante.ph blog website to give voters here and abroad updates about the ongoing registration and at the same time, to gather feedback from voters, especially the youth,” said Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez.

Jimenez said the Comelec aims to educate the youth on how registration is being conducted in the National Capital Region and to encourage them to register as voters.

“Unlike before when technology is unavailable to us and blogging is a domain for hobbyists and experts, now is the right time–when we have access to technology and blog systems are more stable–to fully utilize the power of blogging to encourage Filipinos to register and exercise their rights of suffrage,” said Jimenez.

Through articles, pictures and videos, the site offers voters a “feel of the registration process” in the National Capital Region, said Jimenez.

Since January 19, three EID staff visit different Comelec offices and registration centers to gather news and information. They then publish  these reports via the blog.

Jimenez said this is part of EID’s monitoring duties.

“We included pictures and videos to show voters the ongoing registration process. Usually, people do not believe until they see pictures and videos and as with news delivery, this has been the strategy of mass media so we want to keep up with the times,” said Jimenez.

Jimenez added voters can post feedback to the Comelec via the comments box and shout box or get advise from the poll body about concerns on voter’s ID, registration process and the like.

An upcoming feature on the site will be the “e-plaza miranda” sub-domain, where Comelec will post information about candidates for the national elections.

Likewise, Jimenez said candidate can post articles and their objectives or political platform on the e-plaza miranda, once they assume office.

Filipino voters can then comment on these political platforms and directly ask questions to the candidates, thus encouraging online interaction between the candidates and their constituents.

“Since the site can be viewed by anyone with access to the web, this will also be instrumental in updating the .5 million overseas absentee voters, which will vote for national positions in the 2010 elections,” said Jimenez.

Jimenez said other topics included in the blog include Comelec announcements and voter’s education.

Media and market research firm ACNielsen estimated that the number of Philippine-based Internet users has reached about 24 million in 2008.

Voters can also follow Bagong Botante through social networking sites Facebook and Multiply and micro-blogging service Plurk.

Watch this video report:

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