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PPCRV is Comelec’s citizens’ arm in 2010 polls

Posted on: October 29, 2009

PPCRV is Comelec’s citizens’ arm in 2010 polls

By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 18:48:00 10/29/2009

Filed Under: Politics, Inquirer Politics, Eleksyon 2010

MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has accredited the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) as its national citizens’ arm for the May 2010 elections, an official said Thursday.

Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento said the poll body promulgated a resolution on October 26 approving the petition of PPCRV. As citizens’ arm, PPCRV will assist the poll body in voters’ education on poll automation and poll watching for next year’s elections.

Sarmiento said Comelec welcomes the partnership with PPCRV, which also played an active role in the month-long bidding period for the P7.2 billion automation of the 2010 elections.

PPCRV will also receive a soft copy of the computerized voters’ list to assist voters in their precinct information and test the precinct count optical scan machines to be deployed in the 2010 elections, said Sarmiento.

Sarmiento added PPCRV will receive five of the 30 copies of the election results to be printed by the poll machines before and after transmission of results on Election Day.

The copies with PPCRV will serve as “checks and balance” for the consistency and authenticity of the election results transmitted from polling precincts to Comelec servers to those posted at the doors of polling precincts.

PPCRV chairperson Henrietta de Villa said PPCRV is now “full steam in preparations” for its poll watching duties after the approval of their accreditation.

Presently, De Villa is in talks with their volunteers in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, the first regional automated elections that PPCRV participated in, to craft plans for its nationwide education campaign for voters and poll watchers.

“We are now full steam in our preparations after we have been accredited. It is good that we can start early in finalizing our plans for the 2010 automated elections, which would entail a different approach to voting and poll watching,” said De Villa.

“As political watchdog and citizens of the Philippines, PPCRV will man the whole election process—from the procurement of machines until the announcement of results and winners. We hope the 2010 elections will be historic as we have clean, honest, accurate, meaningful and peaceful elections,” said De Villa.

“No matter how advanced the technology is, the important factor in any election is the citizenry who will guard their votes and democracy,” she said.

In place of quick counts, De Villa said PPCRV will deploy two volunteers for each clustered precinct on Election Day to observe the conduct of automated voting and transmission of results.

For this, PPCRV eyes to recruit at least 400,000 volunteers—the average turnout that they have for national elections.

PPCRV was formed in October 1991 as a program of the archdiocese of Manila in preparation for the 1992 elections, the first elections that it performed poll watching duties, she said.

To date the 18-year-old poll watchdog has participated in 22 electoral exercises as the accredited citizens’ arm of the Comelec, gathering as many as 450,000 volunteers during national and local elections from 1992 to 2007 and the regional elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in 2008, said De Villa.

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