Diocesan Electoral Board embarks on education campaign for first-time voters

August 6, 2009 9:21 am 

DUMAGUETE CITY, Aug. 6 – The Diocesan Electoral Board (DEB) of the Diocese of Dumaguete is set to launch a massive education and information campaign to encourage first-time voters to register for the May 2010 presidential elections.

During a meeting Thursday, DEB convenor Fr. Julius Heruela explained to the members of the board and other invited guests, such as student government representatives, that the activity aims to spark genuine interest in the younger generation to participate in the electoral exercise.

At least four major campuses in Dumaguete and a few more in other parts of Negros Oriental are being targeted for the information drive which will hopefully take off by September to beat the Oct. 15 deadline for registration of voters, Fr. Heruela said.

The DEB convenor expressed optimism that with the info caravan, the number of registered voters in Negros Oriental will increase.

Fr. Heruela lamented that based on observations on previous elections such as in 2004, many young people, including students and out-of-school-youth, failed to register as voters.

“The younger generation seems to be indifferent to their responsibility to take part in a constitutional exercise such as the elections of government officials,” he added.

Acting Provincial Commission on Elections Supervisor Atty. Eddie Aba said the activity will complement the desire and intention of the poll body to campaign for more registrants for next year’s polls.

Atty. Aba, however, admitted that he could not give an estimate or exact figures as to the turnout of new registrants coming from the student sector for this year.

The campus-based information caravan is part of the DEB’s regular voters’ education, an activity which is targeted to start by November after political wanna-be’s have filed their Certificates of Candidacy, said Fr. Heruela.

Student governments have been tapped to help facilitate the campus information and education drive on the May 2010 polls while DEB members will handle the lectures and briefings.

The DEB is composed of representatives from the Commission on Elections, church-based groups such as the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, the private sector, the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines, among others. (PNA) LAP/JFP

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