Saturday, May 19, 2012

VOTERS' EDUCATION in HIGH SCHOOL


COMELEC bats for inclusion of voter ed in High School curriculum
 18 May 2012

COMELEC-Education & Information Department

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) announced Friday that it supports a bill that seeks to make voter education mandatory in the High School curriculum.
House Bill No. 5784, introduced by Paranaque Rep. Edwin L. Olivarez, states that voters’ education should be taught to Fourth Year High School students in both public and private schools including those that are enrolled in the Alternative Learning System (ALS).
The bill tasks the Department of Education (DepEd), the COMELEC and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to develop a common curriculum that shall include: Values Formation; Importance of the right to suffrage and the sanctity of the ballot; Factors in evaluating and choosing candidates, and; the Electoral Process in the Philippines.
COMELEC Commissioner and Voter Education Champion Elias R. Yusoph lauded the measure, saying that this would be “a big boost to the COMELEC’s continuing effort to educate the electorate, most especially the youth, on the value of the people’s right to suffrage and on the rudiments of the electoral process.”

MESSAGE

HON. ELIAS R. YUSOPH
Commissioner
Commission on Elections

 At the outset, I would like to personally congratulate Congressman Edwin L. Olivares for coming up with House Bill No. 5784 or “An Act Making Voters’ Edu­cation Mandatory in the High School Cur­riculum both Public and Private Schools and Appropriating Funds Therefor”. The Commission on Elections welcomes with keenness this remarkable bill. Personally, it is my belief that this bill would become a piece of legislation as voters’ education is a significant prelude for a successful elec­toral exercise.
For so long a time, Comelec is the rud­der and the forefront of the country’s vot­ers’ education and information campaign. This is so because it is the sole agency mandated with the duty to educate the public and fully inform the electorate of matters relative to the conduct of the free and fair elections. Pursuant to this duty, we have made voters’ education a priority policy, hence, part of our five-year strate­gic plan called COMSTRAT 1116.
As champion commissioner of voters’ edu­cation, I would say that the conception of House Bill No. 5784 is most appropriate; not only for purposes of the 2013 National and Local Elections, but for a sustainable and genuine election reform. By includ­ing voters’ education in the curriculum, the correct perspective or mindset would be in­culcated in the young and receptive minds of our children. We can then envision a set of leaders chosen by the electorate through intelligent evaluation of platforms and track records, not for popularity, name-recall or monetary reason.
I can assure the Honorable Congressman that when this bill gets legislated, Comelec, through our Education and Information De­partment headed by Dir. James B. Jimenez, would put forth best efforts to achieve the purpose for which this bill was conceived. The legal and technical assistance Comelec can offer would be discussed in detail dur­ing the open-forum. 


VOTERS' PLEDGE

I am a Responsible and Principled Citizen.

I will educate myself and others about the issues at hand so that my vote is a meaningful and relevant exercise of my right of suffrage.

I pledge to vote for candidates who will abide by the duly constituted rules on campaigning because I understand that those who refuse to obey the law in the little things are not likely to obey the law in the more important things;

I pledge to vote for candidates who, by word and action, renounce violence, coercion, vote-buying, and corruption as means for getting elected;

I pledge to vote for the candidates who listen to their constituents and are responsive to the needs and aspirations of those they seek to represent;

I pledge to vote as my conscience dictates in all elections.

I make these promises freely and upon my honor.

(This Voter Pledge was read at the Unity Walk of 13 January 2013, by COMELEC Commissioner Elias R. Yusoph)

SOURCE: NAMFREL