NO less than Quezon City Vice Mayor Josefina G. Belmonte is spearheading the massive education campaign in the city because she strongly believes that “a well-informed electorate is essential in achieving a credible and honest barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan election [BSKE].”
Quezon City has 1.1 million registered voters out of 3.1 million residents, the highest in Metro Manila.
“The key to having a meaningful, fair, honest and orderly election is by educating the citizen-voters. Not only should they be made aware of the importance of their rights of suffrage; they should also be guided in choosing their leaders,” Belmonte told reporters in a chance interview.
Belmonte’s office called the campaign as “Ugnayan ng Barangay at mga Simbahan [Ubas].”
Ubas is an interagency body composed of the Office of the Quezon City Vice Mayor, Commission on Elections (Comelec), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Quezon City Police District (QCPD), Schools Division Office (SDO), Quezon City Anti-Drug Abuse Advisory Council (QCADAAC) chaired by Belmonte, the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), and the Diocese of Cubao and Novaliches.
Ubas started its first symposium on April 24 in Saint Peter Parish along Commonwealth Avenue for resident-voters of District 3.
On Wednesday Ubas held another symposium in San Bartolome De Novaliches Parish.
Belmonte said the purpose of the Ubas pre-election symposium is “to guide voters on the principle of CHAMP, or Clean, Honest, Accountable, Meaningful and Peaceful elections.”
She added the Comelec is in charge of discussing the voting procedures in BSKE, election laws including Republic Act 10742, or the Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act of 2015.
The QCPD is tasked to discuss prohibited acts during the barangay and SK elections, and about the peaceful and orderly conduct of the May 14 polls, Belmonte said.
Belmonte, who already made public her plan to run for mayor in next year’s midterm polls, was assigned to tackle “crucial election issues” that affect Quezon City in particular.
Belmonte told reporters that she told those who already took part in the symposium they should “choose the candidate you can depend on, not the candidate who depends on taxpayers’ money to survive.”
“This is the time when you can flex your muscles and you can ask for services that you deserve because they need your votes to win,” Belmonte, whose father Rep. Feliciano Belmonte was the city’s mayor from 2001 to 2010, further told the Ubas audience.
Belmonte said, “the Ubas project of her office aims to encourage voters to choose candidates who possess the three Ms: matino [sensible], mahusay [competent] and maasahan [reliable],” which are also the characteristics of the barangay and SK leaders the DILG wants to win in the polls.
“How does your candidate decide on most important issues? How does he lead his family and personal life? Does he have a heart for the poor and the underprivileged? These are just some of the important matters voters must seriously think about before casting their votes on May 14,” Belmonte said.