DESPITE being a key church in the Archdiocese of Manila, the UST’s Santissimo Rosario Parish failed to send volunteers for the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) poll watch during the May 14 elections.

Only the Santissimo Rosario Parish failed to send volunteers among churches in district 4 of Manila, PPCRV secretary general Bro. Clifford Sorita told the Varsitarian.

“PPCRV requested every parish to participate in promoting voter’s education, poll watching, and documentation. But the Santissimo Rosario Parish failed to send anyone in voting stations on the day of elections,” he said.

As a result, the Our Most Holy Trinity Parish in Balic-Balic took charge of the voting precincts initially assigned to the UST parish.

Three Varsitarian staff also volunteered in poll watching at the Ramon Magsaysay High School, which was originally assigned to the UST church.

“None of the 150 expected volunteers from the parish were sent to the voting stations,” Ricardo Galang, PPCRV district 4 coordinator said. “The Santissimo Rosario Parish disappointed the PPCRV National Executive Board.”

But Santissimo Rosario’s parish priest Fr. James Alamillo, O.P. explained that prior to the elections, Santissimo Rosario’s parish pastoral council agreed to participate only in voters’ education but not in poll- watching.

“In the council’s meetings, majority of the members agreed to involve the parish in promoting voters’ education. We decided then not to partake in the poll watching duties due to lack of financial support,” Alamillo said. “In the previous elections, the parish experienced difficulty in recruiting volunteers for the voting stations for lack of financial aid for food supply.”

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Although Santissimo Rosario Parish had no participation in the poll watch this year, the parish promises to involve itself in the 2010 elections.

“The parish will organize our PPCRV involvement for the next elections to safeguard the votes of our countrymen. Hopefully, by that time, we will be able to recruit enough volunteers as well as enough support,” Alamillo said. “Maybe, we could also request the help of Thomasians within our vicinity to volunteer for PPCRV.”

The PPCRV is a national parish-based non-partisan lay movement established in 1991, which received accreditation in this year’s election from the Commission on Elections to assist in election awareness campaign and poll watching.

Santissimo Rosario has been an active ally of PPRCRV ever since the Archdiocese of Manila called for active involvement.

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