25 October 2015, 11:48 am – THE
SPOKESMAN of the national Commission on Elections (Comelec) called
on media organizations Saturday to “educate” Filipino
voters and go beyond voter information drives for the upcoming 2016 elections.

“[Voters] should draw a distinction
between voter education and voter information,” Comelec information chief James
Jimenez said during the Philippine Student Election Managers Summit on
Oct. 24.

said voter information involves mechanical instructions such as the
requirements for voter registration, what to do on voting day, and how to fill
a ballot, among others.

these pieces of information do not prepare the voter in a meaningful way. “It
does not address your intrinsic readiness to exercise your right to vote in a
meaningful way. It will prepare you to exercise your vote, period.”

a UST alumnus, said the act of voting must not be taken for granted as it would
determine the country’s next set of leaders.

people exercise their right to vote, it’s sometimes without a clear
appreciation of what it actually means,” he said.

For Inquirer.net editor
in chief John Nery, “The media’s role is to make [the people’s] consent as
informed as possible.”

said media must bridge the gap between the government’s agenda and the public
agenda to address pressing concerns in the country.

cited the local media’s decision to use “West Philippine Sea” for the disputed
waters covering the Spratly Islands, instead of “South China Sea,” as
an example of how public awareness on the territorial conflict was raised.

Lardizabal-Dado, editor at BlogWatch, a citizen blog, highlighted social media
as an effective platform for encouraging youth involvement during the

CBCP to voters: Shun political dynasties, 'inexperienced' bets

people should be more forward-looking than their predecessors,” she said.

noted that young people, who make up a huge bulk of the voting population,
enjoy  more access to information compared with previous generations,
particularly during Martial Law when information was suppressed.

Philippine Student Election Managers Summit was organized by Aktiboto, the
University’s student-led voter education program. Other speakers were political
science professors Dennis Coronacion and Ma. Zenia Rodriguez, AIM Policy Center
research associate Jan Fredrick Cruz, political analyst Richard Heydarian,
national Comelec campaign and finance unit director Sabino Mejarito, and I Am
Sam Foundation President Rayla Santos. Paul Xavier Jaehwa C.
Bernardo and Monica M. Hernandez


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