From July 26 to 28, 2006, a total of fifty-six (56) community leaders of District I, Makati City participated in the “Voter Education Trainers’ Training for Local Community Volunteers” conducted by the COMELEC’s Education and Information Department (EID). They make up a “power team” for future voter education initiatives in the city. Twenty (20) of the attendees were Department of Education (DepEd) officials, eight (8) were city government officers, twenty (20) were barangay leaders, and eight (8) were representatives from various citizens’ groups.
During the said three-day training, the participants were taught about the importance of elections, the rights and duties of voters, and relevant election laws governing the conduct of Philippine elections. Other topics discussed were: the guidelines/criteria in choosing the best candidates, the Philippine electoral process and its systemic problems, prohibited acts during elections and citizens’ remedies, the party-list system, poll watching and other electoral procedures such as referendum, plebiscite, initiative and recall.
The training was held at the Phoenix Room of Barangay Bel-Air Hall. It was a project of COMELEC’s EID held in partnership with the Makati City government. Mrs. Constancia Q. Lichauco, the Chairperson of Barangay Bel-Air, served as the principal sponsor of the event.
Similar to past trainings conducted by EID, the participants expressed appreciation for the knowledge they gained about elections during the training. They found the lectures, including the learning activities, relevant and beneficial to transforming the present voters into politically mature and enlightened citizens.
At the closing ceremony, each participant willingly took an oath expressing his/her commitment to be a partner of COMELEC in educating the voters in his/her barangay. To ensure the continuity and sustainability of voter education in their locality, the participants then organized themselves and elected their first set of officers. Mr. Rogelio M. Barredo, Barangay Secretary of Barangay Guadalupe Nuevo, was elected President.