12 06 2012


June 12, 2012

Contact Person: Ninin Sumadia 09064304315


As the youth celebrates the Philippine Independence day, the First Time Voters Network, the largest coalition of youth and students advocating for greater youth participation, launches its registration drive and targets a hundred leap of youth engagement for 2013 mid-term elections.

“50% Vote, 50% Future, 100% First-Timers! This is our mix on how we intend to participate in the 2013 elections. We believe that the first time voters have their capacity to significantly contribute in shaping up the future of this country by its greater involvement in the election process,” said Cleo Loegardo, FTV Spokesperson

First Time Voter student and youth leaders from various universities, colleges and communities in the Metro Manila gathered today to lead a dance mobilization and unveil a big streamer in the heart of Manila with the call “Magparehistro. Bumoto. Tuloy ang Pagbabago”.

Leogardo explained that the campaign is to sustain the fight for change by taking a step in the registration and choosing responsible leaders.

FTV commits a 100% increase in the registration

FTV targets to increase the registration by 100% from the five million registered first time voters last 2010 elections.

It marked up to five million registered First Time Voters last 2010 national elections that contribute significantly in the big block of youth vote that elected the new leaders of the country who vowed for the fight against corruption, institutional reforms and protection of democracy.

“One hundred percent increase of registered First Time Voters will definitely a big leap in the Philippine electorate as we advocate for meaningful young people’s participation that will put forward the electoral and political reforms necessary for democratization and social inclusion of the youth as a means to address the generation’s continuing apathy and alienation to political, processes ”said Migs Angeles, FTV Network Coordinator.

“Youth Vote can elect the next leaders of our country!” Leogardo exclaimed. “We should take part in the process of developing our generation as active electorate that exercises our right to suffrage and maximizes youthful and critical tools in determining the fate of the country and the future,” she added.

FTV calls for satellite registration

Furthermore, FTV surveys in the communities and universities resulted that two out of five first time voters were not able to register because of school and work.  Another reason is that some young people do not reside in a permanent address.

“We asserted the synchronized registration process and database to the Commission on Elections where youth voters can register at the nearest satellite registration booths even they will be voting in other place or in their respective provinces during the elections. In this proposal, we provide mechanism to avoid voters’ disenfranchisement that leads to a low registrants,” Angeles claims.

The network is working closely with the Commission on Elections to reach the target First-Timers before the end of the registration period that will be on October31, 2013. FTV and COMELEC is now working hand in hand for the process of satellite registrations in the populous communities and universities, making the registration accessible to youth voters.

As we give honor and recognition to the young heroes of their time who have been in the forefront of our independence against any form of colonization, FTV and young people of today vow to continue the fight for the full realization of our freedom and democratic rights.

FTV will be launching its Tuloy ang Pagbabago campaign and series of voters registration nationwide, particularly in Pangasinan, Baguio, Nueva Ecija, Cagayan Valley, Metro Manila, Legaspi City, Batangas City, Cebu City, Iloilo City, Bacolod, Davao City, General Santos City, Cagayan de Oro City and Zamboanga City starting on the last week of June to October 2012.



2,653,594 new voters—last 2 months for registration!!!!!

4 09 2009

The country now has 2,653,594 new voters, the Commission on Elections announced Wednesday. The poll body’s announcement came after news reports surfaced recently quoting Senator Francis Escudero as saying that the ongoing voter registration has yielded only 841,200.

“We wish to inform the public that as of June 30, 2009, we now have more than 2.6 million new voters nationwide,” COMELEC spokesman James Jimenez clarified.

“We expect the number to even increase especially since most Filipinos prefer to register during the 11th hour,” he added.

Jimenez attributed the high registration turn-out to the active participation of media organizations and citizens’ groups in encouraging the youth to register coupled with the COMELEC’s intensified campaign to promote voter registration. ###

Lifted from ecomelec

Comelec close to awarding P11.3-B contract

30 05 2009

By Marlon Ramos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:03:00 05/30/2009

Filed Under: Elections, Eleksyon 2010, Computing & Information Technology

MANILA, Philippines—After the lone surviving bidder in the P11.3 billion poll automation project hurdled 24 of 26 criteria, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Friday night said it was close to awarding the huge contract—if anyone deserved to win it.

The two tests still to be hurdled by the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machine of the remaining bidder—the consortium of the Smartmatic International and Total Informational Management Corp. (Smartmatic-TIM)—pertained to its capability to run on battery power for 12 straight hours and to scan and save 2,000 ballot images, according to Ferdinand Rafanan, chair of the Comelec’s Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC).

“We’re very, very near to finishing the testing of the machines and the awarding of the contract, if it will be awarded,” Rafanan told reporters.

He said Smartmatic-TIM’s machine had hurdled 24 of the criteria set by the SBAC’s technical working group (TWG).

Smartmatic-TIM is a Dutch consortium.

Rafanan said the TWG reported that the machine had correctly read all the 640 ballots that were fed into it.

The machine also recorded a 100 percent accuracy rate when 625 ballots were fed into it during an earlier test on Wednesday, Rafanan said.

Rival bidder

Rafanan brushed off insinuations that the SBAC should have disqualified the Dutch consortium after its PCOS machine emitted smoke during a test run on Thursday.

He said the smoke only came from a burned wire and not from the PCOS unit itself.

“The wiring of the battery was not part of the system,” he said.

Rafanan, however, said the SBAC would still have to rule on the motion for reconsideration filed by the consortium of AMA Group of Companies and Election System and Software before they could decide on the awarding the contract.

As of 8 p.m., the five-member SBAC had yet to issue its ruling on the request of AMA-ESS to participate again in the bidding.

“If the financial bid of AMA is lower, then we will open their bid documents and test their machines,” Rafanan told the Philippine Daily Inquirer (parent company of INQUIRER.net).

Text message

With the bidding process almost over, allegations of bribery involving the head of the Comelec procurement committee surfaced in media circles.

An anonymous text message sent to journalists covering the dry run of the ballot scanning machines insinuated Rafanan received P2 million in bribe money to help the Dutch consortium.

“Smartmatic machine broke down last night and the Comelec still want to award the deal to the Venezuelan government-owned corporation. Was it because Rafanan got P2 million bribe from Smartmatic? Please pass,” the message read.

The normally calm Rafanan almost lost his cool as he vehemently denied the allegations.

“That is false. That is malicious. I deny that categorically,” a visibly incensed Rafanan told reporters.

“I never received anything. I never asked for anything and I have no intention of receiving or demanding anything.”

Smartmatic denial

The Dutch consortium also dismissed the allegations.

Cesar Flores, Smartmatic’s sales director, also clarified that although the company maintains an office in Venezuela, it is entirely owned by private individuals and that its main holding company is based in The Netherlands.

“We are going through very strict and stringent proceedings of qualification made by the Comelec. We deny any type of wrongdoing,” Flores said.

Rafanan challenged his accusers to show evidence about the purported bribery.

“You are cowards and liars. I’m challenging you to come and show your faces,” he said, raising his voice.

Locsin’s challenge

Rafanan was the subject of an earlier video footage which supposedly showed him aiding a disqualified bidder in signing documents inside a male restroom. Rafanan denied he was the man in the video.

The SBAC chief lashed back at the individuals behind the spread of the “malicious” text messages. He surmised those responsible only wanted to discredit the whole bidding process and tarnish the image of the Comelec and Smartmatic-TIM.

Makati City Rep. Teodoro Locsin, who personally inspected how the ballot-scanning machines function, said of the machines and their technology: “Hell, I can’t think of anything better. However, I suppose if I was a master of manual cheating, I’d be very unhappy because I won’t be able to do my business anymore.”

Locsin belittled the claims of some quarters that the machines were vulnerable to hacking and tampering.

“I challenge any of them. I give them 50 years to do it, to hack into an ATM (automated teller machine). None of these idiots in Congress who talk about ‘garbage in, garbage out’ can even hack into their computers,” he said.

When asked if holding automated elections next year was possible, he said: “Absolutely, as I said here repeatedly.”

“If an asteroid hits the earth, we don’t know. Let us hope an asteroid does not hit the earth,” he jested.

Source: Inquirer.net

Melo’s nightmare: No-election scenario

15 05 2009

By Kristine L. Alave
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:20:00 05/15/2009

Filed Under: Computing & Information Technology, Eleksyon 2010, Elections

MANILA, Philippines—Past blunders are giving Jose Melo, chair of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), nightmares that the current attempt to computerize balloting next year might lead to a no-election (No-el) scenario.

Melo said losing bidders or partisan groups who wanted to stop the elections could use as template the 2003 procurement anomaly case against the Comelec that torpedoed its plan to automate polling the following year.

He said a similar case could be filed against Comelec’s P11.3-billion automation contract for next year’s election.

While he noted that anyone had the right to bring a case against the Comelec, Melo expressed fears that the bidding could be used to stop the elections.

Describing this as a worst-case scenario, Melo said in a press briefing Thursday: “That is what we are afraid of. That is sabotage. That is a no-election scenario. That would be chaos.”

Melo said the court challenge could be timed a few months before the balloting and if a temporary restraining order (TRO) were ordered, it would be too late for the Comelec to prepare for manual elections.

“Let’s say by February, March or April, a TRO is suddenly issued, we will not have time to go manual,” he explained. “It keeps me up at night. That is my nightmare.”

Melo cited the case against the Comelec and the Mega Pacific consortium over the bidding for the P1.3-billion contract in 2003.

The Supreme Court, he noted, voided the contract because of irregularities in the bidding in January, four months before the balloting. The Comelec then had to rush everything to proceed with manual polls.

Armor is transparency

Melo said the possibility of a replay of the 2004 election controversy was in the back of the poll body’s mind since the start of the bidding.

The best way to avoid doubts on the procurement process is to make it “as transparent as possible,” he said. “That is our armor.”

Melo said the Comelec was bracing itself for controversies over the bidding, noting that P11.3 billion is at stake.

Losing bidders, he said, would certainly assail the winning bidder and the Comelec after the process. “They would really kill for that amount,” he said.

Already, signs of cutthroat competition have appeared.

A film on the hugely popular video-sharing website YouTube purportedly showing a bidder signing documents in the Comelec toilet last week insinuated that Ferdinand Rafanan, head of Comelec’s Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC), was favoring him.

Probe called

Rafanan has denied the charge, but Melo said he had referred the case to the National Bureau of Investigation and the Ombudsman. He also defended Rafanan, noting that he was not on the video and that it was unclear what those documents were.

“It could be any other documents concerning his other business,” he said, adding that it could be part of the bidders’ “warfare.”

Of the seven original companies who submitted bid documents last week, only four hurdled the eligibility screening following motions for reconsideration.

On Wednesday night, the SBAC granted the appeals of Indra Sistemas S.A. (Strategic Holdings, Inc./Hart Intercivic); Smartmatic/Total Information Management Corp.; AMA Group of Companies/Election System and Software; and Gilat/F.F. Cruz and Company Inc./Filipinas Systems Inc.

The four firms, along with three others, were declared ineligible last week, after the SBAC ruled that they failed to submit necessary documents in the first part of the procurement process.

The three rejected firms can still file a protest before the commission en banc. But Melo said he doubted that they would do so because of the exorbitant filing fee.

Bid results at weekend

The Comelec said it expected to know the company with the lowest bid for the poll 2010 automation contract at the weekend.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said the procurement committee would open the technical and financial bids starting on Friday.

“Hopefully, we can be finished by Saturday and they can demonstrate the machines on Monday,” he said.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri Thursday urged the Comelec to ensure that the automation would push through.

“The ball now is in the hands of the Comelec. It is time that they do their job to make sure that poll automation happens in 2010,” Zubiri said.

Based on the Comelec’s calendar, the automated machines must be delivered between Oct. 1 and Dec. 30 to give time for machine testing scheduled on Nov. 12, 2009 to Feb. 12, 2010. With a report from Michael Lim Ubac

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Comelec OKs appeals of 4 poll automation bidders

14 05 2009

The motions for reconsideration filed by four bidders in the automation of the 2010 elections were granted on Wednesday by the Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

The four bidders are: Indira Elections Consortium; Total Information Management Corp and its partner, Netherlands-based Smartmatic; AMA Group of Companies/Election Systems and Software (ES&S); and, Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd..

The SBAC review of their eligibility and technical qualifications will resume on Friday.

Comelec director and SBAC chairman Ferdinand Rafanan said they are still on track despite the delay in the awarding of the contracts for poll automation.

Rafanan said they will be able to award the contract to the winning bidder in the automation of the 2010 elections by the end of the month.

The eligibility and technical requirements review will then be followed by a financial review. The machines of the lowest bidder will then be checked by the Comelec.

The SBAC last week declared as “ineligible” the seven consortia that bid for the P11.3 billion poll computerization after failing to submit some required documents. With a report from Timi Nubla, ABS-CBN News

as of 05/14/2009 11:29 AM

Source: ABS-CBN online news

‘RV’ bus rolls off to reach youth voters

12 05 2009

By Niña Catherine Calleja
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 04:59:00 05/12/2009

MANILA, Philippines—A bus painted with as many colors as a rainbow Monday rolled off a parking lot in Taguig’s business district Bonifacio Global City on a nationwide mission: Persuade young Filipinos to register and vote.

The bus was packed with youth volunteers who planned to travel through key cities and towns to deliver their message in time for the May 2010 national elections.

With only five months left before the last day of registration on Oct. 31, the bus hit Metro Manila roads Monday and brought their campaign to places where students and young professionals were hanging out, according to Georgina Nava, one of the organizers.

In the following weeks, the “The Register and Vote (R)” bus will travel to various parts of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Its sides painted in bright colors with slogans like “Register and Vote” and “Ang trapo ngawa nang ngawa,” the bus was launched by the Ayala Young Leaders Alliance, YouthVote Philippines and First-time Voters Network.

Importance of youth vote

Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, one of the personalities behind the campaign, told some 80 young voters during the launch that there would be a significant change in the electoral system if the youth would start to think differently.

“There is a youth vote,” he said, referring to the first-time voters in the 2010 national elections—estimated at anywhere between 2 million and 5 million.

He said the voters’ turnout in 2007—which showed only 20 percent of the potential youth vote had registered—was upsetting.

“We can do more,” Pangilinan said.

Indie group

Pangilinan said that, according to surveys, three-fourths of the youth were not aware they had to register to vote. “The rest don’t have reasons to vote,” he said.

Other advocates of the campaign calling themselves the “Indie group” are Rep. Riza Hontiveros-Baraquel, former Bukidnon Rep. Nereus Acosta, Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo, writer Alex Lacson and youth leader and TV host Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV.

Nava said the group wanted to instill in the youth’s mind that “their votes could change the political landscape in 2010 and beyond.”

Last week, “The RV” had a dry-run in Lucban, Quezon, where the volunteers tried to catch the attention of people participating in the Pahiyas Festival. There, the volunteers gave briefings on the registration process.

The idea of using the bus to reach remote areas came from Pangilinan’s 2007 senatorial campaign, Nava said.

Jay Contreras, vocalist of the band Kamikazee who attended the launch, said he used to be apathetic, “but now, since I became a father, I began to think about my kids’ future.”

Nava said other entertainers, like singer Kitchie Nadal and the rock band Parokya ni Edgar, would perform in a grand launch in Barangay Tatalon, Quezon City, on Wednesday.

To reach a bigger audience, the campaigners will also tap the Internet through blogs, Facebook and YouTube.

First-time voters hope to make a difference

11 05 2009

THE youth group First Time Voters (FTV) Network on Sunday hang a big streamer with the slogan “Magparehistro. Bumoto. May Pag-asa pa. (Register. Vote. Transform.)” at the Bonifacio Shrine in Manila as a reminder of the urgency to register for the 2010 elections.

Youth leaders from Manila, Makati, Quezon City and Mandaluyong gathered in Liwasang Bonifacio, Manila, participated in the activity by giving passersby and onlookers flyers on the registration process at the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

“FTV Network is very much excited about the hype that different civil-society groups are creating at present in order to encourage our young people to register for the May 2010 elections,” Paula Bianca Lapuz, FTV national convenor, said.

The FTV project started in 2001 as a national campaign to extend the registration for 5-million disfranchised first-time voters.

“Our coming out today is also in solidarity with all the reform groups that believe that there are still ways by which we can achieve genuine and lasting change in our country,” Lapuz said.

The group initially launched its voters’ registration information drive in Isabela, Iligan and Rizal last month, and is gearing up for another series, including Cebu, Iloilo, Bohol, Zamboanga, Butuan and General Santos City.

“There’s still hope that our country would recover from the blows of dirty politics if only the Filipino citizens, most especially the young people, will work collectively to create transformative politics,” said Helen Joy Paulino, national spokesperson of FTV.

The network explained that 2010 is a very good opportunity for the youth to come out of their comfort zones and claim their stakes in one of the most fundamental democratic practices in the country, the national election. The 2010 elections will hopefully be the first year for the 9 million new voters to cast their votes.

It emphasized that in 2010, roughly 60 percent of the electorate will come from the age bracket of 18 to 40 years old, thus, first illustrating the young people’s potential political force.

As the registration deadline approaches, the FTV Network gave assurances there will be real- time mass registration for young people in Comelec offices in all of FTV areas nationwide.

“We still have a few months left until the next national elections. Let us get involved one way or another. This is a job that we [young people] have to do together,” Lapuz said.

The activity was supported by the organizations Student Council Alliance of the Philippines, Movement for the Advancement of Student Power and Akbayan Youth and nongovernment organization Center for Youth Advocacy and Networking.

Source: Business Mirror