BACOLOD, May 3, 2016 – The taskforce formed by the Church in Bacolod in view of the national and local elections is getting ready for the May 9 polls in this diocese.
Fr. Ernie Larida, Director of Bacolod’s Diocesan Social Action Center (DSAC), disclosed that the recently-formed Diocesan Task Force Eleksyon 2016 was organized to help in poll-watching, monitoring election frauds, and in addressing complaints related to the elections within their assigned area.
Task Force Eleksyon 2016 will also “assist the COMELEC in reviewing the Complete Voter’s List (CVL), implement the AES, Mobile poll watching and Random Manual Audit, Voters’ Education, etc,” explained Larida.
In a circular letter issued on April 13, Bacolod Bishop Vicente M. Navarra indicated that the Task Force Eleksyon 2016 will be working with the National Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL), an accredited citizen’s arm of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC).
Call for volunteers
In support of this the prelate called on parishes, chaplaincies, schools, the clergy, and the religious to take active part in the taskforce.
Among the groups that have committed to join the diocesan task force are:
- Simbahang Lingkod Bayan;
- University of Negros Occidental – Recoletos;
- University of St. La Salle;
- West Negros University;
- Colegio San Agustin – Bacolod;
- Riverside College;
- La Consolacion College; and
- Niall O’Brien Center for Peace
Fr. Ernie Larida and Mr. Louie del Corro were appointed by the NAMFREL as co-chairpersons of the group in the province of Negros Occidental, specifically in the areas under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Bacolod.
‘One True Vote, One True Count’
To underline the importance of the taskforce’s role in the upcoming polls, the Social Action Director said “a “One True Vote” needs a “One True Count”,” thus encouraging the faithful to take part in the diocese’s program for a violence-free and honest election.
The Social Action Center held its first orientation for the facilitators and volunteers for the Task Force on April 23 and a final meeting on April 30.
According to the Social Action Center Administration staff Marcela Buenafe, as of May 1, there have been more than 800 volunteers who have signified their commitment for the said endeavor.
Larida said that the deployment of volunteers will be in voting precincts covered by their respective parishes.
“Ideally, there should be at least 30 election volunteers in every parish,” Larida added. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas / CBCP News)