By Roi Lomotan
DUMAGUETE CITY (PIA) – Former Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) national Chairperson Henrietta “Tita” De Villa expressed her gratitude to the volunteers of the Diocesan Electoral Board (DEB) of the Diocese of Dumaguete for the services they have given in the recent May elections.
De Villa was the guest of honor during the DEB fellowship dinner held recently at Marian Priests Center, Cathedral of Catherine of Alexandria.
DEB is the local counterpart of PPCRV in Dumaguete City.
It is composed of various government, non-government and church-based groups and covers the towns and cities from Basay to Jimalalud in Negros Oriental and the whole province of Siquijor.
“I come to say thank you. The strength (of PPCRV) and the bulk of our work is in the ground, in the parishes, in the dioceses,” she told the attendees of the event.
De Villa also emphasized that the foundational strength of the organization come from the diocese like the Diocese of Dumaguete.
The former PPCRV chair also commended DEB for fulfilling its role to ensure a Clean, Honest, Accurate, Meaningful and Peaceful (CHAMP) conduct of elections.
“Whatever faults they saw there we also put in our national report, whatever good things they see we also put in our national report,” De Villa said.
She also noted that there was an increase in the turnout of voters in the last elections with some areas reaching 81% and 85% of voter turnouts nationwide.
“This means a lot of people are interested to be involved or participate in the elections,” she said.
De Villa disclosed this can be attributed to the efforts the PPCRV counterparts in the local level for arousing the public’s interest on the May 2016 polls by keeping them informed on the things related to this.
For this, she shared that she is happy that there is a good coordination between the DEB and the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and strong support of the local media.
De Villa disclosed she was glad to know that there is a real time broadcast and replays of the local candidates’ forum activity because it keeps the voters informed and reaches people who can’t be there to join the forum.
The former PPCRV official encouraged DEB to continue its voters’ education program and hopes they will not waive their passion on this advocacy.
Meanwhile, De Villa appealed for continuous support to the new leadership in PPCRV after former COMELEC Commissioner Rene Sarmiento was elected as the new chair of the organization.
Sarmiento will be the chair of PPCRV for six years.
She also made a call to the youth sector and those who are involved in the Information Technology (IT) sector to participate in PPCRV.
“The PPCRV needs young faces, new perspective. We live in a different world so we need new ideas. That’s you, young people,” De Villa pointed out.
Aside from this, she also shared some of the changes in the PPCRV which include the clustering of dioceses that are close to each other and also forming a regional consultative council in these clusters later on.
With this, De Villa formally expressed her farewell to DEB volunteers.
De Villa was the chair of PPCRV for 25 years.
“I came to say good bye because 25 years is a long time. Thank you very much and I hope you won’t get tired in this,” she said. (rmn/ral/PIA7-Negros Oriental/This article was originally published at PIA website on Sept. 22, 2016)