By Roi Lomotan
Dumaguete Bishop Julito Cortes led Parish Election Volunteers (PEVs) in calling for a Clean, Honest, Meaningful, and Peaceful (CHAMP) Elections.
Bishop Cortes attended the Trainer’s Training for PEVs spearheaded by the Diocesan Electoral Board (DEB) on April 9, 2019, at the Marian Priests’ Center, Cathedral Compound and addressed some 200 church volunteers serving on Election Day.
The highlight of Bishop Cortes’ short engagement with church election volunteers was the candle lighting ceremony to promote CHAMP elections.
“Sa atong pagpasiga sa mga kandila karon, hinumduman nato na matag usa ka nato naay ikatampo alang sa atong mga katawhan karon ug ugma (As we light our candles, let us acknowledge that every one of us has something to contribute something to the betterment of our people today and in the future),” Cortes said.
The prelate also told PEVs not to be discouraged with the level of politicking in the community with the onset of election season.
Cortes thanked PEVs for choosing to serve on Election Day noting that their efforts will leave a positive impact on the community.
“I’d like to thank you for your time. Thank you for your generosity in volunteering to be part of the PPCRV work in your respective parishes,” Bishop Cortes said.
“I admire your tenacity despite the odds and congratulations to you for all your generosity,” he added.
The PEVs who participated in the training are also part of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) of their respective parishes.
The trainer’s training is intended for parish coordinators, logistics head, and poll watcher trainers of every parish under the supervision of the Diocese of Dumaguete.
Police Major Jul Jamiri of Philippine National Police (PNP)-Negros Oriental briefed participants on the police security preparations on Election Day while Provincial Election Supervisor Eliseo Labaria of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) explained the role of poll watchers during elections.
Aside from this, PEVs also had a familiarization of the Vote Counting Machine (VCM) that will use on Election Day.
A COMELEC representative presented the new features of the VCM.
Msgr. Julius Heruela, the lead convener of the DEB, also discussed other tasks of PPCRV during elections.
The trainer’s training is part of DEB’s preparations for the May national and local elections.
Heruela cited that after this, every parish will also conduct a training for their members in the first week of May.
The DEB aims to gather around 5, 000 to 6, 000 volunteers who will serve on Election Day.