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Voters’ Ed in the Salad Bowl of the Philippines

For this Friday’s Election Day segment, we will be having a special guest, Atty. Grace M. Faustino, Election Officer III, Commission on Elections, La Trinidad, Benguet. Atty. Grace, as she is fondly called, is the Election Officer in charge of our La Trinidad office. She is a young, witty, vibrant and an intelligent lawyer. The Comelec is very proud of her because she recently arrived from Japan after finishing her master’s degree in Public Policy at Meiji University.

The municipality of La Trinidad, as the capital town of Benguet is known as the Salad Bowl of the Philippines due to its huge production of upland vegetables which they deliver to the different parts of the Philippines and even export them to the world. La Trinidad has 42,280 registered voters, 16 barangays and 265 precincts.

The Office of the Election Officer of La Trinidad, Benguet, for its Voter’s Ed Program, has launched, sometime in November 2020, a project named as “BotanteAkoat HindiAkoBobo Voter Education Survey Series.”

Being the diligent researcher that she is, Atty. Grace is utilizing this platform to gather data to recognize the political culture of the voters in the area through observations and conversations with the different stakeholders. Through this method, an honest reflection of the voter’s own attitudes as reflected in their answers could be obtained which would result in an increased participation of voters in the election process which practically begins upon registering in order for them to vote. The favorable outcome that this project is gearing for is- – an improved political and civic engagement/participation of voters in their communities.

In the 1909, the American colonizers made the municipality of La Trinidad the provincial capital of Benguet after the township in Baguio was abolished and was converted into a chartered city. As the capital of Benguet, La Trinidad is the center of major activities in the province. One famous festival that it holds, is the Adivay Festival. Adivay, meaning ‘to come together,’ is a month-long celebration where the municipalities of Benguet ‘come together’ to share, nurture, recall and reconnect with the rich culture, products, arts and history of this beautiful province.

It is our dream and hope that all voters in the municipalities of Benguet would all ‘come together’, on election to day, to cast their intelligent votes. As times are changing, more attention on the quality of our votes and the quality of our leaders has surfaced. May we all ‘come together’ for the Philippines …and so, it begins in this municipality.

Please watch our Election Day program at the Balitaktakan segment on August 6, 2021, at 9:00 o’clock in the morning as Atty. Grace will try to explain to us her findings on the “BotanteAkoat HindiBobo Voters’ Survey” and we’ll find out if there are unhealthy/undemocratic practices in the area, or is vote buying prevalent, or do the voters really know what they should be voting for? See you Friday at Regional News Group Luzon.

*Any opinon/s or statement/s contained in this article are made by me as a lawyer and not as an employee of the Comelec.

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