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 The Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) signed on Wednesday, November 16 an agreement with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to take part in a multi-stakeholder initiative to promote voter education and electoral policy reforms.
The University hosted the partnership-building event for the 2023 National Election Summit at the Justo Albert Auditorium at the PLM Campus in Manila, attended by officials of the Comelec led by its Chairman George Erwin Garcia, a former member of the PLM Board of Regents, and Commissioner-in-Charge Nelson Celis, who once served as the Universityโ€™s executive vice president.
Commissioner Celis and PLM President Emmanuel Leyco signed the memorandum of agreement, which details each partiesโ€™ responsibilities for the summit and preparatory activities.
With the theme โ€œPagtutulungan sa Makabagong Halalan,โ€ the multi-sectoral effort seeks to mount a more effective voterโ€™s education and registration campaign well ahead of the midterm elections in May 2025.
The initiative also seeks to provide an educational series and provide a platform to discuss electoral policy reforms covering election administration, supervision and monitoring, and election enforcement and adjudication that spans the entire process from the filing of candidacies, election day, canvassing, and campaign finance reporting.
โ€œI believe that the biggest challenge of our democracy today is the meaningful participation of our people in every step of the electoral process,โ€ PLM President Leyco said in his solidarity message, calling the Election Summit a step in the right direction.
โ€œOur University is delighted to take part in this election summit in fulfillment of our mandate to contribute to nation-building. As a public university dedicated to serve the public interest, you can all be assured that we at PLM shall always give our best to embody PLMโ€™s core values of Karunungan, Kaunlaran at Kadakilaan,โ€ he added. โ€œWe shall strive hard to give Comelec and its partners our utmost support.โ€

 As part of its responsibilities, PLM will take part in preparations for a three-day National Election Summit scheduled in January 2023 and pre-summit activities by providing manpower and knowledge-sharing through its professors and students. Participants from the PLM College of Law will be tapped to participate in debates together with representatives from other law schools in the country, centering on election laws and policies.

Comelec Commissioner Celis explained that the poll body will focus on greater digitalization to streamline electoral processes.

โ€œBy the time we hold the election summit, we will collate all our resolutions to be presented to the public for comments and recommendations,โ€ he said during the signing ceremony.

Comelec Chairman Garcia added that the poll body will abide by complete transparency, accountability, and inclusiveness as it hosts the election summit and conducts future national and local elections.

โ€œThis election summit shows how Comelec recognizes the importance of democracy,โ€ Chairman Garcia said, noting that collaboration with stakeholders will allow the poll body to better address issues encountered in past elections and to introduce new technology and innovation that will further improve the conduct of voting.

The voter registration period resumes on December 9 and will close on January 31, 2023.

The summit is intended to spark a national dialogue and consultation for the review, formulation, and enhancement of Comelecโ€™s policies, plans and programs for future elections, taking off from the May 9, 2022 experience and in past nationwide polls.

Project partners include the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV); Legal Network for Truthful Elections (Lente); National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel); Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG); Halalang Marangal; the Legal Education Board; the Philippine Association of Law Schools; the Philippine Consortium Inc.; Institute of Electronics and Communications Engineers of the Philippines; Right to know, Right Now! Coalition; Philippine Association of Fintech Lawyers; and the Philippine Computer Society.

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