The two political parties, Alyansang Tapat sa Lasalista (Tapat) and Iisang Tugon sa Tawag ng Panahon (Santugon), are once again gearing up for this year’s General Elections (GE).
“We have been preparing [since last year], starting December. In terms of training [our candidates], we started last November,” says Tapat President, Roby Camagong.
“We have been getting a lot of [Tapat] alumni who work for the government so that we can really get the perspective on how the government works and in turn, understand how to serve people [Lasallians] when we are in [such a] position,” he furthers.
“Once we have chosen the candidates, we make them go through training modules and those trainings are both hands-on and transformative in method,” Santugon President Mic Guiterrez shares.
Both parties, however, admit that they had difficulties in choosing candidates to field this year. Many potential candidates chose to prioritize academics over extra-curricular activities. Other candidates also had to back out due to personal reasons.
Camagong shares that the loss of former USG Vice President for Internal Affairs Nicole Gaba is one of their bigger setbacks for this year’s elections, she was supposed to be the political party’s standard bearer.
Along with the trainings for the candidates, both parties have been preparing their platforms for the GE.
Camagong shares that they will incorporate issues such as the RH Bill, the Corona impeachment trial, the student handbook revisions and the justification of certain student fees into their campaign.
On the other hand, Gutierrez shares that his party will most likely focus on University issues that mainly affect student welfare.
In line with the two political parties’ preparations for the GE, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) is also gearing up for the elections as not to commit similar mistakes during past GE’s.
COMELEC Chair Kenneth Sy shares that they will also revise some provisions of the Election Code to clarify ambiguous stipulations and to improve the election process, but Sy did not disclose the specific revisions.
The election proper will be from March 20-22.
The tally in the 2011 GE was 60-30, with Santugon claiming majority of the USG seats. The year before that, during the 2010 GE, Santugon claimed an overwhelming majority, winning 77 out of 76 positions, due to Tapat’s withdrawal from the elections.