The Kapihan ng Malalayang Lasalyano (KAMALAYAN) Forum on the DLSU Voter Intention Survey Results held last October 1 via Zoom and Facebook Live presented a summary of responses from a survey conducted by the DLSU Committee on National Issues and Concerns (CONIC) and analyzed by the La Salle Institute of Governance (LSIG) for the May 2022 National Elections.
LSIG Research Associate John Benedict Felices opened the forum by presenting the response from different sectors of the University from May to July 2021. The CONIC survey initially garnered 1,248 respondents but was reduced to 1,236 as 12 respondents were 17 years old and below, making them unqualified to answer the survey as they are still ineligible to vote.
Among 1,236 respondents, only 63.7 percent are registered voters, while 36.3 percent are not. Due to the risks and challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic, approximately 20 percent of the respondents indicated that they do not have any intention to vote in the coming elections. But with the voter’s registration deadline being extended, Felices stated he expects the number of registered voters to increase by end-October.
Moreover, data demonstrated that senior high school (SHS) students, as opposed to the faculty and undergraduate students at DLSU, are the most informed about the Commission on Elections’ voter registration procedure. Felices commended SHS students for showing great interest in voting procedures especially that they are first-time eligible voters for the upcoming elections.
In his analysis, Felices suggested reinforcing information campaigns for voter’s registration processes.
“Hopefully…we can garner more people within the community to not only register as well as to be informed of the full electoral process and the issues na pwede nila ma-iconsider when it comes to voting with the upcoming elections,” he said.
Meanwhile, LSIG Director Dr. Ador Torneo shared that concerns related to the COVID-19 response and recovery, education, and healthcare were the top three issues that the community wants the candidates to focus on once elected. He mentioned that the data had a slight difference from the Pulse Asia 2021 survey, where results showed that respondents leaned toward concerns revolving around livelihood and inflation.
Respondents were also in favor of candidates that were pro-people and exhibited competency and credibility. Torneo likened the data to a study last 2003 from the Institute of Political and Economic Reforms that centered on the preferences of the Filipino voter. The said study stated that Filipinos are looking for leaders that are approachable, virtuous, and helpful to those in need.
Torneo concluded the information campaign by stating that the registration process must be improved to increase awareness and pointed out that the DLSU community values social justice. This inference was made after a number of respondents frequently raised issues such as corruption; poverty and hunger; inclusion; and equity in the survey.
On social responsibility
During the open forum discussion, Management and Organization Department Full Professor Dr. Ben Teehankee emphasized the importance of being socially responsible alongside a “just, peaceful, stable, and progressive Filipino nation”.
“Kaya itong halalan, ‘yan talaga ang simula ng civic engagement. Kaya sana, bilang mga Lasalyano, mangampanya tayo na gawin nating mapatotoo, na tayo’y socially responsible at actively participating sa paghubog ng ating lipunan,” he stressed.
(This election will be the start of civic engagement. Hopefully, we, as Lasallians, campaign for us Filipinos to become socially responsible, actively participating in bettering our society.)
University Student Government President Giorgina Escoto also aired her observation that webinars and projects related to voter’s education were mostly organized by the youth. She expressed that the youth should utilize their talents to encourage other Filipino citizens to become more vigilant in the upcoming elections and their civic engagements.
During the extended voter registration period, Center for Social Concern and Action Director Neil Penullar reminded everyone that aside from registering to vote, we must also assert our rights as voters.
“Tiyakin po natin na lahat ng mga issues na ito ay mapag-usapan, masubaybayan, at magawan ng indibidwal at [pinagkaisang] aksyon, hindi lang sa halalan, kundi buong panunungkulan.”
(Let us ensure that these issues will be addressed, followed, and acted upon not only during the elections but during the entire duration of their (electeds’) term of office as well.)