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The Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) on Monday signed a memorandum of agreement with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) as the university hopes to further its voters’ education efforts for the upcoming May 9, 2022 national and local elections.
PLM officials led by University President Emmanuel Leyco signed the deal with his counterpart from the poll body led by Comelec Chairman Saidamen Balt Pangarungan, represented by Commissioner Rey Bulay, on April 11.
The agreement formalizes PLM’s contribution to the battery of debates for presidential and vice-presidential candidates from March to April. This will allow the voting public, including the youth, to scrutinize the platforms and programs of government of the country’s aspiring leaders.
"The Filipino electorate need to be aware of what is at stake on May 9. PLM, along with other education and civil society stakeholders, is seeking to bring this to our people especially to the youth who represents a big chunk of our registered voters,” President Leyco said.
“The University is a non-partisan organization whose only goal is to contribute to wider voters’ education an empowerment running up to the May 9 polls,” he added.
Among PLM’s commitments are to take part in the pooling of debate questions as the representative of the academe in the preparatory work for “The PiliPinas Debates 2022: The Turning Point.”
The University will also lend its faculty and ranking officials – who are known topic specialists in the fields of economy, health, education, and women – as panelists for the post-debate roundtable discussions for each event.
“This pact between COMELEC and one of the most respected educational institutions, the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, symbolizes our fervent drive to inculcate to our electorate and our candidates the value of education,” Comelec chairman Pangarungan said in a statement delivered by Commissioner Bulay.
“The COMELEC expresses its utmost gratitude to the PLM for their support. We are indeed fortunate to have them as partners in this exercise.”
Newly-appointed Comelec Commissioner George Erwin Garcia was a former member of the PLM Board of Regents and used to be the dean of the PLM College of Law.
President Leyco has taken part as reactor to the post-event discussion for the March 19 presidential debate. PLM will also lend its campus facilities within Intramuros as a possible venue for in-person audience for the live viewing of the debates, subject to the observance of minimum health protocols.
Comelec is mounting another round of debates for presidential and vice presidential candidates on April 23 to 24.