University President Emmanuel Leyco represented the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) in the first-ever National Election Summit of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
The national summit held March 8-10 is the highlight of a multi-sectoral coalition organized by PLM and Comelec in November 2022 that seeks to consolidate recommendations and inputs on improving the conduct of local and national elections.
President Leyco attended the keynote events and breakout sessions to discuss better strategies on voter education and changes to existing election protocols. PLM serves as the voice of the youth and the academe in the coalition.
“PLM congratulates Comelec for the success of the National Election Summit! Commencing an initiative of this magnitude demonstrates the sincerity and dedication of our poll officials in their commitment to elevate the voting experience of Filipinos and to fortify our democracy,” he said.
“Our University continues to support and encourage our Filipino youth to be well-informed voters for a better future for all,” University President Leyco added.
President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., Vice President Sara Duterte, Senate Committee Committee on Electoral Reforms and Peoples Participation chairperson Sen. Imee Marcos, and House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms chairperson Rep. Maximo Dalog, Jr. were among the high-level officials who delivered messages of support for policy changes towards ensuring free, orderly, honest, and credible elections.
“As we engage with discussions amongst our students and the Filipino youth, we likewise promote and encourage them to form and cast an informed vote, as well as discerningly choose the leaders of our society,” Marcos said in his speech on Friday, March 10.
Comelec Chairman Atty. George Erwin Garcia, a former PLM regent, said the poll body mounted the election summit to collect and listen to proposals for policy reforms.
“The inevitable consequences of not listening to the people is disenfranchisement, disaffection, distrust and dissidence. We do not want to be in the wrong side of history,” Garcia said. “The strength of our democratic system lies in the opportunity it allows our people to examine and correct our own excesses and shortcomings.”
With the theme “Pagtutulungan sa Makabagong Halalan," the National Election Summit threshed out proposed 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. This followed a series of pre-summit consultations with government, private sector, civil society, and youth sectors.
The goal is to adjust Comelec policies and proposed amendments to existing election laws for implementation in the May 2025 senatorial and local polls.