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Archbishop Tirona expresses gratitude to PPCRV volunteers

By Myrna Bermudo

Caceres Archbishop Rolando J. Tria Tirona, OCD, DD, expressed his gratitude to the volunteers of Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting ((PPCRV) in the Archdiocese of Caceres.

The Archbishop said that during his visits to some parishes on May 9, election day, he has witnessed the dedication and enthusiasm of volunteers.

“I extend my warmest gratitude for your work well done during this 2022 election. During my visits to some parishes on election day, I personally saw and felt your enthusiasm and dedication to your work. I am very proud of you! Dios Mabalos! Mabuhay Caceres PPCRV! God bless you all!”

Caritas - Caceres revealed in their online newsletter Caritas in Opere (March-April 2022) Issue No.5, published on May 1, 2022, that “the Archdiocesan Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) has over 5,500 volunteers from the ninety-three parishes located in the third, fourth and fifth congressional districts of Camarines Sur. “

“This number is expected to increase as a final training for volunteers has been set by the last week of April, “ the article said.

Volunteers have undergone formation and trainings from PPCRV team to prepare them as committed PPCRV volunteers and advocates for clean, honest, accurate, meaningful and peaceful (CHAMP) elections.

PPCRV: THE BATTLE OF PREVAILING THE TRUTH. To ensure honest and fair elections, the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) volunteers of Holy Cross Parish at the Parish Center conducted parallel encoding and tallying of 4th copy of the printed transmission copies of the election returns or receipts last Monday, May 9, 2022. These were released from the VCM after every designated officials announced the cessation of voting period. Consequently, volunteers remain to serve as a huge assistance to the PPCRV on checking accurate tally of votes without establishing any forms of pressure on time along the progression. Words by: Angelie Natasha J. Atian / Photos by: PPCRV Volunteers of VOCES Documentation Team Nabua Parish

Caritas - Caceres also said that : “ the fifteen vicarial orientations attended by 465 PPCRV volunteers discussed essential election concerns: Voter’s Education, Poll Watching and parallel counting, PPCRV roles and functions of volunteers in the parish and Bantay Bayan application developed by Ateneo de Naga University Computer Studies.”

The PPCRV - Camarines Sur BantayBayan canvassing system for the 2022 National and Local Elections was made in cooperation with Caritas Caceres (Naga) Inc., Caritas - Libmanan and Ateneo de Naga University. It provided unofficial parallel counting of election results in Camarines Sur.

A total of 3,236 volunteers from 124 parishes registered for BantayBayan.

Some parishes in the Archdiocese of Caceres, nearing election day, have held send-off masses for the volunteers.

Since March, PPCRV has been giving orientation and preparations for volunteers nationwide.

PPCRV has attracted young volunteers in the Archdiocese of Caceres. It’s mission to protect and uphold the right of every citizen to vote has ignited patriotism among the youth. Armed with faith and courage, whether recurrent or first -time voter, young volunteers persevered to face the challenges of poll watching with courage and much patience.

Below are testimonies from three youth volunteers who gave assistance to voters and protected our right to vote as brave poll watchers in the voting centers where they were assigned.

“This year’s election has been my 3rd time I volunteered with PPCRV handling the Voters’ Assistance Desk, but it is most nerve-racking experience I felt. As an IT, it’s not difficult for me to assist voters find their assigned precincts from the Comelec-provided lists in Barangay Calauag, Naga City. But while working from our table and seeing large crowd of voters queueing for their turn to vote, it came to my anxious mind to ask introspectively: who will they vote – the one who will bring back the old hated past or the one who will prioritize the poor and the betterment of the people, rather than simply seeking the position of power?

But one thing I would like to be assured of, as I am hoping for. I was hoping that these people who are patiently waiting for their turn to vote, would like a change, a change in government for the people and to live in the country that they well deserved and be proud of.

Although as PPCRV volunteers we should be neutral, but I am also a voter with a particular candidate of my preference. I am just so disheartened and sad that my chosen candidate did not win in the election.”

By Maria Michaela Pahuyo Lorenzo

PPCRV Volunteer

Our Lady of Prompt Succor Parish

Haring, Canaman, Camarines Sur

Everything that stems from volunteerism is genuine happiness. Being of service has been an emanated character since I was in pre-school. Bringing such aspects until the present is inextricably linked to my principles and my truth.

As a PPCRV volunteer, I realized two things: pride and commitment. The experience was not just historic for the nation, but for myself as well. It was notable for me as it has been my first time exercising my right to suffrage. At the same time, allotting my time and helping hand as a partaker in realizing the democratic process was a big drop to absorb. On top of that, I can proudly share with the younger generations how I became part of the electoral process (protection of votes, and respect for the process). Hence, I considered this momentous event my historical pride.

PPCRV - Camarines Sur BantayBayan encoders attend hands-on training for the canvassing system / application developed by Ateneo de Naga University Computer Studies. A total of 3,236 volunteer encoders from 124 parishes in Camarines Sur registered for BantayBayan. (Photo credit: Elmer Sto. Domingo)

At nearly 2 am, the PPCRV volunteers were still at the precincts to ensure that the votes will be safely transmitted via signal and to secure a copy of election returns. Affiliated with the exhaustion was the feeling of anxiety with however the result of the elections is. At that, the partial and unofficial tally made me more worried about the ramifications of not just my future, but ours. However, whatever the turnout of this election may be, the spirit of volunteerism has hitherto sparked the flame in me; to be committed and dedicated to helping my community by breaking walls and building bridges.

In the end, the whole encounter was one for my journals. My leaders might not have won, but having shared the same ideals and aspirations for the betterment of our society, the ignited flame will surely never be extinguished. “Ang namulat ay hindi na muling pipikit.”

By Xavier Ignacio

PPCRV Volunteer

San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish

Abella, Naga City

As a first-time voter, I can say that my election 2022 experience is like treading unchartered waters. Aside from being a voter, I am also part of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting. I am both a poll-watcher and an encoder. Talking about my experience, I can say that it was fun and memorable. Not to mention that from 6:00 in the morning, I am already in my precinct to assist and entertain the voters and the BEI or the Board of Election Inspectors. I have experience helping the voters, especially those who are elderly and cannot read and write. I can say that the election was smooth not until a lot of Votes Counting Machine malfunctions happened. There were a couple of times that we opened the VCM just to make sure that they accept the particular ballots. Countless paper jams, machine breakdowns, and different problems were encountered during the election proper. Aside from that, some voters are impatient because of the very time-consuming process. Some voters patiently wait for their turn and cast their votes successfully. The thing that comes into my mind while doing my tasks as a poll watcher is a happiness and fulfillment. All in all, I can say that it was indeed a roller coaster experience but a memorable one. The whole election process is very historical. From the start of the campaign period, we have seen a lot of political parties and aspirants offer their advocacies, platform, and vision for our country. But one thing is for sure, we somehow had a chance to change the system of our government. Seeing a lot of Filipinos that are very proud and happy to cast their vote is a sign of love and huge respect for our country, the Philippines. They have given a huge contribution, which is to be involved in this national and historical election. It is my pleasure to be given a chance to be involved in the election. Not just as a volunteer, but as a person who freely exercised her right to suffrage. My experiences indeed ignited my love for the democratic process and the protection of votes. It is an honor for me to have taken part in this very significant moment of our Filipino life. This is not an election, but it is a movement for a change. A change that we are all longed for the past six years that will lead to a better tomorrow. Ending my quote with the phrase, “I am a proud volunteer, and I am a proud Filipino”.

By Lizlyn May Habala

PPCRV Volunteer

Holy Cross Parish

Tabuco, Naga City

These testimonies from three PPCRV volunteers may not represent the entire 5,500 or more in the Archdiocese. Many more may have more striking testimonies to share. Together they solidify the power of youth vote in every election. From serving as PPCRV Volunteer to being the majority voice in the voter population, the Filipino youth is a force to watch.

Volunteerism, patriotism, activism, pursuance of truth signify hope in GenZ- one that will light up the darkness.


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