First DEB candidatesí forum held in Dumaguete City
By Rachelle M. Nessia
Dumaguete City (20 April) -- The Diocesan Electoral Board recently concluded its first of a series of candidates forums in the province last April 18, 2007 at Quezon Park, this city.
The forum featured candidates for second district congressman, board members, governor and vice-governor.
The open forum opened with the Votersí Prayer led by Fr. Julius Heruela, Convenor of the Diocesan Electoral Board.
The candidates then delivered a five-minute speech on their platforms of government which was followed by an open forum.
In the open forum, the candidates alternately answered questions raised by a panel of reactors composed of Alex Sy, president of the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce; Alex Pal, editor of Metro Post; and Fr. Burton Villarmente of the Social Action Center.
The audience was also given a chance to ask their questions that they wrote down and submitted to the Diocesan Electoral Board for screening.
Questions raised during the forum touched various topics, such as environmental issues, power rate reduction, corruption and priority projects.
The candidates likewise declared and signed their commitment to honest and peaceful elections through a candidatesí manifesto read by Provincial Elections Supervisor Atty. Manuel Advincula.
The forum concluded with the lighting of candles and the singing of One Little Candle.
Fr. Ramonito Maata, station manager of DYWC-AM, moderated the forum, which will be aired over the said radio station over the weekend.
The second forum is scheduled on April 23 (Monday), 7:00 p.m. at Quezon Park, this time featuring the six candidates vying for the mayoral and vice-mayoral spots in Dumaguete City.
Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has earlier called for the collective effort of government and non-government agencies for the conduct of peaceful polls. "Let us protect suffrage, freedom of choice and democracy with the full collective will and resources we can muster," she added.
The Diocesan Electoral Board is composed of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel), Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).
The Board is also set to conduct similar forums in Guihulngan and Bayawan City featuring the respective congressional and board member candidates in the first and third districts. (PIA/RMN) [top]