MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Elections has thrown its support for House Bill 5784, which mandates the inclusion of voters' education in the high school curriculum.
In a press conference, Commissioner Elias Yusoph welcomed the bill, saying voters' values must change or the country will keep on having the same problems of vote buying in each election.
The bill, authored and filed by Paranaque Rep. Edwin Olivarez in February, states that voters education should be taught to 4th year high school students in both public and private schools and those enrolled in the alternative learning system.
The bill tasks the Department of Education, the Comelec and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to develop a common curriculum that shall include values formation, importance of the right to suffrage and the sanctity of the ballot, factors in evaluating and choosing candidates and the electoral process in the Philippines.
For his part, former Comelec Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal, now with the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, voiced his group's support for the measure.
Larrazabal cited a letter by PPCRV Chairman Henrietta de Villa supporting the measure.
De Villa wants Olivarez to include provisions for a voters ed curriculum that starts from kindergarten to high school, the retraining of teachers and the allocation of a special budget.