'Kailangang gampanan ang responsibilidad': Last-minute travelers return to provinces for #Halalan2022

Anjo Bagaoisan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 09 2022 01:13 AM | Updated as of May 09 2022 08:41 AM

MANILA - Voters who are registered in their home provinces rode last-minute trips from Manila on Sunday, a day before the election, to reach their precincts in time to cast their ballots.

For some who only took advantage of the holiday to get home, the hassle is worth the necessity of fulfilling their responsibility as Filipino citizens.

Emman Habdusan, who is among the 2.8 million new voters in this election, took a 15-hour trip with his family to the island province of Sorsogon so they can vote.

While his family members will stay for the week, the 19-year-old will travel back to Manila on Monday so he can return to work on Tuesday.

“Actually nakakapagod po pero pinili naming tumindig para sa bayan. Isa po ‘yon sa responsibility na binigay ng gobyerno din natin, ng Constitution natin,” Habdusan said.

“As a first-time voter, it is really overwhelming, especially sa mga candidates na mas dapat tayong ipaglaban. Mas very crucial po talaga ngayon kasi karapatan natin pinaglalaban natin, and history natin dapat alalahanin.”

Others who went to the provinces on Sunday tried to travel earlier to avoid getting caught in the exodus of returnees for the election.

At the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX), around 150,000 people were monitored by customer service on Saturday, when many traveled.

Juvelyn Rasco went there that day to buy bus tickets for family members going to Daet, Camarines Norte, but learned they had been sold out.

“Ang dami po kasing pasahero, eh ngayon hirap kaming makauwi, makakuha ng ticket,” she said.

“Importante ‘yong nakaboto," she added.

While bus companies operating trips to Bicol confirmed they became fully booked on Saturday, only a few of them had sold out tickets by Sunday afternoon.

The PITX listed fewer foot traffic the day before the election—around 88,000. 

While the numbers are usual for the peak season, according to customer service, PITX management has expected a larger influx of passengers for the polls.

John Zapanta, meanwhile, caught the Sunday trips with his family to Batangas so they don’t scramble for slots on election day.

"'Di namin kasi sure ang last trip bukas, baka hindi kami makaabot, hindi kami makaboto," he said.

"Kailangang gampanan ang responsibilidad bilang botante," he added.

The Department of Transportation and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board put up a "Oplan Halalan" help desk at the entrance of the terminal to assist passengers.

Additional police have also been deployed to terminals in Metro Manila to beef up security, the Philippine National Police said.