4,500 volunteers to serve as poll watchdogs

THE Davao Association of Catholic Schools (Dacs) gathered some 4,500 volunteers around Davao region to serve as election watchdogs on May 9.

Through the project they launched on 2013, E-Champ or "Election that is clean, honest, accurate, meaningful and peaceful," they are gearing to involve the youth in social issues as well as safeguard the May 9 polls.

Prior to E-Champ, the role of monitoring elections had fallen to the Archdiocese of Davao but during 2013 through the encouragement of Archbishop Romulo G. Valles, Dacs in collaboration with the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) and the National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) came under one umbrella in order to create the operation.

In Friday's command conference on the operation, held at the Ateneo de Davao Community Center, project director Fr. Archimedes A. Lachica, S.J. explained the involvement of volunteers as voter assistants and poll watchers for the elections, monitoring any irregularity during the conduct of elections.

E-Champ director of operation Fr. Kim Lachica, S.J., in further explanation of the role of volunteers said "that they should report anomalies or irregularities in the handling of the machine and also to detect attempts to disrupt the motion by suspicious group."

All reports are passed to the Comelec, as one of the responsible figures behind elections they choose what action is to be taken, whether it is to deploy authorities or even stop election in the area.

In turn, E-Champ will serve as a "middle-man" of the elections, watching proceedings and making them responsible in ensuring everything goes smoothly during elections.
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