The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Votings' command center in Manila during the 2016 national elections. (Photo by Mark Saludes)
The Philippines' election body has given the green light for the Church’s poll watchdog to monitor midterm elections scheduled to take place in May.
The Commission on Elections took into account the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting’s (PPCRV’s) track record in monitoring past elections and in election-related activities.
"Considering that the commission is laboring under very tight timelines, it would accordingly need the help of all advocates of orderly and honest elections to assist," the poll body said in a statement.
It said that the PPCRV has "ably demonstrated its capacity to promote the public interest" and assist the Commission on Elections in the performance of its functions and activities.
"[The PPCRV] has played a vigilant role in overseeing matters relating or in any way affecting the right and exercise the right of suffrage," it added.
The PPCRV will be tasked with helping cleanse the voters' list of illegal registrants, report to the commission violations on the conduct of the political campaign, election propaganda and electoral expenditures and encourage all registered voters to vote.
The church group has played a major role in past elections by mobilizing volunteers to man polling stations and in campaigning for voter education.
Formed in October 1991, the PPCRV is a parish-based association duly organized by and composed of Catholics from various sectors of society.
Filipinos are expected to troop to polling stations on May 13 to elect 12 senators, members of the House of Representatives, and local officials, including mayors and governors.