Comelec, ABS-CBN sign 'Halalan 2013' partnership

Posted at 10/15/2012 7:07 PM | Updated as of 10/16/2012 8:19 AM
Comelec Commissioner Elias Yusoph shakes hands with ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs Division Head Ging Reyes while Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes looks on. Also in photo: ABS-CBN Chief Information Officer Mark Lopez and News Digital Media Head Anna Rodriguez-dela Cruz.

MANILA, Philippines -- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the News and Current Affairs Division of ABS-CBN on Monday formalized its partnership in educating the Filipino electorate through a ground-breaking mobile application.

Seen as the "ultimate mobile tool" for the upcoming 2013 mid-term elections and future national polls, the Comelec Halalan 2013 mobile application, which is powered by ABS-CBN, aims to empower Filipinos by providing a comprehensive array of election-related information, and the capacity to report issues to push for community reforms.

"Nasaan ka man sa mundo, hindi na ganu’n kalayo ang halalan sa iyo. Bibigyan ka ng Comelec app ng impormasyon, ng pagkakataon na makibahagi sa pagpili sa ating magiging mga pinuno," said ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs head Ging Reyes, who along with ABS-CBN Corporation Chief Information Officer Mark Lopez, represented the network in signing the memorandum of agreement with Comelec.

Comelec commissioner Elias Yusoph, meanwhile, represented the government agency. Present as witnesses to the agreement were Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes and ABS-CBN News Digital Media Head Anna Rodriguez-Dela Cruz.

Explaining the joint commitment, Reyes said: "The Comelec app offers end-to-end voter experience: from the time a user inquires about his status as a registered voter, to the time he needs information about candidates, to the time we count votes."

The Filipino voter will find the app useful in the long-term, as it has several features which include a Voter Status Checker, where one can check the status of his registration and eligibility for the elections; a Precinct Finder, which will assist the voter in locating his precinct or polling place; and Halalan 101, which will provide the public with vital information regarding the elections, such as important dates and polling instructions.

Leading up to the voting period, users of the Comelec app will also be able to access the Candidates List, which shows a list of candidates for national and local positions including party list organizations; and Election News, which contains updates from Comelec and ABS-CBNnews.com.

Through the BMPM Report feature, users can also submit citizen journalism reports including photos and videos to Bayan Mo, iPatrol Mo. The Election Results feature, meanwhile, will provide updates on the progress of vote counting or tabulation from sources designated and/ or authorized by Comelec.

"Given all this, it is probably not an exaggeration to think that this effort is a landmark in our election history. For the first time, election-related information is right at citizens’ fingertips," Reyes said.

"With this in mind, we thank the Commission on Elections, its leaders and its indefatigable men and women, for this opportunity to help and be a partner," she added.

The Comelec Halalan 2013 app will be available for download this month on Apple devices such as the iPhone and the iPad, and on Android devices.