MANILA—In a move to involve the public in the forthcoming presidential and vice presidential debates, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is urging voters to come up with questions they want to ask the candidates running for the two highest positions in the country in the May 9 polls.
Comelec Chairman Juan Andres Bautista said some of the questions to be asked in the debates, which will be held in Metro Manila, Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao, will be “crowd-source.”
“We will be crowd sourcing many of the questions that will be asked during the debates,” he said.
The “PiliPinas Debates 2016” will be telecast live on national television.
Bautista noted that they have prepared some possible topics in the three debates for presidential bets, and one for vice presidential candidates, during the campaign period.
For the Mindanao debate, they will discuss issues on agricultural development; poverty reduction/asset creation and redistribution; charter change; and peace and order.
Topics may vary from disaster preparedness/climate change adaption; healthcare; education; and fighting corruption for the Visayas discussions.
For the event in Luzon, the issues that are being proposed are traffic and public transportation; electoral and political reforms; foreign policy; tax reform; and national defense.
On the other hand, they are looking to include all the topics in the vice presidential debate to be held in Metro Manila.
“We will meet different organizations as well as candidates to narrow the topics that will be tackled,” Bautista said.
Meanwhile, Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said the public may send their questions using #PiliPinasDebates2016 they want presidential candidates to answer via social media sites.
The public also has the chance to view all crowd-sourced questions for the scheduled debates by visiting http://www.electionsphl.com/pilipinasdebates/.
The first debate will be held on Feb. 21 at the Capitol University in Cagayan de Oro City.
The debates in the Visayas and Luzon are scheduled on March 20 in Cebu and on April 24, either in Central or Southern Luzon, respectively.
The vice presidential debate to be held in Metro Manila will be on March 10. (PNA)