"Vote 4 U" Holds Premiere Showing

Apr 30th 2007

Vote 4 U, the new 3-part reality TV program on the electoral process, had its premiere at CFA on April 20th before an interested audience of NGO and media representatives, as well as CFA staff. The showing of the pilot episode was followed by an open forum, in line with CFA’s non-partisan campaign on citizenship education in partnership with the Parish-Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV). It is designed to contribute to the promotion of clean, honest, and orderly elections through responsible and intelligent voting.

The Vote 4 U program creatively takes the form of a game show featuring three teams of young people, who are challenged to be intelligent, first-time voters. The program host is veteran newscaster Ces Datu. Mr. Billy Esposo serves as game master and analyst. Currently a columnist of THE PHILIPPINE STAR, Mr. Esposo was a former president of RPN-9 and the Philippine Information Agency under the Aquino administration.

The program is ably directed by Dr Clodualdo Del Mundo of De La Salle University, an award-winning scriptwriter and director who has worked with CFA on several projects in the past. The script comes from Dr del Mundo and his daughter Ida Anita.

After the showing, a panel answered questions from the audience. The panel was composed of Billy Esposo, Dr. Clodualdo del Mundo, and Dr. Benjamin Tolosa, an associate professor at the Department of Political Science of the Ateneo De Manila.

Dr. Tolosa cited the use of the reality game genre as an innovative and welcome media tool for reaching out to young voters, and nudging them from their observed “sense of disempowerment.” Dr. Tolosa is a convenor of VforCE, or 1 Million Volunteers for Clean Elections, a nationwide movement of volunteer individuals and organizations. VforCE is committed to providing voters’ education and volunteer training to protect the integrity of the elections, fighting fraud and violence, and working for long-term political and social reform.

Vote 4 U is slated to be shown over TV Maria on Dream Satellite, and on Destiny Cable Channel 96. Broadcast dates are April 30th at 12:47pm and 4:00pm, May 2nd at 12:30pm and 3:30pm, and May 5, 2007. The series will also be featured in various political education forums in different schools in Metro Manila.

The first school to preview Vote 4 U has been Far Eastern University. A hundred student leaders from different colleges of the FEU gathered to watch the pilot episode in an election forum at the FEU Nursing Multi-Purpose Hall on April 25th. The group, which comprised voters and non-voters alike, proved to be seriously concerned about national issues, particularly corruption, poverty and elections.

Again serving as panelists during the open forum were the show’s director Dr del Mundo, Dr.Tolosa, of VforCE and Ms. Bob Lopez, OIC of CFA’s Training Department. FEU students raised extremely relevant and pressing issues on personality politics, media campaigns and electoral fraud. As a response to the challenge posed by Vote 4 U, FEU student leaders pledged to participate in the voters’ education campaigns as volunteers in electoral movement activities.

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