Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Election Handbook & Trainer's Guide Launched In Manila

MANILA - The Philippines’ Commission on Elections launched the Election Handbook and Trainer’s Guide, which will be used to train COMELEC staff in key aspects of election management.

The handbook, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) with technical assistance provided by the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES), compiles guidance for COMELEC staff on how to manage various aspects of the electoral process, in compliance with Philippine election laws and regulations.

The handbook includes relevant rules for voting, counting, and canvassing, and a code of ethical conduct. It will serve as the primary instruction material for a series of trainings that COMELEC will hold for its staff—from those at headquarters to elections officers in the field—in the run up to the May elections.

To ensure coordination, the COMELEC Election Handbook and Trainer’s Guide and COMELEC training plan were developed in close consultation with organizations supported by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), namely the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) and the Asia Foundation, which drafted the handbook for members of the Board of Election Inspectors, also launched Tuesday.

The COMELEC Election Handbook and Trainer’s Guide is part of a $1.8 million, two-year grant to IFES, which has supported several of the COMELEC’s reform efforts since 2005, including the formulation and implementation of a new COMELEC strategic plan and the development of COMELEC’s capacity to train and offer professional development for its staff.

In addition, USAID’s grant to IFES has supported civil society organizations to conduct voter education and monitor the electoral process. This includes support to civil society in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), where IFES is assisting the Citizens Coalition for ARMM Electoral Reforms (C-CARE) to conduct voter education and monitor the polls on May 14. (With a report from Mindanao Examiner)

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