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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Twitter partners with COMELEC to promote healthy civic discussion amidst upcoming elections

Manila, Philippines – With the Philippines’ 2022 national elections fast approaching and in order to promote healthy civic discussion online, social media platform Twitter has partnered with the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to amplify voter education initiatives on the policy, product and partnership front to protect the integrity of election-centric conversations on the platform.

To unite people around election conversations on Twitter, the platform has launched a series of customised emojis that aim to be valuable visual links to aid the discoverability of election-related discussions. The emojis will run throughout the campaign period and will be available until 27 May.

From 16 March, a microphone emoji with the Philippine flag colours can be activated by the hashtag #PilipinasDebates2022 and #AskPilipinasDebates, in line with the ongoing national debates of candidates. Meanwhile, starting 31 March, for election-related conversation, Twitter is launching a special emoji that features a ballot box, a universal symbol for elections, set in front of the Philippine flag. They can be activated using the hashtags #2022NLE, #BumotoKa, #Halalan2022, #Piniliay2022, #HIJAlalan2022, #PHVote, #PHVoteResults, and #WeDecide.

In addition, starting 31 March, an emoji featuring the silhouette of a female, who represents the Motherland, will be activated by use of the hashtag #VoteSafePilipinas.

Additionally, online search prompts will be available to facilitate access to authoritative sources of information on voting in both Filipino and English languages. The search prompt is a notification service that connects people to credible information about the elections. When searching for keywords associated with the Philippine General Election such as “NLE 2022,” “Vote Philippines” and “General Election”; the search result will show a notification at the top, directing people to the latest credible election information from COMELEC or VoteSAFEPilipinas.

James B. Jimenez, director of education and information department at COMELEC, said, “With a record-breaking 65.7 million registered voters, the Philippines is expected to hold one of the largest elections in Asia. During this most important time for us as a nation; collaboration between governments, industry partners and civic organisations is crucial to protect the integrity of the elections. We are pleased to be partnering with Twitter to fight misinformation and encourage voter participation.”

To support the diverse voter base, Twitter is partnering and working together with a wide range of partner organisations to ensure Twitter is a place for healthy public conversation. In addition, they will be hosting and/or promoting a series of events on Twitter to educate voters on the elections process, fight against misinformation, and foster healthy discussions around election-specific issues. These organisations include #FactsFirstPH, Foundation for Media Alternatives, GMA Network, Legal Network for Truthful Elections, National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections, National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, and Plan International Philippines (@planphilippines).

Monrawee Ampolpittayanant, head of public policy, government and philanthropy for Twitter in Southeast Asia, commented, “At Twitter, protecting the integrity of public conversation during elections is core to our mission. Our policies are designed to help protect against inauthentic information and safeguard healthy public conversations. Drawing on insights and lessons from previous elections, both globally and in the Philippines, we have implemented products, policies, and enforcement updates to protect and support the conversation taking place during the course of the upcoming election.”

She added, “Platforms like Twitter are where important election related conversations are taking place. We are closely monitoring abusive behaviour, this includes content in Filipino, and will not tolerate any rule-violating activities, such as spam. Together with COMELEC, non-profit organisations and other trusted partners on the ground; we continue to harness the power of the #OpenInternet to strengthen civic dialogue and encourage quality participation during this important Philippine General Election.”

The platform also announced that they have formed an internal elections group to lead their electoral integrity work from now through polling day. Using their proprietary-built internal tools, the team will proactively protect Trends on Twitter in the Philippines, support partner escalations, and identify potential threats from malicious actors. 

“Cross-functional by design, we have a dedicated and specially trained team, consisting of the company’s top trust and safety experts with local language capabilities and a deep understanding of local contexts. This blend of perspectives, expertise, and backgrounds is absolutely critical in addressing issues that arise from the elections,” Twitter said in a press statement.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

COMELEC surpasses voter registration target, thanks to the ‘ghosts’ of PH nat’l heroes

Manila, Philippines – As the Philippines gears towards the upcoming national elections come May 2022, the country’s Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has announced that they have surpassed their voter registration target, adding 5.4 million new registered voters. Part of that milestone is attributed to the commission’s recent campaign, which featured the ‘ghosts’ of well-known Philippine national heroes.

The campaign, called ‘MagparehistroKa! (vernacular for ‘Register Now!’), is conceptualized alongside creative agency MullenLowe TREYNA. The campaign is encapsulated in an interactive website, featuring the ‘ghosts’ of the country’s national heroes such as Dr. Jose Rizal, Melchora Aquino, Andres Bonifacio and Apolinario Mabini.

These ‘ghosts’ narrated their sacrifices for the country and paved the way for democracy, and then playfully urged netizens into completing their registration or else ‘something happens’.

Another layer of personalization within the campaign is the utilization of Google Maps, which helps registrants locate the nearest COMELEC office of the election officers (OEOs) or satellite registration sites from their location.

Part of the interactive website, the ‘heroes’ also reminds new registrants what to bring to the registration as well as the proper health and social protocols they must follow on the day The site also directs visitors to COMELEC’s iRehistro site where they can accomplish required details and complete their registration. 

Speaking about the campaign rollout, James Jimenez, spokesperson and director at COMELEC said, “It became our main goal to persuade these young Filipinos to register without patronizing or intimidating them. They are next in line to build the nation in the future, and giving them an opportunity to decide for the country will benefit everyone.”

As a final push when COMELEC extended voter registration until the end of October, special OPM playlists were also launched at Spotify and YouTube Music that registrants can listen to during long waiting periods at the registration sites. Listeners can choose from three OPM playlists ranging from rock anthems to girl power tunes and mellow ballads.

Local entertainment personas such as Alden Richards, Bianca Gonzalez-Intal, and Jasmine Curtis-Smith who saw the social posts from the Twitter accounts of Google Philippines and COMELEC, also helped in promoting the site.

“These results are truly overwhelming because [one] it went past our initial targets, and [two] now more young Filipinos will be involved and participate in the elections for the first time,” Jimenez concluded.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

PH election commission upgrades voter education site with Impact Hub Manila

Manila, Philippines – The country’s election body Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has partnered with hackathon organizer Impact Hub Manila to upgrade its voter education website called ‘Vote Pilipinas’, as the country gears up with the upcoming 2022 national elections.

Aside from being a sole website, ‘Vote Pilipinas’ is the campaign arm of COMELEC in raising awareness among the public to go out and register to the nearest COMELEC office in their municipality.

Furthermore, the site showcases easily-digestible information on the registration process, voting precincts, requirements, and important dates to remember.

“We are thrilled for Filipino people to utilize and take advantage of Vote Pilipinas. This is a crucial step to educate voters and bring more people in to exercise their right to suffrage,” said James Jimenez, COMELEC spokesperson.

In addition to the existing information on the site, ‘Vote Pilipinas’ will now have a Voter Registration Service Test which gives users additional information such as the nearest Office of the Election Officer to contact, list of IDs to bring, forms to download, and other important reminders to reduce the time spent at COMELEC headquarters during on-ground registration.

Initially launched last August 2020, the campaign responds to the data obtained by COMELEC that only 75.9% of registered voters turned up to cast their votes in 2019, or that about 1 in every four registered voters did not participate in voting. Hence, the campaign aims to register 7 million more voters this upcoming election. 

“One of the campaign’s goals is to provide every Filipino with access to the right information so they can register and ultimately vote. We hope that through the Vote Pilipinas campaign, we can shift mindsets and make people realize that every vote counts,” said Ces Rondario, Impact Hub Manila’s co-founder and the brainchild of Vote Pilipinas.

According to a town hall conference conducted by ‘Vote Pilipinas’ yesterday, 24 March, part of the campaign will also rely on external help from volunteers, partners and stakeholders, from media practitioners, social media influencers and community organizations.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Google Doodles honors Filipina suffragist, activist’s birthday

Manila, Philippines – Online search engine Google has released a new local Google Doodle in honor of the 142nd birthday of Rosa Sevilla de Alvero, a prominent figure and activist during the campaign in Philippines’ suffrage movement.

De Alvero is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in establishing suffrage rights to Filipinas during the American period. In her stance as an activist, she has led the ‘Liga Nacional de Damas Filipinas’ (National League of Filipino Women) founded in 1916 to support her rallying cause for equal voting rights to women in the country.

Her work and social movement has resonated and been ratified by the Commonwealth government in 1937, paving the way for equal rights for women against their male counterparts.

Furthermore, De Alvero is also a journalist and educator, as she also sparked a national movement in making Tagalog the national language through a presentation of the first ‘balagtasan’ or a debate held in poetic verse, alongside with well-known Filipino-Tagalog poets.

At age 21, she also founded the ‘Instituto de Mujeres’ (‘Women’s Institute’) of Manila, one of the first schools for women in Filipino history, which is now known as the Rosa Sevilla Memorial School.

Google Doodles’ local release cross paths with the upcoming International Women’s Day celebration on March 8, as well as the slated 2022 national elections in the Philippines.

Some notable Google Doodles’ that have been Philippine-centric include the commemoration of the country’s Independence Day every June 12, the 92nd birthday of Filipino comedian Dolphy, and commemoration of the country’s well-known tourist attractions like Tubbataha Reef.