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Candidates’ Forum helps Cebuanos make empowered choices

The Mega Cebu Candidates’ Forum was presented by Mega Cebu and the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation (RAFI) from April 13 to 20 with the aim to actively engage and inspire voters, enabling them to think critically and discern candidates ahead of the May 9 elections.

Different sets of Cebu gubernatorial, mayoral, and congressional candidates were invited to present their platform of policies and programs and how they intend to prevent unplanned growth amid Cebu’s economic development. The forum also included a Q&A with a panel composed of members of the media, academe, business, youth, and civil society sectors. Collectively, these served to gauge each candidate’s priorities if elected into office.

“We are doing this for the main purpose of giving our Cebuano public the chance to listen to the different programs of government of the different candidates. The main objective is to give them the chance to hear from the candidates themselves what their plans are. That is very important in making a wise decision on whom to vote for,” said Caroline Ballesteros, Mega Cebu communication and stakeholder relationship manager.

Also during the series, the Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center revived its ‘Nine Marks of Leadership’ tool to serve as a framework for evaluating candidates based on parameters it believes are crucial for good governance.

“The guide can be used as a tool of analysis and decision-making by voters in the current elections,” said Evelyn Nacario-Castro, the Center’s executive director.

Candidates' Forum helps Cebuanos make empowered choices
HEARING FROM THE CANDIDATE. RAFI-Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center Executive Director Evelyn Nacario Castro (left) listens to Governor Hilario Davide III (right) explain his plans on checking unplanned growth in Cebu. Between them is Vice Governor Agnes Magpale.