Among the country’s vast population of over 104.5 million Filipinos, around 63 million of which are registered voters, according to the Commission on Elections (Comelec). In spite of this, the commission is anticipating only around 75 to 78 percent to actually vote this midterm elections. So where does the remaining more than 20 percent go?
“Minsan tinatamad lang or they feel that their vote wouldn’t make any difference,” said Atty. Nicka Hosaka, Public Affairs Manager and Spokesperson at Grab Philippines. “So to them, they would just rather take May 13 as an off and go out of town.” With the 2019 midterm elections falling on a Monday, some people might just use it to prolong their weekend.
Addressing this scenario or the problem of voter disfranchisement in the country, Comelec and Grab Philippines have joined forces to launch the #OneDestination campaign to educate and urge registered voters to go out and vote on May 13.
“The partnership is primarily on providing informative pamphlets and brochures to passengers of Grab cars. We have hundreds of Grab drivers who have vehicles on the road and gave out stickers that hopefully will reach not only passengers, but also other people on the road, informing them about the #OneDestination campaign,” Hosaka said.
While the company has been operating in the country since 2013, prior to the 2016 presidential elections, it is the first time that Grab Philippines has partnered with Comelec for this initiative. “We’ll see if we could still continue this even to the next presidential election in 2022,” she added.
With Grab Philippines having a fleet of around 60,000 driver-entrepreneurs serving nearly a million passengers daily, Comelec saw its potential in staging the #OneDestination campaign. “I recall Comelec Director James Jimenez mentioned that when they saw the opportunity of partnering with they Grab, they right away grabbed it, because they are aware of the reach of Grab not only on the commuters, but also on the day-to-day lives of Filipinos,” Hosaka remarked.
An impartial and non-partisan initiative, #OneDestination aims to help the drivers, as partners, in having discourses with passengers and really informing them on the step-by-step procedures of voting on May 13. Grab is also reaching to the public through SMS and social media channels. On top of these, the company is also offering a promo on the day of the elections, which will be available in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu where Grab has really strong presence. The promo code of P50 off per GrabShare ride when going to voting precincts is available in both areas.
“We see the role not only of Grab, but also any other private entity that has a contribution to relevant issues in society. This time, Grab saw the opportunity to urge people to exercise their right to vote and to be part of this national event. We realized that because of the means that we have and as a transport company, we have a platform that reaches a lot of people. We realized that by partnering with Comelec, we are helping them reach their goal of achieving a high voter turnout,” she added.