A still from the E'dap E'dapan teaser. (Photo courtesy of Lionheart)

Earlier this month, Lionheart Farms held its first-ever online election forum, where local candidates from Rizal municipality presented their plans and programs to the people.

The online forum, called E’dap E’dapan 2022, was conducted from March 28 to April 2. A full feature of the forum will be available for the public soon, via Lionheart’s official social media platforms.

Gabay Kalinga Foundation, Lionheart’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm, led the initiative. According to project manager Janice Quezon, Lionheart president Christian Eyde Moeller conceived the election forum with the goal of bringing local politicians closer to the local community and the company’s employees.

“Along the way, isa rin siya sa tugon ng Gabay Kalinga. Number one, yong mga nasa community. Isa na doon ay yong mga empleyado ng Lionheart, kasi ang napapansin namin, ang usual dito na pangampanya is per barangay,” Quezon said.

- Advertisement -

“Pero dahil marami na ang empleyado ng Lionheart, hindi sila naabutan sa bahay o hindi sila nakakaattend sa rally. So sila mismo ay walang idea kung ano ang mga plataporma ng mga candidates,” she added.

Questions were first sourced from Lionheart employees and the IP community, which ranged from agriculture, indigenous peoples’ issues, poverty and employment, and fishing concerns. Rizal’s primary candidates, such as incumbent mayor Otol Odi, vice mayor Norman Ong, and Sangguniang Bayan candidates.

“May dalawa siyang purpose. Una para matulungan ang nasa community na mas marinig, mas maintindihan kung ano ang mga platform ng mga candidates. Two, to bring the candidates closer sa mga voters through the use of technology, dahil karamihan ay gumagamit ng social media,” added.

This is also the third community forum program by Gabay Kalinga and Lionheart that aims to engage community members. The first was the teachers’ forum while the second was the farmers’ forum. This is the first forum that put the elections in the forefront.

“Majority ng reaction ng mga candidates ay very thankful sila na nagkaroon ng ganitong program dahil they understand na mayroon tayong bagong venue through social media. Nabanggit ng karamihan sa kanila ay limited ang resources, so they were able to reach out to a wider audience,” Quezon said.
Likewise, E’dap E’dapan host Atty. Lia Badillo-Crisostomo said that it was an honor to be a part of the online forum, stating that she hopes that valuable information was passed on to Rizal residents.

“It was such an experience to be a moderator of such a wonderful initiative and hinding hindi ito mawawala sa kaisipan ng mga members ng community ng Rizal, Palawan. Isang karangalan maging host ng event na nagbibigay ng kaalaman, nagaangat ng mga tao sa estado na alam nila ang nangyayari sa paligid nila, at higit sa lahat, nakakatuwa na isipin na we are educating them not only for the present generation but for generations to come.”, Badillo-Crisostomo said in another interview.

Additionally, Gabay Kalinga co-founder Maria Cecilia Chang said that social media now plays a big role in the current electoral landscape, such as aiding in transparency and information dissemination.

“Napagtanto namin na dapat maipakita ang kalidad ng content sa komunidad, ang mga social networks ay tumutulong sa rewiring ng lipunan. Ang social media ay nagpapahintulot na makipag-usap ng may kalayaan ang buong komunidad. Salamat sa Internet, nakikita natin lalo na para sa mga katutubo na hindi sila nag-iisa,” she said.

“At kapag naramdaman ng mga taong ito ang impact ng social media, magagawa nila ang mga bagay – sumali sa virtual bitsara o dayalogo, makiisa sa E’dap E’dapan at humingi ng tulong online na nagpapatibay sa kanilang pananaw sa mundo patungong mainstream na koneksyon. Kung walang social media, ang mga sakit sa lipunan, pangkapaligiran, at pampulitika ay magkakaroon ng kaunting visibility pero sa pagtaas ng transparency ng mga isyu ay nabibigyang balanse ang kapangyarihang mula sa mga kamay ng iilan tungo sa masa o buong komunidad. We believe in the power of the community,” she added.

Previous articleU.S. hands over boat maintenance facility in Palawan to Philippine Marine Corps
Next articleBalanced fertilization cuts fertilizer costs by P2-4K – experts
is a senior reporter for Palawan News who covers politics, education, environment, tourism, and human interest stories. She loves watching Netflix, reading literary fiction, and listens to serial fiction podcasts. Her favorite color is blue.