By JONATHAN DE SANTOS
AS THE country’s 54 million or so voters trooped to their polling precincts to vote for barangay leaders, some 62,500 from the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao had the chance to do so as literates.
That number represents graduates of a three-year literacy program by non-government organization Magbassa Kita Foundation Inc. It also constitutes a little more than ten percent of the 600,000 in the region—half its voting population—who can neither read nor write.
The Commission on Elections allows illiterate voters to participate in elections with assistance from relatives or members of the Board of Election Tellers. Doing so presents a challenge, said MKFI board member Amina Rasul-Bernardo.
With many adults in ARMM unable to read and write, it is easier for leaders to dictate how they should think and act, Rasul-Bernardo said at the closing ceremony for trainors of the MKFI’s Literacy for Peace and Development (Lipad) program this month.
(Read more in Vote 2013-ARMM Watch)