Moments after casting his vote on election day, May 9, Toby Lozada took to Facebook to defend the COMELEC (Commission on Elections) and other government agencies. Lozada, who had previously worked for the COMELEC, shared that while at the polling precincts, “…all I’ve heard the whole morning was complaints about how the line is long, wait is long, it should have been done this way or that way, etc.”
Lozada then explained that his experience of working for the commission allowed him to see firsthand “how hard it is to prepare and to conduct an election, especially for people on the ground.”
It may be easier to complain, but Lozada encouraged people to try to understand how things work from the inside. He even asked those who complain to try at least once in their lives to work in a government agency because “once you’re in you’ll see that there are so many nuances in all the processes and operations and that it never really as simple as you’d think.”
A friend of Lozada’s, however, disagreed with him. “Look, I get that they need to prepare and that people should be more understanding etc., but a lot of these problems have been going on for years. Why not prepare better? Learn from the past?” asked Iggy Javelana.
“… try to understand that election preparation and conduction isn’t their only activity.” Lozada replied. “They still prepare for local and barangay elections, resolve election protests cases, election offense cases, etc. and they have what, 7 Commissioners acting as Project Planners, Project Managers, Judges, Admin, etc. with their small complementary of staff. And they all get replaced every 6 years so it’s like a new turnover every time.”
Other netizens, however, understood Lozada’s point. Facebook user Neil Caruncho said, “Where I voted it was as hot as the [expletive deleted] sun (like everywhere else), but the polls moved like clockwork. 30 minute lunch break cut in half. It’s like an hour of waiting out of 6 years so I ain’t complaining. Keep it up, I’d say to those on the ground and behind; they were digging in the heat with everyone else. I saw people trying to be very understanding and helpful of seniors and young citizens alike. May mga nagagalit at napipikon and may mga nagtitimpi na lang. (There were those who got angry and annoyed, and some who were holding their anger in.) But most people looked happy, eager, even proud.”