By Rey E. Requejo | Manila Standard
The tandem of former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor Sara “Inday” Duterte again emerged as the runaway winner with a wide margin in an online mock poll conducted by the PUBLICUS ASIA Inc. and iVote.ph.
The formidable tandem of Bongbong and Sara, dubbed as “BBM-Sara Uniteam” since both believe in and are firm advocates of unifying leadership, remains leading in the world’s first and largest blockchain simulated elections organized by Publicus Asia and iVote.ph.
While the polls still ongoing, a total of 3,800 votes were already cast for the presidential race as of Friday (November 19), followed by 90 and 57 for the vice-presidential and senatorial positions, respectively.
The votes indicated that those who joined the poll were more focused on the presidential race.
Meanwhile, Marcos and Duterte-Carpio vowed to prioritize digital infrastructure to strengthen and improve internet speed in the country when they win in the 2022 elections.
The BBM-Sara Uniteam stressed the importance of having a strong digital infrastructure to be incorporated in the government’s “commendable” Build, Build, Build program to ensure that the people have access to affordable and reliable internet.
As for the survey, Marcos was number one in the presidential derby with 3,496 votes (90.10 percent), followed by Leni Robredo with 313 votes (8.06 percent).
Manila Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso had 38 votes (0.9 percent), Sen. Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Pacquiao with 11 votes (0.2 percent) and Sen. Christopher ‘Bong’ Go had one vote (0.02 percent).
Sara Duterte was leading the vice presidential race with 80 votes (88.88 percent), followed by Sen. Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan with five votes (0.05 percent), Willie Ong with three votes (0.03 percent), and Sen. Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto and Rep. Lito Atienza getting one vote each (0.01 percent).
President Rodrigo Duterte led the mock senatorial election with 33 votes (57.89 percent), followed by former Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, 11 votes (19.29 percent).
Meanwhile, Gov. Francisco ‘Chiz’ Escudero, broadcaster Raffy Tulfo and former senator Antonio Trillanes shared a triple tie with two votes apiece (0.3 percent).
Publicus Asia Inc. and iVote.ph teamed up to host the first and largest blockchain election simulation in the country and invited Filipinos from more than 150 countries to support the simulated polls.
The creators of iVote.ph digital voting system, 12-year old Rein Lewis Pecson, and Niel Fernandez, Jr., said their system could not be easily hacked.
The mock elections started last Wednesday, November 17.
The duo said the problem of slow internet connection in the country was highlighted at the height of the pandemic when teachers and students experienced tough challenges in conducting online classes.
The Uniteam added that the government’s action in solving the problems and identifying the reasons why the country is still lagging behind in internet speed as compared to other countries should be quick and decisive
A recent study by the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) shows that more than 90 percent of teachers from elementary, junior high school and senior high school are struggling with internet connectivity in several regions, especially in rural areas.
At least 71.87 percent of the 28,859 teachers surveyed said they use mobile data to connect to the internet, 32.50 percent use fiber internet, 10.38 percent use DSL and 20.61 percent use portable Wifi devices.
Even Education Secretary Leonor Briones admitted during a press conference last August that stable internet connectivity is a continuing challenge for teachers nationwide.
Marcos earlier urged the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to audit the performance of all telecommunications firms to assess the quality of internet service in the country.
The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) recently said that the average download speeds for fixed broadband reached 71.17 megabits per second (Mbps) in July versus 66.55 Mbps the previous month.
Meanwhile, mobile internet download speed saw a slight uptick from 32.84 Mbps in June to 33.6 Mbps in July.
The DICT added these improvements put the country at 63rd out of 180 countries for fixed broadband and 72nd out of 139 countries for mobile internet.
“While it is good to see our internet download speeds improve, the experience of teachers and students show it does not necessarily translate to better overall user experience. It is high time for telcos to focus on improving parameters such as coverage and stability of connection, which impacts on day to day use,” the Uniteam stated.