What you need to know about Pangasinan and #PHVote

Raisa Serafica
What you need to know about Pangasinan and #PHVote
Ahead of the 3rd presidential debate to be held on Pangasinan on Sunday, April 24, MovePH brings the #PHVote challenge to the vote-rich province

PANGASINAN, Philippines – How will Pangasinan vote in the May 9 elections?

On Sunday, April 24, all eyes will turn to the province of Pangasinan as it hosts the last Comelec-sanctioned presidential debate at the University of Pangasinan.

Pangasinan is the third most vote-rich province in the country, with 1,705,260 registered voters in the region. Cebu is the most vote-rich province with 2,722,288 voters followed by Cavite, which has 1,843,163 voters.

In the Ilocos region province, female voters – a total of 870,941 individuals – slightly outnumber the male voting population of 834,319. The Pangasinense youth voters, aged 17 to 34 make up 43.93% or  749,041 voters, of the total electorate.

How Pangasinan voted in 2010 and 2013

In 2010, President Benigno Aquino III won the 10-way race in Pangasinan, fielding a total of 537,533 votes. Manuel Villar Jr and Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, on the other hand, lagged in the second and third spot in the presidential race.

While he lost in the national elections, former Liberal Party vice presidential bet Mar Roxas II received the most number of votes in Pangasinan, fielding 517,563 votes. Winning vice presidential bet Jejomar Binay, on the other hand, lagged in the second place with 441,055 votes for the Pangasinan elections.

In 2010, 1,295,552 of the 1,621,898 registered voters actually showed up in precincts to cast their ballot. That is 79.55% voter turnout province, slightly higher than the national average of 74.99% voter turnout.

Voter turnout increased to 81.42% in the 2013 elections when 1,344,981 of the 1,651,814 Pangasinan electorate actually voted.  

On the other hand, presidential bet Grace Poe topped the senatorial race in Pangasinan, garnering 1,311,540 votes in the 2013 midterm senatorial elections. Meanwhile, vice presidential bet Alan Peter Cayetano ranked third in the 2013 senatorial line up in Pangasinan, winning 688,076 votes from Pangasinan.

Miriam Santiago ranked third in the 2010 senatorial elections in Pangasinan with 667,582 votes.


Pangasinan’s reception to presidential bets

Basing on their performance in surveys, support from local politicians, and reception by voters at their campaign rallies, the presidential race in Pangasinan is still unpredictable.

While Jejomar Binay lost to Manuel Roxas II in Pangasinan in the 2010 vice presidential race, this does not automatically mean sure votes for the Roxas, who is now the Liberal Party’s standard-bearer. (READ: LP walks tightrope in vote-rich Pangasinan after NPC breakup)

Mid-February this year, Binay visited Pangasinan and promised that he would be a “spending executive”.  Binay also nabbed the support of of former congressman and Pangasinan gubernatorial candidate Mark Conjuangco.

Meanwhile, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte brought his campaign to the north and received rock star treatment when he visited the province in early March. In the past Pulse Asia surveys, the tough-talking mayor from the south lagged behind his rivals in Luzon (excluding Metro Manila).

Pangasinan can also be considered a bailiwick of Senator Grace Poe, despite not having too many local politicians who support her bid. It is the home province of her late father, actor Fernando Poe Jr. In the 2013 senatorial elections, Poe garnered 818,598 votes in the province.

Of all the presidential bets, only Miriam Santiago has not visited the vote-rich province. Despite this, the Youth for Miriam network has a chapter in Pangasinan, in addition to 19 others, said group spokesperson Edrian Villanueva. Santiago also ranked third in the 2010 senatorial race, winning 667,582 votes from the province.

#PHVote Challenge: Pangasinan’s #TheLeaderIWant, to be held on Tuesday, April 12, will highlight important local issues in the province and what voters here want the next president to address.

In May 2015, Rappler launched #PHVote: The Leader I Want, its online campaign for its 2016 elections coverage. – Rappler.com 

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Raisa Serafica

Raisa Serafica is the Unit Head of Civic Engagement of Rappler. As the head of MovePH, Raisa leads the on ground engagements of Rappler aimed at building a strong community of action in the Philippines. Through her current and previous roles at Rappler, she has worked with different government agencies, collaborated with non-governmental organizations, and trained individuals mostly on using digital technologies for social good.