2016 presidential hopefuls: Mix of males, senior citizens

Gerard Lim
2016 presidential hopefuls: Mix of males, senior citizens
79% of the presidential aspirants are male, majority are married, and about half are senior citizens

MANILA, Philippines – The filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) for the 2016 elections saw an unprecedented number of people aspiring for the position of president.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) received applications from 130 people vying for the position of the 16th president of the Republic.

Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said the “record-high” number of candidates is a “symbol of a vibrant democracy.” (READ: ‘Record-high 130 bets run for Philippine president)

Just who are these aspirants? Rappler looked at the information indicated in the COCs to extract demographic data about our presidential wannabes. Here they are:

1. AGE

Article 7, Section 2, of the 1987 Philippine Constitution says that Filipinos at least 40 years old are eligible to run for president and vice president.

At least 8 candidates failed to fulfill this requirement. In fact, the youngest applicant is only 19 years old. (READ: Who can run for president? Netizens urge more qualifications)

Half of the presidential aspirants (65 out of 130) are senior citizens. One candidate even indicated that he is now a century old. 

At least two candidates didn’t take the age field in the COC seriously:

  • One candidate indicated “5’8” as his age. Rappler calculated his age based on his birthday and found him to be 60 years old
  • Another candidate didn’t indicate his age, and even placed “19/14/2015” as his birthday


Just like in previous presidential elections, the men still vastly outnumber the women, 103 to 27 – making 79% of the candidates male.

Among the women presidential aspirants are Senators Grace Poe and Miriam Defensor-Santiago.

Earlier this year, the lack of women in leadership roles was mentioned by the Philippine Commission on Women, citing it as a cause for concern as women make up around half of the country’s population. According to the Global Gender Gap Report for 2014, the Philippines ranks among the top 10 countries with low gender inequality. (READ: Philippine gender gap narrow but women leaders still needed)


Applicants were asked to indicate two addresses in the COCs: the “residence/address”, and the “address for election purposes.” At least 4 presidential candidates indicated both a Manila address and a provincial address.

This batch of presidential wannabes is dominated by applicants from Metro Manila – 55 out of the 130 (or 42%).

In total, 102 out of the 130 (78%) are from Luzon, 22 (17%) are from the Visayas, while only 7 are from Mindanao (5%). (Visit Rappler’s #ProjectMindanao microsite here)

Region Number of presidential candidates with residence in region
National Capital Region 55
Cordillera Administrative Region 2
Region 1 – Ilocos Region 4
Region 2 – Cagayan Valley 1
Region 3 – Central Luzon 14
Region 4A – CALABARZON 24
Region 4B – MIMAROPA 2
Region 5 – Bicol 2
Region 6 – Western Visayas 6
Region 7 – Central Visayas 8
Negros Island Region 3
Region 8 – Eastern Visayas 5
Region 9 – Zamboanga Peninsula 0
Region 10 – Northern Mindanao 2
Region 11 – Davao Region 0
Region 12 – SOCCKSARGEN 3
Region 13 – CARAGA 2
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao 0

Vice President Jejomar Binay, Poe, and Santiago all reside in Metro Manila. Meanwhile, Mar Roxas declared Roxas City, Capiz to be his place of residence.


President Aquino made history in 2010 as the first bachelor to win as Philippine president. This makes him the only unmarried president in a line of 15 presidents. (READ: PNoy’s Top Love Life Quips)

In the current pool of presidential hopefuls, majority are married (58%), followed by those who are single (27%). Only a small percentage are either widows or widowers (11%) or have been annulled, divorced, or separated (3%).

One candidate failed to indicate his civil status.


A check on the COCs revealed a listing of around 100 unique occupations.

To name a few, among the 130 filers are:

  • 16 business-owners
  • 5 farmers or farm-owners
  • 5 lawyers
  • 6 professional drivers
  • 5 affiliated with the military
  • 9 affiliated with a religious group
  • 2 doctors

Five presidential aspirants indicated they are presently working in government:

  • Roxas Public servant/Lingkod ng bayan
  • Binay: Vice President, Philippine Government
  • Poe: Public servant/senator
  • Santiago: Senator
  • Joseph Florencio Urquia: Senior Customs Official

Among the unique occupations specified in some COCs were:

(READ: In defense of archangels, intergalactic space ambassadors, and no-hope candidates)

One candidate said he was unemployed, 9 were retired, and one was semi-retired.

Eight candidates did not indicate any profession.

The Comelec is set to disqualify 125 out of the 130 presidential wannabes. Click here for the full list of presidential and vice presidential hopefuls. – Rappler.com

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