Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, Inc. (PPCRV) is a national parish-based political but non-partisan lay movement that works assiduously for Clean, Honest, Accurate, Meaningful, and Peaceful elections. PPCRV was born from that joyful recognition that the laity mattered. That was in the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (PCP II) in January 20 to February 17, 1991.
Such gatherings of the Catholic Church hierarchy were previously participated in only by the ordained. But PCP II was different. It invited lay participants, some 145 women and men from various demographic realities. In PCP II, all participants understood that everyone is co-responsible for the mission of the Church, of making the Kingdom of God present in the here and now. Bringing heaven on earth especially for the poor, marginalized, and forgotten. Another situational reality foisted was politics. The way politics is practiced in the Philippines was a major stumbling block to the renewal of Christian life. Not only that, but also to the transformation of society, which was sliding into a dismal state of corruption. With hearts burning with a new found dignity the laity rushed out from PCP II raring to bring about change. His Eminence Jaime L. Cardinal Sin, ever alert to the breath of the Spirit, and Haydee Yorac, feisty advocate of democracy, elections and peace, provided with the direction and challenge to plunge into politics by way of the forthcoming 1992 synchronized national and local elections, the first after the departure of the dictatorship. And so PPCRV came to be in October 1991. It was launched in St. Paul College (now University) in Quezon City, with about a thousand lay people from the parishes of the Archdioceses of Manila. Neither of the PPCRV members were politicians nor owned corporations or huge bank accounts. In November 1991, CBCP supported PPCRV, so that nationwide launches in other dioceses followed soon after.
In February 1992, Comelec accredited PPCRV as Citizen’s Arm for organizing coordinating councils to recruit trainers and volunteers, and impart voter’s education and information.
In October 2009, Comelec accredited PPCRV as its Citizen Arm with a 3-fold mandate: Voters’ Education, Poll Watching, plus for the first time in PPCRV’s history, the awarding of the 4th and 27th copies of election returns in order to conduct an Unofficial Parallel Count to audit the Automated Election System (AES).
In 2010, a Pollwatcher’s Guide was developed and used in subsequent elections (with refinements to adapt to the election environment). In 2016, a One Good Vote app was developed by volunteers to guide people as they weigh their candidates before the elections and this was endorsed by PPCRV. In 2019, an online voter education course was developed. In 2022, PPCRV will have a Voter Education module which will refine previous modules and focus on the 16 values (Faith in God, Unity, Patriotism, Work, Respect for Life, Respect for Law and Government, Truth, Justice, Independence, Democracy, Love, Freedom, Equality, Peace, Promotion of the Common Good, Concern for the Family and Future Generations) enshrined in the preamble of the Constitution.
Today, for almost three decades, PPCRV has remained faithful to the sacred task of ensuring clean, honest, accurate, meaningful and peaceful elections- a substantial responsibility in itself. More than that, its existence harnesses the good will of all the well meaning Filipinos who remain ready and willing to volunteer to safeguard democracy.