A Snapshot of the 2013 Midterm Elections in the Philippines

Publication Date: 
22 May 2013

How was the mood on Election Day?

Election Day was generally peaceful throughout the country, with some isolated incidences of violence. Some polling places were chaotic during the first hours of the day due to large crowds of people queuing up early to cast their ballot. In a few areas, there was also tension due to a history of intense political rivalries that has led to election violence in previous elections.

Depending on where you were on Election Day, the mood varied. In highly-urbanized areas with a larger number of voters, polling places were overcrowded. Voters’ patience was tested as they endured hours of waiting in line or holding rooms in hot, humid and rainy weather. This was aggravated when a number of precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines malfunctioned, stalling the voting process.

People in both rural and urban areas arrived at their polling places early, turning up during the first two hours of operation. The crowds dwindled by noon when rain showers were experienced across the country. As closing time neared, there were short or no lines. In Metro Manila, the capital center, there were only a few monitors left in the polling place after closing to observe the final procedures of counting and transmission.

For the second time, Filipinos participated enthusiastically in nationwide automated elections. This is a testament of the continuing commitment of Filipinos to exercise their right to vote.

How was security on Election Day?

Police and military personnel were on heightened alert, especially in fifteen provinces and cities considered “areas of concern” by the Philippine Election Commission (COMELEC).

How was turnout?

Voter turnout is estimated at 70 percent. This turnout is slightly lower than during the 2010 presidential elections. This is likely due to the fact that 2013 is a midterm election year.

Who observed the election?

Political party watchers, citizen monitors and foreign and local observers from Manila-based embassies came to observe the voting, counting, transmission and canvassing process.

Party watchers and domestic observation groups such as the Citizens National Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL), Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRCV), the Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE) and the Citizen's Coalition for Electoral Reforms in the ARMM (C-CARE) also observed the random manual audit conducted in selected polling places, as well as canvassing proceedings in the municipal and city centers.

When are results expected?

A majority of the precinct results were transmitted between 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. after the close of polls at 7:00 p.m.

These results were consolidated at the municipal and city levels and forwarded to the provincial and national canvassing boards. Winning candidates have been proclaimed at the municipal, city and provincial levels, as election results for local races were received and completed one day after elections.

The Commission En Banc sitting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) partially proclaimed the first 6 winning senators on May 16, 2013. They proclaimed the last remaining senators on May 18, 2013. COMELEC was delayed in proclaiming all candidates due to failure of transmission in some areas.  The areas where transmission errors occurred are still being consolidated as of this time.  The NBOC is set to proclaim the winning party list candidates the following week after election day, on or about May 22, 2013. 

When will the elected take office?

All proclaimed winning candidates take office at noon on June 30, 2013.