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Lessons from 2010: Vote-rich areas and the elections

Certain provinces have been on the list of the most vote-rich areas in the Philippines for several elections. However, the results of the 2010 elections would show that winning in vote-rich areas does not necessarily guarantee election victory.

The hotly contested vice presidential race between the two top contenders in 2010 – then Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay and then Senator Mar Roxas – reflects this observation.

Roxas, who won in Cebu, the province with the highest number of voters nationwide, ended up losing the race by a slim margin to Binay. Based on Comelec data compiled by GMA News Research, Binay garnered 14,645,574 votes while Roxas, 13,918,490 votes.

Incidentally, Binay and Roxas are again seeking the same post in the 2016 elections, this time the presidency.

Initially, Roxas, a grandson of the late President Manuel Roxas, was seeking the post of president in the 2010 elections. However, Roxas stepped down to become the running mate of then-Sen. Benigno Simeon Aquino III who eventually won the presidential race.

Meanwhile, Binay made election history by becoming the first elected official to jump from a local position as mayor of Makati to become Vice President of the country.

In the 2010 vice presidential race, Binay and Roxas had six other fellow contenders: 

Dominador Chipeco Jr., a lawyer with no previous political experience but was the son of the former governor of Laguna province, a vote-rich area; 

  • Bayani Fernando, former Marikina City mayor and former chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority;
  • Senator Loren Legarda, who topped the senatorial races in 1998 and 2007; she placed second in the 2013 senatorial elections;
  • Eduardo “Edu” Manzano, an actor who was vice mayor of Makati City from 1998 to 2001; he also served as chairman of the Optical Media Board from 2004 to 2009;
  • Jose “Jay” Sonza, veteran broadcaster and TV personality, and 
  • Perfecto Yasay, a lawyer and former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Vote-rich provinces

There were 50.7 million registered voters for the 2010 elections. Out of this number, 4.76 percent or  2,416,289 voters are from the province of Cebu.

When it comes to the actual number of people who voted in the 2010 elections, the figure stands at 38,169,500 or 74.99 percent of 50,899,154 registered voters.

Meanwhile, the nine other provinces on the list of top 10 vote-rich provinces are: Cavite (1,655,015 voters or 3.26%); Pangasinan (1,621,959 voters or 3.20%); Negros Occidental (1,550,979 or 3.06%); Bulacan (1,479,765 voters or 2.92%); Davao del Sur  (1,465,601 voters or 2.89%); Laguna (1,440,660 voters or 2.84%); Batangas (1,363,957 or 2.69%); Nueva Ecija (1,289,804 voters or 2.54%), and Iloilo (1,257,607 voters or 2.48%).

Out of the 10 vote-rich provinces, six are in Luzon: Pangasinan in Region I; Cavite, Laguna, and Batangas which are part of Region IV-A or the Calabarzon area, and Bulacan, part of Region III.

Three of the vote-rich provinces are in the Visayas: Iloilo in Region VI; Cebu in Region VII, and Negros Occidental in Region VIII. Only one is located in Mindanao: Davao del Sur in Region XI.

According to GMA News Research, nine provinces have previously been on the list of top 10 vote-rich areas: Cebu, Cavite, Pangasinan, Negros Occidental, Bulacan, Davao del Sur, Laguna, Batangas, and Iloilo. 

Only Nueva Ecija was not on the previous list of top 10 vote-rich provinces. It was the 11th vote-rich province in the 2004 and 2007 elections. 

Pampanga, on the other hand, was in 10th place in the 2007 elections but dropped to 13th place in the 2010 elections. However, its rank does not reflect the increase in its number of registered voters. For the 2010 elections, Pampanga actually had 82,000 more registered voters, an increase of about seven percent from 2007 to 2010.

Roots in vote-rich provinces

Out of the eight vice presidential candidates in the 2010 elections, six have roots in vote-rich provinces:

  • Binay whose father hails from Bauan, Batangas;
  • Chipeco who hails from Laguna;
  • Legarda whose father is from San Pablo, Laguna;
  • Manzano who is from Iloilo;
  • Roxas whose mother is from Bago, Negros Occidental, and 
  • Yasay who is from Davao del Sur.

Comelec data show that people do not necessarily vote in favor of candidates who have roots in their provinces.

Binay won in Laguna province where both Legarda and Chipeco have roots in. Binay had 560,978 votes in Laguna, much higher than the two other candidates next to him in ranking there: Roxas, 328,130 votes, and Legarda, 73,694 votes.

Even in Davao del Sur where Yasay is from, they were the top three candidates, with Binay garnering 180,599 votes; Roxas, 78,661 votes, and Legarda, 47,934 votes.

However, Batangas did favor its “son” Binay where he won with 558,748 votes. Next to him were Roxas with 383,170 votes and Legarda with 56,780 votes.

Negros Occidental also showed favor to its “son” Roxas, granting him 571,155 votes and Binay, only 177,063 votes, while Legarda, 85,038 votes.

Dominant winners

In the 2010 elections, Roxas won overwhelmingly in the Visayas, which includes vote-rich provinces Cebu, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental. Roxas won in all the provinces and cities in Regions VI and VII. 

In Region VI, which includes provinces such as Aklan, Antique, Guimaras, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental, Roxas had 1,808, 541 votes. Binay only had 521,676 votes in that region.

In Region VII, which includes provinces such as Bohol, Cebu, and Negros Oriental, Roxas won with 1,595,165. Binay only had 704,523 votes in this region.

Meanwhile, Binay dominated in the National Capital Region in the 2010 elections. Out of 24 cities and municipalities in the NCR, Binay won in 23. 

Seven out of the top 10 vote-rich cities in the 2010 elections are in NCR. Quezon City tops the list with 1,074,966 registered voters in the 2010 elections. In second place is Manila with 967,941 registered voters. Makati, Binay's turf, ranks sixth with 412,354 registered voters.

In Quezon City, Binay won with 363,841 votes, slightly higher than Roxas'  302,618 votes. In Manila, Binay had  375,813 votes and Roxas only 226,804 votes. In Makati, Binay had 179,375 votes, and Roxas,  74,897 votes.

In Marikina, the only city in NCR where Roxas won, Binay only received 45,696 votes, while Roxas, 58,019 votes.

Moving forward

Binay and Roxas are both running for president in the coming elections, along with other candidates that include Senators Miriam Santiago and Grace Poe, and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

Based on Comelec data as of September 2015, Cebu is still the number one vote-rich province with 2,588,029 registered voters. 

The others on the list of top 10 vote-rich provinces in the 2016 elections are Cavite (1,768,302 voters); Pangasinan (1,655,063 voters); Negros Occidental (1,596,528 voters); Laguna (1,573,430 voters); Bulacan (1,535,417 voters);  Batangas (1,474,315 voters);  Rizal (1,425,657 voters); Nueva Ecija (1,314,210 voters), and  Iloilo (1,266,902 voters).

Will voter statistics play a big role in the coming elections? Will NCR again vote for Binay? Will Visayas still be Roxas' turf? We will find out soon enough with only over four months to go before the May 2016 elections.  —RSJ/JST, GMA News