By Pathricia Ann Roxas
Netizens can now hold future leaders accountable, thanks to an online application.
Launched in University of the Philippines Diliman on Wednesday, the WikiPangako application is designed to crowdsource and track promises made by politicians for the 2016 national elections.
The web and mobile application developed by Blue Pixel IT Solutions allows users to login and upload a promise made by a candidate, attach a photo or video of them making the promise, and later identify whether such promises were fulfilled or forgotten.
“We believe that it’s time to upgrade the level of discussion from just personalities to actual project and platforms,” said Ernest Calayag, founder of WikiPangako and owner of Blue Pixel IT Solutions.
Out of more than 54 million Filipino registered voters, 24 million voters or 45 percent of which are the youth (ages 18-34) according to Commission on Election’s report dated Dec. 16, 2015.
“You can change the outcome of the elections,” Quintin Pastrana, Bloomberg Philippines’ host and producer and Movement for Good Governance convener said. “So please vote wisely and share this tool to other constituents so that we can have a wise election.”
While the application received comments on its vulnerability to black propaganda and misinformation due to its accessibility to any user, the team demonstrated how anyone can also report questionable content.
“If you think a promise is anomalous or not credible, you can flag it, in a sense, you can report it,” Juancho Coronel, WikiPangako’s lead developer and co-owner Blue Pixel IT Solutions said.
Calayag further explained that they use crowd moderation in managing the posts where an upload can reach a certain level of flags that it can be removed from the website.
On the other hand, the team also seeks a long-term goal of integrating the application to systems of local communities.
“Originally that’s the plan. However there are limitations we needed to acknowledge. That’s the reason why we’re launching on the national level so that it can be recognized first and then later on we can get partners to adopt the WikiPangako systems to their localities,” Calayag said.
Meanwhile, Pastrana also expressed the potential of the application to affect election surveys which are usually seen as vital indicators of a candidate’s likelihood to be elected.
“The tool is good, and let’s use it to influence the surveys, because when the survey comes out, they worry about their own candidates,” Pastrana said.
With only 60 days left before the May 9 national and local elections, Calayag acknowledged that despite its help in educating the electorate, the application is only one thing, and its real effects will matter after the election.
The WikiPangako application can be downloaded through Google Play, while a version for iOS devices will be available next week.
The application was one of five winners of Cat@lyst in 2013, a nationwide competition for youth aimed at seeking the best technology-based solutions to existing community problems.