Senate bets should focus on vote-rich provinces
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus Jimenez (The Freeman) - May 9, 2019 - 12:00am

There is now a mad scramble for the last five seats among the 12 senatorial winners. My unsolicited advice to such bets as Serge Osmeña, Francis Tolentino and Koko Pimentel: Focus on the critical few. Time is of the essence.

My unsolicited tip to all the campaign managers of national candidates, like the senatorial hopefuls and the party-list advocates, is to use the Pareto principle: Focus on the critical few and leave the trivial many behind. Pareto, an Italian guru, teaches us that only 20 percent of what we do produces 80 percent of the results we aim for. Applying that to the last few days of the campaign, candidates with countrywide constituencies must focus on the provinces that command the largest number of votes. They should not use their limited time going to provinces with too small voting populations.

They should not waste their time going to Batanes with less than 10,000 voters or to Siquijor, Camiguin or the Dinagat Islands. With no intent to offend, there is no more time to waste. They should have gone to these tiny provinces last year. For to do so, the time spent would not be used to reach as many voters as would make them win. Batanes, for instance, is even smaller in population than the town of Ronda with 20,000 people and about 14,000 voters. Batanes has less than that. And the time spent in going there, which is already near the tail-end of Taiwan, is so much.

Thus, candidates should be coming to Cebu with no less than 3,082,621 voters, as of 2015 figures. By now, we must be reaching 3,200,000 at the very least. This can make or unmake a senatorial candidate. If Serge Osmeña can get at least 2.5 million of these votes, he will make it to the Magic 12. Then, following Cebu is Cavite, a faraway second place with 2,148,890 voters. There are now eight districts there and they are adding more congressional districts there. A distant third placer is Pangasinan with 1,903,107 voters. There are six congressional districts in that province by now.

The fourth is Negros Occidental with 1,889,200 voters. It has 12 cities and six congressional districts with Bacolod as the seventh congressional being an independent city, the 13th city in the province. Bulacan is next with 1,863,596 and five congressional districts. Rizal has 1,620,609 voters with two congressional districts. Antipolo is a bustling city with two congressmen. Thus there are four congressional districts within the province of Rizal. Iloilo has 1,525,168 voters with seven congressional districts, five in the province and two in Iloilo City.

The tenth biggest province is Nueva Ecija with 1,460,445 voters. It includes the cities of Cabanatuan, San Jose, Palayan, and Gapan. Nueva Ecija has four congressional districts. Pampanga is 11th in terms of numbers of voters. It has 1,460,303 voters with four congressional districts. The 12th is Davao del Sur, the biggest in the whole Mindanao based on voting populace. It has 1,410,190 voters. Davao del Sur has three congressional districts. Its capital, Davao City, has two congressional districts independent of the province.

The senatorial candidates and the party-list aspirants should focus on these 12 critical provinces. Their victory will depend on how these provinces shall vote on May 13.

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