Philippines election: What you should know about the May 9 vote

Filipino presidential candidate, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte (top left), distributes T-shirts during an election campaign in Manila City. PHOTO: EPA

1. Over 54 million Filipinos are expected to vote on May 9 for a new president and vice-president. Unlike in the United States, the president and vice-president are elected separately.

2. Also up for grabs are 12 seats at the Senate, 291 at the House of Representatives, and some 18,000 local posts, from governors to councillors.

3. The top contenders for president are Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, 71; Senator Grace Poe, 47; former interior minister Mar Roxas, 58; Vice-President Jejomar Binay, 73; and Senator Miriam Santiago, 70.

4. Among those running for senator, and likely to win, is eight-division boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, 37.

5. With so many candidates, the Philippines has some of the world's longest ballot papers. In 2010, the ballot for each district was 2 feet (0.6m) to accommodate more than 300 names for national and local posts.

6. About 20 per cent of all million registered voters are 18 to 35 years old. Nine out of 10 have access to the Internet.

7. Seven in 10 lawmakers in the Philippines have ties to political dynasties.

8. Three generations of Marcoses are running for public office: Mrs Imelda Marcos, 86, a congresswoman; her eldest daughter, Imee, 60, governor; and, grandson Matthew, just 26, member of the provincial board. Then, there is Mrs Marcos' son, Ferdinand Jr, 58, who is on the verge of becoming the Philippines' next vice-president.

9. From Feb 9, when campaigning began, till end-March, candidates for president, vice-president and senator spent 2.7 billion pesos (S$77.1 million) on political ads. That runs up to 54 million pesos a day, or 2.25 million pesos an hour.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.