The annual search for the country’s most popular automobile brands and models kicks off when the nationwide poll for the 2016-2017 Auto Focus Peoples' Choice Awards (AFPCA) goes online beginning March 15, 2016.

The AFPCA was first introduced in 2005 by the organizing Sunshine Television (STV) headed by its Chairman/CEO Ray Butch Gamboa, who also hosts the long-running and popular TV productions "Motoring Today", "Auto Focus" and "Business & Leisure"

"Since we first launched it in 2005, the AFPCA has steadily grown in stature and prestige not only amongst the stakeholders in the automotive industry, but more importantly, amongst car owners and the motoring public who are given a unique opportunity to directly express their individual choices on which particular brands and models best suit their needs, preferences and aspirations." Gamboa cited.

The AFPCA provides for Model of the Year awardees in 11 Standard and 10 Luxury categories, and separate Automobile of the Year awards for the Standard and Luxury classifications. Last year, the Toyota Fortuner won the Automobile of the Year – Standard title with the same award in the Luxury classification going to the Lexus 200t.

A unique scoring system that incorporates January-September industry sales with poll results is utilized by the AFPCA. Weight ratios of 20% for Sales and 80% for votes are applied and then cumulated in determining a particular model’s overall score and rank in the standings. Voters are allowed to log in votes daily throughout the on-line poll, which will now be from March 15 – September 30, 2016, an extended 7-month period versus the previous 3 month duration of recent years. "With this, not only are we trying to maximize opportunities for participants to vote," as Gamboa pointed out: "But also, we believe there will be more balance in the scoring when you consider 9 months-worth of sales along with 7 months-worth of votes."

One big move that STV will adopt this year is a change in the on-line voting method, which in the past required voters to wade through the process of making individual selections in the 11 Standard and 10 Luxury classifications, then from these, choosing their respective Automobile of the Year picks.

"It was often time-consuming and cumbersome having to clock-in as many as 23 individual votes from over 140 models if one decided to go through the entire process." as AFPCA Awards Committee Chairman Gerry Aquino explained. "Feedback from voters indicated preference for a simpler, more convenient procedure and that a growing majority of them wanted a voting application that was more mobile phone friendly. This is the technological direction STV will move towards."

Although the primary gateway to participation and registration in the poll will continue to be via a popular social networking site, links will divert the voter to the dedicated Voting Page/Results in the Auto Focus website ( At the Voting Page, the forthcoming procedure will simply ask the voter to pick his/her TOP 5 (or less) choices for Automobile of the Year in the Standard and Luxury categories – a maximum of 10 selections. Each pick will then count as a vote both in the Model and Automobile of the Year classifications.

Also, the previous online applications were configured primarily for desktops, laptops and tablets. Since android phones have now generally supplanted these, a new mobile friendly application will also be introduced this year to further enhance ease and access to the public poll.

"With these moves in place, we can all expect even more responsive public participation and a more hotly contest race for AFPCA awards." Aquino added.