Monday, July 30, 2018

Youth Orgs Urge First Time Voters

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The First Time Voters network was launched last Monday in Manila. Now on its 17th year, the First Time Voters Project is a networking and education program initiated by various youth organizations who remain committed in raising the awareness of the youth in the political system and to raising the youth’s involvement in their electoral engagement towards new politics and transformative governance.

“Your right to vote is your most empowering right. It gives power to policies, agenda, and values that will decide how your environment and community will be in the future,” First Time Voters Network Convenor Ian Serrano said.

According to the 2016 data of the Commission on Elections, the youth vote is the key to victory. Those age from 18 to 35 comprise about 37 percent of the entire electorate back in 2016.

“The students of this nation have the power to decide whether or not they will let their issues be buried or assert themselves and their concerns in the current political conversation that is happening.” Ateneo De Manila Sanggu Task Force Head Aly Alberto said.  

“Students should facilitate meaningful conversations about politics in their schools. They are in a position to move away from the toxicity and misinformation that surrounds conversations about politics nowadays.” Adamson University Student Government President Nico Mercado said.

“The Sangguniang Kabataan has the necessary knowledge of their community to reach out to their fellow youth to galvanize them to register and vote.” said  Kent Aawitin from Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila Student Council.

“As part of the political system, it is our obligation to make sure that our presence matters and their political participation is highly important. People like us are in a position to help because they were able give us our legitimacy through their votes.” Quezon City Sangguniang Kabataan Federation President Noe Dela Fuente said.  

“Meaningful conversations about politics should not end in the four walls of academic institutions. It should be brought and extended to local communities. Information and opportunities to participate should be democratized to the grassroots.” Bry. Sampagan, Batangas SK Chair Clark Banaag said.

COMELEC spokesperson James Jimenez explained the registration process and how first time voters could register and take part in the 2019 elections.

“Your first vote should be meaningful. It shouldn’t rely on personality politics or name recall but it should be based on values and what kind of future should this country have.” Serrano ended.

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