With two months left before the Commission on Elections ends the continuing registration for new voters for the 2010 elections, and with only less than one million registrants out of the target five million new voters, Kabataan Partylist and the National Union of Students of the Philippines launched last Thursday, August 20, the Isang Milyon, Isang Panata campaign to rally and encourage the youth to participate in the upcoming elections. The program was held at a conference room in Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila. Student representatives from different schools around Manila were present.
We will prove our generation’s political power by gathering one million youths in realizing one united pledge. By going out to register and vote in large numbers, we will steer our government in a new direction, the direction of change. Let us join thousands of others youths nationwide. Let us target for 1,000 in every town to reach a million new registrants by the deadline on October 31, 2009. Our responsibility is not only to individually register but to encourage other youths like us to do so as well. Isang milyong kabataang magpaparehistro. Isang panatang bumoto para sa pagbabago.
That afternoon, I went to UP Diliman, to attend an alternative class (ACLE) sponsored by UP STPA (Samahan Tungo sa Progresibong Administrasyon), as a resource person/speaker. The forum was also about the youth’s participation in the upcoming elections. I learned later on that it was one of only a handful of other organizations’ alternative classes that tackled the topic of the youth and the elections.
It is great to see an increasing enthusiasm with regards the democratic exercise of elections. Again, we have two months left, and millions of fellow young people and other Filipinos who remain unregistered. Let’s start seriously encouraging our classmates and other members of our community to register and participate.
Let us also call on the COMELEC to extend the registration period this early on. How can they expect to register 5 million Filipinos with this kind of process–they limit registrants to a few hundreds per day per district, frustrating thousands of enthusiastic first-time voters from registering.