Our friends at Brownman Revival are helping us promote the Panata 2010 campaign to encourage the youth, not only to register for the 2010 elections, but to actively participate in the elections and in the campaign the change the course of how our country is governed. We went to one of their gigs last Thursday at 70’s Bistro to shoot some footage for a campaign video we are making for Panata 2010. Last week, we were able to shoot support footage from Kamikazee.
A few days ago, I went to UP Los Banos to attend a forum sponsored by a Buklod-UPLB, a student political alliance in campus. I found it odd at first because Buklod, is a “blue” party (which in terms of the spectrum of campus politics, is on the other side of the fence from where I stand), contesting student council seats from our colleagues in the militant Sakbayan.
Nevertheless, I told them that appreciated that they invited someone like me, all the way from UP Diliman, to share my views, however different it may be from theirs.
The forum was about the 2010 elections and the youth’s participation in it. I was one of four panelists, others were from the Liberal Party (represented by ex-Congressman Neric Acosta), a media organization (I don’t remember which one exactly), and YouthVote Philippines.
What I said was nothing you wouldn’t have expected me to say. Among others, I said that all the hype about the youth participation in the 2010 elections is well and good. However, I stressed out that the youth’s participation goes well beyond 2010 and the elections. I encouraged everyone to sustain the heightened enthusiasm in participating in the elections and use it as the drive to participate in more democratic exercises in their school, in their communities, with other sectors of society, into the streets or wherever their passion drives them to. We cannot rely on the elections alone as the only means for effecting social change in a country plagued by systemic economic and class exploitation, especially because the elections is largely dominated by those who thrive on that kind of order.
I forget what the other speakers said. I think they all said the same thing, drumming up the same slogan of youth participation in the elections. Which is all well and good, as I’ve said.
Anyway, after the forum, I spent the rest of the day till much later into the night with my fraternity brods and our sorority sisters in Los Banos. It was actually just my third time in UPLB (the other two being just a grade school and a high school field trip to the botanical garden), and my first time to meet met most of my batchmates in Los Banos. This time I also got to go around the campus itself and the different places outside the gates. Needless to say, I had a great time and I’m looking forward to my next visit, hopefully a longer one. Soon.
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.
Kabataang Pinoy aspires for a Filipino youth that devotes its intellect, energy and courage to building a better future.
Kabataang Pinoy envisions a new society devoid of corruption, inequality and social injustice.
Kabataang Pinoy encourages the youth to work collectively with other sectors to build a bright future. It upholds, promotes and defends the interest of the youth to be able to harness its fullest potential as a sector. It works to unite the Filipino youth to campaign for social, political, economic, cultural and environmental justice in the Philippines, and enjoins youth from all walks of life to foster active participation in good governance, nation-building, and social change.
PROGRAM OF ACTION
- Empower the youth to take on active participation in good governance, nation-building and social change.
- Uphold the youth’s fundamental rights and democratic interests such as accessible education, decent employment and job security, accessible health care, environment, sports, among others.
- Assert the youth’s right to decent living, equal opportunities and humane living conditions.
- Assert and safeguard national independence, respect for national patrimony, love and loyalty to the country.
- Guarantee the participation and representation of the youth in all affairs governance and decision-making bodies of government.