Compiled by Niel Lim, Bianca Lapuz, Nina Terol, and Mildred Ople
Starfish, 03/19/2009 12:15 AM
What is YVOTE?
Youth Vote Philippines (YVote) is an alliance among various youth and reform-minded organizations for 2010 and beyond. The objective of the group is to create offline and online collaboration for voter’s education and increasing voter’s registration.
This campaign will be a series of events to be launched nationwide with pilot sites in Cebu, Davao, Baguio and Manila. We envision strategic alliances for 2016 with 2010 as a starting point for collaboration.
What do we do?
Youth Vote Philippines brings together expertise of the various youth organizations in implementing voter’s education. It has integrated the School Caravan programs of YAP and AYLC and information programs of FTV, SCAP, and Akbayan Youth–combined with technology innovation and an information portal from YPS. Not to mention the marketing and program expertise of the WhyNot? Foum and networking with the experts in TAYO, the Reform Coalition, INCITEGov, and the MGG.
Its four-point agenda consists of: (1) voters’ registration; (2) on-the-ground voters’ education; (3) an online portal for comprehensive candidate information; (4) the development of a youth agenda for policy-making and action.
What’s the one message we want to convey?
An election–especially one with a national scope–is a serious exercise in democratic participation, and it is something that we should not take lightly.
When we sell our votes or write on the ballot names that we haven’t fully considered and given much thought, it is like trashing our rights to be governed by good public servants; it is like agreeing to let the rotten status quo remain such. When we say “Kung ayaw mong bumoto, ‘wag kang mag-reklamo,” we also mean it to say, “Kung ibebenta mo ang boto mo, mas wala kang karapatang mag-reklamo.” The right to choose our leaders is a hard-earned, hard-fought right and we must exercise it very well, especially in 2010 when there’s so much at stake for our country and our own lives.
What YouthVotePhilippines does is give Filipinos young and old the tools to make educated votes that each voter can stand for. We will not tell you whom to vote for, but we aim to give you enough information so that YOU will know WHY you made certain choices. As responsible adults, we cannot make decisions lightly and then not know why we did them. YOU have the right to discern for yourself who your leaders should be. YOU should be able to make that choice. And we will help you so that, whatever and whoever you choose, you know that you can stand up for those choices.
How can you start a YVOTE in your province?
“We all have friends we like talking to. We belong to organizations and groups and barkadas. Our organizations work with other organizations. Organize a kwentuhan session for your org and invite friends and members of other orgs you’ve worked with. Start with the question, “What do we love about (your province or city)?” and let the conversations take a life of their own.
When we realize what it is we love about our communities and our nation, it becomes something we would want to sustain and nurture. It also becomes easier to see what we do not want to happen. Your group may feel very strongly that elections and voting are two things that the youth and young professionals in your area can become involved in and you may already have activities you are doing for youth empowerment.
YVote will be more than willing to connect with you and find ways we can partner. Contact any of us and we’ll immediately link with your group, set up a meeting and see how we can help each other. It’ll be amazing to have YVote in all provinces and cities of the Philippines!”
First published as one of the articles in the “Youth Forum” section in Starfish Magazine Back to Basics, Volume 3 Issue 4 & Special Issue (February 2009).
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