Kabataan holds ‘Takbo para sa Pagbabago’ to register demands of youth sector
Exactly a year before the 2013 national elections, youth groups and members of Kabataan Partylist launched “Takbo para sa Pagbabago,” a cause-oriented fun run calling on the youth to increase participation in the upcoming polls, and at the same time challenging aspiring candidates to immediately take action on the problems besetting the youth sector.
Clad in sports attires and clutching various banners and calls, Kabataan Partylist members ran around the Academic Oval of UP Diliman on May 13 at around 11 a.m. to “register” the pressing demands of the youth that should be immediately addressed.
“We are running to register our demand to stop unjustifiable tuition increases, to register our demand for higher state funding for education, to register our opposition to the K-12 program, and to register the youth’s commitment for change in the upcoming elections,” said Kabataan Spokesperson Vencer Crisostomo.
“Exactly a year from now, the nation will once again select its new set of leaders. But as early as now, we call on all aspiring candidates, both on the local and national level, to act upon the problems assailing our youth,” Crisostomo said.
“Real advocates of change should not wait for the campaign season to act. Real advocates of change should ensure that the rights and welfare of the youth are safeguarded, and that concrete actions are taken to solve the education crisis way before 2013,” Crisostomo added.
Crisostomo explained that with the current economic crisis – further aggravated by the spiraling tuition rates, budget cuts in social spending and the planned implementation of the K-12 program this coming school year – many students will again be forced to drop out of school and find odd jobs to sustain their families.
The youth runners called for a tuition hike moratorium and higher state funding for education and other social services. Last month, the Commission on Higher Education approved tuition increase proposals of almost 300 colleges and universities nationwide.
“Concrete actions should immediately be taken, instead of implementing programs that will further aggravate the situation such as the K-12 program,” Crisostomo said. He explained that the added years of education under the new curriculum will only translate to added expenses for most Filipino families.
Aside from voicing pressing demands of the youth, the fun run is also part of Kabataan’s “Isang Milyon, Isang Panata” campaign, a voters’ registration drive aiming to urge one million youths to register for the 2013 polls.
Government data reveals that at present, the number of youths aged 18 to 30 who are eligible to vote is estimated to be more than 20 million, with three to five million of this number being first time voters.
“The youth is a primary driving force in the upcoming elections, and we must maximize our influence in the country’s political affairs by ensuring that this 20-million strong youth will all register and participate in enacting genuine change in the coming polls,” Crisostomo said.###