Kabataan solon tells pols: Voter registration, education first
Banners. Streamers. Billboards. TV Ads. More than a year into the 2013 elections, we already see politicians and possible candidates engaging in premature campaigning. Youth group Kabataan Party-list, however, appealed to politicians and political parties to first direct their energies and resources towards two important aspects of the elections—voter registration and voter education.
Kabataan Party-list Representative Raymond Palatino made the plea amid the buzz on the forging of new political alliances and on possible contenders for both national and local posts up for grabs in the 2013 polls.
“The political noise and speculation about who’s who in the coming elections is drawing attention away from the more important issue of enjoining more and more youths to participate in the important process of electing our next set of leaders. Instead of early electioneering, politicians can do the public more good if they help in voter registration and voter education activities conducted by Comelec and non-government organizations,” he said.
The Kabataan solon furthered: “Politicians are hell-bent on making their presence felt through various political propaganda this early on but all these would amount to nothing if a large number of Filipinos, especially the youth, are disenfranchised and powerless in deciding whether to elect or turn them down. The youth sector will be a major player in the next elections, and their utmost participation and support could spell either victory or defeat for these politicos. It is only incumbent upon political parties to acknowledge the voice of the youth, urge them to register, and provide them with a clear youth agenda for the 2013 polls.”
The Kabataan solon, however, warned that these voter registration and education activities should not be another venue for early campaigning.
Meanwhile, Kabataan Partylist is also urging first time voters, especially youths and students, to take advantage of the summer vacation and register to vote for the 2013 polls.
Palatino said youths and new registrants should not wait for the last minute to register as they could risk the chance of being able to participate in the next elections. “This summer vacation is the perfect opportunity especially for students to register as they are not preocuppied with school work. Let us not waste any more time, magparehistro na ang dapat magparehistro,” said Palatino.
Palatino said “young Filipinos hungry for social change must remain active and unrelenting in pushing for drastic changes in our political system. They must not miss the elections as one of the many opportunities wherein they can register their collective voice that says ‘enough with old-age and clan politics’. Albeit dominated by elite and traditional politicians, this arena must not be left at their hands while marginalized sectors such as the youth remain as mere spectators in the sidelines,” he said.
The COMELEC has set the period for the resumption of the system of continuing registration within the following dates:
- From 03 MAY 2011 to 31 OCTOBER 2012 for non-ARMM areas (pursuant to Resolution No. 9168dated 22 March 2011);
- From 05 MARCH 2012 to 31 OCTOBER 2012 (pursuant to Resolution No. 9338 dated 25 January 2012), for ARMM areas;
- From 31 OCTOBER 2011 to 31 OCTOBER 2012, for overseas Filipinos (pursuant to Resolution No. 9269 dated 03 August 2011)