First Time Voters Network in De La Salle University Manila

6 02 2009

Press Release for DLSU Activity

The First Time Voters (FTV) Project, a network of organizations and individuals advocating for the meaningful participation of young citizens in the electoral and political process will launch  its voters’ registration campaign on February 6, 2009 at the De La Salle University in Manila. This will be commenced by the launch of the first among the targeted satellite registration centers of FTV nationwide.

The network fervently believes in the pivotal role the youth will assume in the upcoming National Elections in 2010. The figures show that the participation of the youth will be significant in the turn out of the elections – the youth can indeed dictate who becomes the next President. As per the National Statistics Office, nearly 60% of the electorate in 2010 will be young people aged 18-25 years old and 9 million of whom will be voting for the first time. However, the network is adept of the shortcomings and difficulties incumbent in the process such as that of accessibility and voters’ education. To address these, FTV believes that steps have to be taken both on the level of advocacy and policy to improve the system at the same time revive the youth’s interest and belief in the electoral process.

The network submitted a petition for the improvement of the registration process and underwent a series of dialog with the COMELEC therefrom. This resulted to the adoption of its main proposals: the establishment of satellite registration stations which would facilitate the process in strategic locations and the setting up of the downloadable registration forms in the COMELEC website. These laudable initiatives will enhance the access of the voters to the process. Furthermore, FTV continues to move for the assignment of the first Saturday of each month as a special registration day for students and young professionals and the integration of voters’ education in the NSTP Curriculum.

The event will mark the intensification of FTV network’s commitment in raising the awareness of the youth in the political system as well as involvement in electoral engagement towards alternative politics and transformative governance. This campaign underscores the stake each first time voter has on the 2010 elections. Besides being a legitimate exercise of a constitutional right, active participation in the elections shows that the youth is ready to maximize such potent tools in determining the fate of the country and our future. More than a personal choice, this is a concrete step to the furtherance of 2010 youth agenda which includes appraisals in education, employment, SK reforms, and health.

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