12 06 2012


June 12, 2012

Contact Person: Ninin Sumadia 09064304315


As the youth celebrates the Philippine Independence day, the First Time Voters Network, the largest coalition of youth and students advocating for greater youth participation, launches its registration drive and targets a hundred leap of youth engagement for 2013 mid-term elections.

“50% Vote, 50% Future, 100% First-Timers! This is our mix on how we intend to participate in the 2013 elections. We believe that the first time voters have their capacity to significantly contribute in shaping up the future of this country by its greater involvement in the election process,” said Cleo Loegardo, FTV Spokesperson

First Time Voter student and youth leaders from various universities, colleges and communities in the Metro Manila gathered today to lead a dance mobilization and unveil a big streamer in the heart of Manila with the call “Magparehistro. Bumoto. Tuloy ang Pagbabago”.

Leogardo explained that the campaign is to sustain the fight for change by taking a step in the registration and choosing responsible leaders.

FTV commits a 100% increase in the registration

FTV targets to increase the registration by 100% from the five million registered first time voters last 2010 elections.

It marked up to five million registered First Time Voters last 2010 national elections that contribute significantly in the big block of youth vote that elected the new leaders of the country who vowed for the fight against corruption, institutional reforms and protection of democracy.

“One hundred percent increase of registered First Time Voters will definitely a big leap in the Philippine electorate as we advocate for meaningful young people’s participation that will put forward the electoral and political reforms necessary for democratization and social inclusion of the youth as a means to address the generation’s continuing apathy and alienation to political, processes ”said Migs Angeles, FTV Network Coordinator.

“Youth Vote can elect the next leaders of our country!” Leogardo exclaimed. “We should take part in the process of developing our generation as active electorate that exercises our right to suffrage and maximizes youthful and critical tools in determining the fate of the country and the future,” she added.

FTV calls for satellite registration

Furthermore, FTV surveys in the communities and universities resulted that two out of five first time voters were not able to register because of school and work.  Another reason is that some young people do not reside in a permanent address.

“We asserted the synchronized registration process and database to the Commission on Elections where youth voters can register at the nearest satellite registration booths even they will be voting in other place or in their respective provinces during the elections. In this proposal, we provide mechanism to avoid voters’ disenfranchisement that leads to a low registrants,” Angeles claims.

The network is working closely with the Commission on Elections to reach the target First-Timers before the end of the registration period that will be on October31, 2013. FTV and COMELEC is now working hand in hand for the process of satellite registrations in the populous communities and universities, making the registration accessible to youth voters.

As we give honor and recognition to the young heroes of their time who have been in the forefront of our independence against any form of colonization, FTV and young people of today vow to continue the fight for the full realization of our freedom and democratic rights.

FTV will be launching its Tuloy ang Pagbabago campaign and series of voters registration nationwide, particularly in Pangasinan, Baguio, Nueva Ecija, Cagayan Valley, Metro Manila, Legaspi City, Batangas City, Cebu City, Iloilo City, Bacolod, Davao City, General Santos City, Cagayan de Oro City and Zamboanga City starting on the last week of June to October 2012.



First Time Voters Network Welcomes the Extension of Registration hours in COMELEC but…

22 10 2009

Official Press Release

October 22, 2009

The youth group filed its petition last 15 October 2009 in the COMELEC National Office to ask for an extension of the voters registration for one month in areas severely affected by Ondoy and Pepeng [Regions I to III (Ilocos, Cagayan Valley and Central Luzon regions), Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), National Capital Region (NCR) and Rizal province] and for one week in the other remaining regions nationwide.

“We appreciate COMELEC’s move to give more time for the voters’ registration. We just hope that people will come out in numbers to register and we hope that the Commission can handle them,” says FTV spokesperson Helen Joy Paulino.

COMELEC late last year announced that one Data Capturing Machine (DCM) could handle at best, 100 applicants a day. This, they later, clarified was only a way to standardize the results of voters’ registration every day, machine operators  could accept more applicants if they wish to.

DCM’s are used to digitally capture the biometric data of applicants, a requirement in the poll automation next year. There’s at least one DCM per local Election Office.

“COMELEC had intended and promised to give out more data capturing machines several months back to speed up the registration process but for whatever reason the new machines never came and we are just wary over COMELEC’s capacity to facilitate the influx of people in the coming days,” adds Gio Tingson, Student Council Alliance of the Philippines National Spokesperson and Ateneo Sanggunian Chairperson.

The network said that they received some feedbacks from their volunteers on the ground regarding the registration process at present and that the reports were not exactly surprising but were starting to become alarming.

“For instance, our members from Marikina had mentioned that the lines for registration in their COMELEC office were out of order already, there were lots people registering, and obviously the COMELEC staff were outnumbered. We really hope that Typhoon Ramil will not aggravate this predicament which is true not only for Marikina but for other areas as well” says FTV NCR Coordinator, Leandro Perez.

The network had gone out last Friday, 16 October 2009, to give out flyers on voters’ registration to students in Manila, Quezon City and Mandaluyong.

“We are asking students to register this sembreak, it’s very crucial that they recognize the urgency and importance of this matter. Obviously, a lot of young people were inspired to help out in the recent tragedies and we hope that this will translate into a deeper desire to effect change in our overall system of governance and politics,” states Tingson.

The group is continuously encouraging young people to register in the local COMELEC offices until October 31, 2009, the voters’ registration deadline. With several activities lined up in the next 2 weeks, FTV Network hopes to get the most number of young people registered for the May 2010 elections.


9 10 2009

Rising above the challenges of the recent tragedies and looking towards beating the October 31 voters’ registration deadline, youth group, First Time Voters Network, will gather today in De LaSalle University, Taft, Manila at 12:30 nn to join Good Citizenship Movement to pledge commitment for moral transformation and to seek one-month extension of voters’ registration.

“The Commission on Elections (COMELEC), together with other socio-civic and religious organizations is serious with an exhaustive campaign to encourage far-flung people from all walks of life to translate their morals and ideals into votes which can symbolize popular democracy and government reform. Though obviously true this is, however, people prioritize “more serious” concerns which were strengthened by the impetus of the current mishaps and agonies unexpectedly faced by them,” states Paula Bianca Lapuz, FTV National Coordinator.

The network said that there is an estimate of 9 million first time voters but it is reported that only 1.6 million of the said number registered in the different cities and municipalities of the country as of July 31, 2009 (COMELEC Data). The deadline for voters’ registration is on 31st of October, 2009. And while the First Time Voters’ Project (FTV) and other institutions extend their efforts to reach out to the farthest of the far, the narrow margin from now to the deadline is not enough to get in touch with those who are still unregistered.

“The wish list for the holidays is actually the most practical of all. This can be the most precious gift the government, through COMELEC, can give,” says Student Council Alliance of the Philippines spokesperson and Ateneo SAnggunian Chair, Gio Tingson.

FTV Network is composed of different youth and student leaders from different parts of the country and is represented by various national youth organizations. The sentiment of the group resonates in their hope to encourage more young people to be more committed to participate in the coming electoral process as this will determine the fate of the nation for another six years.

In the face of calamities in form of typhoon Ondoy and Pepeng, and omnipresent social ills in form of corruption, the Filipinos are still looking forward to restore the country from scratch, ,” adds Chichi Tullao, Union of Catholic Student Councils spokesperson.

The holiday wish of the First Time Voters’ Project (FTV) is the extension of voters’ registration to give enough allowance to those whose major concern by now is to rebuild their living condition made uneasy by the aftermath of Ondoy and Pepeng. Also, this is a giant leap to accomplish everything since the maximization of the granted time for registration extension can still persuade and motivate the remaining possibly cynical, misinformed and disenfranchised prospect voters.

The spirit of “bayanihan” is innate in us. This does not stop after the typhoons left many people homeless and problematic. This will extend until voters’ registration, decision, education and election. Bayanihan is precisely the spirit of our Christmas request. When we join together our efforts to ensure a fair, honest and well-represented election to meet a common endpoint, we are ensuring those who are in need that 2010 and beyond is a time to repair our broken wings—for the good.


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.

Reggae Party Press Release

28 11 2006

The First Time Voters Project, a national advocacy and education network of youth and student organizations pushing for the meaningful participation of young people in the electoral process conducts a Reggae Party at the Xaymaca Bar in Quezon City as kick off, second semester gathering of electoral youth reform advocates that shall see through the realization of credible elections in 2007.

As a means to capture fellow youth’s imagination, the Network gathers different youth around Metro Manila in such an occasion to uphold and celebrate the significant role of the young in shaping the future starting with its involvement in the 2007 elections. The Network beleives that at present there constitute nearly a million first time voters in the National Capital Region alone, one-fifth of the overall electoral turn out in the 2004 elections. With such numbers and the youth’s idealism and energies, first time voters is a potent force to contribute in the much needed reforms in the country’s politics.

The First Time Voters project who organized the First Time Voters Reggae Party announces its plans to position on significant issues like the Constituent Assembly, Peace, education Reforms and the other youth-related demands and issues, saying that these issues impact the coming elections and will have its premium as young people who will cast their ballot looking on the platforms and positions of their candidates.

The Network even cited how young people, especially first time voters, in the United States voted against the Republicans in their recently concluded elections, with the consciousness on the issues of war and basic services. Such outcome is likely to turn out also, says the Network, lest national policies that are just, effective and youth-responsive will be put on the sidelines.

The First Time Voters Reggae Party, a venue to also inform first time voters of the registration process, is also attended by different guests and personalities who support the cause that make the young voices be heard in the coming elections. Activities following this second semester kick-off include school hopping to educate first time voters and mobilizations to register first time voters from diffrent cities in the Linggo ng Kabataan in December.

No to Disenfranchisement in 2007: Youth Organizations Relaunch the First Time Voters Project

18 09 2006

FTV launching Press Release

No to Disenfranchisement in 2007:

Youth Organizations Relaunch the First Time Voters Project

Different organizations from schools and communities in Metro Manila today relaunches in a music-caravan the “First Time Voters Project Registration Campaign”. Young people ages 17-21 years old, in their motorcycles and cars with loud music, hop around university areas to inform fellow first time voters of the ongoing registration and the need for young people to be active in the coming elections.

Young people comprise the majority of the voting population. For young people ages 18-24 alone, the projected voting population of the National Statistics Office in 2004 is 11 million. First time voters include those 18 to 21 years old who have not yet participated in the elections of 2004 and those 21 years old and above who have failed to register in the last elections. Each new voter, a Filipino citizen ages 18 years old in the day of the elections need to register as a pre-requisite in voting.

According to the group, 5 million and 2 million first time voters were disenfranchised in the elections of 2001 and 2004 respectively due to insufficient information for new registrants. “Our numbers show how crucial we are in the next elections. We would like to ensure that we will not have yet another case of millions of first time voters not having their chance to cast their first vote in 2007,” says Student Council Alliance of the Philippines NCR and Project Spokesperson Bianca Lapuz.

Earlier this month, the Social Weather Stations released their survey conducted in June 2006 that three-fourths (76%) of the 18-24 years old unregistered voters say they are unaware of the continuing voters registration.

The First Time Voters Project started as a national campaign in 2001 of youth organizations like Movement for the Advancement of Student Power, Student Council Alliance of the Philippines, Akbayan Youth and ALYANSA to extend registration for millions of first time voters who did not meet the registration deadline. Hurdles in the registration of 2001 and 2004, according to then Project Coordinator Marie Chris Cabreros, include lack of information, inaccessibility of registration venues, and differences in requirements for different areas especially for urban poor youth.

Aside from the concern on the registration, the First Time Voters Project is a platform for new voters to put their stake and agenda for 2007. “The lessons of 2001 and 2004 and the current traditional political landscape gave us basis to be pro-active in encouraging fellow youth to participate and not allow ourselves be muted in the electoral exercise that is very crucial in the coming months. If first time voters unite under a platform and choose better leaders that will transform the deteriorating situation that our country now is in, then we ensure the future we deserve,” says Lapuz.

The group hops in the University Belt, Taft Avenue, Intramuros, Aurora-Cubao and Katipunan conducting a program, playing music and giving out fliers on the registration information. The First Time Voters Project after in Metro Manila will be reluanched also in Cebu, Bacolod, Ilo-Ilo, Dumaguete City, Bohol, Davao, Zamboanga, Cagayan de Oro and Angeles City.