Season’s Greetings from the First Time Voters Network! + Appeal to Register :D

24 12 2009

Dear friends,

FTV would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous and Productive 2010!

Likewise, FTV would like to thank everyone for a very wonderful and fruitful year, as always!

Aside from enjoying the holidays, FTV encourages those who are eligible to vote in May 2010 but have failed to register last October, to please visit your local COMELEC offices this vacation to register! You only need to bring one valid i.d., if you have a physical disability, make sure that you will be able to indicate in your application your physical/medical condition. You have to be 18 years and above old on or before May 10, 2010 to register.

While the extension of registration poses inevitable changes to the election calendar and difficulties for COMELEC, we hope everyone will maximize the given time. Let us not wait again for the deadline to register. Change starts to happen when we will it to happen. So find the will to REGISTER first. 🙂

To all those who intend to register this Christmas break, you may only register on these dates: December 21, 22, 23, 28, and 29, 2009.

Please see the rest of the schedule of the re-opening of registration below:

Last Day to Post Notice of ERB Hearing: January 04, 2010

Last Day to File Opposition to Applications for Registration: January 06, 2010

Hearing Approval/Disapproval of Applications: January 09, 2010

COMELEC is NOT accepting requests for transfer, change of status, reactivation and other registration services.

First Time Voters registration only!


Please be guided accordingly and kindly share this information.

Again, please don’t forget to bring one valid i.d., if you do not have an i.d., you need to bring someone from your place who is also a registered voter who can vouch for you or attest to the credibility of your personhood.

Again, thank you, for all the support and hard work in order to make FTV what it is now, a dynamic network of young people with the biggest hearts for this nation!

Register. Vote. Transform!

FTV Secretariat and National Core Group

i Register. i Vote. i Transform.


First Time Voters Petition to Extend Voters’ Registration

15 10 2009


October 15, 2009

The Honorable Commissioners of the

Commission on Elections

Through:                Hon. Jose A.R. Melo


Re:                          Request to extend voters’ registration deadline

Honorable Commissioners:

The First Time Voters (FTV, for brevity) Project is a conglomeration of youth and student organizations with the common goal of raising the political participation and consciousness of first time voters through voters’ education. Since its inception in 2001, it has initiated campaigns and activities in line with this thrust.

In a petition dated 23 September 2008, the network appealed to this Commission to adopt four proposals to make the registration process more accessible to young people, some of which were graciously adopted, to which the network is very much grateful for.

However, the network, through recent COMELEC data, was able to learn that the number of actual new voters as of 31 July 2009 is estimated to be only 1.6 million. This number, if compared with the NSO projection of a rough high estimate of nine million new voters in 2010, is unarguably very small.

100_1649The network, as in its previous petition, upholds the right of the people to register as a precondition to the exercise of the constitutional right to suffrage. Yet, despite the media hype to encourage more young people to register, apparently, a lot of them still have not gone out of their way to do so. This predicament has to be confronted not only by the government but by civil society groups as well. Thus, FTV is tripling its efforts to boost its registration campaign in schools and communities.

This unexpected low registration turnout has been further complicated by the devastation that the typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng have caused. A lot of our fellow Filipinos in the National Capital Region and the Northern Luzon area are still focused on rebuilding their lives after the recent tragedies that hit them.

It is in this context that we, in the FTV Project, propose to extend the registration period in the Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao Regions for another week and in the National Capital Region and Northern Luzon area for another month.

The COMELEC has proven that it is serious in ensuring the enfranchisement of young people in the coming 2010 elections by approving FTV proposals on satellite registration centers, special Saturday registration and by making the registration forms available for download online. In this light, FTV is asking the Commission to take this initiative to one more level by allowing more time for our young people to register especially those who were adversely affected by Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng.

FTV commits itself to conduct mobilizations of young people in the remaining days of the registration period in all of its chapters nationwide, specifically in Davao City, Davao del Norte, General Santos City, Iligan City, Iloilo City, Cebu City, Isabela, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Pangasinan, Manila City, Quezon City, Las Pinas City, Makati City, Rizal Province, Bulacan and other areas which may be tapped by the network.

The network believes that the above stated reasons merit COMELEC’s support and consideration. As the next national election nears, FTV network looks forward to a democratic exercise which will reflect the voice and aspiration of this nation’s new breed of electorate.

We pray for this body’s favorable response.


Paula Bianca Lapuz

National Coordinator, FTV Project

Secretary General, Student Council Alliance of the Philippines

Executive Director, Center for Youth Advocacy and Networking

Rachel Ann Santos

President, Union of Catholic Student Councils

President, Sanggunian  ng mga Mag-aaral ng Miriam

Debbie Cabanag

Sectoral Representative, National Anti-Poverty Commission Youth and Students

Rechie Tugawin

Coordinator, Generation Peace Network

Liza Dizon

Representative, Philippine Business School of Business Administration

Millicent Pangilinan

De La Salle University Taft,  Manila Student Council

Helen Joy Paulino

Movement for the Advancement of Student Power,

Philippine Normal University Manila

Catherine Calopez

Secretary-General, Philippine Normal University Manila Student Government

Leimira Buenaventura

Adamson LINGAP

Viktor Fontanilla

University of the Philippines Diliman Alyansa ng mga Mag-aaral para sa Panlipunang Katwiran at Kaunlaran

Beverly Lumbera

University of the Philippines Diliman BUKLOD CSSP

Joseph Sotto Wijesekara

Director of External Affairs, Sangguniang Mag-aaral ng Ateneo

John Tobit E. Cruz

Chairperson, Sangguniang Kabtaan

Angela Abala

University of the Philippines Manila University Student Council

Machris Cabreros

Chairperson, Akbayan Youth

Michael Pamintuan

University of Asia and the Pacific Student Executive Board

Ailee Tejano

Coordinator, FTV Cebu

Gibby Gorres

Coordinator, SCAP Iloilo

Wharson Arguelles

Coordinator, FTV Iloilo

Karen Abellana

Coordinator, FTV Davao

Jan Dacumos

Coordinator, SCAP Northern Luzon


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.