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One year before the Philippine elections, more than 700-strong youth organizations convened to launch a nationwide coalition called Kabilang Ka Sa 2022—an inclusive, issue-based, and sustained campaign for and by Filipino youth for the upcoming national and local elections.

Spearheaded by the Youth Leadership for Democracy (YouthLed PH), #KabilangKaSa2022: A Voter Empowerment Celebration was launched online and hosted by representatives of coalition partners Macoy Dubs and Mela Habijan of We The Youth Vote, Chard Amazona of Youth Vote Philippines, Nicole Florendo of the Cebuano Youth Ambassadors, and Nabila Mohammad of the United Voices for Peace Network.

The launching event also featured guests such as Emil Tapnio and Atty. Mildred Ople of YouthLed PH, Atty. Ona Caritos of Lente Philippines, Ria Atayde, Kean Cipriano, Miggy Cruz, and Laureen Uy; with performances and messages of support from Kerwin King, Renz Saavedra, and Janina Vela

Atty. Mildred Ople, Kabilang Ka Sa 2022 Spokesperson and Program Officer of YouthLed PH acknowledged that in the 2019 elections, the young voters only contributed almost 38% of the voter turnout. “Hinihikayat natin ang mga kabataan na sabayan ang mga nakatatandang ‘suki’ ng eleksyon, kasama ang 700+ na youth organizations na bumoto sa 2022 elections.” She further encourages young Filipinos to be “superspreaders” of correct information on voters’ registration, voters’ education, and transparency in governance.

 

The coalition launch centered on discussions as to why youth participation is important in the 2022 elections; how the youth can respond to apprehensions about being apolitical, and how to combat fear of the pandemic and doubts on the integrity of the elections.

Through a recorded video message, Commission on Elections (Comelec) Director and Spokesperson James Jimenez reminded youth voters to continue engaging in discussions. “Makiisa ka sa mga isyung hinaharap ng bansa natin. Kapag tayo ang nakilahok sa diskusyon, nabubuo ang ating opinyon.” He adds, “Kilatisin mo na ang mga tatakbo, pag-aralan mo na ang posisyon at plataporma nila. Share what you know.”

In a panel discussion, influencers/artists also discussed how the Filipino Gen Z at Millennials can vote wisely and responsibly. Laureen Uy highlighted. “Elections belong to the people. The more that you know about your candidate the more you can inspire other people to vote.” Ria Atayde added that our role as voters does not end after elections—“It is also our responsibility to keep our leaders accountable.” Kean Cipriano also emphasized that “good governance is a lifetime commitment to taxpayers. It’s important to look at the output.”

Representatives of the Kabilang Ka Sa 2022 coalition also pledged their commitment to support the nationwide campaign to increase voters’ registration turnout, conduct and localize voters’ education program, and mobilize for an inclusive and safe election.

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#KabilangKaSa2022 is a nationwide call to action and a campaign for and led by the youth for the 2022 National and Local Elections. It is centered on a three-point agenda:

  1. Kasama Ka – Bilang isang Kabataang Pilipino, Kasama Ka upang palakasin ang kamalayan sa kahalagahan ng pagpaparehistro at pagboto (Accessible Registration and Voting for every citizen)
  2. Kabahagi Ka – Kabahagi Ka sa pananaliksik at pagbibigay linaw sa mga isyung kinakaharap ng ating bansa (Voters Education and Issue-based Agenda)
  3. Kaisa Ka – Kaisa ka sa pagpapatibay sa isang maayos, makabago, at maka-Pilipinong pamamahala (Good Governance and Civic Education)

This youth-led coalition aims to register at least 1-million first time voters, launch a nationwide voters registration campaign by amplifying COMELEC’s i-Rehistro portal use to facilitate accessible and faster registration of voters, organize and implement together with the coalition partners a unified and issue-based voters education program, and sustain the gains of campaigns post-election for good governance and civic education engagement.

Kabilang Ka Sa 2022 believes in the spirit of bayanihan and welcomes all youth organizations nationwide regardless of background, status, political affiliation, geographical location, member composition, and social status. For organizations who are interested to be part of this coalition, register through: bit.ly/KabilangKaSa2022.

 

 

Full list of member organizations will be posted on YouthLed PH’s website and social media accounts.

 

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