Youth Icons Lead An Online Voter Empowerment Celebration

Mark “Macoy Dubs” Averilla, Laureen Uy, Miggy Cruz, Kean Cipriano, and Ria Atayde lend the power of their celebrity influence to encourage the youth to register and vote responsibly.

Macoy Dubs

The group joined representatives of 700 youth organizations to launch a coalition called #KabilangKaSa2022—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 centered on discussions on 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.

“Elections belong to the people. The more that you know about your candidate the more you can inspire other people to vote” states Uy.

Uy and the rest of the panel agreed on the importance of researching the candidates. “An informed vote is a responsible vote,” states Atayde.

He adds it is important that the youth vote for candidates whose vision for the country is aligned with them. She also considers track record and attendance. “Part of their duty is to show up. Hindi pwedeng staff lang nila ang may alam.”

“Di ako masyado nag-base sa personality. May leaders alam mong capable pero di charismatic,” she explains.

Kean Cipriano

For his part Cipriano stresses need for firm resolve. “Kailangan mo gawin ang research mo. Kailangan mo panindigan pinaniniwalaan mo. Hindi yung sinabi ng barkada or tita mo. Kailangan firm ka sa sarili mo kung ano ang gusto mong future para sa country mo,” he states.

He also suggests looking for leaders who are reliable during crucial times, citing the country’s pandemic experience as an example. “Kailangan natin ng leaders na kayang mag step-up, umalis sa comfort zone, at patunayan nila na leader talaga sila. Kailangan natin yung may malasakit.”

#KabilangKaSa2022 aims to register at least 1-million first time voters.

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 600+ na youthorganizations 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.

Aside from encouraging voters’ registration, the program also aims to implement together with the coalition partners a unified and issue-based voters education program, and sustain the gains of these campaigns post-election for good governance and civic education engagement.

Others who participated in the online event are Mela Habijan of We The Youth Vote, Chard Amazona of Youth Vote Philippines, Nicole Florendo of the Cebuano Youth Ambassadors, Nabila Mohammad of the United Voices for Peace Network, Emil Tapnio also from YouthLed PH, and Atty. Ona Caritos of Lente Philippines.

Macoy Dub, who co-hosted the event, is part of We The Youth Vote.

It also had performances and messages of support from Kerwin King, Renz Saavedra, and Janina Vela.

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