'Vote critically', youth urged

Published May 26, 2021, 3:12 PM

by Gabriela Baron

As the 2022 national elections approach, young Filipino voters have been urged to “vote critically” and choose leaders “with good principles and values.”


During “The Vote: Intensifying the Voice of the Youth to Engage and Vote for Change” organized by the Far Eastern University (FEU) College Y Club, John Carlo Borja, Chief Youth Mobilizer of the Positive Youth Development Network, urged fellow young voters to “learn from the lessons of this current administration.”

“It speaks volumes about what leaders we need should there be another pandemic, should there be decision-making about whether a big news station or not. We need leaders who will stand firm with their good principles and values. And I think they should serve as an eye-opener for all of us,” Borja said.

“This is also a call for young people to claim the space, be inside the spice, and level up the game when it comes to our civil responsibilities and duties. We encourage people to vote, it’s a matter of who we’re doing this for,” he added.

Just like how high Filipinos standards during beauty pageants, Borja said our standards when it comes in choosing and electing public leaders should “level up too.”

“We need to vote smarter, we need to be more critical, just like how high our standards in choosing our beauty queens, we need to level up [our standards too] in terms of governance. We need better leaders. It’s another six years, three years of our lives and we would not want that to be put into waste,” the youth leader said in a mix of Filipino and English during the online event.

“Don’t accept the bare minimum from politicians. We deserve better service. And the only way for us to get into that line is for us to call out and hold our government officials accountable and elect the rightful leaders,” Borja said.

READ MORE: Student leader underscores youth’s role in 2022 elections

Vote for the betterment of the Philippines, Borja added.

“Encourage all your of your circles to register and vote wisely and inform them about the right decisions that they need to do. No matter how collective our voices are, if we don’t do it for the good, for the betterment of our country, it’s still useless. So let’s use our voice for the betterment of our country.”

According to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) and Commission on Elections (Comelec), 40 million Filipinos aged 18 to 35 are eligible to vote in 2022.

Filipino youth composed 37 percent of the entire electorate with 19.6 million young Filipinos voted last 2019.

As of May 6, around 2.8 million first-time voters have already registered for the 2022 elections.

Comelec is hopeful to reach its target of 4 million first-time voters before the registration ends on Sept. 30, 2021.

READ MORE: Student leaders encourage youth voters to register