Academic cites importance of voters' education in 2022 elections

Published November 23, 2021, 7:22 AM

by Gabriela Baron

Educating young Filipinos on the importance of voting is crucial as the May 2022 elections near.

(JUAN CARLO DE VELA / MANILA BULLETIN)

According to the Commission on Elections (Comelec), first-time voters aged 18 to 21 years old exceeded four million.

The poll body also reported that young Filipino voters comprise 52 percent of the total registered voters.

“Each and every vote is important that’s why we should give enough attention to our voter registration and voters’ education efforts,” underscored University of the Philippines Professor and Far Eastern University (FEU) Public Policy Center (FPPC) Consultant Justin Muyot during a virtual forum hosted by the Ateneo School of Government and FEU TAMang Boto.

“In our voters’ education efforts, the goal is to help students and the youth be able to make up their minds regarding the many social issues that can be discussed during elections and in our day-to-day lives,” he stressed.

Citing a study conducted by FPPC, Muyot said females are more likely to be registered voters than males.

“Our future voter registration efforts should equally encourage both males and females,” he added.

Muyot said that social media can also be used to expand voter registration and voters’ education efforts.

“Even if we haven’t found evidence yet of social media importance or relationship when it comes to voters’ registration, we cannot disregard the amount of time the youth spend on social media,” Muyot said.

“Perhaps we can restrategize or rethink how we use social media so it can be effective in our voters’ registration and voter education efforts,” he added.

On shaping the sociopolitical views of the youth, Muyot recommended focusing on topics the youth “can’t decide on,” such as public services and economic growth and the environment, as well such “difficult” topics such as obedience to authorities, civil rights, premarital sex, political freedom, and the death penalty.

“Let’s all strive to move students to for their position on critical issues. Whether or not they agree or disagree is of secondary importance. The primary goal is to allow students to go through the exercise of figuring out for themselves their stand in all of these issues,” Muyot said.

“Hopefully by doing that exercise, they can align their own views to what candidates say or pronounce, what candidates plan to do, and hopefully, that can form their considerations when voting for our next set of leaders,” he ended.

Comelec said there are already 66.9 million voters for the May 2022 polls.

READ MORE: Youth inclined to vote have ‘high accuracy’ in identifying real news — survey

 
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