CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — Philippine Information Agency (PIA) and partner educational institutions urged Kapampangan youth to be conscientious when they exercise their right to vote on May 9.
During the fifth leg of Kilos Kabataan, Makibahagi sa Halalan! voter’s education forum, Regional Director William Beltran said that as the primary information arm of the government, PIA saw the imperative to educate voters, especially the youth, on what to expect and consider in casting their votes.
“The youth has an important role to play in laying down a firm foundation of good governance by ensuring that who they elect in positions are the ones who are really qualified and who could best carry on the torch of immense responsibility to lead our nation,” he said.
He also urged the youth to consider voting not just as a right and an opportunity, but also a privilege and one of their accountable priorities as responsible voters.
With this, he also reminded voters to do away with apathy and make themselves more relevant in society and governance by assessing and discerning not just the qualifications of candidates, but also their character and values.
“A single vote could spell the difference in our government and the kind of society that we will have for the next six years…The start of a better society will always start with the conscientious voting of everyone,” he stressed.
For her part, University of the Assumption (UA) School of Arts and Sciences Dean Edna Calma said forums like this will acquaint participants with the voting process, and will provide them with easy steps and guidelines on how to choose the right candidates.
Since the youth comprised about half of the total registered voters, Calma recognized the power of the youth in mapping out the landscape of the nation.
“It is then crucial that you know your responsibility to the nation in voting for the right candidates who are servant leaders with high sense of morality and belief in God; honest and cannot be manipulated; and future leaders with genuine passion to serve and strong desire to make the Philippines a better nation,” she said.
Meanwhile, Mabalacat City (MCC) College President Michelle Aguilar-Ong said that as the youth face a big decision in choosing the next leaders of the country, it is important that they read, research, and verify the concrete plans and programs of the candidates by listening to debates and checking their profiles.
Ong said it is also important to know who is around candidates supporting them, because they will be the ones giving advice and asking for his or her help.
Voters, she added, should also reflect on the real job of the president because the next president must be respected and credible because he or she will be the face of the Philippines.
The fifth leg of Kilos Kabataan: Makibahagi sa Halalan! was organized by PIA in partnership with Commission on Elections, Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, National Youth Commission, UA, and MCC.