Original Article: http://www.interaksyon.com/youthvote2013
Upon the assumption into office by President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, democratic spaces for people’s and civil society organizations have opened up towards participation in governance. The key strategy of the current Aquino administration harnesses the wisdom and mandate of its constituency towards realizing reforms especially in the area of anti-corruption.
The country is currently situated within the momentous time in history of “cleaning up” and “rehabilitating” the democratic institutions provided by the constitution after almost 10 years of the Arroyo regime. Thus, the administration has faced both criticisms and praises for its pursuit of exacting accountability from the excesses of the previous administration.
With young people comprising more than 40% of the 2013 electorate, new and first time voters have the potential to change the landscape of Philippine politics. According to the National Youth Commission National Youth Assessment Study, the major agenda and issues of young people center on education, employment and migration, and health.
|NAPC’s Nurse Alvin Dakis|
The National Anti-Poverty Commission Youth and Students’ Sector also added that young people’s participation in politics and governance remain an issue with the current talks on the abolition of the Sangguniang Kabataan and the current administration’s anti-corruption initiatives.
In this regard, youth groups such as the Student Council Alliance of the Philippines and the First Time Voters’ Network are pushing to maximize young people’s stake in the midterm elections by forwarding young people’s agenda, thus the launching of the Progressive Youth Agenda
|LENTE’s Atty. Luie Guia|
The initiative seeks to mainstream young people’s issues, sentiments and policy recommendations in time for the 2013 midterm elections. Going against the tide of personality-based politics, youth and student organizations are banding together to make the most of the democratic spaces being afforded.