Balik Serbisyo: QC scholars give back
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – It was the time to give back in exchange for what the Quezon City government had given them.
Upholding clean and honest elections, the Huwarang Mag-aaral ng Bayan (HMB), a Quezon City scholars’ youth organization under the scholarship and youth development program (SYDP), conducted voters’ education sessions for city residents days before the May 13 elections.
The seminars discussed the importance of government officials and sought to educate residents about automated election processes.
About 3,000 scholars in Quezon City were divided into different groups to reach the 141 barangays in the 6 districts of Quezon City. They coordinated with the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) officials and different youth organizations in their assigned barangays.
According to SYDP staff Chi Glorioso, the rationale of the community service included:
- reminding the scholars that they should know the importance of disseminating the right information to the QC voters
- informing citizens that their scholars are not just for the academe but also for community development
- taking the responsibility to inspire youth
“Matututunan nilang makisalamuha sa iba't ibang uri ng tao sa komunidad, magkaroon ng respeto at pakikisama. Maaari ding ito ang maging daan para mahulma sila bilang tao, madevelop ang self-confidence and to open their minds,” Glorioso added.
(They would learn how to interact, respect and cooperate with people from the different communities. This activity could also be an avenue to shape them as people and develop their self-confidence and to open their minds.)
Before they started the voters’ education seminars, scholars clarified that they are doing this community service not to endorse the incumbent officials or any politicians. They maintained that their intention is to advise citizens to vote smart.
“Since…we have done our ocular visit until we were done… with the seminar, I always feel glad and honored for the reason that were given the chance to serve and offer a way for improving the society in some domains mainly for the upcoming national elections 2013,” Larry Tobias, scholar from the University of the East, said.
According to him, scholars are motivated to do community service since they see it as a way of countering corruption, injustice and weak government performance of "some” public officials.
“It is not that hard to conduct community service in our assigned barangay since the SK chairpersons were willing to help us and the people were very accommodating and cooperative. When it comes to the seminar, the participants interacted well with us, supposing they already have the background or knowledge about the topic,” Tobias added.
On voting smart
Instead of endorsing officials, the scholars used their time to encourage QC voters to exercise their right of suffrage intelligently.
Antonio Bolanon from barangay Apolonio Samson said that the seminar helped them a lot since there are many first-time voters in their barangay.
Participants from barangay Balunbato felt that the seminar enlightened them on various election-related matters, encouraged them to vote responsibly, and boosted their confidence in the automated election system. – Rappler.com
Nolgie Antonio is a Rappler intern and a Mass Communication student of Far Eastern University. Follow him on Twitter for real-time updates.
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