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Why the youth should register to vote in 2016

It was there that I realized all is not lost. Our generation is in a battle against powers-that-be and most of all, apathy. Our greatest enemy is our own indifference to the things that go on around us. I realized that in this battle, the side I choose is the side that makes positive changes possible. I realized at some point, that we need more leaders and politicians who have genuine concern for our nation’s plight in our government if we hope to create a nation that we could be proud to call ours.

One of the ways that we can ensure this happens is if we participate in elections.

Rock the vote

Now that the 2016 election is fast approaching, I hope that we will all use our right to suffrage wisely. On May 14, 2015, the National Youth Commission launched its “ROCK THE VOTE: Isang Milyong Boto, Kumilos sa Pagbabago” in UP Diliman in Quezon City as part of its campaign for voters’ registration to hit the one million mark to accomplish the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) target of 3 million new voters by 2016.

Registration is only the initial phase of this campaign.

After October, the youth will be engaged in voters’ education across the country. As Chairperson Gio Tingson said, “Young people have the capacity of engaging the government and can be agents of change … encouraging them to register and vote is no longer just the responsibility of Comelec. Everybody has a role to play”.

With only less than a year left before May 2016 elections and 5 months before the deadline for voters’ registration, Rock the Vote will hold registration drives in key locations nationwide.

To expedite the registration process, the Comelec also launched its online platform where first-time voters can register. iRehistro is available for the National Capital Region and the Cordillera Administrative Region. The deadline for registration, be it manual or online, is on October 31, 2015.

Integrating the youth to the electoral process is vital for democracy to work. Suffusing our pool of voters with idealistic individuals capable of critical thinking can significantly change the outcome of the polls.

“The history of Philippine Elections is the chronicle of the youth’s participation in the electoral process. We need to equip our young voters if we want to create a better political landscape for our nation,” said NYC Commissioner JP Penol.

I am challenging fellow young people to heed the call and to hit their local Comelec registration booths to register. If Harry Potter and his friends got their wand to cast spells in defense against the dark forces, then we have our registration to cast our votes. - Rappler.com 

Faye Travilla is a 22-year-old graduate of the University of the Philippines Manila and one of the Conveners of 10thNational Youth Parliament under the National Youth Commission.