By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senator Aquilino Pimentel III is urging Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) officials to encourage unregistered but eligible youth to exercise their right to vote and participate in the May 13, 2019midterm elections.
Pimentel, chair of the Senate Committee Electoral Reforms and People’s Participation, in his appeal, stressed that the importance of participating in elections.
“I believe it is important to impress upon our youth that voting is the duty of every responsible citizen, and one of the concrete ways one can influence the direction of government,” Pimentel said.
Pimentel said SK officials should be able to encourage their constituents to exercise their duty and right to vote.
“They are used to going around their respective barangays convincing young people to vote for them. If they have the capacity to mount campaigns to secure votes, they can surely conduct campaigns to get unregistered youth to register and vote,” he noted.
“The SK should convince their constituency to vote — and vote wisely — as they are in a position to remind their fellow youth that who they vote for will determine how their city is run, what laws are passed, and where public funds will go,” he added.
He, on the other hand, reminded the youth leaders not to get involved in partisan efforts in convincing young voters to vote on election day.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) earlier announced that the registration of voters is scheduled from July 2 to September 29, 2018.
Filipinos aged 18 and above by election day can register at the Offices of the Election Officer (OEOs) of the city, district, or municipality where they reside.
Pimentel, citing data, expects that over a million additional citizens would be qualified to vote for the 2019 national and local elections.
“Approximately 1.5 million Filipinos were born between June 2000 and April 2001 — these are young men and women who are qualified to register for the 2019 midterm polls but were too young to register for the May 2018 barangay elections,” Pimentel said.
This “significant portion” of the population, he said, “should be given a say in choosing their leaders.”