FACULTY OF Arts and Letters (AB) Batch ‘69 alumni have launched a project, aiming to educate the youth on having a critical vote in the upcoming general elections through competency-based assessment tools.

The Intelligent Youth Vote (IYV) founders, Tita Puangco, Eyra Umali, and Erlie Lopez, believe that Filipinos’ voting attitude lacks critical thinking in assessing the candidates’ competence in leading the nation, saying that voters pattern their decision on surveys, command of their community. 

“‘Yung discernment process should be based on competency and not kung gwapo ‘yung kandidato or nagbibigay ng pera or kung siya ay popular. We feel competency should be the basis for voting a person into the president’s office,” Puangco told The Flame and the Varsitarian in a joint interview.

The competency-based approach aims to assess the candidates based on their integrity, leadership experience, nationalistic attitude, managing national transformation, communication skills, professional management, thinking system, and educational background. 

The alumni initiative hopes to inculcate relevant lessons to the electorate to vote intelligently by conducting workshops among various sectors and posting multimedia materials from different organizations, including the UST Journalism Society. 

They said that adapting this assessment tool could hopefully shift the voting culture in the country. 

“The first that we are influencing is the change in the election culture. Shifting it from very frenzy reasons of electing people to a more solid reason such as competencies. So makikita nyo culture change talaga ang aming interest,” Puangco said. 

Educating the youth in creating intelligent decisions is deemed important as the results of these elections may have a long-term influence on their future, they said.

“If you look at the importance of an election in the longer term, it’s really more for the youth, more for the future generations. So, we should really help the youth, invite them, so they will be really able to think well and vote intelligently,” Lopez said. 

The Commission on Elections recorded a 56-percent youth voting population aged 18 to 41 years old, describing them as “prime movers” in this high-stake election.


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