Commission on Elections spokesman James Jimenez speaks during the “Bata, Bata Mulat KNB? The Youth Vote in 2022” webinar on Sept. 8.

“The youth will be able to dictate much of the outcome of the elections as well as the shape of government to come.”

Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesman James Jimenez highlighted the role of the youth in choosing the country’s next set of leaders during a webinar titled “Bata, Bata, Mulat KNB? The Youth Vote in 2022” on Sept. 8.

Jimenez, a UST law alumnus, said young voters aged 18 to 21 accounted for 7 percent of the country’s total voting population and could sway the results of the election.

“Kapag marami kang youth participants in the electoral system, nakikita natin na nagi-infuse sila ng bagong ideas sa diskusyon natin. Marami tayong napag-uusapang bagong issues, mga bagong konsepto na dati medyo ini-ignore,” he said

Jimenez added that youth participation could influence the passage of more “youth-centric laws” in the future.

“Ang problema kasi sa karamihan ng batas natin, hindi niya talaga pinagtutuunan ng pansin ang ispesipikong hamon na hinaharap ng mga kabataan,” he said.

‘Informed citizenry’

Asst. Prof. Louie Benedict Ignacio, president of the Philippine Sociological Society, urged the youth to be “critical enough to pick out which is true and which is fake.”

“The goal now is to make sure that the young people, especially the first-time registrants, have access to information, be adequately and properly informed, and be critical enough to pick out which is true and which is fake to critically enrich the discourse,” Ignacio said.

“Kung ang sinasabi ng pattern ay nakukuha ng mga kabataan ang impormasyon nila sa social media, kahit Facebook man yan, TikTok man yan, Instagram man yan. Dapat tinitingnan [ng mga institusyon] kung paano nila iyon magagamit para mapanatiling may alam ang kabataan,” he added.

“Bata, Bata, Mulat KNB? The Youth Vote in 2022,” was the second webinar in the Philippine Communications Society’s “National Forum on Communication and Democracy: Philippine Elections 2022” series.

The webinar was launched in cooperation with the University of the Philippines’ internet TV network, TVUP, and featured representatives from the youth sector.


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