Tuesday, February 20, 2007

KABATAAN: The Youth Now Has A Voice

Finally, the youth has a voice to represent their ideals. Its about time we old folks stand back and listen to what our kids have to say. The trapos had been using the old cliche that our children are our future, well folks, here they are. For the second time in Philippine politics would the youth attempt step into the lion's den or should I say the den of thieves.

The trapos should be wary as the youth packs a mean punch. With a representation in congress, the youth will no longer watch from the sidelines as adults play poker with their future. They can now actively participate in shaping their very own destiny. Let me introduce the KABATAAN to you, here is a backgrounder.

KABATAAN Partylist is the largest youth party in the country that will represent the youth sector in the 2007 elections.

This will be the second time for the party to run in the partylist elections. In 2004, it was the sole youth party that participated in the elections under its previous name Ang Nagkakaisang Kabataan Para sa Sambayanan or Anak ng Bayan Youth Partylist.

Anak ng Bayan was among the top choices for partylist based on pre-election surveys (Pulse Asia, SWS). However, the partylist fell prey to massive vote shaving. A significant number of its votes were anomalously counted in favor of another partylist group. It was just 35,000 votes short of clinching one seat in the Lower House.

Despite being cheated of electoral victory, the party went on with its advocacies and continued to carry on with the partylist’s principles and general program of action.

Together with some of its founding organizations such as the National Union of Students, College Editors Guild, the League of Filipino Students, Student Christian Movement of the Philippines, Anakbayan and Kabataang Artisa para sa Tunay na Kalayaan (KARATULA), it vigorously campaigned for youth and students’ interests and demands concerning education and employment.

Kabataan partylist remains at the forefront of youth and students’ campaigns against unabated tuition and miscellaneous fee increases, for higher state subsidy for education, adequate jobs for new graduates, the defense and recognition of human rights and civil liberties which include consumer rights and the right to health, and the protection and conservation of national patrimony. It continues to give primacy to the promotion of holistic development and genuine youth empowerment through volunteer work, leadership and skills training and other activities that cater to the needs and interests of young Filipinos.

Drawing inspiration from great youth leaders and the first youth party in the Philippines, Young Philippines, KABATAAN Partylist is determined to place the first youth sectoral representative in Congress and reaffirm the youth’s vanguard role and leadership in social transformation and nation building.

In this time of corrupt governance and political unrest/instability, the nation needs young, vibrant and innovative minds that will restore integrity and morality in governance and lead the nation to genuine progress and social change.

With its new brand of politics – politics of hope, struggle and change - KABATAAN Partylist ushers in a new era for Philippine politics, away from the kind of leadership that traditional politicians and dynasties have for the longest time instilled in government.

This coming elections, we vote for honest officials, for principled leadership and for change. Now more than ever is the time for the youth to be involved

Our future IS our choice. Kabataan, pag-asa ng bayan. Tayo naman sa kongreso!

To get a better grasp of what KABATAAN can offer, you can find it HERE.