MANILA, Feb. 12, 2013—The Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines teamed up with the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) to promote an Honest, Orderly and Peaceful Elections (HOPE) for May 2013 elections and beyond.
Ms. Ginny de Villa of PPCRV discussed with Fr. Conegundo Garganta, the executive secretary of ECY possible collaboration for May elections and succeeding polls.
Garganta said ECY Philippines is committed in its mission to partner with any initiatives that would engage and involve the youth in the coming election by promoting the cause of HOPE.
“The commission is aware that we do not only help prepare our young people in the selection of leaders during election period [but that] knowledge, experiences, and the significance of using the right to vote or elect a government leader will be embedded in the consciousness of our young,” Garganta said.
The priest also said that both offices can share materials to educate voters, especially the youth.
Garganta said a formation module called “Kabataang bayani” is intended to prepare young people for elections.
He also mentioned the “Candle for hope”, an activity that encourages young people to participate in prayer vigils.
“This activity is a short prayer vigil asking the youth and the community to really prepare and pray that the election will be an honest, orderly and peaceful one,” he added.
A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) will soon seal the partnership between the two organizations, Garganta said.
“Once the MOA is approved, we can share the materials available within the realm of PPCRV like voter’s education module, the youthful version of a comic type voter’s education in our websites and youth ministry offices, he also added.
When asked about physical collaboration, the priest said they were able to come up with module to educate voters but as regards to physical support, it will come from dioceses or parishes.
“What the commission will do is to remind the youth ministry offices in the region or dioceses to be involved by becoming local volunteers. There is also a concrete activity of parallel count in the National Headquarters, so the ECY will help them by reminding and endorsing the request of PPCRV to be able to gather 3,000 volunteers for a period of three weeks which will probably come from NCR dioceses, Federation of National Youth Organizations (FNYO) or youth movements,” Garganta explained.
ECY is looking forward to collaborate with the poll watchdog and to continue the partnership up to 2016 National Elections and beyond.
The partnership is a reminder that the youth has a very special role to play during elections and their involvement provides strong support in the cause for change and transformation.
Garganta furthered that the youth must become a catalyst of change by casting their vote and helping realize an Honest, Orderly, and Peaceful Elections. (Jandel Posion/CBCPNews)