Thursday, February 26, 2009

Youth Vote Ilocos Norte

YVote Philippines is a non-government organization committed in making the youth vote count in the May 2010 elections.  One of its flagship projects is holding voters registration inside campuses of colleges and universities.  They've done it in Manila, Cebu and Davao.

I thought to myself, why not here in Ilocos Norte.  So, I contacted them and told them if I could organize a similar activity here up north.  They allowed me as long as I tie up with a TAYO organization here.  Unfortunately, that org never contacted me.  This did not deter me from pushing through with this project.

My first choice of holding student voters registration was here in Laoag.  Either sa Northwestern University or sa MMSU-CTE.  Kaya lang, hindi daw available yung Laoag Comelec Office.

So I turned to MMSU-Batac.  I tied up with its Central Student Council, headed by Ace, the Batac Comelec Office, headed by Mrs. Josie Balbas, and Student Affairs Director Henedine Aguinaldo.  They were all very accomodating.

And so, YVote Ilocos Norte inaugurated its first student voters registration in Mariano Marcos State University in Batac City on February 24.

Maganda naman yung registration turn-out.  From 10am to 5pm, Provincial and Batac Comelec held voters registration and validation at the Teatro Ilocandia Basement.  In the end, 126 students from Batac were able to register!

Not bad, considering Batac Comelec lang yung nag-participate. (We also invited San Nicolas, Paoay, Badoc and Currimao, but apparently, there is a Comelec circular prohibiting local offices from conducting off-site registration outside their jurisdiction)  We will try, though, to convince Comelec National Office to revoke that circular so that other students of MMSU can register as well.

I could say the activity was successful.  I'd like to thank all those who helped out:

The Central Student Council (Ace and Khristian) for pushing the activity with the MMSU admin;
The MMSU admin. for allowing such activity and scheduling it the same day their were a lot of students in the venue;
Batac Comelec for spending an entire day doing voters registration in MMSU;
Ilocos Norte Comelec for assisting in the registration;
Ms Tanya Hamada of YVote Philippines for coming over to supervise the activity; and
All the students who registered! (This is the first step in your involvement in government)

'til the next voters registration in your school!

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