Voters' Education and the Sangguniang Kabataan of Brgy. Buyo

With the Buyo SK officials and volunteers (back row) and our Manito's Time volunteers (front row)

I'm a reluctant supporter of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK).  This is mainly because as a student of political science, I share the apprehension that instead of developing new generations of trustworthy civic minded leaders, it merely becomes an avenue for traditional politicians to train our youth to continue vote buying and other practices that have kept our country from truly developing.  

The Sangguniang Kabataan ng Barangay Buyo here in Manito, Albay is one of the SKs that has been giving me hope.   We have observed them actively initiating timely and relevant efforts to involve and develop the youth throughout this pandemic.

  They have also most pleasantly surprised me because like all their activities and programs, they have been a leading SK in terms of timely and relevant ideas.  

Last August 2021, they were even the only (at least to my knowledge) SK in the area that has thought about conducting a Voters' Education seminar as part of their Linggo ng Kabataan celebration, and they invited me to speak on the topic.

My wife and our Manito's Time volunteer writers did not hesitate to accept the invitation because it was a great opportunity to influence our young voters.  As a student of political science, I firmly believe that strengthening our electoral system is key to the development of a mature and progressive country.  If we can't change the illegal and corrupt practices of our adults, then we can at least try to educate our young generation.

I also accepted the invitation because I was pleased to know that all of the SK officers and volunteers, except for the highly capable SK Chairperson herself, were my former students at the community college in subjects like History, Economics, Ethics, and English.  I have always stressed that there is no learning when there is no change in behavior.  I am glad that they are applying what they learned in our classroom.  More than the high grades they received in class, here they proved that they have actually learned from our class discussions. 

As long as we have young people like them, then our hope will continue to be alive, and our efforts to train and teach, will not be in vain.

I hope and pray that this May 9, these young people, and the millions of other Filipino youth, will start using the ballot by properly weighing candidates according to standards like integrity, competence, and accountability.


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