| Photo by Akson on Unsplash
Part XIII of the “ReVOTElution of H.O.P.E.” Series
Filipino young voters can decide the May 9, 2022, presidential, congressional, and local elections. The youth represents the majority of Filipino voters. Their ranks compose a dominating 65 percent of the voting population. But will the youth unite in supporting their own version of the “ReVOTElution of H.O.P.E.”? Remember that another meaning of “H.O.P.E.” is “Helping Online People Everywhere.”
The Philippines is fortunate that an overwhelming majority of the Filipino youth is well-versed in social media. I was more fortunate than since 2010 (when I first joined Facebook), I accepted the requests of young Filipinos to become their online friend. In fact, my sweetheart of a wife, Ceny, asked why I wanted to have young friends. I replied that when we celebrate our centennial birthdays in 2046 and 2049, respectively, most of our contemporary-and-childhood friends would be in heaven by that time. But our young friends would then be parents, and some of them would be grandparents themselves. Ergo, we would by then still have lots of good friends (some 5,000 of them on Facebook, per account) alive and kicking with enthusiasm, if not with a proactive frame of mind.
My young friends know that they have to be proactive citizens, especially regarding the environment. Many of them have probably read this article entitled, “Climate-related changes to Earth’s ice and oceans are now ‘irreversible for centuries to millennia’.” Here is the link to it.
I met many young voters when I ran for governor of Sorsogon in 2016. The youth impressed me with their knowledge of data they learned from social media. Before that year, I was the main founder (as organized on June 19, 2014) of the “Grace Poe-2016.” The first online group (with many young members) persuaded Senator Poe to run either for president or vice president. I attended meetings of youth organizers not only in Sorsogon but also in cities like Lipa (Batangas) and Antipolo (Rizal), Metro Manila, and the CALABARZON — while campaigning at our own expense for the Poe candidacy. By the way, the “Grace Poe-2016” has been renamed the “OFW/OF/Filipino Nation (Mother Chapter)” with still 44,400 plus members. (It used to have more than 70,000 members.)
“The Philippines is fortunate that an overwhelming majority of the Filipino youth is well-versed in social media.”
Yes, Filipino youth leaders know what the future would be like if their present policy-and-decision makers appear to be “deaf and dumb” (sic). Yes, as if almost all of the politicians pretend not to hear, and not to see either, events, which are happening that are bad for the environment and the socioeconomic future of the country.
In the COVID-19 pandemic, almost all Filipino youth active in social media know how bad things really are. Most of them have read that 40 percent of deer and other wildlife in the U.S. is now infected with the coronavirus. To those that have not heard it yet, here is the news about the deer and wildlife infected with the COVID-19 disease.
The Filipino young voters also know that the Philippine government has borrowed (from domestic and foreign lenders) during this pandemic crisis a reported 11-trillion pesos. Unless the smartphone that I am using got the decimals wrong, it is the equivalent of U.S. $229-billion, at the rate of $1 to 48 pesos. All of these borrowings will be paid for by present-and-future taxpayers. It is not a hyperbole of a statement to say that the present Filipino leaders have mortgaged the future of the present youth and those of the coming generations for the next few centuries or even the rest of this millennium.
The amounts borrowed could have been tested, contact-traced, and vaccinated against the COVID-19 (and all its variants) of the 120-million Filipinos several times over. And provided enough economic-stimulus support to the working people, including fishermen and farmers, that the Philippines would have been experiencing a financial bonanza during these trying times. Yes, instead of an “economic purgatory” (a term that I first used in 1988 in the Manila Standard-Los Angeles edition).
“The amounts borrowed could have been tested, contact-traced, and vaccinated against the COVID-19 (and all its variants) of the 120-million Filipinos several times over.”
Finally, as I stated in the previous part of this series, I have discussed this with my next-door neighbor here at the Philippine Daily Mirror (PDM). Yes, if the ReVOTElution succeeds, we will engage Dr. Fernando B. Perfas and his fellow addiction specialists to help rid the Philippines of addiction. What really ails the Filipino homeland is THE addiction of many segments of society. Yes, from addiction to illegal substances, tobacco, alcohol to addictive instances of graft and corruption to sexual abuses of women and minors (and trafficking them to houses of ill-repute) to extra-judicial killings, etcetera, ad infinitum.
Our idea of treating addicts, instead of jailing them (or worse, “EJKilling” them) — on short-, medium-, and long-term phases of treatment — may be less expensive and more effective than the usual punishment found in the current criminal justice system of the Philippines.
I posted in the Facebook Group of Dr. Perfas and company that instead of a mere “Therapeutic Community,” we make it into the “TCC” (Therapeutic Community Colleges) for all the 15 regions of the Philippines. And perhaps, additional campuses in some of the bigger 81 provinces of the Philippines. Why? Because many of the addicts have not completed their educational processes.
“Voters are actually doing the work of human resources (HR) staffers that are deciding on who among the candidates (read. job applicants) can be “hired” for the next six or three years, as the tenure may be.”
As this column has been reiterating in past articles of this series, the next election cycles — from 2022 to perhaps even 2046 — should be anchored on the candidates presenting bright-and-doable ideas. The truth is that an election is not a popularity contest nor a bidding process (among the usual buyers of votes).
Voters are actually doing the work of human resources (HR) staffers that are deciding on who among the candidates (read. job applicants) can be “hired” for the next six or three years, as the tenure may be. We are confident that an overwhelming majority of the 65 percent of Filipino voters feel the same way. And would act intelligently when they cast their ballots on May 9, 2022. Hopefully, a majority of their parents, elders, siblings, and friends, too, will join them in selecting the right candidates. Thus, the youthful voters, et al., would deliver a resounding mandate to the new Administration.