Many of my friends and schoolmates have asked why I support and vote for KABATAAN partylist. First, I’d like to be clear that I’m not just a supporter but I’m a member of KABATAAN Partylist since the 2007 elections. Second, I’d give the answer by borrowing the words of fellow KABATAAN Partylist member, BK Crew and leader, Victor Villanueva of Bikoy.net:
(1) It is the only genuine youth party-list group running in the elections. It is initiated by real student leaders, young activists and young professionals. It was founded by genuine student and youth organizations such as the National Union of Students of the Philippines, League of Filipino Students and Anakbayan, among others. (http://kabataanpartylist.com/about/)
Its nominees are real youth and student leaders that have proven records of serving the youth and the people in various capacities. (http://kabataanpartylist.com/nominees/)
(2) It is the only incumbent party-list group from the youth, by the youth, for the youth. It has only been in Congress for less than a year, but it has a legislative output and track-record that is better than some of the leading presidential candidates this year. (http://kabataanpartylist.com/accomplishments/)
(3) It never confined itself with its legislative agenda. KABATAAN has always been active beyond Congress. It has always been at the forefront of campaigns beyond Congress from campaigns to halt tuition increases in universities to campaigns to stop exorbitant fees in elementary and high schools.
Just recently, in unity with state scholars, it was able to stop the 2,000% tuition increase in the largest state university in the country (PUP). Before that, it was able to pressure CHED to issue a memorandum to stop the implementation of the no-permit-no-exam policy in schools nationwide. It was also able to successfully win a campaign to resume and extend voters registration for new voters. (read http://kabataanpartylist.com/accomplishments/ for a list of other accomplishments)
(4) It exposed corruption in some government agencies, most prominent of which is the overpriced medical supplies scandal of the Department of Education last year. (http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2009/08/26/overpriced-shampoo-needles-and-otoscopes-deped-faces-new-set-of-corruption-scams/)
(5) It consistently stood up against abuses in the Arroyo government from attempts at charter change, to its links with the Ampatuan massacre, to its human rights abuses and extra-judicial killings, among many many others. Because of our principles, we never got a single cent of pork barrel to help fund our campaigns and activities (but we didn’t mind, it obviously did not stop us form pursuing our agenda for change)
(6) It has always been active in the efforts to help our fellow countrymen especially in times of calamities. This was manifested in our all-out relief drive campaign together with hundreds of volunteer youth groups and individuals after typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng lashed at the country. (http://kabataanpartylist.com/blog/ondoy/)
(7) It has a broad but concrete platform, not only for the youth, but for the people. (http://kabataanpartylist.com/platform/)
(8) It has a nationalist and pro-people orientation based on the Makabayan Coalition of nationalist people’s organizations and candidates. It never limited itself to youth issues. It has always been active in the campaigns of the workers, the peasants, in the campaigns on the environment and national patrimony, among others. (http://makabayan.org.ph/makabayan-platform)
So I call on my fellow youth, to support the one true and authentic partylist that represents and works for the Filipino youth, the KABATAAN partylist. Don’t forget, it’s number 152 in the ballot.