Youth representatives from different groups and organizations joined LSIG’s second knowledge workshop entitled “Youth Political Participation in the Midst of the Pandemic” last February 19, 2021 through Zoom.
Attended by 59 participants, the workshop identified emerging electoral issues relevant to the youth sector and generated possible solutions for greater youth political participation in the 2022 national elections amidst the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the challenges raised during the session are the struggle to collectivize youth interests, weakness of current civic education and voter education paradigms, lack of inclusive spaces for discourse and participation, and media illiteracy among the youth especially given the rampant peddling of fake news.
The workshop included panel discussions on the issues of youth and political participation, and capability-building options for youth networking in their current spheres. The first panel session entitled “Why Youth Political Participation Matters” was led by Atty. Anna Tarhata Basman, Mr. Jules Guiang and Atty. Ona Caritos. The speakers’ experiences in public service and development work at a young age have emphasized the need for youth participation in all aspects of the electoral process. On the other hand, the second panel session, with the theme “Youth Networking and Coalition Building,” had Mr. Leon Flores III and Atty. Carlo Africa as panel members. Both speakers shared practical advice on how to effectively mobilize and engage the youth at different areas of participation.
Towards the end of the activity, the participants made a pledge of commitment to support the conduct of free, transparent, and fair elections by actively participating in the election process and exploring other effective means of engaging their fellow youth, particularly in this time of pandemic.
The second online workshop was co-organized in partnership with the Ateneo School of Government and The Asia Foundation, through the Youth-Led Project. It is also part of the virtual knowledge workshop series that aims to strengthen citizen participation in the 2022 elections in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.