Asia 21 Philippines Discussion Series: Youth and Responsible Voting

MANILA, Philippines -- With the upcoming elections for national and local government posts in the Philippines, there is a great need to promote the importance of excercising one’s right to vote and doing it with great thought and responsibility. This is what the second discussion of the Asia 21 Philippines Young Leaders Discussion Series was about.

In partnership with the Young Public Servants and their affiliate Youth Vote Philippines, Asia Society Philippines conducted a voters’ education session with the Sangguniang Kabataan leaders of Makati City last 18 April 2013 at the Makati City Hall.


The program started with an talk from Atty. Darwin Mariano, an Asia 21 Young Leader, who incorporated anecdotes of his past experiences as a former Chairperson for the Sangguniang Kabataan. At age 15, he took on roles and made decisions that helped shape him to be the leader that he is now. He also expressed how valuable the voice of the youth is and that we do not need to do grandiose things to effect change. Change really starts from everyday acts that we decide to do.

This was followed by a discussion on how to vote properly. A demonstration on how the PCOS machine works was also held. Some participants were also able to experience using the machine first-hand through a trial submission of ballots. They learned how the system works and how the elections will be conducted this May 2013.


The event ended with a representative from Youth Vote Philippines encouraging the youth to vote wisely and participate in the society’s development. The organization also had sign-ups for volunteers for their events which provided the audience with an additional opportunity to be part of a movement that espouses responsible voting and the power of the youth.

As the cliché goes, “A single stone can tip the scale.” This holds true especially in relation to the elections as one vote can really make a difference. In addition to this knowledge, the participants were also given materials to help replicate the training to their respective communities and share insights to further promote the importance of responsible voting.


For more information and for suggestions for the discussion series, please email