The First Time Voters Project
The First Time Voters project (FTV) started in year 2001, where 4.5 million aged 18-21 years old first time voters were disenfranchised due to lack of awareness on the ongoing registration and the incapacity of the Commission on Elections to register efficiently all the first time voters. Now in its 4th elections-participation campaign, the First Time Voters Project aims to launch a renewed advocacy to register, educate, and mobilize first time voters to engage the candidates and vote on the basis of platforms and reform agenda.
In 2010, an estimated 27.6 million young voters age 18-34 years old will take to the polls. 9 million of these young voters are first time voters that can be located in schools and barangays (villages). These numbers, if harnessed, can make or break the turn out of the elections—for the candidates and for the future of the Philippines.
What is FTV?
The First Time Voters Project is a networking and education program initiated by various youth organizations who remain committed in raising the awareness of the youth in the political system and to raising the youth’s involvement in their electoral engagement towards new politics and transformative governance.
It is a network of organizations and individuals that advocates meaningful participation of young citizens and pushes for electoral and political reforms necessary for democratization and social inclusion of the youth as a means to address the generation’s continuing apathy and alienation to political processes.
The First Time Voters’ Project is a continuing process of developing a new generation of electorate who exercise their right to suffrage and maximize youthful and critical tools in determining the fate of the country and their future.
The First Time Voters Project envisions an informed critical young electorate who actively participates in Philippine political processes geared towards new politics and transformative governance.
The First Time Voters Project tasks itself to educate the young generation while motivating their involvement and addressing the decline in their political and electoral participation through practical, youthful and action oriented means of intervention and cooperation
Now on its 8th year, the network’s pioneering programs remain relevant in engaging first time voters to participate actively in electoral and political processes:
Networking of Youth and Students Organizations
Registration Awareness Drive
Political Education for First Time Voters
Formulation and Monitoring of Youth Agenda
Alternative Youth Events
2001 Special Registration Campaign
• 4.5 million first time voters were disenfranchised as they did not meet the registration deadline due to lack of information-awareness drive by the Commission on Elections
• Stakeholders MASP, SCAP, ALYANSA and Akbayan Youth spearheaded the campaign to extend the registration
• Series of pickets, campus and community tours, leafleting, postering and concerts for the campaign have stirred mass interest—-the issue elicited public opinion.
• President Macapagal Arroyo’s visit at the first time voters’ camp and her administrations’ pledge of support
• The historic call for a special session of Congress by the President to revise the law which limited the time for the voters to register
• The class suit filed against the Commission o Elections to the Supreme Court
• The Unang Boto, Anti-Trapo Campaign
Until now, advocates work to institutionalize the FTV project as our generation’s response in changing the socio-political culture of the youth towards alternative politics and transformative governance.