Monday, March 16, 2009


NEW First TimeVoters Weblog

Hello everyone!!!

We would like to inform you that the First Time Voters Network has transferred to wordpress. :)

Please check out the new First Time Voters Project Weblog!!

Many thanks!!

-FTV Network Secretariat

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


I Vote, I Transform!

Young voters comprise the majority of the voting population for the 2007 elections. This doesn’t only mean the youth can swing the results of the elections, but it also tells us the power of the youth to significantly contribute to the institutionalization of deeper and meaningful reforms in our political system.

Using this power is not only important, but also necessary and urgent. The country is currently facing a serious political and economic crisis. The space for reforms provided by EDSA 1 and 2 has been bastardized by traditional politicians who put personal and myopic interests above the interests of the nation. Competence, credibility, and good governance have been replaced by popularity, prominent family names, and wealth.

Voting and being active during elections would not guarantee immediate reforms and changes in our political system. However, it is an important start: by electing as many progressive candidates as possible, the chance of having more reforms and changes in our politics becomes greater.


There will be hundreds of candidates that will be running for different positions in the coming polls. Add that to the thousands of voters who will flock to their precints and you’d probably consider skipping this elections and staying at home instead.

Much of the stress that takes place during election day can be significantly reduced if we go to our precincts ready and well prepared. And we don’t prepare for the election on the day of voting itself: this must be done much earlier to have the advantage of time to learn more about our candidates, or our own position on issues.

Here’s a simple step by step guide to a well-informed and stress-free voting:


Instead of relying on the candidates to tell you about the issues that you should hear from them, why not do it other way around this time? Remember, elective officials are supposed to represent you and the people’s concern should set the priority issues or platform of the candidate.

One practical thing to do is to list down the issues that you feel strongly about. Many young Filipinos feel strongly about the kind of education that they get, or how accessible education is, or the chances of getting a job after their studies. Others are more interested in their participation in the government’s decision-making processes, from the proposed abolition of the Sangguniang Kabataan to having meaningful consultations with public officials.


This isn’t as hard or difficult as it sounds. We don’t have expect young voters to have the solution to the problems and issues that the country faces. But the idea is, other than knowing what issues the candidates should champion, we should also have a sense on how they should propose to solve or handle issues.

One good way to do this is to contact other youth groups or civil society organizations that have done research on specific issues and have proposed policies or solution to these issues.


It’s election season and a lot of traditional politicians are spending millions of pesos to project a different and a more attractive image. This makes it difficult to get more information directly from the candidates, but then we need to be persistent. There are many possible sources of background information on the candidates, if the candidate is a re-electionist, then get a copy of the candidate’s voting record. This would tell us how they decided on certain issues. Obtain a list of the bills that he or she supported or voted against, his or her project and programs, and get a copy of his or her statement of assets and liabilities to see his or her financial or business interests. If a candidate is not an incumbent, then get a copy of his or her platform and position papers. Be attentive to the media reports on the candidate. If worse comes to worse, then brave the candidate’s campaign sortie, where sometimes voters can get a chance to talk to the candidate directly.

Look into leadership skills of the candidate. Does he or she accept invitations to debates or does he or she have the patience to listen to the voters? Are his or her campaign materials accurate?


Candidates oftentimes have spin doctors, or political operators, that write their speeches or develop their platforms. This makes it important to evaluate the materials that you have obtained to have a more discerning and critical assessment of the candidate. A lot of candidates avoid ambush interviews from the press precisely because they do not know a thing about important issues and at times this is more revealing than the impressive resumes that were provided by the candidate’s campaigners.


Talk to your friends or to your family about your impressions of the candidate. This helps broaden our perspectives on the issues that we care about and may even help us obtain more information and data for our political decisions. Remember, though, not to discount your personal opinions or perspective of others. Be broad-minded. Since you are doing this way before the Election Day, you have the luxury of time to analyze all the stuffs that you’ve heard.


Review your data and compare the candidates, ask yourself who among the candidates champion the issues you feel strongly about. Check, who is doing his or her campaign fair and square. Then choose the candidate that you will vote for.


Of course if you feel strongly about the candidate, and if you really want him or her to win, you can always join his or her campaign!


Join us! We, in the First Time Voters Network are welcoming young advocates to be with us in our campaigns and activities. For more information, contact us at 0916 3085920 / 0920 5402785, or visit us,

Monday, January 29, 2007


FTV Network in Newsbreak

Monday, 29 January 2007

SINCE IT was introduced in the Philippines in 1995, the Internet has been used by politicians to win elections without much success. This is true for both administration and opposition candidates, who will surely try to use the Internet again to win votes on Election Day, May 14, 2007.

Today, there are around 4.5 million Internet users in the Philippines, 4.8 percent of the population. Although small compared to users in developed countries, it is a huge leap from the 200,000 users recorded in 1997, and it is growing faster.
The digital highway is still a cheap and relatively unregulated medium. This is the experience of politicians in developed countries like the US and the United Kingdom. In these countries, candidates try to master the e-mail as the new form of direct mail campaign raising money and pushing the message. They find it a low-cost way to converse repeatedly with prospective voters.

This not yet the case in the Philippines with the relative high cost of desktop computers and laptops. And there is still a short supply of Internet rental shops. However, in this election year, an emerging group can elect public officials with the help of the Internet. These are the country's young voters. They will soon be reinforced by roughly 8 million first-time voters aged 18 to 21, as reported in NEWSBREAK.

Among the leaders of the group is an advocacy group called First Time Voters Project, an association of tech-savvy youth groups headed by Akbayan Youth, Student Council Alliance of the Philippines, First Time Voters Network, Movement for the Advancement of Student Power, and Alyansa ng Nagkakaisang Lakas ng Kabataan.
Young Filipinos have an overwhelming dominance of the digital highway, according to an A.C. Nielsen survey. Here's the extent of Internet usage by age bracket:
20 years old – 9 percent;
20-29 years old – 54 percent;
30-39 years old – 27 percent;
40-49 years old – 8 percent; and
50- 59 years old – 2 percent.

In terms of education, 66.9 percent of Internet users are college graduates. With these figures, young voters can create a powerful buzz on the Web. They won't be much regarded as private space invaders since they are mainly identified with the interest of voters. Here, the extent and quality of the database, especially for e-mail, is of great importance Internet buzz via Web sites, blogs, podcasts, e-mails, linked with text-messaging, could produce some of the winners in this year's senatorial and party-list elections.

If so, the youth's digital shots for democracy will turn Philippine political campaigns upside down for years to come. —Frankie Llaguno

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Reggae Party Press Release


The First Time Voters Project, a national advocacy and education network of youth and student organizations pushing for the meaningful participation of young people in the electoral process conducts a Reggae Party at the Xaymaca Bar in Quezon City as kick off, second semester gathering of electoral youth reform advocates that shall see through the realization of credible elections in 2007.
As a means to capture fellow youth's imagination, the Network gathers different youth around Metro Manila in such an occasion to uphold and celebrate the significant role of the young in shaping the future starting with its involvement in the 2007 elections. The Network beleives that at present there constitute nearly a million first time voters in the National Capital Region alone, one-fifth of the overall electoral turn out in the 2004 elections. With such numbers and the youth's idealism and energies, first time voters is a potent force to contribute in the much needed reforms in the country's politics.
The First Time Voters project who organized the First Time Voters Reggae Party announces its plans to position on significant issues like the Constituent Assembly, Peace, education Reforms and the other youth-related demands and issues, saying that these issues impact the coming elections and will have its premium as young people who will cast their ballot looking on the platforms and positions of their canididates.
The Network even cited how young people, especially first time voters, in the United States voted against the Republicans in their recently concluded elections, with the consciousness on the issues of war and basic services. Such outcome is likely to turn out also, says the Network, lest national policies that are just, effective and youth-responsive will be put on the sidelines.
The First Time Voters Reggae Party, a venue to also inform first time voters of the registration process, is also attended by different guests and personalities who support the cause that make the young voices be heard in the coming elections. Activities following this second semester kick-off include school hopping to educate first time voters and mobilizations to register first time voters from diffrent cities in the Linggo ng Kabataan in December.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


FTV Reggae Party

Join us in the hottest participatory party in town!!!!

The "First Time Voters Reggae Party"
Peace Pipe
Reggae Mistress
Hemp Republic

Xymaca Bar
Timog, Quezon City
the program will start at 8pm
Tickets are sold for 175php
inclusive of 2 drinks
Just contact us if you are interested!!

Thursday, October 12, 2006


FTV launching Press Release

No to Disenfranchisement in 2007:
Youth Organizations Relaunch the First Time Voters Project

Different organizations from schools and communities in Metro Manila today relaunches in a music-caravan the “First Time Voters Project Registration Campaign”. Young people ages 17-21 years old, in their motorcycles and cars with loud music, hop around university areas to inform fellow first time voters of the ongoing registration and the need for young people to be active in the coming elections.

Young people comprise the majority of the voting population. For young people ages 18-24 alone, the projected voting population of the National Statistics Office in 2004 is 11 million. First time voters include those 18 to 21 years old who have not yet participated in the elections of 2004 and those 21 years old and above who have failed to register in the last elections. Each new voter, a Filipino citizen ages 18 years old in the day of the elections need to register as a pre-requisite in voting.

According to the group, 5 million and 2 million first time voters were disenfranchised in the elections of 2001 and 2004 respectively due to insufficient information for new registrants. “Our numbers show how crucial we are in the next elections. We would like to ensure that we will not have yet another case of millions of first time voters not having their chance to cast their first vote in 2007,” says Student Council Alliance of the Philippines NCR and Project Spokesperson Bianca Lapuz.

Earlier this month, the Social Weather Stations released their survey conducted in June 2006 that three-fourths (76%) of the 18-24 years old unregistered voters say they are unaware of the continuing voters registration.

The First Time Voters Project started as a national campaign in 2001 of youth organizations like Movement for the Advancement of Student Power, Student Council Alliance of the Philippines, Akbayan Youth and ALYANSA to extend registration for millions of first time voters who did not meet the registration deadline. Hurdles in the registration of 2001 and 2004, according to then Project Coordinator Marie Chris Cabreros, include lack of information, inaccessibility of registration venues, and differences in requirements for different areas especially for urban poor youth.

Aside from the concern on the registration, the First Time Voters Project is a platform for new voters to put their stake and agenda for 2007. “The lessons of 2001 and 2004 and the current traditional political landscape gave us basis to be pro-active in encouraging fellow youth to participate and not allow ourselves be muted in the electoral exercise that is very crucial in the coming months. If first time voters unite under a platform and choose better leaders that will transform the deteriorating situation that our country now is in, then we ensure the future we deserve,” says Lapuz.

The group hops in the University Belt, Taft Avenue, Intramuros, Aurora-Cubao and Katipunan conducting a program, playing music and giving out fliers on the registration information. The First Time Voters Project after in Metro Manila will be reluanched also in Cebu, Bacolod, Ilo-Ilo, Dumaguete City, Bohol, Davao, Zamboanga, Cagayan de Oro and Angeles City.
First Time Voters Project Network
September 18, 2006

Monday, October 09, 2006


Register Now!

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