If there’s any sector that will make the biggest difference in the coming elections, that would be the youth or those belonging to the ages of 18-41. They comprise more than half of the total 65.7 million voters at 37 million or 56%, according to the Commission on Elections or COMELEC.
According to an article in Inquirer.net, figures gathered from Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia show that Filipinos between 18 and 24 years old, including those who will vote for the first time in May, make up 13% of the population.
This is the generation who grew up on YouTube, Tiktok, Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media will understandably come to the polls giddy and excited at the same time.
While it is the parent’s role to guide their first-time voters in selecting the best candidates for the country, preparing for the polls, especially in the time of Covid-19 is a different challenge altogether.
“It is important to take care of their physiological needs [before heading to the precinct],” says Dr. Galang, chair of the Family Studies Program and associate director of the Center for Peace Education at Miriam College. She is also a mom of a first-time voter.
Practical reminders for your first-time voter
In preparing for the day of the elections, especially during this time of the pandemic, she gives these reminders to other parents.
1. Come to the polls nourished.
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Make sure they eat first at home in case there is a long queue. They should also bring enough water to keep them hydrated.
2. Wear a mask and keep it on.
Since it will be crowded, they must be reminded to wear their masks properly and to keep them on the entire time.