Let’s Go Out and Vote! This is the battlecry of the Go VOTE Movement, a volunteer-based and non-profit group, led by President and Convener Atty. Erickson Balmes. The launch on April 1, 2019 at the Victoria Sports Tower in Quezon City was attended by key stakeholders, government officers, non-government organizations (NGO), non- partisan groups, and the media. The advocacy-based gathering highlighted the role of the Filipinos in the upcoming mid-term elections.
The Philippine Elections is happening soon. The candidates running for office are busy campaigning. Everyday, I hear campaign jingles from different candidates, encouraging people to vote for them for one reason or another. Personally, I was not able to vote for the last 2 elections because of my involvements the entire day in both instances. Now that I no longer have any commitments, I’m free to vote and will definitely go out and vote.
Importance of Voting
The Go VOTE Movement believes that the vibrancy of any democracy is anchored on the full freedom of each individual to fully participate in the process of selecting their representatives in government.
One of the basic human rights is the right to partake in the government of this country, directly or through freely chosen representatives” (Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights).
It is essential that the results of the elections should reflect the true will of the people. This is the bedrock of any democracy. It gives greater meaning to the words of Article II, Section of the 1987 Constitution that “The Philippines is a democratic and republican state. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them.”
It becomes paramount that every voter should freely exercise their right to vote, and in the process to elect the leaders who they believe can serve them best as capacitated and dedicate public servants.
What is the Go VOTE Movement?
The Go VOTE Movement (GVM) is a non-partisan, non-governmental organization of volunteers committed to the purpose of encouraging more registered Filipino voters to vote on May 13, 2019.
GVM believes that the key to encouraging more of our country to go out and vote on election day is via the conduct of FREE voter’s education to all stakeholders all over the country.
This volunteer-based and non-profit advocacy group is the product of a series of friendly discussion between Mr. Jerry Acuzar, the Chairperson of the Manuel Luis Quezon University, and then Department of Justice (DOJ) Undersecretary Erickson H. Balmes on elections and the seemingly low voter’s turnout every election day.
The exchange of ideas eventually metamorphosed into a collective vision that voter’s education may be the viable way to encourage more of our countrymen to vote. They believed that it is necessary that every Filipino voter is apprised of their right of suffrage.
After leaving government service, the paths of the prime movers of GVM crossed again, and on February 2019, vision met action and GVM was born.
More importantly, their shared belief that every Filipino, regardless of affiliation or political orientation should Go Out and VOTE! And hence, the GVM battle cry “Ang Bawat Boto ay Karapatan, Katungkulan, at Kinabukasan”, was born.
More About the Advocacy
The Go VOTE Movement have conducted their first Free Voter’s Education Seminar to the members of the MLQU community last March 14, 2019. Since then, they have continued conducting free lectures around the Philippines. GVM will not dictate upon any of its participants who they should vote.
“We will only train them on their rights and duties as voters and /or poll watchers but GVM truly respects their freedom of choice.” Atty. Erickson Balmes, Go VOTE Movement.
Ultimately, GVM believes that an educated voting population can transform a corrupted system of governance by electing deserving leaders with the political will to effect change in our society.
“We further believe that ,if by our humble efforts, the voter’s turn-out for the 2019 mid- term elections will be larger than that of the 2013 mid-term elections, then we have done our job” adds Balmes.
During the media interview with Atty. Erickson Balmes, I’ve gathered that they prefer to partner with schools when conducting Voter’s Education Seminar because the movement believes that this is where they could instill the attitude of responsible voting. The seminars conducted includes education on how to use the vote counting machine or PCOS which is important for those who will be voting for the first time.
For those who want to have a Free Voter’s Education Seminar or volunteer in the Go VOTE Movement, simply refer to the details below:
Go VOTE Movement
Manuel L. Quezon University (MLQU)
916 F-R Hidalgo St., Quiapo Manila, Philippines Mobile: 0945 348 3784 (Smart)
Mobile: 0916 279 8185 (Globe)
Email: [email protected]