Six aspiring senators boldly took on the challenge of participating in the iTam Halalan 2022: The Senatorial Forum which was held on February 28. Among them were Mr. Elmer "Ka Bong" Labog, Ms. Samira Gutoc, Mr. Roy Cabonegro, Dr. Carl Balita, Atty. Luke Espiritu, and Mr. David D’Angelo.
Organized by the FEU Tech College Y Club, FEU Alabang Red Cross Youth Council, and FEU Alabang Honor’s Society, the online forum provided a glimpse of the senatorial candidates’ visions and plans for the 19th Congress of the Philippines. “It gave us answers on why we need to vote, what we need to know to make wise decisions, and why we should make sure to exercise our rights for the upcoming National Elections,” iTam Halalan 2022 Campaign Head and B.S. Computer Science student Jeanina Nepomuceno said.
Three “K” segments ran throughout the whole senatorial forum to help students gain deeper knowledge of each candidate’s view and motives. The first was “Kilatis” wherein each senatorial aspirant introduced themselves and their platforms; it was then followed by “Katanungan” where they expressed their stance on important societal issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic, condition of healthcare workers and OFWs, LGBT rights, resumption of face-to-face classes, and technology-related questions; and finally, the “Kaliwanagan” segment served as a free one-minute spotlight for candidates to explain why the public should mull voting for them.
Around 200 to 250 students and professionals joined the Zoom session of the Senatorial Forum. It also reached a total of 9,700 views across all the Facebook pages where the event was cross-posted and posted. Jeanina believes these numbers added up thanks to the “interactivity factor” of the forum.
“For me, the most exciting part of the event was the forum itself—seeing how the senatorial aspirants interact with the audience and answer the questions for the audience to know them and their stance on different topics, especially when they are giving insights about that specific issue,” she said. “I believe that we really opened up a conversation for the audience to know the candidates that they will vote for in the next elections.”
FEU Diliman Business Administration student Janelle Ann V. Altiche shared the same thoughts as Jeanina too, saying that the forum helped her discern Philippine politics better.
“It was an opportunity to watch and learn more about the platforms of aspiring senatorial candidates. The event gave the student an avenue to choose wisely in the upcoming election,” Janelle said. “I am hoping for more of an event like this. It opens the minds of students to different social issues that need to be addressed.”
Through online events such as this one, FEU Alabang, FEU Diliman, and FEU Tech hope to encourage the youth to be more proactive in choosing the right candidates for the country.
“Since we hold the power to put officials in their places in the government, being knowledgeable about their background and platforms is both a right and a responsibility for us,” Jeanina said.
To rewatch the Senatorial Forum, click on this link: https://www.facebook.com/iTamHalalan/videos/639205373806187
The second leg of iTam Halalan 2022, the Partylist Forum, will be held on March 21 from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m via Zoom and Facebook Live as well. For more updates, visit iTam Halalan’s Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/iTamHalalan