PPVR-Caraga assesses SK bid, unveils challenges young leaders faced

Posted on December 06, 2023

By LA Tolentino

CARMEN, AGUSAN DEL NORTE-The People Power Volunteers for Reform (PPVR)-Caraga gathered the participants of their 2023 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) coaching program on Dec. 2 to reflect on and assess their recent experiences to meaningfully engage in the SK elections.


The discussion shed light on the intricate dynamics of local politics, focusing on the challenges these young leaders faced in their aspiration to bring about change in their communities.


PPVR-Caraga chairperson Concepcion Asis, spearheading the initiative, welcomed participants to reflect on their experiences during the SK elections. The objective was to assess the candidates' learning and insights about the governance reform potentials of local elections.


Prevalence of traditional politics


The participants candidly shared their observations and experiences during the elections. Among the notable revelations were the prevalence of black propaganda and vote-buying. Despite efforts to focus on performance and platforms, the reality of these practices could not be ignored.


Despite these obstacles, many candidates still viewed the elections as a platform for change, emphasizing the importance of being present in their communities and fostering genuine connections with constituents.


Factors influencing success and defeat


p dir="ltr"> The discussion also delved into the factors influencing electoral outcomes. The sobering truth that money often dictates electoral outcomes hit hard. This issue was openly acknowledged as a threat even before the ballots were cast.


Amid these challenges, the youth leaders learned to adapt and strategize, recognizing the significance of understanding local dynamics and leveraging community interests and organizing strengths of youth organizations.


The campaign also revealed that voters preferred candidates with credentials-not just those who excel in basketball-thus emphasizing the importance of having a coherent platform and agenda, which the SK candidates claimed they had. The parents were also willing to campaign for alternative youth leaders to their well-defined plans.


Lessons learned


Participants noted that participating in the elections was an enlightening experience as it shed light on their communities' collective needs and challenges.


Furthermore, PPVR's coaching sessions helped them understand the complexities of good governance and electoral processes. They appreciated learning about electoral campaigning, political mapping, and effective communication. One beneficial aspect was the emphasis on connecting with voters on a personal level instead of highlighting their intelligence and abilities during campaigns.


They also found their learnings from the training on safeguarding votes and monitoring polls valuable, as some candidates secured their wins by observing the election process closely.


The assessment also highlighted the significance of ongoing community involvement and holding elected officials accountable.


Moving forward


In their discussions, the participants expressed their wish for more comprehensive training programs to cater to their needs as young leaders. They emphasized the importance of comprehensive capacity-building activities to tackle issues such as vote-buying and misinformation and effective strategies for collecting and implementing data for their projects.


Asis concluded the event by urging the participants to put their theoretical knowledge into action. She highlighted the crucial role of young people in local governance and encouraged them to adhere to the principles of good governance while navigating the intricacies of political involvement. As drivers of change, she emphasized the necessity of continuous learning and community engagement to bring about meaningful change.


Hope in the next generation


Despite facing numerous challenges and the persistent prevalence of traditional politics, the assessment has revealed the resilience and fortitude of aspiring SK candidates in pursuing change within their communities. Even those who did not win are undeterred by defeat and are more determined than ever to continue their advocacy and contribute to their barangays.