BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
A manifesto of support was signed yesterday at the Bishop’s House in Bacolod City during the launching of GuBan Movement or ”Gugma Banwa,” which envisions to empower the citizenry, especially the youth, through voters’ education, dialogs and participation in democratic processes during and beyond elections.
The manifesto was signed by Rev. Fr. Chris Gonzales, Social Action Center (SAC) director; Rev. Fr. Louan Torrefranca, Diocesan Commission on Youth director; Jeniffer Tingson, La Consolacion College-Bacolod faculty member; and Joshua Eusebio Jr., Bacolod Youth Council for Democracy (BACOD) lead secretariat.
It said the GuBan Movement believes that the voters of Bacolod City and Negros Occidental have the power to reform the local and national government by collectively supporting and pushing for good governance.
The group also pledged to protect the sacred votes of the Filipino people for the progress and development of Bacolod City, the province of Negros Occidental, and the whole country through clean and honest governance.
Eusebio said GuBan aims to collectively call for clean, honest, accurate, meaningful and peaceful elections in the conduct of local and national elections; empower the youth and construct a youth agenda through grassroots, local and intersectional consultations; and to push for participatory and good governance by pushing for citizen’s participation in public decision-making, governmental processes, and the legislation of government policies.
Torrefranca said that according to the Pope, the youth are not just the future of the Church but also the present. The youth today have learned that they should not only be idealistic but realistic.
They are not just the future of the country but they want to be actively involved now, he said.
Eusebio said the youth sector is not endorsing any politician but they have come up with a standard or youth issue-based agenda for choosing a candidate who will represent their sector.
Gonzales said they are demanding accountability not only from the government, not only from the politicians but also from the people.
Tingson said they are neutral as teachers. But what they are imparting to the youth is their right to vote or suffrage and the knowledge of what is really an effective voter.*