FEU accelerates campaign for voters’ registration

They have a vision to create a bigger campaign to reach more people beyond the FEU community

Originally published in FEU IAS Paragon

For the 2022 elections, several FEU organizations began their social responsibility advocacy by mobilizing voters to register. One of these organizations is the Far Eastern University – Manila’s Political Science Society which initiated a project called TAMang Boto.

TAMang Boto is an ongoing voters’ education campaign covering the different FEU campuses such as FEU Cavite, FEU Roosevelt, FEU High School, FEU Diliman, FEU Tech, FEU Alabang, and FEU Manila. It was founded by Rigel Alvaran, with co-officers Jahzmyn Garcia and Diane De Leon, back in 2020.

In an interview with IAS Paragon, the official publication of the Institute of Arts and Sciences, Alvaran said that it took them three months to conceptualize the campaign. Brainstorming on the campaign’s name, logo, and implementation of surveys and soft launches were done.

Rigel Alvaran

In September 2020, the organization initiated a month-long posting containing information on voter registration. Joeven R. Castro, vice president for Academic Services (VPAS), started noticing the posts and from thereon, they have worked together to develop the project under Mr. Castro’s supervision, with the guidance of the Institute of Arts and Sciences, Department of Political Science and the FEU Student Development.

Months after, a sneak peek of the campaign was given the FEU Political Science Society Facebook page and a whole month soft launch was done. At the start of 2021, Mr. Rigel and his co-officers launched the campaign by creating the Facebook page TAMang Boto.

“Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic the Philippines is facing today, we should remain aware, on guard, and vigilant. Choosing to turn a blind-eye to the truth and realities transpiring in our country will only worsen the circumstances. As one of the largest sectors today in our country, the participation of the youth is integral in the upcoming elections in 2022. The project provides information, such as the technicalities of registering this pandemic and how important is the participation of us, youth, in Halalan 2022,” Alvaran said.

Their goal is to ensure that Tamaraw students will register for the 2022 national elections through the ongoing voters’ education campaign in the FEU campuses. Alvaran said, “The TAMang Boto Campaign is to make the students of our community be more participative in the electoral matters, for their involvement can make a big difference in changing our society. Since elections are a numbers game, the largest sector in our community should partake in the matter and our population can make a big difference.”

When asked about the struggles they faced in the campaign, Alvaran noted complications such as the set-up of the campaign. Since it is mostly online, they had to think how to encourage the youth to participate in the upcoming national elections. However, they resolved this problem by “seeing the light”—an online setup. They planned the whole campaign, taking note of the online set-up and factoring in the platforms that most of the youth use in everyday life. Through these, they hope to encourage them to get involved in the electoral matters of our country.

The organization also conducted surveys in their Facebook page to determine the number of students registered as voters. It got feedback from some students who said that they registered because of the TAMang Boto campaign. FEU Tamaraws will benefit from this campaign as they are made more aware of the importance of having a say on the nation’s future.

Alvaran said his motivation to continue the TAMang Boto campaign comes from knowing the current leaders and their governance. “We saw how much these leaders can affect our lives in terms of giving solutions to the pandemic, or in this case, the lack thereof.”

Alvaran said the campaign has three phases: The first phase is to implement voter registration this academic year. The next phase is to inform and educate the voters about the candidates. The last phase, to be done after the 2022 elections, will focus on the continuity of voter education. In this way, they are able to instill in the students the social responsibility of voting and to raise awareness of succeeding elections.

He added that they have a vision to create a bigger campaign to reach more people beyond the FEU community.

In the meantime, their main objective is for the Tamaraw students to get involved in the 2022 elections starting within the FEU community, in the hope of creating a ripple effect in our nation.

1. What is TAMang Boto all about?

TAMang Boto is an ongoing voters’ education campaign we have in the different FEU campuses.

As one of the largest sectors today in our country, the youth, its participation, is integral in the 2022 elections. The project provides information such as the technicalities of registering in this pandemic and how important is the participation of us youth in Halalan 2022.

The impact that we wanted to achieve is for Tamaraw students to register as voters.

2. What made you think or what comes to your mind to start this campaign? How this movement started?

It started with our branding this year in our organization which is #ElevateTheDiscourse because given the COVID-19 pandemic the Philippines is facing today, we should remain aware, on guard, and vigilant. Choosing to turn a blind eye to the truth and realities transpiring in our country will only worsen the circumstances.

At the start of our term, we did a whole month of daily posting in September and it included facts about voter registration. That was when our then Vice President for Academic Services, (VPAS), Sir Joeven R. Castro, noticed our postings and from there, we developed the project under his supervision with the guidance of our adviser, department, institute, and Student Development.

3. When did you establish this campaign?

Before establishing the campaign, it took us three months— before we did a soft launch and survey on our community on what name and logo they wanted the campaign to be. We did this last December on our Facebook page in FEU Political Science Society. Then after having a teaser on our page, we launched the campaign by creating the Facebook page of TAMang Boto.

4. What is the purpose/essence of TAMang Boto?

We wanted the students of our community to be more participative in electoral matters, for their involvement can make a big difference in changing our society. Since elections is a numbers game, the largest sector in our community should get involved and our population can make a big difference.

5. Did you encounter conflicts starting this movement?

The problem that we encountered was the setup of the campaign. Since it is mostly online, we had a dilemma on how we could encourage the youth to participate in the upcoming national elections. To resolve this problem, what we did was we planned the whole campaign in an online setup and factored in the platforms that most of the youth use in their everyday life, to encourage them to partake in the electoral matters of our country.

6. How will FEU Tamaraws benefit from it?

It can benefit them in a way that their vote could save someone’s life, for their vote could determine the next set of leaders our country would have.

7. Are you perhaps planning to start a big campaign since you founded TAMang Boto?

PHASES OF THE CAMPAIGN

PHASE 1: Voters’ Education (Registering to vote)

PHASE 2: Voters’ Education (Electoral Candidates)

PHASE 3: Voters’ Education (Accountability of Elected Candidates)

8. What makes you to continue this campaign?

Personally, my motivation is the current leaders we have in our country. We saw how much these leaders can affect our lives in terms of giving solutions to the pandemic, or in this case, the lack thereof.

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