Children raise critical issues to Bicol political candidates

Children from World Vision and other non-governmental organizations based in Bicol, west of the Philippines, met with political candidates to discuss eight critical issues affecting children.



Several days before the Philippine election on May 9, children from World Vision and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) based in Bicol met with four gubernatorial and 12 mayoral candidates to discuss eight critical issues affecting children.


The political candidates from the Bicol provinces of Camarines Sur, Albay and Sorsogon answered children's questions on lack of livelihood programs for their parents and opportunities for children to participate in their community's development. 


The children also raised issue on teenage pregnancy, no concrete plans for out-of-school youth and children with disabilities, illegal drugs, lack of health facilities and playgrounds where they can safely play. 



Adornado, a World Vision child leader in Albay, says, "I believe that all these issues will be resolved if everyone in the community will help each other for the sake of the children." Dubbed as "Bata Muna" (Child First), World Vision kids along with other children from more than 30 NGOs in Bicol, participated in the advocacy campaign of influencing voters to choose the candidates who will include children in their political agenda. 


“Candidates should invest in our children and prioritize children’s issues in their platforms. Too often, the problems faced by the young are overlooked in the electoral discussion, yet they are the ones who are most affected by the decisions made by our leaders,” says Kathrine Yee, advocacy manager for World Vision.


The campaign culminated in a parade around towns in Camarines Sur, Albay and Sorsogon. More than a thousand children joined the event. 


A simultaneous motorcade in the  main towns in Sorsogon, Albay and Camarines Sur was held on May 3, merely 6 days prior to the May 9 election.  A general election in the Philippines is set on May 9 for executive and legislative branches in the national, provincial and local levels excluding the position for the barangay kapitan (village chief).


"My prayer is that the deserving candidates would win because the decisions he/she will make will pave the way for the children's future," Jeff, a World Vision child leader in Sorsogon, says. 


#VoteForChildren is World Vision’s advocacy campaign aiming to influence the voting public to choose leaders who will commit to making children’s interests a priority. It also urges candidates to include children’s rights and issues in their platforms and meet these goals when they are elected. (World Vision Philippines)







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