Youth leaders challenge poll bets to address environmental issues
MANILA, Philippines — With only a month away from election day, youth leaders on Saturday solicited the help of politicians, particularly those who are running for an elective post, in stopping environmental destruction.
According to youth leaders, if politicians want the support of the youth, they must also address the issue on coal energy, destructive mining, the single-use plastics among others.
“We will measure those who are running based on their stance against destructive mining, dirty energy, and other environmentally destructive practices,” said Rara Ada of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice.
“If they want the youth on their side, they must be on ours. And if they stand for the rapers of our environment, then they do not have our support,” Ada added.
The statement of Ada was issued during a summit dubbed as “The Endgame: National Ecological Justice Summit.” The said conference tackled issues about ecological and climate justice.
The summit was held in Negros Occidental and was participated by at least 150 youth leaders across the country.
Apart from Ada, Madelene de Borja of Nagkakaisang Iskolar para sa Pamantasan at Sambayanan (KAISA UP) also reminded the youth that there are not only inheritors but also protectors of the earth.
Jhay Em Forcado, youth delegate of Bantay Kita, then urged his fellow youth leaders to participate in the upcoming elections.
“Ngayon higit kailanman kailangan ng bayan ang laksa laksang pwersa ng kabataan na nakikiisa sa malawak na hanay ng mamamayang inaapi, dinarambong at pinahihirapan,” Forcado said.
“Kaya’t panahon na upang ang kabataan ay lumahok upang ipanawagan ang hustisyang panlipunan at ang masagana at nakabubuhay na kalikasan,” he added.
Based on the data of the Commission on Elections, the youth, ages 18 to 35, comprised more than 1/3 of the close to 61 million voters in the 2019 midterm elections. /jpv
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