Baguio senior citizens group launches advocacy for responsible voting in 2010
by Lito Dar
Baguio City (10 September) -- Proving once more that senior citizens are still a driving force in nation building, the Blessed Association of Retired Person Inc. (BARP) launched in a forum last week its advocacy centered on "responsible voting" for the May 2010 elections.
First in their agenda is to encourage all young people, who will be eligible to vote come May 2010, to come out and register and exercise their right to vote.
According to Mr. Narciso Padilla, Media focal person of BARP and the president of the Baguio Elderly Association (BEA), a group composed of the five major senior citizen/retired persons associations in the city with about 22,000 members, their advocacy will start as a family affair, wherein each member will ensure that t he or she is registered and will be going out to vote responsibly. They will also ensure that their family members, from their children up to their grandchildren, will do the same.
In the same forum, BARP president Prof. Federico Balanag, stressed that their group is apolitical and hopefully with such endeavor and with the automation of the 2010 elections, the political system will change. "This advocacy will be funded from the BARP fund itself," added Balanag.
In line with the advocacy, BARP will be funding a "public address system - that will be going around the city for a mobile campaign. In addition, BARP is also planning to hook up with colleges and universities in the city, as well as in La Trinidad, Benguet, to conduct symposia to campaign for citizen's registration and responsible voting. BARP will also be hanging advocacy posters and will try to arrange with different baranggays for the same purpose.
In a related issue, BARP lauded government efforts to bring down the price of medicines, through the Cheaper Medicines Act. The BARP foundation has its own "Botika ng Bayan," wherein people, not only their members can buy cheaper and generic drugs. Balanag, however, stressed that at present they are encountering some problems in getting the supplies for their outlet.
Other officials who served as panelists during the forum were Board of Trustees members Jose Taguba, Tolentino Opiniano, Menchita Damoslog, Placido Abuan and Ret. Col. Conrado Gacad. (PIA) [top]