‘Para sa kinabukasan’: ‘Love letter’ for 2022 polls calls for better governance, climate justice

February 15, 2022 - 8:33 PM
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Voter registration
Filipinos filling out forms in this 2019 photo. (Facebook/Comelec)

“Kaya naman sa darating na halalan, nais naming patunayan ang pag-ibig namin sayo.”

This was part of a “love letter” released by environmental group Greenpeace Philippines for the May 2022 national and local elections.

Through this love letter penned in time for Valentine’s Day, Greenpeace and various youth groups called on the 2022 election candidates to prove their love for the country by committing to an electoral agenda that addresses climate
and environmental injustices and supports democratic governance that promotes active citizen participation.

“This FEB-ibig, consider your May vote your love letter to the country and the environment. Be part of the 52% that will define the future of the planet and the fate of the youth. #TheFutureIs52,” the group’s post on Tuesday read.

The hashtag #TheFutureIs52 refers to the 52% youth in the country’s voting population, according to the data from the Commission on Elections.

The Commission on Elections classifies the “youth” as Filipino voters within the 18 to 40 years old age group.

The love letter titled “Liham ng kabataan, mga kandidato, at mga mamayang Pilipino ukol sa darating na halalan” acknowledged the citizens’ failure to protect the environment.

“Ikaw at ang kalikasan ay aming napabayaan. Hinayaan naming ang mga makapangyarihan at mga makasariling interes na wasakin ang iyong mga likas na yaman. Dinumihan nila ang hangin, pinuno ng basurang plastic ang mga dagat at lungsod, at patuloy na pinalala ang krisis pangklimang nagdadala sa iyo ng taunang mapangwasak na mga bagyo, tagtuyot at kagutuman,” it said.

It also outlined the impact of the climate crisis on the candidates’
loved ones, fellow Filipinos, and respective communities.

“While we believe in bayanihan and our individual responsibilities, we can only do so much as citizens,” Rorei Asinero of the TreeBuk Project said.

“If these candidates truly love the country, as they say during their campaign sorties, they must show that love by protecting the Philippines and Filipinos from the worsening impacts of the climate crisis,” he added.

In view of the impacts of the climate crisis, those who will sign the love letter are urged to express their commitment to proving their love for the Philippines and the environment.

“Kaya naman sa darating na halalan, nais naming patunayan ang pag-ibig namin sa iyo. Nangangako kami, bilang nagkakaisang sambayanan na ipaglalaban ang kapakanan mo at ng ating kalikasan,” the letter read.

“Sa bayanihan ng bawat isang nakalagda sa liham na ito, ibabalik namin ang iyong pag-aaruga sa pamamagitan ng pagluklok ng mga lider na makatao at makakalikasan,” it added.

“Pinapangako naming isapuso ito, mahal na Inang Bayan, habang kami ay nakikilahok sa pinakamahalagang halalan para sa ating kinabukasan. Hindi namin sasayangin ang iyong pag-asa,”  the letter ended.

The public can sign and support this love letter via this link.

Greenpeace said the letter will be sent to the candidates for their signature and commitment.

The Love, 52 Youth and Elections Movement was participated by more than 20 organizations in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao with different advocacies such as human rights, mental health, good governance, and the environment.

The group’s campaigner Joanna Sustento emphasized the importance of their collective call for better governance in the country.

“This is not just shading on a ballot – we are talking about the future of our country and our next generations. 2022 should not just be another year of loss and statistics; it must be the year of climate justice,” Sustento said.