Bayan Patrollers: Agents of ChangeFebruary 11, 2013 | 12:00 AM by Inday Varona
We live in exciting times, an era of digital revolution. Rapid technological changes in communications have transformed gatekeeping. Citizens are now able to push their messages and refute claims advanced by the powerful, in real time.
This means government, big business and media can no longer ignore you. Youâ€™ve seen whatâ€™s happening on Twitter and Facebook. The powerful ignore you at their peril. This can lead to a sea change in governance.
Kabataan, you rule social media. 70% of social media users in general are aged 30-13. On our Bayan Mo iPatrol Mo Ako Ang Simula Facebook page, with almost 225,000 members, 69.2% are aged 13-35.
Our Facebook numbers also reflects another Philippine demographic â€“ more than 27,000 or a little more than 10% are Filipinos based abroad.
A Time for Change
The youth and the OFâ€™s have always had a desire to express themselves but have had little access to a mass platform until the dawn of digital revolution. Now you have the tools in your hands. This is the perfect time for change.
Why Bayan Mo? (no longer Boto Mo) Why Tayo Na?
Citizens led the way here. Since after the May 2010 polls, they have shown sustained vigilance in pointing out their communitiesâ€™ problems. More important, they have learned to use social media not just for reporting these problems, but also as a tool for organizing and mobilizing to solve social woes.
In short, Filipino citizens, the youth especially, are really proving that they are agents of change. BMPM Tayo Na! reflects the current reality of citizen journalists going beyond reportage to leverage technology for civic action.
Online and on-ground our almost 400,000-strong Bayan Patrollers have shown passion for pushing changes, big and small, for their communities. This convergence is important as our country once more embarks on a national political exercise.
Your Vote Matters
For us at ABS-CBN and BMPM, your choice doesnâ€™t as much as that fact that your have thought out the WHY of that choice.
Tama ang Comelec, hindi lapat malinis, maayos at mapayapa ang eleksyon. Kailangan maging makabuluhan ito â€“ at mangyayari lamang ito kung alam ng bawat botante ang gusto nyang mangyari sa komunidad at sa bayan, at alam nyang kumilatis ng mga kandidato at ma-tugma ang mga salita at pangako sa track record.
Since June 12, 2012, when ABS-CBN launched its improved and updated citizen journalism program, BMPM has gone will swing with its Halalan2013 campaign. We have held fora and workshops in these cities, reaching more than 40,000 Patrollers. We intend to push all the way until May.
We at ABS-CBN are committed to providing our audience with tools of information, knowledge and expression. Our social media department and abs-cbnnews.com have two applications serving the fast-growing mobile media community. BMPM's programs are also woven into this so that Bayan Patrollers can have an easier and safe way of sending in reports.
Dream for Those Who Canâ€™t
Technology is neutral. It is as good and as bad as we make it to be. Social media, however, is not the world, so make you match your on-line advocacies with on-ground action.
There are so many ways we can start change. Above all, let us remember that social media is at its most meaningful when it is used to help those without access.
Too many of the older generation moan about our countryâ€™s hopeless situation. But forum after forum, the youth tell us, yes, they believe.
Volunteer for watchdog organizations. Launch voter education campaigns in your barangays. Take out your laptops and organize a group of youth to volunteer at barangay centers so voters can check their precincts way before election day. Marami pang pwedeng magawa. Explore your creativity. Exercise your talents in this cause.
People lose hope for many reasons. We, who continue to hope, must dream and act for those who have lost the will. Bayan Patrollers, TAYO NA!
(BMPM Forum de La Salle University, Taft, February 11, 2013)