The youth ask, who deserves our vote?

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The youth started laying down their criteria for an ideal president on 2016.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The youth could be a critical swing vote in the 2016 presidential elections.

According to the National Youth Commission (NYC), about 40 percent of the 52 million registered Filipino voters are youth aged 18 to 30.

“Young people are a potent force in these elections,” NYC Commissioner Gio Tiongson said.

But what qualities do they look for in a candidate?

In random interviews, CNN Philippines gathered that young voters want someone who is not corrupt, someone who has not been tainted with corruption, and is fair and just with his/her judgment.

Some also said that they want someone who is strict and can impose discipline among the people; a person who is responsible and has a strong conviction.

And who might be their candidate of choice?

A number of people said they prefer Sen. Grace Poe, while others chose Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, or Interior Secretary Mar Roxas.

Poe addresses the youth

In a gathering of more than 1,500 young people in Quezon City on Wednesday morning (August 12), Poe pointed out that it takes more than just experience to lead a nation.

The senator said an ideal leader is someone one who has strong resolve, does the job well, and has done the country no wrong.

Poe was invited to join the International Youth Day celebration, which aims to encourage the young to participate in nation-building.

This year, the theme was on alleviating the lives of young people from the agriculture and fishery sectors.

The senator took the opportunity to lay out her youth agenda, saying she wants an affordable and accessible quality education, better job opportunities, and compensation for those who do internship work for the government.

“Ang grade naman ay hindi naman nakakain. Ang grade ay hindi magbabayad sa inyong pamasahe sa MRT na nasisira,” Poe said.

[Translation: Grades cannot feed you. Grades will not pay for your train ride on the dysfunctional MRT.]

Besieged by issues on her citizenship, Poe said she's still sizing things up before she finally makes a decision for 2016.

 “Ang pagtakbo ay sakripisyo, para sa akin ha. Yung iba siguro, gusto ka nila tumakbo para makuha ang mga naudlot na plano nila,” said Poe.

[Translation: For me, running for public office is a sacrifice. For others, maybe they want you to run because they want to pursue the plans which they were not able to accomplish.]

But for the young voters, their choices hinge on who the candidates will be and the platforms they have to offer.