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Raymart, 22, is an SK chairperson in Quezon City and an LGBTQ rights advocate. Just like any young people of today, it is Facebook and Messenger that he always uses because it is his way of communicating with his family and friends. These applications make it easier for Raymart to get updates from his friends.

When asked how important it is for him to be mindful of the internet he shares, “It definitely is important because you share your identity on it. Always remember that when you share something on the internet, it will stay there forever.” He recollects that as a public servant, there was a time when he felt like quitting social media because of bashing. Despite this, he reiterates the importance of resilience and continues to do what he needs to do, in his case, serve the people.

Raymart started working with Plan International Philippines in 2018 when he was introduced by Ate Mercy who was one of the managers for BCPC of their barangay. During this time Raymart was already active in their barangay. It started as a support group but he embraced the advocacies eventually.

“I learned a lot from the project but one thing for me was unforgettable. I learned how to protect our children and take care of them. Help them be safe and help them achieve their dreams.”

When asked if there were specific cases that he handled as an SK chairperson about cyber safety, Raymart reveals that “As an SK chairperson who never leaves the barangay I witnessed many cases about abuses relating to cyber safety. One of which was a young girl who was abused and was used by her own parents to earn money. It was during this time when I realized that as a barangay staff we need to be aware of cyber safety. We cannot let wrongdoings continue to happen on the internet because that would mean destroying each child’s life in the barangay.”

As an LGBTQ rights advocate, Raymart also shares some challenges he faced in advocating cyber safety concerning the LGBTQ community.

“As a proud member of the LGBTQ community, there are some problems that we’ve encountered in terms of using the internet like abuse and discrimination towards fellow LGBTQ members. There was a point where other members of the LGBTQ community are still questioning their gender especially the younger ones who are still confused about their identity. Other people use social media to discriminate them and not give them a chance to find themselves.”

He hopes for all the people to be mindful of using the internet and be mindful in posting the right things on social media. “We should be more sensitive about other people’s feelings online”, he concluded.