The Philippines faces a lot of problems such as poverty, unemployment, pollution, child labor, environmental problems and others. One way of addressing these problems is by participating in the 2013 election. Unfortunately not all people can vote, only those aged 18 and above can vote. Despite this age limit, young people can still participate, albeit not through voting. They could air their voices through social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Multiply and others.
One reason why there is still ongoing corruption and the problems are still not addressed is because we do not participate in elections. Citizen participation means citizen empowerment. It is important to note than an individual’s vote matters and that it can affect the outcome of an election. Through voting, the politicians will know our wants and desires and they can become more responsive to citizen desires and more effective in service.
It is imperative to choose properly who we will vote for, for they will lead the country and they will make crucial decisions that could directly affect our lives. Ask yourself these questions: (1) Does he represent the Filipino people? What are his plans for the country? What are his stands on certain issues? Do you think he can fulfill his promises? These are just some of the questions that you should ask yourself.
Don’t be swayed by hearsays and opinions of others. You can conduct your own research, and attend miting de avances (election debates) in order to know more about the candidates. Campaign periods are now a battle of who has resources and money. Only those who have these things can print ads and posters and be on television.
The problems we are facing cannot be solved by our leaders alone. Let us help them and work together in order to address the problems our country is facing.
Participation doesn’t end at election. Let us make sure that the elected politicians are accountable.
Make your voice heard. Exercise this basic freedom. Let us vote wisely.
By Jenny Lapay, Intern at WYA, Asia Pacific.