MAY 9 is only two weeks away and election fever is gripping the country.
It is a very crucial time, when Filipinos vote the new set of leaders who will determine the country’s direction for the next six years.
In the recent presidential and vice presidential debates organized by Commission of Elections and the media, the candidates explained their respective stands on various issues, discussed their platforms and picked each other’s brains.
It gave the public an opportunity to gauge the candidates’ mental prowess and character.
While this was a good way to help voters decide on who to elect, there was no avenue that allowed the other candidates running for the Senate, House of Representatives, and other elective positions to present themselves.
It is equally important for the public to know the rest of these candidates. The presidency and vice presidency may be the top national positions, but what about the others that are nonetheless vital for government to fully serve the country’s needs?
There is a popular notion that it takes a great president to alleviate the country’s problems and make the lives of Filipinos better. This is not entirely true.
Of course, the head of state handles national issues, while the other concerns are delegated to the other leaders of the country.
Most important, the president needs the citizens to contribute or at least cooperate to make the government’s programs work. Running a country is too much work for just one person, and the president needs all the help he can get.
The congressmen propose and draft the bills that the senators scrutinize and deliberate before approving into law.
The governors and other local officials handle the problems and concerns within their provinces and cities.
Even the barangay captains and kagawad are vital, as they oversee the safety and the welfare of the towns.
But it’s the people who pay the taxes that make it possible for government to do its job.
True public servants
Gone are the days when senators were statesmen who put the country first and foremost in the performance of their duties. They had integrity as well as the heart to help lead the nation. They were true public servants.
Now, many senatorial as well as congressional and local candidates are composed of a motley crew of show biz personalities, athletes, and others who are less than qualified for their respective posts.
It’s just two weeks before election day, but I think there’s still enough time to reflect on your choices. Your vote does not have to be based on a candidate’s popularity. Your vote does not have to be based on the big-time personalities behind a particular candidate.
Look closely at the credentials of these candidates, including, most especially, their track record—what they have done in the past and why they deserve your vote this time.
Have they been responsible enough to help effect real change that has made a dent on the lives of Filipinos?
I am a proud Filipino. I am part of the youth population that wants to be heard and be properly represented. I am a medical student who is looking forward to the day when the country’s healthcare system is functioning at its optimal best.
Most of all, I am a Filipino who wants to see the country continue what it has achieved so far, and be fully progressive in the near future.
The president and vice president are only two of the slots you will choose on May 9. Choose all your candidates with the country in mind.