With the end of the Duterte administration and the national elections fast approaching, several politicians have been subtly making their moves to gain the trust, and eventually, the vote of the masses. Due to the series of unfortunate events that happened during the previous years, the 2022 elections is crucial for the Filipinos as it will determine their economic security, safety, independence, national health and life for the next six years.
The pandemic has shown what standard and level of competencies a national leader should have. In times of crisis, it is imperative to have a President who has a sense of urgency on matters that concern its people’s welfare. In the recent global study based on Bloomberg’s COVID Resilience Ranking published on 29 November 2021, the Philippines ranked 53th out of 53 in the list of countries with COVID-19 pandemic resiliency. The fact that the nation ranked as the lowest in global ranking reflects the COVID-19 strategy and response in the Philippines. The majority of the population is affected by the decisions made, hence, it is something that the voters are likely to take into consideration in the next election.
Filipinos residing overseas should consider voting as well as it is significant to choose a leader that gives importance to international diplomacy and relations. Voting is a right granted by the Philippine Constitution and it is significant to extend that right to overseas Filipinos.
The votes of Filipinos overseas could be counted as their contribution to the Philippine economy to keep it afloat. The families they left behind are regular recipients of their remittances and since they are back home, good governance would affect them as well. A poor economy would mean they would be dependent on the remittance of their loved ones overseas. A well-run government would mean more jobs and hope for a better life for them.
There are two categories of overseas Filipinos. First are the overseas workers who are bound by their work contracts and they would eventually return to the Philippines. Second, are the dual citizens who have acquired the citizenship of the second home while remaining to be holders of Philippine passports. They will most likely be living overseas but their voice in the election is important. Both rely on the news of the condition of their motherland from online sources and from their relatives or friends in the Philippines. They might have been detached temporarily, but their numbers are growing. If they are part of the wheel of the economy, they should have a say in how the government should be run.
With just a few months left before the 2022 National Elections, it is still difficult to predict the possible outcomes of the upcoming election, as there are no clear candidates for the presidency.
It is undeniable that Filipinos, whether in the Philippines or in other countries, are divided in terms of political opinions. Although now that the information is readily available online, it is vital to ensure voter’s education. Popularity and known political parties seem to have been the formula to win the elections in the past, but we can see today that people are starting to be more aware and engaged in political discussions more than ever.
More can be observed in the coming months as we draw nearer to the key date of the election: 9 May 2022. The time between now and the appointed date should be a period of self-reflection to guide us in choosing leaders whose values and commitment to the country and its people are consistent with our own.
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