November 26, 2021
The Philippines is about six months away before the 2022 National Elections. But if you follow the news closely, it’s as if the election is scheduled soon with the daily dose of media mileage various political candidates are getting.
The worldwide pandemic is 20 months and counting. As of late, the daily COVID-19 cases nationwide has seen a significant drop, and this early, experts predict we could be seeing better days ahead—that is, as long as everyone continues to observe the health and safety protocols and stay healthy as we enter the Holiday season.
While the lowering of the daily cases can be a cause for rejoicing, the truth of the matter is, our nation is entering a critical transition come election day.
Our economy has struggled mightily during this pandemic, with ordinary Juan dela Cruzes bearing the brunt, as seen in the 3.88 million Filipinos who were left jobless in August because of the second hard lockdown declared by the national government.
Nonetheless, fear continues to haunt so many people, exacerbated by the seemingly endless bickering by some of our national leaders.
The presence of COVID-19 remains a threat even as we enter 2022, and it remains to be seen what the incoming set of national and local leaders will do about it once they are elected.
However, the coming national elections also provide an opportunity for Filipino voters to exercise their rights and contribute to the future of our nation.
At the close of the extended voter’s registration last October, COMELEC estimated over 64 million Filipinos have already registered— with over 32 million belonging in the 18–40 age bracket. Of the estimated total number of registered voters, roughly 4.5 million are casting their votes for the very first time.
Whoever wins the Philippine presidential race, the senatorial spots, the congressional seats, among other key positions, will take on a big responsibility because of the need to provide crucial leadership in navigating our country through this pandemic.
Yes, our government leaders play a huge role in leading, making laws, and ensuring our country moves forward. But as citizens of the Republic of the Philippines, every Filipino also has to do his or her part by exercising the right to vote, obeying the laws, and, as the “only Christian nation in Asia,” pray for all our government leaders that they may be able to perform their duties and responsibilities with the grace of God.
But in a practical sense, what can we do to prepare for the coming national elections? Below are some suggestions so we can “do our own homework” before the May 2022 elections:
Check the background of the candidates. Do your research by checking on the political candidates. Who are they and what are their backgrounds? Do they have the experience and the leadership skills for that specific position? Get updated by watching or listening to the news, and read articles from reputable media sources.
Know their platforms. Check their campaign promises or platforms, and then ask yourself: Do they have the characteristics needed to be able to perform their duties if elected? More than just sound gimmicks and easy-to-remember slogans or jingles—especially among re-electionists and old-timers—dig through their records and/or news about them and see how they responded to issues pertaining to morality, health, the well-being of Filipinos (e.g., during COVID-19), and corruption, among others. Take time to listen to public debates or forums so you’ll get to know how they think and have an idea on how they could possibly respond to situations.
Take note of their values. See if what they say and how they act are aligned to values such as respect, love for nation, bayanihan, love for family, respect for each individual, strong fear of God, among many others, and to your own values as well.
What I suggested above are not exhaustive but somehow, they can be a good way to start as we prepare ourselves towards exercising our right to vote.
Above all, let us continue to lift our government leaders in prayer. As Paul encouraged Timothy in 1 Timothy 2:1–3 (MSG):
“The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.”
Regardless of who wins in the 2022 national election, let us all be reminded that God remains in charge of our nation.
He is sovereign and orchestrates everything in order to fulfill His Divine purpose.
God bless the Philippines!