By Irish Medalla

Cartoon by Sofia Dominique Mamaril

As we welcome the upcoming 2022 Philippine National elections on May 9th, it is significant for Filipinos to be more educated in terms of the emphasis of responsible voting and applying it in today’s modern society. Henceforth, many of them remain careless about politics, and choose not to vote in any elections even though they are already eligible.

We all know that voting has been truly important because it allows every qualified individual to select candidates that will run the whole country and at the same time, fix our country’s political system and government issues. On the other hand, not all civilians are interested and dedicated to it. Which makes it disappointing, for we believe that they are our hope towards a progressive future. As reported by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), 52% of the registered voters for the nearing election are Filipino youths, this shows how active these young people are, amidst different crisis today.

In accordance to a survey done by the Social Weather Stations (SWS), 60% of their youth respondents are unconcerned about politics and the rest chose other matters rather than being involved or aware with the issues in our society. In addition, The New York Times stated that, one factor to this dilemma is the lack of knowledge and awareness given to most of the young people, specifically in America. However, as time evolves, the way of thinking by some youths of today also changes, which can be an opportunity for them to awaken themselves in terms of these concerns. Being conscious in regards to these matters can surely benefit not only themselves but also their fellowmen.

Since we are already in a high technology living, social media has been a number one and convenient source of information that benefits the younger generation. This means that engaging in these applications and websites to cite sources for news will surely improve how the youths decide in choosing a deserving politician for the approaching election. In an SWS survey, the 4,900 interviewees who participated, revealed that Facebook is their most used social platform considering the 97% total number of Facebook accounts owned by these youths. Nevertheless, there are approximately 60% of them who purposely spread contents and news, and 54% are willfully researching topics, all in relation to politics. Whereas, the rest of them apply their gained knowledge in their everyday life.

The active support and participation of the younger generations, in particular with those who are already allowed to cast their votes is indeed a crucial behavior, since it can promote in strengthening the movement to effectively rectify the holes in our government system and cruel political issues. To unite together with our fellow youths has never been a bad idea especially in making a brighter future for this generation and for the upcoming ones.

As long as we are eligible to vote, the power to make a change is in our own hands, this is why we should never lose this chance for us to vote for the best candidates who will run the whole country. Amid several issues concerning misinformation and disinformation, we must not let it stop us in performing our rights to vote as a Filipino citizen. Cite sources properly before trying to disperse it to the public. Never underestimate the power of a single ballot, for it may lead us to the betterment we crave for our country. Because many out there aren’t allowed to vote yet, but are already showing their hard work and dedication to stand with their chosen aspirant, most explicitly in the presidential position. Moreover, we must utilize the said control responsibly and think twice before deciding, due to the fact that it can lead to various consequences if neglected.