Eighteen thousand one hundred and eighty. That is the number of seats up for grabs for the May 2022 elections. While the local posts are voted solely by those living in the province or city, the national elections in the Philippines are a different story.
Every voter will have the chance to elect the party-list representatives, senators, vice president, and most importantly, the president who will lead the country for the next six years. Indeed, it is a big decision to make–even if you’re just one person. Who knows, your ballot could even be the deciding vote on who the new president will be. (Read: PPCRV Launches 9-Month Novena Masses For Upcoming 2022 Elections)
So apart from being a big decision, voting in the May 2022 elections is also a big responsibility. You shouldn’t vote just because you’re a registered voter, you must vote for change and the future of the younger generations. And this is what Caritas Philippines national director Bishop Jose Collin Bagaforo of Kidapawan is reminding all eligible voters.
A huge responsibility
According to Bishop Bagaforo, voting is a not only a task, but a responsibility. “It is a fulfilment of one’s responsibility to participate in and influence the social, political affairs of our nation,” he said. The bishop adds that voting is God’s gift to us, “and how we use this is our gift to our country”. He also shares that people’s votes are reflective of who we are.
“Our choice reflects our values. It is an expression and affirmation of our human dignity, a foundational principle of Catholic social teaching.”
Which is why, he says, that the Filipino people should vote for leaders with “servant hearts”. “Competence, experience, compassion, kindness, passion, and perseverance”–these are some of the characteristics a good leader should possess, according to Bishop Bagaforo. (Read: Hey, Catholics! Bishop Pabillo Has This Advise for the 2022 Elections)
“A functioning leader provides direction and inspires God’s family to work tirelessly to improve the condition of all Filipinos with preferential attention to the marginalized and excluded,” says the bishop.
Halalang Marangal 2022
Bishop Bagaforo shared the above mentioned thoughts during the virtual launch of the “Halalang Marangal 2022″. It is a coalition of more than 20 church and civic groups that are committed to ensure a “righteous election”.
They will be campaigning for voter’s registration, voter’s education, and poll monitoring for the May 2022 elections. “We are doing this for the sake of our country and to protect the sacredness of our votes,” said Fr. Antonio Labiao, Caritas Philippines’s executive secretary. (Read: #TayoNaman Trends, Encourages Younger Generation To Register For 2022 PH Elections)
The members of the coalition are Caritas, Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals (BCBP), De La Salle Brothers Philippines, Network for Justice and Compassion (NetJC), People Empowerment via Transformative Electoral Reforms (PETER), Philippine Misereor Partnership (PMPI), Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan (SLB), Bawat Isa Mahalaga (B1M), The Faith Initiative, and Radio Veritas846.
Other members of the coalition are the Commissions on Indigenous Peoples and Commission on Youth, the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP), Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas, and the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP).