On May 9, the Philippines will hold its national elections where the citizens will enact their democratic right of voting for the next generation of leaders. Our country has experienced unprecedented times, with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic giving rise to societal sectors that require stringent, sustainable, and policy-adjacent actions. Moreover, living amidst the advent of technology and social media (and what this means towards national factors like education and information access) poses areas of further development for those in office. This demonstrates that this year’s election will arguably be one of the most consequential in modern Philippine history.
With this, it is only fitting that Dragon’s Print gauge the views of members of the school community regarding suffrage and leadership. This is what some of them have to say:
1. What do you think is the most essential attribute or quality of a leader? Why?
Ms. Christine: I consider a leader’s character as the most essential attribute because a strong ethical and moral foundation can guide the leader in his decisions.
Pristina: I would have to say honesty. They should be honest to their people about themselves and their weaknesses. This attribute also allows them to think of achievable goals to reach together with the people so that neither end up expecting too much from the other.
Sabi: Honesty, integrity, character of the leader, education that would aid them to run our nation and a track record that shows that they can do the work. These traits are important to make sure that the leader will truly serve with the country’s best interest in mind and not for personal gains.
Mr. Ron: The most essential attribute of a leader should be being transparent – allowing people to look into every aspect of your work/life will gain you trust and accountability. Why are these important,if people trust you, they will work with you well and if they know you are accountable for anything – being a public servant – there will be no chance of committing corruption or being irresponsible.
2. What are some issues that you wish can be addressed by the country’s next set of leaders?
Ms. Christine: I think education, health care and corruption are relevant concerns which must be addressed by the next set of leaders.
Pristina: I want our country’s education system to be addressed. I have heard far too many students express frustration towards the current system. In a way, many find the way that they are being taught impractical, repetitive, and too “one size fits all”. Of course, many students strive in this sort of system, but far too many students are being left behind as well.
Sabi: Graft & corruption in government, transparency in the government transactions and better infrastructure.
Mr. Ron: Corruption cripples us as a nation. It prevents government officials and offices from providing the best service for its people. Also, due to corruption, investors are unwilling to take their chance in our economy which will in turn be bad for us.
3. Why do you think it is important that citizens enable their right to vote?
Ms. Christine: Citizens should enable their right to vote so that they can contribute to positive change and development in society. Voting is also the chance to stand up for relevant issues.
Pristina: Voting allows citizens to be involved in the democratic process. Through it, we are able to express the kind of leaders we want for the country.
Sabi: This is our right as a citizen of the country. We need to exercise our right to vote to choose the right leaders for our country. However, voter’s education needs to be greatly improved and strictly watch out for vote-buying.
Mr. Ron: It gives us the chance to be part of the change we want to see. It’s our first step in making sure we get the government services we deserve to have. It is a small act that could have a huge effect on our lives in the next six years.
4. What changes do you wish to see in the country in the next six years?
Ms. Christine: I am hoping for a more accessible and efficient health care system, better quality in education, and transparency in all government transactions to help eliminate corruption.
Pristina: In the next six years, I hope to see more children go to and finish school without the huge financial burden. I also hope that access to healthcare will not be as restricted to only those who can afford it.
Sabi: Honest governance, efficient delivery of all services
Mr. Ron: I wish we could change the idea of politicians as idols. They should be servant leaders. They should spark inspiration among its people to help each other. The government can not do it alone and if the people trust the government, they will all help out for the betterment of everyone.
Article by Justin D. (Grade 12); Feature Image by Victoria J. (Grade 11)
The views expressed in this article represent the personal views of the author and should not be taken to represent the views of Dragon’s Print and Cebu International School.