December 6, 2022

Suffrage or the right to vote must be exercised by all citizens who are at least 18 years old and have resided in the Philippines for at least a year, as stated in Article V of the Constitution. With our freedom to vote, we have the ability to fundamentally reform our country.
Because we have been granted this priceless right, it is our duty and power to exercise it to the utmost extent possible, to help improve our country by voting collectively. If people desire something different, we must use voting to make it happen. For example, if we want to address poverty, corruption, and crime, it is our obligation as citizens to vote for a representative who shares our beliefs and is committed to the cause, and to vote for a president who promises to prioritize these social concerns. Hence, it’s only right to choose carefully those we want to be elected and make sure that they uphold the right principles. I believe that it is our primary responsibility as Filipino citizens to share our views on political matters that greatly affect us. Along with our freedoms, the power to vote is arguably our most significant asset as Filipino citizens.
Whether we argue that the ballot is just a piece of paper, and that “our vote doesn’t matter,” the choices we make as voters will have significant repercussions for the freedoms we have, and our future. Besides, it also reflects the voices of millions of citizens who want their values and concerns heard. This is why all citizens should exercise their right to vote. It’s even more empowering to have a say in our country’s future. After the bustle of campaigning, finally getting to cast our votes is a relief and a source of hope that even a single vote, if done collectively, can affect the country’s future.
The Philippines is a melting pot of cultures, each with their own beliefs and perspectives on what matters to them. When every citizen fails to exercise their right to vote, those voices are muffled, needs are unfulfilled, and injustice prevails. Thus, exercising one’s right to vote allows all of these issues to be heard. When people’s voices are heard and laws are passed to improve our lives, the country works more efficiently and effectively.
So, is one vote powerful? It is, and for that we should be grateful. Be grateful that as citizens, we have the freedom to exercise our power to vote without fear. As election day nears, I speak to our country’s youth, use your power and be the voices. After all, we are the ones who choose our next leaders. Vote to be a part of our country’s success. This country needs knowledgeable votes today more than ever, whether they are first-time voters or not. (ROMA MAE B. VELASQUEZ)