A responsible parent’s checklist to ensure that the entire household stays informed and ready to make a life-changing decision that affects the whole nation
So much of our lives is affected by big decisions made by those in power. With each three-year interval, we are called to congregate as a country and decide who will be making these life-altering decisions by voting. This is not only important due to the weight of its nationwide consequences, but also because of how it will greatly affect the lives of our families. So in order to ensure that our homes remain protected and supported by good governance, it is only right that our families (and kasambahays of legal age) exercise their right to vote.
What parents need to know about voting
1. Be Socially Aware
The first step of this civic duty is to stay connected and well-informed with local and national politics. While reading news daily can seem mentally draining, give yourself a few hours at least once a week to update yourself with what’s happening. This refreshes your unbiased perspective, empowering you to opine and choose deserving candidates confidently and relay vital information to discuss within the family and your social circles. Remember, an informed voter is an empowered voter.
2. Register to Vote
The most vital step here is registering. Ensure every legal voter at home fulfills the necessary requirements to be registered. Check out your local COMELEC (Commission on Elections) office and book an appointment. You will also need to bring fully accomplished COMELEC forms which can be found in the COMELEC website. Remember to bring a valid ID as well when you attend your appointment. And don’t be afraid to ask questions if things are unclear to you. Not everyone is vaccinated at this point, you don’t want that trip wasted.
3. Study the Selection
Once registered, you need to prepare for Election Day itself. Narrow down the list of candidates by listing their names and corresponding stands on issues that you value most (i.e. the West Philippine Sea, gender and social equality, our rampant corruption problem, etc.). This will lessen your time at the voting station and make the process faster for other voters as well. Make sure your decisions are updated, reminding yourself of atrocities and accomplishments from their past, present, and their inclinations in the future.
4. Get Counted
Okay, you’re heading to the polls. Make sure you have a good night’s rest the night before you brave the crowds (hopefully, your voting centers have disciplined citizens and an orderly system that keeps everyone socially-distanced). Make sure you bring essentials such as your face mask and shield, sanitizing kit, your own marker, your list of candidates, and a well-charged phone (because of the waiting). Make sure to have eaten and used the bathroom before queueing.
5. Be a Responsible Citizen, Always
Change, as they say, always starts with you. While the power to make big decisions for the nation lie in the hands of those seated in high places, the power to put them in those seats rest in yours. For so long we have proudly displayed our resilience and vigilance through the hardships we’ve faced. Let this be your drive to put who you deem rightful and deserving to those coveted seats. It is our duty as citizens, after all, to entrust such a huge responsibility to people who, by duty, should put the best interest of their constituents first.
By educating your children on the importance of their vote, you are encouraging them to use their voice confidently, empowering them with the knowledge that they have choices, and building their leadership capacities with the homegrown wisdom of what is right and wrong. This safeguards our country’s and our next generations’ futures. So, by all means, vote wisely.