Let the 2022 Elections Begin!

The upcoming 2022 National Elections is sure to draw interest from first-time voters, with many looking forward to legitimately express their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the government’s response against the COVID-19 pandemic through the ballot.

On 1 September 2020, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) reopened the voter registration process in time for the 2022 National Elections where the 17th President of the country will be decided upon.

In 2019, there were more than 2.5 million new registered voters which comprised about 4% of the total number of registered voters. Of the total number of registered voters, 31% belong to the 18-29-year-old age bracket while 32% belong to the 30-44-year-old bracket. Due to the pandemic, it is expected that the number of new registered voters may be lower than in 2019. Nonetheless, many young individuals have expressed their desire to register due to our country's prevailing socio-political circumstances.

The upcoming 2022 National Elections is sure to draw interest from first-time voters, with many looking forward to legitimately express their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the government’s response against the COVID-19 pandemic through the ballot.

The government's mettle has been severely tested in the last few months over an unprecedented pandemic that has economically, social and financially impacted the world. The economy is expected to shrink by 5.5% this year, with many companies forcing to close thus leaving millions of Filipinos unemployed. As of 10 September 2020, the Philippines has accumulated a total number of 248,947 cases of COVID-19, of which 58,823 are active cases. While a certain number of Filipinos acknowledge that the government is exerting its best effort to appropriately and promptly respond to the effects of COVID-19, a critical segment of society has largely been unhappy and frustrated with the mishaps and missteps in the fight against COVID-19.

In the absence of elections, anti-Duterte groups have launched online campaigns such as #OustDuterte and #DuterteResignNow to show their collective disappointment on the actions taken by government during this pandemic. It is noteworthy that Congress rejected the application for renewal of a new franchise by ABSCBN and seamlessly approved the application of 40% Chinese-owned DITO Telecommunity Corp. as the third telco player expected to compete with leading players SMART and Globe.

Meanwhile, other pro-Duterte groups have re-ignited calls for a revolutionary government to be led by President Rodrigo Duterte in attempt to change the system for the better. The President responded that the idea of revolutionary government should be discussed publicly and should include the military. It is noteworthy as well that the MRRD-NECC group behind this proposal is one of the major parallel organizations that supported President Duterte in the 2016 Elections. Recent surveys by SWS and Publicus Asia indicate a high approval of the President's performance despite the pandemic.

Pro and anti-Duterte groups and personalities, as well as neutral individuals, welcome the advent of the election season. While the campaign period is more than a year away, expect Presidential aspirants to become more visible to the public. Expect also a more mature and politically astute electorate, given their experiences with the pandemic and mindful of the government's response.

 

So, let the election season begin!

 

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About the Author
Mr. Aaron Benedict De Leon is currently a Business Development Practitioner in a private consulting firm. He has more than six years of professional experience in leading and managing political and non-government organizations, specializing in organizational management, policy development and program management. He has had stints with notable political/socio-civic organizations, serving in various capacities as: Secretary-General of the Centrist Democratic Party of the Philippines (CDP) [2013-2015], Founding Chairperson of the Centrist Democratic Youth Association of the Philippines (CDYAP) [2012-2014], Philippine Representative to the International Young Democrat Union (IYDU) [2011-2012], Chairperson of the Christian Democratic Youth [2011-2012], Secretary-General of YOUTH Philippines [2010-2011], and Spokesperson/Communications Director of the GT2010 Gilbert Teodoro Presidential Campaign [2009-2010].
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