According to Rachelle Bascara, a PhD candidate and Associate Tutor at the Philosophy and Politics Departments in Birkbeck College, University of London, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) comprised 10% of the total Filipino population. There are more or less 15 million OFWs worldwide who serve as our modern heroes.
Through the Overseas Voting Program, OFWs have been given the opportunity to have a voice in the electoral politics of our motherland. Millions are eligible voters that can vote in the forthcoming May 2016 elections!
We are a community of OFWs that also look to the welfare of our country. We can create a significant swing in the Halalan 2016 if we only unite to vote the best candidate. More to that, we are sending remittance to our country and we also generate a significant impact in economic development which is the reason that we should also receive a reciprocal genuine service from the Philippine government.
Then how and why should we vote?
A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT
As a citizen of a democratic country we are privileged to choose our government officials.
According to Article V Section 1 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution,
“Suffrage may be exercised by all citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law, who are at least eighteen years of age, and who shall have resided in the Philippines for at least one year, and in the place wherein they propose to vote, for at least six months immediately preceding the election. No literacy, property, or other substantive requirement shall be imposed on the exercise of suffrage.”
Suffrage or the right to vote must be practiced by eligible Filipino Citizens. Each of us has the right to vote whoever we wish to elect. Let’s practice our right and choose the best leaders to man the helm.
MIGHTY POLITICAL MUSCLE
OFWs have a very good political machinery. We comprise a significant number of votes. Our political muscle also shapes the political platform of our leaders. We should be keen enough in discerning that appropriate and beneficial political platforms of the candidate that will can aid in lifting the welfare of the OFWs. If we think a candidate shows no interest in augmenting support for the OFWs, then a candidate is a poor choice among us. We should be vigilant enough if the platforms are also addressing our problems here outside the Philippines. Maybe we should ask ourselves if we have been included in the grand narration of a candidate’s platform. We, the OFWs, also belong to a vulnerable sector and we should at least need a representation in the government to serve as a voice of the OFW community and strengthen the ppresence of OFWs political muscle.
RESPECT AND HONOR THY REPUBLIC
Even though OFWs are not always physically present in the country, our family, our main drive for motivation and inspiration, are always there and we can not afford to see them suffering from a leadership that will compromise their well-being. As a sign of extending salutation to the republi, we should wisely set our hands to choose the best candidate. It is never easy to see our family suffering from a poor leadership. One of the reasons why we work outside our country is to secure a better future for the family. So why not help our family choose the best leader that can provide them sustainable and fair government services?
Let our voice be heard! Our vote is our voice. The OFW community will never be heard if we will just play mute in the domestic affairs of our beloved. Be wise enough to choose who can perform best in governing our developing country. Our vote is our right. If we really wish to see the change we want to see the world, start by choosing right.
Be a part of a responsible Halalan 2016!
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