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In our hands

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Last Oct. 30, the Barangay & SK elections were held, and once again, we had to opportunity to exercise our right to suffrage.

Here in Dumaguete, is change brewing? I certainly hope so, but I am not really very sure about it.

I’d like to be optimistic, and I am still hoping that the barangay leaders we Dumaguetnons voted for last Monday will hold themselves true to what they had promised us.

The barangay election is a vital pillar of the nation’s democratic foundation. It serves as a testament to the democratic values deeply ingrained in Filipino society.

This local poll is not merely about choosing leaders; it is about selecting individuals who have the passion and dedication to transform their communities. The essence of this election lies in the belief that strong, responsible leaders can make a tangible difference in the lives of ordinary people.

Barangays, often likened to neighborhoods or villages, are the smallest administrative units in the Philippines. Each barangay is a microcosm of the nation, reflecting the cultural and social diversity that makes the Philippines so unique. It’s at this level that the pulse of Filipino life beats most strongly. And the outcome of Barangay elections can be felt immediately by those they serve.

The significance of this election cannot be overstated. It is an opportunity for the people to choose leaders who will champion their causes, address their needs, and create lasting change. In a nation as diverse and dynamic as the Philippines, the local leaders being chosen should and must understand the specific challenges faced by their communities and can drive positive transformation.

Why does this election matter so much, and what is at stake in the recent 2023 Barangay election?

Empowerment at the grassroots level. Barangay elections are the cornerstone of democracy. They empower the people to take control of their own destinies. These elections provide an avenue for ordinary citizens to step into leadership roles, serve their communities, and bring about positive change.

Addressing pressing local issues. Barangay officials play a pivotal role in tackling the everyday issues that directly impact their constituents. From infrastructure development, healthcare, environment, livelihood, and access to education to public safety, these leaders (should) have the ability to shape their communities for the better.

Strengthening the social fabric. In a world increasingly defined by divisiveness and polarization, Barangay elections promote unity and solidarity. Community leaders foster a sense of belonging and shared purpose, which is essential for social cohesion and progress.

Accountability and transparency. Electing leaders who genuinely care about their communities ensures a system of accountability and transparency. This is essential for preventing corruption and ensuring that public resources are used for the betterment of all.

Nurturing future leaders. Barangay elections are also a breeding ground for the country’s future leaders. Many national politicians have their roots in community service, and the lessons they learn at the local level are invaluable for their future careers.

In the recent Barangay election that was conducted, Dumaguetnons had the unique opportunity to shape the future of their communities. The leaders they choose will influence the trajectory of their daily lives and the prospects of their children. It’s not just about politics; it’s about a shared vision for a better, brighter future.

Moreover, the election was a reminder that leadership isn’t just about holding positions of power; it’s about being driven by the desire to improve the lives of those you serve. True leaders are those who are passionate about making a difference, who roll up their sleeves and work tirelessly to address the issues facing their communities.

The essence of Barangay elections lies in the belief that leaders can, and should, make a tangible difference in the lives of ordinary people. It’s about choosing leaders who will inspire, unite, and empower their communities to dream bigger, reach higher, and build a brighter future for all.

With the 2023 Barangay election, let us all recognize the significance of this grassroots poll and the power it places in our hands. The Dumaguete communities deserve leaders who are driven to improve lives, and who are not just public servants but public champions.

It’s a call to action for us Dumaguetnons to not just engage in the democratic process, but also make our voices heard, and shape the destiny of our cherished barangays.

Because the truth is — while we did elect the leaders who will (hopefully) provide the direction to where our communities should go and what we need to achieve, it is in our hands that the goals will be accomplished.

In the words of American historian, playwright, philosopher, socialist intellectual, and World War II veteran Howard Zinn, “We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.”

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Author’s email: [email protected]

 

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