Faithful urged: ‘Get involved in barangay, SK polls’

Faithful urged: ‘Get involved in barangay, SK polls’

The education campaign on the barangay and SK elections in Baguio carried was promoted through social media via the Facebook account “I Vote Good Baguio”, as well through the radio program “The Shepherds Voice” in DZWT 540 kz. I VOTE GOOD BAGUIO FB PAGE

By Fr. Mickey Cardenas

May 11, 2018

Baguio City

With the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections a few days away, a Catholic priest appealed to the faithful to resist apathy and to get involved in placing the right persons in the local government unit (LGU) that most directly serves the people.

As part of the ongoing campaign for voters’ education Fr. Manuel G. Flores Jr., director of the Diocesan Commission for Promoting Integral Human Development, shared a telling anecdote that recently took place.

“As I was in a local cafeteria, I overheard one of three friends at a nearby table saying in Filipino: “The barangay elections are worthless. Better not go!”.

Reflecting on this incident Flores said, “It is with this kind of mentality that we allow elections and governance to go to waste. Your vote is precious and it matters ‘big time’, so don’t allow it to go to waste!”

Importance of the barangay

Explaining the importance of the barangay, the priest pointed out that it is the LGU that is usually unappreciated.

“Many of us think that the barangay is useless. However, this is where we all begin in reference to government.

Quoting a Baguio election officer, Flores said the barangay captain, “is the ‘most powerful’ official, given that his office exercises three powers: executive, legislative, and judiciary.”

“Given these considerations, it makes sense then that we should give greater importance to the barangay but, sadly, my experience made me realize how we have failed to give importance to the barangay. It shows too how we as citizens lack the knowledge of our government structures and how they work,” the priest lamented.

Everyone can be involved

The Social Action Ministry coordinator of the diocese said everyone can contribute towards “credible, honest, accurate, meaningful, and peaceful” elections on May 14.

“If you cannot vote since you were not able to register, do poll-watching. If you still cannot do this, then pray for peaceful and credible elections… And still, if you think that you cannot – sad to know that you are forgetting that you are a Filipino citizen – nevertheless we believe you could make it up in the next elections… register the soonest you can!”