Editorial | Real challenge

By May 14 this year, voters will again storm to their respective polling precincts to choose their village officials.
Also choosing their leaders on that day are those members of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK), or those between ages 18 and 24.
Based on the calendar of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), the main agency that supervises the elections in the country, candidates can start filing their candidacies between April 14 and April 20 and can start campaigning on May 4 until May 12.
Over the weekend, the agency called on candidates of both elections to ensure that they do not spend much.
“Barangay elections are supposed to be inexpensive. I mean, after all, if you think you have a shot at winning, and why would you file your candidacy if you didn’t, you must already be known to a vast majority of your electorate. Why would you need a lot of money just to tell them to vote for you? They’re either going to or they’re not, right?” said James Jimenez, spokesperson of the agency, in his blog post.
He explained that a candidate needs only to spend P5 per voter even as he asked those candidates to stay in the limit. He added candidates must also ensure that their campaigns will not result in huge amount of trash.
But more than the campaign fund and the garbage that these kinds of election bring, what is more problematic is that political parties dip their fingers into these exercises even when they are not supposed to, as stated in the Omnibus Election Code.
However, in the Philippines, politicians cannot prevent themselves from intervening in any government-related activities. They always make sure that their personal interest is protected by influencing even the lowest official of the government.
So, what the Comelec must do is make an extra effort to ensure that intervention of politicians in the elections is minimal if not completely eliminated. This is easier said than done, but the fact remains that it is the main mandate of the agency in relation to holding these kinds of elections.

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Posted in Opinion