First-time voters in Bohol share their Barangay, SK election experiences

By: Rashe Zoe Sophia Piquero - CDN Digital Multimedia Reporter | October 30,2023 - 02:38 PM

First-time voters in Bohol share their Barangay, SK election experiences

Boholanos are exercising their rights to vote in the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan at Tagbilaran City Central Elementary School in Bohol on Monday, October 30 | CDN Photo / Pia Piquero

BOHOL, Philippines – The Barangay and Sangguniang Elections is now at full throttle, bringing together all Boholanos for one common mission: to vote for those who truly deserve the position.

Despite having little to no knowledge of the election process or physical incapabilities, Boholanos exhibited unwavering determination as they turned up to exercise their voting rights on Monday, October 30, at Tagbilaran City Central Elementary School.

READ: LIVE UPDATES: 2023 Barangay and Sanguniang Kabataan elections

Two first-time voters

Hans and Eysa, who were both 20 years old and first-time voters, expressed how they were “overwhelmed” after casting their votes for the first time.

“Naexcite mi kay as first-time voters nakavote na gyud mi, nakapili na gyud mi,” they said in an interview with CDN Digital.

(We are excited because we are really first time voters now, we have really voted.)

Getting ready to cast her vote, Eysa demonstrated a strong commitment to her civic duty by thoroughly utilizing every available resource to gain a comprehensive understanding of the candidates and their platforms.

READ: Bongbong Marcos to voters: Pick best bet, don’t yield to vote-buying

Informed choices

She delved into various sources, ranging from online research to discussions with fellow voters to make informed choices.

“Nagreserch ko and everything. Ako gitan-aw gyud ang background kung kinsa sila,” Eysa said.

(I did research and everything. I looked up the background about who they are.)

Eysa said that her choice of candidates was rooted in a careful evaluation of their “practical and actionable platforms”, considering the potential benefits these candidates could bring to society at large.

“Mas nindot man gyud na mo-choose ta og candidates na wala maghunahuna og unsa ila magain na benefit,” Eysa said.

(It is better if we can choose the candidates who don’t think about what they benefit they can gain.)

READ: Inaugural mall voting starts in Cebu

First-time voters told: Choose wisely

Eysa pointed out that within the pool of candidates, there was a considerable number who “lacked a genuine commitment” to serving the best interests of the people.

Eysa said she was concerned about the prevalence of such candidates, and she stressed the importance of discerning voters who would be able to distinguish between those who were sincerely dedicated to the welfare of their constituents and those who only pursue public office for personal advantages.

“Naa man gyud mga tawo nga mudagan lang for their own benefit, so we must choose wisely jud,” she noted.

(There are people who would run for their own benefit, so we must really choose wisely.)

READ: Senior citizens, PWDs hit ‘lack’ of accessibility support staff in precincts

More comprehensive approach

Hans, on the other hand, highlighted that winning candidates should adopt a “more comprehensive approach” when addressing the needs of students.

Beyond focusing solely on education and leisure, she stressed the importance of candidates also considering the provision of employment opportunities for the youth.

Hans believed that elected officials should craft policies and initiatives that not only enrich the educational experience but also pave the way for meaningful job prospects, thereby nurturing a generation of capable and self-reliant individuals who can contribute to the broader community.

READ: Comelec-7 asks more cops to be deployed in four barangays

“Naa man gud mga students na nagneed og work pod, unta makahelp sila og hatag. Kay with these [initivatives], makahelp silas kabatan-onan to grow,” Hans said.

(We have really students who need also need work, and we hope that they can help give them jobs. Because with these [initiatives], they can help the youth to grow.)

Hans is currently in her first year of the BS Entrepreneurship program at Tagbilaran City College.

READ: EXPLAINER: Vote-buying, selling

First-time voter on candidates

She said that candidates should initiate programs for all students, focusing on “essential life skills,” particularly encompassing the proper ways to invest and save money.

“Ako as a student ana na kurso, makaingon jud ko na kinahanglan na siya i-learn sa uban students kay wala sila kahibalo unsa-on,” Hans said.

(I as a student in the course, I can say that other students need to learn that because they don’t know what that is.)

“Exercising your right to vote is important kay especially para sa amo mga kabataan, matabangan mi na mulambo,” Eysa said, where in Hans agreed.

(Exercising your right to vote is important because especially for us the youth, they can help us to grow.)

READ: ‘Vote-buying’ in cash, health cards – even uses QR codes

PWD on voting

Meanwhile, Alfonso Marson, a 72-year-old who has triumphed over numerous kidney stone operations and endured the loss of his feet due to gangrene, serves as a living testament to the indomitable spirit of a dedicated voter.

Despite his physical trials, Alfonso believed that his voice and his vote, like every citizen’s, were invaluable contributions to his community.

He was accompanied by his wife, Julieta Marson, who assisted him inside the polling room.

“Bisan pa ug naingon ani ako sitwasyon, importante man gyud na mo-obey tas balaod sa piniliay,” Marson said.

(Even if my situation is like this now, it is important to obey the law to vote.)

Marson faced amputation in 2021 due to a severe gangrene infection that complicated his feet.

However, despite being unable to walk, his unwavering eagerness to participate in the election remained undiminished.

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TAGS: barangay, bohol, first-time voters, SK election

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