Credentials in elections: uso pa ba yarn?

Nov. 03, 2023 file photo

Unsaon man nang cum laude kung wa nailhi sa tawo o di kabalo makisama?” (So what if you’re cum laude but no one knows you and you don’t know how to deal with people?)

A netizen reacted to a Facebook post that a “tambay” (loafer) won in the recent Barangay and SK elections.

The barangay and SK elections are over, yet its results and even prior in the campaign period had ignited citizens to react and ask what credentials do these candidates and winners have.  

There are candidates in the recent past who have no experience in leading one’s community. And when they revealed credentials, they can only show that they joined beauty pageants, joined a varsity team or a dance troupe, and one even said “cook foods”.

This opens up a question: How are these credentials related to leadership and serving the people?

The recent elections showed that people view politics as a way of candidates acquiring power rather than a venue of public service, with no regard if candidates are qualified to hold such positions at all. 

Another issue is fame and how it can do a lot of things; as celebrities ran in the past elections with barely any experience and all they have is being popular. Their fans blindly idolize and admire them, voting them unknowingly they can become inept politicians.

Politics should be a venue to hear the pleas of the masses in order to work for the better of society. The country is besieged with problems, as people are getting marginalized day by day. Being a person in power, one must be capable of addressing the issues faced by the people. There would be no citizens suffering if an administration is effectively serving them to begin with. 

But in order to have a more effective governance, elected officials must have qualifications, credentials, and even education to lead. That aside, a leader must also be “maka-masa”, must know how to immerse with the community to understand the people they serve.

A single vote is powerful to change the course of the nation, and people should not be blinded by candidates who can only show nothing but popularity. Fame or a familiar name does not equate to credentials. Any candidate running with no experience or credentials is nothing but a joke, and a person elected to a position of power is not a joke or child’s play.

Ervince Apatan is a contributor of Davao Today, currently studying BS Anthropology at the University of the Philippines Mindanao.

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