Election in the Philippines is like a festival. You will be able to see lots of colorful banners everywhere. This year the election happened on May 13. But… Months before the election Politicians already started campaigning ~ secretly or openly.
This is the second automated election in the Philippines, the first one happened three years ago when we elected our current President. I was also under the impression that this year’s election would be better and would run smoothly. Unfortunately, I was wrong!
Yes! I think this is the worst election I have witnessed. When I was 18 years old I already registered myself for me to be able to vote. I was able to participate in two national elections. However, during the last National Election I was in Cebu coz’ of work and I wasn’t able to participate. This year, I was very eager to join coz’ this will be my first automated election.
On May 13 I travelled from Davao City to Davao Oriental for four hours by bus. When I arrived there I was very excited and asked my aunt and sister where were they. I was surprised coz’ they told me they are already at the precinct they were assigned to and they were falling in line for two hours already. Wow! That’s automation?
I just found out that in our place there were only two PCOS machines and clustered precincts. I am not sure how many voters were there but the line was sooooo long! That was just the start. I went to the Elementary school where we could vote and looked for my name on the list they posted on the wall. On the first precinct I was carefully checking the list to see if I was listed there but I couldn’t find my name. Then I was told that the list was not arranged alphabetically and I need to check each page. Wow! So, again I checked the list and still couldn’t find my name. I then moved to the second precinct and looked for my name. Again! I couldn’t find my name. It was very hot and I could just imagine the old people who fell in line and waited for their turns to vote. I couldn’t handle it anymore so I decided to go home.
I was told by my other aunts and mom that MAYBE because I was not able to participate in the previous national election and the first automated election they then decided to remove my name as a voter… WOW!!! That was really surprising! Anyway, there was nothing I could do. I just wasted some time and money going to our hometown in the hopes of voting.
I was just resting at home and waited for the election to end. After like few more hours my sister and aunt arrived and were very exhausted. They said that they were waiting for four hours and 30 minutes before they were able to vote. Again.. WOW!
The main purpose of automation is for the voting process to be faster, easier and avoid cheating. I think cheating was avoided but vote buying wasn’t. The counting of votes was faster but the voting process wasn’t. It seems like the Commission on Elections and the Government officials were more concern about proclamation of the winners that they have forgotten the people who chose those winners, Yes! I think more PCOS machines should be given to every place… We used to have more than 10 precincts and its was reduced to two, imagine the hardship of the voters just to vote. I think some of the voters decided to go home and not vote instead of falling in line for a long time.
Now that the election is over I have high hopes for this country. I may not be able to vote but I hope that the people have chosen the right leaders. Some of those they chose may not be the ideal leaders but I hope they would still serve this country with all their hearts and with the enlightenment of our Lord God!
I will be ready next election and I will register myself AGAIN once the COMELEC starts accepting registration. I will make sure that I will be able to vote. I may have one vote but this vote can help build a better future for this wonderful country!
Here are some of the shots I took during the election period: