READY KA NA BA?

By James Jimenez

The filing of Certificates of Candidacy for the 2025 National and Local Elections will be from October 1 to 8, 2024 which is a mere hundred days from today. And so I have questions:

Ready ka na ba to choose leaders who will prioritize economic recovery and job creation? The pandemic may seem like a distant memory to many, but we are still feeling its impact on the economy. Electing leaders focused on sustaining economic recovery and promoting job creation is crucial to the continuing effort to rebuild the livelihoods of many Filipinos.

Ready ka na ba to vote for candidates committed to improving healthcare access and quality? Filipinos typically think of healthcare only when things go wrong. For this reason, the entire country was caught flat-footed by the pandemic, a situation we cannot allow to happen again. This makes it essential to vote for leaders who will improve healthcare access and quality before another health crisis happens.

Ready ka na ba to support leaders who have a clear plan to address climate change and environmental issues? With heat waves, freak storms, and flash floods, we are already feeling the worst effects of climate change and environmental degradation. The climate emergency is real, and leaders – at all levels of government – with strong environmental policies can help mitigate these challenges, protect the country’s natural resources, and prevent the construction of resorts in the middle of protected lands.

Ready ka na ba to elect officials who will enhance the education system and ensure quality education for all? The recently exposed dismal performance of the Philippine education system shows that we are ignoring a vital element of national development. Electing officials who prioritize improvements in the education system will help reverse the downward trend and ensure that future generations are well-equipped for progress.

Ready ka na ba to vote for leaders who will work towards improving the country’s communications and transportation infrastructure? The Philippines has one of the worst communications and transportation infrastructures in South East Asia, driving productivity downward, and skyrocketing costs upward. We lose billions per day, due to traffic congestion alone. Efficient communications and transportation infrastructure are critical for economic growth and quality of life. With leaders focusing on these areas, we can deliver a much needed boost to the country’s development and connectivity.

Ready ka na ba to support candidates who will focus on peace and security in the country? The stability and prosperity of a nation depends, in large part, on peace and security. This is why electing leaders with effective strategies for maintaining law and order – and not just a willingness to shoot first and ask questions later – is crucial.

Ready ka na ba to elect officials who will prioritize human rights and social justice? We are born entitled to human rights simply by being human. It is not a privilege gifted to us by government; rather it is governments’ duty – acting through our elected representatives – to ensure that we are not denied these rights. As for social justice – it is the only thing that reliably and consistently guarantees peace, and it too is demandable from those who would call themselves our leaders.

Ready ka na ba to vote for candidates who will support and enhance agricultural development and food security? Agriculture is the backbone of the Philippines, playing a vital role in the country’s economy and society, and yet it continues to suffer the lack of productive capital, knowledge, and technology. Leaders who support agricultural development are desperately needed – not just to meet the requirements of a modernized agriculture industry, but also to protect agri-workers from the abuses of predatory traders.

Ready ka na ba to elect officials who will foster innovation and support the tech industry? Without a comprehensive and responsive legal framework in place to protect industry workers and promote the emergence of new businesses, we risk losing our talent to other countries. Voting for candidates who promote innovation and technology can prevent this brain-drain and strengthen the Philippines’ position as a leader in the global market.

Ready ka na ba to support leaders who will strengthen foreign relations and international cooperation? With a powerful neighbor ramping up its belligerence,, now is the time to build strong foreign relations and encourage international cooperation. We need leaders who are not only good at hyping up local audiences, but are also able to speak the language of nations and can enhance our country’s global standing.

Ready ka na ba to elect officials who will ensure a free and fair election process? A free and fair election process is the cornerstone of democracy. Electing officials who uphold these principles – from faithful compliance with campaign rules to the acceptance of the will of the people even in the event of an adverse outcome – ensures the integrity of the democratic process and ultimately strengthens the Republic.

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