On The 2016 Elections (2nd of a series)

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How many of the country’s incumbent local and national officials can come forward and with a head held high say that they did not buy their way  to  victory?

The painful truth is that elections have turned out to be a business venture. Politicians are like businessmen who if they hope to win must be willing to make an investment.

How much should a politician invest? Do a rough estimate.

According to the Commission on Elections, there are roughly 56.4 million voters in the Philippines for the 2016 elections. Republic Act 7166 allows campaign expenses of P10 per voter for candidates for President and Vice-president and P3 for other candidates. But those who were not born yesterday know that candidates for national and local elections spend way much beyond what the laws allow.

There is a bill pending in the House of Representatives seeking to increase the allowable campaign expenses. If approved, presidential candidates will be allowed to spend P50 (vice-presidential and senatorial bets P35 and local candidates P30) for each voter.

But beyond what the statutes allow, a candidate has to dig deeper into his pocket if he hopes to win. Vote-buying is no longer a secret making this writer say that election now is nothing but a business venture. It is no longer the best and most qualified candidates getting elected but the ones who have enormous financial resources.

A candidate willing to pay at least P500 for every voter is likely to win. The percentage for winning gets higher if the one seeking an elective position has the capacity of making that amount higher…like P1000 for each vote.

Now, do the Math if you wish to know how much a candidate needs to prepare for his election bid. Include the amount needed for campaign advertisement, salaries of campaign leaders per geographical unit (province, town, city, barangay, districts or zones) depending on which position being sought, and other miscellaneous expenses. Don’t forget to add the amount a candidate is willing to pay for each voter (multiplied by the number of voters.)

For the millions of pesos those candidates extricate from their coffers what do they wish to get in return?

It’s not difficult to determine what drives people to run for election. It could be A, B or C with A being a political position is a business venture for which they expect to get returns for their investments and a whole lot of profit (How? Use your imagination!!!), B it being an opportunity to wield power allowing the one who holds it to protect personal and family interests and to advance other personal motives and agenda, and C love for public service.

The citizens who care are hoping it’s the C. For those who sell their votes it doesn’t matter whichever.

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About Hardpen

Teacher-Writer Hardpen is my nom de plume. My real name is Massuline Antonio Dupaya Ligaya. Many times I was asked the question, "Why do you write?" I don't write for rewards nor adulation. When I write poems, stories or essays, seeing them completed gives me immense joy and satisfaction. The happiness and sense of fulfillment I feel when completing my works are my rewards. When I teach, I don't work but I play. The classroom is my playground, the students are my playmates, and the subject is our toy. Proud to be me! Proud to be a FILIPINO! TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

Posted on January 19, 2016, in 2016 Elections, Phiilppines, Philippine Election and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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