OVER the past several weeks, this column has joined various sectors in contributing its modest share in the promotion of voter’s education in the coming Philippine elections.

As the campaign season moves closer to the May elections, this writer is more convinced of the vital need for voter’s education for the electorate to more wisely exercise their valuable right of suffrage. More particularly, this crucial education for voters has become urgently needed with the many issues that have arisen on both the national and local political levels. Hence, this column has found it essential to reiterate the major elements serving as important foundations for the elections.

The first element includes the historical political issues of understanding Filipino culture and how it influences the way the electorate makes their vital choices. The second aspect calls on the citizenry to recall once more the historic connection and gains of the “Edsa People Power Revolution” towards strengthening Philippine politics and governance in the coming years. The next element is the need for voters to realize that their intelligent participation in elections can strengthen politics and governance in our country.

The other essential factors this column continues to reiterate are the indispensable personal qualifications expected of all candidates for public office. This aspect is the integrity and honesty for all candidates to counter the continuing threats of corruption and other immoralities in government.

Another aspect is the needed professional capabilities and eligibility needed by candidates to dispel serious doubts about their right to hold public office. Another important aspect is the track record or satisfactory performance by candidates in past or present relevant government service or their civil society work experiences. Another factor here is the possession by candidates of the essential leadership and management competence which can enable elective officials to effectively lead the citizenry in governance. The above factors are indispensable for elective officials to motivate the active involvement of the citizenry in the efficient and effective delivery of public services and general economic growth.

A major concern we also started discussing last week were the needed clarifications on the various issues which have been widely discussed over the past months of the electoral season.

An important specific issue we highlighted was the role of popularity or wealth as the basis for many voters in making their crucial choices. For the essential guidance of voters, selecting candidates only because of their popularity or wealth in some careers may have been misleading factors for some voters.

As a related issue, many voters may have been confused with various election surveys published in the media. As some veteran political analysts have noted, historically political surveys are meant mainly for internal guidance of political groups and not meant for political propaganda. Hence, the electorate is advised to carefully study these issues to avoid being confused on these important matters. We will discuss more relevant issues in our coming columns.