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Barangay and SK Elections and the Law of Diminishing Return

Written By David D'Angelo on Monday, October 29, 2007 | 10/29/2007

The Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections are being held at this very moment and in less than a day perhaps new barangay and SK Council members will be declared as winners. The question is will they bring a new hope and a new breed of service to their respective baranggays or will they just continue the same brand of politics and service that this country has?

I voted at around 8:30am and noticed the most common scenario which sould not be allowed and that is distribution of campaign paraphernalias within the voting areas or inside the school. It is prescribed that on election day they should be at least 100 meters away or even more that no election paraphernalias should be given. But this was not the case. Ever since I began to exercise my voting rights this was being done and it seems to be the trend of election day. At the end of the day bulk of paraphernalias turning into trash will be the common sight all over the country.

I did vote not knowing the candidates that I am voting, what I only know is that his opponent is a former SK Chairman who is rumored that during his term he had performed below average. Making that the benchmark I vote for his opponent and 2 Baranggay councilors who was endorsed on my way to the voting place by persons which we personally know. The thing is the personal knowledge of the voters on the person they are voting is probably a problem also faced by most of the voters. They do not know who were they voting for.

After elections the winning candidates will serve in the baranggay and in the SK. They will be given some part of the people's money as honorariam or remuneration for their service and most do run just because of that. It is turning out to be a profession rather than a service to their constituency. Baranggay officials may end up doing nothing and just being officials by name that is why sometimes it seems that voting is just a waste of time because it will not change anything after all.

The good thing though is it seems that elections will generally be peacefull and less confusing which makes me wonder what's the difference between national and local elections like this. Perhaps thye level of political interest is not that high that is why very few wants to make the polls more confusing. If an orderly elections like this is possible considering that the same precincts andalmost same number of voters will be used and will cast their vote respectively, we can say that it can also be possible in every elections.

Let us just hope that this new set of officials really want to serve the people and not only their personal interests. Let us also hope that they will be the hope of our baranggay which is after all the basic political unit of our society.

To the Sangguniang Kabataan, I hope that they revitalize the KK or Katipunan ng Kabataan and make it as a tool to empower the youth and enhance participation of the youth in local governance. They are elected to serve their constituents and not only to act as the puppets of their parents and politicians.

Hope is not yet lost but as time goes by and nothing is changing we can say that we are already experiencing the Law of Diminishing Return.

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