Of Rights and Privileges

by - Sunday, October 11, 2015

I am now a registered voter. For years, I’ve made excuses of why I never registered and voted. Too busy, no good candidate, not worthy of my time, yada- yada… While some people merely shrugged this off, most raised their eyebrows at me and told me I have no right to complain about the state of the country and the government.

Ok. That kinda makes sense but a bit off, I guess. So, my hard-earned taxes that I “give” to the government twice a month is not merit enough to ask for better services? Does this mean I have no right to demand good governance from people who vowed to serve the public (meaning: EVERY FILIPINO- RICH OR POOR)? Not surprisingly, most people said yes.

But as a Filipino citizen, it IS my right to demand good governance. It is my right to gain access to better public health, education, transport and security services. Why? Because I work my ass off and pay my taxes diligently (albeit begrudgingly). My so-called taxes are meant to create jobs, build roads and offer better education and health services. Mine’s as well as every working Pinoy’s taxes are what funds the government’s projects (supposedly). Are these not reasons enough?

I guess not. So I registered as a voter. Does being a registered voter make my arguments more valid? I doubt it. I feel as if I’ve just become another pawn in the crazy game of politics. I feel that by succumbing to the idea of being a voter, I have failed. Because now, I can no longer follow a virtue, a philosophy, a belief that resonates most to me but instead, I am left to choose individuals who are lesser evils yet equally unworthy of a vote, let alone the power to lead the country.

But hey, it’s just me. Is my opinion even worthy of a look? Most likely not. But is my right to express it nonetheless. It’s a privilege of being in a democratic (corrupt as it may be) country. 

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