#PHVote: ‘Your vote is your dignity’

MANILA, Philippines – Every election, you have one vote. It’s worth a lot more than just a number.

It’s your sacred right as the citizen of a free country. Whether you’re rich or poor, powerful or not, your vote is an equal chance to have your voice heard among the millions.

As the Philippines heads into the 2016 national elections, vote-buying continues to run rampant in polling districts across the country. It’s up to you, the voter, to protect your right. 

Last April 27, we invited netizens to answer the question “What is your vote worth?” Overall, people understand the power of their vote and are vigilant in protecting it. They’re also willing to stand up and fight to help others protect their votes as well.  

During the conversation, people also shared their thoughts on the impact that our votes leave behind.

Tap "next" on the tweets below to read through our favorite answers.

Change starts by being heard

We asked people, “What would you say to someone who doesn’t feel the need to use their vote?”

@rapplerdotcom change starts from you. If you want change, then Vote. We deserve a good government. — Darwin Medina (@TheDarwinMedina) April 27, 2016 @rapplerdotcom Well is a chance lost for a lifetime, and a lifetime lost for a change. — ♔ Naizam Garcia ♥ (@naizam24) April 27, 2016 Going out to vote means you care so much about our country and not just sitting there waiting for change. #PHVote @rapplerdotcom — Randall Lorayes (@iAm_rmL) April 27, 2016 @rapplerdotcom yes, I value my vote because it my right and entitlement as a citizen of this country. Thus, the need to make good use of it — Jene-Anne Pangue (@jeneanneisflair) April 27, 2016

All it takes for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing. Change won’t happen if you just sit around and wait for someone else to do it for you. If you really want things to be different, line up at the polls on May 9 and make your voice heard.  

Your vote is an investment

We asked netizens, “Do you value your right to vote?”

@rapplerdotcom @olxph YES! It's an investment. I pay taxes just like everyone else. I have to make sure I trust the people who handle it — sarah (@sarahbuendia) April 27, 2016 @rapplerdotcom Yes BC it is a contribution to may either what's best or worst for the nation. & I intend to use it for what is the best. — Doris Ferrolino (@teenygreenydoe) April 27, 2016 @rapplerdotcom It's a call to become responsible citizens and contribute to the welfare of our country which we all partake in #PHVote — ana cabanban (@anacabanana) April 27, 2016 @rapplerdotcom yes, because it is my right as a citizen of this country. And also my vote can help change the nation cont. — Leera (@leerapop) April 27, 2016

Voting is like investing in your country’s future. Done right, every Filipino can reap the benefits for years to come. It’s up to you to make the most of it by electing the most qualified and deserving candidates. 

Protecting your vote is not just for you

We asked people, “Do you think vote-buying is a serious crime?”

@rapplerdotcom Yasss! Ibenta mo na ang gamit mo, wag lang boto mo. PLeasssee! #PHVote — Fatima K. Del Agua (@AKO_si_TIMMY) April 27, 2016 @rapplerdotcom There are so-called things beyond the commerce of men, like babies, body organs ... & votes. — mel manalaysay (@mashano1) April 27, 2016 @rapplerdotcom It is as serious as selling your vote. Might as well give your kids and their future away. #PHVote — Darwin Awardee (@Darwin_Awardee) April 27, 2016 @rapplerdotcom ur vote is ur dignity It must be clean and real. Its like your heart and you have to give it to the most deserving. #PHVote — Christian Garcia (@_ekschano) April 27, 2016

You can sell almost anything: shoes, clothes, your car, and even your house. Your vote, on the other hand, is worth more than what money can buy. A shady payment can be spent in minutes, but selling your vote can impact the whole country for a long time.  

If someone offers you money at the polls, remember: protecting your vote is not just for you. It’s for your children and grandchildren as well.

Report it and post about it

We asked people, “This upcoming election, how will you help the fight against vote-buying?”

@rapplerdotcom take a photo/video then post it on social media #PHVote — Rachel Ann Catalan (@MissAnnCatalan) April 27, 2016 @rapplerdotcom sharing information about how our government is structured and how it functions. That way people can make better choices. — Karen Banzon (@tsiken) April 27, 2016 @rapplerdotcom Promote critical thinking; do not be reactionary; and encourage research-based decision-making — Aldrin Paolo Palad (@aldrinpaolo) April 27, 2016 @rapplerdotcom Promote critical thinking; do not be reactionary; and encourage research-based decision-making — Aldrin Paolo Palad (@aldrinpaolo) April 27, 2016

Unless we stand up and fight against it, vote-buying will continue to exist. Remember, change starts from within you. If you see or know about any incidents of vote-buying, report it to the authorities and post about it on social media to spread awareness. Encourage others to join the fight as well.

The more people that you can get to battle against vote-buying, the quicker the country will change for good. – Rappler.com