#PHVote Challenge: Beyond voting, how to take action in the 2022 Philippine elections

Under the Duterte administration, the Philippines has seen the slow yet steady erosion of the different pillars of democracy.

Rappler has closely reported on efforts to silence and red-tag critics and the broad pposition. Violence has ruled the country – the bloody war on drugs and police-like response to the pandemic attest to that. Allies are accorded due process while critics have to contend with warrantless arrests.

The free press has come under attack, with the largest broadcasting network denied a renewal of its franchise and journalists hauled to court on baseless complaints and arrested

Despite these, Filipinos pushed back in constructive ways. We’ve come up with a citizen's budget tracker, we've organized community pantries, and continue to offer innovative solutions to various governance and social dilemmas. We've strengthened our sense of bayanihan at a time when public discourse is too polarized. 

The need to sustain this spirit of civic participation in not only necessary in the coming polls, it is also urgent. Clearly, how we will get involved in the 2022 Philippine campaigns and elections is going to be our biggest push-back as a people.

This is why our team at MovePH, Rappler’s civic engagement arm, is encouraging Filipinos to help strengthen this democratic process by going beyond voting. 

These are our three main calls to action:

  • Help fact-check during the upcoming elections. Social media has turned into a crucial battleground, where disinformation and propaganda are disseminated, and echo chambers are created. We need volunteers who will actively debunk false and misleading information before they can shape public conversations. 
  • Cover the local elections by highlighting issues in your community. We need more eyes on the ground to raise awareness of issues that should be part of the local political agenda. In the months leading up to the elections, we will be training citizen journalists who will be reporting about election-related issues and initiatives in their communities.
  • Lead a movement in your community. With the pandemic making it difficult to organize and mobilize, we need innovative community leaders who can help ramp up voter registration before the deadline on September 30, 2021.

Are you up for the challenge? Remember that the work for 2022 starts long before we fill up the ballots.

Even now, #WeDecide: Atin ang Pilipinas. – Rappler.com