May Philippine Elections -- What's At Stake?

In 40 days, on May 9, Filipino citizens the world over will go to the polls to choose leaders that will guide the country for the next six years. Over 54 million registered voters, including over a million overseas, will elect their choices to fill over 80,000 positions from president and vice president to municipal offices. 

The significance of this election for the Philippines' standing in the world community and for its future is tremendous. The country's GDP growth rate of 6.3 percent has been the highest five-year average in the past 40 years. This has to be sustained. On the other hand, rampant, age-old problems -- unemployment, poverty, unbridled population growth, crime and insurgency -- continue to loom large, and policies and infrastructures have to be in place toward their resolution.

To help inform Filipino overseas voters on the realities on the ground in our homeland, Positively Filipino is posting -- as our only story this week -- ace veteran journalist Marites Danguilan-Vitug's "Personality Politics and Twists of Fate," an insightful overview of the election of 2016. She delivered this talk before the US-Philippines Society and the World Bank-IMF Filipino Staff Association in Washington, D.C. last week. It provides important background that will hopefully help you, the overseas Filipino voter, decide come May 9. As most journalists covering our homeland know, the stories-behind-the-stories are usually more interesting and more truthful than what you read in the news. 

Even as we focus on Election 2016, we won't be remiss in bringing you our regular Happy Home Cook feature: this week it's Canonigo, a Spanish-inspired dessert, for special celebrations. 

Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino