A total of 64 candidates are vying for 12 seats in the 2022 senatorial elections, hoping to craft laws that will lift millions of Filipinos out of the pandemic.
The 12 winning candidates will join 12 other incumbent senators to form the 19th Congress of the Philippines. Like the president and the vice president, the winning senators will have a six-year term. They are allowed to run for reelection for a maximum of two terms.
Here’s what you need to know about the 2022 senatorial elections:
What are the roles of a senator?
Under the Constitution, the primary role of the senator is to craft and legislate laws that seek to address issues and problems concerning our everyday living. Senators work with congressmen --- their counterparts in the House of Representatives --- in the legislation process.
Aside from lawmaking, senators also perform the following functions:
- Investigate in aid of legislation
- Ratify treaties or international agreements
- Serve as jury in impeachment cases
For every Congress, there are 24 senators who are voted “at large” or by the entire voting population. In the current roster of senators, two are running for president, two for vice president, while six are seeking reelection.
How many senators can you vote for?
Each voter can pick 12 senators at most, equivalent to the number of Senate seats that need to be filled up in the May 9 elections. The 12 other seats are occupied until the terms of those elected in 2019 expire in 2025.
While you cannot go beyond 12, you may choose to vote for less than that. Voting for more than 12 senators could invalidate your votes.
See the list of senatorial candidates here:
What to look for in a senatorial candidate?
Much like in presidential and vice presidential candidates, voters should consider the background and accomplishments of a senatorial candidate, as these would show his or her leadership capabilities, University of Santo Tomas political science professor Ronald Castillo said.
“Kung datihang pulitiko na yan, anong ginawa niya last time na nakaupo siya? May ginawa ba siya? May ginagawa ba siya na alam nating ipagpapatuloy niya yung ginagawa niya? Or wala naman siyang nagawa other than gusto niya sa pwesto?” Castillo said in an earlier interview with reportr.
“Kung hindi man siya nakaupo sa pwesto, pwedeng baguhan yan, anong mga credentials niya? Ano yung background niya, bakit siya kumakandidato?” he added.
As all candidates will obviously offer something good to attract votes, Filipinos must also assess their specific plans of action, Castillo said.
“Dapat tignan natin yung plataporma ng tao, may posibilidad bang magawa… Kaya dapat matututo tayong kumilatis ng kandidato, hindi lang sa slogan,” he added.