The next president of the Philippines should prioritize health, education, and job generation, according to voters residing in the National Capital Region aged 20- to 40-years-old.

In this Vox Populi feature, BusinessWorld asked: “What do you look for in a president?” and “What should the next president prioritize?”

Gusto ko yung president na laging present sa mga sakuna [I want a president who’s always there, especially in a crisis],” said Kim, 22.

Hindi makakapaglingkod ang isang presidente kung… wala siya ideya sa kalagayan, pangagailangan, at ano ang mga dapat na unahin nung kanyang pagsisilbihan [A president cannot serve if… he/she has no idea about the conditions and needs of the nation],” said Jenilyn, 24.

Fighting against corruption ranked high among respondents.

Matalino, matapang, walang bahid ng corruption [Intelligent, brave, not a whiff of corruption] …a leader by example,” said Ganders, 43.

Joel, 44, is likewise looking for a quality other than competence: “I’m looking for a president with moral ascendancy.”

Added Patricia, 26, “I don’t want to hear about pending cases for graft, corruption, tax evasion cases, murder … Ideally, they’re an expert in both study and experience. I want them to use these skills to crack down on corruption.”

Given the reality of the pandemic, recurring concerns on health and livelihood surfaced.

“For me, the president should prioritize the improvement of health and education systems, and the provision of jobs in order to revitalize our economy,” Yelena, 32, said. “He or she should look for the root causes of our problems.”

A lot of people lost their jobs these past few years, noted Tonio, 22.

“It would be best if matulungan yung mga nawalan ng trabaho [It would be best if those who lost their jobs were helped],” he said.

Education and livelihood were identified as top priorities as well.

Gusto ko yung makarating tayo sa punto na hindi na iniisip ng bawat Pilipino na kailangan nila mangibang bansa para may pangtustos sila sa pangangailangang nila sa bahay, or sa family nila [I want the country to get to the point where Filipinos won’t need to work overseas just to feed their families],” said Star, 27. “Like yung mga nurses natin, ‘di ba? Mababa masyado sahod nila… [Like our nurses, right? Their salaries are so low].”

RJ, 25, said education has taken a hit due to the onslaught of disinformation.

“To protect our future, we must protect our children. We must protect our education,” he said. “That is how we can progress as a nation.” — Patricia B. Mirasol with reports from Brönte H. Lacsamana and Earl R. Lagundino


Vox Populi is a compilation of informal man-on-the-street interviews. It is not a scientific poll and may not necessarily reflect the opinions of the public as a whole.