Monday, December 22, 2008
Open Letter to all Filipinos Clamoring for Change
To All My Kababayans,
This letter is inspired by the speech made by Washington Sycip delivered during UP’s centennial celebration posted in Inquirer (12/21/08) titled “Questions that Call for Answers”. This article reminds me of an item I wrote in my blog site titled ‘What is the color of your school?’ Mr. Sycip’s questions though rhetoric need to be answered by the same people who run the government, both present and previous administration.
From his speech, Mr. Sycip asked the students why the Philippines despite having been proud as the nation who has a university (UP) much older than Harvard, produced exceptional, talented and creative alumni who has a great sense of idealism where most of them occupying critical position in the government, yet the country’s economy and political situation are a mess. Further, he asked why the Philippines can’t even produce a kind of leader in the likes of Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore, Mahathir of Malaysia and other prominent leaders who made their respective countries proud. I have four answers for these questions; misplaced loyalty, too much democracy, political preservation and last but not the least – Filipinos have short span of memory.
A former US President once told, “Loyalty to my party ends when my loyalty to the people begins.” Can this principle apply to our politicians? Let’s take the case of impeaching a President of the Republic as an example. In order to impeach an incumbent President, it needs at least 2/3 votes from the members of the House of Congress. If the ruling coalition controls majority of the members of the congress, what will happen to the impeachment case? You don’t need to be a legal luminary to answer this rhetorical question. Even those who push for the impeachment case knew from the beginning that it is all about a game of numbers, a political sarsuela. Then why the need to file the case on the first place if such effort will be put down the drain, wasting time and resources? “To exercise my political rights and to discharge my function as a Congressman,” was the replied of the opposition. What an expensive political exercise at the expense of taxpayer’s money.
1.Abolish the whole House of Congress
No more Congressmen – no more Senators and let the LGU’s take care of their respective constituents. After all the loyalty of these Congressmen is not for the people they are supposed to represent but to those who make their bank account fat. Create one Constitutional Body compose of legal luminaries to be nominated by an independent organization like the JBC for example and be elected by the people. These legal luminaries must be nominated based on their principle, knowledge, integrity and doesn’t own big businesses nor have a relatives in the government.
2.Put into practice the “Reward System.”
Have you noticed how easy to capture outlaws if a reward money is placed on their head? Just the same, public servants can be motivated to work well if they know that there is financial reward for their exceptional work. All elected officials, from the President down to Barangay Tanod should have S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound) objectives that will be evaluated regularly by the people. Once they have met these set of objectives, financial reward must be given. Let’s see if we can reduce if not eradicate corruption and improve public service.
3.Judiciary must be elected not appointed
A Government of the people, for the people and by the people.
People must have the right to chose and elect people in the judiciary rather than political appointments. Candidates for the post shall be nominated by an independent organization like the JBC and the people shall be the one to choose and not the President.
Too much of Democracy
When legal means failed, expect these losers in the political arena to bring the fight to the street bringing with them mostly paid protesters who can do only is to create traffic jam living hapless motorists in desperation. There are those idealist students whose education is being paid not by these politicians but by tax-paying Filipinos that instead of studying in order to be productive citizens someday place more importance in the crusade to fight for political freedom than economic freedom (Later maybe end up either as an asset by big companies abroad or leader of underground movement). Can political democracy assure that there will be job for every Filipino so that there will be no need for the Philippines to 'prostitutes' its OFWs abroad? Can a quest for working democracy alone be able to revolutionize the clamor for an economic growth? Or could it be just all political grandstanding?
1.There should be a mandatory service for all graduates of colleges and universities whose education is funded by the taxpayer’s money. They should be made to employ first locally for a defined period before they can pursue their career outside of the Philippines. One way of repaying the Filipino people who paid for their education.
2.Instead of wasting your saliva shouting in the street, make a personal diary of those public servants who failed to deliver and not to elect them in case they will run for re-election. Those corrupt officials proven guilty through legal means must be made to pay the amount they embezzled on top of their jail term.
A true leader is the one who is not afraid to make unpopular but right decision. The one whose self interest is set aside over that of the nation. A leader who has moral ascendancy over his/her constituents, the one who is highly respected by his/her own family. A leader even not a graduate of reputable and prestigious school knows what an ordinary Filipino needs. A leader who doesn't have loyalty to his/her party but to the Filipino people.
big question is; does this person exist? What our country need is a leader who doesn't have to worry about how to pay political debts.
1.No offense meant but enough with these legal experts as public servants. We already have so many laws and we need no more writers to write more of these laws. What we need is a leader who can implement and maintain the government. More of the doers than thinkers. Instead of lawyers, why not try to consider Engineers, Architects, Educators, Doctors, Scientist? All these professions are known as implementors. All they have to do is to implement what has been scribbled as laws.
2.But please, enough with actors, actresses, comedians and other movie personalities. We have enough of these actors ‘acting’ as politicians in the Senate and comedians successful enough in turning our nation as laughing stuff of the world – Onli in da Pilipins.
Filipinos Have Short Span of Memory
The political arena is no different to a game of ‘patintero’. Have you noticed how political figures changed their faces? The once ruling coalition that after losing or overthrown from power will eventually become the opposition? While those previously in the opposition become the ruling party and now the subject of opposition? Look at the recent rally held in the district of Makati. Have you seen familiar faces there? Look at the personalities behind that movement clamoring for democracy. Isn't it that they were the same individuals who were once the subject of political uprising?
1.Do away with ‘TRAPOS’. Let’s put them where they are supposed to be – in the dirty kitchen. Enough with lawyers, economists and those pretending to be poor. Our experiences with Marcos, GMA and ERAP will surely remind us of what will be our decisions in the future. Vote INTELLIGENTLY not WISELY. Wise is apt for the people who have an intention to do 1-2-3.
Filipinos are already tired and desperately clamoring for changes for the better. There are those productive Filipinos driven out of the country not by choice but of desperation but are not losing hope that someday, our nation will rise from its long slumber and to be a great nation. To do this, let’s stop procrastinating and wishing but let’s all contribute in our own way to make this nation a great nation again.
Don’t just wish. Let’s all do what we need to do.