Philippine Politics - Image courtesy of Charlie Sindiong

Although I do not want to comment more on politics now but I think that it is but time that elected officials do their best to spend every centavo of their annual budget allocated for their localities purely on projects that would benefit the people most. Promises of a progressive community and a good life to all should not just be a good campaign material nor a speech but a mission that needs to be accomplished. Being elected is not a job or a career but a personal vocation or a commitment to serve the people less compensation and reward. Being a leader in power is not just a trophy for winning people’s votes but a responsibility so great that one has to commit with his life to all the sacrifices attached. I talk about my thoughts in general and to all and not just to the people of Mati alone. This is a call for a realization.

Public servants should serve the people and not the people serving them. They are not bosses but mere servants to the locality where they were elected. Thus, why give them all the luxury of nice cars, fancy phones and the ability to spend a lot of tax money when there are more roads to build and more children to send to school. Imagine a community with only one water pump to quench their thirst and to support their daily needs while some spend so much on travels, feasts, dummy projects and ghost employees. Imagine children having to walk 10-20 kilometers just to go to school when the government can build more schools rather than buying expensive government cars. Imagine having to wait for almost a decade or two for roads to be built while leaders are busy planning for their third and final terms.

Politics has turned from a venue for public service to an avenue of dreams where one who cannot afford to get all the luxuries of life gets everything in just a snap of a finger once seated in power. Imagine politicians becoming instant celebrities and bosses that the very people who elected them have to treat them as masters that cannot be touched. You cannot even see elected public officials ride tricycles nor jeepneys anymore. They get all the VIP treatments and all the best in life while their constituents make the most out of walking a few kilometers to pump drinking water to their containers. What if all elected officials are issued bicycles instead less their allowances and compensation to test their commitment to public service? Will they last? Tatagal kaya sila?

It is sad to hear about paradise lost because of old and poor traditional politics not working anymore as to how it was designed to do so. At some point, the beauty of a province is put to waste because the leaders who are expected to keep things in order are too busy making good names and good fortune out of their posts. This is not an allegation but a mere reality as I talk in general about the politics that corrupts the very foundation of a society and the rule of law. What we all need are leaders who can ride tricycles or walk to office. What we need are politicians who would rather spend their allowances and salaries on building water pumps and schools than riding on nice and fast government cars. What we need now are few good men willing to give their lives to lead by example for the good of all and not just of the few.

As election nears, we need to use our rights to put the right people who can best serve us. We need to choose and vote wisely. We need to put a stop to political clans if we do not see positive changes. We need to vote not because of one’s famous family name but because of a leader’s good and clean track record. Besides, we need to give chance to others who may not be as famous yet they have the passion and the genuine commitment to serve and offer their lives to their land and to their people. We are done with good talkers. We should be done by now with public officials are now part of the very corrupt political system that they vowed to change when they were just campaigning for us to vote them years ago. We need leaders who will THINK and ACT BIG like us. As they say, COUNTRY FIRST before ONE’S SELF.

With great leaders collaborating with good and responsible people, we have a good recipe for success and this will be our key to progress! Cheers!