With the inauguration of incoming President Benigno Aquino III less than two hours away, many are looking forward to the end of the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who, surprisingly, appears to have managed a smooth transition of power, despite many of us believing that she was scheming to perpetuate herself in power. Perhaps she was able to see the writing on the wall, and realized that any attempt to prolong her stay in Malacanang would be met with stiff resistance. At any rate, her term, the second longest at nine years, is ending, and a new administration is coming into power.
From the promises he made during the election campaign, to the expectations of people, it appears that the Filipino people is expecting a lot from their new President. The question that has yet to be answered is whether President Aquino is up to the task or not. There are several things, though, that we can do, in order to help him, although we may not be willing to accept them.
We have to temper our expectations. Like it or not, a number of the problems besetting the country are probably not solvable within the six-year term given to an elected President. Corruption and poverty, in particular, require long-term solutions, and all that can be done is to set proper structures and foundations in order to lessen the effect of these two problems, and hope that the administration after Aquino is willing to continue them.
We have to carry the load. One thing to which we have become used is the dependence on our government officials to solve our problems. One of the reasons why a number of Filipinos remain poor is that we have become accustomed to our politicians doling out to people, instead of more permanent ways of helping them. At the same time, since people have become accustomed to such, some are not willing to find work and instead, simply wait for things to be done for them. Our own media has reinforced this with mendicant shows such as “Wowowee”. What is need is for us to realize the value of work, and for the Aquino administration to provide venues for work.
Another aspect of carrying the load is for us to realize that our duty as Filipinos doesn’t end with the elections. We have the duty of making sure our officials do not practice corruption in their offices. We have the duty of making sure our officials are aware of our problems and needs. We have the duty of making sure our officials are working hard at their jobs and not goofing around. We forget that the power of a democracy lies in the people, and not the officials. In the Aquino administration, let us remember, and actively exercise our rights as Filipinos.
We have to practice what we preach. A good number of us rail against the corruption that has spread though our society, and yet, when the going gets tough, we ourselves contribute to that corruption. When we get flagged for traffic violations, assuming the violation is valid, do we take the ticket and face the sanctions, or do we pay off the traffic enforcer, so that we can be on our way? It’s little things such as that which help make corruption so hard to root out.
While there is a lot of hope and expectations riding on President Aquino, we ourselves must look at what we are doing, and make sure that we are not contributing to the problems besetting the country. Instead, we have to be looking for ways to continue building the nation, to borrow a theme from the Ateneo’s 150th anniversary. If we can do that, then we can look to a brighter future.
P.S. With this post, I finally reach the milestone of a thousand posts. While it would have been nice to reach it earlier, it’s still an achievement I’m proud of. Admittedly, not all of the posts are of good quality; a number of the earlier posts are simply fun things I came across the Web. As I progressed, however, my focus of topics became sharper, which is why Daily Musings is the way it is today.
One of the things I toyed with a few years back, and am considering once again, is a change of name. Looking back on the six years I’ve devoted to this blog, I can see only one month wherein the blog lived up to its name. I’m open to suggestions, so feel free to comment.
To my readers, thanks for following me on my writing journey. Here’s hoping that I continue to find the time to write, and post my thoughts on this blog. Carpe diem.