So Many Candidates to Choose from

My Viber is full of political campaign propaganda forwarded to me from the camps of Manny Pacquiao, Panfilo Lacson, Leni Robredo, Bongbong Marcos, and Isko Moreno. Am I forgetting anyone?

The most aggressive so far are the supporters of #LabanLeni2022. I get at least six posts a day.

Is Vivian Velez, the former actress known for sexy roles, also running for president? Why kaya?

So many candidates to choose from ano?

In 2016, people were clamoring for a strong leader because they think this would be the solution to poverty and drug problems. Duterte, the mayor from Davao was perceived by the voters as the one because of his reputation as a strict mayor. People think that he could run the country the same way he was running Davao. After 5 years, did he solve poverty and drug problems? Did we choose the right person for the job?

In 2022, I bet people would still be clamoring for a leader they think would deliver us from poverty and drug problems.
This time around, we don’t know if people would vote based on their analysis in 2016 or they would realize that maybe this time we need a strong leader but not necessarily a dictator.

Every six years we elect a new president, every 3 years we elect mayors, and other positions in government.

This is what I think.

If our country’s bureaucracy is strong, stable, and competent, our government will perform better regardless of who we elect. Of course, not someone extremes naman na salbahe, bobo, magnanakaw. I will use the more stable countries like Singapore, the US, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Norway, Japan, Australia, etc. as examples. Even if they have a new president, their government still functions well because of the strong institutions already in place. Tumatakbo pa rin ng maayos ang gobyerno nila kahit merong bagong presidente.

It’s like running a business. As owners, we cannot be involved in all the day-to-day operations of the business. We cannot be in charge of the nitty-gritty of operating the business. We have to surround ourselves with competent, educated, smart, innovative, efficient, and honest, individuals who would do the leg work and most of the job. Same with the president of a country or secretary of a department.

Approximately 20% of people in government are political appointees and 80% are constant. They are there regardless of the advent of a new president. These people are the ones working on the grounds. If we have a strong 80%, they will compensate for the shortcomings or inefficiencies of our leaders in government. But again, only if the leaders are good people and mean well. The 80% would be helpless if the leaders’ reason for being is to pad their pockets and serve their own interests. The 20% will serve as bad examples and the 80% would weaken and be possibly corrupted too.

We need policy-driven reforms and not policies instituted to benefit a small group of people.
As a business person, my wish is that the next set of bureaucrats understand the challenges of running a business. The cost of doing business in the Philippines has skyrocketed within the last 6 years and I hope the new leaders will not see us as cash cows.

OMB photo, Layka

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