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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

How Can the Philippines Achieve Real Change?

Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo suddenly became the new Speaker of the House of Representatives ousting Pantaleon Alvarez.  It is a sudden and unexpected move.  Is this the change we all want to see?  How can the Philippines achieve real change then?

Federal-Parliamentary Government

The country surely needs Charter Change (ChaCha) which promotes a shift from Presidential to a Federal - Parliamentary form of government.  This way Regions will be empowered and people will be given a greater chance to improve and their lives become better.

However, the one being pushed for in the proposed new Constitution is not what is truly needed by the country.

We need a new system which:

  • Empowers better leaders and not old political clans and traditional politicians.
  • Empower better and dedicated value-based political parties and not political parties of convenience.
  • Lower the cost of elections and bring it down to the real choices of the people.
  • Encourage better candidates to come from the grassroots.

Political Dynasty and Better Public Servants

The provision in the new proposed Constitution which aims to prohibit political dynasty is a welcome addition.  It should form part of what should be ratified and should not be amendable ever.

Public Servants should be better and well-qualified.  Fundamental to this would be better requirements for Candidacy which can include educational attainment based on position but not course particular, passing the Civil Service Examination, submission of job requirements like clearances which are usually required for even the lowest jobs, and free of any graft and corruption charges.

Stronger Political Parties and Better Elections

How can we develop better and stronger political parties?  We can only do that if we create a better election.  Like in most parliamentary government it is the party that is elected into power and not the personality.  This way the party ethics can be maintained and political turncoats be lessened.  A Prime Minister likewise can be ousted by a mere Vote of No Confidence.

Better elections can be achieved by bringing the elections to the Barangay level:
  • National elections happen every 4 years by electing:
    • Representatives to the Baranggay Council consisting of 8 representatives.
    • Election of the party of choice to represent the parliament.
  • Upon election, the member of the Baranggay Council with the highest vote will then become the Chairman or they can opt to select from among themselves.
  • All members of the Barangay Council will then convene to elect the Municipal or City Council whose number of the composition is depending on the size of the city.  During this process, they will also elect the Mayor and Vice Mayor respectively.
  • All members of the Municipal or City Council will now convene and elect the Provincial Council including the Governor and Vice Governor.
  • All members of the Provincial Council will then elect the Regional Federal Government plus a representative to the Parliament per province.
Through this election process, we ensured that the one occupying the post will be a representative from the Baranggay Level and had been selected by the people.  It will also lessen the cost of the election by a vast amount.

The winning political party on the election will fill the number of Parliamentary representatives based on the percentage they won from the election.

After all, is done, the representatives of the parties and the regional representatives who now form the Parliament will elect their Prime Minister.

This system removes the need for a President as a titular head.

Educational System and Media as Part of Real Change

If we want to enact real change in this country we need to involve education and media.  Values education and nation-building should be a core part of our education process.  We need to instill good values that deplore corruption and instill strong service-oriented individuals.

We need to instill in media the need for a better news which not only highlights the negativities but promotes the good of what is happening around us.

What happened at the recent SONA of President Rodrigo Duterde this 2018 is a sign of how rotten our political system is.  This is the real problem of our country and it can only be changed by moving for real solutions done by a selfless leader who will empower the people.

What do you think?  Do you agree with these changes?  Do you have more ideas?  Share it with us.

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