Bayani Fernando and the 2010 Presidential Elections

It is no doubt that Bayani Fernando is one of those rare politicians and government officials who got ‘political will’ when its all about implementing the rules. As a Marikina resident, we owe it all to BF and his successor, wife Marides Fernando why Marikina is considered to be one of the greenest cities and most livable cities in Asia.

But lately, it seems BF has lost touch with what he used to believe and practice – a no non-sense, apolitical politics – if there is such a word. It is widely known that BF aspires for the Presidency, although there is nothing official yet from his side, but people, including his political nemesis believe that he is, in fact preparing for the 2010 Presidential elections.

As an ordinary citizen, I sincerely believe BF should not vie for the Presidential post, not this time. It is already a crowded place with VP de Castro, Mar Roxas, Villar, probably Legarda, perhaps even Jun Lozada among others, already in the footing.

BF should settle for the Vice Presidency, he is one of the best bets for that position. And he should stay away with those posters and pictures of him littering around EDSA. People now are smarter, and he should maintain his reputation being a doer, and a no-nonsense disciplinarian on the streets of Manila. Filipinos need discipline even more to progress, to be more competitive.

It is worth knowing that Filipinos are the most abiding people in Singapore, and even in most other countries. Perhaps one cannot afford to mess with the law there. Smoking in public, or chewing bubblegum, or spitting and littering, even eating and drinking on public transport like the MRT – penalties are more than what most Singaporeans earn in a month! Ranging from 2000 – 5000 Singapore dollars penalty fines, no wonder no one dares to litter, to smoke in public, or jaywalking.

There was NOISE and then… SILENCE

A few weeks back, Metro Manila streets were filled of all sorts of protest rallies, even the Internet is filled with love-hate ramblings against the current President GMA.

And then it happened… the Church suddenly went soft of its stance, the staunchest Archbishop critics backed-off a bit. Lozada was still all over town, but media exposure is noticeably lower than before.

Something must be wrong.

Are people getting tired of all those protests? Or is GMA is much favored by heaven with all her prayer rallies?

Or is it simply that these protests are mainly relying on personalities and that no one in the Opposition is significant enough to carry on the task.

And the former President Cory Aquino is out of the picture now. Will the Opposition die a natural death without her?

Maybe its time our politicians and leaders start a renewed, sincere and pro-active service to the citizenry towards nation building and unity.

Will we have an automated, credible, honest elections in 2010?

Will there be no more Scams, Anomalous Deals and Purchases in the government?

Only time will tell.

One peaceful, crimeless Manila night

The other day while I was driving very early in the morning on my way to Makati, I was tuned in on my favorite AM Radio station for the usual news and current events stuff. This one Radio reporter made his regular rounds around Manila area to scour for crime news much to his disappointment, as it was time for him to make his report for that particular news segment and voila! – he got nothing to report, not a single crime was logged at the Police stations around the city.

For my friends in media, being assigned to cover crime news in Manila is like giving a winning lottery ticket to a bettor. Crimes in the city – murders, robberies, drugs, public transport hold-ups, big-time petty crimes like mobile phone ‘snatching’ and police ‘tongs’ or tips – which is more profitable than TipIt, and even vagrancy and gang wars are a common item in daily early morning news.

But the other, for once in my life, it was different! Crimes were as sure as the sun rising in the morning but there was none. Which led the news commentator to opine that either the Reporter did not made his rounds, or maybe criminals need to rest once in a while.

Is the Devil, once in a while, gets sick in all his devilries? How we wish the Devil gets tired of being evil one day and realizes that’s its just an exercise of futility after all doing all the evil things in the world.

Perhaps one day, the evil people in the Government, the Senate, Congress and in the entire bureaucracy, including local politics may learn a thing or two from this – that the Devil gets tired, and rests once in a while too.

If you would be Senator for a day…

I was blog hopping a lot of politically-themed posts lately, mostly from fellow Pinoy Bloggistas, and it occurred on me this very interesting question: If given the chance to be a Senator, even for just a day, what would you do? If the same question is thrown at me, I would act on the following with importance and urgency:

  • File a bill to require government to implement a single Procurement system for all government agencies. If corporations and smaller companies need this, the more the government require this to ensure all purchases and deals are properly transacted, following a strict policy and procedures that are globally accepted.
    • As an IT Applications Consultant, I see the value of utilizing Information Technology in streamlining processes, not just in business, but government agencies as well. Having a strategic, unified and integrated IT solutions in government would help curb graft and corruption in many government transactions.
    • Internet Procurement systems would greatly sped up the purchase process, and ensure that all transactions are done openly.
    • Sad to say, there is not much information in the government, even from the Philippine Senators and Congressmen regarding the strong drive in ‘fully automating the Purchasing process’. Thus, anomalous deals and contracts will always stay.
  • Ensure that the next Presidential elections is automated.
    • Four years ago, just after the elections, everybody in government, the politicians and even media were talking about having an automated election is the only key towards cleaner and credible elections. There were a few moves made by the Commission on Elections to automate the polls, however, all were questionable deals. More than a billion peso public funds were all wasted – and not even media is reporting what happened to these allegedly anomalous transactions. This problem would have been avoided had the government implemented a nationwide integrated Procurement system.
    • Now, its barely 2 years towards the next Presidential elections, but still, automating the election will remain a dream. It is the Senate’s biggest failure, and nobody seemed to care.
  • Upgrade the Education System
    • Provide measures to upgrade the skills of all public school teachers on the use of new teaching methods and the Information Technology.
    • Allocate a big chunk of all the pork barrels and channel these billions of pesos into providing trainings to teachers, upgrade facilities and in ensuring education is reachable and affordable to all.
  • Upgrade the Agricultural Sector
    • Appoint a suitable Agriculture head who knows the trade
    • Channel pork barrels into upgrading current agriculture technology and equipments and make this available to local governments with focus on agriculture production.
    • Provide more reliable farm to market roads, ensure that small time farmers have better access to affordable places to market/sell their products and eliminate several layers of middlemen.
  • Fifth and last one, stop the current Senate circus and instead, show to the citizenry the most sincere service the Senate could give – file more bills, enact more laws, and ensure that the underlying factor for all the changes required is in place – Information Technology Solution.

Philippines has more than enough IT talents, considered to be among the world’s best, unfortunately, our country lagged behind the use of it especially in the government sector. Our government, our leaders need to change. We all need to change – and we need to take advantage of what Information Technology can do, to help us attain the changes that we need in our society.

Change is inevitable, true – but one can slow it down, just bury the common sense solutions and realities with traditional, outdated and self-serving ways of doing things – that is, the Philippine politics.

No political will at all…