The Philippines needs a Charter Change like it needs another Filipino kidnapped by the Al-Qaeda. It needs a change in the system of government like it needs the peso’s rate to sink even lower by the day. The country does need a lot of things in order for it to improve even just a little, but what it doesn’t need are more laws. There are enough of them as it is and it seems that they are not implemented anyway. What the country really needs is a political will to implement the laws that already exist. A firm decision maker who can make up his mind and can put all those plans into action. It needs a new leader – a leader that truly cares for the welfare of his country, rather than worrying about how much money he can cram into his already fat pockets.
The nation used to be one of the top countries in Asia. At a time, the country was hailed for its cub economy – a bleak hope for the motherland to prove to its neighboring countries that it was not entirely dependent on Uncle Sam. Yet a few years later, what does the country have to boast for itself? An inflation rate so high, it could drown the country; a devastatingly excessive crime rate that it isn’t a surprise the country is connected to terrorist activities; and a mock election where the people need not take a stab at voting, as the winner’s name was practically engraved in stone even before the COMELEC decided to trash the computerized system of voting. The country is in need of a major overhaul and what a better place to start than at the root of all evil: graft and corruption.
The executive branch of the government cannot work alone in this endeavor. It needs the help of the military and the judiciary in order to carry out the necessary tasks. Both systems will be in charge of making sure that the said laws are implemented. The Sangguniang Bayan needs more staff members. The solicitor general’s office is an unfortunate sight. Due to the poor facilities and the lack of credible public prosecutors, corrupt members of society are able to get away with devious crimes without holding their breath. Straightening out the solicitor general’s office is key in catching the criminals and bringing them to justice. Once the judiciary has been taken care of, the police and military are in charge of finishing the task of locking the crooks up in jail. This means that the police and military will need a decent salary. How are they expected to serve their country well when the government can barely sustain their families? They need wages that are far above average. This is to assure the government of the efficiency and effectiveness in carrying out their duties. This will also prevent the armed forces from resorting to illegal activities in order to gain a larger income. In order to reap quality services from these departments, there is a desperate need to sow seeds of sufficient salaries. It will cost the government some money, but it is what the tax money is for.
The ongoing lifestyle check should also be continued. It is probably one of the more useful projects that the current government has implemented. In fact, every single government official, from every sector of the government, should undergo the said process. This is to ensure that these so-called public servants are really there to serve the community instead of having officials who are merely trying to see how the community’s money can work for them. Once the lifestyle check has been carried out, all officials who fail to comply with the objective standards are to be prosecuted just like everyone else. They will receive the same treatment the average murderer or rapist gets when he is sent to court. With the excellent prosecution of the thriving prosecutors’ office, separating the goons with the gold and guns from the genuine do-gooders who have nothing but the community’s best interests in mind.
Clemency and pardon are also to be taken out of the government’s vocabulary. These only serve as a payment for a debt owed to some high ranking official for a favor they had so graciously given. Criminals, rich or poor are tried and sentenced the same way, why do rich crooks get clemency for stealing millions and millions of pesos through their illegal corporations and multi-million ventures when the average delinquent gets a life sentence for stealing a thousand pesos from an old lady in her home? A thief is a thief. Jail is where criminals are supposed to be – not seated comfortably on their lazy boys sipping iced tea, while watching HBO in their air-conditioned mansions, because they had been granted house arrest, instead of rotting away in a facility for lying, stealing, and killing lawbreakers. Pardons from the president will be unheard of.
All these can be attained if one loves his country so much that he is willing to sacrifice himself for it. If one is a coward, then all this would have been in vain. An unyielding leader must take a stand for what is right, braving the criticism and condemnation of his peers. The president is not in existence so that he may satisfy his colleagues’ whims and fancies. Instead, his sole purpose is to lead the entire country towards a better tomorrow. Proper implementation of the existing laws can do the country a lot of good. With such a competent government, the nation will not have a hard time trusting them and this newfound faith is essential to their willingness to cooperate with the government. Hand in hand, the government and the people can start laying the foundation for a better future – a future wherein all children may run free without having to worry about what he is to eat or where he is to sleep; a future worth living for. According to the Filipino Code of Citizenship and Ethics, “Respect the constitution which is the expression of your sovereign will. It has been established for your safety and welfare. Obey the laws and see to it that they are observed by all and that public officials comply with their duties.”