Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Two solutions to our problems---Accountability and Reform

Why is it so hard for President Aquino to part with his billions? Simple--it is the primary source of his power. Without his discretionary power over public funds, what other powers would a President use to influence the making and passage of legislation or to speed up necessary assistance during calamities, and the like?

Admit it--our system is a transactional one. That is the dynamics of real politics. Politics in this country is considered a profession. Period. As a profession, the very contract which a politician enters with his constituency has a contractual period of three years at the minimum, and six for national posts. This explains why politicians need monies to keep their constituencies loyal.

One of the solutions really is replacing the political system. We should create a system where we elect officials based on their qualifications and academic records. At the minimum, we should replace the qualifications stated in our Charter regarding candidates for election. These candidates should at least have Masteral degrees or has served with the bureaucracy in a non-elective post for the past five years before he runs for an elective post.

Of course, those with graft cases, criminal offenses or cases involving immorality, even if these cases are still on the investigation stage or has been filed and are archieved should likewise be barred from running from public office. Some would say, why rob these people of their rights to be elected?

No, rights are still there, except that it is the power of the State, especially the Filipino People, of limiting these rights when it infringe the people's welfare already. It is within the Constitutional powers of the State to set standards on the election of officials. These standards are okey for as long as it does not benefit only one class of people.

Before we even do this, we need to cleanse the bureaucracy first of its institutionalized misfits.  We need to make an example of people so that we show our descendants and the world, that, at least, in our generation, we mean business.

For that to happen really fast, we need this government to convene a Truth Commission. This commission, which will have a 100 day mandate, will be the tribunal which will hear and prosecute those involved in the pork barrel scam.

This Truth Commission should be composed of eminent minds of this country, men and women of impeccable records of excellence, of unquestionable integrity and beyond probity. There are still people around with such credentials mind you.

Then, when we put these demons in jail or best, execute them, we then tend the business of further modernizing the very system which they exploited.

We ask Filipinos of proven patriotism to serve the Bureaucracy. We need people of proven competence to serve the bureaucracy, regardless of their political affiliations or personal ties. Those with ties with previous administrations, should be politely asked not to take part in this. They had their chance.

We then set the limits of their participation.

For example, salaries and allowances should be standardized. These will be across the board. Salaries of cabinet officials should be higher than those executives appointed in GOCCs.

We also need members of the academe to take part in policy-making.