When the clock ticks to noontime on Sunday, June 30, it will signal a fresh term of government service and political will for our newly-elected and re-elected government officials. It should be seen that their oath-taking should also be the beginning of the opportunity to fulfill election promises as they have asserted during the campaign period. For me, the 3-year term is the real campaign period to win another election. The 3-year performance (or, non-performance) could be a very good gauge of leadership or public service. If you only have politics in your purse but without the strength of will of character then you must be better off somewhere else. It is better that you return as a private citizen and win the respect of everyone than becoming a politician with a forfeited soul. By all means, we have to wish them well since we are already wont to have them for 3 long years – and that they may be true to what they had said and may they find in their hearts fulfillment as public-servants.
Our wishes should come with few suggestions that our political leaders could somehow pay attention to. It has been noted that a mature society is not one that follows the leader but the other way around, the leader follows the people. It is when people initiative is rather strong that the leader tends to be curious (at times, threatened). Chances are, they would peep into the hullabaloos and then try to bootlick.
In our own bakuran, a few suggestions would not hurt.
- Install traffic light in the intersection of the airport and the national highway. It is a pity, if not stupidity when there is so much fuss about miles and miles of 6-lanes expressways from southbound to northbound and vice-versa yet we are practically in a mess just a few steps coming out from the so-called Puerto Princesa International Airport. Not only is it a mess for traffic; a death row it is for pedestrians, to Sunday churchgoers more particularly.
- Go for environment-friendly lifestyle. May we expect more legislation, and execution of the same, on protecting our common home – The Last Frontier. Ban of single-use plastics is quite a step. But it is still in need of a lift. Push some more. Somewhere, I was impressed by a scheme: Bring-your-own-cup for coffee and reusable personal drinking straw for cold drinks. Those who collaborate get discounts or incentives. Beat that!
- Advocate for mental health. Here in Palawan, cases of depression and suicide are increasing. It is somewhat alarming that up until now Palawan still lacks professional help, much less a concerted effort to assist persons or/and families suffering therefrom. Some gentle souls have taken lead, I heard. Let our leaders then heed.
- On a personal note, live your faith. Go to your respective churches regularly. Make prayer a habit. I am a firm believer of anybody, even the vilest criminal, that s/he who kneels before God is always a potential instrument of greatness. We are also aware that politicians are the most maligned. They could also be suffering in their silence too. Hence, they need to have a solid grounding on God, the source of power and the origin of the good.
- Last but not least, be reconciled with one another. Magkasundo-sundo na sana kayo. For the sake of Palawan. For the sake of a good night sleep too.
With the due indulgence, consider the above-mentioned as unsolicited advice from somebody who cares a lot about Palawan and from someone who wishes you well in your political servanthood. These may just be tidbits compared to your bigger dreams for our city and our province. Be that as it may, I am quite sure though that you all agree to these. And so be it.