Opinion: A Sneak Peek on the Forthcoming Barangay Elections
In less than no time candidates aspiring to be re-elected, the aspirants and those who want to go back to power will soon be over in their respectivecommunities since it was announced by COMELEC that there will be a Barangay Election on the last quarter of this year. I was able to go around some Barangays in the City and the climate indeed has changed, people who are in the position became more accommodating and those who intend to run are much friendlier.
After the mid-term elections, a lot were inspired to be in politics and were talking of public service and some shared insights on how they can manage a community and do away with corruption. I still observed and listened over cups of coffee in a joint. The Barangay elections will be a venue where people could evaluate and access the performance of their leaders but for some, the major political re-alignment matters the most since the City has a new Mayor and those who joined the losing party or candidate sometimes scamper to transfer and manifest their loyalty with the new chief executive.
Under the prevailing circumstances, the clamor for change, reform and continued progress are being presented to the voting public. Various concepts and visions suddenly sprung from the influence of beer or even coffee - and suddenly the person submits his/her intention to run for public office in the name of public service. In a backward country like ours, where money and patronage politics rule - how can the people expect change?
In a Barangay for instance, that is ruled by a family of traditional politicians, or community leaders who had become responsible for the victory of the present City leaders? Will these affect or influence the results of the forthcoming elections? Even Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) leaders now are said to be funded in order to run and win. Now please tell me, where will "change", "reform" and "progress" take place?
On another note, it was said that there are intellectual voters who could not be bought - they choose. The only question is...do they vote? Do they take time to participate? The elections in the country will remain to be backward and meaningless unless people will do something about it. The delivery of basic services is through the Barangays, now if people holding positions run these public offices like private companies, where their interests are at stake, then the people will most likely suffer the consequences.
Leaders should not be indebted to anyone except to the people. The interest of the majority for the common good should be upheld. The genuine leaders do not spend money to buy votes, instead, they earn the respect and commitment of the people by presenting to them what they can do to serve. This should be the baseline on how leaders should be chosen and be given the people’s mandate.*