I came to know six Philippine Presidents namely Ferdinand Marcos, Corazon Aquino, Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, Gloria Arroyo and currently, Benigno Aquino Jr. In my lifetime, they have been the top leaders of the Executive branch of government. Each president has their own strengths and platforms. Each president has their own waterloo, intrigues and cumbersome management bottlenecks.
If you want to observe public relations and its intricacies, the best time will be during national elections. It is when presidential candidates bolster their party affiliations to all sorts of media. I cannot underestimate the fact how politicians utilize its extreme potential to reach out and connect to the public. It’s part and parcel to their mission of spreading information and to lobby their causes. Then again, it’s really important for them to do just that, so that people can understand and discern those aspiring.
Presidents and their political machinery have come to understand since time and again - that for them to be credible, they have to commit to a goal, and realize them. Proving their credibility and ensuring their responsibility to the people is the utmost priority. It doesn’t take to be ardent in politics to grasp that, however – most politicians I know have received failing marks in this area. They can promise, but it's another thing fulfilling those.
I’ve seen progress and growth in the Philippines, please don’t get me wrong. Again, each administration has their respective successes. For me, I translate progress and growth, by seeing changes in my surroundings. There are countless things to be thankful for nowadays. MRT, high-rise buildings, condos, malls, roads and subdivisions are some on top of my head.
Apart from the infrastructures, I came to realize more that for development to reach our country, full speed, we need some culture-changing behavior and attitude to take place. Our country has been very blessed with resources, and yet we only have a handful of individuals who are blessed enough to control.
I guess my point is, public officials (elected, appointed or hired), needs to synchronize their actions, policies and lifestyle to a life of credibility and integrity.
Being in the private sector, I come to witness how some processes of government agencies are implemented. Just like getting a gun license in PNP and how they manage cargo vessels and exchanges in Bureau of Customs.
Recent news concerning several government officials have been an eye-opener for me. Given that I have so much time to think and ponder, I’d still like to give credit to the present administration for tackling issues and cases of officials who have forgotten their allegiance to a righteous and trustworthy government. Not that I’m a fan and supporter of PNoy (I am a solid Gordon-Bayani), but I think the gesture and timely juncture of cleaning the image of the government seems so promising.
For whatever it is that has been tackled, I believe that it still boils down to the President’s leadership. As the head of the state, one should learn from the previous administration, bring something new to the table, and provide rational, cost-effective and high positive impact to the citizenry.
I remember a saying, “Leadership is like a using a string, you don’t push it, you pull it.” Let me just append, that when you pull, it doesn’t mean absolute control, you measure, and you observe and provide directions. The speed of this government lies in the speed of the President. We need to have a president that knows how to manage and lead cabinet officials. It’s a chain of leadership and the top leader should be adept in mirroring its philosophy down to subordinates and LGUs. There’s just so many things to do and achieve.
To end, I’d like to quote my previous boss. I learned a valuable lesson from her and I think everyone should learn the merits of sense of urgency. So after discussing my plans and my vision for my department during the first day in the office, she said to me, “I don’t need you achieving those in the coming days or weeks, I need it yesterday, while I’m still young.”