I am reposting this blog post in preparation for the coming Elections. I am hoping you all have internalized how you will choose your next President.
How to choose the next President...Different people would have different basis for choosing a President. Some base it on a candidate's opinions on issues relevant to them, some base it on character, personality or even religion. Some base it on popularity, plain name recall or even looks. Some are in denial about that last one. :p Haha. Then again, c'mon really - who wants an ugly President?
Kidding aside, since I am voting for the very first time in the last decade that I have been qualified to vote, I really want to put a lot of thought in this process of choosing who to vote for. I refuse to vote for a Presidential candidate with nothing but empty promises and motherhood statements. I want at least a hint of a detailed plan - a strategy if you may - of handling this huge undertaking.
Being President is a tough job no doubt: you have millions of stakeholders who need assistance and support, you are accountable for their lives, their security, their access to health benefits, you are accountable for the economy, and you need to find the money to fund all of your plans. Aside from that you also need to be a shining symbol of hope and prosperity for a country constantly battling poverty.
In an ideal world, the following are my criteria in choosing who should be my next President...
Some issues high on my mind are Economic stability, Education, Poverty, Corruption and the Environment - not particularly in that order. I will choose my President based on 2 major areas: Capacity and Character. The former because I think a President should have certain qualifications to run a country, the latter because I think a President should be a Leader that his constituents trust and respect.
I will choose a President who has a good grasp of global economicsI will choose a President who is intelligent about Philippine Economics, someone with a global understanding of the market, and who knows how to steer the Philippine Economy out of the economic crisis. 2010 is still expected to be a bad economic year, but within the 6-year term of the new President, the global economy will begin to pick up again.
I want a President who recognizes this potential economic boom and has a plan to take advantage of growth opportunities in this rapid re-energizing of the global economy. I want someone with a long term sustainable plan, not one who is out to make a quick gain and then will leave the economic burdens to his/her successor.
I will choose a President who values EducatorsI will choose a President who values Educators - someone who understands that while the students need more than chairs or pencils or chalks - they ALSO need good teachers.
I remember when I was in Europe and the USA, they had a lot of TV and print ads encouraging people to become nurses. At the time nurses were a work force with a high demand and a low supply. Being a nurse is a thankless job you see, and not many want to take on that role. The government reacted by putting out these ads. I can imagine doing something similar for teachers in the Philippines - teachers are a crucial part of a students's development. Who here doesn't remember at least one favorite grade school teacher? :p
I will choose a President who has a concrete plan to address PovertyThe poor people are all over the metro, thousands upon thousands of people come to Manila from the provinces looking for jobs. They arrive hopeful and end up hopeless, living in the slums.
I think creating more good paying jobs in many different parts of the country can remedy both poverty and the overpopulated metro. But that is just one idea (and hardly the solution to all our problems) - I want my next President to have more and better ones.
I want the President to have long term goals - not just short and medium term goals - for poverty. I would love it if the program to reduce poverty is so effective that the succeeding Presidents continue to support and champion them - a continuity of good programs would do amazing things for our economy too.
I will choose a President who will DO SOMETHING about the population issueI think this is an issue that has been long debated, but nothing has really been done to directly address it. I am not advocating for a 1 child policy - heck no. What I want my next President to do is to bring it to the forefront of our consciousness rather than accept it as an immovable fact of life.
It is a huge issue with the church - something that I think should be discussed in detail with them. It is a big problem and the current solutions, if there are any, are not working. Time to try a better way.
I will choose a President who will systematically eradicate corruptionCorruption is so deeply ingrained in our government systems that it is difficult to even begin - difficult but not impossible.
I will choose a President who has the guts to go after every corrupt department Chairman, Senator, Congressman, Secretary, Judge, Mayor, Governor, Baranggay Captain, Military and Policeman.
I want a President with a ZERO TOLERANCE for corruption and encourages people at the frontline to report it, not for money, but for the sake of the country.
Shooting blindly will not help either. It should be systematic - with audits on their books, and legal documents. An independent and impenetrable body who will perform the investigations, and make a recommendation to the government.
I will choose a President who likes treesBecause I like trees too. Haha. :p And because it will probably save us from more flooding and will help clean the dirty air we are (gasp!) breathing.
Besides, who doesn't like trees? You like trees too right?
I will choose a President who recognizes the Philippines as a tourism gold mineBecause it really REALLY is a gold mine - and a synergistic approach to Tourism can only be done on a national level by a government body. I have seen our TV ads on cable channels about the Philippines but I think we still need to make our Tourist destinations more Tourist friendly. For one, we are still largely a "cash" country when a large number of international tourists now prefer to pay credit.
We have a wealth of internationally known tourist destinations and huge festivals which I believe we can bank on. Why not make a week-long packaged tour that goes to Cebu-Bohol-Boracay? Or CDO-Camiguin then diving off the coast of Mindanao? Why not develop Pagudpud as a Surfer's Paradise? Help locals build more hotels or inns for tourists.
In parallel with this of course, make our transportation systems more convenient - better roads, better airports. Make our communication systems more robust - cellphones and internet available everywhere in the Philippines.
I will choose a President who is charismatic, a good public speaker in both English and Filipino, and is telegenicNowadays, if you're a politician, the best way to get your message across is through the television.
I will choose a President who is easy to understand when he/she speaks, and makes me believe that what he/she is saying is the truth.
I want him/her to be able to bring reassurance to a disaster stricken province, motivation to a new graduating batch of students, hope for the poorest of the poor, and confidence to the middle class.
I want a President who has very good judgment of what he/she relays to the public. No, I do not expect my next President to be completely transparent - there are information the public is better off not knowing. But I want the President to know what information is sufficient to sate the public curiosity.
I also want to be able to take pride in a President when he/she makes privilege speeches in global forums.
I will choose a President who commands respectEspecially for the media people - I will choose a President that they will respect, so that arguments become about issues and not personalities, logic and not emotion. I want a President that columnists will think twice about before they badmouth unnecessarily.
How will you choose your next President?These are my criteria, not meant to be exhaustive, but I believe captures the essence of what I want my next President to be.
I am in no way forcing these ideas upon anybody else. Let's agree to disagree. In any case, I believe that choosing a President should be a personal one.
I realize also that my criteria may be too high that none of the current Presidentiables can even dream to achieve it. Well, I know I don't always get what I want. Haha.
Your turn now - how will YOU choose your next President? I would like to encourage you to write about it too, your criteria in choosing the next President. Let's take a look again at the list below. Who among these people are worthy of your precious vote?
List of 2010 Philippine Presidential Candidates
- Vetellano Acosta, KBL
- Noynoy Aquino, Liberal Party
- John Carlos de los Reyes, Ang Kapatiran
- Joseph Estrada, Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino
- Richard Gordon, Bagumbayan-Volunteers for a New Philippines
- Jamby Madrigal, Independent
- Nicanor Perlas, Independent
- Gilberto Teodoro, Lakas-Kampi-CMD
- Eddie Villanueva, Bangon Pilipinas
- Manny Villar, Nacionalista Party
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