ICYMI, Vico Sotto has been crushing it during the COVID-19 crisis. The mayor of Pasig City has been praised for his initiatives, such as deploying sanitation tents, mobile kitchens and partially lifting the transportation ban for health workers.
Pretty soon, keywords such as ‘Vico’ and ‘Pasig’ trended on social. There isn’t a shortage of tributes saying how every city in Manila deserves a mayor like Vico. How Pasig is so blessed and lucky to have such a proactive leader.
But as Twitter user @whatClarissay and others have pointed out: Pasig isn’t lucky. They just voted the right person for the job.
There are 3 greatest mysteries in life: the reason why we were born, what happens after we die and the voting habits of Filipinos.
We, Filipinos, complain constantly about how much the system sucks, but the majority of us keep voting people responsible for making it terrible in the first place.
Why do politicians accused of plunder still manage to earn a seat in the Senate? Why do members of a family responsible for a decades-long dictatorship – and have yet to return the money that they stole – keep getting placed in positions of power?
Sure, no one can predict the future. The seemingly best bet could always be a dud in the long run. As promising as he was, one could argue that no one knew exactly how good Vico would turn out to be. After all, he was still labeled as ‘inexperienced‘ when he ran for office.
But if something doesn’t work, maybe it would be best to try a new change of pace, instead of repeatedly making the same mistakes and expecting different results. If the new system doesn’t pan out, change it again. That’s the beauty of democracy: people have the power to choose who serves them.
It’s what the residents of Pasig did when they decided to end a 27-year-old Eusebio dynasty. The citizens weren’t satisfied with the way things were being run, so they injected the system with new blood. It turned out to be the best decision the city’s ever made so far.
Pasig City’s newfound glory has less to do with luck and more with their conscious desire for change. As the COVID-19 crisis has proven from the start, ‘Voting Wisely‘ is one of the simplest answers to our country’s litany of problems. Instead of filling our government offices with actors, mascots, and personal assistants, how about we substitute them with lawmakers, scholars, or those who value research in general.
You know, people who have ACTUAL qualifications for the job that they are applying for?
Sa di pa nakakaalam, may Master in Public Management si Vico Sotto sa Ateneo de Manila. Oo, siya ang pruweba ng paulit-ulit na sinasabi kong punuin ang gobyerno ng mga eksperto, iskolar, intelektuwal, siyentista, teknolohista, at iba pang mga naniniwala sa kaalaman at mga datos.
— Miyako Izabel (@sejoalzir) March 18, 2020
But beyond qualifications, it’s also important to check if our bets actually give a damn about the people they’re bound to serve. That means going beyond the candidate’s smiles and digging deep. Asking the hard questions. Evaluating their past actions as a whole. Not just getting drunk on assurances that they’ll jet ski to China.
Change won’t happen overnight, even with the right decisions, but it starts with the people in charge. And we, the Filipino pvblic, have the power to decide who gets to be.
Banner credit: Marx Fidel