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A Parliamentary form of government is the “best” option for the Philippines…the only question is “When?” [Part 1 of 3]

I think it’s been awhile (heck, probably years) since I got to write a political piece once again. Admittedly, most of what I’ve written in the past sound more like rants than an intelligently, well-researched commentary. So, I guess let me begin by begging for your forgiveness in behalf of my ‘young, dumb and broke’ self.

Second, I can’t claim sage-like wisdom and political maturity with this article. I’m simply a typical working girl from a middle-class family who spends so much time sitting on her ass going through the hellish Manila traffic everyday, thus giving her ridiculously large amount of time to think of silly stuff….like the circus that is Philippine politics, I must say.

I know you’re probably getting annoyed that it’s already the third paragraph and I haven’t written any substantial yet, but please let me state this plainly. I am not a rabid Duterte supporter, nor am I a rabid Duterte critic. Sure, I admit I didn’t come as far as to think it was the end of the world when he got elected. Honestly, I found it funny how his critics reacted on social media feeds. But looking back now, I guess I can say their fears are not without foundation. Like, their reasons are terrifyingly real and they are unfolding right in front of us.

Now you might ask, how all of this leads me to talk about, in my opinion, the best form of government in the Philippines. If I’m wary and guarded of Duterte administration, why am I supporting a form of government that moves all focus of power to one institution in a political scene where most legislators are so balimbing to the incumbent president so they can carry out their own ambitions?

Simple. Because the present form of unitary democracy is failing us.

Not that the practice is failing. Theoretically, it’s actually effective in some countries with healthy democracy. The thing is, our Philippine-version of democracy is far from that.

Allow me to discuss what the setup will be if the Philippines adopted a parliamentary form of government. I’m no political analyst nor I claim to be an expert I’m just a temperamental brat, but I’ve observed and researched that this setup is common to democratic countries with a duly-elected Parliament.

I’d like to demonstrate the difference between the two systems with three scenarios: Electing the Head of State, Passing a law into practice and the Party-System. Bear in mind that the government is beyond this three but for the sake of simplicity, let’s focus on these.

First, the election.

Presidential

Why the Parliamentary form is better? 

Face it. Election in the Philippines is a circus. One’s platform is always second to popularity. These past presidential elections show us how emotional we can be. I think the reason why Duterte won is because Filipinos are simply fed up with Noynoy’s ‘softness’ and seemingly bias towards the rich. Never mind that Duterte is a tough-talking, gun-loving, vigilante justice advocate. He gets things done anyway. Screw foreign policy and common decency. They ain’t gonna feed us anyway.

And this problem is not only evident with presidential elections. From the local office to the Senate, campaigning is simply selling yourself to the people. Emphasize the ‘yourself’ here. Never mind if your family is waddling through corruption and graft cases, never mind that you received suspicious funds for questionable government projects in your last term in office, never mind that you did not attend a single assembly in Congress for the whole year, never mind that you are once an action star and found yourself wearing Senatorial robes without any degree in public governance or a college diploma.

With a Parliamentary style of government, anyone who wants to serve as Head of Government has to work him/herself up to the ladder. You just don’t get elected in a snap. With hard work, commitment and good credentials under your belt, your political party has to believe in you and your platform enough to elect you as their Chairman. The other members of the Parliament has to believe in your party and its platform enough to elect it as the ruling party for that term.

As Prime Minister, you are accountable to the Parliament and the Parliament is accountable to the People.

A Parliamentary style of government does not divide the people, just as what we are witnessing right now. There’s so much mud-slinging and ad hominem going on between the pro-admin and the critics that the more pressing national issues and the present situation of the country are set aside just to prove to the opposition that they are right (vice versa). In a Parliamentary setup, if the Prime Minister and the Parliament did not do their job properly, the People can rally together because essentially, each and everyone is in the same boat. Everyone is affected. There won’t be any blame games among the people.

Why the Parliamentary form won’t work right now?

With a parliamentary style of government, the Upper and Lower house will be fused into one. In short, the Senate will be dissolved. And c’mon, can you see that happening in our lifetime? Hardly. There are too many trapos in our current legislature to let that happen.

With the Congress voting to give the Commission on Human Rights a measly budget of Php1,000 (20 USD) on year 2018, there’s no way in hell I would let these people decide how my country will run. On top of that, most people in office are the living proof that political dynasties are still rampant in the government while most are elected because they are simply popular. No, the current government is still infested with turncoats and snakes, backed by oligarchs and the rich. The only thing they care about is furthering their own political ambitions.

I can understand why some youth groups and activists are so wary of Charter Change and Constitutional Reform. The people elected in office are too untrustworthy, too greedy. With how the past administrations have failed us, we have every right and reason to be.

 

Still, I would continue to fight for better governance and accountability. My idealistic self may be gone after college but that doesn’t mean I have to give up. I still have trust on people in my generation of leading this country to a better future. What I can do right now is to do my part in helping people understand that this current system is failing us and the current government is not that different to the ones before. That the few good ones in the government are often ignored and discouraged to give the service we Filipinos deserve. That we deserve better than this, but we can only get what we think we deserve.

And we deserve better. Gosh, we should start thinking, no…demanding that we do.

 

***

This post is the first part of the series: A Parliamentary form of government is the “best” option for the Philippines…the only question is when? For the 2nd part, I’ll be comparing how policies and laws are implemented between the Presidential and the Parliamentary government. Why are we experiencing so many delays in implementing laws and why the Supreme Court has the power to hold it off, sometimes for an indefinite period of time? Is the Parliamentary government more prone to an authoritarian regime and dictatorship? 

For further reading, please check out the links below:

 

All thanks to www.canva.com  for allowing me to create the infographic 🙂

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Pag-ibig at Pagboto: Bakit lagi tayong nasasaktan in the end

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Nagsisimula naman lahat yan sa pangako. “Hindi kita iiwan.” “Hindi ako magnanakaw” Naniwala ka kasi gusto mo maging masaya. Gusto mo guminhawa. Pagkatapos makuha ang lahat sa’yo, iiwan ka na lang.

Andyan din yung cliche na pangako na “Hindi ako katulad ng iba.”

Pero nagtiwala pa din tayo. Umasa. Nasaktan. Di na natuto. Kasi kung natuto man tayo, diba dapat matagal na tayong naka-move on? Literal na move-on. Nasaan na ba tayo ngayon? Hanggang dito na lang ba?

Pag bumoto ka, para ka na ding nagmahal dahil:

  • Magpapapogi sila para lang makuha ang matamis mong “Oo.” Sa una, sila ay mabait. Bubuhusan ka ng pagmamahal. Aalagaan ka. Once na nakuha na nila ang tiwala at pagmamahal mo, ang masasayang alaala mo lang sa kanya kapag naghiwalay ang inyong landas ay ang taong minahal mo noon, hindi ang taong nakikita mo sa SONA sa harap mo ngayon. Ang eleksyon, isang mahabang dulaan ng ligawan. May mga ibang naka-costume at mas madami ang naka-maskara.
  • Bumuboto ka kasi with your feelings. Matuturing bang pagmamahal pag walang emosyon na involved? Syempre hindi! Feelings are everything. Tayong mga Pinoy, mahilig pa naman sa feelings. Kahit hindi pa nga nagtatapat yung tao, mga feelingero at feelingera na tayo. Nilalagyan natin ng feelings lahat, binibigyan natin ng meaning lahat ng bagay. Eto ang sigaw ng dugo at puso natin, bakit natin di papansinin? Boring pag ginamitan mo ng utak. Hanggang sa school at trabaho lang ang pag-iisip. Kung mag-iisip ka palagi, di mo na ma-eenjoy mga bagay-bagay, lalo na mga palabas sa telebisyon. Kaya, I repeat, feelings are everything.
  • Kung nasisiyahan ka sa kanya o sa mga pinaggagawa niya, siya ang pipiliin mo. E masaya ka sa kanya e. So what kung action star siya dati? So what kung di siya nakapagtapos ng pag-aaral? So what kung madami siyang naging anak sa labas? Diba nga sa pagmamahal, past is past. Ang mahalaga ay kung ano siya ngayon. Ang mahalaga ay nawiwili ka sa kanya ngayon, lalo na pag nakikita mo siya sa TV. Kesa naman yung panay ang English pero di mo naman maintindihan ang mga pinagsasabi. Pfffft! Siya na ang magaling.
  • Kapag nakalimutan na tayo, lahat ng bagay isisisi sa kanya. Magagalit tayo. Niloko ba naman tayo e. Self-righteous anger: tayo ang niloko so tayo ang may karapatang magalit. Yun nga lang, di natin naalala sa kabilang banda, tayo ang namili at nagkamali. Of course, lahat naman tayo nagkakamali. Wala nga lang mangyayari kung lagi kang nagkakamali every 6 o 4 years.
  • Dahil crush ng bayan, siya na din ang pipiliin mo. Tandaan: Mahirap sumakay sa bangka na marami ang nakasakay. Mas lalong mahirap pag walang patutunguhan ‘yung bangka. Wag tignan kung ilan ang likes niya sa Facebook o kung ilan ang followers niya. Kung titignan mo lang ang numero, tignan mo kung ilang panukala ang naisabatas niya o kung ilan ang naipagawa niyang mga proyekto na may kwenta at pang-matagalan. Kung ang boto ay pagmamahal, mas mabuti nang itaya mo ito sa taong bumabawi sa gawa, hindi lang puro salita.
  • Kapag nabigo ka, hindi ka natututo. Bakit lagi ka na lang nilang binibigo? Bakit lagi kang dismayado? Sineseryoso mo naman ang pagpili ah. Kumbaga sa context ng pagmamahal, saan ka nagkamali: Sa pagmamahal ng tao o sa konsepto mo ng pagmamahal itself? Ano ba ang ideya mo ng pagpili? For short-term o long-term happiness ba? Kung masaya ka lang sa ganyan, hanggang diyan ka na lang talaga. Pero kung nakukulangan ka pa, walang masama na maghangad ka ng tunay na pagmamahal. Wala ding masama kung maghahangad ka ng tunay na kaginhawaan.

Bakit ba bigo tayo lagi sa dalawa? Mahirap buksan ang mga mata sa mga tunay na nangyayari, pero ang unang hakbang para makamit ang kalayaan ay ang pagtanggap sa mapait na katotohanan na matagal na tayong niloloko. Na hindi binibigay sa atin ang kaligayahan na karapat-dapat sa atin.

Pinag-uusapan pa din ba natin ang pagboto o pagmamahal? Meron bang pagkakaiba?

Ang mahalaga, sana ay matuto na tayong lahat.

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