Politics of performance

>> Sunday, March 26, 2017

Ike Señeres

 I must be the most naive citizen of this country, because I still believe that perhaps in my lifetime, the politics of performance will eventually prevail over the politics of patronage, and one day this country will be free from extreme corruption. I also believe that one day; we will be able to eradicate extreme poverty in this country. Please note however that the operative word in these two notions is “extreme”, meaning that there will still be some amount of corruption and poverty here and there, but not so much being the norm or even the dominant mode. By having “extreme” as the qualifier, I am able to defend myself of being accused of day dreaming, even if it is my right to do so, and it does not cost me anything.
If I am crazy to think that extreme corruption, then the rest of the UN would also be crazy, because “to sustainably reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms” is among the targets of the 16th SDG, with the specific goal to achieve “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions” on or before the 2030 deadline. And so I could rightfully say that if indeed I am day dreaming, then I am not really alone, because the rest of the UN is day dreaming with me.
In general terms, the 16th SDG “is dedicated to the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, the provision of access to equal justice for all, and building effective and accountable institutions at all levels”. In so many words therefore, the 16th SDG is all about good governance, because there could be no good governance if there is no equal justice for all and if there are no effective and accountable institutions at all levels.
It also goes without saying that if there are effective and accountable institutions, there would be no corruption, or at the very least, it would be minimized. It also goes without saying that access to equal justice and effective and accountable institutions could not be built if national and local officials will not perform as they should.
Without going into so much detail, it could actually be said that since discretion is the root of corruption, the removal of discretion by way of building effective and accountable institutions could actually remove or minimize corruption. Stretching this argument further, it could also be said that since corruption is one of the causes of poverty, then the removal or minimization of corruption could actually reduce poverty also.
Going directly to the point, it could actually be said that if the politics of performance would prevail over the politics of patronage, then it could possibly remove or minimize corruption, and in the process actually reduce poverty also because it is corruption that aggravates poverty. These are cycles of evil that have to be broken by the circles of the good.
Without any doubt, it could be said that in this country, we practically failed to harness the power of mass media in promoting the politics of performance and good governance. The good news is that we now have social media as another tool for promoting these two causes.
Not only that, we also have the power of mobile messaging that we could tap, both in the form of ordinary text messages and in the form of mobile apps. We also have the advantage of being the text messaging capital of the world. On top of that, we have about 50 million Filipinos in Facebook, practically half our population. It is now up to us to move forwards with the powerful combination of mass media and social media to bring about change in our country.
Aside from the need to bring about change in our country, we also need to achieve sustainable development, an objective that requires us to meet all of the 17 SDGs. We need to be aware however that as a matter of fact, we as a country failed to meet the previous 8 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a failure that actually brought us a national embarrassment, considering that we are one of the original founders of the UN.
On the positive side, we still have the time to meet the 2030 deadline of the SDGs. Aside from the SDGs we also have the opportunity to meet the targets in our own Philippine Development Plan (PDP), which has similar targets pertaining to poverty reduction and the eradication of corruption.
For feedback email iseneres@yahoo.com or text +639956441780


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