I see plenty of unfinished roads with dirt roads in between asphalted/cemented ones; unfinished or haphazardly finished government projects; dilapidated school buildings; long lines of empty water containers on the roadside, a testament that there’s a dire need for water in the area; people bathing and washing clothes in irrigation canals, not so much for the lack of an established water system in their communities but for some other unexplainable reason I would expect a local government unit would be able to explain to its people (if only they will); sick patients with their watchers cramped in hospital alleys; or relatives of sick patients in queue for hours and hours in an elected official’s office (Congressman, Governor, Mayor, Vice-Mayor, etc.), or in the PCSO, some crying for assistance and some “too numb” to even feel anything anymore, and many still in the local LGU’s Welfare Development Offices.
I see vegetable farmers lined up in the dark streets in the middle of the night arranging and preparing their produce for the night-market buyers (with a spouse or a child sleeping on a wooden cart in the sidewalk). I see government buildings going to waste for lack of maintenance. I see public utility drivers stopping to pick up and/or drop passengers in the middle of the road, or stopping exactly where a ‘No Loading/Unloading’ sign is visibly located; public utility drivers who are obviously too young to hold a professional driver’s license driving like maniacs and yet seems to be getting away with it; public utility vehicle drivers smoking while driving despite the very big ‘No Smoking’ sign inside their motorelas or jeepneys; reckless trisikad drivers ferrying passengers along very busy major streets, even entering one-way roads (they don’t have driver’s licenses so maybe this is the reason why they don’t have any qualms violating traffic rules?). I see government employees spending more time on non-government service related activities while in their offices; Government officials riding high-end luxury cars and dining in fancy restaurants; Government officials and employees travelling just about anywhere nice enough for selfies and groufies; and this list can go on and on and on …
And I wonder … what could be the real reason why all the things I mentioned above are happening? Why is there an ‘execution gap’? I am borrowing the term ‘execution gap’ because I cannot seem, for the life of me, find the right words to use to describe what I really mean. Maybe someone who will come across this writing will help me with the perfect term to use.
Execution gap is defined as “the gap between what one plans to do to realize the organization’s strategic goals against what the organization actually achieves”. But is there even a plan? Are there strategies waiting to be implemented? Wait! Do they even know about these problems? Or are they aware that they are supposed to address these problems?
I have seen government agencies who have plans and who have accomplished theirs. To them I give my greatest respect. But I have also seen that unless the big bosses are the ones who initiated such plans, they remain as they are – just plans – with the budget gone.
As a nation we do have very big problems, but the thing is, I believe that only those directly and personally affected by them are hurting. The poor is getting poorer and the rich, richer. Economists and other academic geniuses can debate on the ‘why’s’ for years and years but the fact remains that poverty is still a problem and with it, many more.
In many of our travels, my husband and I would talk about how bad the roads are today compared to the old roads we had as we were growing up. Back then, the roads were smooth and you can hardly feel any humps and bumps.
Today, especially if the car you’re riding on is not new (which means the suspensions are not as good anymore), road trips can be considered a good way of burning fat kay mangatol imong mga tambok sa ka uyog sa sakyanan! (My apologies. I don’t know how to say this in English). Only those who ride old-model cars, jeepneys, multicabs, motorelas, and tricykads will know how this feels. Sadly, majority of the high-ranking government officials – elected or career service officials – ride nice, new cars (their own or their office service vehicles). They will never feel how it feels when going through such roads because the interiors of their cars are well-cushioned and the suspensions in excellent conditions. Businahan pa makadaghan ang mga ga una nga rela og old nga mga sakyanan aron magdali! (And now I am crying …)
I am not angry. I am saddened by all these painful realities. I am hurting. Can you blame me now if I choose someone who knows all these, feels all these, and has done something about all these in his own, small way? Many so-called experts are taunting him, questioning his ability to bring about the same change in the macro level. To them I say at least he has done it and succeeded doing it. Can the others say the same? Claim the same?
In him, despite his weakness (his bad mouth sadly), I see hope. And I am clinging to that hope, that one glimmer of hope that I have never seen or felt, despite trying my very best, in the other 4.
In this race, in this life, good intentions are not enough. It does not and will not feed the hungry; it does not and will not alleviate suffering; it does not and will never right the wrong. Good intentions are good, but translating them to action is another thing.
Intelligence will not make much difference as well, unless one has humility. You can be the smartest person in the world, but if you do not have the eyes that truly see, or the heart that truly feels, you can never lead effectively.
If you have never experienced how it feels to not have anything, to not have anyone to turn, how can you possibly say ‘I understand’? How can you change something when you don’t even realize that there is a need to change it in the first place? How can you comfort someone when you can not even empathize with them? How can you pull someone up if you’re way up there?
Win or lose, I have made my choice, based on what I observed, seen, heard, and felt, first hand. I based my decision on something that I feel is right. Yes, feel, not think, because the brain can be tricked, but the heart – the heart knows a truth from a lie. Remember the Savior? He calls men who are humble, not the learned, to bring about His purposes. His main requirement is humility, because He can work through the humble; seldom through the learned who rely solely on their own intelligences, not recognizing their accountability to that one true God who is the author of all.
And one last thing. I made my choice without relying on the media because I know many are still doing “envelopmental” journalism. With the right amount of money, the truth can be bent or turned around, and a lie made to appear true.
We all have to choose come May 9, so may God bless us and our decisions, and since our yardstick in making our choices is not the same, in the end may God use whoever wins to bless the Filipino people. Because as diverse as our opinions may be, we are definitely one in what we want – a better Philippines for us and our posterity.
Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!