Isko Moreno and political will
The new mayor of Manila has been in the limelight upon assuming office up to now. He had been relentlessly going after law violators causing problems to the ordinary citizens of the country’s capital. First, he tackled were the problems on garbage, sidewalk vendors clogging main streets, Plaza Miranda vendors, jeepney drivers who were cutting trips, etc. No doubt his handlers were good in choosing the issues he attacked, and they are now going proactive on other problems to improve the city like prodding the school board to require schools to go solar and to harvest the rain.
Nothing fantastic or spectacular or anything requiring rocket science, as all he did only needed common sense, and a ton of political will. There’s the difference. In the vastness composed of politicians, 99% are just interested in their self-interest and not the people’s. As Isko Moreno declared after cleaning up Divisorial, “pag nakabalik ang mga yan, ibig sabihin nalagyan ako.” Certainly the existence of those who practically appropriated for themselves the streets and sidewalks were due to powerful criminal syndicates both in the local government and outside of it.
And the media were agog giving him choice spaces and prime time, and the people loved it because they see sincerity. Will he live up to it? He made sure about this by declaring that “pag nakabalik ang mga yan, ibig sabihin nalagyan ako.”
The point is that other local officials should show that they care for the concerns of their constituents. These are often obvious but are not being acted upon as the politicians’ vested interest are pre-occupying them. Their usual thinking is that no matter your performance or the lack thereof, what is more important is to have big money when the next election comes to buy votes.
Quite true in many instances but not always. Every now and then, merit counts or performance matters. Extraordinary performance, however, is always a winning factor and such always results from having a strong political will. Without political will, there can be no extraordinary performance.
So either you have big money, ill gotten or not, to buy votes or have an extraordinary performance. Anything in between usually breeds uncertainty in a politician’s future.**