Amidst all the efforts of international organizations, like the United Nations, and the active participation of vigilance groups as well as the free press, good governance still seem to be as elusive as the dream of winning millions from the lotto.
Corruption coupled with the other hindrances to good governance has haunted and still haunts the Philippine government system from the grassroots to the national level. After years of streamlining the bureaucratic system to make it less susceptible, setting up watchdog agencies and increasing their scope, as well as the passage of laws with nastier teeth against those who deliberately toy with the fibers of good governance, we are only a few steps away from where we started.
Why, you ask? I believe it has something do with our culture.
Filipinos, in general, are god-fearing citizens and this contributes greatly in molding us to be law-abiding citizens yet when we are given a position of power by the people through elections, by appointment to high posts, or just by winning millions from the lottery, we tend to lose our sense of allegiance to the rule of law and make up our own, worse, society goes along with it.
We tend to be apathetic and take even major government scandal for granted even when we are all generally affected by it rendering the channels of feedback and participation useless. On the other hand, people in power tend to have a status of immunity as no one would usually dare to file a formal case against them for fear of retribution.
In this country where the corrupt can get easily elected back to power or gain the second place in a presidential race, and where members of the clergy are also accessories to corruption, there are a lot more practices that threatens our quest for sustainable human development through good governance. I can attempt to write some more scenarios here but why should I when even kids know how fucked up we all are?
So, how then can we promote good governance?
There are lots of things a citizen can do to promote good governance just through small and easy steps.
For this essay, allow me to focus on what tech savvy Maasinhons can do.
10 Things A Tech Savvy Maasinhon Can Do to Promote Good Governance
- Know your rights and assert them and empower others by educating them about it.
- Know your duties and fulfill them religiously. This includes payment of the right amount of tax and obeying traffic rules.
- Know the major laws and take time to Google new ones to know what they are for and how it affects you.
- Take time to complain. Unlike in the past when you need to write a long letter, send it via air mail, then wait for almost a year for a response, government agencies, specially the watchdog agencies like the COA and the Ombudsman have online portals, emails and hotlines to cater to your complaints and reports of abuse.
- Start a personal blog and share your views on current events. You don’t need to be negative all the time and please, don’t be a hypocrite and be overly positive.
- Share your opinions via Facebook and other social networks. You may get dissenting opinions from your friends from time to time but don’t take them as personal attack instead, consider them as inputs and build stronger rebuttals around them. Oh, don’t hesitate to change your mind too.
- Spend 15 minutes on Google News or any preferred news sites. No, PEP.ph don’t count, stupid!
- Listen to online radio. Local news doesn’t usually get printed on national papers but your local radio station may carry it. Since listening to THE radio is not so techie, find one with online streams. Most radio stations are into online streaming now and even the local DYDM is jumping in the bandwagon according to a friend who works there. Just skip Ballroom sa Kusina (if that program still exist).
- Don’t download or stream ripped songs and videos. This is kind of difficult since it’s hard to resist getting stuff for free. If you can’t help it, just limit it to foreign artists and shows.
- Don’t hack into other people’s account. This usually applies to gamers who scam other users to get high level items or game currency. You might be doing it online but such corrupt habit would eventually grow on you.