4 issues Philippine presidential candidates should address in the lead up to the 2016 election

Filipinos should be grateful to The New York Times for being instrumental in putting an end to talks around whether or not Philippine President Benigno Simeon (BS) Aquino should seek another term. The news site’s scathing editorial lambasting the President for hinting he would support the amendment of the 1987 Constitution to allow him to run again and to clip the power of the Supreme Court exposed the President’s arrogance to the world. It was obvious the article killed the enthusiasm of Aquino’s rabid supporters in promoting the foolish idea to the public because they have suddenly gone quiet about it.

President BS Aquino should disappear from politics after 2016.
President BS Aquino should disappear from politics after 2016.
With the debate over the issue out of the way, everyone can now focus on the real problems facing the nation instead of BS Aquino’s self-serving pursuits. In fact, BS Aquino himself should thank the international publication for helping him make up his mind over the dilemma of whether he should run again or give everyone a break and disappear from politics altogether as soon as he steps down in 2016.

This whole episode also proved that BS Aquino has a tendency to act quite irrational when he wants to get back at those who he perceives to have wronged him. In this case, his target was the Supreme Court because of their ruling against the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). Some people can be forgiven for thinking the President of the Philippines suffers from tunnel vision.

If there was one party whose power should be clipped, it should be the Executive’s. BS Aquino has abused his position since Day One. Using taxpayers’ money, he allegedly bribed lawmakers using channels such as the pork barrel funds and the DAP to get what he wanted without being questioned about the legality of his decisions. Sadly, he is likely to get away with these offenses because those who have the power to impeach him are the same people who received extra funding from him. This was evident in three impeachment cases against the President that were thrown out by the Justice commission led by his ally Congressman Niel Tupas Jr. Needless to say, the sooner BS Aquino is out of politics, the sooner all this drama will end and the better it is for Filipinos.

The Binay clan: all in the family!
The Binay clan: all in the family!
Now that Filipinos are discussing who the next Philippine President should be, we can only hope that the voters will be wiser and stop voting for people like BS Aquino whose only credential was having popular parents. At this point though, Vice President Jejomar Binay is still up on the survey results. It’s a real mystery though considering he has been implicated in one corruption scandal after another.

Binay may not have popular parents but he has created a formidable political dynasty after three decades in politics. His children are currently occupying influential positions in the local and national government. His son Jejomar, Jr. (Junjun) is currently the Mayor of Makati City; daughter Mar-len Abigail is a Congresswoman of Makati and his other daughter Nancy is currently a Senator. You would think that Makati City would be as progressive and high-tech as Singapore by now with all of them receiving public funds and channeling these to the same district. Well at least Jun-Jun Binay has an elevator in his mansion in one of the plush gated communities in Manila. Unfortunately, that won’t benefit the majority of Filipinos.

Senator Nancy doesn’t even pretend to hide the conflict of interest when she defends her father during senatorial hearings on the alleged over-priced construction of the Makati City Hall constructed while his father’s was still the Makati City Mayor.

The 2016 Presidential election cannot come soon enough for a lot people including Filipinos who have had enough of BS Aquino’s incompetence and erratic behavior. Likewise, for Presidential hopefuls like VP Binay, the longer he has to wait for the Election Day, the more chances his opponents will have of digging up dirt to throw at him.

Vice President Jejomar Binay: doesn't mind taking a beating if it means winning in 2016
Vice President Jejomar Binay: doesn’t mind taking a beating if it means winning in 2016
VP Binay’s willingness to endure public persecution makes one wonder what’s in it for him? Why does he want to be the President so bad? More importantly, why do some people want him to be the President of the Philippines? Just like the other candidates prior to the 2010 elections and the other candidates for the 2016 elections, Binay is only relying on his popularity instead of his platform.

It is high time Filipinos ask the candidates what they have to offer the public. Voters should ask them what they are going to do once elected into office. Their platform should be the basis for being chosen or not being chosen to lead the nation.

As a guide, the voters should highlight the following issues facing the nation today and ask the candidates how they will solve it:

(1) Traffic congestion on the main roads and highways.

This problem has gone from bad to worse in the last few years. The current government didn’t have a plan to solve this and just allowed the problem to get ugly. The economy suffers huge productivity losses and mounting inefficiency as a result of traffic congestion. Sometimes it comes to a point where vehicles come to a complete stop and commuters are forced to walk.

Traffic at a standstill is the new normal in Metro Manila.
Traffic at a standstill is the new normal in Metro Manila.
There are just too many vehicles on the road that are out of control. Private bus operators hire drivers who drive like they are king of the road result in fatalities too. The proliferation of the jeepneys is not only an eyesore, they also add to the chaos on the road. They all add to the nightmare for commuters who just want to go to work.

Since there is hardly any additional new roads or highways, there is a need to find alternative means of mass transport that will bring more people from A to B in one go. That means rehabilitating the Philippine National Railway; upgrading the trains of the MRT and LRT with more carriages to accommodate more people is a must and so is being on top of all the maintenance issues that keep cropping up. Of course there will always be train problems occurring but the administrators of the system should be prepared for such incidence with a spare train. Commuters should not be left without a back-up plan.

(2) Energy Crisis.

The future looks dim for Filipinos. The rotating brownouts Mindanao is experiencing will soon be experienced by Luzon as “the State of the Nation technical report pegged the energy shortage in Luzon at 400 MW to 1,000 MW from March to May 2015.” Suffice to say, those who can afford it should invest in a good generator set.

Filipinos suffer some of the highest utility rates in the world.
Filipinos suffer some of the highest utility rates in the world.
The current government is even asking for “emergency powers” to address the crisis. They had four years to come up with a solution but it seems they just twiddled their thumbs until the situation had become “urgent” enough to warrant becoming an “emergency”. Their immediate solution is to contract an additional generating capacity to address the 300-megawatt projected deficit. Knowing how the people running government operates, this temporary measure will eventually become permanent.

It is up to the next administrator to find a permanent solution to the energy crisis. Erratic power supply and high electric bills are some of the reasons foreign investors are not coming in droves.

(3) Flood crisis and disaster management.

If the old adage is true that you can judge a person by the way he handles rainy days, then Philippine society can be judged by the way Filipinos have been handling rainy days. Even a little rain can wreak havoc on the roadways because the drains in place are either not enough to handle the storm water or have been clogged up by household trash. The flooding problem has become a frequent crisis that puts ordinary citizens in harm’s way. Like the traffic problem, flooding likewise affects the economy which suffers huge productivity losses and inefficiency as a result.

The cause of Metro Manila's floods seem to be a mystery to government officials.
The cause of Metro Manila’s floods seem to be a mystery to government officials.
For a tropical country visited by typhoons at least 20 times a year, our response to typhoons is pathetic and embarrassing to the international community. Filipinos treat every typhoon as if it is the first time they are encountering a typhoon – no emergency evacuation procedure and no acceptable response system in place. We need to step up and be more organized and equipped to face typhoons.

The next administrator should hire engineers to solve this problem. It cannot be solved by a relative who has an AB or BS degree in college.

(4) Lack of Basic Infrastructure.

All of the above can be summed up by lack of basic infrastructure. From Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao, the lack of physical and organizational structures is a common problem. The country needs services and facilities necessary for its economy to function. This includes additional hospitals, schools and telecommunications facilities that will cater to the growing population.

Sadly, the current government’s spending spree did not prioritize the upgrade of services and facilities. It’s unfortunate because investing in those would have been enough to sustain economic growth beyond 2016. No amount of public relations to attract foreign investors will be enough to entice them to come and stay otherwise.

These are some of the issues the candidates should be tackling and what the voters should be demanding to hear. There is enough time between now and the Presidential Election in 2016 for everyone to address this. It would be easier to pick and choose who the next President should be if the voters use the above guidelines instead using the popularity gauge.


Post Author: Ilda

In life, things are not always what they seem.

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39 Comments on "4 issues Philippine presidential candidates should address in the lead up to the 2016 election"

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nick tambolero

BS Aquino should not only disappear from politics after her term, she should also disappear from the Philippines!

Sea Bee

Why do not people who aspire to being president challenge the so-called front runners to a series of debates that cover the specific topics just outlined in this blog? People like Binay seem to feel that they are entitled to the presidency, as if they are some kind of royalty.

Ilda, you have raised four issues that presidential candidates must addressed with sound solutions. In fact, these are interelated problems, that if solved, would have a great impact in our economy and eventually lessen crime rates also. PNoy is leaving a mess. The next president would be confronted with two major problems, bad economy and high crime rates. What would happen in 2016? Would it be a case of choosing the best among mediocre politicians? Dumb voters elect idiot president. Then later complains about services offered by the government. Too late to regret. Change is not going to happen if… Read more »
Hyden Toro11

Binay has been in office for so long. Why did he not introduced some programs or House Bills, to solve these problems? And , this other Mentally Retarded person wants to become President.

He has baggages of corruption , himself. He has built a family political dynasty, as a result of these corruptions; and Pork Barrels.
This ill gotten wealth financed his political family dynasty into power…

More of the same; if Binay would be elected as President. Ah…pobre Filipinas…no good choices…

After seeing the entirety of this mess of a country from every conceivable angle, it is no secret and an unavoidable conclusion that the entire country is one GIGANTIC corrupted mess. A shit hole mess that is run by an organized crime syndicate that is backed up by an ill-paid/ill-trained corrupted police force that has to run scams on people and even kidnap citizens for ransom just to earn a living wage.The Police are backed up by a paltry military that has to depend on donations from foreign governments. That said it is no wonder that the entire country is… Read more »
and BTW, do not put too much stock in anything the NY TIMES has to say, over the last decade and a half they have reduced themselves to nothing more than the mouth-piece of the Neo-Cons & Zionist AIPAC lobby that runs the USA government.and anyone with an objective eye knows this. They hate Aquino and his Left leaning political agenda and do not appreciate the deal he has made with the Islamist’s in Mindanao.IDK if they fail to realize that these rag-tag MILF/Bangsamorro idiots are capable of not much or not, but they despise anyone that cozies up to… Read more »
Beawolf Agatte

@Iida we should forget this farce Election as long as these corrupt COMOLECT Officials and it’s Hocus PCOS Machine is in use. Election will never be credible. It is only a waste of time, money and effort. We should address first these Hocus PCOS anomaly then we talk about election.

Why are we still lagging behind in terms of political maturity and economic growth? Since post-Marco era, politicians‘ scripts are all one and the same, but no real significant changes happening. Something is wrong, somewhere. Why do elect idiots? Is it our constitution? Written out of fear not to have another Marcos, and done in haste. We end up having a multi-party system, thus electing a minority president. Who from day one, needs to buy congress, in order to keep his control over the bills and budget. Flawed from the start. Is it our Congress? Composed of lawmakers hailing from… Read more »

maderfuckers gonna die someday. When that happens they got nothing but evil on their heads 🙂


Honestly, at some point, I do not ask the next president to perform economic miracles. I just want to feel safe. I am a small scale business owner. Bakeries and apartments. I just want to feel safe for all of us.

Get rid of bad cops. Go after the syndicates. Solve drug menace. Our economy would not be healthy if we afraid for the safety of our kids. At times, when going to a bank, feels like a tough mission.

Solve crime problems, please.

The problem is politicians here are simply corrupt and shameless. Add the invalids who remain in their seat without contributing anything good in the society. They completed the Philippine government and as long as that’s the case, Philippine elections won’t result to the kind of leadership of whom this country would benefit. We don’t have that sagacious and intense leader to choose from. Even if some of them do think, they forgo the action. They are experienced and intelligent people I’m sure but here, politics is a business enterprise, the election is but a charade. There’s already a scarcity of… Read more »

more than the politicians, it’s the culture and the people living in it that put these types of monkeys into power is the main cause of our sad plight. the culture needs to change. and we need draconian measures now more than ever. because as far as living us pinoys on our own to determine our own fate, we’re sadly a nation of blind idiots without someone who can see to lead us somewhere. we need a demagogue. a rabble-rouser to start the ball rolling and rip the corrupt out of their decadent nests. apologies to tdkr’s bane.


One reason that not much gets done in the Philippines, and a reason why the president tried to get votes from legislators using pork barrel funds, is that party loyalty is extremely weak. In turn this weakens political platforms, ideology, cooperation, vision. Politics becomes nothing more than a power struggle between Datus who offer only patronage, nepotism and cronyism if elected.


Whatever fights the Philippines/Filipino’s are going to fight, DON’T LET MANY “DUCKBOY” PAQUIAO get in the ring with FLOYD “MONEY” MAYWEATHER ! it would be too embarrassing ! stick to fights you MIGHT win !

We should be honest here, absent of an outside or inside force that would use arms to effect change, nothing would be done. You can whine all you want but it won’t do a damn thing. You guys should read “Fate of Empires.” The Philippine government and its people are corrupted to the core and our own culture/society is what can be described as going through “decline”. We were once one of the most prosperous nations in Asia (ironically while we were under foreign rule) but it only took 50+ years for Indio idiots (the ordinary brown Filipino) to take… Read more »
Zat Cruz

Spot on, Ilda but I think we can still add 1 to the list and that’s the deteriorating peace and order situation. With crimes being done even on broad daylight and in public view, the gov’t. has to really get this back on its main agenda.

nod if you agree
All of the Issues outlined by Ilda existed even before EDSA 1, it has just grown way out of proportion during and after EDSA 1. The Energy crisis was there when Cory “the Saint” Aquino was the President(remember the rotating brown-outs in the early 90’s). So was crime (remember Kidnap for Ransom, and the Vigilantes). Makes you wonder though, we’ve had 5 presidents (the 5th being the worst of them all) after Marcos was removed from Malacanang, bakit wala parin nag improve. And Masa lalong naging bobo. I think it’s about time for a revolution (not the bloody one), a… Read more »
Hyden Toro101

It should read “Wind Turbines”. The Electric Generator is inside the Wind Turbine.

“To err is human, to forgive is divine…”


What about Mr. Amando M. Tetangco Jr. for president?

Federico Cuervo

What about corruption? It is the biggest cause of poverty? What is the use of solving the traffic problem when there is increasing poverty? Energy for whom if more people get disconnected since they can”t afford to pay Meralco? Food crises, lack of infrastructure and poor disaster management are all the result of corruption.