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.

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

    1. BS Aquino should not only disappear from the Philippine after her illegitimate term, she should vanish from the face of the earth. Hell is too light a punishment for her after thousand lives lost due to her incompetence.

    2. bolero ka na may tambol ka pa sa ulo.ikaw dapat mawala hindi sa pinas sa mundo puwede na rin sa talisay para magkasama na kayo

  1. 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.

  2. 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 that is the case.

    Voters must stop being idiots. Start studying now. Demand better public service.

  3. 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…

  4. 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 a mess. Aquino himself has enemies, that can hardly be debated and when people lash out at the guy for attacking his enemies they seem to forget that HIS FATHER WAS MURDERED by a political rival.Aquino was injured in a coup that tried to murder and therefore remove his Mother from office.Aquino HAS ENEMIES. What would anyone else do?Given these facts alone, it can be
    truthfully said that Aquino has shown restraint in not striking back at his familie’s enemies. That the guy that murdered Aquino’s own Father has a Son that is not dead says a lot about Aquino.I would not be so restrained.

    The fact that during election campaign’s in the Philippines rival candidates in Local, State and National elections constantly kill each other says a lot about what political power means in the Philippines: A ticket to the dinner where the treasury is served up and divided amongst the participants,LOL! and no one can blame anyone else for wanting to be at the head of the table.

    This current system will not enjoy a peaceful change.The only way the country can rid itself of these parasitic politicians and their scumbag families’ has been discussed at nauseating lengths, and despite the ease at which the current system could be toppled it is clear Filipino’s lack the deliberate action needed to change it and thus deserve the shit they eat constantly.

  5. 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 them as Aquino has done.

  6. @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.

    1. Oh Yeah, those PCOS are going to be ‘counted’ on to seal a fair result in the elections, BWAH HA HA HA!! The people who sold them to the country are the only ones who know how they are programmed,HUH?

      A failed state is failed state is a failed state. NOTHING works in the POS country, least of all the ‘democracy’ you all think you have.

      it is a tiresome ordeal to try to direct someone out of a burning house,step by step.
      This is not rocket science….

      PUT OUT THE FIRE AFTER YOU GET OUT OF THE HOUSE !

  7. 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 political dynasties, or if not coming from entertainment industry. Actors act, not make laws. Results: confussing laws.

    Is it our education system? Still chalk and talk. Not enough sciences and math.

    Is it mainstream media? Journalist now behave like celebrities. Quest for truth and professionalism is just a fad.

    Is it the voters? Selling their votes. Stupid. Fanatic. Lazy. Careless.

    Or is it me? I am hoping too much.

  8. 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.

    1. I agreed with u caloy..simple life in the Philippines like before during Marcos regime..we stay out side the house for the whole night. Playing walking or going anywhere at no fear at all… I want to experience these again until on my next generation…

  9. 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 aggressive leaders whose brilliance comes first before their personal intentions and stupidity that when a politician does something right or good for a change it came as a surprise.

    But all in all this is a really great article. It eyed the bull. Funny how we can’t stop hoping that people will learn from all the do’s and don’ts. I also think that one of the most necessary thing by now is for good leaders to step up and trample at the bad ones because although there are wise voters, as long as there are supporters and voters who sees election as their milking cows, and as long as there are politicians who take politics as their source of wealth and invincibility, election will remain a cycle that people will only anticipate because it has to happen. We need to have more good choices because being a wise voter in this country is underrated. Better if we can expose all the candidates’ incapacity to lead after they announce their candidacy. Perhaps they can concentrate on the needed platforms afterwards. They’ve been digging the depths of their pockets to fill for so long now instead of scraping their coconut meats for the development they should have had initiated.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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 !

  13. 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 it down the drain and make the Philippines into a 3rd world hellhole. That speaks volumes of how we as a people are not fit to rule ourselves unless we change our ways for the better. Absent of an outside invading force, don’t get your hopes up that change will take effect, unless some miracle happens.

    The problems go deeper than you listed above. This has nothing to do with changing the constitution or making our country into a Federal State. Our problems are cultural and unless we tackle these problems all band-aid solutions are for nought.

    1. Detonate a nuclear weapon ,step back, wait for smoke to clear…start over !

      But NO, seriously…it will take generations to correct how badly the country has been screwed up.And that is if you start NOW !

      1. Like I said, our problems stem more than mere forms of governance or corruption. It goes to our very fabric in culture, society and morals.

        For one, people here don’t think about the future or the past. Philosophical ideas and intellectualism are shunned in favor of fickle trends. Concepts like democracy and religion are stripped off of deeper meaning and converting it into something we all know you see everyday in the Philippines – use political and religious movements as an excuse to build networks and establish nepotism. Filipinos also have a knack for praising street smarts (called ‘diskarte’ in our country) rather than creative intelligence. Not saying there’s anything wrong with street smarts but when you fail to see the bigger picture and base your culture and life around it all the time whatever the cost and no matter how destructive it is, then you as a group of people failed. We are also tribalistic and clannish. We have not gone over that yet as a nation. We see this in our politics today. We screw over the rest of other groups in order to stay at the top of the pecking order. This is why our government is actually ineffective. With our tribalistic and clannish mindset comes partisan politics, intrigues and sabotage in the political and governmental sphere. Jesus said in Matthew 20:25-28 that if we desire to rule we must serve. And whoever desires to lead must minister among the flock. This is where the western ideas of “public servant” comes from. Unfortunately, as I have said in the reasons above, western ideals are stripped off of deeper meaning and has become a mockery of network building and nepotism among our nation.

        This is why I’m planning to leave the Philippines. People with a genuine work ethic, way of life and morality are shunned and ridiculed because you are “honest” and follow goodness as laid out by Christ in the bible while the corrupt, evil men are praised because they are “street smart”. If you don’t see why many Filipinos are self-hating and self-loathing, then here is why.

        1. @ Sniper, if you want to live in a USA type ‘democracy’ from 50 years ago (it is now gone, and most likely will not return in anyone’s lifetime that is alive today), then you’ll have to leave all religious references out of it.Separation of Church and state and all.
          The problems you cited are true, but go even further than that. The GOCC’s are sooooo corrupt that dismantling them would take a generation.

      2. Also, I forgot to mention that you guys really need to read “Fate of Empires” by Sir John Glubb. It outlines how nations rise when and fall over time. History is cyclical. Nations rise when they value traditionalism, conservatism, strong spiritual and religious movements, and emphasizing a great work ethic while a nation declines when you give leftists, feminists and cultural marxists a platform in politics.

        This is a must read for those Filipinos who wish to uplift their country but are helpless to do so.

  14. 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.

  15. 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 National movement to inform the masses. Unless we, the Filipino People realize where we went wrong, hindi tayo makakabangon.
    It’s easy to lose hope, every day on the commute to work, I see little kids as young as 5, taking a dump right on the side walk along Roxas Boulevard. Makes me wonder, What the Hell is going on in my country. Paano na ang mga anak ko.
    Things really need to change.
    (Apologies for the rant, Day Off and I’ve had 1 too many Emperador Lights 🙂

    1. @ nod, the current (PUN INTENDED) failure of the electricity providers is a planned event.It is a scamm right out of the ENRON playbook of energy speculation in a rigged market.
      This is a disgrace and it is also not an accident, people who run and the major share-holders too are getting disgustingly rich off the backs off the average Filipino’s who can not even operate a legit business because of sky-high electricity rates…the highest in the world.

      This is just one of many scamms that exist in the country.SCAMS that need to be eradicated, YEARS AGO !

      1. Try installing Solar Panels and Wind Trubines ( Yard type, not the large one) on top of your house. These Generators produce DC electricity. Self sufficiency is the answer to business monopoly…

        You just need an inverter from DC to AC, 220 Volts…a back-up Battery Storage can also be installed, to store electricity…in case the solar panels and wind trubines are not working…

        “Ang taong nagigipit, sa patalim kumakapit.”

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

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

  17. 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.

  18. Ilda: I just had the opportunity to read you September 2014 article: 4 issues Philippine presidential candidates should address in the lead up to the 2016 election.

    I agree in large part with you, but I have a serious point for consideration and I hope I won’t be dis missed because I’m am constantly being referred to as the “Foreigner” in our community – it really bothers me…but hey what can you do. I still feel very strongly about my basic point. I believe, very strongly that there is money in the Philippines economy, if we could eliminate graft and corruption, to provide every and I mean every Filipino withe full and free medical care. I believe that that is the sign of a caring society and one which shows that government will stop wasting money on pork and other such silliness and spend it on the betterment of it’s people. And, the government would save moneys wasted on current support programs for the “indigent” which are largely health care programs which are apparently not productive. In addition to that it would be great if people who became “permanent residents” were included in such a program since most do pay for the support of their Filipino families and do so without any recognition or support from the government…That’s what I think, I hope I don’t get crucified for this opinion. Keep up ypour good work at Get Real…

  19. Are we voting for the mayor of “Metro Manila” or the President of the Republic of The Philippines? These issues stated here does not address the nation as a whole. It should be:
    1. National defense (ie. China/Spratly)
    2. Rebels in Mindanao (Peace and order)
    3. Electricity shortage (yes I agree with you on this)
    4. Aging infrastructure
    5. CORRUPTION!

  20. Update: but who am I kidding, the majority of the people will vote for who’s popular. So, (we) Filipinos deserve these leaders. There’s so few of us in the population whose votes matter. I wish we have Presidential debates on current issues. Lets see ’em nose bleed!

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