February 9, 2023

HIGH HOPES AMIDST UNCERTAIN TIMES

As elected local and national officials assumed their first day as public servants on July 1, the more than 100 million Filipinos could only pin their hopes on the promises of a better living condition these leaders made during the campaign period.
This is despite that at the onset, commuters were greeted by a P2 hike in the minimum fare for public utility jeepneys, a clamor that has been lingering since fuel prices began soaring months earlier.
While we understand the circumstances that led to the granting by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board of the petition for fare increase, we dread the succeeding impacts of the continued fuel price hikes. There have been rollbacks, sure, but these were not enough to close the huge gap created by the almost weekly fuel price increases.
The recent increase in the daily minimum wage has not done much in helping ease the economic burden of the ordinary Filipinos.
How much more should the public suffer; we cannot tell. In the same manner that we are full of uncertainties on what lies ahead in the next three to six years.
Amidst these uncertainties, however, are our hopes that after the dust stirred by the highly divisive elections has settled, the elected officials will start working to fulfill the promises they made or work for the realization of their aspirations, which they shared with the public when they were still courting the people to catapult them into power.
Hopes are high when President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., in his inaugural speech, has assured for a better future for the Filipino people, as he claimed that he and his people share the same dream to wit: “Your dreams are mine. Pangarap ninyo ay pangarap ko.”
At the local level, we are pinning our hope of a better living condition on the promise of “a good governance beyond politics” that does not tolerate the usual ways of traditional politics, or at the least, practices that deprive the people of a better service delivery they deserve.
We will remain hopeful too of a kind of governance where people are consulted first on developments that impact on them for their insights to be considered before these are implemented. After all, participatory governance works better than a governance that’s too imposing.
Much as we are often asked to cooperate and do our part to help Baguio become a livable city, we also ask our leaders to not forget to involve us in their decision-making.
We understand there are certain aspects in public office that cannot be totally disclosed to the public, but we remain hopeful on the promise of a transparent government, one that lets the people know about major developments, regardless of the backlash it might suffer as a result of such transparency.
There is nothing more doubtful than a government that believes that its people cannot be trusted with the truth.
We hope we will also continue enjoying a government that is inclusive; one that accommodates the concerns of all its people and not only its actual or perceived supporters and allies.
While we hope for the government to continue its good job and work on the aspects that need improvement, we also hope for a public that participates and abides by the policies that are intended for a better and a livable Baguio City.
It is also our wish that good governance will also reign in other local government units in the Cordillera.