It’s official, the 15th president of the Republic of the Philippines was sworn into office yesterday, June 30, 2010. Our new president elect is no other than President Benigno Aquino III, the son of our former president Corazon Aquino, the first woman president. President Benigno Aquino also marks a first in Philippine history and that is … being the first bachelor president. Congratulations Mr. President. I pray that God will give you wisdom so you can lead this country to prosperity, peace and unity.
Honestly, President Aquino was not my candidate for presidency. No, I have nothing against him or his family, it’s just that looking at the qualifications of the presidential candidates last election, I found other candidates to be more competent and qualified than him...but since majority of Filipinos voted for him, it’s only proper to recognize him as our president and give him the support and respect that any president deserves.
With the new president comes a new hope for the Filipinos, hope for a better Philippines. Hope that most of the time is being abused by most of us. We put so much hope in a person or group of persons thinking that he or they will solve all our problems, like magic they will take our problems away...we forget our personal role in solving all these problems.
For our beloved country, the case is also the same. Each time a new administration comes in, we put so much hope in them. There’s no problem with that, it’s just natural for us to hope that these elected officials will do their jobs well and come up with projects that will ease the lives of the people, be honest ... and all those good stuffs mentioned during the campaign. But still the same, we have to do our part, we have also our responsibility so that this country will move forward. We should always think of what we can do to help this country even just in our own small ways and not the other way around.
I received an e-mail months ago. It was entitled “12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do to Help Our Country”. I did my research and learned that the e-mail’s content is an excerpt from the book written by Alexander Lacson with the same title. He ran for a senate seat last election but unfortunately he lost. Anyway, what he wrote is interesting and can be our guide in becoming a responsible citizen not only of this country but anywhere we will be.
Here is the list (all text written in blue are my personal opinion and if you have any other opinion, please feel free to comment:
1. Follow traffic rules. Follow the law.
- This is for our safety, better follow the rules than be sorry.
2. Whenever you buy or pay for anything, always ask for an official receipt.
- Establishments have marked up their prices to include government taxes so it is just right that we ask for official receipts to make sure that what is intended for government tax will really be remitted to the government. This ensures an efficient tax collection.
3. Don’t buy smuggled goods. Buy local. Buy Filipino. (Or, if you read the book, he suggests: 50-50).
- Patronizing our own products help local businesses which in turn generates job opportunities. Buying smuggled goods denies our country of the taxes which our country is entitled to have.
4. When you talk to others, especially foreigners speak positively about us and our country.
- Although there are not-so-good things that are happening to our country, we still have a lot to be proud of ... our talents, our beautiful places ...
5. Respect your traffic officer, policeman and soldier.
- Just like any other ordinary people, these gentlemen and women deserve our respect.
6. Do not litter. Dispose your garbage properly. Segregate. Recycle. Conserve.
- We now see the effect of not throwing our garbage properly. Our drainage system are clogged that for just a small amount of rain, many places are flooded.
7. Support your church.
- Just like other aspect of our life, our spiritual side should also be nourished so we need to support our church to keep it growing and nourish souls.
8. During elections, do your solemn duty.
- This is our right as well as duty to our country, so let’s exercise our right and do favor for our country.
9. Pay your employees well.
- This is just the right thing to do. This includes our household helpers. Let’s give them what is due to them and treat them fairly.
10. Pay your taxes.
- Our taxes fund projects for the benefit of everybody.
11. Adopt a scholar or a poor child.
- There are lots of poor but deserving individuals who are very willing to study but have no resources. Give them a chance, let’s help them.
12. Be a good parent. Teach your kids to follow the law and love our country.
- The children are the future of our nation but that won’t be possible if we won’t do our part as responsible parents.
At first blush, this list seem simple but when we study them more closely, they are difficult to do, but with God's guidance we won’t go astray.