THE next Philippine administration must reckon with three huge “deficits” in national life, starting with a “broken political system” where there are no real political parties that groom and control political leaders and help shape policies and programs, said a renowned political scientist. Friday.
Invited as a resource person at the first expert forum organized by the ALC Media Group, Professor Clarita Carlos of the University of the Philippines said that this wacky setup allows both parties and individual candidates for public office to change loyalties. She spoke a day after Partido Reporma’s standard bearer, Senator Panfilo Lacson, resigned his presidency and membership as party leaders opted to back his rival, Vice President Leni Robredo . Lacson said he would continue in the race as an “independent” candidate.
This situation, “big party bosses suddenly [deciding] letting go” of their standard bearer just weeks before the election, is “both absurd and unacceptable,” Carlos said, pointing out why so many unworthy aspirants to public office are showing up. The political party system is “so compromised that anyone can just register a political party”, and there is no real party that “verifies” aspiring leaders, many of whom, she said, “can’t even win as dog hunters in their barangay”. .”
The result of the absence of genuine political parties to serve as an “interlocutor” between would-be leaders and the people is a “huge democratic deficit”, Carlos added.
No national strategy
Besides the broken party system, the veteran political analyst and former president of the National Defense College of the Philippines also lamented the lack of a real “national strategy” that seamlessly “hook” the different chapters of the usual development plans. trotted out through one administration after another.
The National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) is the main agency responsible for setting this up, but often, Carlos said, “what they usually have is a list.” A real national strategy is “really something that will bring together” human resources, natural resources and identified objectives, Carlos stressed.
The current Mandanas decision, which guarantees local government units a larger and fairer share of national revenue, will end up diverting funds from some LGUs in the absence of a national strategy that also guides local governments, a- she declared.
Meanwhile, she urged leaders to restore the role of government only as regulator, “not command and control”, and leave the private sector largely free to develop business for national wealth.
Given all the country’s problems and the challenges and risk factors related to external developments, the next leader must be able to define a national strategy quickly, with the right people, and take key decisions quickly. The country cannot afford an “intellectually meaningless” leader, Carlos said: “’Di puedeng bobo ang Chief Executive ng Pilipinas’.
A third challenge to be reckoned with quickly, Carlos said, is “very worrying, regarding the high level of corruption.” She attributed this to the fact that there is no certainty of penalties for wrongdoing. In her stint as head of the NDCP, Carlos recalled that she vowed to continue behaving like a UP professor on a modest income so she could avoid temptation.
ALC Media Group President, D. Edgard A. Cabangon, was joined by forum moderators, DWIZ hosts Jonathan dela Cruz and Conrad Banal, and reactors and panelists from ALC media companies.