NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental (MindaNews/12 March) – Corruption, how to defeat it, ought to be the central issue in this election. Useless are all plans and efforts for progress, security and peace if corruption, a contagious debilitating disease that spreads into all gamut of governance, is not effectively overcome.
To defeat corruption, we need leaders
Who uphold and adhere to honesty and do not eschew it as an overriding trait of leadership.
Who have clear visions of governance and who educate and explain the same to the people, not those who simply are content and focused in corrupting the electorate with cash and material items, and clowning themselves to the seat of power with their stupid singing, dancing, and inane jokes.
Who make definite stand on the territorial integrity of the land, not help carry the silver platter in handing the country piece by piece to expansionist China.
Who will stop the fall not push further the country by acquiescence to the Chinese debt death-trap.
Who will lift the excessive taxes not sink the people deeper into poverty and misery.
Who condemn not condone human rights violations.
Who are steadfast in their independence and moral bearing, who fear God not sycophants and lapdogs of the devil or a devil incarnate.
Particularly at the local level where government is closest and is directly felt by the people, we need leaders who are committed to making TAPP (transparency, accountability, participatory, and predictability) the operative principles in governance.
Transparency allows maximum openness and visibility of government transactions to the public. No more hidden agenda, backdoor or under the table transactions that characterize patronage and subservience politics.
Accountability clearly identifies the person(s) responsible and accountable for a particular delivery of service. No more buck-passing for any fiasco in deliveries.
Participatory involves the citizens in governance at least by soliciting their inputs to government plans, programs and projects that affect them. This also means the participation of citizens in improving performance by encouraging their vigilance in the delivery of government services, to be watchful for irregularities, and appreciative of every act of professionalism and competence.
Predictability assures that decision-making or performance outcomes are reliable and consistent with official standard and public expectations. No more padrino or payback decisions that gravely undermine the quality of projects, products or outputs.
Indeed, if we start electing candidates who are committed to making TAPP the spirit of governance, there is no reason why we cannot eventually defeat corruption.
(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. William R. Adan, Ph.D., is retired professor and former chancellor of Mindanao State University at Naawan, Misamis Oriental, Philippines)