Something new, something fresh, something untried always evokes caution. But come to think of it. Something new, fresh and untried can also mean a new idea, a fresh start, an innovation and a new hope for that which we direly need but is not there and therefore makes us decide to make a grab for this new if only to have a better life in the future. This something new is one consideration we can seriously put our mind and heart to in the coming election.
We have been so used to those whom we voted into office many times in the past but have made little impact in the way we live. Of course there have been some who have excelled but there are also those who only demonstrated to us their so-so if not mediocre brand of service.
In this country where political dynasty is barred by the Constitution but continued to be tolerated an practiced, a new comer, a new face and a new name in politics should always be welcomed. They can be the new hope that we have been waiting for. They can be the new spark that will ignite a new and exciting life for the poor, the farmers, the businessmen, the students, the fresh college graduates and everyone who dreams of living a better life than he or she has today.
Newcomers in politics usually start from the lower elective positions. That is because they are newin the field where one has to be known and popular to be voted upon. These are the factors that make the system of electing our political leaders inherently flawed. Being known and being popular do not guarantee efficient an effective public service. There should be more in knowing a candidate before one vote could be cast in his or her favour.
Knowing here means being able to know the personal circumstances surrounding the offer of service by the candidates. What personal agenda lurks behind the motive to serve? What principles and advocacies does thecandidate stand for? These should not be words that come out of his or her mouth but values and beliefs that are demonstrated in the life of the candidate.
Last week in one of my sorties in the municipalities covered by the Integrated Natural Resources and Environmental Management (INREM)Project of DENR, I met a relatively new face in politics who is offeringherself to serve as a Board Member in the 3rd District of Bohol. I was intrigued by her determination to win the trust of the people by visiting far-flung barangays. Even the people she met on the way were happy to see this woman in her late 30s braving the weather and the terrain of the mountainous slopes where people have built communities.
When asked why she was there, she said people would not know her and trust her if they don’t know or even see her in person. Here is one lady who has the feel of what works with the people. I’m sure she was already surveying, too, what the people really needs that she can support with legislation when they give her one of the four (4) slots for Board Member in the 3rd District of Bohol. I remember about what Cong. ArisAumentado said about a listening leader. This lady was notonly listening she was also observing and validating. She could turn out to be an efficient and effective Board Member.
She was so concerned about the plight of school children who have to walk several kilometres on up and down gravelled road, sometimes only trails, to be able to go to school. She saw the situation of the farmers who subsisted only on what they could produce for their families with very little to bring to the market to earn extra income for the family. She saw the vast range of timberland without timber forest growing because they have been denuded and degraded by wanton cutting and sometimes inappropriate farming practices, a problem that is also sought to be addressed by the INREMP of DENR.
The name of this newcomer in Bohol politics? Her name is Jade Acapulco-Bautista, a professional nurse who wants to expand her horizon from just physically taking care of the sick but finding ways and means to prevent people from getting serious illness through the right interventions of government. She can only do this if she is in the elective position in public service.
NOTES. Here is a quote about listening, “ Followers who tell the truth, and leaders who listen to it, are anunbeatable combination.” — Warren Bennis.
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