Centre-Right Idealogy in Philippine Barangays
Many Filipinos may have given up already on the kind of politics that exist in the country today. There is neither structure nor balance and order. It is simply chaotic that is on the verge of collapse due to prevailing corruption and distrust among the citizenry.
So the hard question would be how must one run a government, particularly the most basic political entity the Philippine "barangays", without leaning away significantly from the prevailing idealogy and situation. My answer would be to adopt a center-right idealogy in the barangay level. It is considered centrist such that social equality must be promoted through facilitated cooperation with a reasonable amount of social stratification based on what a person can and do to contribute for the common good of the community. This idealogy must incline with capitalism and democracy as the baseline of all decisions and policy-making for the benefit of the majority, especially the vulnerable sectors of the society.
This suggested idealogy is grounded on the assumptions:
1. Every Filipino has the right to decide on his or her capacity.
2. There is a need for Filipinos to contribute not just for their benefits but also for the common good.
3. The government must do everything it can for the benefit of its citizens, while the latter must be duty-bound to help the government raise funds to deliver needed social services.
4. There exist strong mistrust among the average Filipinos and the governing politicians.
5. Every Filipino must be treated according to their capacities, instead of being discriminated due to their respective background.
6. Education and skill development are tools for personal economic advancement.
7. Both the government and its citizens must engage in enterprise to alleviate poverty incidence in the community.
8. Prompt and effective service delivery is the standard of supervision and administration of the government.
9. Nationalism, cooperation and solidarity must be promoted among Filipinos, neighboring communities, private sectors and foreign investors.
10. There must be an effective feedback mechanism and quality control in the management of barangays.
Therefore the following measures are recommended:
1. Every barangay must have a sound fiscal status. It must engage in business by allocating a Barangay Economic Enterprise Fund (BEEF). It must be at most 25% of the expenditure. The income of the barangay must not be limited to taxation, usual services and Internal Revenue Allotment. This fund can be invested in any enterprise, which are profitable and non-risky. The BEEF allocation will be decided by a council composed of 25 members. Part of the 25 are the elected barangay officials with a voting capacity of one each. The Barangay Captain has a veto power over decisions of the council. The rest of the council membership is elected every year from the different sectors of the society, the youth, women, unemployed, professionals, church leaders and non-professionals.
2. All residents are encouraged to take part on a Barangay-Level Operated Cooperative (BLOC). The cooperative are composed initially only by the natural residents and juridical entities of the barangay. The barangay itself through BEEF can also be a member of the cooperative. After the organization of new members maybe allowed from other barangays, corporations and even foreigners, as long as the capital from the non-founding members must not exceed 40% of the total or the percentage stated by the cooperative's by laws. In this way, residents and the barangay can earn from the endeavour.
3. All income and expenditure associated with the Barangay, BEEF and BLOC can be traced and monitored online through a system known as Barangay Information, Monitoring, Service Systems (BIMSS). BIMSS will also function as an inquiry and hotline for reports and complaints from the residents. The system must also facilitate fast delivery of services to the community. All services are connected to BIMSS so this requires everyone to make prior registration to avail this service. The registration will include demographic, socio-economic data and contact numbers for easy and convenient delivery of services and facilitation of community policies and regulations. Furthermore, BIMSS will also provide information on career opportunities, publicly-funded trainings, competency development and even student information of public schools located in the barangay.
4. All residents must do an simple obligatory community work before able to get certifications and free special services (notary, veterinary, skills trainings, grants, free educational tutorials, special health consultations, etc). These community work maybe in the form of tree-planting, engagement in social and sports activities, attendance in health seminars and educational gatherings and other voluntary activities. Points will be given for each activity. Every registered family must accumulate at desired and prescribed annual points per resident. Any family member can transfer points from one member to the other. These points are also necessary before enrolment of children to public schools, who are barangay residents. This will be called the "Bayanihan System."
5. All employed individuals and job-seekers must register their competencies and work experience in BIMSS. The Barangay must act as a mediator between the residents and different public and private organization to acquire relevant jobs and experience. "Hanap Trabaho System." All job-seekers must also acquire points to be eligible plus completed checklist for mandatory family health requirements such as vaccination and vitamin supplementation coverage.
6. Cooperation among different barangays should also be encouraged by creating socio-economic coalitions. This aims to improve food and geopolitical security, transportation and delivery of social services.
Lastly, these are only my suggestions. I do not intend to run in public office. However, should anyone be interested to ask me to contribute for the Filipino society even without renumeration or perceived potential benefits, I would gladly say yes.