Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Qualifications, are they required?

Would you let an actor playing a role of a surgeon operate on you? No, right? Papayagan mo ba ang isang aktor na gumanap lang na doktor na mag-opera sa iyo? Hindi, di ba? What about an athlete, let’s say a boxer? Of course! Oo, mahusay at magaling siya. Tama! Mahusay at magaling siya pero sa loob ng boksing ring. Hindi sa pagpapatakbo ng gobyerno at gumawa ng mga patakaran. For a country that has no credibility in the international community, the possibility of its own local actors and athletes becoming the country’s leaders and representatives will not help that cause. The Philippines might even lose whatever little face it has left. It appears that the Filipinos did not learn anything when they elected Joseph Erap Estrada. No country and its leader acknowledge him. And they had every right not to give him that recognition. No self-respecting head of state will dare associate himself with an idiot, president of a country or not. It would have been an instant loss of credibility just by association.

Entertainment mixing with politics is a very troubling trend for the Philippines. But then again, politics is very entertaining in the Philippines. Just listen to the way the president and all the politicians talk during interviews and in political discussions, they are extremely laughable. It is automatic that the content or the subject matter that they are talking about is gibberish. Or sometimes they make profound statements like calling the pot black or the water wet. It is mind-numbing. Then of course the language(s) of choice and its usage add another level of hilarity. Many try to speak in English. They would start fairly strong sounding very educated. Bumabanat. At sige banat! But then all of a sudden, they would start mixing Tagalog words with English and eventually just end up talking in Tagalog. Nauubusan ng Ingles. It’s a classic. It’s an unadulterated slapstick by members of the highest level of the government. Incidentally, this utter mediocrity of the leaders in the Philippines is what sets the tone of the reputation of the Philippines and all Filipinos, and how it is perceived by the rest of the world. As a result, all Filipinos are lumped together as ignorant and uncivilized. Just like the world-wide perception that all Filipino men are either seamen or general laborers, and all Filipina women are domestic helpers, care-givers, or the ever popular ‘entertainers’.

It would not have mattered whether a politician spoke in English, in Tagalog, or in the mongrelized hybrid, Taglish. Most of the population do not understand English or speak other dialects other than Tagalog. But even if most of the people understand both languages, a proclamation of president, a recent ruling by the Supreme Court, or the latest law passed by the legislation has no relevance or no effect to the majority of the population. For example, ‘the president repealed the sales tax’ – as a result, the buying power of 9 pesos just increased to 10 pesos but most people are living on 50 pesos or less a day. ‘The Department of Education is distributing an additional 1 million textbooks to all the schools’ – instead of 10 students sharing a textbook, only 5 will share now. ‘The Congress just approved 10M pesos to subsidize the cost of farm fertilizers in Manila’ – most of the working farms are in the provinces, not in Manila. ‘The Department of Health will distribute malaria medication to all infested areas’ - the people there will be saved from malaria but they will all die from dengue. ‘The Supreme Court upheld a recent ruling of a lower court preventing Senator Onggoy to get married in Manila Zoo’ – who the hell cares. It does not really matter.

A couple of more actors are going to become politistas (actor, artista-turned politician). The actors are throwing themselves in the mix as potential senatorial candidates in the upcoming election, and a political party has already reserved seats for them in their ticket. Goodness! This is a total abomination of the legislative system and a searing insult to all true civil servants all over the world. The Philippines is already a laughing stock of the world when it comes to its government and institutions; its corrupt and incompetent government officials. This politista phenomenon just adds to the world-wide common perception that most Filipinos are ignorant. At the basic level, they lack the capacity and understanding of becoming a civilized society. The continuing practice of choosing incompetent candidates to head their country proves that they are incapable of ruling themselves.

What made them think that as actors, they can be good public administrators, law-makers, and leaders? What made them think that they are qualified? Are they qualified?
Do they even have the qualifications other than the age and citizenship requirements? Does it really matter if they are qualified or not? It appears that job related qualifications are not required and definitely not an issue. No one in the media is scrutinizing them about it. No one is asking from the several groups championing reforms. No one is asking at all.

Those actors will most likely be elected simply for being famous regardless of their qualifications. Like all the other politistas, they will prove themselves to be just as incompetent. And like all the incompetent law-makers now, they will create and pass new laws that will either be ineffective or useless. As a result, the Philippines will remain in its dismal state.

By electing those unqualified and incompetent candidates, the Filipino people will prove themselves to be ignorant. Yes, they are so ignorant that they will get an operation from an actor that had played the role of a doctor. Get ready to be butchered.

No comments: