Compared with the occasional office gossip or showbiz issue, politics can be a conversation-stopper. It can be contentious and before you knew it, you’d be spewing one complaint after another. In this article, I’ll give you 4 reasons why we, yuppies need to care about Philippine politics, and 3 ways to do it.
Corruption is rampant in the country. You would probably think that after Marcos, we would have learned to be better at managing public funds & demanding greater transparency from the government. But still, we’re confronted by the many faces of corruption, whether they be called kickbacks, pork barrel, SOPs, PDAF, or DAP.
The sad part is, you often feel powerless over many problems and issues in the country.
As yuppies, we are busy and preoccupied, and we don’t want to hear negative things. We have enough negativity at work already. We don’t want to hear the negativity in government.
But if we keep quiet and accept things as they are, we become part of the problem.
It’s very easy to be cynical toward the government. But as yuppies, we cannot afford to do that. After all, we are part of this bigger community called the Philippines. That’s why we need to care and make our voices heard in Philippine politics.
Here’s are 4 reasons why we yuppies need to care about Philippine politics:
Yuppies are taxpayers.
If you had a choice, you probably won’t go on that O.T. Besides being a big pain in yous sked, the tax on your O.T. might just make you facepalm in frustration. If you pay taxes, it means that you are helping finance the services being offered by the government. That also means that we, yuppies, can demand good services from the government and its agencies. We should be outraged if these services are not being given in a satisfactory way.
Yuppies are directly affected by public services (or the lack thereof).
Philhealth. SSS. GSIS. MRT. LRT. LRT2. Highways and public infrastructure projects. These are some of the services that are being provided by the government to us, citizens. Some of these affect us on a daily level. If some of these services are not given, then yuppies will suffer.
Just take a look at the kilometers-long queue of people riding the MRT every weekday? Ever heard of the humongous benefits that the Executives of SSS and Philhealth receive? It’s just crazy! Aren’t you mad that the money we are giving the government is being diverted into someone else’s pockets?
Yuppies are directly affected by corruption in govt.
We hear all sorts of confusing things about Napoles and the pork barrel issue–whether it’s PDAF or DAP. And lately, we heard of the 400,000-peso computers purchased by the Dept of Education. Not only that, we also hear about the corruption at the MRT and LRT. The lack of maintenance because of allegations of corruption against former MRT chief Vitangcol. That’s why several months before the MRT-3 accident happened, Jarius Bondoc warned that the MRT-3 is a disaster waiting to happen.
There are serious allegations of corruption in MRT-3 that should be addressed. This is affecting the daily commute of thousands of workers in Metro Manila. And we are losing hours upon hours of productivity by waiting to board the trains for more than an hour every single day!
The MRT-3 transportation problem is just one of the many faces of corruption in government. But is has one of the most immediate impacts in the lives of yuppies in Metro Manila. This is one of the reasons why we need to register our voices and care about politics.
It’s the right thing to do.
We may rant about many things that are not right in the government right now. But at the end of the day, since we are all citizens of the country, we need to make our voices heard and make our presence felt. It’s the right thing to do.
How, then, can we show that we care for our country and its political processes?
Understand the times.
You don’t need to know every single issue that the country is facing. But it pays to understand the times–what are the issues affecting us, what are the problems being faced by the country. Everything is interconnected in our country.
At the very least, you should know about the issues that are affecting you–transportation, taxation, labor, and if you keep at it, you will then start thinking about economics, and how decisions are being made in the country. Of course, since we are in a democracy, you will also need to understand whether our government officials are really representing us and our interests.
It’s not enough to know the issues, you also need to look at underlying causes and issues. What do political pundits and columnists say? What are the issues and factors involved? Who are the players involved and how do they affect each other?
Who is telling the truth?
We even need to hold media outlets accountable. Are Inquirer, Philippine Star, Manila Bulletin, Rappler, GMA, ABS-CBN beholden to a particular political party, business, or personality? I’m not saying they are, but if you analyze their mode of reporting, or the people who run them, you may see some form of biases towards certain individuals or groups.
It pays to be aware of such biases. It makes us thirst more for the truth.
Demand for and initiate change.
We can use social media to tweet and post about our complaints. We can contribute to the analysis and public discourse through forums and blogs. You can even do your own YouTube show!
The point is, you should also engage your friends and relatives about political issues. Careful though. There’s a nice way of doing it. But there’s also an obnoxious way. Don’t be douchebag.
But here’s a warning. It’s easy to become an arm-chair revolutionary–just complain about everything from the comfort of your chair through Twitter, or Facebook, or even YouTube.
Here’s an important question, though. Are you willing to be inconvenienced so we could collectively demand for change? It’s not bad to join protest rallies and sit-ins for issues you feel strongly about. In some cases, the solution may be to take action in your sphere of influence.
Over to you
Are you already engaged in politics? How are you doing it? Can you add to the reasons and ways of doing so in the article above? Share your thoughts in the comments section.