You know election season is here. Demolition campaigns are dime a dozen. And as what was expected all along, the government’s pandemic response has been made a big election issue by the opposition.
Of course, it does not help that the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease, the task force in charge of it all, seems to be helping it along with flip-flopping decisions that only confuse the public. The Department of Health for its part has likewise been caught flat-footed with corruption issues that, however, has yet to be proven.
The economy is down. Inflation is running high. Interest rates are seen to go up as Uncle Sam similarly experiences inflation with its record budget deficit, debt levels and trade deficit.
The country’s political temperature is expected to turn even hotter after next month following the registration of candidates for next year’s polls.
With that as backdrop, it’s no wonder that this early, politicians, particularly those with 2022 ambitions, are trying to out-elbow each other for pole positions, making the most out of every opportunity to be seen and heard. The ongoing Senate investigations on the alleged overprice of medical equipment are sadly taking much of lawmakers’ time.
What is even sad is that senators are grandstanding at our expense. Is the ongoing Senate investigation really in aid of legislation or, as some claim, in aid of election? We could never care less.
We’re tired of the endless debates and useless probes that have gotten us nowhere.
Rather than experiment on political structures of uncertain consequences, former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, now considered an elder statesman, has proposed that we revert to the 1935 Constitution, which he said is simpler and safer. It would mean going back to the two-party political system that we had in the past after World War II. It’s a safer and more conservative approach.
The present Senate, according to analysts who agree, is a waste of money. It makes more sense, according to the ageless lawmaker, to have a parliament where the actual government is formed from its ranks.
This was the original structure adopted by the Malolos Congress. The problematic bicameral legislature was just rammed down our throats by the Americans. Although the Second World War gave way to a Commonwealth government, it was reestablished in the 1987 Constitution as a control mechanism for oligarchs and the political elite.
The pandemic has exposed structural weaknesses in our political and economic sectors. There is a need therefore to address these issues if we are to deliver a more effective response to the disruptive nature of the pandemic.
Doing away with the senatorial system, according to Enrile means overhauling and streamlining the bureaucracy to save money for security, for social and economic development, and for our people.
It would also mean no legislature to sit on key legislation put forth by the Cabinet’s economic cluster.
Under a parliamentary system, the Cabinet ministers are also members of parliament and they can introduce legislation that is more attuned to what the country needs.
Under the present system, we’re at the mercy of roughly how many legislators, half of whom, at least, don’t know what their jobs actually are. This is why the 2022 election is crucial for our future and survival. We should elect candidates who present actual platforms with plans of action and not just essaying old motherhood statements.
It’s time to put our critical thinking caps on because the opposition is preying on the public with its victim mentality approach. We should show them that this and their other traditional demolition methods don’t work anymore.