By Neneng Espiritu Babanto
MAY 2013 midterm election is over. Winners of both majority and minority parties savor the moment and celebrate. But when honeymoon is over our public servants will roll up their sleeves and lay out a new vision of improving the lives of their constituents, families and their community in particular. It’s the promise made and needed to be fulfilled. Legislators will convene and write a bill and pass a law. Debates are delivered and considered. In the end collaboration to find a solution is the key.
Discussions may come up on why Philippines including Camiguin Province remain unchanged with regards to poverty line as reported by National Statistics Office in July 2012. The report points out that during the first semester of 2012, a Filipino family of five needed PhP 5,458 to meet basic food needs every month and PhP 7,821 to stay above the poverty threshold (basic food and non-food needs) every month. Family of five in Camiguin needs PhP 9,290 to stay above the poverty threshold.
Throwing away questions can be helpful: How do we find the solution of raising the poor into the middle class family? How can we stop the brain drain? How can we provide jobs to the new college graduates? How can we provide incentives to let the graduates stay in our community? How do we empower our women and earn something at home? How can we assist and give hope to our local farmers, the backbone of the nation? How can we assist budding and young entrepreneur create a new business? How can we provide a low interest microloan to barbers and hairdressers who would like to start a business? How can we help our fishermen and fish vendors earn more so that they can send their children to school?
“Give man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime,” a proverb comes to mind.
The bottom line is that the desire to become a public servant has to come from the heart. Not all can be a public servant. It is a gift. It is a God-given talent. It is a sacred calling. It should be used for a good cause; that is, to improve the life of a common man and help repair the world. Political power can only be a fulfilling job if there is compassion, humility, and love to serve the people of God.