People’s Governance, Not Arroyo’s Charter Change

People’s Governance

A change from presidential to parliamentary in the current political context therefore would not truly address the issue of political corruption. In fact, in a ruthlessly corrupt system, including the legislative branch of government, a parliamentary system could lead to a long-standing authoritarian rule fed by corruption of the ruling alliance – a phenomenon that has already made itself felt in the House of Representatives since the 1990s.

Fighting corruption in the Philippines should go beyond simply devising and honing mechanisms to weed out and punish corrupt officials. Ensuring that genuine democratic governance is exercised in various government projects and activities requires the organization of public power that is participatory and truly democratic, and thus is genuinely transparent, accountable and preventive of corruption. This is what any genuine charter change should focus on. This is what the current charade of charter change pushed by Arroyo and De Venecia’s Lakas is not all concerned about.

Scandals of corrupt, elite politics under a system of patronage that characterizes the Philippine political system are now a daily phenomenon, and right-minded Filipinos want to do something to stop this problem. “People power” is a more militant form and now a more important form of people’s governance, where people undertake collective militant action to challenge governance processes in the country and build, from the bottom, true democratic action.

Participation means that people should become the decision-makers in public policy. It requires building into the system key features such as participation, transparency, accountability and equity. This way, the views of the masses are actively solicited through decision-making processes that ensure their genuine participation.

Transparency and accountability take on a deeper meaning in a true people’s governance. People are provided access and knowledge of issues and concerns in order to ensure their full participation in decision-making. Accountability also goes beyond concepts of being subject to accountability mechanisms, but permeates the whole concept and operation of public office and the exercise of public power. Thus, representatives and officials would actively seek out consultation and participation of the people in the exercise of their political functions.

People’s governance and the internalization of its key features into government are the only way that deep-seated political corruption in the country can be addressed. Ibon Features/Posted by (

Share This Post