MAPping the Future

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What Each Filipino Can Do to Help Build Dream Philippines

written by Mr. REX C. DRILON II - April 15, 2024

(First of two parts)

In continuation of my article last Jan. 15 and Feb. 26, the 28 strategic objectives that will help make Dream Philippines 2046 happen are enumerated here, together with some suggestions on how each Filipino can contribute.

1. A virtues-based society

It is in the family that values are formed. If Filipino parents make conscious efforts to form the values (such as truth, justice, patriotism, integrity and honesty, and responsible citizenship) of their children, we have a good chance at Dream Philippines 2046.

2. Deep spiritual, ethical, and moral foundation

The school and the church are where the values formed at home are strengthened and reinforced. Values, like ethical behavior, fairness, accountability, transparency, and servant-leadership, can be learned.

3. Human rights, religious freedom, and the spirit of enterprise

Filipinos can stand on the sidelines looking at the parade go by. Or they can help build Dream Philippines by being vigilant watchdogs and warriors in promoting and defending human rights and the dignity of the human person, freedom of worship, freedom of speech, and the spirit of enterprise whether in government, business, or civil society. This also includes the fight against corruption and mis/mal/disinformation.

4. Deep sense of patriotism

The Filipino should have a strong sense of love of country, civic duty, and concern for the common good driven by a genuine pride of the Philippine history and heritage.

5. Strong family institution /quality of life

Strengthening the family will require providing for the integral development of all its members — from maternal health to infant nutrition, education, meaningful employment, and social security.

6. Preservation of rich cultural heritage

One way an ordinary Filipino can help in promoting and preserving our rich cultural heritage is by being a patron of Philippine arts and culture, supporting productions in the visual and performing arts, and taking care of our rich tourism resources with world-class, personalized, and hospitable tourism personnel.

7. Strengthened, integrated and harmonized political systems

The challenge to Filipino governors (government leaders) is how to build ethical, strong, professionalized, and accountable institutions in their respective spheres of influence (government agencies, local government units, Senate, Congress) with the use of good governance principles and practices.

The governed also have a role to play in making sure that the political institutions become strong by being vigilant about national and local issues, by contributing actively in national dialogues and fora that affect the political institutions, and by influencing their own organizations to raise national issues, especially those that threaten the integrity and strength of political institutions.

8. Mature electoral process and civic consciousness

The governed can do their share by exercising their right to vote, voting wisely and making sure that the vote is counted. They should vote for leaders who are honest, not corrupt, service-oriented, and with a strong sense of country and community. The Filipino governor (whether in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government) can ensure the achievement of Dream Philippines 2046 with principles-based governance, servant leadership, competence, dedication, and a strong sense of country. The governors must ensure that the electoral process is kept credible, honest and transparent with the use of appropriate and up-to-date technology, systems, and processes.

9. Stable national peace and security

While this is primarily the role and accountability of the government, Filipino citizens can help ensure peace and security in the areas where they live, work, play, study by participating actively in the governance of their communities — whether homeowners associations, barangays, towns and cities and provinces.

The uniformed services (military, police) can help ensure national peace and security by being faithful to their transformation road maps using the Performance Governance System that they have put in place for some time now.

10. Universal health care

Again, this is primarily a government accountability and responsibility but Filipinos can help achieve this objective by being and staying healthy with regular exercise, proper nutrition, and avoidance of toxic substances beyond moderate levels (e.g., alcohol). Healthy Filipinos will not strain government resources allotted for healthcare.

11. Continuing education for all

All Filipinos must aspire for continuing education for life. But it starts with each family ensuring that the children, especially the younger ones, are properly nourished to avoid malnutrition, stunting, and wasting. Education is the great equalizer, so all parents must strive to send their children to school long enough to learn skills, knowledge, and habits for a productive life.

12. Peaceful, safe and secure communities

A long-time dream is for the government to transform the security and safety services sector (military, police, fire, penal, and the corresponding local government public safety units) into agencies that are respected, trusted, and loved by the people who feel safe and secure. The Filipinos can contribute by actively supporting these agencies as civilian partners and as the primary source of stakeholders’ feedback as to how they are performing. Indifference can only lead to unsafe, unsecured and unpeaceful communities.

13. Promotion of STEM and dual vocational training with strong values components

Crucial to this strategic objective is the quality of the teachers. There is a need to select, prepare, train and retrain, develop and retain teachers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and communications as well as who can teach civics, good manners and right conduct and values formation. Parents must constantly monitor the progress of their children in school, inculcate good study habits, model and reinforce the values that the schools teach and help the children decide on a career to pursue.

There is nothing more tragic than a student in a farming town being sent to college to take up courses that have no “practical” applications to their lives. After graduation, if one cannot find a job in the city, he or she invariably returns to the town to be a farmer, an untrained, incompetent farmer. With a good dual training program, instead of pursuing a college degree that does not assure employment, the student is trained as a world-class farmer who is sorely needed in the hometown. The country wins; the farming community wins; the family wins and the student wins.

14. Protection, conservation and judicious development of marine resources

While the government is primarily responsible for developing and implementing policies covering maritime spaces and resources in a sustainable manner, the citizens can contribute by being vigilant against destructive fishing (e.g., dynamites). They must respect and protect sanctuaries, diversity resources and engage in entrepreneurial fisheries ventures with the use of modern aquatic technologies (like fish cages) and more efficient distribution channels.

15. Responsible development of mountain and mineral resources

The responsibility to ensure the sustainable development of mountain and mineral resources belongs primarily to the government. The citizens can get involved by organizing and monitoring the compliance of mining and extractive industry companies to regulatory standards of sustainability and responsible mining. The citizen group that can best do this would be the corps of executives, managers, supervisors, and workers in the industry.

(To be concluded)

The author is governor-in-charge of the Management Association of the Philippines Cluster on ESG and Shared Prosperity, and vice chair of the Center for Excellence in Governance. Feedback at and