Hire Experts | Investigator’s opinion
I want to focus on the one critical thing the next president should do: hire for skill and experience, and character. Nothing else.
It’s time to break the political trap of paying back favors, bringing in family and friends and sycophants, seeking loyalty as a key requirement. If you hire professionals, loyalty will follow.
Singapore did, and look at where Singapore is today. The Philippines didn’t, and look at where the Philippines is today. In 2020, we had a gross national income per capita of $ 3,430 compared to $ 54,920 in Singapore. In the 1960s, we were almost the same. The difference is that Singapore’s leader Lee Kuan Yew brought in people who knew what they were doing.
Filipinos would surely like to earn P 230,000 per month. Yes, it’s true. Monthly, not yearly. Well, they don’t, because we’ve had the wrong leaders. Oh, there are other reasons as well, but this one is definitely the key. You are not asking a lawyer to perform brain surgery. You also don’t ask a neurosurgeon to defend you in court. Yet time and again our Presidents have done just that: They have hired (hopefully) talented people in their profession for a position where they are not.
Where is the meaning in that?
As for character, I hardly think I need to explain this one. We’ve had enough of the charlatans and crooks in the various cabinets over the years to find out what we don’t want. It goes without saying that people of good character and honesty should be the only ones appointed. The temptations once someone is in power can be too overwhelming for someone who is not very ethical. It doesn’t necessarily mean people who are deeply religious. I think we have seen enough examples of church thieves to know that this is not a sufficient test. Hell must be full of religious traps. There are plenty of honest atheists around.
It would also help choose people who subscribe to the same basic policies and philosophy of the president. Trying to get those from another denomination into government in an attempt to achieve unity does not work, as Cory Aquino and President Duterte learned when they tried to bring in the left. You must have a united team with a common goal and ideals.
In Australia, which has a much more sensible parliamentary system, heads of departments are a career cadre (called a secretary, just to confuse you). He or she is fully in charge of all day-to-day service functions and, having grown up in it, knows it well. In some cases, the manager is a new employee, but has been selected to have the necessary expertise and experience. It is therefore the head of the department who heads the department, not the minister. He or she reports to a Minister (our Secretary) who is an elected politician who has been chosen by the Prime Minister because he / she has the necessary experience / capacity. The role of the minister is only to be the link with the parliament, bringing the administration and the legislature closer together so that the minister can negotiate the department’s budget and the necessary legislative changes.
On that note, the next president should really make changes to our poorly constructed Constitution. The first change should be a move to a parliamentary system, where knowledgeable people, ministers, elect the leader of the country and can change it for poor performance. Popularity plays little role in the selection. Having lived under both countries, I can assure you that this is a much better system. Look at what is happening in America today, with its democracy even threatened by a former president. With rare exceptions, autocracies are run by presidents, not prime ministers.
The other major change in the Constitution would be to completely remove economic restrictions. Let a law that can adapt to the times introduce all the necessary controls. President Duterte tried unsuccessfully to change the Constitution. I would like to suggest that the economic restrictions be dealt with separately by a joint and simultaneous resolution of the two Houses, so that the matter can be settled quickly in a people’s plebiscite.
Today we live in a highly technical world. The one who becomes more and more so, quickly. We need experts to negotiate successfully, not sycophants.
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