No Reklamo, No Problemo

I’ve just validated from a recent chat with some councilors (and the vice mayor earlier in this administration) that all those FB posts talking about our environment will not be picked up by them or any of our elected officials. If you noticed a problem or something bad happening in our community, they say you need to formalize it with a complaint. Don’t post it on Facebook. A respectful letter of appeal (discussing the problem) does not appear to be a complaint (they will just dismiss it). So if I passed by the mayor’s piggery in Brgy. Pangao, I need to act on the bad smell and the pollution by sending them a complaint. If you’re in my shoes, would you do that? Has somebody from Pangao done that already? No. Why?

Obviously, everyone knows the consequence. But I hear this complaint everyday, as if the people I talked to were just waiting for me to file it on their behalf (and it’s not my obligation to do that). Even if it’s an open book everywhere, our elected officials do not see it as a problem because, as they say, there is no complaint, and they can’t (won’t) do anything about it even if there’s an ordinance. I understand you like to teach us a thing or two about courage, that people should learn to stand up for what is right. But this is the Philippines–people can get themselves in big trouble just by speaking out!

Given the political culture that we have, whether you like it or not, AS ELECTED OFFICIALS, IT HAS BECOME YOUR JOB TO SPEAK OR ACT ON OUR BEHALF. You cannot blame me or the people for not complaining. I’m sure they will not blame me if I don’t complain for them. We see ourselves as powerless, ordinary people (no damn pro-poor theory or system can change that). But expect us to blame you because you got something that we don’t have–WE EMPOWERED YOU WITH OUR VOTES.

You must speak for us.

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