Saturday, January 12, 2008

Character change not charter change

For the nth time, charter change is back in the limelight. This time, the Mindanao problem is being used as an excuse to push for charter change.

Back in December 2006, the House of Representatives changed its rules to push for charter change and the Church took the lead to oppose it. CBCP called for character change before charter change. The howl of protest against charter change made our honorable representatives to shelve their plan.

At a forum in UP, Gov. Panlilio was asked about federalism. His response was "Our problem is not the form of government, but values and disvalues.” In his speech at the Ateneo de Manila University, he said, "Good citizenship must take root until following the law, paying taxes honestly, respecting the environment and upholding one's dignity shall become second nature to every person." Who is heeding the call?

Archbishop Lagdameo made the news when he called for
moral revolution in his blog. Except for the news agencies being the head of CBCP, nobody really took his call seriously.

Again, we hear the noise of charter change. I myself sincerly believe that nothing will really change even if we change our constitution unless we change collectively first as a people. The problem is, who will initiate the character change?

The politicians, having no credibility, cannot be part of any campaign for character change, much more be its initiator. We cannot expect the trapos to change in their ways. They are too inebriated by wealth and power that they hang on to it by whatever means.

The Church is an ideal leader for character change but unfortunately it has failed miserably. If the people only practiced the teachings of their religion, then we won't be where we are now. But we are. The Church has become merely a crisis manager, but not a change instigator.

So now, we only have ourselves to push for that character change or moral revolution. Unfortunately, even when a large chunk of our population believe that we as a people have our own faults, nobody, no group takes the cause of good citizenship seriously. This is not because they dont believe in it. It is simply because they don't know how.

What we do is what we know how to do, and that is to form groups, movements, alliances, political parties, federations, unions, associations, etc. That is where we are good at. But none of these groups ever made a dent, an impact because not one truly captured the imagination of our people. Not even Gawad Kalinga. Gawad Kalinga captured the imagination of overseas Filipinos but not the locally based Filipinos.

This is a battle for the hearts and minds of our people. If we want them to heed our call for character change, we need first to inspire them, get their attention and capture their imagination. We can start by inspiring patriotism. Then we remind them of their civic duties namely (1) Knowing the rules and following them (2) Falling in line and waiting for their turn (3) Keeping on'es word and coming on time. Then the call for character change will go on a higher level and so on. Character change will not happen overnight. But it will never happen if we don't do something about it. The Church is unable to inspire our people. So we only have us to inspire ourselves.

1 comment:

Ishmael Ahab said...

Charter Change will never solve most of the problems in the kind of nation that we have now. Governments, be it communistic, democratic, autocratic, monarchy will never be a good government if its citizens are apathetic and take the whole nation for granted.

Yes, it is right to point to corruption of our leaders that placed us to the situation that we are into right now. But our leaders were not the only ones who are at fault. All of us are at fault. We just live our own lives. Trapped in our own worlds. We live in illusions which sustained by the media.

Jose Rizal is right and will always be when he said that hope of Nation lies in the youth. But where are the members of the youth? They were enamored by the wonders of the First world countries...trying to live the lives of emulated by our local artistas.

We are doomed.