Template of criteria for choosing governors and mayors
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty Josephus Jimenez (The Freeman) - January 20, 2019 - 12:00am

I have been asked to speak in various local government fora, as well as parish pastoral councils on electoral participation, on guidelines in choosing the best candidates for governors and mayors. I have a template which I call the Five C's in Public Governance: Competence, Character, Compassion, Concentration, and Communication. Candidates should be graded based on these criteria, and the choices should not be dictated by political partisanship, pressures, influence-peddling, or vote-buying.

Thus, there is a need among civic organizations like the Rotary, Jaycees, Lions, Knights of Columbus, as well peoples' organizations and non-aligned NGOs to sponsor a series of peoples' assemblies and symposia and tackle this topic. The first C is Competence, which essentially means those who run for governor and mayors should have enough knowledge on the basic elements of the Philippine government. The candidate must master the Local Government Code and the Administrative Code, with a basic knowledge of the Penal Code, Civil Code, and Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. The candidate need not be a lawyer but a lawyer or Law graduate will have a distinct advantage.

Competence also means enough skills and knowledge in decision-making, planning, budgeting, and coordinating. He must have enough sense to anticipate, project potential opportunities and problems, and strategize to be able to maximize positive results and prevent errors and wastage. The candidate must be good in problem analysis and problem solving.

Character, the second C, may be even more important than competence. I know of a very competent governor who was involved in too many shady deals and charged before the Ombudsman with serious graft cases. His personal life and marriage is in disarray, the transactions entered into were highly questionable. Yet, this person is fond of filing cases against the opponent. There is a Tagalog saying “Ang magnanakaw ay galit sa ibang gustong magnakaw.” Thus, competence will just be used to defraud the government and cheat the people. I urge voters not to trust this kind of candidate who loves to pontificate on good governance, but is the pot calling the kettle black.

The third C is Compassion, the heart to serve and help the people, to develop them and enhance their quality of life. Trapos would like the people to remain dependent on them, they do not want the people to think, they just want to make the people poor, ignorant, and marginalized so that they can exploit and oppress them. The fourth C is Concentration. How can a governor or mayor govern if the focus is on a personal or private business or profession? There will be conflicts of interest and of time. The last C is Communication. The candidate must be an effective communicator, who listens well and talks persuasively, and must be able to make people understand, and inspire them by deeds, not just by words.

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