QUEZON City, June 17, 2014—In the light of the scandals and problems racking the Philippine political system, the archbishop of Manila expresses optimism that good governance is still possible.
“Institutional communitarian governance is man-made which means that man can also change it…We cannot excuse a bad system just because it has always been so…It has to change for the better,” Luís Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle said.
In a forum hosted by the Santuario de San Vicente Parish in the Novaliches diocese Saturday, June 14, and attended by hundreds of good governance advocates, lay leaders, and parish workers, he noted that Filipinos can change the way their country is run.
According to Tagle, Filipinos have to create a culture of good governance which will be second nature to everyone.
To do this, the prelate cited three qualities which he said individual citizens and institutions, including the local church, must possess.
He explained, “Those in positions of responsibility must be competent. Ours must be a system of what you know and can, not of whom you know…a system of qualifications, not connections.”
The cardinal lamented that often those most qualified for an office do not get it because another applicant who “knows someone inside” has already taken it in spite of poor credentials.
He pointed out that people in authority should practice professionalism and respect for policies and procedures.
“There’s no place here for bending the rules to give in to a friend’s request,” he explained.
Service for the common good and love for country, the prelate stressed, should propel rulers into action, not self-interest.
“They should not be ashamed of being Filipinos…They should at all times have in mind the good of every Filipino,” he said. (Raymond A. Sebastián with reports from Mark Lloyd Ranque)