By Gerry Salapuddin
The one term provision for President of the Republic in the Cory Aquino commissioned constitution is an antithesis for sustainable development. To a certain extent, it is a vindictive constitution, notwithstanding the negative implications it carry with it. Even the most hardworking President like President Rody R. Duterte, fondly called as “Digong” by friends and supporters, can only do so much within 6 years. Fortunately for him, the Filipinos has everything to thank him, for he has outpaced all his predecessors as far as performance and accomplishments, especially in infrastructures, pursuant to its “BUILD, BUILD, BUILD” Flagship Program.
If we look around our immediate neighbors in Southeast Asia and Asia generally, like Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, China, as well as in the Middle East Arab region, they prosper so much compared to other countries because of their long serving visionary leaders that catapulted their respective countries to their current economic tiger status and high standard of living.
What we do not have in the Philippines is continuity and sustainability due to the constraint in the Cory commissioned Constitution that only provided for one term for the President of the Republic. Since no President wants to stand under the shadow of his/her predecessor, a one term President tries to custom-fit all the programs of his administration in his image and in his name by discontinuing even the good and beneficial programs of his predecessors.
As I observed, most if not all, of the successors of President Ferdinand E. Marcos were more focused in undoing what he did for the country, including the many good things the Marcoses put up like the creation of relevant government corporations so that the state will not be at the mercy of the unscrupulous and greedy oligarchs, instead of strenthening the relevant state owned and controlled corporations, they sold and privatized it all, maybe because they reap huge profits from it.
The next President must be able to reestablish the glory of government enterprises, address the nagging power shortage throughout the ciuntry, communist insurgency, poverty and the full development of Mindanao in all aspects. Noticeably, most of the mega infrastructures of the Duterte administration are in Luzon and some in Visayas, leaving Mindanao wondering why it is left out? The much touted Mindanao Railway System had not still taken off at all!
A Duterte-Duterte tandem and administration means stability, continuity, peace and prosperity and hopefully, a time for Mindanao to truly rise and shine as the Southern Frontier of the Philippines! PMT