Commentary: Jobs and the quest for presidency
By Bong Pedalino
Maasin City (4 February) -- A number of presidential wannabees, such as a lady and some gentlemen, had declared open their dreams and desires to become the next President of the Republic of the Philippines.
They were neither new faces nor new names in the lively, fiesta-like presidential derby, for most of them wore a familiar been-there-done-that thing already in the glitzy glamour of Philippine politics.
Except for one, though, who was suddenly tossed up, rather reluctantly, in the unlikely storm that is not fit for his discipline, a challenge that was politely turned down shortly after it was floated.
But for how long Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno can hold on resisting the tempting offers to be the country's top leader -- that is the question.
At a lingering period of time when the headlines keep screaming about job losses in the murky waters of the global financial shakeup, talks on reaching the helm of power smack of anachronism, that is, an error in the order of time, or of priorities.
What should have busied our honorables more these days is to look for ways and means on how to put sense in a stimulus package meant to perk up the country's economy, a package that is already hotly contested even before such a measure can actually take off.
More to the point, the anticipated coming home in droves of our modern-day heroes, our overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), whose welfare and well-being are directly affected once they are laid-off, must be cushioned with whatever it takes for a person to preserve body and soul together, or at least to keep these two intact.
Then next month, graduation time, the problem on unemployment would surely be compounded, with thousands of fresh college graduates cascading as new entrants into the workforce, seeking and searching livelihood here and there, inside and outside the country.
Somehow, when one is seriously pre-occupied with these urgent considerations at hand, will there be time left for thoughts on running for President next year?
Laying down a conducive environment now for a productive job creation in the years ahead, or consolidating political machinery this early for the big day next year.
The choice is left for the many presidential hopefuls to consider. Anyway, all of them is rooting to be there in order to be of service to the people, including helping the citizenry cope up with the hard times.
LOCAL FRONT: Four municipal Police stations and the Philippine National Police (PNP) provincial command were the recipients last week of brand new service vehicles. Gov. Damian Mercado himself personally turned over the "new wheels" to the Mayors of Silago, Hinunangan, San Juan, Macrohon, and to P/SSUPT. Nilo Donayre, the PNP Provincial Director. With the heightened war against prohibited drugs led by President Arroyo herself, here's hoping the new mobility can greatly help in the basic police work of law enforcement and timely arrests of suspected illegal drug pushers. Alright, Sirs?
ODDLY YOURS: Left-handed people the world over have every reason to rejoice with the ascension of Barack Obama as US President. This is because Obama was left-handed, too, a fact revealed when he signed an official document, his first executive order, using the left hand. "I'm a lefty. Get used to it," Obama was quoted as saying after affixing his signature. But then, the next US President was destined to be a lefty, for had MacCain won, he, too, was a lefty. Left-handers, also known as southpaw, comprise only one in ten of the overall US population, yet they have cornered a large pie in the world of politics, sports, and the arts. Before Obama, five other US Presidents were southpaws -- Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan (who can write with both left and right hand), George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and James Garfield in 1881. On the other side of the fence, the US' professed public enemy number one, Al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, was also a lefty. (PIA-Southern Leyte) [top]