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Young leaders offer fresh perspective on governance

The emergence of young leaders and politicians in our midst are giving us hope in this country.
I had this observation after reading about the policy decisions and pronouncements of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno which had drawn widespread praise and support from the public especially his constituents. For my generation who had lived through martial law and saw how it impacted the country’s political, cultural and social landscape, anything that evokes positive action from elected officials especially those that display a vision of development far removed from traditional, parochial, set-in-their-ways politicians, gives us something to cheer about in our old age.
Except for the two People Power revolutions, the impeachments of two chief justices and an aborted impeachment of a sitting president and an election of the first president from Mindanao among other upheavals, there was little change seen in the country’s political culture and system. That’s because time and again, political machinery had prevailed and we keep recycling trapos who kept fortifying their positions and entrenching their political base to ensure that their families keep political power among themselves.
That’s why the election of Mayor Isko Moreno and Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto are a breath of fresh air that lifts up the spirits amid the prevalent atmosphere of hopelessness and despair felt by a majority of Filipinos. It’s still early coming as it is after the May elections but I dare say there is hope.
I also see that optimism in after talking with Villanueva Mayor Jenny Uy, who is also the president of the Mayor’s League of the Philippines-Misamis Oriental chapter. The 30-year-old Mayor Uy said it was her father, the former vice governor Julio Uy who planted the seed of leadership and sense of public service in her.
Maybe I am a dreamer, said Mayor Uy, a graduate of speech and communication from the University of the Philippines. “I have the support of second term or third term mayors in the province but in the beginning they were observing me to see if I can deliver,” she said. Uy said she tried to mobilize all 23 mayors in the province by setting aside political loyalties and prioritizing their concerns.
“For example in the case of the small town lottery, they asked if they can require the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) to secure a business permit or if they can regulate their operations so they are away from schools and churches,” Uy said.
She said she explained to them that there is a national law governing small town lottery outlets but the PCSO cannot oversee all their franchise holders in the country.  Mayor Uy said it was decided by the mayors to call the PCSO’s attention and address their concerns to them.  Uy said the matter was resolved.  “Everyone was happy.  We can be united in some issues that concerns the public,” Mayor Uy said.
She said her father encouraged her to run for league president, citing his experience as former league president for reference.  Just talking to Mayor Uy and hearing her perspective in governance gives me hope that the country’s young leaders do have some fresh ideas they can offer to the table and they have both the energy and the will to implement them.
Those of us that are of a certain age owe it to ourselves, to them and to future generations of Filipinos to support them.  There is no need for a revolutionary government because the revolution is being led by the current crop of young leaders in our midst (For comments and questions email me at [email protected])


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