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Change is possible

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Melito Salazar Jr.

Melito S. Salazar Jr.

Often times one sees problems remaining unattended in the organization – sales declining as products and services become uncompetitive, expenses balloon as non-essentials are funded while research and development are set aside and key staff leave as meritocracy is replaced by personal relationships. It will not be long before the market delivers its verdict – the enterprise is out of business.

What happens to businesses can also happen to a country. As poverty levels remain at 30% for decades, malnutrition beginning with the very young stunting both mental and physical growth continues, food security threatened by insufficient agricultural production which is further wasted by lack of post harvest facilities and inadequate farm-to-market roads and bridges and a ruling elite unwilling to give up privileges and power even as they are encircled by the urban and rural poor, one is tempted to give up and leave for greener pastures. The out- flow of the best and the brightest at all levels of society robs the country of vital human resources that could have been utilized to solve the festering problems.

Yet change is possible. We see this in communities where NGOs are leading the transformation, beginning with people empowerment and community involvement. The tragedy is that at times they are tagged as “enemies of the state” and persecuted by local warlords and their minions. We see this in courageous public servants who expose the wrongs even as their bravery is rewarded by being “frozen.” We see this in judges who will never rise in the hierarchy as they render judgement contrary to the dictates of those in power. We see this in thousands of bureaucrats who do their jobs well without asking for anything in return from the public.

What needs to be done is to increase this core of change makers, link them up to become a movement for change and contaminate those around them with both commitment and passion for and to change. One starts by sharing the vision of what change can bring – peace, prosperity and progress; the return of OFWs to families and homes as jobs with competitive wages are provided within the country; improved infrastructure as corruption is eliminated; public servants especially those in elective positions who are true servants of the people. This is followed by continuously publicizing the faults of the leaders who impede change as well as the unsolved problems that afflict the public and how an organized community can bring about change.

Communities with their meager resources can still bring changes for the better. These initiatives should be shared in both mass media and social media with this challenge – if we can do this, why can government not do likewise given its budget in the trillions? The communities can also launch a name and shame campaign – post on social media the names of government officials and their palatial mansions, garages with luxury vehicles, etc. Ostracize these officials by not inviting them to be baptismal or wedding sponsors and ignore them during public functions. As Christmas approaches, agree not to ask for sponsorships from perceived corrupt politicians and return gifts – calendars, T-shirts, etc. remaining an ethical community.

The greatest challenge though is for change to happen around us, we too must change. I believe this change is possible. Let us start now.

melito.jr@gmail.com

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