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Social contract

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The Barangay & Sangguniang Kabataan Elections in the country are over, with the electorate giving a fresh mandate to new officials in 42,027 barangays across 82 provinces nationwide.

The barangay is the smallest unit of government, the frontliner of democracy. It is at the barangay level that  the public sees governance in a direct fashion, where citizens directly experience public service that actually impact their daily lives.

After gaining the trust of their constituents, the newly-elected barangay officials now face the challenge of diligently performing their mandated duties, and paying strict attention to their responsibilities

By casting their votes during the elections, the people entrusted their rights to their elected officials, expecting that they shall receive the benefits they bargained for— rights that are shared reciprocally, thus, coining the term ‘social contract’.

It is an agreement between the ruled, or between the rulers and the ruled, defining the rights and duties of each, giving rise to a form for social contract.

There is a need for a new social contract as fundamental as reiterating that the people are the only source of government power, that the people can withhold granting such power to the government because they have the ability to do so.

To what extent should the people exercise their individual rights as to constitute popular sovereignty to give a new mandate to their elected officials?

The role of government in protecting the people and in promoting their well-being is essential. If government, for any reason, fails to uphold the rule of law, and frustrates the cause of truth and justice, freedom and equality, love and peace, the people can exercise their power within the bounds of the law to ensure that our ideals and aspirations in the Philippine Constitution are always upheld.

In an environment of too much disinformation, it is necessary to define the rights and obligations of Filipinos in seeking the truth as the basis of both state policy and action, and their own defense against that which is the opposite of truth.

Digitalization  ought to lead to a rethink of social obligations, and the government’s role in delivering public goods.

Moreover, corruption involving public money has become an enduring culture, more pronounced even in the time of pandemic, or through a spate of natural calamities.

The main issue during elections remains about corruption and poor governance, and  as of now, there is  hardly any talk of concrete plans when elected to office.

On hindsight, do the results of the elections truly reflect the will of the people?

Critics argue that the votes cast reflected ignorance, self interest, or sheer indifference  to the disadvantage of the common good.

Did vote-buying once again thwart the true voice of the people?

President Marcos Jr. delivered a video message in which he extended his felicitations to the newly-elected and re-elected BSK officials, with a “reminder”: “This is a new opportunity to serve the Filipinos and our country with all our heart, and more than our abilities. Let’s be honest at all times. Let’s always prioritize the welfare of the people because they are the reason why we want to serve the nation.”

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Author’s email: [email protected]

 

 

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