BLIND SPOT: Solicitation Correlation

Certificates have all been sent. The filing rush is through. But I still have one wish to make; a special one for you, solicitations, darling. It’s not a part; that’s true. But they can dream; and in their dreams, they’re soliciting from you. (hehe)

I overheard this from two passengers while riding behind the driver on a tricycle.

Passenger 1: Naghagad ka tabang ki… ta kandidato bagang kagawad.

Passenger 2: Nagduman ako. Mayo daa siyang kwarta.

Passenger 1: Nagkandidato siya; mayo siyang kwarta. Dai siya kayan manggana.

Wait; wait a minute. Something is wrong here. May I invite you in a dissection in the psychology of the Filipino voter.

The candidate is an ever flowing fountain of financial support. Once a personality signifies intent to run for public office, whether before or after filing of certificate of candidacy, he or she has painted a target on himself or herself for individuals or groups bearing solicitation letters. People seem to perceive prospective candidates as philantrophists who would extend maximum financial support to any cause; sort of like a John D. Rockefeller. It doesn’t matter to which the support would go. It could be personal needs such as hospital expenses, tuition fees, burial expenses, employment, transport fare to a distant province, or articles like wheelchairs, personal computers, sports equipment, etc. Organizations like people’s organizations, parents and teacher associations, faculty clubs, basketball teams, youth organizations, heck even religious organizations or whatever assemblage of associations there are would be crowding candidates’ offices bearing correspondences requesting support for jerseys, snacks, musical instruments, furniture, computers, fare for educational tours, construction of buildings or whatever; the variation of requests take a wide range. Regardless of employment, engagement in any business enterprise or whatever financial capability, the candidate is perceived to be a surefire source of support in the form of crashing cash. It doesn’t matter what his background is, he or she has to have money. It doesn’t matter if this request is even relevant to his or her advocacy or platform, it is expected that he or she would give a hundred percent support. It doesn’t matter if the subject of request is relevant or necessary or appropriate, it is highly anticipated that the finances will be granted. Personal background and principles of economics seem to dissipate in dire need for some dole-outs. It does not matter if the candidate is running for a legislative position which does not have anything to do with disbursing financial aid; and even if he were running for executive position, it still

does not make any sense. But despite that, no matter what; a candidate has to have cash, and much of it.

A candidate who dispenses much support is the one who deserves support. Now, here’s how it works. Here’s the mechanics. Candidate gives money to voters soliciting it.

Voters support candidate by voting and helping in the campaign. I’m not too sure what happens with platform of government. I’m also not sure about what happens with candidates’ stands on issues. I’m not even sure if it is important, or to what extent it has been important. I guess, for the voter it just complicates matters. The whole game is simple. He/she helps us. We help him/her. It’s mutualism in the ecosystem. What could be wrong with that. It doesn’t matter if candidate is running for councilor, vice mayor, mayor, provincial board member, vice governor, governor, congressman, senator. The rule applies across the board. Along with this erosion is the disregard for the qualifications for the position, e.g. administration for executive positions, legal knowledge on legislative positions and the like. Candidate supports voters. He/she gets voters’ support. Come on. What’s wrong with that. It’s simple karmic law of nature. How could that be so wrong?

I would like to believe that there has been a considerable improvement in recent years. However, these only reveal that a substantial population of the Filipino voting citizenry has a low comprehension of government and governance. Voters do not seem to understand the functions, duties and responsibilities of elected officials; that councilors and congressmen are legislators – lawmakers, that vice mayors and vice governors are council presiders, that mayors and governors are administrators and all are not patrons for projects or donors for desires. There is also a prevailing misunderstanding on roles of agencies such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Offfice, Commission on Higher Education, among others. Orientation has to be made of the existence and availability of access to non-government agencies, the aims of which are to give support of various sorts. The option of holding fundraisers could also be explored. But then, why bother, when the candidate is

around the corner?

“You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth,”

Deuteronomy 8:18