Need for speed

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By Atty. Taipan Millan

One Small Voice

Thursday, March 20, 2014

TIME flies.

In a few months, the term of office of the President would be two-thirds finished. This means that four years have passed since he assumed office. This means that only two years remain before he retires from his job without any chance of extension. This means that his time is going to be up very soon.

Hence, before his time runs out, he must take a pause and spend a moment to reflect on what the narrative of his legacy will sound and look.


Thus, before it’s all over, he must organize his homestretch team, he must prioritize his realistic goals and doable objectives, and he must systematize his delivery processes and implementation procedures.

There is just no other way.

First, the President must do a conscience review of his cabinet and other key officials, especially in departments or agencies that manage or supervise his remaining key result areas.

This study of past accomplishment must include, not just the track record in terms of performance of functions but also, integrity and the perception of integrity. One may have done well and good, if such a thing ever happened, but one may also be facing credible, substantiated and alarming charges of graft and corruption, which is not very uncommon these days.

As it has been said over and over again, good is not good where better is expected. Therefore, especially in the fields that not only affect or impact but also harm or hurt the lives and livelihoods of people, a changing of the guards must be put in place if somebody else can do a better job than the present occupant.

Another crucial point to ponder on is that all those who are planning to run in the next election, or have no plans to do so but will most likely be persuaded to do so, shall also make the cut. Otherwise, there will be accusations that they used their office for political gains, and were allowed to do so by the appointing authority.

Second, the President must no longer try to do everything. He just has to do something.

Understandably, there will be a burning desire to try to fulfill each and every campaign promise. But this is going to be a case of “too little, too late”. There is just no more time to run after commitments whose chances have already gone away.

All that needs to be done now are those that can still be accomplished, or at least begun, given the very limited time. There is no more hope for short-term spurs, sparks, and sparkles. There can only be long-term, visionary and inter-generational building of virtues, values and institutions.

Especially because the next election is a presidential election, this means that the last one-thirds of the present administration will all be about the next presidential election. This period will start in the next few months. Goodbye, good governance. Hello, political circus.

Third, the President must critically slice and dice the reasons why programs, projects and initiatives either failed to grow wings or fell in their flights. Yes, way too many have not taken off. Yes, way too many have totally crashed.

The addiction to the fight against graft and corruption has really gone above overzealousness and went beyond overacting. This is not to say that safeguards are bad. This is to say that inaction, indecisiveness and indefiniteness are far worse.

There is just no sense of urgency. Everybody is like drifting without any waves, sailing without any wind and wandering without any direction. Everything is like moving but not going anywhere if at all there is any movement.

Endless blame has got to be replaced by effective results. Empty rhetoric has got to be replaced by positive action. Meaningless figures have got to be replaced by widespread upliftment.

The President must not lose by default for his defeat will be that of the country and of the people. Time is of the essence. There is a need for speed.


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Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 21, 2014.


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