Bacolod needs visionary leaders-A A +A
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
THEY are people who have an eye on the horizon and beyond it.
They are people who know exactly what they want for their people and community even if the present conditions they live and work in seem to be far from what their vision.
They are people who work in the present, but live in never ending hope for a brighter and better future.
Visionary leaders have the ability to see better settlement, good jobs and more services for the “squatters”; more alternative opportunities for the unemployed and underemployed; security of land tenure, higher productivity and better prices for products of farmers and farm workers amid widespread landlessness.
They foresee a business boom in vacant land and poor municipality; harmony and prosperity in conflict situations; they meet casual acquaintances and anticipate future partnerships.
Visionary leaders are also not satisfied with the status quo. They know exactly what’s wrong with it and what to do to change and transform it.
Present officials in Bacolod and the province could hardly pass these hallmarks of a visionary leader because they are too enmeshed in the day to day, moment to moment life of present governance, and spark of the moment calls, that they hardly matter in people’s lives.
They have not gone beyond making meaningless exhortations and passing short term resolutions and ordinances with equivocal meanings; tax collections; delivery of token social services; debt spending; seasonal repairs and improvements of infrastructures;
Saving “projects surplus” and forgetting those mired in poverty and hunger; giving alms and making mendicants; building patronage systems and political prostitution of barangay officials and the so called constituents.
Bacolod development road map is still left in the cold; that one with a balanced agriculture-industrial and service sectors, people-oriented, job-generation, capital surplus-driven development –-- not consumer-led and debt-driven development.
Why this is not done? Our city officials are of the moment to moment officials, not leaders of the future. They know what to do with the present, and stay just there, beating around the bush.
They have mastered the link from one election period to another and how to survive in between but they have failed to see the correlation between growth with trickle effect to the grassroots and development that empower and transform people’s quality of life, and the correlation between life and death of people, society and their cultural heritage.
An adage says, “Anyone can steer the ship, but it takes a true visionary leader to chart the course.”
Prophets of the Old Testament and Jesus Christ in the New Testament are classic examples of visionary leaders.
They were not only interested in the issues, concerns and struggles in their times; they were passionately dedicated to the promise of the Kingdom and the life in eternity.
They died for their vision; they became martyrs for the Kingdom; they lived as servants of all not the greatest of all.
Fortunately, Bacolod is not dearth of visionary leaders. In fact, we have quite a number of them who have already proven their worth but were stunted by personal circumstances and political pressures from the ruling system.
Among the few I know are Marine Engineer Auke Idzenga of AIDFI, businessman and GK advocate Bobby Magalona, Congressman Doctor Anthony Golez, Dr. Violeta Gonzaga, Councilor Archie Baribar, former Congressman Monico Puentevella, artist Nunelucio Alvarado and former Gov. Lito Coscolluela.
Of course, who can ignore Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra, teacher-leader Gualbing Dajao, former councilor and broadcaster Alex Paglomutan, Bayan Muna Neri Colmenares, Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson, retired Judge Demosthenes Magallanes, NGO leader and lawyer Ben Ramos and the ever resilient urban poor leader Tatay Juaning?
I know there are more. But the outstanding mark of these leaders is that they can deal with the things as they are because they have dreamed of what they and their people can be.
They have a clear image of a better future and they will make extra miles to make it happen.
I pray we can keep them and have more of their like at the foundations of Bacolod society.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on October 23, 2012.