IT HAS to be known right from the start that the fate of Cagayan de Oro lies in the hands of the Kagay-anons, not anyone else’s. The rest are but factors that may influence our decisions.
The roller coaster ride in local politics and the heated political opinions expressed in radios, prints and social media can draw out all sorts of emotions from supporters and bashers alike but they also have their peak as when things settle down people are left with issues that stick. Are we given good options? Can our local leaders bring this city to greater heights if elected or re-elected? Can we be helped as individuals and as small communities in our daily struggles with the fast phased development and globalization?
As we get so passionate in our support for a team or an individual vying for public office I would like to raise three issues shaping Oro’s future so that when we get to choose who we want to lead us, we can pretty much size up whether or not they have what it takes to face these issues head on.
One: Unrest in Mindanao
Now more than ever, Oro plays the most crucial role in keeping the peace and order in Mindanao being the gateway. The rest of the country and even the world would have to pass through Cagayan de Oro if anyone ever wants to get in or out of Mindanao. With the diversified culture within our land and the pressing threat to peace, it would take more than just a martial law or augmentation of forces to keep disorder at bay. Local governance can make or unmake our city in terms of peace and order.
Two: Polarizing politics
For some reason, after any election, people would either feel they won or they lost. It’s as if the politicians they so rooted for are the only answer to their problems and if they don’t win then they are doomed for the next three years until the next election. And sadly, there is so much truth to it as well. Almost all government services have colors with them when they get cascaded on the ground.
Media is not helping too at all. I am yet to listen to any radio commentator where I can confidently say he or she is impartial in his or take. Media in all platforms have become tools to further divide this city instead of being venues for dialogue.
It would need a visionary who can transcend on the deep culture of political patronage for us to really get into the next level of development.
Three: Scarcity of innovation
Business as usual mentality has somehow been cemented in all sectors in our local community. Even the private sector continues to do all the wrong practices simply because it is the cheapest way and the system allows them to get away with trouble. We have our shares of successful innovations over the past years as they were even recognized nationally through awards but they were more of exceptions to the rule than the new rules themselves. Innovations should be the new mindset of local leadership as the old ways were all found wanting. We need game changing innovations in solid waste management, traffic management, social services, and especially in environmental management.
If we don’t take the coming elections seriously and we don’t make efforts in knowing who we should vote for, then we do not just deprive ourselves with a good future, we also deprive our city of its greatness. This deprivation is most profound in the area of social services.
For the bigger poor majority Kagay-anons, if politicians are our only chance at life, then voting the right one should be our greatest responsibility.