DAVAO

Velez: Schooling the politicians

TyBox

OCTOBER 5 is World Teacher's Day.

They say teaching is the one profession that creates all other professions. But there's one profession that seems to be wiping off what they're creating, and that's the job of being a politician.

There's a Chinese proverb that says, "If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people."

But it seems government is stopping farmers from planting rice because of rice tariffication, wiping out forests to be replaced by roads, subdivisions and plantations, and making people dumb for life by limiting the budget for schools, not increasing the salaries of teachers and shutting down lumad schools.

Politicians, they really need to go back to school.

Members of the House of Representatives need to be schooled to stop being absent or sneak out during sessions. It's a habit that was pointed out by Buhay Partylist Representative Lito Atienza who see legislators just checked their attendance and leave. Important laws on the budget, tax schemes, salary increases, changing names of streets or holidays are deliberated in a nearly empty session hall. And nobody cares about a quorum anymore.

We're paying these people to work for us, not for them to cut classes, uh, session just to go on vacation, or junkets, I mean join the entourage of the president going to Russia recently. It's our money paying their fares. We don't even get a pasalubong from them.

If teachers run Congress, they'll be flunking a lot of honorable lawmakers for absences. Like this boxer turned senator who is the most absentee senator.

Teachers can also teach this comedian turned senator to stop cracking jokes, and to tell this neophyte senator to stop acting like he's serious before he ends up being a joke.

Politicians also need to learn math. Like they keep messing up figures, thinking our lives are better with taxes from Train, rice liberalization, or high survey ratings on the president. Somebody help them do the math. Compute the workers' wages. Compute how much of this is lost to taxes. Compute how much is lost to corruption. Compute unemployment, productivity loss due to land conversion.

Officials need to be schooled in honesty. Because one official said no politicians are honest. But we are tired from being shock by all the lies paraded on TV. From cover ups to alibi to blaming the past administration.

Officials need to be schooled in good manners, because they act as if they are entitled. They are forgetting that the word public servant means they are the servants for us, not the other way around.

If we had just listened to teachers who show us the right way rather than believing in the politicians, maybe we could have been in a better place than now.

(tyvelez@gmail.com)


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