TO SHOW support in encouraging sustainable development and maintenance of law and order as a shared responsibility among Filipinos, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)-Northern Mindanao will launch the advocacy campaign dubbed as "Disiplina Muna." This whole-of-nation campaign urges the local government units (LGUs) to promote and increase the consciousness among our countrymen of their critical role and accountability in rebuilding the culture of discipline, especially for the youth. This advocacy also aims to cultivate "people's participation," which is one of the tenets of good governance.
The objective of this country-wide movement brings our Kababayans in the forefront in nation building and promoting the redeeming cultural values among Filipinos. This gives mammoth tasks to the common folks and will require guidance from our beloved government officials. And the big question is, how prepared our local officials are in spearheading this advocacy? Are they willing to sacrifice their respective political capital in exchange for strictly enforcing city and barangay ordinances?
The National Government has advocated several measures that will improve our daily lives and that are beneficial to our future existence such as war on illegal drugs, anti-smoking campaign, road clearing operations, disaster preparedness and resilience, among others. The implementation and enforcement of these advocacies are bestowed in the hands of our elected officials. But these enormous responsibilities cannot be achieved without the cooperation of Kagay-anons. That is why our national government is campaigning the culture of discipline among us because they acknowledge that changes cannot be realized by the government alone.
One good example why there is an urgent need to inculcate discipline in our culture is the ongoing program by our government to clear the roads and sidewalks of any obstructions. The initial execution of this program shows a lot of promise. However, after the implementing officers left the area, illegal settlers were back with vengeance in reclaiming the streets and sidewalks that were supposedly intended for the general public.
Another example is the city/barangay ordinance on anti-littering in public places. We have seen this violation time and time again. Have we heard anyone get caught for throwing a candy wrapper on the street? None. Zero. But just because you are not apprehended does not mean you are not violating a law. Look at Cogon market. Vendors are allowed to occupy the streets for certain hours to do their business on regular basis. Did any of these vendors even bother to clean up after they are done selling their wares? Nope. As a result, we have become accustomed to witness the tons of garbage being collected on that part of the city every single day.
The initial step in advocating the culture of discipline will require teamwork between the local government units and its constituents. Our local officials must show consistency in enforcing the law and ordinances. Partnership with different sectors of our community such as schools and churches can be done to further the campaign, thus, creating awareness on many levels. On the other hand, Kagay-anons must, without reservation, start encouraging this mentally to their families. Gradually, once we successfully ingrain this mindset to our people, discipline will become a norm. That is where we can witness positive changes in our community.