Editorial: New Year’s resolutions in governance

HOW we welcome the new year depends on our individual circumstances. Cebu on New Year’s Eve has not dispensed with tradition even with a President who, when he was mayor of Davao City, banned the use of firecrackers in his jurisdiction. Cebuanos reserve the noisiest explosions and the most colorful pyrotechnics display when the midnight bell tolls during the transition from December to January.

Most households in the neighborhood and some commercial establishments hold parties and indulge in merrymaking. Many follow the tradition of preparing food and, by the stroke of midnight, praying before the altar before eating. Polka dot dresses are worn and round fruits are offered to invite good vibes for 2018.

But beyond the noise and the merrymaking should be taking stock of what happened to us in the old year and noting the prospects in the new one. That is the essence of New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, New Year’s resolutions are mainly personal undertakings. If only government officials adopted the practice also in governance.

The problem in New Year’s resolutions is that only few people take these seriously and the admission of faults is too dependent on a person’s willingness to admit mistakes. Meanwhile, following whatever has been resolved is not assured. These are why these aren’t practiced in governance and by politicians.

Still, imagine if the crafting of New Year’s resolutions would become an official practice in government. And imagine government officials, for once, accepting legitimate criticisms and accepting fault and promising to come up with corrective measures for the next year? Imagine if, every end of the year, government officials were made to account for what they did or did not do?

If every December becomes a period of accounting and after it renewal for the government, then our kind of governance would be different. And the practice of making New Year’s resolutions would become compelling and relevant.

To all our readers, an early and joyous welcome for 2018, the Year of the Earth Dog!
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