Allan: Government is the people and the people in government

THE people's heart has become calloused and has become hard-hearted, unable to hear and listen, and the eyes have stopped seeing the facts to bring out the truth. These recent incidents in the city, the US election, and the world governments have also given us reasons to hear better and see better.

As the events unfolded, we see how people have allowed things to happen. People elect the leaders they deserve, and the leaders deserve the people they have committed to serving. The participatory government may even change the roles and rules of a democratic government.

The unfolding of election results in the US has made a lot of nations glued to the news that are revealing results of years of planning. Some have believed in the unfailing rule of law, but history has been turned where the laws have been unheeded. Where lawlessness and riots have replaced the usual immediate response of the police in times of community unrest. This is common in third world countries, now it looks like it's becoming the "in" thing in the USA. The government seems to have relented to mass actions where the law was used against government implementers. The governors of the state have become more powerful than they were in the past.

I have heard daily accounts of the turn of events, as my husband relates to me what happens in his country. He has held faith in God and believed in his government up to this time, but for how long will he remain to believe. I see it through his eyes and at the same time, hear what others are saying about the situation. I would say they are unfolding a milestone in history, with open ears as some would say, and others say "we have closed our hearts and ears to righteousness and allowed evil to invade our democratic country."

There were times in the past, that the question came to mind, "do the people I serve deserve the commitment I have to touch lives in making this community a better one?" My work in several communities has resulted in changed lives in some communities. But I sometimes also have to reflect if it became better, in my view, it is better, but how about them. I have the privilege to get feedback from some people in the communities that confirms what I see and hear. I had post-engagement opportunities with the Bhutanese communities from Nepal, the Bontok of Mountain Province, the Tongrayans of Kalinga, the Maengs of Abra, the Ilocanos of Ilocos Norte, the missionaries of Southeast Asia. These are the people I worked within the past. It was a past quite different from the present that I am in.

The present work in government. Sometimes the government is faceless, sometimes they point to the elected officials. But in defense, I say we have a term but the career officials have a lifetime to serve, yet the people don't see them as the people responsible. It may be so, but still, the bottom line is that the elected officials rely on the machinery of government which is vested in the departments of career people. Nothing is done unless the departments do their job.

A case in point, the elected officials recommend the medical assistance to BGH and that is the only responsibility given to them, the departments have to make the Memo of Agreement, transfer the funds, make the necessary executive screening and approval. Yet some recommendations have returned unacted upon because the departments have not completed the process. So who is hearing and looking but not listening and seeing?

Another case in point, the P4 committee was convened and given a task to do. Unfortunately, the committee thought it had a decision to make yet it was not so. Yet, it has gone to the City Council to make a decision they should have done. It has gone to the mayor with a decision it cannot assert. It has become a committee without an understanding of what it should be doing. It has not heard and has not seen enough to even comprehend its reason for its being. And because of that, it has allowed itself to be accused but cannot defend itself. It is a committee without accomplishment and maybe, just maybe, does not have the right people to be there.


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