In response to the serious and worsening problems facing the country, a 30,000-strong group of volunteers with members nationwide raised the call for Filipinos to rise up against politics as usual in the 2010 National and Local Elections.
“It is politics as usual that has gotten our country into the serious and worsening predicament it is in. We refer to transactional politics, one that knows nothing of right or wrong; it is politics that is animated by greed for money and lust for power,” said Leon ‘Porong’ Herrera, President of the 30,000 Bagumbayan Movement.
Herrera pointed out that the country’s current situation is characterized by massive corruption, rampant criminality, the decrepit public education system, lack of health care services, the rising prices of food, loss of jobs, unabated conflict and disasters. He warned that unimaginable as it may be, conditions may worsen as the effects of global recession reaches our shores.
“The time has come for all of us to band together as Filipinos for love of country and the common good to start a movement for change. We must engage in a politics of transformation, first by transforming ourselves into the best citizens that we can be and then together, act to transform the institutions of government so that they can better serve our people,” said Herrera.
To end the reign of politics as usual, Herrera said that citizens should put more serious consideration on who to vote for in the 2010 National and Local Elections.
“More than mere candidates, we need a leader with a vision for our country, a long experience in turning things around from bad to better, and a track record of success in moving people to achieve what was previously thought of as impossible,” said Herrera.
Bagumbayan explained that only by having such a leader will his group manifest its vision of a country where everyone is enabled, ennobled, and free.
The Bagumbayan Movement started out as an informal group of individuals committed to manifesting change in various sectors of society. Starting with the transformation of Olongapo from Sin City to Model City, they eventually joined up with thousands of volunteers to create the success of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority and the resurgence of Philippine tourism.
The group’s general counsel, Atty. Rodolfo “Inky” Reyes, explained that the group has seen proof of how real leadership supported by the citizenry can turn dire circumstances into triumph.
“A real leader teaches his people to aspire for a higher and nobler vision of themselves; then teaches and drives them to achieve it. He never allows them to fail themselves,” said Reyes.
Chito Valmocina, former Chairman of Barangay Holy Spirit and Bagumbayan Quezon City Chapter Head, said that his own barangay was a manifestation of Bagumbayan’s principles at work.
“Our Barangay learned much from the example of Olongapo City and Subic, we applied the principles that made them into success stories and we were able to replicate them in Holy Spirit. This is proof that each of us, acting to transform our communities can contribute to the transformation of the entire country,” said Valmocina.
In 2006, with the passage of the RA 9369 or the Amended Automated Election Law, Bagumbayan campaigned together with other groups to compel the COMELEC to implement the pilot testing of Automated Elections in the 2007 polls. It is now currently backing the passage of the Health and Education Acceleration Program or SB 2402, which proposes the creation of a P73 Billion yearly fund to raise the level of Philippine public education to the standards found in Singapore, Malaysia, and other developed countries.