Showing posts with label Politics & Good Governance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Politics & Good Governance. Show all posts

Sunday, October 17, 2021

The Last Quarter of 2021

We've entered the beginning of the final quarter of the year. This month of October brings energy and time to ponder many things -- from the pandemic to politics.

In the Philippines, the filing of Candidacy for the May 2022 National and local elections has started, and the political noises and dramas are becoming more intense daily.

That's the political atmosphere in the Philippines, and when people become too fanatic and involved in election campaigns and propaganda.

The good thing about being involved is being aware of our rights as a citizen. The right to vote is a fundamental right of every Filipino. And now, people are more knowledgeable and awakened to the present realities affecting their daily lives and the future.

It's good to see that people are becoming more expressive and active in social and political issues. They discuss politics, have a debate, and can strongly oppose with conviction what they believe in. This is an expression of democracy, and people want to feel that they're part of a democratic society where their vote matters and is validated.

Election time brings hope to every citizen. Most especially to those who wanted change in leadership and those hoping for good governance. And we all hope for a better country, a better Philippines, and better Filipino citizens.

©️ 2021 Del Cusay

Sunday, September 19, 2021

The Greatest Lesson I learned from my Father

What's the most valuable lesson you've gained from your Father?

The controversial interview about former Senator Bongbong Marcos flashed back the memories I had with my Father, whom I look up to as a great leader and provider in our family. He's not only a good Father to us, but his love and purpose extend to the people in our community.

To be in public service is a great privilege to influence and make a lasting impact on people. It's about exerting energy and great effort to look after the people's and the community's welfare above the Self. 

I remember in 1998 when my Father decided to be in public service as a Municipal councilor. I had just graduated from Elementary back then and was overwhelmed by the world of politics. My Father informed us about his plans and wanted to hear our opinions. I strongly opposed, and perhaps it was unanimous among my siblings. His calling to serve our community helped him to run for public office. Later on, we were convinced and gave him our full support. He won a seat in the Municipal Council, which was the start of his political service.

He ran for the second term as Municipal Councilor and won in 2001 and his third term in 2004. For nine consecutive years (1998 - 2007), my Father dedicated his life to improving his constituents' welfare through public service.

During those years, my Father taught me to have a fighting spirit. To have the perseverance and the will to follow your calling and dreams. Those were the virtues that I may be lacking. I had fears and doubts, although I had a little confidence. 

He pushed me forward and left my fears behind when he convinced me to follow his path when I ran as a Municipal Youth Council President in our hometown. At first, it was against my will since I needed more confidence to face the people and the position's responsibilities. However, I trusted him to be there to guide me. I won and sat in the Municipal Council for five years, from 2002 - 2007. During those years, I saw how my Father performed and served well on the Council. At that moment, I thank him for believing in me and pushing me beyond my limits. He took away my doubts and fears and let me soar high. 

In 2016, my Father returned to public service after nine years. He wasn't inactive since he held a position as Office of Senior Citizen Affairs (OSCA) President from 2014 - 2016. He ran again for Municipal Councilor, and he won. I did not favor his comeback since I would want to see him live a simpler life away from politics. He was unstoppable and full of energy. His passion and support of the people motivated him to serve. He listened and didn't turn them down. When the people call you to be a leader and a servant, there's an overflowing love and trust, and you just follow their call.

From 2019 until now, he's still serving as a Municipal Councilor and is overcoming several challenges. He fought hard for what he believed was right and for the greater good of the community. He stood up and spoke his mind on controversial issues confronting our society. He showed willpower to get things done and to achieve more for the progress of the community.

I learned from my Father to never give up and never to surrender when you're right. Always speak up and believe in yourself. When it comes to public service, you can always choose to serve even without holding an office. Always look back and give back. And when people are there to support and express love, you're on the right track and have done an excellent job.

©️ 2021 Del Cusay

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Boracay's Environmentally Conscious Tourism

Boracay Island in the Philippines is one of the top tourist destinations and remains one of the top beaches in the world. 

Boracay Island in the Philippines is one of the top tourist destinations and remains one of the top beaches in the world. This island is recognized annually by various international magazines and travel websites as one of the world's best. And since then, it has contributed to the influx of tourists from all over the world.

What I like about Boracay is its diversity, from different nationalities and locations where it suits the taste and preferences of the tourist. It's like a melting pot of cultures and personalities, making it a world-class tourist destination.

Boracay Island may seem like a perfect paradise, but it has its hidden imperfections uncovered. I've seen it! I was there in April 2016, about two years before President Duterte made an order for the island's closure for rehabilitation in April 2018.

For years, big businesses like hotels have deceived tourists and guests by providing reading material explaining the algae that make the shoreline dark green and unsightly. I can't believe how they disseminate disinformation by making it appear to be a natural occurrence.

I saw the big pipes from establishments that excrete wastewater to the shore where untreated sewages are flowing, making the water in the area dark green and dirty.

The president called it a cesspool, and that observation is very evident. Then he ordered a 6-month closure of the island. That move was a big sacrifice for the thousands of businesses and island workers and the number of affected tourists. The projected billions of pesos lost for the island's tourism paved the way to pursue its rehabilitation for intended revitalization.

What can we do to help our tourism significantly impact its sustainability and environmental protection? I believe that the 6-month rehabilitation of Boracay made us realize that money from tourism alone won't make us truly rich and progressive. But our environmental consciousness as a tourist will help destinations like Boracay to be sustainable and highly livable.

Tourism is our number one industry, booming before the Covid-19 pandemic came. When the lockdown happened, tourism was down and almost dying, but we've seen the clear waters of Boracay. Business establishments and tourists mainly contribute to the island's pollution.

Do we need a 6-month rehabilitation of our topmost islands every six years? Well, that would surely hurt tourism, but it's for the good of the environment. We must balance our tourism and its environmental impact to call it a paradise.

There's progress in Boracay compared to the first time I visited the island in 1998. It's becoming too commercial, and the island may have lost its serenity and ambiance due to its fast-growing present-day development.

We need to boost more and promote our tourism. We have the best islands and beaches, but we also need responsible Businessmen for us to be environmentally conscious tourists. We leave no trace but footprints and great memories. 

When we can travel again without restrictions, we'll become better tourists. And together, we help revive our tourism and our God-given paradise.

©️ 2021 Del Cusay

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👉 Weekend Getaway in Boracay

Friday, July 10, 2020

Press Freedom in The Philippines

This is another attack on Philippine press freedom. The Philippines is crippled and crushed again. The Filipino people are saddened and mourning.

Today is another history of killing press freedom in the Philippines when the country's largest television network won't be given its 25 years of congressional franchise.

This is not right and just. The Philippine Congressmen on the legislative franchise committee didn't hear the network and the Filipino people in general. That's the truth. They killed it. They killed us. During these challenging and rough times, they killed press freedom and people's access to important news and information.

While the country is currently surviving the pandemic, the government is losing its priorities. They turned around and faced the wrong enemy. They have turned the battleground against their own people.

We don't deserve this. We deserve accountability from our government for suppressing press freedom and even the freedom of speech of the Filipinos who are critical of autocratic leadership and abuse of power. 

We don't cry. We mourn! We suffer! We are not being heard and are made to be silent and not dissent. Why Can't We Speak?

To the world. To Filipinos all over the world. This is our country now. This is the country we love that is slowly being killed. The democracy that we've been fighting over the years and for centuries is now at risk of being back to its darkest Philippine history.

Stay strong. This is not over yet, and together we'll regain our voice. We'll regain our true democracy. We'll recover the absolute freedom of expression and the freedom of the press. We deserve to regain what we have lost and are about to lose. We deserve Good Governance Toward a Better Philippines. 

Be heard!

© 2020 Del Cusay

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Social Commentary: The Voice of the Filipino Farmers

Philippine Agriculture was once an up-and-coming sector in its excellence in providing good agricultural products to every Filipino through an active and strategic partnership between our farmers and the Government. 

We were an agricultural leader in Asia back then, and our Agricultural Scientists used to share their expertise in rice farming with other Asian countries like Vietnam and Thailand.

I remember back in the late '80s when we used to play by throwing mud in the newly plowed rice field just after the harvest season when rice farming was the primary source of livelihood for most families in our town. Whenever we visit other barangays from the town center, we get to breathe in the fresher air passing through the green field of newly planted rice during the planting season, while during the dry season, just before the harvest in March or April, the field turns into a beautiful golden brown grain of rice.

Those days were when rice farming was a robust industry and highly profitable for farmers and traders who bought and sold rice. Those were also the busy days for my parents to make a living as rice traders in our town, lasting about 2 decades.

As a kid, it was hard to compete for attention with our parents on some busy days when they bought hundreds of sacks of rice from our local farmers, but that was also a good time for play whenever it was already stacked in our warehouse; the kind of play that some kids of today may not relate. Those were the past and one of the happiest moments worth remembering.

Challenges in the Agriculture 

Starting in the new millennium, several challenges emerged in our Agricultural sector, especially in the rice industry. There were corruption issues with the Agriculture Department and the National Food Authority, a Government agency that regulates and maintains sufficient rice supplies for the staple food of Filipinos. Other problems include a lack of government support for farming machinery like pre and post-harvest facilities, conversion of agricultural land to residential or industrial, and the low trade price of rice production from the farmers due to the proliferation of rice cartels.

In recent years, our Government faced even more challenges, like increasing the price of commercial rice due to artificially low supply against its high demand to feed millions of Filipinos. With the lack of agricultural facilities, we cannot produce the best quality and quantity of rice leading to lesser productivity and profitability for our rice farmers.

The Rice Tarrification Law

Fast forward to 2019, just recently on February 15, when the Rice Tarrification Bill was enacted to deregulate rice importation by private businessmen and individuals from countries like Thailand and Vietnam. The law also made some restrictions on the power of NFA for regulation and importation of rice, and they will just maintain enough stocks of rice for calamities. One of the best promises in the revised law is the annual 10 billion peso Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund for 6 years. It will be assessed whether to continue or change the measure. The RCEF is a common fund that will come from the rice import taxes that are said to be given to farmers to address the existing challenges in rice production, like the purchase of farm machinery, to provide credit or loan service to farmers for skills development in farming.

The effect on our rice farmers

This new law has a short-term goal of addressing the current inflation when our poor families can't afford to buy expensive rice. However, this could also affect our local rice farmers when they cannot sell their produce at a reasonable price making them helpless and leaving no choice but to continue rice farming as a means of livelihood.

The flooding of cheaper commercial rice in the market will benefit Filipino consumers. However, the promises of the newly enacted law would be less promising than they seem. We must remember the alleged agricultural scams like the fertilizer fund scam, the diversion of farming funds to fake NGOs, and the present-day 'bukbok' rice or the insect-infested imported rice despite its lower price. Hopefully, this RCEF will not be another corruption in the making.

If there's an existing corruption in the Agricultural sector that remains a culture, the new law shouldn't be at the expense of our local farmers. Although we can give a new direction a chance for its benefits, I still feel for the unheard voices of our farmers. I am a rice farmer's son, and I have seen the hardship of our farmers who sweat it out under the sun even though the rain gives us a staple food to eat on our table. Our farmers deserve to have a better life through the full support of our government from laws and programs that would help improve their most significant source of livelihood.

We want to see something other than one day, our farmlands, previously owned by ordinary farmers, will become a gated community or townhouse owned by an oligarch. We want our country to retain agricultural scientists who prefer to work abroad for a greener pasture. We want our future children to be interested in farming studies and activities. And we want to avoid seeing our farmers dying because they need something to eat. After all, the government killed the rice farming industry.

As I return home to our hometown, another previously farmland townhouse might rise, and another hectare for private houses along the road might be built. This happens when farmers sell their land to real estate developers for residential or industrial development.

In a few years, our next generation might not be able to enjoy the greenfield and the golden brown rice harvest that we used to enjoy. Those years of pure happiness away from modernity and technology that the present time has embraced. In a few years, we will gradually be shifting from agricultural to industrial, and the vast farmland and lush greeneries will be a thing of the past.

Let us help save our Agricultural sector by hearing the voices of our farmers, who are the source and significant producers of our food on the table. Let us patronize local produce and learn to appreciate and embrace agriculture in our modern way of living to help our farmers thrive and live the decent and comfortable life they deserve.

© 2019 Del Cusay

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Election 2019: Making Voices Heard

The official campaign period for the National midterm election has already started. However, it's pronounced premature campaigning when we have seen political ads on television and street posters since 2018.

In the coming May 13 election, we will again select and vote for the candidates who will serve our country and the people. We will choose our 12 Senatorial bets for the national post and elect our own officials, from Provincial Governors down to Municipal Councilors.

It's a midterm election, and several candidates now share their political views and expertise on issues confronting our nation. Several problems are currently widespread, like the drug war, extrajudicial killings, terrorism, medical marijuana, the age of criminal responsibility, the defense of territorial waters, and the revival of the death penalty. 

We also have long-time issues such as poverty alleviation, graft and corruption, unemployment, drug addiction, crime prevention, population control, reproductive health, environmental protection, and climate change. These are some of the many issues our national candidates face once elected. Our local candidates will represent the interests of their constituents and legislate local laws or ordinances to address socio-political issues and uplift the living conditions of the people.

The media significantly influences the public to know the candidate's profile, background, and experience. The good thing is that the media organizations serve as a medium for learning our candidate's platforms and intentions. 

I have watched the senatorial forum hosted by CNN Philippines and the Senatorial debate from the GMA network this month. Thousands of Filipinos could hear what their senatorial bets had to say on various issues. We may have different reactions or emotions to their views; either we agreed and were amused or disagreed and disappointed. 

On March 29, we will also hear our local candidates' political views. It may not be as grand as the national candidates' campaign, but their common intention is to serve and be the voice of their constituents. 

The campaign period may be the most exhausting part of the candidate's possible victory since they devote their energy, time, and money. Thus, we, the voters, must also spend some time getting to know our candidates. Their stance on various issues of our nation and locality is significant in nation-building and good governance. 

Amidst the different voices, we can learn how to filter those who are significant and reflect our values and virtues. Our guiding principle shall rule and not the outside influence brought by media and black propaganda. 

Our vote matters, and let us exercise this right in the upcoming May 13 election. For now, it is not just the fight of our candidates but also the fight of all Filipino people toward a better community and country.

© 2019 Del Cusay

Monday, June 12, 2017

119th Philippine Independence Day: Freedom in Our Hearts

Philippine national hero -Jose Rizal as a visionary leader, once expressed his deepest sympathy against massive aggression against his countrymen by foreign invaders. In his younger years, he witnessed the abuses and suffering of his own family and carried all the emotional baggage of his youth until he became a full-grown man.

In his youthful days, Rizal was already a champion in many ways, and he has proven his capacity through outstanding leadership in his family and the community where he belongs. He was a great believer in the youth and their power to do great things, so he once uttered,  "The youth is the hope of the Fatherland," a heroic statement we always remember. Back then, Rizal was just a little boy, but with a powerful physical, mental, and emotional character; such a commendable trait in his time. 

Today, in our generation, after more than a century, how many of us have inherited those traits of a hero. Who among our youth has shown the deepest respect and concern about our nation. How many Filipinos genuinely care and will continue to fight for the freedom that we have achieved through the years. Becoming a hero is never an easy task, but to become nationalistic is a meaningful expression of what it is like to become a true Filipino.

Conflicts, violence, and wars continue to happen in our time. It is unending and keeps repeating itself and becoming much worse than ever. Filipinos continue to suffer the consequences of false beliefs and the egocentric mindset of some Filipinos who would spread terror and invade the peaceful land making it chaotic, disorganized, and ruined.

With the sad fate in Southern Mindanao, Marawi City is another victim of conflict and war between Islamic State radical Muslims and the Philippine Government troupes. People lost their peace and sense of freedom to do the things enjoyed by ordinary Filipino citizens. We have lost several brave souls who fought for the dark forces. They have sacrificed their lives for the call of duty: to protect and defend our country and its people against oppressors.

We have lost our freedom. Our countrymen, The Maranao people, are enslaved by fear and struggle to recover their lives, rebuild and stand again, and continue to live despite the odds. It is not only the Maranaos but the entire Philippine islands; the Filipino people also showed the deepest sympathy. We have mourned and expressed our emotions, and we are concerned about the welfare of our brothers and sisters who are in trouble. 

It's difficult not to care about what is happening, especially when dealing with terrorism. We might live in a city far away from the bombings, but we could be the next target. It's easy to be complacent when we feel more secure and guarded. It's easy to get numbed of the unending conflicts and wars. However, ultimately, we cry out loud for our misery when we suffer and become victims. When our country is no longer safe, we can only hope for more protection and salvation to escape various threats. We could hope for a superhero to defend us from invasion and bring back our freedom. We long for a powerful Divine intervention to fill in peace and love in all our hearts.

Our freedom, once lost, will always find its way back on track. As we remain hopeful and resilient, we will always regain what is lost and fill in what is empty until we become whole again. As Filipinos, we must fight for our freedom and to contribute to nation-building. A divided nation will once again work together for the common good, and the loss of national identity will find its meaning.

Do we still care about what is happening these days? Are the youths of today willing to sacrifice their comfort to express their fearless views and show solidarity? Are the Filipinos ready to fight again to regain freedom and establish peace in our land? We might not feel it, but the heroism of Rizal is always in our hearts. That's the greatest gift he has given us, and we must uphold the strength and power we are bestowed. We have the blood of a hero running in our veins, and we could face any obstacle in our quest for lasting peace and order. We will not accept defeat, and goodness will always reign in us. We can't be sure that history will break itself and not be bound to happen again. However, one thing is sure; whatever happens, we will always stand as one... one Philippines ... one Filipino people. 

I am A Filipinoand I am a part of our nation-building. I am a Filipino and will uphold and respect our laws and constitution. I am a Filipino and will be a freedom fighter. Freedom leads to peace, and liberty will always reign in our hearts.

© 2017 Del Cusay

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Good Governance Towards A Better Philippines

Our nation, our beloved Philippines has been in the spotlight of controversies since the beginning of Duterte's presidency. We have become global newsmakers due to negative events that took place in our society brought by governmental policies both national and foreign. 

We have been condemned by the international community due to our president's undiplomatic approach to governance and communications. We may be enjoying the attention gained, but we may also be suffering the consequences brought by the madness and impatience of our President to solve the social problems of our time; poverty, corruption, crimes... 

What is wrong with our President's government policies? Is he just being misunderstood or he himself is confused and incapable of leading the nation of more than a hundred million people? How could our President exercise good governance by being undiplomatic, irrational, and showing violent social behavior? 

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Our people, the Filipino people deserve a straightforward and seriousness in communication most especially from the president whose messages and major pronouncements are so important. What the president has to say to the Filipino people must be relevant and not subject to several interpretations from his communications team.

Since the beginning of his presidency, we have observed some vague statements which later on were interpreted by his secretaries to defend him from further embarrassment. There's a circus in communication and that has caused confusion to the Filipino people. Is there something wrong with the president's way of communication? 

The Filipino people deserve clearer communication from our leaders. Chaos due to misunderstanding happens when we are playing with words that we don't mean. We can decipher the truth from a false statement. We do not only hear, but instead, we listen and try to understand every single word coming from the most powerful man of our land. 

Great power bestowed to our president comes with greater responsibility to his people. He is responsible for his words, thoughts, and emotions. Now, what is happening to our society is due to miscommunication from our government leaders most especially the president.

We are now suffering from a major mistake in communication. For instance, the president has been clear from the beginning that the war on drugs will be bloody. We have been hearing the statements like  "I will kill you" and the non-stop cursing which is highly unacceptable and unbecoming of a statesman.

The President had planted a negative seed of thought to his men -- to the law enforcers on his war on drugs. His thought forms suggest that extrajudicial killing is a must to eradicate crimes due to illegal drug use and trading. He even admitted that he had killed alleged criminals by shooting to show to the policemen that if he can do it, why can't they. 

Now, what is the effect of the president's communication style? That negative seed of thought planted in the minds of our law enforcers is being corrupted and it has already materialized. We have extrajudicial killings happening everywhere in the country. We have the "tokhang for ransom" and "tanim droga" which are proven to be existent. These unfortunate events are caused by the false empowerment made by the president.

The war on drugs accompanied by due process is good, however, abuses like extrajudicial killing are not tolerable. We can't tolerate a lawless society and it will never lead to a peaceful country that we would want to achieve. 


Corruption is a never-ending political and social problem that our country has been facing. It is like a cancer of our society and it has never been eradicated just like our problem with illegal drugs and criminality. The President has to focus on solving the root cause of our societal cancer and he has to set as an example of a leader who is just not only in words but also in deeds and thoughts. He should not corrupt the minds of his people. Corruption is not only in the form of money, but it is also on our moral and emotional, and spiritual beliefs. 

The President has been tough to our church leaders who are consistently fighting for injustices and immorality in our society. He has cursed our priests, bishops, and even the Pope. The President has corrupted our principle when he embraced China against our territorial right in the West Philippine sea. The President has corrupted our good relationship with our long-time ally, the United States. The President has corrupted the minds of the Filipino people in his stand about morality and the justice system.  


In school, we have taught our children the right values. However, there is a need to strengthen this approach and there must be active participation of the family. Values education enhances ones' character and personality. If we can raise a  well-disciplined and responsible citizen, then we can have a better world to live in. 

We can envision a society free from conflicts and wars. For years, we have been on war; and that is a war on poverty, crimes, and now the war on drugs which is not the ultimate root cause of our social problem. We have to eliminate poverty consciousness and replace it with an abundance mindset. We will get tired of fighting our social problem if we will not go back to the basics. What is really happening within the family? What about our upbringing? Whatever happened to the teachings of our parents and of the church? 


It's about time to consider what is the most important. According to Senator Angara, good governance also means good politics. Since we see something wrong with our leaders' political stance and strategies, then we have not yet achieved good governance. It is for everyone and not just for our leaders. Even ordinary citizen has to contribute towards good governance.

For years, we have been fighting for freedom of expression, and today's generation is empowered to speak up for truth backed up by good values and character. We deserve a better Philippines and we should not wait for our leaders. We can also do it! As we work together for peace and progress, we can leave a good legacy to the next generation and they will enjoy the just and clean society that they deserve. 

© 2017 Del Cusay