by: Ame-Phil O. Saquiban
The value of cooperation is embedded in our culture. The bayanihan spirit is one classic example that portrays solidarity, unity, and cooperation. This could be one of the reasons why we have a lot of voluntary organizations in the Philippines since it is natural for us to help one another. As others say, “it flows within our veins”. Time and again, bayanihan is demonstrated in various meaningful ways. From literally carrying “bahay-kubo” in the past to setting up community pantries at the height of the pandemic, we continue to embody the value of cooperation as Filipinos.
In government administration, there are programs and principles that uphold the value of cooperation such as the “whole-of-nation” or “whole-of-society” approach which is a principle, means, or strategy in order to address a problem or to implement a program or project by enjoining all stakeholders from both public and private sectors which may be affected in the implementation of the program or project or which may have a stake in the success or failure of a certain endeavor or have an interest in the solution of a certain national problem. This should continue for the attainment of the collective long-term aspirations articulated in the AmBisyon Natin 2040.
With cooperation that is driven by genuine love of country, every form of pursuit to make these Filipino aspirations a reality will surely succeed. It will propel us to do our part for the good of the nation and in ensuring that the public interest is upheld at all times.
However, actions that are subtly driven by self-interest, greed, and enriching a privileged few can also succeed when there is cooperation. This is probably the case why social ills such as corruption continue to prevail. People engaged in this kind of act do truly understand the importance of cooperation at all levels and on every side to ensure that everything is well covered and no one gets caught or exposed.
But it will just be a matter of time where all these acts shall come to an end, as more people will learn to cooperate from the place of deep love for the nation that doing nothing will no longer be an option. Saint Paul asserted that love is the most excellent way and that it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. With this foundation, we can be assured that the transformation of the nation will always be at the heart of our transactions, engagements and involvements in the community, in our offices and the society as a whole.
Will the Philippines rise again? Henry Ford and Edward Everett Hale stated that “coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success”. Indeed, it is in togetherness that we can make the impossible possible. The call is for us to cooperate now, not for wickedness to flourish but for righteousness to exalt the Philippines.
Repentance - A Change of Heart
by: Dr. Laurence C. Mascay
Repentance is not only being sorry. It is more about acknowledging our mistake, becoming sorrowful about it, and deciding to change our hearts which leads to a change of words and actions. As the Apostle Paul said, “I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds”. When a person genuinely repents, it is expressed outwardly.
Sadly, a number of people “repent” because they were caught in their wrongdoings, and not because they are repentant. Meaning, when their misdeeds were not uncovered they will continue to do it and will not repent at all. God’s Word says, “Whoever hides their sins will not be successful, but whoever confesses their sins and stops doing wrong will receive mercy. Great blessings belong to those who are careful to avoid sin, but stubborn people will have plenty of troubles”. Consequently, being unrepentant have serious consequences that are disastrous to the person involved, while humility in repentance results in blessings.
An unrepentant heart is caused by pride! Pride is the failure to admit a mistake. Also, it is caused by the thought of being always right and refusal to accept for correction from others. Arrogant people are on the verge of colossal downfall and disgrace as pride leads to destruction. We tend to forget that acknowledging our misdeeds and shortcoming and repenting from them never makes us less of a person nor a degradation of ourselves. Instead, it is key to gaining favor from God and respect from people.
In life, we should not expect people to repent, especially when they don’t want to. But let us be a man or woman of repentance whenever we fall into sin. Such is pleasing to our Creator. Apostle John syas, “If we confess our sins to God, He can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away.” In implication, whenever we commit a mistake, with the help of the Almighty, let us strive not to repeat it and live righteously as an outward expression that we have repented or have a change of heart. In humility in repentance, we receive a blessing; pride in an unrepentant heart results in disgrace.
by: Micah A. Tecne
As the author of book of Hebrews said that we need to obey our leaders and submit to their authority. Being under someone’s authority abhors us to follow what is instructed to us. It is a common practice to show our honor and reverence to the one who leads us. But what if we don’t agree or doubt the directions given to us and our perspectives and principles contradicts what is being instructed us to do? Are we going to do it or not? How can we still maintain a right attitude towards our leaders?
Is it possible that we can obey and not necessarily be submissive? Yes! It is possible for us to easily do the task given to us and we can still murmur, about it and despise our leaders. And because of our wrong attitude we are not able to produce excellent outputs. We lose our motivation that is silently sabotaging the whole work entrusted to us. It is easy to obey and follow instructions but it’s a great challenge for us to maintain a good attitude and be submissive to our leaders. John Bevere stated that obedience deals with our responsive actions toward authority. Submission deals with the attitude toward authority.
Being submissive is a heart challenge for all of us especially when our principles contradicts the directives given to us. How will we, the righteous, maintain a submissive attitude towards a wicked leader? David still respected and honored King Saul who numerously attempted to kill him recognizing the authority God placed in the latter’s life. He had the opportunities to win over the king, but he chose not to place the judgment over his hands but to the One who appointed the king. He still revered and treated Saul as the king over Israel and who was God’s appointed.
Again as John Bervere wrote that whether the authority is civil, family, church, or social, God admonishes a submissive regard to be our attitude, and we are to obey in action, unless authority tells us to do what is clearly seen as sin. We are called not to compromise but we are also admonished to still honor those who are in authority. The story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who refused to obey the verdict of the wicked King Nebuchadnezzar. They did not bow down to the kings statue as ordered given that it contradicts with their faith that enraged the king and summoned them. They still honored and revered the king as they stated their reason by speaking to him and acknowledging his position as his majesty. They were thrown into a burning furnace and miraculously, they were not burned and preserved that made the king convinced of what they stood for. Our best defense and assurance will always be a submissive heart towards the one who positioned people over us.
May it be that we will be submissive in every way as Jonathan’s armor bearer once said, “Do all that you have in mind, go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.” This submissive attitude brought the two, the master and servant, to a glorious victory of killing some twenty men in an area of about half an acre. We don’t just obey , we submit!
By: Mr. Nathaniel A. Saquiban
In a country, like the Philippines, where poverty among the populace is one of the major problems, it is good to determine whether inequality is the root cause. According to the press release of the World Bank dated November 24, 2022, inequality remains high in our country. The top 1 percent of earners together capture 17 percent of national income, with only 14 percent being shared by the bottom 50 percent.
The above shows that only a small percent of the population enjoy a significant portion of the national income while a large percentage of the population share among themselves a meager portion of the national income. This signifies that there is maldistribution of wealth in our country, not because there is defect in the existing laws, processes, and procedures but how the riches of our country are managed and distributed. It is a fact that due to evil intent or motive, there are instances where the resources of our country are amassed by few who are in power. Selfish gain and partisanship largely affect the proper administration of our wealth. This results to inadequate modernization in places where development is much needed.
This is where the value of equality comes into play. For this value to be observed, there is also a need to take into consideration the Spanish term called “delicadeza”. As a Filipino citizen, there must be a sense of shame or personal discipline not to take advantage of the plight of others or not to keep enjoying and maintaining a luxury life while others are in want. The Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees states, in relation to this, that public officials and employees should develop an understanding and appreciation of the socio-economic conditions prevailing in the country, especially in the depressed rural and urban areas.
How then can we apply the value of equality in simple ways? By doing away with “palakasan” system and undue influence which normally deprive someone from a position of power who ought to possess it or divesting someone from any privilege such as promotion, job, incentives, or benefits who ought to receive it. It is also by eliminating any form of oppression in an office or by putting an end to any act of discrimination based on culture, race, religious belief, or political inclination. Allegedly, there are instances where a local government hardly receives support from the national government if the national leader lost in the last election in the locality or if the local leader is not a political ally of the national leader. This must come to an end.
What does the government do in order to uphold the value of equality? Our country is replete with principles and laws on equality. In taxation itself, there is a principle called equality and uniformity in taxation which means that all taxable articles or kinds of property of the same class shall be taxed at the same rate. In the same manner, our constitution upholds the principle called equal protection of the laws under the bill of rights. This provision in our constitution is also called the equal protection clause which requires the following elements: (1) rest on substantial distinctions, (2) be germane to the purpose of the law, (3) not be limited to existing conditions only, and (4) apply equally to all members of the same class.
Based from the above principles, the value of equality, thus, admits differences and distinctions. This means that in our jurisdiction, equality is not without classification. Instead, it recognizes the distinctive characteristics or condition of properties and individuals. It simply means that those who are situated alike must be treated alike and accorded the same protection, opportunities, privileges, and benefits. In other words, people or properties should not be treated equally with the others if there is a clear and identifiable differentiation. To do otherwise is perpetrating inequality and injustice.
As we celebrate the national women’s month, let us therefore continue to ensure that women will be accorded the same rights and privileges as the men and let us continue to support the existing laws which uphold the protection of women against any form of violence or abuse.
CRFV Winning Team
A company of men and women who have committed their lives to the cause of national transformation.