by: Atty. Carolina Lim-Gamban
The preamble of the 1987 Philippine Constitution provides that, “We the sovereign Filipino people, imploring the aid of Almighty God, in order to build a just and humane society and establish a Government that shall embody our ideals and aspirations, promote the common good, conserve and develop our patrimony, and secure to ourselves and our posterity, the blessings of independence and democracy under the rule of law and a regime or truth, justice, freedom, love, equality, and peace, do ordain and promulgate this Constitution" The preamble describes the purpose of the Constitution and it clearly states that one reason why we promulgated this, is to establish a government that shall embody the promotion of common good. In the BusinessWorld article entitled, “The meaning of ‘the common good’,” Atty. Jemy Gatdula mentioned that ‘common good’ was used in the Constitution to “project the idea of a social order that enables every citizen to attain his or her fullest development economically, politically, culturally and spiritually" For this to happen, both the leaders and its citizens must resolve to promote the common good.
As part of our core value on Patriotism, promotion of common good is an important aspect that we should not exchange for silver or gold. Just last month, the filing of candidacy and voter registration ended, and we have a long list of aspiring candidates who will take over the different seats of power. We are nearing the election period and early as now, we must have a background-check on the candidates running for the different posts in the government, and we must examine how they have performed and have been performing. This is also the perfect time to ask who among them is promoting the common good. When we say ‘promoting the common good,’ these are not empty promises or flowery words that did not come to fruition during their stint or even when holding positions in other offices. Promoting the common good goes with action so as to actively encourage the others to do the same. We can see this in their behavior and we can further ask, “Are they worthy of emulation?”
How can we say that candidates, or even we as citizens, are promoting the common good? First, let us examine if the candidates (or we) have brought honor and not disgrace to our country. Looking at the example of our Olympians, they have devoted their time, effort, and resources to bring honor to our beloved Philippines. It somehow brought a common good to the Filipinos where our reputation in sports is somewhat uplifted, and the government recognized and paid more attention to the needs of the athletes. A candidate need not bring honor to our country in a grand manner but it is sufficient that they give their best in the service and have not used the power conferred to them for graft and corruption, or injustice. Second, we can take a look if they have genuine concern for the people. In a webinar attended by of Ms. Ana Patricia Non, the woman behind the community pantry, she communicated that the community pantry started because of her concern for her community during the pandemic. She just wanted to share what she has to those who are needy and wanted to encourage those who have more than enough to share according to their capacity, hence the tag, “Kumuha ayon sa pangangailangan, magbigay ayon sa kakayanan.” Fame, accolade, or recognition was never her driving force in that act of kindness. Third, do they have the mark of serving selflessly to the people even at their own expense? We can always look at the sacrifices of our modern heroes – the medical practitioners, who continued on nursing the Covid-19-afflicted even at the expense of their own health, time, resources, and even their lives, all for the sake of the welfare of the Filipino people. Do the candidates have the same courage, love, and dedication to the point of sacrificing their own? These are just some of the many ways we can see if the candidates (or we) are promoting the common good. There are many more we can add on the list but it will redound on the Scriptures saying, “love your neighbor as yourselves,” and “do not seek your own personal interests alone, but also the interests of others.”
Let us do our fair share in promoting the common good, even in the coming election, as it is pivotal to the destiny of our nation. Let us do this for the sake of our beloved country and the future generations.
CRFV Winning Team
A company of men and women who have committed their lives to the cause of national transformation.