In my more than sixty-six years of living here in the Philippines, I never did experience the same level of expectation, anticipation and suspense as what is now being professed, felt and seen on the eve of the inauguration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (“Pres. Rody”) which is set tomorrow, June 30, 2016 in Malacañang.
Even the menu which was planned out for the ceremony became the subject of a seeming clothesline rumbling between the pro-Duterte and anti-Duterte myrmidons. Those who picture Pres. Rody as uncouth felt that serving mere “maruya” (i.e. some kind of “banana fritter”) and coconut juice during the affair is “unpresidential”. While those who ardently idolize Pres. Rody would certainly aver that the “maruya” and coco juice combination is only fitting to pointedly foist Pres. Rody’s advocacy for simplicity and of shunning ostentatious gatherings embellished with sumptuous meals.
Eventually however, the menu was changed to some kind of a lentil soup with fish and a retinue of dessert featuring Davao’s famous durian tartlet.
And as the inaugural nears, I cannot help but ponder and focus on the emerging “common sense” panache of the incoming Duterte Administration which now seems to have carved out the controlling hallmark of Pres. Rody’s style of governance.
One of Pres. Rody’s oft-repeated utterances is his absolute detestation to what he has referred to as all kinds of oppression which weigh down upon the suffering poor Filipino people. Pres. Rody made public his disgust and repugnance to the long lines of Filipinos in most government offices seeking to get a copy of this and that. And as he took to task this matter, the case of the NSO where long lines of people abound almost every day just to get a copy of one’s birth certificate, Pres. Rody promised and announced that this has to stop. Pres. Rody said that he will issue an edict setting a 72-hour deadline to set a standard for the release of government issuances. As regards the NSO-issuances, the common perception that has formed in the minds of people is that these NSO-authenticated certificates have an effectivity/validity term of 6 months ONLY. Despite the NSO’s disavowal of this predominant perception that NSO-issued birth certificates only carry a 6-month validity period, the NSO seemed to have acted as an accessory to the demands of government offices too, such as the NBI, etc. to color-code their issuances just as, purportedly, to forestall the supposedly flagrant faking of those NSO certificates. And this color-coding eventually gave that undeniable perception that the NSO birth certificate has as short term validity.
In a masterful stroke however, Pres. Rody has announced that this practice of according short-term validity unto those government issuances particularly the oftenly needed NSO issuances, specifically the birth certificate (knowing fully well that birth dates are permanent as they do not change), must stop and that all government offices have to follow his 72-hour rule. Thus, passports would now be renewed every 10 years and not just every 5 years. Driver’s licenses which now carry a 3-year validity; may have to be extended to 10 year-validity too. However, the idea of perpetually-valid driver’s licenses is also being considered to stop the long queues forming every month in the country’s LTO offices.
In a similar move, Pres. Rody lamented the incredibly long period of waiting time for the SSS to process death claims of members. And to poignantly deliver his message, Pres. Rody injected his spiel with a jocular note, that at times, a death claim is released to a widow after that widow has already kicked the bucket. With this, Pres. Rody has insisted in including the processing of the SSS death claims (which invariably gets released after years of waiting) to his now famous 72-hour deadline which Pres. Rody proudly brags as having been very successful in Davao City’s bureaucracy.
In the field of secondary education, having publicly acknowledged that he went through high school matriculation reaping grades barely skimming upward the 75 passing mark, Pres. Rody promised to delist from the high school curriculum the subject on TRIGONOMETRY. Frankly, I myself cannot understand why TRIGONOMETRY is being taught in high school when it really does not appear applicable to daily life in both social and business interactions of people. A lawyer-friend of mine, whom I naughtily suspect to have suffered a failing mark in TRIGONOMETRY in high-school, disgustingly remarked that: “MUKHANG SI DIGONG LANG ANG MAY “COMMON SENSE”, SYA LANG ANG NAKAKITA NA DAPAT TANGGALIN ANG TRIGONOMETRY SA HIGH SCHOOL CURRICULUM.” [English translation: “IT SEEMS ONLY DIGONG (an informal appellation ascribed on Pres. Rody) HAS THE COMMON SENSE TO PERCEIVE THAT TRIGONOMETRY MUST BE SCRAPPED OUT OF THE HIGH SCHOOL CURRICULUM.”]
Indeed, as has been repeatedly said, COMMON SENSE SEEMS UNCOMMONLY COMMON!