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Pasig: A Scholar's Haven?

From the Desk


The pandemic indeed exposed the best and the worst things in all of us and thank god for Pasig as it showed only the best LGUs can offer.


Pasiguenos have been accustomed to politicians reminding them of the different programs in the Government despite the fact that it is their job to do it and worse, it is not their money or even their brainchild. These ruckus is slowly fading as the local chief executive rebuilds the remains of Pasig's integrity and dignity. As an academe and former NGO worker (perhaps a rare background for politicians nowadays), Mayor Vico Sotto one again reminded students on the importance of education and how the city invests so much for their future.


The mayor's personal mantra "No One gets Left Behind" trended via social media sites for it delivered a great message of inclusivity and unconditional support to the students. The mayor said, “Para sa mga ‘di umaabot sa grade requirements, puwedeng mag-apply sa CHIP-IN.. 500/month din ito, kahit puro 75 basta walang bagsak…" The CHIP-in or Continuing High School Program for Education is a program started by Sotto's predecessor Robert C. Eusebio who also saw the need for an "education and scholarship for all" program for the city. Despite the existence of this 4 year-old scholarship program it was only in the time of Vico as Mayor that he wholeheartedly endorsed it and invited would-be scholars to join. For the longest time, scholarships were equated to having high grades, the Mayor's opinion on this is otherwise.


In another statement, Mayor Vico made known to all the scholars a reminder that goes both ways; "Laging tandaan na wala kayong utang na loob kahit kanino (lalo na sa politiko) dahil pero ito ng taumbayan. Na-a-appreciate ko naman kapag may nagpapasalamat sa kin pero naiilang ako dahil di ko pera to... Mag-aral lang kayo ng mabuti, sulit na ang investment ng Pasig sa inyo." This message says a lot on the leadership of the city. Gone are the days of government scholars being used and abused to the brim. The city is taking a high road that is both respected and applauded by the people. Pasiguenos are now plain witnesses to the fall of old politics and "pabida" of small town political players and the rise of a new norms, far from being the bailiwick of citizens playing as slaves of favors to a more empowered citizenry.


Sotto via twitter stated that “The next leaders of Pasig are here. Maybe the next councilor or next mayor!”pertaining to the scholars. This kind of thinking is so rare considering that the city have been accustomed to decades old leadership wielding the same archaic systems of "palakasan" and "benggahan". Here we are and thankful as ever that Pasig is partaking a new kind of food that give more promise than harm. But back to the Mayor's statement, cliche as it may seem, the questions lingers, what happens to Pasig after his term of office expires?


Though Mayor Vico is certainly a first of his kind of leaders who does not have any interest in politics, the equation of good governance is founded on good politics. To continue his work, grooming next leaders and cementing the roads for succession is tantamount to say that for him as mayor to be successful, he needs to train a great line of leaders that will follow after him. Not doing this would dwarf all his efforts which would leave his constituents saying "sayang naman!". Worse is the return of traditional politicians waiting at the corner for him to expire. The number one enemy of a good leader is not his opponents but his failure to train the "gallant knights" who will guard his "Camelot" .

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