“If you tell me that the country is much larger than Marikina City or Metro Manila, I will respond that the principle of governance is the same, whether you run a city, a metropolis, or an entire country.”
– Bayani Fernando
The May 31, 2009 excerpt of a speech by BF perhaps more comprehensively outlines the type of mindset the man subscribes to. Perhaps, it is interesting to take them up, point-by-point in the light of his plan to gun for the presidency.
One. Marikina moved from 2nd class municipality to a city of choice by foreign investors. This speaks well of a quality of leadership.
Two. Annual tax collection increased from P77 million in 1992 to over P1 billion after 3 full terms years in office. It sets Marikina a model to other cities.
Three. BF widened streets, installed streetlights, constructed U-turn slots in right places, and modernized public markets. To go along with these physical improvements, is the type of discipline he expects of every citizen of Marikina and the Metropolis as well.
Four. The zero-tolerance for littering is prescribed with penalties. This effectively addressed irresponsible garbage disposal as well as getting people to see things the right way and avoid anti-social behavior.
Five. Drunks are promptly thrown in jail until they sobered up and minors are detained in violation of curfew until turned over to their parents. BF calls this the ‘broken window policy’.
Six. Squatter shanties were demolished to give way to government projects to benefit millions of citizens of 16 cities and 1 municipality. And they relocated to communities where there they can get a job or start a life.
Seven. Streets and sidewalks are freed of any obstruction largely of illegal vendors. The law is simply applied and all must conform to the rules so as not to compromise the common good.
Eight. The U-turn slot on C-5 Road on Kalayaan Avenue in Makati City eases traffic for hundreds of thousands of motorists daily. BF broached this idea costing only P300 million against that of DPWH proposal of a P600 million underpass.
Nine. His is a leadership approach that takes into account the longings of a people for a better life. BF will govern on a platform of transparency and accountability.
Ten. Not a talker but a builder, he would solve a problem by not talking about it. BF believes in an engineer’s role to run RP’s corporate affairs such as in addressing corruption in government, degradation in the environment, lack of access to education, health care, or economic opportunity.
Eleven. Problems as they come must be addressed decisively as they occur in the countryside or urban centers. BF, the engineer that he is, draws up quick plans based on pragmatic assessments.
Twelve. To govern by example that would inspire people to make sacrifice to attain prosperity. BF simply sets the direction for a productive future for people, their families, and their children.
Thirteen. Enemies of State or political opposition must subscribe for lasting peace to reign. BF is willing to extend his hand of reconciliation to promote public service and to serve what is right.
Fourteen. Whatever fate has in store, BF wants to be remembered as a builder of the landscape as well as builder of character. This cuts on two ontological domains – changing the physical if material configuration of the industrial landscape through projects or infrastructures that promote the modern life and changing the attitude and social behaviour of people in order to adopt and promote a common idea of modernity and productivity.
The dream of a Marikina City is attained. The dream of a Metropolis is about done. Then the dream of a new Philippines in a fast changing industrial landscape is only a little bit slowed-down by a newly evolving character transformation that invest on how people adopt to new attitudes and patterns of behaviour.
In the end, the works of BF are steps in the direction of a clean, peaceful, orderly, and productive life for all.