Some national and local leaders have done whatever they could to provide solutions to the many problems that arose from the spread of the virus.
They came up with ingenious ways to provide transportation and accommodation to frontliners amid the absence of public vehicles. They mobilized fund drives or funds to provide personal protection equipment and food to the heroes of our time – health workers who put their own lives at great risk every time they show up for work. One even purchased equipment to enable his LGU to conduct testing among their residents.
They are transparent with the transactions. And when they provide help to members of their communities, they do not put their names and faces on the bottles and the bags.
They show compassion, yes —but also intelligence, deliberation, decisiveness and humility.
Unfortunately, not everybody is happy when others step up to the challenge. Other officials feel threatened. Perhaps they want to be perceived as the only ones doing a good job. Perhaps they get reminded that they pale in comparison to these bright stars. So they dismiss the good practices and insult those who are doing well. They get hypersensitive to criticism when they should use these as a reminder of what else they need to do.
This behavior of the inert, the insecure and the incompetent has serious consequences for their constituents. Decisions will be made based on what will make the decision-maker look good or appear in charge, not the good of the many. And by “the many,” we mean those who do not enjoy the same privileges as many of us do.
Pettiness has no place in everyday governance. It is just abominable at a time like this. At the end of the day, good practices are exactly that—and it does not matter whose idea they were. It should never be about the leaders.
We hope every executive, regardless of politics, realizes what he or she truly signed up for: To be of service to the public, not only to his or her supporters.