Society dictates that in order for a politician to be successful in winning for a higher position, one must have the immense hunger for power. He must want it so bad that he is willing to cross two cliffs through a thin wire.
Power is a possession of controlling influence where one has a corresponding authority. An elected official is bestowed with this instant authority to decide matters for the local government. Well, the exercise of power varies, depending if you were elected in the executive or legislative branch of the LGU. The Republic Act 9160 or the Local Government Code of 1991 provided for the powers of each elected official in the LGU.
The Mayor has executive powers. While the Vice Mayor and the Sangguniang Bayan/Panglungsod has legislative powers. Both powers, when used correctly and not abused, will have an immense effect on the development of the community.
What is my principle?
Hunger for power is not always the number 1 factor why politicians run and win for a higher position. Yes, it is necessary for an elected politician to have an authority in order to effectively function in the LGU. Without such power, why are they seated in the position in the first place?
Aiming for a higher position is not totally an evil desire. I know some good elected officials who started as Sangguniang Bayan Members who are now seated in the Congress or in the Provincial Capitol whose intentions are pure – that is to represent their districts and to lead the province. I admire those politicians who sincerely know that they are qualified and have the necessary capability to lead the government aim for higher positions.
I believe that possession of power as an elected official is not the issue here. Rather, it is the abuse of power that some officials are unfortunately doing.
Perhaps, I may sound idealistic on this one, but making a sweeping generalization is not my thing. Since I personally know a lot of fellow young or old elected officials who call themselves servants of the public. Not taking too much credit, nor growing big heads while seated in the position.
Do I really need more power than what I have now?
Realistically speaking, yes. If you want to do more. If you have greater ideas and projects for the local community and asking a legislator to sponsor your initiatives is not enough, then plan for your next action.
If you are a Barangay Kagawad and you are capable and qualified to run as Punong Barangay. Plus, you really want it, then aiming to have more freehand in leading the barangay is not an evil thought.
Friend, you just have to determine your purpose as a public official.
Compromise to gain more power
We have to admit it. The public has somehow lost confidence in elected officials. Especially when their judgment is tainted by their previous negative experiences. They previously had erring public officials who went overboard in the exercise of their limited powers. Thus, it is a challenge nowadays for the newbies in the position.
Friend, do not be afraid. What’s important is that you know your ground. Expect that temptations will come knocking at your front door. Teasing you to compromise something little for a better personal gain. It starts with little compromises until it desensitizes you. Eventually, you become confused about your real purpose. You start doubting your desire to serve versus your desire to have more power.
I hope and pray this won’t ruin any of us, young and neophyte elected officials. But as long as you go back to your purpose, you can surely redirect. Any greater power gained through cheating or compromise will eventually hurt you in the long run.