Saturday, May 1, 2010

Transform Pasig

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Great dreams are built piece by piece. The great dream of changing the Philippines and the world is now being done barangay by barangay, city by city, region by region. It is with this dream that Ric Reyes, and his team in Pasig, aims to inspire and unite Pasigueños in a project to transform Pasig City.

A Change in Perspective

Your browser may not support display of this image.But the capacity to inspire is getting more and more difficult, for if there is something the people of Pasig actually learned in its decade of collective struggle against elitist, corrupt, and undemocratic rule of the Eusebios – it is that collective struggle fails. Many have lost faith in trying to change things, as the opposition, repressed by the maneuverings of the entrenched dynasty, was defeated and demoralized.

Now more than ever is the opportunity to make the people remember the feeling of believing in change, and doing it together. This is Ric’s mission in Pasig. This is Ric’s challenge to the Eusebios.


As of the present, the Eusebios in Pasig don’t really trust the Pasigueños on anything, especially on city planning and decision-making. Like the rest of the current mainstream political actors, they don’t see the people as a pivotal fulcrum for city development. As such, the Pasigueños are not taken seriously, relegated as mere beneficiaries of local government resources converted to patronage.

Your browser may not support display of this image. Thus, a change in leadership in Pasig must be accompanied by a great change in perspective of its citizens – the conversion of the Pasigueñofrom a “subject” of a political patron to a “citizen” of a participatory and democratic city government.

Reinventing Pasig 

The 1986 EDSA Revolution, for all its flaws, left an indelible imprint in the consciousness of the Filipinos. It mainstreamed the culture of protesting, of confidence in challenging authority in the post-dictatorship era. In a period of democratic decay under the national leadership of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, which the Your browser may not support display of this image. Your browser may not support display of this image. Eusebios enthusiastically endorsed, this culture is once again being invoked by Sen. Noynoy Aguino, who’s presidential run is an effort to restore the Filipinos trust to elections as an engine of change.

The Liberal Party in Pasig, as part of Pagbabago Coalition, endeavors to re-channel this EDSA spirit into a more strategic purpose – fighting not to just to install a representative of the people of Pasig, but to put the people of Pasig itself to power. This, for Ric believes that we must break the notion that they need a “representative” or “voice” inside the halls of the government. The PASIGUEÑO can be THE GOVERNMENT.

And this is not just through an able capture of power, but also of effective and democratic governance. Ric Reyes’ team in Pasig will be undertaking a pioneering experiment on participatory governance, wherein they will let the people, at the barangay level, decide on the local government budget and primary local government position. In fact, even before the elections, Ric Reyes is already embarking on a participatory route in the construction of “people’s platform” – also the result of a painstaking consultation with Pasigueños.

Beyond Pasig

Because no city is an island, the struggle in Pasig should be put in a greater context of the struggle for a better Philippines. As we said, the dream of changing our communities is a reflection of a greater dream of transforming our country.

Ric Reyes’ gunning for the mayoralty of Pasig City is an affirmation of the fact that the community is primary vehicle towards genuine social change – the community as the driver of nation-building – because of its proximity and access to the collective experience and knowledge of the Filipino masses.

Ric Reyes’ struggle to transform Pasig is a struggle of each and every Filipino for a better society. Ric Reyes’ struggle is but a continuation of the struggle of Panlilio to reform Pampanga, Padaca to transform Isabela, and Robredo to bring Naga to modernity.

Thus, the call of the time is as clear as day:


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