Under Article 7, Section 2 of the Philippine Constitution, in order to serve as President, one must be at least 40 years old, a registered voter, able to read and write, a natural-born Filipino citizen, and a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding election. But those are only basic qualifications. We, the voters, must also set our own qualifications in choosing the right President to make sure that our country will have continuous progress and our children will have a brighter future.
The following qualities of an effective leader of our nation may be too idealistic, but I believe that we can still find some (if not all) of these traits in a person who is or who will be worthy to become the leader of our government.
1. Accountability. A good president understands that he (she) is the head of the state. When the nation falls, he acknowledges his responsibility rather than blame his subordinates. He recognizes himself as the father of the entire nation. Hence, he treats the local government unit leaders as his children, and take responsibility in helping them whenever they face problems.
2. Respect. A good leader of a country respects the constitution, abides the laws, and honors the decision of the Supreme Court. He also listen and respect the views of the common people.
3. Cohesiveness. An effective head of the government promotes unity among his people rather than causing them to divide and have meaningless fights.
4. Humility. An effective president admits his mistakes and weaknesses. He also acknowledges that he’s not good at everything. That is why he leaves the other tasks to the other branches of the government, such as the legislative and judiciary bodies.
5. Honesty. An effective leader upholds truth and integrity. He preserves the trust and confidence given to him by the people. And of course, he doesn’t embezzle the funds of the nation.
6. Independence. A strong president is not a puppet. His actions are not a product of impartial decisions. He’s not manipulated by oligarchs or a few people who are thirsty of power and wealth of a nation.
7. Wisdom. A wise president knows how to discern right from wrong. He knows how to make the right decisions. He shows maturity of the mind. His words provide power and enlightenment to all.
8. Courage. A great leader of a nation has the courage to execute the decisions that he believes are right. He’s not afraid to stand and fight for righteousness for the sake of his countrymen.
9. Compassion. An effective president understands what his people are going through. He can feel the sufferings of the oppressed and poor people. He is not arrogant, rather he’s gentle and uplifting to people who are suffering from misery and pain.
10. Action. A great leader is a role model of hard work. He walks his talk and inspires his people through his actions. He makes sure that his promises are done and not broken.
11. Proactivity. An effective leader of a country is not insecure and reactive. Instead, he possesses intuit and initiative to create solutions for the present and future problems.
12. Passion. Great leaders do their job with enthusiasm. They serve the public, not because they are compensated with money and fame, but because that is their mission in life.
13. Commitment. An effective head of the government is determined to realize his great visions and dreams for the nation. Patience and persistence manifest in him.
14. Love. Finally, an effective president of a country has a selfless love for his (her) people and for all the next generations. All of the qualities above are difficult to practice, but because of his love, he does his best to practice them all.
Patience, diligence, truthfulness, courage, confidence, self-control and other qualities of a great leader, it is real love that can bind them all.
Are the qualities above impossible to have by a leader of our nation? I believe if the leaders of other countries can have humility, integrity and love for their people, then Filipino leaders can also have the same.
Our world still have many great leaders. They are the main reasons why countries attain economic, social and human development. Countries like Singapore, Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, Norway and Sweden are known to have the least corrupt politicians in the world. And the success of these countries are largely contributed to their great leadership. Although the citizens are vital in developing any country, the head of the government or state has the main responsibility to lead that progress. That’s why they are called leaders or heads in the first place.
This article is not meant to oust presidents that don’t pass our own qualifications. This post only aims to give us a guide in choosing the right president during elections. We have to respect the votes made by the majority of the people. Therefore, we have to wait for the next election, and become wiser citizens and voters of our nation.
However, that’s not also mean we have to keep quite when we see our leaders doing the opposite of what they have promised. If we truly love and support our leaders, we have to be honest to them. We have to criticize them truthfully and tell them that… hey, you’re doing it wrong! Change your actions and lead us the right way!