The job description of the presidency

By: Joel Ruiz Butuyan - @inquirerdotnet - Columnist/Philippine Daily Inquirer | November 08,2021 - 08:00 AM

The most important job vacancy in our country will happen in six months. The applicants aspiring to take on the job for the next six years have come forward. The country is now reverberating with so much sound and fury on the candidates’ qualifications or lack of them. Lamentably, there’s little conversation taking place on how massively burdensome the job is and what it will demand from our country’s next president.

We’ve had 16 presidents since the establishment of our first republic in 1898. All these leaders took on very heavy burdens on their shoulders. But there were three periods in our history when the burdens were gigantically heavier than usual: 1) when our people first formed our nation after our revolution against Spain; 2) when we emerged from the destruction of World War II and we had to stand on our feet as an independent nation, and; 3) when we ousted Ferdinand Marcos Sr. and our country picked up the pieces from the ruins of a disastrous dictatorship.

The president we will choose in May 2022 will preside over the fourth period in our history when the leader will face tremendously heavier burdens than usual. The humongous problems that our nation faces constitute the items in the job description that our next president must be qualified to take on. What does that job description demand?

The first item in the job description demands that our aspiring candidates have the capability to provide solutions to our most urgent problem — the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s true that our infection numbers are going down at present. But if we observe what’s been happening in China, Russia, and Europe, all of them are experiencing an nth outbreak despite higher vaccination rates compared to ours. A serious resurgence might just happen well into the term of our next president. We need a leader who must absolutely stop corruption in the purchase of our medical needs, and who will adopt health protocols that are based on science, logic, and the peculiar realities of each local community.

The second item in the job description demands that our applicants must have the ability to come up with solutions to address our severe economic crisis. So many of our businesses have closed down and millions of our people are unemployed. We have incurred massive debts because our tax revenues have dried up and we have borrowed trillions for our pandemic needs. Our next leader will make a very delicate balancing act between crafting health protocols to stop the pandemic and opening the economy to grow back businesses and jobs. The most crucial and highly important economic decision of our next president, however, is how she or he will improve the lives of our toiling masses as the primary objective of economic growth.

The third item in the job description requires our presidential applicants to give special attention to and provide bigger funds for our educational system. Education has seriously deteriorated among our people as shown by our flawed morals, faulty ethics, deficient skills, and inferior academic aptitude. Quality education is the silver bullet that can solve all of our country’s most crucial problems.

The fourth item in the job description is a demand for aspiring applicants to mend the extreme polarization that has developed in our society. This problem has reached crisis proportions. One sector of our people, aware of the many charlatan leaders who have betrayed our country, still want to continue on the path of democracy. They know that it’s a long and winding road ahead, but the other paths are fraught with more dangers. Another sector has grown disillusioned with democracy and is willing to take a shortcut through the treacherous route led by dictatorial leaders who boast of incredible promises. Our next president must work doubly hard to restore people’s faith in democracy. Otherwise, the clamor to install tyrants and despots as our future leaders will grow even stronger.

Now, who among the aspiring presidential candidates qualify for that job description?

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TAGS: capability to provide solutions to our most urgen problem -- COVID-19 pandemic, funds for educational system, heavier burdens, job description, job vacancy, mend extreme polarization, President, severe economic crisis

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