Filipinos need to learn how true democracy works — opposition solon

Filipinos should be educated about how true democracy works, some lawmakers underscored on Tuesday following the recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey which showed that 78 percent of adult Filipinos in March 2018 are satisfied with the way democracy works in the country.

The result is slightly down from the 80 percent in June 2017.

The survey, conducted from March 23 to 27, also bared that 60 percent preferred a democratic government to any other form, 19 percent would sometimes prefer authoritarianism, while 21 percent said that the form of government does not matter.

READ: Number of Filipinos satisfied with PH democracy declines—SWS

Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat said the “perplexing” survey results shows the “need to educate Filipinos about how true democracy works– where rule of law is help paramount, where institutions are strong and free from interference and where opportunities for economic and political power are enjoyed not only by a few elite.”

“Sadly, majority feel that expressions of dissent, transparency and accountability are not important in their definition of democracy,” Baguilat lamented.

“The failures of liberal democracy in the past should not cloud our judgment on democracy. Let’s remember that many of the things we enjoy now are also products of our democratic awakening,” he also said.

Meanwhile, Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano stressed that while there is considerable satisfaction on how democracy works today, “we should not deny that the present socio-economic and political climate in the Philippines is far from a true democracy.”

“There are still killings and human rights violations under the war on drugs, political persecution of critics of the administration, corruption in government, subservience to external pressures, inaction to foreign encroachment in our territory, poor labor conditions for workers, and Filipino families suffering due to uncontrolled inflation and oppressive tax system,” he pointed out.

Alejano said the essence of a true democracy is “for the government to address this prevailing situation and for the Filipino people to hold the government accountable.”

READ: Lawmakers assert PH sovereignty from China, slam militarization in West PH Sea

Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago for her part, said it is “high time that the collective aspirations of the marginalized and oppressed in our society be heard and acted upon.”

READ: Gabriela: PH independence ‘as cheap as noodles’

The progressive lawmaker said for as long as peasants, workers to national minorities, among others–who have long borne the brunt of landlessness, joblessness, contractualization, low wages and inaccessible social services–“have little to no voice in our society, democracy would only be illusory.” /je


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