Vision Is The Greater Part Of Statesmanship

MANILA: True to its name, VERA Files, standing for veracity, which is "habitual observance of truth in speech or statement" (Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary), has come out with a new project: fact-checking what the Vice/President candidates and their advocates have recently said, especially if it concerned numbers, which is easier to make mistakes of and to check. Ellen Tordesillas has a report, "Fact-checking Mar and Chiz on their claims about poverty in their respective province(s)" – the words in quote make up the Facebook post; the title in Ellen's blog is "Is that so?" (04 March 2016,
"Is That So?" is a VERA Files project. Ellen says:
To help voters see beyond the nice packaging of the candidates, VERA Files is doing a fact check. We have titled this project, "Is that so?" and this is how it works: We check the candidates' statements against facts from official data and other sources.
In fact-checking, aside from official data, we will also check the candidate’s statements from his or her previous statements. We’ll see if he or she is consistent with his or her stand on issues.
And the first "Is That So?" fact-check fell on Grace Poe, candidate for President. During the PiliPinas Debate, she was asked about her plans for the food security of farmers. The Fact: She said: "We are the 5th largest coconut producer in the whole world, but we are not giving them adequate support." The Check: The FAO says the Philippines was the 2nd largest coconut producer in the world in 2014. Grace Poe doesn't know the numbers, or isn't interested in agriculture, or both. The fact-checking was done by UP students Shernielyn dela Cruz, Mark Kevin Reginio, and Potre Leila Mechani Tilendo for their Journalism Ethics course taught by VERA Files trustee Yvonne T Chua.
Wrong number! Even if Grace Poe was right, in fact she was not answering the question properly, which was about her plans for the food security of 2.6 million families who say they are poor. The question did not call for our rank in the world market of coconuts, so she did not have to make that mistake. I think she was trying to impress the audience with her statistics. "We are not giving them adequate support." Precisely, what support is that? What is the plan?
Thank you girls and boy for a job well done. Now we know that Grace Poe does not know what she's talking about.
No matter. Grace Poe was ignorant of her country's rank in the coconut industry around the world. Forgivable. Everybody is ignorant about something. What is of greater consequence to me is the presidential candidate's Vision for the country. A President cannot be ignorant of that.
"What are your plans for those millions of Filipinos for food security?" That was an intelligent question. It called for a national action plan. That plan would have to be based on her Vision for the Philippines. Her answer was unintelligent because she was not prepared for it.
The intelligent answer would have presented to us her Vision for her country. Except that she had none; she has none. In fact, to this day not one of the presidential candidates has expressed any Vision for their country. They don't see any bright future for the Philippines except if they become President. Now, that reminds me: Of all people, Bongbong Marcos, running only for Vice President, has a Vision for his country (see my essay, 27 February 2016, "Vision, Not Division: One State, One Spirit, One Struggle," A Magazine Called Love, A Vision makes a good leader – and followers.

The image above, I'd like to title it ”The Visionary." The original photo of Mar Roxas is from, but which I posterized for effect. I love the "refract" effect. A visionary is one who can look into the future; a visionary is one who can predict the future. "The best way to predict the future," says management guru Peter Drucker, "is to invent it." Mar Roxas, if you are smart enough to invent a Vision for your country, I will vote for you.
Inspired by the VERA Files project "Is That So?" I think I will now launch an online project and ask those candidates for President and Vice President, "What Do You See?" Vision is as simple as that.
Vision is what you like to happen in the future; Strategy is how to make it happen – Mission is your role in that Action Plan to bring the dream to reality.
Anyone of these should make a bright Vision for the Philippines, and I would join you if you commit yourself:
No more poor in 12 years!
Federal Philippines: For equal access to resources.
5 Million Farmer-Entrepreneurs in 2020.
Internet Paradise before 2022.
"No more poor in 12 years!" means you have eliminated poverty in the country, not simply reduced the number of poor. There would be no poor no matter how you define "poverty." How will you go about it? That's your problem. As a candidate, you have a team; so, you can ask the people around you for bright ideas.
"Federal Philippines: For equal access to resources" refers to the equitable sharing of resources and power over them, unlike today where Manila dictates what can and cannot be done. You just have to explain the benefits of federalism over the current economic imperialism of Manila.
"5 Million Farmer-Entrepreneurs in 2020" will not eliminate poverty but will shake up the country so much that we people will know what further to do with the rest of the poor farmers. The thing is that most Filipino farmers treat farming as a way of living, not a business, so they are always the losers – and the usurers and merchants love them to death!
"Internet Paradise before 2022" means the Philippines will have the fastest Internet in the world, and so there will be millions more of call center agents, bloggers and virtual career professionals (virtual assistants). This will take advantage of the fact that we Filipinos are very good in English written and oral, and, it follows, very good with personal computers. We can compete with the best in the world.
You can come up with your own list. Just remember that a Vision is a dream but is realistic, achievable. What is the presidential candidate going to do about it? That's his Mission. The Mission is to help bring about the Vision. What's the Strategy? The Strategy is the better part of the Action Plan to help realize the Mission in order to make the Vision come true. The people would play a good part in that Strategy.
Vision brings about the Mission that brings about the Strategy and this should all be in the Action Plan. The candidate who has no Vision and who will promise to change the country by oneself & party is either a barefaced liar or a fool. The fools we always have with us because we always vote for them!

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