Voters Must Go for “Back-to-Basics” Governance and “Bike-to-Basics” Exercise

by Bobby Reyes

| Photo by Obi Onyeador on Unsplash

Part XVIII of the “ReVOTElution of H.O.P.E.” Series

The exercise of suffrage’s main problem in many countries, especially in the Third World, is that almost all politicians, including those seeking the presidency, have forgotten what governance is all about. Or perhaps do they know at all why they are running for public office? Or why do they want to be part of the government?

Today, August 29th is the 389th birth anniversary of John Locke (1632-1707). “Among these fundamental natural rights, Dr. Locke (an English physician and philosopher) said, were “life, liberty, (and property).” Dr. Locke believed that the “most-basic human law of nature is the preservation of mankind.” And “to serve that purpose, he reasoned (out), individuals have both a right and a duty to preserve their own lives.” It is not surprising that the US adopted the “people’s right to life, liberty and property and their pursuit of happiness (LLPPH).” The readers that want a more scholarly discussion of the “LLPPH” can read this link.

Ergo, governance is the art of simply protecting, preserving, and promoting the people’s right to life, liberty, and property and their pursuit of happiness (LLPPH). And defending them and the nation against domestic and foreign enemies and adversaries.

Our 1966 liberal arts class in San Beda College learned about Dr. Locke in our political science subject. Then our 1970 class at the Ateneo de Manila College of Law learned more of the people’s fundamental rights, as defined by Dr. Locke. His ideas also became the Bill of Rights of the 1935 Philippine Constitution, which was more or less based on the American basic principles and fundamental laws of the land.

Politicians also forget that citizens simply want “back-to-basics” norms of promoting the people’s right to “LLPPH” by doing the “LOLO” acronym, as I introduced in Sorsogon Province in the 2016 gubernatorial campaign. “LOLO” means Law and Order, Less government control, and Opportunities equally for all. And conduct in government must be anchored on the ATIC principles. “ATIC,” as I coined in 2000, means Accountability, Transparency, Integrity, and Credibility.

“Politicians also forget that citizens simply want “back-to-basics” norms of promoting the people’s right to “LLPPH” by doing the “LOLO” acronym, …”

The term “opportunities” also means that the people are equally guaranteed basic human rights. By modern definition and practice, affordable and clean air, potable water, healthcare, education, shelter, viable environment, and equality are now human rights.

This column discussed affordable (universal) healthcare using the provincial-government hospital system as the building blocks (or nucleus) in this article: “Healthcare Can Spell Victory for the OFW/OF Nation-led Slates” in this link:

I also discussed the imposition of a “Wealth Tax” (as copied from rich nations) in this link. The “Wealth Tax” would pave the way towards making “equality” practicable and enforceable. And partly fund the operations of any government.

By the way, “Back-to-basics” is meant “the return to a simpler way of doing something or thinking about something. ” A typical example is a business of operating a restaurant — it means getting back to basics in terms of using fresh ingredients to make simple but good food at affordable prices done in sanitary ways following basic government-and-industry health guidelines.

How “Bike-to-Basics” Was Coined in Sorsogon Province

This columnist has discussed many issues and proposals mentioned in “The Straphanger” with at least four Philippine presidents, three presidential candidates, and one president aspirant. (But all of them ignored my “unsolicited advice” of socioeconomic plans and programs). But this columnist ran for governor in 2016 in Sorsogon Province, as mentioned in the fifth paragraph of this instant article, to test whether voters would accept rural, if not rustic, mini-versions of said development plans.

“By the way, “Back-to-basics” is meant “the return to a simpler way of doing something or thinking about something “

I announced that I would immediately send a Trade and Investment Mission (T&IM) to Taiwan to negotiate for a bicycle factory and manufacturing plants for solar panels, computers, electronic-consumer items, and other big-ticket items. I said that all local government units (LGU) who got elected or re-elected on May 9, 2016, election would be members of the said T&IM — as soon as the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) certified our poll victories. Unfortunately, this journalist lost the gubernatorial election, having come out 5th out of 8th candidates. All the traditional local politicians (trapos) predicted that I would end up in the last place — as I was physically absent as an OFW for the past 27-years in the province. And I campaigned only on the radio; the winning candidate did not listen (nor probably understand) to the “Bike-to-Basics” program. Even if I lost, the winner could tap my services to lead the said T&IM to Taiwan.

People ignored the fact that bicycles (including those with optional electronic power or the E-bikes) would result in the healthiest province in the Philippines, aside from cutting down on the unnecessary deaths due to diabetes and other infectious diseases. Bikes would save a lot of gasoline and engine oil used by more than 10-K motorized tricycles in the province. (I promised better jobs with higher pay and fringe benefits to all the affected tricycle drivers.)

“People ignored the fact that bicycles (including those with optional electronic power or the E-bikes) would result in the healthiest province in the Philippines, aside from cutting down on the unnecessary deaths …”

I had been saying all along that the national policy and decision-makers were shooting for vehicle-assembly plants to be built in the Philippines when the country does not have a modern and mega bike factory — contrary to the “back-to-basics” doctrine.

By this coming Wednesday, this column will provide more details about the “Bike-to-Basics” program. And how it would guarantee the employment of ALL able and willing Sorsoganons. The result would be that Sorsogon (then and still now ranked the 19th-poorest province in the country) would eliminate poverty and all other social cancers within 5-to 7 years. By the end of that time frame, Sorsogon would emerge as one of the wealthiest (and healthiest) provinces (on a per-capita basis). But many of the local voters preferred to sell their votes for 700-pesos (the equivalent of 14 US greenbacks) per ballot cast.


Roberto M Reyes /AKA Bobby M. Reyes August 29, 2021 - 6:06 pm

Lee Leon, a Filipino-American physician in Minnesota, posted this comment in my Facebook Timeline, where I shared this article. Dr. Lee said: QUOTE.
I appreciate your introspective thoughts and pragmatic ideas about some of the maladies affecting our economy and politics. Yeah, maybe if we can incentivize the users of bikes, that idea will fly. Any novel idea is always regarded with doubt, fear, or even mockery, but it takes some bold push to get it going. UNQUOTE.
I replied: “Thanks, Dr. Lee Leon, for your layman’s version of an imprimatur.”

Roberto M Reyes /AKA Bobby M. Reyes August 29, 2021 - 6:15 pm

Sam Sy commented in the OFW-&-Overseas Filipino Nation (OFW/OF Nation) Facebook Group (where I shared also this article):
“The country needs true leaders, not clowns? Perhaps?”

Roberto M Reyes /AKA Bobby M. Reyes August 30, 2021 - 9:57 am

BOBBY M. REYES REPLIED: Thanks, Norman. I already wrote some of the “back-to-basics” steps in securing state-of the-art manufacturing infrastructures and further training of manpower plus changing the system of paying wages, fringe benefits and the turning of “Crony Capitalism” to “Co-op Capitalism,” among other ideas. I’ll mention your comment in my column this Wednesday.
Norman Madrid of New York wrote a feedback by Messenger: QUOTE,
Basic governance? Not a good phrase. Provides no guidance on how a nation may acquire modern factory machines and laboratory equipment and scientific knowledge fast to employ all workers within one year and erase poverty in three years and make the nation equal to China militarily in 12 years. Bobby, you must be as calculating in the mind as Singaporeans, Koreans, Germans, Americans. Think numerically. Broad pronouncements not helpful. UNQUOTE,

Roberto M Reyes /AKA Bobby M. Reyes September 3, 2021 - 3:37 pm

Hi, Fellow PDM Columnists and Webmaster. I am happy to inform you that “The Straphanger” column has a new follower in Arizona. And he is an American politician (albeit without any Filipino DNA). After I informed him of this instant column (in my Timeline and in his creation, the “Democratic Centrist of America” Party’s Facebook Group, he posted his reply, to wit: Robert Haran commented:
“Mr. Reyes, you are a very interesting gentleman to find on FaceBook, actually to find anywhere. I am also a big fan of John Locke. I am so happy you liked my little essay. America is in big trouble right now. I love my country and want to help save it but the people don’t seem to care. I hope you will keep in touch because I really like your writing. I to was involved in politics here in Arizona, I ran for the Arizona House of Representatives in 2000. The only reason I lost was because the other guy got more votes. What I am trying to do with the Democratic Centrist of America is get it up and running and transition it into a centrist political party, because right now America is under a two-party dictatorship, both controlled by corporate oligarchs. Robert Haran”


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