Dynasties in Politics: The Culture of Inequality of Philippine Politics

Three decades after the ratification (February 2, 1987) of 1987 constitution. Political Dynasty has been a norm in the Philippine political scene. Even though it is prohibited by the constitution the political families to have two or more members is elected for the government position are still increasing decades later. So what does it imply? What is the effect of having a political dynasty in a democratic republic? And how could it be ended if not limit?

When the basic unit of society became the root of corruption, something isn't right. Click To Tweet

It is dated back during the Spanish colonization, when mestizo family (Principalía) got the right to have a government position, next to where the businessman with Chinese descent. They were the first local clan to help a position that was long held by only friar or Spanish. it continues with the American arrived this culture boom and flourish but the fall of Marcus regime fuel a much larger, vulgar and somewhat disgusting culture of families affiliated in politics.

 

Family is the most basic unit of society.

When the basic unit of society became the root of corruption, something isn't right. Philippine Politics has been a breeding ground of corrupt official, especially on the local level. The definition of a political dynasty has been a subject of debate as well as one of the reasons why no bill was able to pass. In a lay-mans term if a family has a more than two elected member they can be categorized as a political family. With a staggering 70% of all elected official being a member of a political family, so it's no mystery why it can't gain enough support to pursue the creation of a law based on 1987 Constitution which states in Article II Section 26, "The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law.".

Top 10 Political Dynasties (Philippines)

Rise to power by the hook or by crook.

There are three things that make this family stay in position over the years.

  1. Power - As an elected official they have the power or control over things such as; taking credits for the government projects. Hey, it's your job you chose to run and won so your constituent owes nothing from you.
  2. Wealth - Money is a dominant denominator of all things, sometimes with money, you can even control those who have power.
  3. Fame - Uneducated voters, not in literal meaning but in the maturity of citizen over the gravity of the issue. Not because they were the talk of the town they are fit for the job.

While not all political dynasty is bad as it is, there is some country progress more under the leadership of the political family. The best example for this is Singapore under Lee Kuan Yew succeeded by his son Lee Hsien Loong. This isn't the case in our country as most of the political family turn into stationary bandit over time. To continue their political survival they keep on guaranteeing the progress or as mention above taking a lot of credits and poverty level barely move it beg a question of incompetency.

How to take action?

People has only change to make a chance every three years. Election is the only season where citizen has enough power to overwhelm the corrupt culture of political dynasty, so don't waste it. The following is some of the things you might need to ask if you get a change in caucus or political rally.
  • Demand more from the incumbent official and don't settle from what they offer and set.
  • Ask what is the long-term plan or stationary plan they would do if they win.
  • Be responsible and understand the current issue and problem of your community.

Dynasties in Democracies

BY THE NUMBERS: Political dynasties in the Philippines

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