2016: The Meaning of “Continuity”

“Continuity” is the Aquino government’s key word heading into 2016.  “Let’s pick a leader,” says President Aquino, “who will continue and further improve on the reforms we’ve made.”[1]

But what exactly does “continuity” mean? Does it mean that the next President should be a robot who governs only according to PNoy’s command?  Of course not. This is continuity in appearance, conformity in reality. This is what I call “conformative continuity”, a blind kind of continuity. This is the kind of “continuity” that Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay expected from his Vice Mayor, Ernesto Mercado:

“Sometime in September 2009, just when Mercado thought he was already the presumptive bet of the Binays… (Gerry) Limlingan allegedly relayed the Binays’ conditions before (Mercado) could be anointed as their mayoral bet.The conditions, according to Mercado were three-fold:

  • That he would not remove any personnel in City Hall
  • That the SOPs (bribes) would continue
  • That he would do whatever they please

Mercado found the 3rd condition difficult and impossible to accede to. Weeks later, Junjun Binay was annointed to succeed his father.” [2]

What we need in 2016 is not “conformative continuity” but “innovative continuity”. Innovative continuity means continuing the Aquino administration’s reforms, while  avoiding its mistakes, missteps and mismanagement. After all, the Aquino administration has implemented reforms, but it has been saddled by missteps (Yolanda, Mamasapano, Zamboanga) and political baggage (the DAP affair). Innonative continuity is not templated, cookie cutter governance, but innovative, independent governance.

For “innovative continuity” to work, the next President be receptive yet independent. She (or he) should not only be receptive of PNoy’s guidance but also be able to learn from his mistakes, avoid his missteps and improve upon his lapses.

[1] Guiterrez, N. “Aquino: Next president should continue reforms” Rappler (05/01/14). http://www.rappler.com/nation/56908-aquino-next-president-continue-reforms

[2] Rufo, A. “The Jojo Binay that Mercado knew” Rappler (11/03/14) http://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/investigative/73766-jejomar-binay-ernesto-mercado

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