7 Things Past Philippine Presidents Have Taught Us

Did you know that there was a Filipino First policy that encouraged everyone to prioritize Filipino-made products? That’s just one of the things that a past Philippine President has taught us as a nation.

Austerity is the best policy

During the term of President Carlos P. Garcia, Filipinos were asked to be thrifty, to save, to work hard, and be efficient in production. He appealed to the people to lessen extravagant consumption and imports.

Filipino should be first

Another edict of Carlos P. Garcia is for Filipinos to support Filipino-made products. He wants Filipinos to take control of Philippine businesses, trade, and industry and that could only happen if people would consume Filipino products first. “Everything that marks ‘Filipinos” would have to be promoted, enhanced, consumed and/or sold first before getting on the foreign products.

Only with discipline can we succeed

The Declaration of Martial Law by President Ferdinand E. Marcos brought major change in the lives of Filipinos. When it started crime and violence were greatly reduced. Marcos aimed to cultivate in Filipinos the value of discipline so they can improve their social, economic and moral conditions. In his time, this was the motto: “Sa ikauunlad ng bayan, Disiplina ang kailangan.” (For the country’s growth, discipline is needed)

The Power of a United People

Martial Law became too much for Filipinos and in 1986, they realized that they are strong enough to fight back against the government that made them cower for years. That year, the term “People Power” was born and it was attributed to how Filipinos deposed a dictator, then President Ferdinand Marcos.

The value of human rights and freedom

Coming from the curtailed days of the Martial Law, Filipinos clamored for freedom and asserted their human rights. It was in President Cory Aquino’s time that this was given back to them. The freedom to express and publish one’s ideas and to protest and rally without being threatened were given back to the people as written in the Philippine Constitution.

Importance of women in nation-building

It was also during President Cory Aquino’s time that women started to enjoy equal treatment. Filipino women, then, were given “equal opportunity in national development efforts, budget for gender and development in government agencies, and credit or lending windows for women at the Land Bank and Development Bank of the Philippines.”

Government officials are mere servants of the Filipino people

The term of President Noynoy Aquino promulgated the need to defeat corruption and bring back honesty and transparency in governance through his campaign slogan “Matuwid na Daan” and “Ikaw ang Boss ko!” He removed some of the privileges of politicians like car sirens or more colloquially known as “wang-wang” in an attempt to show people that government officials are no more important than the next guy and that they are in position to serve people.