PolWonk is a conjugation of three words policy, political and wonk which, in various aspects have been associated with the career and training she had over the years. PolWonk sums up her interests and advocacies. It is a weekly column, appearing every Fridays, in The Lobbyist

PolWonk is a conjugation of three words policy, political and wonk which, in various aspects have been associated with the career and training she had over the years. PolWonk sums up her interests and advocacies. It is a weekly column, appearing every Fridays, in The Lobbyist.

THERE are two defining events in the horizon this week: the continuous purging and surrender of peddlers of illegal drugs and the ruling of the UN tribunal on the West Philippine Sea.

When one does business in a foreign place, usually you combine it with pleasure, given the chance. That has always been a privilege given to people who can combine both and come out experiencing local culture, whether food, sites, history, politics, economy, and all.

Though both victors come from separate parties, there will be no joint oath taking. This does not augur well since inaugurals are steeped with traditions and symbols covering institutions, democracy, transitions, leaders and the source of power, the people.

“ON the table” was a graphic but alarming signal for the rest of the declared presidential candidates for 2016. On the night of the 21st of November, inCavite, Davao mayor Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte made a statement that shook the political establishment, making himself available to the PDP Laban. Much needs to be done before he is acknowledged as an official candidate. As the race is on to remove Poe from the official ballot because of residency disqualification,to include Duterte as a substitute candidate for PDP Laban.

THE lessons from Yolanda echoes strong, two years after the tragedy that we cannot gloss over what November 8 means to us. Yolanda is about leadership, decision-making and management. It is both the IQ and the EQ of leadership; being proactive, building consensus and making decisions on the spot; and of managing adequately, human and financial resources in order to respond to a natural disaster. Part of management is the ability to communicate effectively to all parties involved, never framing it as you versus us.

THE AlDUB nation is better than the Philippine state and that accounts for the huge success of the creative minds of Eat Bulaga. Eat Bulaga has more common sense than the Aquino administration. For the latter, common sense is dead while for the former, common sense made them King in noon time category as well as break records in the entertainment industry with the no advertisement, no break to the rafters Saturday show from the Philippine arena. The Filipino nation, defined as those in Manila and the four corners of the world, stopped to watch history in the making and became, for a moment, proud of what Eat Bulaga dared and achieved.

IN every presidential election, there are “three possible campaigns any candidate can run: challenger, trying to regain the top position for his party; incumbent, trying to stay in the palace by the river for the party in power; successor, the toughest campaign, offering continuity.” But first, there is ambition. But anyone audacious enough to run knows already how to bluff. Then, one has to project grit and determination.

IT would seem that in order to be the leader of the pack, the Liberal Party has adopted the stance of trying to hit everyone when it can and leaving enough room to further rein in the opponents for 2016. The call of winning at all cost has reached the decibel level that one can penetrate the glass cover of all potential candidates for 2016.

MUCH has been said about the kind of leaders we elect and the kind of voters we have. In every election cycle, we just cannot find the “ideal” candidate we want; short of saying the best of the lot is not enough. Why? Because the best just do not like politics and our system of politics do not even allow the best to reach first base. The sooner we accept this, the better for our democracy.

WITH just eight months before this administration passes the baton to the next, a meltdown looks in the horizon with the way things are shaping to be. From traffic management, flood control, the Lumad killings, the revisionist Mamasapano about to be reintroduced in the frame, exit strategies not yet defined and executed and one by one, Cabinet secretaries seem to be lining up for the proverbial “burn out” resignation excuses. Less than a month will be the filing of the Certificate of Candidacies and then hosting the APEC in November, approval of the GAA by December and campaign season kicks in.

NOW this I don’t get. Taxing and opening Balikbayan Boxes (BB)? At the start of the ghost month, the Aquino administration is playing a joke on us, both to the sender and the receiver. Oh Mar, the joke is also on you!

BY June 2010, there was talk that only a few hundreds of billion was left for the incoming administration. “In the first six months of this year (2010), government expenditure exceeded revenues. Our deficit further increased to PhP196.7 billion. Our collection targets, which lack PhP23.8 billion, were not fully met, while we went beyond our spending by PhP45.1 billion. Our budget for 2010 is PhP1.54 trillion. Of this, only PhP100 billion – or 6.5% of the total budget – can be used for the remaining six months of the current year. Roughly 1% of the total budget is left for each of the remaining month.”