- Posted February 2, 2013 by
Davao City, Philippines
Hagedorn calls for longer terms for politicians
By Ben O. Tesiorna
Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn is rooting for a longer term for politicians instead of the usual three years per term with a limit of three consecutive terms.
In his visit to Davao City on Saturday, Hagedorn said a three-year term is too short for a good politician to be serving the constituents. He said it would be best if the term be made four years instead of three and with no more limit of three consecutive terms.
He said that in the present situation, the first six months of the politician's public service is usually spent in defense of an electoral protest filed by the losing rival while the last six months is focused on the nest election.
"So that leaves a politician only two years for a real public service. Masyadong maiksi na yun. Kaya mas mabuti na pahabaan pa natin yung term," said Hagedorn.
The 1987 Philippine Constitution imposed the term limits to dismantle political dynasties. But the intent of the law has not achieved its purpose as term- limited incumbents may be replaced by relatives or may run for a different elected office.
A study by Pablo Querubin of the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies entitled Political Reform and Elite Persistence: Term Limits and Political Dynasties in the Philippines stated that "term limits deter high-quality challengers from running prior to the expiration of an incumbent’s term."
"Challengers prefer to wait for the incumbent to be termed-out and run in an open-seat race. As a consequence, incumbents are safer in their early terms prior to the limit. These results suggest that political reforms that do not modify the underlying sources of dynastic power may be ineffective in changing the political equilibrium," Querubin stated.
Aside from term extension, the senatoriable said he would also be focusing on environment protection and tourism promotion if ever elected to the Senate. Hagedorn is running independent under the Nationalist People's Coalition.
The long-term mayor of Puerto Princesa said that what they did in his city could be replicated in other parts of the country if the government is serious on its advocacy to protect the environment.
Hagedorn took pride on the tremendous influx of tourists in their city after the the Puerto Princesa Underground River was declared as one of the new seven wonders of the world.
The mayor said their revenue on tourism jumped from a mere 149 million annually to 9.7 billion. Hagedorn gave credit to the thousands of Dabawenyos who voted for the Underground River during the competition.
"So this only proves na may kaunlaran even without extractive development. Meaning no mining, no logging, no factories. Strict implementation of the law ang dapat gawin for the protection of the environment. When it comes to environment, it is absoulte. Walang compromises dyan," he said.
Fellow NPC member, former North Cotabato Governor Emmanuel Piñol, meanwhile said that Hagedorn is an easy sell to the people considering his popularity.
"The only problem is that many people do not know that he is running for senator. But once they know, they readily give their support to Mayor Hagedorn," said Piñol.
It was learned that no less than Davao City Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte promised to support Hagedorn on his candidacy. BOT