Senator Alan Peter Cayetano on Wednesday said it is high time the government transforms into a values-based institution, stressing that God-centered and people-oriented leadership is key to the country’s progress in the face of an ever-fluctuating economic environment.
“One of the most overlooked aspects of economic growth is values,” Cayetano said on April 19, 2023.
“Progress is not only dependent on programs and projects but also on the values of our leaders, because the first desire of a values-based leader is to make the lives of his people better,” he added, highlighting the prediction of economic analysts that there has been a slowing of economic growth in the first four months of 2023.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) is scheduled to release data on May 11, and analysts see a 4.4 percent GDP growth – much slower than the 8.2 percent of the same quarter last year.
“Whenever we go around our country and talk to our local leaders, I always say that it is Taguig’s faith-based living and approach to economic challenges that led us to where we are today,” Cayetano said.
He said rather than allowing gambling and lewd activities, the city chose to prioritize and spend on education, health, and hard work.
The senator renewed his call for the passage of Senate Bill No. 61 or the National Values, Etiquette, Moral Uprightness Act, which will establish a council composed of leaders of the religious organizations in the country that will act as adviser to the President on matters pertaining to religion, faith, and morals.
“Kapag tama ang values ng isang leader, tama ang kanyang priorities. Meaning ang focus niya ay public service, kung paano muna pauunlarin ang human resource before anything else — including revenue,” he said.
The bill also mandates all government offices and Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) to include modules on patriotism, national pride and identity, and moral uprightness in their employee orientations and training programs, and to assign at least one Values Officer who will oversee its implementation.
Cayetano said instead of dividing FIlipinos along religious lines, a government founded on strong morals and principles will unite the people towards a common goal.
“Palagi nating sinasabing tayo ang nag-iisang Christian country among our neighbors. So definitely the values and morals are there – we just have to restore them and prevent them from deteriorating,” he said.
“All religions are united by the concept of love and desire to improve the welfare of others. If we can inculcate that in our leaders, and if we demand our leaders to have that kind of attitude, siguradong magkakaroon ng sustainable na pag-unlad,” he added.