Friday, October 05, 2012

Public service is not just public office

Time and again I have been asked "would you like to run as party-list representative?" or "is your group running as a party-list group?" and more comments such as "we will support you if ever you decided to run..."

As much as these statements of inquiry and support flatters me -- I would say I am just grateful that people see the importance of our work and the need to have more groups from the health sector be represented in Congress.

When I say the health sector, that would mean not just the nurses but the entire web of health professionals including health workers in the grounds. As a sector composed of many sub-sectors - we carry multitudes of concerns ranging from professional practice, protection from exploitation, job security, tenure, workplace bullying, human trafficking and many others. The nurses, as the biggest sub-sector of health professionals, carry these issues all the more along with the concerns of unemployment, job mismatch and exploitation.

When asked about those questions above, I just give them my sweetest smile and say "it is not the main goal of our group but we will continue our vigilance in forwarding the issues and support the proper legislation needed to better the profession and the health sector in general..."

Should public service necessarily be in public office? We say not. Our group believes that public service should not be contained in public office, but true public service should be in all public offices. We can still advocate and work well with different partners in the government without having to be in public office. But do we think that true public servants be in public office? Of course we do! Truthful, honest and competent public service entails changing one's paradigm of the want to be in public office first and foremost.

Being in public office would require a lot of preparations, a wide base of people who push and actively supports the same agenda and a right mindset of why one should run for public office.

And for this, to everyone, friends and supporters who have been encouraging me to run this 2013 elections, I would have to respectfully decline. Although it would have been ideally good but I think the movement has just started, there are still many things to do aside from being elected into office. 

But rest assured that even as we are not in public office, we will still work with our legislative agenda on health, nursing and youth. Your continued support is highly sought and my heartfelt gratitude for all those who believe that we can bring change in the system.

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