The Twelve Little Things Every Filipino Can Do To Help Our Country
A booklet authored by Alexander Ledesma Lacson entitled “Twelve (12) Little Things Every Filipino Can Do To Help Our Country”, has made rounds in Metro Manila in the early 2000’s. It may be a “voice in the wilderness” but Fr. Ruben Tanseco, S.J. has called the proposal, “very concrete, practical and doable” actions for ordinary Filipinos.
These simple 12 little things that every Filipino can do are:
1. Follow traffic rules — Why is that the most important? The answer is simple. Traffic rules are the simplest of our laws. If we learn to follow them, it will be the lowest form of national discipline that we can develop. Since it is totally without monetary cost, it should be easy for us to comply with, and therefore should provide a good start.
2. Whenever you buy or pay for anything, always ask for an official receipt -If a seller does not issue an official receipt when you buy a product, the seller may or may not remit the tax to the government. Without an O.R., there is no record of the sale transaction, and the tax that you paid may not be remitted to the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
3. Do not buy smuggled goods. Buy local, buy Filipino. — It may not be good economics to buy 100 percent local products. What I suggest is for us to take a “50-50” buying attitude. This means that we must develop the attitude of using 50 percent of our budget for local products and the other 50 percent for imported choices.
4. When you talk to others, especially foreigners, speak positively of our race and our country — this is best addressed to the rich and the middle class in our country, who have contact with the outside world. It is they who talk to, dine or deal with foreigners either here or abroad. It is what they say and do which creates impressions about us among foreigners.
5. Respect your traffic officer, policeman, soldier and other public servants — There is nothing like the power of respect. It makes a person proud and makes one feel honorable. At the same time, courtesy to others is good manners. It is class and elegance and kindness and seeing the value and dignity in the other man. In fact, it is a mark of a most profound education.
6. Do not litter. Dispose your garbage properly. Segregate. Recycle. Conserve. — As Louis Armstrong says in his song: “I see trees of green, red roses, too, I see them bloom for me and you and I think to myself, what a wonderful world.”
7. Support your church. (or charitable/ civic organizations)
8. During elections, do your solemn duty — Honesty, more than a masteral or doctorate degree, is what gives credibility. And credibility is essential because it is a leader’s link to the people. It is what makes the people look to one direction, follow a common vision, and perform a uniform act. In short, credibility is what makes people follow the leader.
9. Pay your employees well — No exercise is better for the human heart than to reach down and lift someone else up. This truly defines a successful life. For success is the sum, not of our earthly possessions, but of how many times we have shown love and kindness to others.
10. Pay your taxes — In 2003, P83 billion was collected from individual income taxes. But 91 percent of this amount came from salaried workers from the government and private sector, people who had no choice since their income taxes were withheld mandatorily. Only P7 billion of the P83 billion came from businessmen and professionals like doctors, lawyers, accountants and architects, among others.
11. Adopt a scholar or adopt a poor child — You can make a difference in the future of our country by making a difference in the world of children.
12. Be a good parent. Teach your kids to follow the law and to love our country. — Today’s children will someday rule and lead this world. But whether they will be bad rulers or good leaders will depend largely on how we raise them today. Our future is in the hearts and minds of our children.