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Next leader must be a good listener – President Aquino

MANILA, Philippines – Great democratic leaders are the ones who have the ability to listen to their people and heed their call, President Benigno S. Aquino III has said.
“I guess the best leader, especially in democratic countries, is one who has the ability to keep on listening and acting on the wants, the needs of his bosses, the electorate, the people who put him into office,” President Aquino said when asked about his advice to his successor, during the annual Bulong Pulungan Forum at the Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City on Friday.
“I guess in essence that will be it: Don’t lose your ability to be able to really listen so that you can best serve your masters, who are the Filipino people.”
The Chief Executive further noted that the next president must be smart enough to navigate the bureaucracy.
“There are so many rules, laws, et cetera, that have to be complied with. For instance, when we want to procure anything, you are lucky to get what you want to procure in six months,” he explained.
“And sometimes at the back of my mind, when suppliers quote you prices, do they factor in what they think the prices will be six months hence, instead of what the current price is?”
On what programs he wants the next administration to continue, the President mentioned the Salary Standardization Law that aligns the compensation of state workers to that of the private sector.
He pointed out that the government could not get good people if it does not offer them adequate compensation.
“How do we encourage them to join government service and stay in government service? So, the starting salaries are supposed to be higher than the private sector,” he said, adding that he wants government employees to be given opportunities to improve themselves through training.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.