A DISASTER WILL MAKE OR BREAK A LEADER
In 2013, the Leytenos were enraged when their leaders were not around before, during, and after Yolanda. The Yolanda issue was a litmus test, and became both the downfall and the rise of many of our politicians.
Mar lost the Presidency and Digong won it in huge part because of Yolanda.
Mar lost his credibility when he failed during the relief and rehab phases. Digong earned major brownie points for being one of the first government workers to be on the site of ground zero. Here was a local mayor capable of greater things was a message that reverberated and heard and understood around the Philippines.
President Aquino was slammed for his politicking and the government's tragic failure in fixing the problem. Binay had the chance to make his mark, but he never saw the golden opportunity to show his leadership in the aftermath of Yolanda.
Mayor Alfred Romualdez was crucified in the press for being at his beach house when reports of storm surges were already circulating--a mistake that nearly cost him his life. He redeemed himself, at least in the eyes of his constituents, for being highly visible after.
When a major calamity strikes, the people naturally look for central figures to rally them together. At no time is a leader needed more than when people feel most helpless and hopeless. A leader's job is to "lead"--whether you work for a call center or a hospital or a bank or a major corporation or for the government, a leader is expected to drop everything and "save" the people who look up to him on her. It doesn't matter if there are people tasked to take care of things like Judy Taguiwalo, it is simply in bad taste not to be there when you are needed. All leaders know this truth. If not for actual work, he or she NEEDS to be there to be at least a symbol and a promise that things will turn out all right.
So, yes, despite the excuses VP Leni and her office has made, her actual presence during a calamity is actually very important. After all, calamities, too, are tests of a leader's capacity and willingness, and ultimately, DEPENDABILITY to be there when one is sorely needed.
Krizette Laureta Chu as posted on Facebook.