Thursday, November 25, 2010

Reflection

There is an on-going discussion right now mainly among intellectual circles. Fact is, there is now a continuing initiative for deep reflexion on the state of our country. 


One, there is a prevailing perception that nothing has changed since Noynoy Aquino assumed power. Surveys show a slow dissent of the people's trust in the capability of Aquino to deliver the promises he made during his Inaugural speech. 


People nowadays do not question the willingness of Pinoy to do all of the things he promised--they are now questioning the capability of people around him to implement those changes.


The capability of action is something rooted in direction. Pinoy said that he will lead us to the straight road. Pinoy has unfortunately, not provided his cabinet men with guidelines on how best to take that straight road. 


The question that every body is now asking him is---where does the straight road lead? Are we treading the road going to the North or South? Are we headed towards the top? Or that straight road leads to places below ground?


How straight is straight? And how long is that straight road? For in reality, there is really no straight road. If you look at a line in a microscope, you'll find that that line is really made up of fuzzy, jagged ones which, if they lie beside each other, looks straight.


These are finer details which Pinoy failed to declare in his inaugural. He, like his predecessors, failed to lay down the political-social and economic platform of his governance. 


Politicos like Noynoy plays around people's emotions, uses grand words to astound his audiences and likes to position himself as a champion of the People. 


Noynoy would, definitely be the real champion of the People if he really pursues the real agenda of the People. 


What is the real agenda of the People?


First, equalization of opportunities and rights under a so-called democratic society. If there is a regime of equal rights, then, workers would definitely get the right pay for their labours, farmers get the right price for their yields, and there are less people whose rights are violated.


Equalization of rights depend on many factors including political will. Is Noynoy ready to accept the proposition that the government is only a functionary of the People, and therefore, subservient to the will of its people, not on the caprices of a few groups who are in power?


For example, is Noynoy willing to fight the big hacienderos who continue to keep huge tracts of land off from agrarian reform? Is Noynoy willing to fight those big companies who are paying their laborers and employees so low, and are doing contractualization? Is Noynoy and his government willing to fight those big time mining and forest resources companies which continue to carve out our mountains, deplete our coastlines of sand and stones and practically kill off thousands of trees every single year?


Or, is Noynoy willing to fight those smugglers, drug dealers and jueteng lords who continue to oppress and exploit the masses?


Second, prioritization on food security and increase the purchasing power of the peso. Food security means not just having enough or more than average stocks of foodstuffs in various locations. Food security also means assuring that every Filipino gets the proper nutrition every single day. 


This can only be done if government curbs smuggling and enhances its food security plan. Likewise, if the peso increases its purchasing power. We can only increase the purchasing power of the peso if the value of the currency improves and the prices of commodities goes south. 


The stronger the peso becomes, the more people can gain access to more products and services, the happier the citizenry becomes.


Third, a sounder job generation policy that ensures the availability and access of local jobs to Filipinos. We have more than 1.7 million Filipinos finishing their studies every single year. In the minimum, we should provide an equal number of job opportunities for these graduates, otherwise, they continue to languish in the unproductive sector of our society.


Fourth, a sounder entrepreneurial policy.  Banks should be asked to lend capital to small and medium-sized entreprises to spur economic growth not just in the Metropolis but outside. 


And fifth, a sounder housing policy for the majority of Filipinos. One of the most essential things for the working man, providing a freer and highly accessible means for Filipinos to get their own house. When Lee Kuan Yew was re-building his country, he prioritize giving all Singaporeans the means to acquire their own house, however, big or small that was. Lee correctly thought that working men need a place to rest after a day's work, and using government resources to do just that meant directly and closely engaging the rest of the citizenry. This engagement bore fruit in just a few years, with a happier and more engaged citizenry.