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Friday, October 28, 2005

Understanding Nation Building (Part 16)

Conclusion


There is something to be said when a generation realizes that the generation that sired them is clueless as to what is needed to take this country to the next level. It is a poignant moment when clarity comes to a person and realizes that the generation that runs things has nothing creative to offer in terms of solutions and has no creative insight, no idea, no plan, no vision, no leadership and that the generation that they sired is lost in disillusionment and jadedness. That is the best insight we can gleam from Blueprints from a Viable Philippines.


Blueprints for a Viable Philippines believes that it is a work in progress, that with it the country may begin to take “tentative steps” towards a better one. It believes that for years the country has followed “Western prescriptions” that has allowed an elite to grow powerful and rich and the root cause of our country's poverty. Blueprints believes that it is taking back control of resources and secure the greatest welfare for Filipinos. Blueprints is a foolish endeavor. Though it seeks to believe that its plan is for the greater good, it fails to realize that it already is being implemented and has been for the last 20 years. Blueprints is nothing more than a retelling of the past twenty years of Philippine policy.


Blueprints wrongfully believes that the problems of the Philippines is rooted in “Western policy” implemented over the years. The root cause of our political and economic woes is the selfish vested interest of an Oligarchy that seeks only to sustain its power and wealth at the expense of a greater national goal.


Blueprints foolishly believes that this country isn't in command of the resources at its disposal. Contrary, this country has its full faculties. It can choose to direct itself or set a path on a different road. Our Political, Economic and Sociological problems stem from our People's lack of maturity and understanding of the world around them. Its problem lies in the fact that every Filipino is governed by their foolish provincial attitude that puts limits on what the Filipino can achieve. The Filipino wrongfully believes that its social and moral degeneration is because of the failures of its leadership. The root cause of our social and moral degeneration is the Filipino himself and this has led an Oligarchy to swim in a flood of power and wealth, looking out for their own selfish and vested interests at the expense of a national goal.


Blueprints does not address any of the issues it has raised. All it does is reiterate twenty years of policy that has gotten us to this point. Blueprints' proponents have failed to accept our present circumstance and chooses to lay blame. It should not be the case. We should build on what we have built and change what is no longer appropriate to our vision as a nation.


Blueprints and the 1987 Constitution have the same vision and both are reflections of Philippine Society. It reflects this: a majority of Filipinos believe that their no longer is hope, that the only way out is flight to another land, something must be terribly wrong not with the government, not with the economy but within ourselves. Filipinos can not see past this doubt, this clouded vision of the horizon.


Though it is painful to admit, it is in the Oligarchy's hands that the responsibility of making change begins, it is the truth. We have no heroes, no great genius to lead us forward. The sooner we accept this fact and the sooner the Oligarchy accepts its responsibility and culpability and begin healing, we can move forward as a nation and the sooner we must dream of a future, set a vision and a goal.


Only when a true leadership focused and sincere in their agenda to turn this country around can there be change. Most importantly, our people must be made to see that change will not happen over night and that we can make them realize this when the Oligarchy can put petty differences aside and lead.


My point is this: there is no longer a distinction between administration and opposition in the eyes of our people, just as there is no longer any distinction between elite and politician and leaders from the local Catholic Church to business to media to civil society to the military and leaders of militant organizations. They are the Oligarchy. Our Oligarchy leads this country and only they can turn that tide of distrust, mistrust and hopelessness.


Change can manifest itself not through unlawful action by an Opposition or any faction hellbent on retaking power they believe was stolen from them or cheated from them. That change can not manifest itself with a government fighting multiple battles on myriad different fronts. It can come in many ways, but the best course of action is when the Oligarchy finds its sense to put aside their differences, come together and allow for a Constitutional Change.


We must reboot our Republic and rebuild it. Constitutional Change is the only way. Why? Because the 1987 Constitution has institutionalized our Oligarchy, our Socialistic/Communist ideas, and our wrongly perceived sense of Democracy.


China, in spite of her Communist regime understands that sustainable development means economic capitalistic development. It has turned its attention to industrialization and she is sweeping the globe because of it. We must get our act together by realizing that only through sustainable development similar to China, the United States and like our neighbors in ASEAN and in sync with each other can this nation be pulled free from its imprisonment and only when we desire to grow from out immaturity and petty differences can we move forward.


When this has happened, we can begin development in our countryside and this must translate to individual efforts towards a single national goal: our prosperity. It means sustainable development in every aspect of our nation. Hospitals, we must sustain them when every individual reasonably pays for medical care. Education, must be freely given and not just learning how to read and write, but an Educated, literate citizenship that thinks for themselves is our greatest gift to future generations and must be a high priority.


While Blueprints is left with old ideas and offers no new insight into how to remove graft and corruption in our country, it is most important that the very first agency that must be reformed is the Bureau of Internal Revenue. There must be an internal affairs division of the BIR and their task is to monitor the conduct, resources of BIR employees and this translates to a crackdown of corrupt agency personnel. The BIR must be given broader powers--- to investigate the unexplainable wealth of Filipinos. And it must also be serious in such a campaign. Tax evasion must be a high crime in the Philippines. With this we can hunt down illegal gambling chieftains and drug lords and even those politicians who steal from the national coffers.


Yet any action must also address the rising cost of living? How can there be when it is human nature to seek to provide the most wealth for one's self and family? To fight graft and corruption one must provide a reasonable living wage to every government official. We must enact a commission law--- that for every contract or endeavor an official or officials of the government has negotiated the official or officials must be given a percentage as commission, fully taxable and in this manner, everything is above board.


A strengthened Bureau of Internal Revenue must have power to investigate and prosecute any citizen and they must spearhead the investigation of people running illegal drugs, illegal gambling and under the table deals with government officials. After all wasn't Al Capone imprisoned not through his business but by not paying his taxes? The BIR is an important and powerful tool of statecraft and it must be used.


Constitutional Change will allow Filipinos an opportunity to move towards a federal and parliamentary system that will spur growth and take advantage of our cultural diversity, which we should not be afraid to embrace. We must come to accept that we are not one people, but a people from diverse backgrounds and as the borders around the world disappears, we will be more diverse. We are Tagalogs, Cebuanos, Muslims, Catholics, and so many others as much as there are plenty of Chinese, American, Spanish and Malay decent, and we are Filipino.


With federalism the balance of power are jointly held between the President and the local governments and the provinces, cities and municipalities. The former by moving towards a federal government, will be freed to focus on the bigger picture and allow local governments to solve their little problems and build industries and economies their own way and with it--- the end of insurgency as well as the return of overseas workers to the country as the economy improves. A unicameral, parliamentary system will streamline the enactment of laws on the national level and trim operational cost.


With more resources our nation can have the ability to take advantage of our existing diplomatic networks, expand our commercial interests and take on a broader stage of leading and partnering in our region. The national government capable of supporting a more professional military will give teeth and hold pause to any future enemy we may not know of and as the economy further grows, so too must be the country's confidence to take a more active role in ASEAN. It help push forward together with this country's neighbors for greater economic cooperation such as realizing a common ASEAN free market and maybe strengthen each other militarily and this will mean a bigger, more active foreign policy role. Because only strong together can ASEAN be ready to take on the future.


When we started reading Blueprints for a Viable Philippines, it was with hope that though imperfect, it may really be a do-able plan or at the very least gain insight to a way to make a better nation. We discovered that though it is an excellent spring board of ideas, a way to compare what works and what doesn't, what we gained from it is gleam insight to the mind of a generation that runs the show. Sadly, all twenty-six pages of Blueprints for a Viable Philippines does not only fall short--- there is nothing new, innovative or at the very least a start to answer to what our people need right now and into the future and proves that the generation that they sired must do better.

3 comments:

Greg said...

I agree that a large part of our problems is due to the absence of an enlightened elite.

I also agree that "salvation" will begin with the enlightenment of the elite.

I read a post in the Get Real Philippines site which posits that it is an enlightened elite that can lead the Philippines towards progress.

Here's the link:
http://www.geocities.com/benign0/3-00_Makati/enlighten1.html

I still have to respond to your query on the blog think tank. I'll answer you on that one soon.

In the meantime though, to add your voice to this thing called dialogue, it would be good if others would learn more about your site. Consider this unsolicited advice: You can try going to top Philippine blogs like Sassy Lawyer (http://www.houseonahill.net/) and engage the writer and readers in the comments section in dialogue. State your views and casually put links to your web blog.

Because many people read her blog, you can hopefully generate a meaningful no. of readers by drawing others to check out your blog.

I tried "advertising" your blog and those of 4 others in my commentaries yesterday but I got a reprimand from Sassy. She said though that I can tell you guys to post in her site and that you guys can do the "advertising" yourselves.

******

As to my idea of a blog think tank, I was thinking more along the lines of creating a critical mass of people (sort of like a tipping point/network externality kind of strategy). Most blogs I see today have to many topics. However, if people like you, Rhoelano Brilantes (Go Figure Blog), Blurred and Blue Blog, and Get Real Philippines website can somehow band together, you can create a site that has a focus, that can be an opinion shaper and a resouce tool for people seeking answers (if you guys become famous enough, your blogs can even be cited by media sources and columnists). Plus, one thing that readers want is continuity - being able to read something daily or frequently. If you're the sole writer, you can write a lot for a period but eventually, you will not be able to keep up. Once you fail to post say in a week or two, you can actually lose a reader.

I know it's great to have your own website. I noticed that you have several. But if you are able to harness the ideas/cooperation of others, and you can put it all together in one site with a particular target audience, a clear positioning, you might actually get the so called "innovators" (the influencers, the mavens) who can be a catalyst for new ideas and change.

You don't have to capture tons of people, just a critical mass who can eventually form part of the enlightened elite.

cocoy said...

this is in response to greg's comments. i thought i'd answer it like an email. the answers are in bold


On 10/28/05, Greg wrote:
> I agree that a large part of our problems is due to the absence of an enlightened elite.
>
> I also agree that "salvation" will begin with the enlightenment of the elite.
>
> I read a post in the Get Real Philippines site which posits that it is an enlightened elite that can lead the Philippines towards progress.
>
> Here's the link:
> http://www.geocities.com/benign0/3-00_Makati/enlighten1.html

thanks. been reading it.

> I still have to respond to your query on the blog think tank. I'll answer you on that one soon.

sure. no hurry.

> In the meantime though, to add your voice to this thing called dialogue, it would be good if others would learn more about your site. Consider this unsolicited advice: You can try going to top Philippine blogs like Sassy Lawyer (http://www.houseonahill.net/) and engage the writer and readers in the comments section in dialogue. State your views and casually put links to your web blog.

appreciate your support and i'm browsing the page/links you've posted.

> Because many people read her blog, you can hopefully generate a meaningful no. of readers by drawing others to check out your blog.
>
> I tried "advertising" your blog and those of 4 others in my commentaries yesterday but I got a reprimand from Sassy. She said though that I can tell you guys to post in her site and that you guys can do the "advertising" yourselves.
>
> ******
>
> As to my idea of a blog think tank, I was thinking more along the lines of creating a critical mass of people (sort of like a tipping point/network externality kind of strategy). Most blogs I see today have to many topics. However, if people like you, Rhoelano Brilantes (Go Figure Blog), Blurred and Blue Blog, and Get Real Philippines website can somehow band together, you can create a site that has a focus, that can be an opinion shaper and a resouce tool for people seeking answers (if you guys become famous enough, your blogs can even be cited by media sources and columnists). Plus, one thing that readers want is continuity - being able to read something daily or frequently. If you're the sole writer, you can write a lot for a period but eventually, you will not be able to keep up. Once you fail to post say in a week or two, you can actually lose a reader.

i know. i've seen the stats fall whenever i'm not active and bread and butter takes an even greater priority. well this page started because i needed to vent stuff. when you see things on the ground, dealing with a lot of people, and even just walking around town or driving around and when you travel across this country and when you go visit some other country, perspective can change.

these blogs were never meant to be for bread and butter and as for the other blogs, well... they all reflect personal interests. ergo bread and butter and other real world stuff takes... priority over this. obviously i've see stats rise and sometimes fall over the last few months and i'm taking the suggestions of readers such as yourself and see where what else can be done with this page.


> I know it's great to have your own website. I noticed that you have several. But if you are able to harness the ideas/cooperation of others, and you can put it all together in one site with a particular target audience, a clear positioning, you might actually get the so called "innovators" (the influencers, the mavens) who can be a catalyst for new ideas and change.

i see where you are getting at. you have a point there and i'll certainly think about it as well as your other points of view. thanks for your perspective.

> You don't have to capture tons of people, just a critical mass who can eventually form part of the enlightened elite.
>
> --
> Posted by Greg to big mango at 10/28/2005 09:47:48 AM

benign0 said...

Interesting point about how site traffic rises and falls with content activity. I find that the level of interesting stuff happening in the Philippines is a factor as well. During the July-Sep 2005 "political crisis" in the Philippines, my site traffic more than tripled (which is way more than could be accounted for by the content I happened to be adding at the time).

When things go on in the Pinas, I think a lot of Pinoy expats are checking things out on-line and participating in forums.

Nowadays, for example, traffic is low (even the PCIJ doesn't see much action). My take on that is because the Philiippines has fallen back into the usual muddling along in mediocrity kinda thing that it is good at. Just the normal din of dime-a-dozen political punditry nowadays.

Anyways, Cocoy, your site consistently impresses and I might make yours my very first "featured site" (which means it is only yours that truly impressed me in my nearly six years of running 'Get Real'). ;-)

Cheers,
benign0

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