While the local media insists that the Philippines is a “developing country”, I am often at a loss as to what exactly is developing in this country of ours. Sure, we are experiencing progress to a certain degree, what with the ongoing advancement of our cities and the flood of new technology available to our society. However, even with whatever benefits technology may bring us, I can’t help but notice that many of the problems we have in decades past remains to be our problem today and may even go on to plague us in decades to come.
Granted, our government isn’t completely oblivious to the plight of our countrymen and, from time to time at least, provide some form of aid. Also, I am willing to acknowledge the fact that the problems our country is faced with are far from simple and require a lot of resources and intellectual debate before they can be solved completely. Unfortunately however, what bothers me is that many of the issues our country currently suffers from should have been solved ten or at least five years ago if only the people in charge and the people who voted for them would bother to think and look ahead instead of just focusing on temporary solutions.
What’s sad is that whatever solutions are found, they are all too often short-lived and inadequate in providing Filipinos with an answer for their growing problems. If anything is indeed found, you probably won’t be able to expect it to last for more than a year and will likely only affect a very few people. At the end of the day, the same problem will resurface, maybe worse than before and go on to plague generations of Filipinos to come.
Providing Dole-Outs For The Poor
Well, there’s certainly nothing wrong with giving money to the poor. Indeed, giving alms to the poor is probably the best thing most of us can do for the less fortunate people in our country. Unfortunately, larger agencies both within and beyond the government can probably do more but fail to do so in a lot of places.
This is mainly because of the oligarch-centered society we have. To provide a permanent and progressive solution to the issues of poverty in the Philippines, we will need to open new opportunities and quality public services in order to raise our countrymen from poverty. However, to do so requires considerable resources and the possible loss of key businesses that feed directly to the government.
In the end, our government only provides dole-outs to the poor, which, at the end of the day, is about as useless as throwing gems before pigs. If you look at just how unwise most Filipinos are with money (as evidenced by lottery winners who often lose their money in the course of a week because of overspending), you can get a good idea on how most improverished Pinoys would squander whatever help the government provides for them. To say nothing of the housing provided for squatters which are often quickly abandoned by its inhabitants either due to a lack of opportunity or plain stubbornness.
Providing More Schools For Children
Yes, education is important. It’s very important for children of today to get the right kind of schooling in order for them to grow up into productive citizens. In the end, “stay in school” is and always will be sound advice.
However, “staying in school” only helps if one can expect quality education. I can note for instance that quite a few history books are still littered with numerous errors as well as a healthy dash of useless propaganda. Also note, due to the very low pay that most public school teachers get, is it really any surprise that some of them are less than dedicated to their work? I laud public school teachers for doing their best for their students, but I also can’t blame some of those who come to dislike their job because of their low wages and often negligent parents who can’t even teach their children an ounce of discipline.
I would also like to add the effect of the media on our children today. In order to truly improve the rather deplorable IQ level of the Philippines, I think we should also put some effort into smartening up TV shows available to them. When the only thing on TV these days is drama after drama that simply focuses on dysfunction, is it any surprise that so many youths of today find themselves in unwanted circumstances like delinquency, drug addiction, teen pregnancy and petty crime?
Makeshift Peace Treaties
The troubles of the south have been around for decades but it says something when even now the problems persist with ever-growing urgency. Yes, we want peace but it is often stated that there can be no real peace without justice.
The BBL means well but the way it is presented to us and the way that the President simply outright stated that: “Approve the BBL or count body bags!” definitely sounds more like a threat than something that implies peace. While we all want peace, one should note that, based on the way the government is just caving into the demands of the MILF, it’s essentially more of a surrender than an actual peace negotiation.
What’s more is that the MILF is not the only group of insurgents found in Mindanao. Also, not all Muslims agree with the MILF and their rebellious ways and a lot of people in Mindanao aren’t Muslims to begin with. Caving into the demands of what amounts to terrorists (remember, they don’t even want to be called Filipinos anymore) is just going to throw more fuel into the fires of strife in Mindanao.
Yes, the good news is that Mary Jane Veloso’s execution has been delayed. The bad news is that it’s just delayed as the government of Indonesia will just review her case and probably resume her execution anyway. All the poor woman got was time and a possibly limited one at that.
I think that if we want to keep our citizens safe from discrimination and danger overseas, perhaps it’s time to consider opening new and more rewarding opportunities here in our country. Why not put up businesses with profitable prospects here in the Philippines to eliminate the need for our countrymen to leave the country and build a future elsewhere?
This way, not only do we manage to keep majority of our fellow Filipinos safe from discrimination and the threat of crime like where Mary Jane Veloso has found herself in, we also keep them relatively close to their families and free of worry.