Is the president serious about bringing a BIG CHANGE in the Philippines? Or the president after 6 years in office will simply leave a divisive CONDOM LEGACY courtesy of the RH Law?
The president’s 1st 3 years in office was largely spent demonizing the previous administration. He succeeded in putting the former president under hospital arrest, removing the chief justice through an impeachment process and passing into law the Reproductive Health Bill.
The president likewise succeeded to consolidate forces by successfully campaigning and electing 9 Senators under his coalition party in the recent May 2013 midterm election. The record breaking temporary influx of hot money as recoded by Philippines Stock Exchange as well as the Credit Rating & Investment up-grade by Fitch and Standard & Poor were amplified by both the government and main stream media as worthwhile achievements by the present dispensation.
The surge in the inflows of hot money in the Philippines recorded by PSE is just temporary in nature, I repeat just temporary in nature. Needless to say that the latest data at the PSE dictates that the hot money is going out…and going out hot and fast.
In spite of the endless hype on good governance and a total war against all forms of corruptions, the poor are becoming poorer. Hunger incidence is on the rise. Joblessness abound the land. The growth in number of out of school youth is unprecedented. Criminal elements are becoming bolder. The Filipino Moslems continues to be divided concerning the Sabah and the Bangsa Moro issues. Peace talk with NPA is a dismal failure that is why the frequency of NPA’s attacks is increasing.
The erosion in out of pocket consumption of our dwindling middle class is very evident in the entire archipelago. The Tourism Sector may experience a slow upward trend while the growth in OFW remittances may slow down as our relationship with China and Taiwan continues to worsen. Some surveys are likewise saying that Hong- Kong people do not like Filipinos due to the Luneta hostage tragedy plus of course Hong Kong is a province under China.
Will the straight path espousing president choose FREE CONDOMS (RH Law) as a legacy or he will try to bring about a BIG CHANGE that will produce an all inclusive permanent growth through a much robust and permanent job generation feasible through CHARTER CHANGE?
FDI or Foreign Direct Investments flowing in the Philippines is very low and disgusting compared with our Asian neighbors despite a “hollow” impressive growth of 7.7% in the 1st quarter of 2013. What makes the other Asian countries more attractive than the Philippines in terms of FDI?
Whether we like it or not, the world has change and is continuously undergoing BIG CHANGES. The Dinosaurs and other living species became extinct because of their lack of needed innate flexibility and capability to adapt to changes. Even change needs to constantly and to continuously undergo changes in order to be attuned to the fast changing environment.
In its glorious days, the Philippines economically, technologically, militarily and in almost all aspect of parameters ranked higher, along or at par with the elite countries in Asia even before and during the Marcos administration. Japan then is the unrivaled dominant country in the whole of Asia.
In just almost 3 decades or 27 years hence the deplorable state of our country is indeed very glaring. Yes, of course we experienced progress… a small and Turtle slow progress compared with most of our neighboring countries.
Cha-cha-cha, Jericho Cha-cha-cha, indeed the time is ripe to dance the political dance of CHA-CHA.
Our leaders failed to use a microscope to see for themselves the minute details of the slow progress of our country. Our leaders failed as well to use a telescope to see the distant future in order to draw the necessary big picture to built and bring an all inclusive growth for our country.
Our leaders miserably failed as well to use a stethoscope to diagnose the ills of our society in order to prescribe not only the right but the swift remedies and solutions to become a progressive and prosperous country.
Yes, decisive actions and not procrastinations should be the attitude because even the healthy green and fresh grasses will not be appreciated by dead goats and brain dead horses. It is not right to ask or let our youth to stop from schooling while the government is fixing our corruption problems.
It is not a good strategy to halt infrastructure projects that can generate jobs for hundreds of thousands of unemployed Filipinos simply because the present dispensation doubts the previous administration who are the one that initiated cooking the projects.
The government should be capable and competent enough to undertake multiple projects simultaneously without sacrificing quality and at the same time implementing strict control procedures to guard against deceits and corruptions.
Militarily we are a laughing stock.
We can be bullied by big and small countries and even by a relatively small foreign province that for decades is struggling to gain international recognition and or to be considered as an independent country.
In the energy sector, we ranked among the highest in terms of electricity cost. Yet a big part of our island Mindanao is experiencing constant black outs or brown outs. Parts of Luzon are now experiencing intermittent brown outs.
Hunger, poverty and joblessness abound in our land.
Why dance the Charter change?
Millions of our youth are out of school. A large chunk of job seekers simply post high school and college level educational attainment because the cost of college and university education in the Philippines are becoming very prohibitive and is no longer affordable for the common masses.
It is also worth to mention that the type of teaching and training being undertaken by the diploma mills do not necessarily prepare their graduates in the reality of outside world where work readiness is a necessity. Worse, most of the courses being offered are mismatch to the demands of the job market.
Very recently, it was widely published that the Philippines is being out ranked in terms of quality and system of education in the university level as compared to Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and China. The cost to study in some of our most notable private universities is already worth a fortune and yet the quality and the system of education is very much far behind internationally
Being in the straight path does not necessarily mean that we are decisively in the right direction. We may be travelling a long straight road but we are wasting a lot of time to reach our destinations. On the contrary, we may opt to travel using a short winding road if it will lead us to the fastest and safest means of reaching our goals particularly directions that lessens and mitigates hunger incidence and poverty.
Being straight does not necessarily mean being up-right. Being straightforward unfortunately can be interpreted as being unreasonably proud and braggart and thus may wreak havoc to a long good standing foreign relation. More talk more mistakes. No talk means being insensitive to the plight of the affected parties. Being righteous, diplomatic, inspirational but decisive is the mark of a true leader.
Job generation within our territory is the best way to support a growing population.
Instead we prioritize and support our economy by way of sending millions upon millions of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) to work in various foreign lands and as a consequence we are either being treated as 2nd class or 3rd class citizens.
Just like the wild grasses that exists and fight to subsist even in the cracks of cement and asphalt roads, Filipinos can be found all over the world. Be it in countries torn by continued civil war or even in countries where OFWs particularly the house helps are being treated almost like slaves and worse like comfort women.
Of course we have OFWs that are doctors, engineers, accountants, nurses and other skilled professionals that are treated well in most countries where they are based. However, a great majority of our OFWs are house helps, factory workers and in blue collar work status that are most often abused and discriminated.
Filipinos indeed are resilient. In high seas, desserts, mountains, forests and freezing job locations the common denominator is a Filipino worker. You will find OFWs sitting as members of top management or treating patients or in some cases as lowly sex workers. Name the country, city, town or type of profession and you will be surprised to see a Filipino.
Our Philippines Stock Exchange Indexes (PSEI) are on a continuing record high but our Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) continue to be laggard in comparison to Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and other countries in Asia. In fact the share of Philippines in the pie of FDI influx is below 5% taking the South East Asia as the basis.
Cha-cha-cha, Jericho Cha-cha-cha, indeed the time is ripe to dance the political dance of CHA-CHA.
Why dance the Charter Change?
The Philippines as a relatively small country lacks the financial muscle to support a massive development effort to convert our country into a progressive and prosperous nation.
Hence, we need the necessary changes in certain economic provisions of our Constitution to make our country attractive to foreign direct investments. The 60:40 Constitutions provision as regards business ownership of foreigners must be lifted without industry exception.
Why will the foreigners invest Billions or Millions of Dollars if you are not in control of the business?
It is also worthwhile to consider lifting or amending the Constitutions provision on the ban for foreigners’ owning of land. Land ownership for individual foreigners or businesses controlled by foreigners can be limited in terms of size or value.
What we should not allow is the buy and sell of lands by foreigners. If a foreigner buying parcel of lands will not erect plant, production or manufacturing facilities then why will we allow the foreigner to own parcels of land in the Philippines? If certain foreigners want to purchase residential lots and yet do not want to build houses and condominiums then why will we allow such foreigners to buy parcels of residential lots?
Hence, there must be some terms and conditions that foreigners should met before owning lands in the Philippines. If foreigners wanted to settle for good in the Philippines or would want to invest in labor intensive business then they should be allowed to own parcels of lands in the Philippines.
If directly investing in our country is very competitive or more attractive compared to our neighboring Asian countries, then we will certainly become the preferred investment hub in Asia.
We should encourage foreign investments not only in the food sector like agriculture, cattle raising, industrial fish farming etc., but also in industries that employs hundreds or thousands of people.
Hence, foods and non-foods production and processing plants in various industries including the related services like warehousing and distribution facilities will proliferate in every region of our country. The retail sectors as well as domestic tourism will likewise be benefitted if every Filipino will be employed.
We should aim for a long to midterm goal that businesses situated in the Philippines can support to employ not only Filipinos but millions of foreign workers as well.
We can attract several big ticket foreign direct investments if we are largely perceived as a country that is politically matured and stable. Our government must exhibit consistent business policies. We should not be changing the rules of business at any time based on our mood or caprices or whenever there are changes in political dispensation.
Why dance the Charter Change?
Filipinos are people who are so immersed with politics. We hold political and or electoral exercises very often. Almost every day is a political campaign day. Aside from being very expensive, the frequent holding of elections creates division in our people and thus we lost focus on more vital issues and activities like food security, job generation, peace and order, affordable education, social and health services, environmental protection, disaster preparedness and the likes.
Hence, we need to effect necessary changes in the provision of our constitution design to lengthen the period of service of elective positions.
Three (3) years is a very short period for a local official to institute changes in towns, cities and provinces. Six (6) years is simply not long enough for a one time president.
You cannot influence a change in the lifestyles, habits and attitudes of the people for a short period of time. To instill discipline and to bring favorable cultural changes it will take at least a decade for it to be internalized and put to consistent practice by our people. Sufficient time is needed to win the heart, mind and trust of our people.
For local officials in Barangay, towns, cities, provinces why don’t we lengthen their terms of office from 3 years to 5 years and put a limit to only 2 consecutive terms. Why don’t we abolish the Party List System or at least amend the law to make it more attune to the needs of the time. The present Party List System is chaotic.
Why don’t we extend the term of congressmen from 3 years to 5 years and let the elected congressmen to choose among themselves regional senators so that there will be equal representation from all regions in both the lower and upper house.
The multi-party political system has proven to produce professional political butterflies and needs to be amended. Why don’t we go back to a 2 Party Political System or enact just a 3 Party Political System that does not allow an independent candidate to run for office? Membership in a political party should be for a permanent period of at least 10 years. Any political party member will not be able to legally shift to another political party unless the 10 year membership period expires.
Why don’t we lengthen the term of the president from 6 years to 10 years so that we can be assured of a stable government that can effect change?
We can likewise amend our presidential system form of government and adopt a unicameral legislature to hasten our law making process and at the same time drastically reducing legislative expenses.
Charter Change may pave the way to the abolition of fork barrel and political dynasties. We must have a Constitution that promotes not only governance transparency but also a Constitution that encourages economic activities and fair trade practices with sufficient safeguards to prevent monopoly.
Indeed the time is ripe for a Charter Change. Any great president must leave a worthwhile legacy. Certainly it will not be good to be remembered as the president who’s ONLY LEGACY to our nation is to provide free condoms and contraceptives so that along with the rich and the elites the poorest of the poor, young and old, married and unmarried, can likewise enjoy safe and satisfying sex and at the same time controlling the growth of population.