Two economic stories highlighted the past week—one, the stellar growth of the country’s gross domestic product or GDP; the other, the 50 Filipino families and individuals in the Forbes list of the world’s wealthiest for 2014.
Boo Chanco quoted passages in an essay written by Ninoy Aquino in 1981: “[W]e are a nation of traumatic contrasts… a few are spectacularly rich while the masses remain abjectly poor; a land consecrated to democracy but run by an entrenched plutocracy… a republic dedicated to equality but mired in an archaic system of caste.”
Based on the Department of Budget and Management’s (DBM) report on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), which can be found on its website, I added up the allocations for Basco, Batanes, and divided the total by the recorded number of inhabitants of that area to arrive at the “per capita allocation” or the amount each individual—adult or child—would have hypothetically received as his or her share of the pie. I did the same with the allocations for the whole Eastern Visayas as the DBM was not very particular in its allocation by municipality.
Ninoy Aquino had been warned. The most dramatic warning about the threats to his life came from the dictatorship’s resident drama queen, the Imeldific first lady herself. Imelda Marcos was still in peak form, indulging her self-perception as the Marcos regime’s most effective diplomat. But she failed. Against the advice of almost everyone he consulted, the opposition senator still decided to return home from three years’ exile in the United States. Upon arrival 31 years ago today, however, he met the fate he had repeatedly been warned against; he was killed in the airport that now bears his name.
By Gerald M. Nicolas
I cannot help but cringe whenever people reduce an extremely complex social issue, such as a large number of poor families living in hazardous informal settlements, to a simplistic, unidimensional cause: an attitude problem. My response would be one of exasperation, especially when this reasoning comes from our so-called “public servants” in government or from social development workers who claim to “empower” those that society has neglected.