All is not lost–yet
The Philippines is at a crossroads. Facing this crucial juncture in our national journey, our biggest problem is not a lack of resources: We have all we need, with lots to spare. What we lack is will, as Filipinos leave too much leeway to so-called leaders, only to be disappointed and betrayed time and again.
And that will isn’t something that has to be organized or mobilized. It is within every Filipino—and it shouldn’t be with the attitude exemplified in the phrase “ang mamatay nang dahil sa iyo”, which is so defeatist. While the sacrifice of one’s life is noble and may breed our often-praised resiliency, it certainly also licenses our trapos to steal from our coffers.
With that stolen money and their elective office, the trapos have instituted a socioeconomic and political system that adores money and power and disregards integrity and achievement, producing the traffic, pollution, poverty and joblessness that has forced over a tenth of our population to go abroad to look for jobs, when there are so many opportunities that can become sources of livelihood within our archipelago.
Indeed, it is time for change. But the change so many people hoped President Duterte would bring has so far only further entrenched trapos. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is back, together with so many other dynasts who seemed to have spread like a viral epidemic in the post-Marcos era under the Cory constitution.
So what’s the solution? Let’s revisit our provincial roots (or select a new home province)—with a view to identifying entrepreneurial opportunities that can create local jobs. Let’s use indigenous raw materials to produce globally competitive products, like some entrepreneurs are doing in the coconut and bamboo agroindustries in the Southern and Northern Luzon areas.
Also, many groups are now encouraging empowered entrepreneurship rather than dependent employment. Given these trends, the Philippines can yet achieve its long-delayed promise of development. But each Filipino has to find and pursue his or her personal project that empowers both self and community.
JOSE Z. OSIAS, convenor, BalikProbinsiya, [email protected]
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