Interesting times for the PH: Where did the statesmen go?
We live in very interesting times lately.
The fathers of our President and Vice President were former presidents, one of whom issued Proclamation No. 1081 in September 1972.
The incumbent President speaks flowery words that appeal to the masses but so far, his actions are the opposite. In his recent State of the Nation Address, I thought he was describing another country that is on the road to much-needed progress and development. The Department of Agriculture, which he heads is in peril, with lots of “tilling the land” to do. Rice shortages, either artificial or not, onion and sugar price hikes due to supply and demand issues, importation as band-aid solution, and the recent rice price-cap with the subsequent “ayuda” to affected retailers and other issues fill his overflowing plate of responsibilities. The neglected and poor farmers who literally till the land for our food are left in the cold. We cannot blame them for selling their lands to developers in order to augment their meager income.
This saddens and angers me because we are an agricultural country. In the latest survey, we are among the world’s top importers. The government should come up with a plan that is long-term and sustainable. The dole-out mentality should be stopped. There are lots of intelligent people in government with reasonable development plans. The problem is that they do not have the ears of the President. Partisan politics dominate the scene.
The willful Vice President, on the other hand, heads the department responsible for nourishing the minds of the children of this country. Since her assumption to office as head of the Department of Education, executive orders that were unthought of before now abound, such as the removal of posters and educational materials from classroom walls because they have been labeled as distractions to the student. The latest memo is the removal of the word Marcos from “Marcos dictatorship” in history books.
The Senate and House of Representatives are populated by supporters of the incumbents. The House minority has three lonely members while the Senate has Senators Koko Pimentel and Risa Hontiveros. I miss statesmen and stateswomen in the Senate including Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Ping Lacson, and Jovito Salonga, among others. They were voices of logic and reason, and were future-thinkers.
Juan Crisostomo Ibarra, the protagonist in Jose Rizal’s “Noli Me Tangere,” has this thought: “I have observed that the prosperity or misery of each people is in direct proportion to its liberties or its prejudices and, accordingly, to the sacrifices or the selfishness of its forefathers.”
This is only the second year of the Marcos administration. I think I will be consuming more coffee and continue to lift heavy weights for mental health. But who knows, hope springs eternal. Carpe diem.