PH democracy’s last stand | Inquirer Opinion
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PH democracy’s last stand

04:48 AM April 16, 2014

This could be the 2016 elections.  If good leaders emerge, the economy will grow and become inclusive.  If not, hunger, poverty and desperation will hasten the nation’s descent into a failed state status.  To avoid the latter, each and every Filipino must ensure a positive outcome in 2016.

Depending on government is what Filipinos cannot afford to do. Even granting President Aquino’s personal sincerity, the executive department is paralyzed by an administration merely “sloganeering” through a 6-year term with incompetent and uncaring bureaucrats. This has been made worse after members of Congress (four senators and 79 House representatives) were implicated in the Napoles pork barrel scandal and a judiciary that had its chief justice impeached, while judges are conducting themselves just like “hoodlums in robes.” How can anyone have faith in such a government?

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Filipinos must become proactive simultaneously on two main fronts. Lessening corruption is one front. Improving the economy is another.

For years, the countryside entrepreneurship advocacy named BalikProbinsiya has been encouraging rural job creation via manufacturing and marketing efforts using agricultural raw materials. It is focused on four major programs. Coconut revitalization seeks to optimize the existing 300 million coconut trees throughout the archipelago. “Bamboo Sunrise” replicates the successful Chinese bamboo development strategy.  Natural farming identifies other agro-industries with promising value chains. Integrative clusters seeks to ensure sustainability of interlinked BalikProbinsiya ventures. More information on this movement can be obtained from www.balik-probinsiya.com.

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While the foregoing catalyzes livelihoods that can empower the Filipino, there must also be a parallel effort to reduce if not eradicate corruption.  This is where www.SALN.info comes in, to identify errant officials by analyzing their sworn statements of assets, liabilities and net worth.  No whistle-blowers are needed, just a review of what the officials have already filed with the Civil Service Commission.

Working in tandem, these two advocacies could help Filipinos properly discern who should be elected in 2016.  If this is not done, the Filipino will again be badly led after the elections. And the certainty is that the Philippines will be a failed state.

Once the 2015 Asean integration exposes the poor state of Philippine competitiveness, it is hoped that more people will join both the BalikProbinsiya and the SALN movements.  If not, the 2016 deadline for Philippine democracy will fall due.

—JOSE OSIAS,

[email protected]

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TAGS: 2016 Elections, BalikProbinsiya, Benigno Aquino III, hunger, Philippine economy, pork barrel, pork barrel scandal, Poverty, President Aquino
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