P-Noy’s contradictory policies
The policy direction of the second Aquino administration is full of contradictions. While it rebukes China for “illegally” building what looks like an airstrip on the Spratlys, it welcomes Chinese investment. Already, the country is host to billion of dollars worth of Chinese investments in infrastructure, mining and agriculture, among other undertakings. For example, the China International Water & Electric Corp. has won 15 infrastructure projects, including the water improvement project at Angat Dam. (Angat is where Manila’s water comes from.) The same company also garnered contracts for the Manila north and south road and highway project.
By the way, the image which showed China’s “illegal” activities in the disputed isles could very much have been transmitted by a satellite obviously made in China.
According to recent reports, Chinese businessmen are already “heavily investing in the country’s agriculture, mining and tourism sectors.” This report is confirmed by another news report: “Soldiers have been deployed… to secure a Chinese mining firm.”
Now, the P-Noy administration-controlled Congress wants to pass a bill relaxing the economic provisions of the Constitution—specifically, to lift foreign ownership restrictions in media, education and land ownership. It will not be surprising if Chinese businesses jump on this opportunity. They are awash with capital. So much so that China has recently thrown in $3-billion funds for Asean countries to grab.
Amid the “tension” regarding China’s intrusion, the public is shown photos of the Balikatan exercises of US and Philippine armed forces. The naive gets immediately excited over the superpower’s support. Little do they realize that the United States and China are economic allies with hundreds of American corporations heavily invested in China, and with China holding billions of dollars’ worth of US bonds.
We should not depend on the United States or any other country to win the war for us. We should first look “inside” and win the country’s war against poverty. Our economy should be able to support not the cost of the war but the people’s livelihood. (What will happen to the thousands of OFWs from Hong Kong and mainland China?)
Instead of opening the economy to giant foreign corporations, the government should support the development of local industries.
Last but not the least, our youth should be given the correct nationalist orientation through the study of Philippine culture and history so that their concern and loyalty will be to the country and not only to themselves and their families.
Dire as our situation versus China may seem, we can gain inspiration from Miguel Malvar, dubbed as the last Filipino general to surrender to the American imperialists in 1902. The nation also commemorates his 150th birth anniversary this year. He said, “persevere, always persevere and do not fear sacrifice… Let us continue with the struggle because the fortitude of the masses is more powerful than the most superior army.”
—JULIE L. PO, Linangan ng Kulturang Pilipino, [email protected]
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