Respect yourselves, Pinoys told | Inquirer Opinion

Respect yourselves, Pinoys told

12:12 AM October 06, 2015

THERE IS no question that the government is improving the economic environment in the Philippines, which should have long-term beneficial effects. But the country’s future can only be assured if the community can rise to the social standards expected of a successful nation.

As a foreigner who has been in the Philippines for 20 years, I have seen little change in the Filipino attitude toward the country.

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Filipinos still seem to have little respect for their own country while expecting other countries to respect theirs.

It starts with education—whether acquired in school or handed down by parents. Few lessons about respect and care for one’s own country seem to be passed on from one generation to the next. If the existing generations do not learn to respect and take care of their country, when will the lesson be learned?

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I live near Makati High School where I see students throw their trash (snack and candy wrappers, etc.) on the street with no sense of responsibility for the country, environment, or local residents. In other words, they care nothing for their country’s future or environment.

This attitude is partly due to lack of school education but also due to their parents not exercising their responsibility properly, like their throwing garbage on the street—which only shows how ignorant and uncaring a people Filipinos have remained for generations. When will this end? Many lessons are learned from parents.

Admittedly, there is more awareness now. But that still does not eliminate the problem.

Often, such awareness only makes people more devious about disposing of their garbage.

A key government objective must be to make the people respect, not just proud of, their country. Foreigners/visitors do not just accept people who claim to be proud, they want to see a country that respects itself and protects its environment. Other Asian countries have learned this lesson. When will the Philippines?

—COLIN HUNT, [email protected]

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