Recently, there were full page ads on major newspaper bannering the achievements and economic gains of the present government. Columnists from these newspaper were quick to question them. And then on the February 1, 2010 Economics page of Newsweek tells us that our beloved country is Asia's Laggard.
[adlib: you could read the whole item with this link ]
Perhaps the economic gains as bannered are true. But then, is the gain proportionate in the world economic perspective? Did we gain just a little to keep our collective chins float in the economic waters, or did we gain big time that the water is chest deep or knee deep? The other countries mentioned by Ruchir Sharma surely did the last two. We've remained as steady as a marooned boat and they just pass us by.
In the 60's, as the report says, we are second only to Japan in terms of per capita income in Asia. In the 70's we saw the behinds of South Korea and Taiwan. In the 80's Malaysia and Thailand zipped by, the 90's the big behind of China went by with a ballet stride and its feet now are planted on solid ground. And now get this... 2010 will be the decade when we will be smelling Indonesia's economic butt.
It was in the 60's when the International Rice Research Institute came up with a hybrid rice that created the global green revolution (I've blogged about this before). This was touted by Popular Mechanics as one of The Top 50 Inventions of the Past 50 Years. This is what Popular Mechanics has to say,
The International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines releases a semi-dwarf, high-yield Indica variety that, in conjunction with high-yield wheat, ushers in the Green Revolution. Indica rice thrives in tropical regions of Asia and South America, raising worldwide production more than 20 percent by 1970."
We started the Green Revolution, and then we've never evolved, instead we've just watched the scenery and became laggard. And it is not only with the economy, there was this morality,political will and integrity thingies that went astray.
Our politics has been thrown in a quagmire and then became the quagmire. Just recently our Senate bacame a cockpit arena over yet another multi-million project. Name-calling and semi-uncouth words were thrown here and there, and to think that we call them Honorables. One senator's partymates were quick to support him and wants to declare him innocent of any anomaly in the project. I believe it doesn't work that way, you have to set aside your fraternity jacket and say "Look my friend, I want to see and investigate first the content and the substance of the allegation."
"My loyalty to my party ends where my loyalty to my country begins." Thus says a great Filipino. Does any of our honorable Senators and Congressmen knew who said this? I think yes in past lives, but they've forgotten it all together collectively, perhaps.
Here in Pampanga we have elected a priest who has no political machinery, no campaign funds, no team and knew nothing about politics. He has served well and yet was charged with cheating or rigging the results in the May 2007 election. Can you believe that? Only in the Philippines Mah Man!!!
Is there any hope for us to go from chin deep to knee deep? Yes there is, and it should start with the coming election. As Ruchir said "it takes only a modicum of political stability and some basic economic reform". That's a start.
To our Senators, Congressmen and whoever else takes the helm of this country, remember what our Uncle Ben said, "With great powers, comes great responsibility". You are there to serve and not to be served. If you don't believe me, then believe me. I'm just sick and tired of being sick and tired.
And to the rest of us Filipinos, we all could change and could change some things that are wrong, we should not depend so much on those honorable people above. We change or don't change at all. As our Master Yoda told us, "Do or do not there is no 'try'".
One Filipino saw something wrong and instead of blabbering and stammering and telling them politicians to do something about it, he decided to do it himself, and then what-do-you-know, he became CNN's Hero of the Year.
Sirs and madams, could you kinda help me, and forward this item to your friends...?
Matagal na tayong natutulog sa pansitan. Gising na...
Salamat at Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!!!!!