We have been raising our Filipino Flag for 122 Years to celebrate “Kalayaan;” inimically, the quality of life for more than 30 million Filipinos has not been raised.
What is Kalayaan? Freedom, right?
But the freedom from what?
Freedom from the colonizer? Freedom for self-government?
Freedom to own a land? Freedom of expression?
Freedom to vote? Freedom to travel? Freedom to choose religion?
How about “Freedom From Hunger?”
Have we addressed this forever cry by more than 30 million Filipinos who have the right to live in a very humane manner?
Have we equated this freedom from hunger as we raised the Filipino Flag for 122 years of celebrating our Philippine Independence? Yes, we have been raising the Filipino Flag for 122 years and yet, the quality of life of our poor kababayans has not been raised.
How many governments have failed to address this financial inequity in the Philippines? Could they not legislate to provide food, clothing and shelter, even in a minimum standard? How many presidents and other elected officials who have the power to change the standard of living, especially the poorest among the poor Filipinos?
The Philippine government has many opportunities to look for the main solution to poverty in the Philippines. Yes, many programs have been implemented to address the major problems faced by the more than 120 million Filipinos. Along the way, most are band-aid solutions to fully eradicate poverty, let alone the daily needs of millions to have at least to eat three times a day.
Is the root cause of poverty in governance?
Let us look at the election of government officials in the macro analysis.
The president, the vice-president and the senators are elected nationwide, others like governors, congressmen, mayors and councillors are locally elected. Moneyed candidates buy votes from poor people. Added to this proverbial election fraud, the rise of the Family Dynasty, making our election as a prelude to make politics as a family business. Added to this is the Pork Barrel for every senators and congressmen who will be in charge to develop their regions, the local needs.
Problems arise as the movement of money from the national to the local becomes erratic; corruption has become “tour de force” and vehemently, I knew that not all elected officials are corrupt. Very few have clean souls. Other department heads are still honest. And please remember what former USA President Truman writes: “Nobody gets rich in politics unless you are corrupt.” Look at the properties of those corrupt politicians: cars and other amenities are excessive, and their mansions, and evidently, look like “sore thumbs” in the community where many shanty houses or “barung-barong” are built. Added to this dysfunctional governance, is the corruption in the rank and file of many departments.
Purely simple economics must be studied. How rich is the Philippines? We have bountiful natural resources which can trigger more programs to address the problem. And we have the human resources to be harnessed. But what happened with our natural resources? Only for the few? And our human resources? Yes, we are proud of our OFWs who have been aiding the government to accumulate more dollar reserves. Billion of dollars. Yes, we squandered our natural resources. We failed our people to look for jobs based on their educational backgrounds. Not so many jobs are available for the many of college, technical and high school graduates. Our human resources, most of them, studied in many private and public universities, and some of them would work outside of the country.
Any promising action by the current President Rodrigo Duterte to address the problem?
When would NANG BAYAN end her cry for “Freedom From Hunger?”
Can we raise the living standard of the more than 30 millions Filipinos as we raise the flag to celebrate our “Kalayaan?”
Make our celebration of “Kalayaan,” a joy for everyone!