Philippines: A Broken Country

The perennial natural disasters add to the breaking of the country into pieces plus many decades of dysfunctional governance

It is alarming to see my home country being broken into pieces while the pangs of the vengeful natural calamity continue to bite the already long-time suffering Filipino farmers, the very foundation of industrialization.

Recently, the unceasing onslaught of tropical typhoons Opel, Pepito, Quinta, Tonyo, Rolly and the most destructive, Ulysses, had left a trail of destruction of crops, properties and infrastructure and recorded some fatalities.

The Filipino farmers are the most to suffer after their crops had been flooded for many days. Not to mention in this mind-boggling frustrations, is the destruction their homes and their livelihoods, leaving them helpless and hopeless.

I could feel the most unbearable pain being felt by the Filipino farmers in Southern Quezon towns. My hometown, Lopez, and its neighboring towns of Calauag, Gunyangan, Tagkawayan where the massive flooding happened, making the Maharlika Highway, the main artery of business between Metro Manila and Southern Philippines, impassable halting the movement of goods and services for many days.

Typhoon Rolly took the major burnt of destruction of the farmers crops and properties and followed by the most destructive Ulysses, making those lands underwater for many weeks. Added to the horrendous flooding was the landslides along the national and local roads, making the movements of people and vehicles more impossible.

The Philippines is within the “typhoon belt” and every year, there are more than 20 typhoons lashing the country and it seems, every year, the tropical depression becomes more vicious.

Calamity, most of the time, has become the vehicle to know how the government failed in so many ways.

Is the emerging climate change to be blamed for the suffering of the people in a broken country? I doubt.

But who are to be blamed for the brokenness of the Philippines?

Agriculture is the most underrated and underfunded sector of the Philippine economy. It is the most abused by many government elected and appointed public officials.

Basically, agriculture is the very foundation of industrialization. From this producing economy, the country moves to the next level of providing the basic needs of survival and the surplus for export, thus, improving the standard of living of the Filipinos.

Look at Vietnam and Thailand, now considered as emerging export countries, giving their people to enjoy a much higher standard of living.

No doubt, the Philippines is considered one of the richest countries in Asia, with so much natural resources and the presence of skilled and talented human resources?

But what happened to our natural resources? And our human resources?

And my home country the Philippines? Being one of the most corrupt developing countries in the world?

You bet, and in spite the effort of President Duterte to eradicate this cancer, corruption has become the cash cow of the appointed and elected offices. Duterte seems hopeless probably because he has only two years left to cut the ugly head of corruption. And what to expect from the newly formed “Mega-Task Group” to finally face corruption in the lion’s den.

It seems the most memorable speech of former Commonwealth President Manuel Luis Quezon when he was fighting to obtain freedom, when, at the Senate, he said: “I prefer a government run by Filipinos like hell, rather than by Americans like heaven.”

Quezon had in mind a deeper meaning of what he shouted at the US Congress, unfortunately, our local officials had a literal translation: ‘run the country like hell.’

As years passed by, as many administrations changed, the Filipinos, the majority have been suffering, leading to the increase of our kababayans below the poverty line. Side by side, the corruptions are unabated, uncontrolled, and the rise of many nouveau riche

Right, the Philippines has turned out into more than a HELL, populated by corrupt elected and appointed officials, millions of lazy people, many dysfunctional systems, coupled by self-centered political leaders whose vision and missions are intended for personal glories.

Frankly, Philippine Politics is polarized. And its role is divide and conquer!

Politics in the Philippines is unique not for progress but for proliferation of the new “rich” as perpetrated by the venom-like family dynasty, when the select families rule the province or the cities for many years.

Even President Duterte does not want to touch this political aberration because his family members are involved.

The ordinary Filipino is helpless to reform the country. For the country is ruled by families for many decades, resulting to the many corruptions within the system.

Please do not blame the natural calamities as the sole cause of the country’s brokenness.

Is there still hope to gather the broken pieces? Probably, your guess is much better than mine.