11 August 2004

Or Should We All Begin Taking Antidepressants?

In the face of rising oil prices, tax on text, a nuclear plant getting converted to a natural gas plant, Sen. Joker Arroyo's "tax terrorists," a huge budget deficit, an impending power shortage, and other news that bring nothing but depression, I came across a Peter Wallace special report written before the May elections that tried to analyze and digest the Philippine situation in a capsule. Excerpts below:
In the past 25 years the Philippines has averaged 3.1 percent annual GDP growth, with a population growth of 2.5 percent. Which means almost no improvement for the Filipino over that 25 years. This is about half, or less, the rate achieved by other nations in Asia.

Peter Wallace Special Report


1. Politics - vested interests vs national good

2. Uncontrolled population growth

3. Weak educational system

4. Corruption

5. Inadequate infrastructure

6. An agriculture system that hasn't improved in 25 years

7. An inadequate focus on job creation

8. A judiciary in need of major improvement

9. Security

If these 9, and it must be all 9 of them, aren't fixed the Philippines will average 3.1% for the next 25 years too.

At its present rate of growth of the population (2.36 percent), and the economy (3 percent) it will take 30 years to catch up to where Thailand is today.

25 years ago it was ahead of Thailand. 40 years ago it was second to Japan.

Mr. James Fallows was right. This is a damaged culture. It is a selfish culture where too many think only of themselves (and family) and care little for others, or the nation as a whole.

I cannot emphasize too strongly that without absolutely fundamental change in these 9 issues, and the cultural change to go with it, the Philippines will be the basket case of Asia one generation from now.

It will not change if the culture, the attitude (of the leaders) does not change.

It will not be easy, it will not be popular, it will need a skillful balancing act between pandering to politicians, generating public support and effecting major reform. Great leaders were so because they had a long-term vision and gambled their careers to achieve it.
[Peter Wallace Special Report --- "DOES THE PHILIPPINES HAVE A CHANCE?"]
I suggest you read the full article by clicking the link above.

I do not know why politicians are dying to become the President, the Senators and Representatives of this nation. With all these problems, I do not think its cool to be the designated problem-solver(s) of a nation with a "damaged and selfish culture."

The first step to development is weeding out the bad guys. That I think is the solution. At the same time, I also think it is the most difficult.

We have ran out of "great leaders."

Leaders come and go, but the problems remain and get worse. Present leaders do not know what sacrifice and discipline mean, anymore. Nobody resigns anymore because of delicadeza. They know more about politics, kick-backs, spin-offs, good speeches, and less on principles that work.

Now, each Filipino cares only for himself and his immediate family. Beyond that, he does not give a s**t. Majority of them want to get out of this country. Almost everyone I talk to wants to become a nurse. Not here. In the US or some European country, that's where! There are no jobs for them here and they would rather get kidnapped --- beheaded even --- in a foreign land than die of frustration here.

As a health professional, I even want to add a #1O to the list above: a health system in crisis as exemplified by
  • a very expensive health care setup - majority cannot afford decent hospital care and high-priced medicines

  • a senior citizen law that is ignored by most drug pharmacies.

  • a nursing crisis that will soon deplete our country of health professionals
Please tell me if I am wrong.

Please tell me I am wrong.

Please tell me we can get out of this muck.

0 reactions: