Egalitarian | Philippine economy, politics and political parties

THERE are various technical descriptions to developing countries, most common is the condition of welfare of the people in the country according to health, security, food, social security. Developed and developing countries are nations with freedom to pursue a healthy society, well-being and standards of life as well as protection of the environment. While it is true that a country that has freedom is a country that could benefit of its innovation and labor, not all countries can do this. Others just simply sink while waving for help. The world is a world of acute ironies, where rich countries investing money in the poor countries to produce materials for well-being but the people of these countries not enjoying benefits of these produced goods. These goods produced in the poor countries, instead were enjoyed by the rich countries. Philippines with oldest democracy, therefore is still not free. There is only the freedom to express, but no accountability. There is no sense of self-governing, for when the narratives of reason are known, people start to limit themselves.

When Philippines initiated competition by disbanding monopolies, one classic example is on the telecommunication. The telecommunications industry was turned over to the PLDT from the previous PILTEL. When the telecommunications industry was opened for competition, the cost of telecommunication services went down; when the Bayantel joined in along with their wireless counterparts such as the SMART, GLOBE and the SUN CELLULAR, prices slumped and everyone now can practically enjoy the benefits of competition

Many years back, the world was already looking at the Philippines as an emerging economy as it was showing strengths and positions in the world market. But to their dismay, Philippines cannot take off towards economic maturity.

And yet, due to political instability in the country, the fruits of the economic booms faded like bubbles in the air. Little by little the economy shows its weak pillars and tilting towards collapse. The democracy that was introduced in 1987 Constitution happened to be farced without a leader who could impose limits of powers of the strong, and at the same time provide equal access of opportunity to the greater public.

Philippines is known for its good education system which made its human capital as the driver for growth. On the one hand, it is troubled with its governance as the government is subjected to major corruption scandals. It has a system of checks and balances which allowed for framework of moderation but is most troubled by the conflicting policies. For many years, the Central Bank is an institution to rely on; it has been prudent making the country protected from the many financial crises, and the many disasters that beset the country.

Philippines according to ADB study is an economic puzzle being one of the highest per capita incomes in East Asia in the 1950’s and 1960’s, the country was an early leader with a relatively advanced manufacturing sector and well-developed human capital. Yet despite favorable initial conditions, the country’s long-term growth performance has been has been disappointing. From 1960 to 2008, Real Gross Domestic product (GDP) grew at a rate of 4% per annum. With a relatively high population growth of 2.5% per capita GDP increased only by 1.5% over the same period, the neighboring countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand grew at a rate of 4% in per capita term. So, statistically, we are as good as our ASEAN neighbors.The main culprit behind the lagging growth is a chronic productivity growth deficit as a result of stagnant industrialization. The stagnation spiraled into high unemployment rate, un-strategic poverty reduction, and poor physical infrastructure development resulting in weak interconnectivity of places.

            The concept of development in the lens of reality and statistics must be construed according to its objectives. The Philippines has to achieve political maturity in order to achieve economic stability. This is the easiest line to say but the hardest to achieve. In a country where leaders were created by myths and legends, then leadership cannot be entrenched on philosophies and ideologies. The role of massive consciencezation is a function of the political parties. Great countries became great across time because of the leadership shown by the party and their followers.

What comes as a simple common sense is not understandable to an individual who holds power but do not have the ideologies. The essence of politics is the use of power to better the conditions of the poor while engaging the greater number of the public to achieve development. This is not possible, not unless a new generation of idealistic leaders would come out from the ashes. It is still very important to create a political party that would ensure programmatic approach for this country. A political party that will plan out the development of the country, and once the plan is already there, the party must ensure the implementation of the plan through its adherents and members in the various offices of the government.


Posted in Opinion