Wednesday, May 06, 2015

PROMOTION OF WORK



“Employment problems challenge the responsibility of the State, whose duty it is to promote active employment policies… that will encourage employment opportunities within the national territory, providing the production sector with incentives for the purpose.”  So declares the Church in her Social Doctrine under the general heading of “Right to Work”  without in any way undermining the duty to work on the part of man – with the loud and serious reminder that those who do not want to work should neither eat.  Specifically on the matter of the “Promotion of Work”, the following observations come to fore:

The State is funded by the people through their continuous payments of taxes.  Reason then says justice stipulates that the State is in turn bound to provide the common good or public welfare of the people.  One way of doing this on the part of the State is to promote the constant availability of work.  As the State has the right to demand from the State – among other things – the availability of work that gives fair wages plus other benefits.

When the State – represented by incumbent  public officials – is instead either preoccupied with promoting its own interests or directed by an incompetent leadership, it is eventually the citizens who are losers.  This happens when the availability of work is very much less than needed.  It is both the misfortune and even malediction  of the citizens when their public officials are experts in demanding and spending public funds for anything, for everything – except the common good of their constituencies.

The availability of work or employment for the citizens does not only benefit them, their families and local communities but also society in the national level – the State as well included.  All observations about the imperative of work opportunities in a country are too elementary to require profound explanations.  It is the serious and continuous absence of sufficient work for the citizens in their country that readily places the latter among the so-called “Third World Country”.

One way the State should do in order to stimulate and maintain the availability or work for its citizens is to see to it that capital is given proper  incentives precisely to engage in productive ventures therein.  In few words, this means the availability of work for the citizens – as a logical consequence.  In the world of ground realities, capital is not invested unless reasonable profits are somehow guaranteed.  One way of making this happen is for the State to impose less taxes on capital investments.

The infamous reality of OFWs in these supposedly modern times, is one eloquent proof that the countries where they come from, are sadly incapable of providing their citizens with local work.  So it is that workers leave their families behind paradoxically in order to care and provide for their needs.  And the consequences are devastating.  This is no secret – specially for the Philippines that make people its business precisely by making them OFWs.       

Monday, May 04, 2015

DEATH PENALTY



A good number of people were much disturbed lately on account of a Filipina OFW who was sentenced to death for allegedly having been a drug courier into a country where the punishment for such a misdeed is downright execution through firing squad.  There were those who decidedly encamped right in front of the embassy of the country concerned, asking for the release of the woman under the penalty of death – considering her perceived innocence.  There were also those who staged demonstrations for the same reason which were held in the province where the woman is from.  There was one thing in common in the said many protest actions in different places, viz., prayers were said, candles were lighted.  And the outcome of all such dissenting ventures and recourse to prayer was exhilarating:  The execution was officially postponed basically in order to establish for certain, the justification of her death penalty.

 But then, there emerged once again some individuals in this Country, a certain group in particular, that are shouting up to now the old song of reviving the Death Penalty Law in this Country.  Their thesis in plain words is the following:  There are so many crimes committed day and night.  There are so many criminals enjoying life.  There are numerous victims of criminals.  Solution:  Revive and impose the Death Penalty Law!  Perhaps – just perhaps – for one reason or another – the advocates of Death Penalty:

Forget or want to forget the rational mandate, the ethical norm, “You shall not kill.”  he gross violation of this long-standing elementary, societal observance is done by criminals, by individuals without remorse, by mentally- deranged persons – Death Penalty advocates included.

Ignore the truth that the State – no matter how sovereign, superior or even supreme it is – has not given any life to any of its citizens.  Such being the elementary truth, the State has neither any right to kill any of them under whatever pretext, any justification of any kind.

Do not want to accept the glaring fact that instead of such a hideous terminal option of Death Penalty, there are three basic agenda in the Country to respond to criminal-minded individuals, anti-social personalities and gross enemies of peace and order:

a.  See to it  that the Law Enforcers know the law, impose this and follow them up for their proper implementation.  The so-called “Lagay System” is a big offense even to elementary good manners and right conduct.

b.  Make the Justice System really work for the emergence of truth, the rule of law, the reign of peace.  Do away with the accepted maxim that the wealthy and the powerful are over and above what is right and just.

c.  Have prisons that serve their purpose such as to keep culprits away from society, to rehabilitate their thinking and actions.  Please – no more prisons or correctional where vices, entertainment  and good times are the rules.

Friday, May 01, 2015

LABOR AND CAPITAL




The above title is right whereas it is true, proper and just.  Yes, it is definitely not “Capital and Labor” but the other way around – “Labor and Capital”, considering  their respective significance, implications and impact.  While probably unintended and even unwanted, there is “Labor Day” while “Capital Day” is unheard of. So it is that as far as ground realities are concerned, labor has preferential consideration and appreciation over capital.  The reasons behind such preference are not really hard to decipher:  Whole capital has direct reference to material – financial, economic, pecuniary – realities, labor however enjoys priority of attention and care by reason of the human persons, the human agents behind them in order to keep capital not simply intact but to make it also productive and therefore increase its worth plus extend its benefits to others.

This is not in any way meant to undermine, much less depreciate the nature, worth and significance of capital – but simply intended to call to mind and emphasize certain truths as the following:  It is labor that initially builds up capital such that in the last analysis, capital is but a fruit of labor.  Capital by itself alone does nothing really, considering that its increase or amelioration is on account of the productive intervention of labor.  So is it that as it is labor that makes capital productive in favor not only of the capitalists themselves but primarily so, for the good and welfare of others precisely benefited by the productivity of capital through the intervention of labor.

So it is that:

Labor, considering its subjective personal element is superior to capital, inclusive of all other human factors connected with productivity.

Labor itself can be rightfully considered as human capital with specific reference to human resources that make capital precisely productive.

Labor is the product of the workings of the human mind plus human strength which are superior in nature and significance to material resources.

Labor in fact means human resources more concretely in terms of human knowledge and creativity, capability and productivity.

Labor has intrinsic priority over and above capital although it is still their complementary relationship that brings about productivity.

So comes to fore every now and then, the drawing of a horse and cart.  When joined together, the cart moves and the horse shows its worth.  When separated, anything can happen except that which is supposed to.  This in no way means that the horse is necessarily worth much more than the cart – or vice versa.  It is but one way of saying that labor and capital need one another for both to benefit from one another.  This is precisely why when labor calls for a strike and when capital stages a lock-out – both are the losers.  But just the same, labor with its human  dimension is nobler than capital with its but material worth.     

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

“IT IS NOT MY PRIORITY”



Thus was the distinct and memorable, disturbing and well-recorded response of no less than the supreme and supposedly illustrious President of the Republic of the Philippines when – barely sometime after his assumption of office – he was expressly and clearly called upon to please help in stopping the many illegal numbers’ games flourishing in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The already needy people bettors were even duped as a matter of course while the already multi-millionaire gambling lords in the Country were as a matter of fact, raking in all the dirty money they could grab and putting it  in their bottomless pockets plus their spurious bank accounts.

In other words, the now-reigning and thus ruling supposedly highly-respected and admired Supreme Public Official in the Land – who categorically, repeatedly and loudly proclaims  the platitude “Matuwid na Daan”  -- in effect approves illegal gambling in the same way that the same even affirms and promotes gambling per se in the Country as somehow another Las Vegas.  So it is that while illegal gambling  continue to flourish in the Country, now there are even more and more  luxurious gambling investments in the Philippines primarily in terms of downright Casinos – with dining plus entertainment features as diversionary features.

So it is that specially-built roads are being well-readied for big-time foreign gamblers to find it easy to go straight to the local Casinos from the airport – and thus avoid traffic!  So it is that Casinos are exempted from AMLAC intervention.  Why?  Ask Malacañang.  So it is that gambling of many kinds and in many ways are even found in the so-called “Super Malls” here and there, not to mention “Angeles” in particular – with a host of “On-Line Gambling”.  Why?  Ask Malacañang. And so it is that losing money is not oncluded in the vocabulary of Casinos specially so when such are GOCCs.  Why?  Ask Malacañang.

Samples of illegal numbers’ games:  Alpor.  Beto-eto. Biyaya. Bookies.  Ending.  First Ball. Forty-One.  Forty-Four.  Fruit Game.  Hataw.  Jai-Alai.  Jueteng.  Last Two.  Loteng.  Lucky Nine.  Masiao.  Monte.  Pares-Pares.  Partida.  Polmol.  Pula o Puti.  Pusoy/Pusoy Dos.  Quatro de Jack.  Roleta.  Sakla.  Salisi.  Suetres.  Tong-Its. Video Carera.  Etc., etc.

Samples of “legal” numbers’ games:  Baccarat. Bingo.  Big and Small.  Black Jack.  Craps.  EZ2.  Faigow.  Genuine Pairs.  Horse Racing.  Lotto of different kinds, wit different names, with progressive prizes.  Pontoon.  Roulette.  Slot Machines.  Stud Poker.  Super 6.  Etc., etc.

Gambling is synonymous with greed.  Gambling means avarice.  Gambling is covetousness.  Gambling is a vice.  Gambling promotes the mentality of chance.  Gambling implants the spirit of dependence.  Gambling cultivates indolence.  Gambling corrupts people, creates addicts, removes shame, affirms luck, impoverishes individuals, undermines the imperative of labor, creates cheats, produces liars, destroys families.

“Daang matuwid”?  Come on!  Wake up!  Be real!              

Monday, April 27, 2015

THE BBL ENIGMA



What is intended to promote unity and harmony in the Country, is precisely dividing the people in general.  What is envisioned to bring about peace and progress in Mindanao is not exactly making people in Mindanao jump for joy, neither pacifying the fears nor resolving the reservations of the people in Luzon and in the Visayas.  Thus stands the enigma of the BBL proudly promoted by the present administration and fervently affirmed by its well-rewarded supporters.

It is anything but a secret that in Mindanao itself, there are non-friendly groupings such as the well-known MNLF, the fearsome ASG, the dangerous BIFF plus apparently other newly-emerging militant groupings – in addition to MILF that precisely pushed the MNLF aside with the support and patronage of the incumbent administration.  The above-said major groupings may not be exactly warring factions among themselves whereas one apparently simply comes from another – as a mother gives birth to a child.  One thing however is definitely certain, viz., there is more than but one armed group in Mindanao other than the MILF that has come to fore recently although the MILF remains the centerpiece of the BBL.

So arise some reasonable questions as the following:  How come the ruling administration is trying to forge an agreement with but the MILF?  Are other said gun-owning and toting  groups expected to but humbly submit to the BBL MILF in the event that the latter rule in Mindanao with the patronage of the reigning administration?  Will there really be peace in Mindanao when most of the people there are neither Muslims nor exactly MILF constituents or sympathizers?  In other words and in the sphere of ground realities, is the BBL really the way to justice, peace and development in Mindanao?

It is a matter of record that the BBL envisioned blessed phenomenon was precisely accompanied by the SAF manslaughter that took place precisely with the deadly participation of some MILF and BIFF members.  This is interesting – if not actually disgusting:  Talking about peace here with killings going on at the same time somewhere.  No wonder then that although the administration tries to lord it over, the legislators however are markedly divided on the pro and contra of the BBL – while the justices are on the watch about its constitutionality they will certainly be asked to pronounce upon in due time.  Meantime, Mindanao is anything but in peace long since and up to now.

There is another nagging question – after the 2016 elections.  If and when the BBL were eventually approved by all the branches of the Philippine government, if and when the coveted Peace Prize is eventually obtained by someone at all costs, what happens next?  Will the in-coming administration continue to support and promote the BBL?  Will there be true and lasting peace in Mindanao?  Will this Region be an example of social harmony plus its accompanying socio-economic development?  Interesting!