It is both interesting and amusing when some people attempt to proffer complex solutions to simple problems. That is exactly the case of the avidly proposed charter change as the one and only remedy particularly to the worsening poverty and misery of millions of marginalized people in this country.
It is repeatedly said that the national economy is much better. It is loudly proclaimed that the peso is strong, foreign investments are more, the stock market is up, yet the fact remains that the poor have less money in their pockets, less food on their tables. In effect, it is now openly admitted that the Philippines has the costliest medicines in the world, and consequently more poor sick people die as a matter of course. It is an unconscionable situation when there are but very few individuals at the apex of the economic pyramid—while the big majority is at the miserable base.
What remains plain and obvious is poverty and misery long are since obtaining in the country. The complicated and vague solution pushed by the present administration and its allies is change the charter. Thereafter, it is fearlessly foretold that the national economic progress and development are certain and certified. Really? Why? How?
Why not try a simply solution to the equally plain problem? How about cleaning the government of flagrant graft and gross corruption? Why not place behind bards all the many known crooks and thieves holding public offices? Why not take honest to goodness preventive measures to stop one odious and scandalous scam after another? What about restoring the trust and respect of the people especially towards the present leadership?
In one word, simply get rid of liars, cheats and thieves in government to ring about economic progress and development in the land. With honesty and integrity in the exercise of governance, charter change is superfluous. Keep liars, cheats and thieves in government, and charter change is futile and inutile.
The plain truth is that even the best form of government—if there is one—becomes a socio-political curse to the citizens when those governing them are dishonest and deceitful. In short, as usual, it is the substance in governance more than the form of government that really counts. This is not hard to understand.
23 October 2006