Wednesday, June 13, 2007

6.9% what?

Stranger than fiction—this could be the popular perception every time the administration releases impressive figures of economic progress or amazing statistics of national development. Such glorious pronouncements are even usually accompanied with the by-line that never before were they realized except in the incumbency of the present national leadership.

But as usual, the said figures and statistics appear so detached from the reality of the day-to-day living of majority of the people. There are big figures on one hand and on the other there is but little food on the tables. The statistics are impressive but the living conditions of the common people is depressive. What a pity! The national leadership claims even imported expertise in economics yet the local economy is only promising in words, wonderful in figures and marvelous in statistics.

Lately, the tri-media came out with striking official announcement that the Philippine economy expanded to a 6.9% growth. It was even loudly claimed that this was the strongest growth in almost two decades. That was why, someone said that the Philippine was “on a roll”. 6.9% what? On the roll to where?

Not long thereafter, another member of the administration said that out of 10 children entering the elementary course, only about 6 of them will finish it. And out of these 6, only 4 students will go to high school. Eventually, out of these remaining 4, it is not certain if they will finish college, and if they do, it is not sure if they will find jobs in the country. The reason for this educational catastrophe is definitely not prosperity but poverty. Sometime before, another administration ally said that 8 out of 10 sick Filipinos die. The reason is clearly not the abundance but the lack of money to buy medicine—much less to seek even medical attention.

In fact there was that blessed time that the national leadership had the temerity to say that the Filipinos were already having so much in opportunities, goods and funds. Only, they did not know it! Heavens! This is exactly the picture of someone having his or her head in cloud 9—with both feet however sunk deep in dirty and sickening mud.

This is not even to mention the hundreds of Filipinos exerting all means and effort to leave their families and their country simply to find their means of livelihood abroad. Never mind the danger and discrimination, the sweat and loneliness. It is a standing fact this exodus goes on every day of the week, 365 days a year,

If it were again alleged that the national gains have not yet filtered down to the population, when will this happen if ever? There is the Filipino saying that a dead horse needs no green grass. Remember too, empty stomachs have no ears.

13 June 2007