Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Philippines: A third world country forever?

THERE were those happy times and easy days when in Asia, the Philippines was second only to Japan in socio-economic development. It would not be merely wishful thinking that the Philippines could be then considered as a “First World Country”—if the phrase were already in use. But the big misfortune came to pass that one regime after another, one government after another, and the Philippine has degraded slowly but surely into a Third World Country. This pitiful Philippine status continues to be vivid and vibrant in the mind and heart of the international community to this decade. Thus this country is accordingly treated and mistreated.

How come? What happened in the course of time? Who made it happen? How did it happen? Is the Philippines condemned to be a Third World Country—forever? Shall the Filipinos be continuously identified with poverty and misery? Will the country be consistently considered as the fertile ground of graft and corruption, of criminality and injustice, in the Asian continent? Is the Philippines then a lost—hopeless—case in the world of development and progress?

The Philippines is a well endowed country in terms of its natural resources—such as the big potentials of agriculture, the precious minerals in the soil, the abundant fish in the sea, the many possibilities in the mountains. The Filipinos are basically an industrious and thrifty people. In substance, the Philippine culture remains pro-truth, pro-justice, pro-peace. Question: Why is it then that the Philippines long since became and continues to be a Third World Country?

Who have long since tolerated the exploitation of the country’s rich natural resources in favor of foreign interests and gains? And by the way, where has a precious material been going, i.e., the big amount of gold dug from the Philippine soil? How come the Philippine seas continue to benefit foreign nationals vey much more that the Filipinos themselves? And why is it that even big Filipino capital investments are brought abroad rather than kept in the country to favor local employment and development? And what is the national development plan of the present government—if any, at all?

Some serious realities in the Philippines must be seriously wrong—such as the following: Can there be real democracy and freedom with the reign of poverty? With the standard and usual proliferation of guns, the employ of goons plus the power of money especially during election time, have the Filipinos really chosen their able local and national public officials? Will the Philippines be ever blessed by a government with a rightful claim to integrity and competence?

An impossible dream?

OVCRUZ, JCD
20 June 2011