Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Arithmetic

No. This is definitely not about algebra, much less about any compound complex mathematical issue reserved for professional or numerical experts. Yes. It is but plain and simple arithmetic –in terms of plus, minus and equals. No. This is surely not a question of intricate and technical counting. Yes. It is simply a matter of how much one owes and how much may the same give a loan – as a matter of elementary logic.

By way of totals as of even date, it is estimated that the Philippines has a foreign debt of some 70 billion US dollars. There is more. It is also estimated that the Philippines has a domestic debt of some 3.5 trillion pesos. Wherefore, there is the arithmetical conclusion that every Filipino – the moment he or she is born plus all those still counted among the living – has the total debt of 70,000.00 pesos each.

There is much need in the Country. The development potentials are weak. The infrastructures are poor. The investments remain but promises. The availability of work is not only little in number but also pitiful in kind. The salaries are low. The prices of basic commodities are high. The people are poor in means and wanting resources. The cost of energy is deregulated but the cost of food, shelter and clothing are regulated. The conditional cash transfer is nothing more than downright dole-outs – with the usual “cuts” that go therewith. Conclusion: Trillions of US dollars are needed to somehow redeem Philippines from poverty and misery, from dehumanizing socio-economic condition and fast diminishing self-esteem.

But surprise, surprise! The present administration – through the CBCP – is taking a great pleasure and having big pride with the prospect of giving 1 billion dollars loan to the IMF or something. Just imagine, for the first time, this country under the incumbent government is gloriously contemplating of giving such loan allegedly to help the now financially strapped nations! How prosperous and wherefore generous must be the Philippines! How superior and prodigious must be the national leadership!

Never mind the immense – difficult to count, hard to imagine – amount of the hard to count and account for, foreign plus domestic debts of the country. Never mind the basic developmental needs of the Philippines. Never mind the disappearance of the middle class and the emergence of poor and miserable people. Never mind the great number of empty stomachs and poor health of many people.

It is good to be charitable – but charity still begins at home. It is good to be generous – but only when generosity is reasonable. It is a huge contradiction to be an enormous debtor on one hand and a tiny creditor of the other hand. This is plain and simple arithmetic!