Thursday, March 21, 2013

Philippine Economic and Political Context

“In our economic context: The poverty and destitution of a big number of our people are only too evident, contrasting sharply with the wealth and luxury of relatively few families, the elite top of our social pyramid. In our political context: Power and control are also elitist, lopsidedly concentrated among established families that tend to perpetuate themselves in political dynasties.” (Second Plenary Council of the Philippines: p12. no.24)

The Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (PCP-II) was nothing less than a twenty-nine day lived-in meeting of no less than 494 delegates from all over the country – half of whom are men and women laypeople representing their respective ecclesiastical jurisdictions in Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao. It was held in 1991 – the first Plenary Council in the universal Catholic Church after the promulgation of the 1983 Code of Canon Law of the Church by Blessed Pope John Paul II.

The above cited pronouncement of the Plenary Council made more than two decades ago, could have been committed to writing but yesterday. Reason: The Philippines today remain in exactly the same economic and political adversity. There are still widespread poverty and misery among the people. There are still those few high class families wallowing in wealth and enjoying the good life. More. There is still the concentration of power and command in the hands of few “rich and famous” families. And these are exactly the constituents of political dynasties in the Philippines to this date.

To care claim that the 2013 economy and politics in the country are not that pitiful as they were back 1991, to allege that the People of the Philippines have moved forward in their sad economic plight and social standing and/or have advanced in the conduct of politics, to attempt even but saying with a straight face that the PCP-II statement concerned is passé – all such thoughts and perceptions are either the product of gross ignorance or the results of blatant hypocrisy.

From all the above phenomena, the main conclusions are rather evident: The grand promises and magnificent predictions of the past and present politicos are but some kind of either a bad dream or a downright delirium. More. The loud pronouncements and impressive claims of the past and present administrations about the socio-economic development of the country during their tenures of power and influence are futile and happy.

And here we go again: The 2013 national election is but months ahead and the 2016 presidential election is merely years from now. Would that the said exercises make a difference in the political and economic quagmire the country has been in long since! People can dream, can’t they?