Wednesday, February 05, 2014

CBCP Pastoral Exhortation on Philippine Economy (1998) 2/3

The CBCP expressly said and clearly stated: “The task of the CBCP is to offer the pertinent ethical norms and moral principles that should be invoked and applied as a composite framework for the needed consideration and pursuant promotion of economic factors, viz. the principles of reflection, criteria of judgment and directives of action.”

Towards a Development with a Human Face

a. Centrality of the Human Person and Solidarity:
The human person is both the subject and object of development in its individual nature and social dimension characterized by an intrinsic dignity, rights, and obligations. Such a postulate is anchored on solidarity specially in terms human fundamental equality, common concern and honest altruism.

b. Preferential Option for the Poor:
This means genuine solidarity with honest compassion for and generous service to those who have less in life. This option has special relevance and application herein this country where poverty continues to reign – which seems to elude the conscience of those in command of power and wealth.

c. Universal Purpose of Created Goods:
There should be an equitable ownership or temporal goods among the people considering that there is equality of human dignity and human rights, that temporal goods are for the benefit of all and not but a few. The affirmation of “equitable ownership” confirms the right to private property.

d. Agrarian Reform:
The so-called “Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program” proves to be a well conceived and written element of a socio-economic development program. Too bad, however, that the then Head of State who launched the Program exempted her own dynastic huge agrarian land ownership.

e. Priority of Labor over Capital:
The priority herein affirmed is anything but idealistic and poetic. Reason: It is labor that is always the primary efficient cause of production and income – with capital remaining but the means. Labor necessarily implies human persons while capital basically means material assets.

After some 16 years, how is the Philippine economy?