COMMENTARY

Politics debased, a threat to national security

3

The current political environment
When the country’s political system is subverted so that power and political influence fall under the control of those who have no appreciation of and respect for the common good, the system will most likely become a tool for oppression and the promotion of selfish ambition. This is so in our country today. Institutions which normally provide checks on the conduct of our politicians have been coopted or destroyed. The real essence of democracy and public service is virtually lost. The debasement of our politics has become the biggest threat to our national security and wellbeing.

Philippine politics from ages ago has been largely dominated by political dynasties in virtually all of our geographic subdivisions. Many of these political families are concerned only with their own interests and the protection of their acquired wealth and influence.

Quite disturbing is the rise to prominence of a circle of pseudo revolutionaries, known for their “messianic” tendencies. They have gained, in recent years, effective access to Malacanang. They rode on a historical quirk that propelled a perfect puppet to the presidency, a President with an exaggerated sense of self-esteem, although completely lacking in maturity to be able to handle serious state questions. Some people are convinced he suffers from a mental disability that needs immediate medical attention.

During the last five years, this circle has been serving as “cordon sanitaire” in the Palace. Among other things, they have deflected serious public concern on the true mental and psychological state of the President. As to who is actually running government is difficult to ascertain at this point. It is even difficult to pinpoint whether it is the President or members of this circle who are actually responsible in providing the nation with most of the amateurish policy directions and blunders that caused undue national and regional instability and miseries to our people.


The nation should be concerned that individuals with no direct responsibility to the electorate may be misusing the powers granted by the people to the Presidency.

Unsurprisingly the present regime is also supported by the oligarchy. Never before were the oligarchy and other vested wealthy interests ever granted such uncontrolled freedom to pursue their economic interests regardless of whether these are inimical to the people and the state, or whether even parts of the nation’s patrimony are already being systematically destroyed.

Almost all of the constitutionally mandated mechanisms for the peaceful transfer of power have been subverted and controlled. On the other hand, most of those presenting themselves as potential national political leaders are essentially of the same breed and mold. The 2016 election will yet again be a mere formality to deliver to our suffering people more of the same.

Revolutionary change as an option
The Philippines may have introduced to the world a peaceful way of achieving revolutionary transfer of political power. Sadly this did not carry with it exhaustive lessons on what to do and what not to do after gaining state power. The Philippines failed to make use of the strategic advantages of revolutionary power. Despite three revolutionary “successes”—Marcos’s “revolution from the center,” the EDSA I people power, and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s takeover from Joseph Ejercito Estrada—-no fundamental societal change ever took place in the Philippines. The nation and majority of its people have remained poor. Philippine society has remained divided into two nations, one scandalously rich, the other obscenely and unacceptably poor.

The nation is ripe for a real revolution. It is becoming increasingly evident that another revolutionary transfer of power may yet be unfolding, except that its sure and steady advance may not be discernible to all. As our historical experience teaches us, societal change of this sort cannot really be planned, nor can it it be aborted once it acquires its own momentum.

If we are to succeed, this time, in propelling our nation to the kind of total societal change that our people are aching for, several fundamentals have to be ensured. These we must prepare for.

First and foremost, regime change has to be kept peaceful. The rumblings are there: among groups and formations, from extreme left to extreme right of the political spectrum. At the same time, the social media is on fire, with opinions about the President already bordering on the bizarre. Murmurs of discontent are loud enough to be heard from the ranks of men and women in uniform. Of course the Catholic hierarchy and the mainstream Protestants have yet to receive clearer signals from Heaven, while our poor are characteristically quiet, allowing darkness to hide their weepings, as their only recourse to ease their daily sufferings.

Faced with the same situation, other societies would have exploded in violence. But, happily, not the Philippines, and we should not allow it. A violent revolution will certainly fail; besides it is morally wrong to cause our people to any more hardships, as it is unpardonably wrong to allow the nation to continue on a road of false hopes and unrelieved misery.

The campaign fever is upon us. Our people will once more be subjected to choices that would offer only more of the same to all, especially the poor. This we cannot allow. Revolutionary change is an option. This opportunity has happened in the Philippines not once but thrice before. We should remind our people that such an option exists.

We cannot stop revolutionary change but we can attempt to guide it. We could begin doing this by presenting it as a real option to our people. A national campaign should be launched. Instead of personalities, we should offer a formula for fulfilling a long cherished national dream. There is a dictum: how you campaign will show how you will govern. This national campaign for revolutionary change should be the the first step toward actualizing the essence of revolutionary change: a nation governed “by the people”, and truly for the people.

Share.
.
Loading...

Please follow our commenting guidelines.

3 Comments

  1. isidro c. valencia on

    My simple mind digests Sec. Gonzales’ views on societal change reminding us Filipinos, “it should be peaceful in nature”, which I agree.

    Coup d tat, Trillanes’ passion has no room in our society. Trillanes’ mind is infested with messianic cells. It is almost one inch below the level of schizophrenic.

    Haven’t you notice, Trillanes never smile nor crack a joke.

    Shakespeare said (revised version), “A man who hath no humor for himself is fit for corruption, treason, stratagem and spoils. Let no such man be trusted.

    Very noticeable is Gonzales’ views on mental behavior of P-Noy. I learned from P-Noy’s former boss at Hacienda Luisita (deceased) that P-Noy during his childhood stage had epilepsy. From that point, we could say that we have “Epileptic Administration.” You can’t expect good governance from P-Noy.

    Revolutionary change could be achieved if every Filipino will have character change.Home, schools and Church failed to do it. Facebook, a social medium has slowly transforming every Facebook friends to an unknown character change.

    Let us change our Constitutional Charter, character in our mind and heart, and characters (people) in our politics. I am sure, it is revolutionary! A Peaceful Revolution!

  2. Brian Jackson on

    Best opportunity for The Philippines – A Manifesto for development.

    The following is a list of the real opportunities that exist and which could be grasped by an administration with foresight and determination.

    Agriculture.

    Fine wool production. The land above 700 meters in Luzon, Mindoro, Panay islands and Batanes can support about 10 million Merino sheep producing about 80 million kilos of wool annually with a value of some $640 million. The main markets for New Zealand and Australian wool are China, Korea and Taiwan. With lower labor costs and shorter freight distances a Philippine wool industry would be competitive and profitable. Deer farming could be incorporated into the sheep units. Jobs would be created in farm preparation and fencing and fencing materials, farm buildings, yards and woolsheds, shepherding, shearing, wool scour plants, tanning for end of life stock skins, mutton production and processing, downstream processing and spinning plants, fine garment factories using high quality fine wool cloth and suitings. The industry would produce some 2 million jobs including downstream and service sectors.

    Beef production. The rest of the idle land in the archipelago could be used to raise real beef cattle (the Brahmin and Santa Gertrudis breeds now raised are very poor meat producers). Raising Red Devon cattle, which produce excellent meat without being grain fed (they thrive on any kind of rough grazing) would enable the country to cease imports from US and Brazil/Argentina and instead also export fine beef. Red Devons currently are bred and farmed in the northern states of Australia. Stocking would be at the rate of 1-1.5 million head with revenues of $75 million. This would produce about 100,000 jobs in farming, transportation and processing.

    Fruit production. The highland areas can grow apples, apricots, peaches, plums, almonds and nectarines where the vegetables are now being grown. By planting trees at each end of the vegetable terraces a combination production is possible. Apples are currently growing in Malaysia. Kiwifruit can be grown in Northern Luzon in the citrus belt. This would be supplementary to existing farms and would generate extra revenues and follow on jobs. Tobacco growing would be replaced with kiwi fruit and olives and grapes.

    Trout fishery. The Cagayan river system in Luzon is ideal for the acclimatization of Brown Trout and would become a world class fly fishery for tourists. The tourist potential would be in the order of $10 million annually including licenses, guiding, travel and accommodation, benefiting the local rural communities.

    Radiata pine plantations. Much of the lower slope idle lands could be planted out to radiata pine yielding post and poles at 11 years and, by pruning, clear wood for veneer and furniture in 20 years. 1 million hectares would produce 500 million cubic meters at maturity valued at $1.5 billion. Some 100,000 jobs would be created.

    Seagull re-introduction. The lack of a seagull population causes many problems such as the golden snail infestations in rice lands and other pests. They could be progressively spread by bringing stock from Batanes. Savings from reduction in damage to rice and less chemical control would be significant.

    Agriculture continued.

    Crop production. This must be mechanized to permit faster crop rotations. Small plots of land should be integrated by incorporating them into special land partnerships under regional DA supervision which would determine minimum production achievement levels required. These partnerships would be mandated to have a distinct legal personality and as such be able to transact business and have access to finance using their assets as collateral. The partnerships would be guaranteed by PDIC when borrowing from banks. A partnership failing to meet its production targets would be dissolved, thus losing its privileges. Mechanization to be achieved by establishing local rural contracting businesses which would provide services to the partnerships for a fee. This would achieve self sufficiency and surplus for export.

    Other Crops. Crops such as cassava and camote to be developed and promoted as additional staples and also processed into animal feeds to reduce imports of corn. All bio-fuel production to be stopped and the lands used to produce food crops.

    Palm oil production. Increased plantations of oil palms should replace crops for fuel as it can be used for food and also for the production of polyurethane resins for industry, more useful and effective than fuel usage.

    Transportation.

    Jeepneys. Whilst it is not economically feasible to phase them out immediately the most urgent need is to replace the bodies with lightweight fiberglass or polyurethane shells configured to be comfortable. The current designs are overweight and consume far too much fuel just to move their mass. A large scale program to scrap the bodies and replace them should also encompass the scrapping of all un-roadworthy units. It should be mandatory for electric units to be used in all cities with a phase in period of 2 years. The displaced motorized units, after refitting with lightweight bodies, should be transferred to smaller centers. This program would cut diesel usage by up to 60%. Significant numbers of jobs would be created. The fuel savings would far outweigh the value of crops for fuel.

    Tricycles. To optimize this mode of transport it should be mandatory that each unit is capable of carrying a minimum of 5 passengers. New lightweight cars should be installed behind the driving position reducing the width of the unit. Cities to phase in electric tricycles within 3 years.

    Buses. In metropolitan areas the Hong Kong dispatching model should be adopted for the operation of buses using fixed stopping points and the ‘no overtaking’ rule. Buses running the same route as rapid transit to be removed.

    Driver qualification. All drivers of public utility vehicles to be re-trained and licensed. A strict system of policing traffic offenders and removing their licences to be introduced and fully implemented. All public utility drivers to be paid wages and the boundary system outlawed. Stopping areas to be designated and policed. Offenders to be disqualified from driving and the vehicle seized and scrapped.
    The rail system. A system of railway lines should be established within each Region using locally made rails, concrete sleepers and third generation, non-polluting, steam locomotives (powered by local coal) and rolling stock. The complete system can be made locally including the locomotives and cars. The separate systems on the main islands would be connected by rail ferries. This program would create up to 1 million jobs. Issues of right of way would be handled by government decree taking the land without compensation. Courts would not be permitted to interfere in the process of national development.
    Inter-Island shipping. To ensure that the nation is served by a safe, modern and efficient shipping service the following actions are necessary.
    1. Abolish MARINA. The survey and control of commercial vessels to be contracted to one of the international Bureaux of shipping e.g. Lloyds, Norsk, ABS, Veritas whichever will win the bid to provide the services.
    2. Each Regional Administration will establish a Port Management Authority, accredited and audited by the selected Bureau. This Authority will be responsible for all aspects of ship control and safety on a voyage by voyage basis. In the event of any mishap which can be shown to be a lapse in enforcing load and safety regulations the erring officer will be deemed guilty of a crime and automatically imprisoned for 5 years hard labor and loss of all benefits.
    3. Ship-owners scrapping their vessels for re-cycling into the rail construction project will be given concessional loans for new vessels if built in the Philippines.
    4. The Philippine Coastguard will be upgraded and will have two major roles, Rescue and Fisheries Patrol.

    Housing.

    The Philippines has a huge resource of low cost, heat rejecting and fire proof material to make house building a major industry, however that resource is simply burnt.

    By baling rice straw ‘Bale houses” can be built at very low cost as is done in US, Canada, Europe and China and Australia. These houses are storm and earthquake resistant and can be finished to any stage simple to luxury. By supplying baling machines and training, local communities would be able to build all the houses they need.

    As part of solving the poverty problem informal settlers in the major cities will be relocated to their home provinces in the regions and be put to work in the infrastructure development of the regions.

    Squatting will be re-criminalized and squatters removed and returned to their origins.

    Energy and Utilities.

    Local oil and gas. The local supplies should be nationalized and all output consumed in the Philippines with maximum conversion of consumption to favor this. The price should be the cost of production plus the cost of maintenance and renewal. World energy prices are a function of speculators in western commodity markets and need not be imposed on the Philippines.

    Electricity. Maximum use of wind and solar power should be mandated and small community systems set up. Wind generators can be manufactured locally. These would be off grid and run by the communities. Provision of power, water and sewerage is a fundamental responsibility of Regional Administrations and should not be by private, profit driven companies. These services should be delivered at cost plus maintenance and replacement charges. Existing facilities to be nationalized.

    Water and sewerage. Coastal communities can use wind and solar power to generate electricity to run desalination systems and reticulate the water. Community sewage systems can be constructed using biological processes to handle sewage and the final output applied as fertilizer to community market garden farms. These can be manufactured in the country. Water can be heated using solar collectors.

    River system re-habilitation. In the cities all creeks, esteros and canals appropriated by individuals and corporations to revert to the state and be restored. Development zoning to be established and polluting sources closed or rectified. A target of 95% of all waterways being free of pollution within 5 years as a responsibility of Regional Administrators.

    Education.

    Distance learning. The school system to be changed radically taking advantage of the existing cellular telephone networks. By expanding the bandwidth, providing wi-fi to every school (this to be done by the telecommunications companies who would be paid by a reduction in taxes on their commercial transactions) and providing each school child with a computer, lessons would be by distance learning with the class teacher as convener and moderator. This would allow the central teaching establishment to access lesson plans and packages from throughout the world so that core subjects would have extremely high standards. Local subjects could be developed at the central facility using the best academics. This system would be relatively inexpensive, high performance and most significantly allow all children to access the best quality information, ethics training and citizenship awareness. No religion to be taught in schools.

    Adult literacy. Each unemployed person working for the unemployment pay will undergo a literacy and skills test. Those with deficiencies will be required to spend an additional 2 hours per work day in special literacy and skills training.

    Health, income and sport.

    Health. Primary health care to be provided free by Regional Administrations. The production and sale of all tobacco products to be progressively taxed to fund this care. Pharmaceuticals will be sourced at least cost and provided by the Regional Administrations free to the unemployed and at a flat rate to others. Public hospitals to be upgraded to acceptable international standards. Contraception and reproductive education and products to be free.

    Income. The basic minimum wage to be P 1,000.00 per day with the attendant requirement that employers facilitate and demand increased productivity: unemployed persons will be put to work on infrastructure, environmental damage repair and waste management tasks and paid P500 per day. All government employees, Regional and National to be paid on a scale that is 3 x the current scales with the concomitant provision that corruption and laziness will result in summary dismissal.

    Sport. Football (Soccer) to be the national sport and taught in all schools; The AFP plays football and could be tapped for first level coaching. Communities to be encouraged to make pitches available. Subsequently as the pool of players increases commercial clubs would be formed.
    Marine Biosystems.

    Within each region Administrators will enforce the laws on fisheries and the environment ensuring that each municipality secures a minimum 15% of its municipal waters in Marine Reserves as mandated by the RA 8050. Each and every municipality will be directed to ensure that its officers down to the barangay level effectively implement all laws pertaining to pollution, destructive fishing, farming and other extractive processes.

    Philippine Municipal waters.
    Municipal waters are defined as extending from the low tide mark out for
    15 kilometers (RA 8550).
    The Philippine coastline is 36,289 kilometers (CIA World Facts).

    Therefore the potential area of the Philippine Municipal waters is
    (36,289 x 15) 544,335 square kilometers.

    A reserve area of minimum 15% (RA8550) yields 81,650 square kilometers,
    or 8,165,000 hectares.

    If 5% of these reserves are restored to viable coral reefs they will have
    a value of at least $132,000 per year (Cambridge, England-based project
    called The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB)) per hectare.

    That is the total annual yield would be 34 billion dollars.

    This can be achieved very easily with Philippine designed and produced Eco-Coral artificial reef substrates which will allow the reefs to re-grow and be fully active after 5 years. Displaced fishers who are not absorbed into Bantay Dagat will be organized in to aquaculture and mariculture co-operatives supported by the Regional Departments of Agriculture.

    The export of live fish of any kind to be banned.

    Regional Administrators will be required to establish a Marine protection force to protect fisheries from local and foreign thieves. All those caught to receive mandatory 5 year hard labor sentences with loss of all assets used in the commission of the crimes vessels to be scrapped and recycled for the national rail construction program..

    Payment for the establishment of the Marine Reserves and the Bantay Dagat patrols will be funded by a “Resource Depletion Levy” of 40% applied to all Marine exports based on average invoice values for the years 2006-2008 and updated annually. The 2007 exports were Php 23.287 billion (BFAR External trade) thus the funding for reserves will be an annual amount of Php 9.315 billion to be collected within each Regional Administration. If this levy meets buyer resistance that will be in the interests of the nation as the fisheries will recover faster. Each export fishing operator will have to obtain a “Resource Depletion Permit” which will be pegged at the catch levels of the year 2,000 and will include all by-catch and discarded catch.

    Tourism.

    The main thrust of tourism expansion will be based on the Marine environment, Regional culture and cuisine. First target to exceed Thailand as a destination. To achieve this the following steps.

    Regional clean up of the environment (see above Barangay Officials responsibility).

    Establishment of honest, reliable law enforcement to ensure the safety and wellbeing of visitors.

    Enhanced standards of hygiene and service in all establishments catering to the hospitality industry.

    Adhering to a strictly “Green” code of construction and operation.

    Concessional government loans for certified “Green” projects and developments.

    In addition Wilderness Walks could be established in various regions such as The Sierra Madre from Peneblanca to Baguio Point on the Pacific Coast – these walks attract tourists from all over the world and heighten the awareness of the need to protect the environment.

    Trade and Industry.

    The population is exceeding 100 million of whom 80% are not really partaking in the general economy existing, rather, in a subset economy of privation from all the necessities of life including education.

    World globalization has brought many significant economies to depression through their over dependence upon exporting.

    China like Philippines has a majority of its population in the deprived sector and realizes that the best policy is to enable these people to participate in the consumer economy which can only be done by raising their income levels.

    The Philippines must follow a similar strategy that raises the incomes of the deprived, rather than relying on OFW subsidies to government failures. Taxation has to be legitimized; the current system of regional collectors and assessors negotiating with taxpayers and pocketing half the amount must be stopped immediately, as with the collection of duties. Personal taxation on the upper quartile should be based on outward signs of wealth not facile mechanisms to hide wealth, the rates should be progressive.

    By raising wages and implementing the programs in this manifesto there will be stimulus for the creation of enterprises in the Regions and for large manufacturers to de-centralize production to the regions to reduce transportation costs.

    Goals should be based on increasing domestic consumption as opposed to export. Foreign currency is only needed to pay for imports; the generation of internal money is a function of central government not the IMF or World Bank. In fact government can issue as much as is needed for internal transactions. This then determines that, now the Global economic bubble has burst and is going into depression, the old common sense of Do It Yourself is necessary e.g. manufacture what is needed in country even if this means adopting particular strategies and technologies to utilize local resources. The money to pay for these can be issued internally and paid to consumers as wages. The folly of the traditional strategy of minimizing wages is that it also minimizes markets.

    Finance and Budget.

    Approximately 70% of the annual budget is mis-allocated or wasted.

    The savings allow the implementation of this manifesto and will be supplemented by an increase in revenue collection by imposing honesty on the revenue agencies.
    Line departments including Agriculture and DENR would devolve operations to the Regions and the central offices would function as managers of overall national policy in such areas as food security and environmental re-habilitation.

    Regional Government.

    There are too many layers of local government, too many provinces at too large a cost.

    Each of the significant islands should be a single administrative region (to include small offshore islands) except Luzon (3 including the NCR) and Mindanao (2 including ARRM) with the provincial governments disbanded. The Regional administrators should be elected by popular vote; voting qualifications would be 1 year’s residence in the region at a fixed address, 4 years of secondary school education and no criminal record. The law creating the administrative regions should fully implement provisions banning political dynasties. The minimum qualification for a Regional Administrator would be a masters degree in Business or Public Administration, the qualification for Regional Councilor is minimum a bachelors degree. A maximum age limit to hold office of 60 years. The law would provide that candidates prepare and propose administrative platforms fully detailed and costed (not vague generalizations and platitudes). Voting with run-offs would continue until the winning candidate obtained 51% of votes cast.

    Mechanized voting to be implemented with Regional Administrations funding and appointing an independent Electoral Commissioner to oversee the electoral process. The candidate’s presentations to the people will be on publicly owned media only, equal time in joint sessions and debates defending their respective platforms and economic and social program proposals. No images, posters or other populist material permitted.

    All signs accrediting public works to mayors, councilors et al. to be prohibited and removed. All public works will be audited by independent engineering consultants, retained by the Regional Administrators, working with independent auditing consultants. Acts of corruption to be tried summarily by the anti-corruption courts with no opportunity to delay proceedings; those found guilty to be jailed for 20 years hard labor and all their assets forfeit. The practice of special accommodation for the likes of Jalosjos to be abolished.

    Regional Administrations would be responsible for basic infrastructure and utilities (within the context of the points above), policing (free from local government interference and civil in nature and title.), health and welfare (not education except the provision of school facilities and moderators), employment and unemployment benefits, the environmental laws, land titling and land use planning and resource management within the framework of national laws, vehicle and driver registration. They would levy a local VAT, replacing the national VAT, the percentage not to exceed 15% which they would collect. Past provincial governors, provincial councilors, city and municipal mayors, councilors, barangay chairmen and relatives would be ineligible to serve as Regional Administrators or regional councilors if they belong to a dynasty. Cities and Municipalities within a region are under the overall jurisdiction of the Regional Administration which will provide their revenue allotment on a per capita basis. All such cities and Municipalities would elect new officials with the previous caveat that no previous dynastic office holders or relatives would be permitted to run nor to be involved in any way whatsoever in the election process. Vote buying, intimidation or manipulation would be subject to summary conviction (one day trial), imprisonment for five years and the imposition of a fine of 50% of the offenders assets as determined by an assessment of the outward signs of wealth of the offender. In electoral fraud cases no appeal would be permitted.

    Central Government would administer and or support national security and the armed forces, education, international relations, treaties and transactions, corporate and income taxation, central banking and banking oversight, SEC and the Supreme Court, the NBI, overall resource and environmental management, transportation safety standards and related matters, customs and border control.

    Religious organizations will not be permitted to organize against nor oppose the lawful acts and policies of the Regional Administrations nor would it be lawful for them to take any action to influence voting for the Regional Administrations; additionally such organizations will be required to pay the same taxes and duties as all other citizens.

    Appeal Courts will be set up in each Regional Administration with the final court being the National Supreme Court, the National Court of Appeals to be abolished.

    Insurgency and terrorism.

    The implementation of the above policies would largely remove the raison d’etre of the NPA and they would fade away. The situation with the MILF is not so easy to manage as it is similar to the Northern Ireland situation where there is a band of armed men who know no other life and do not wish to relinquish their only reason for self esteem – their weapons. If the new Regional Administration of the ARRM were to succeed in raising the status and wellbeing of its citizens this would tend to diminish the activities of the MILF. 11,000 armed killers do not represent the 19% of Mindanao’s population therefore they cannot be negotiated with on the fate of that 19%, they can only be negotiated with in an effort to persuade them to disarm and go to work. It is the height of absurdity to consider giving them control of a region and a population when their only qualification is experience in murder.

    Within the ARRM the Regional Administration would be required to deal with its Islamic terrorists and could seek help from Central Government. However acts of violence directed against other regions would be seen as criminal not political and would be treated as such.

    As a component of addressing terrorism the Police and military to be required to disarm all civilians without exception.

    Military.

    It is clear that from the time of the closure of the US bases the AFP has degenerated in terms of hardware and training. The US has used the AFP as a means of training their own personnel and of following a separate agenda to secure Mindanao as a counter base to the Chinese being out of range of short range missiles which currently predominate in China’s arsenal. Association with the US is counterproductive and prevents the modernization of the AFP. Clearly the US does not place any strategic value on the AFP or it would have armed and trained them to the same level as they have done with the Taiwanese or Koreans.

    To strengthen the AFP and to uplift the potential of the young a new regime of conscription to be introduced whereby all able bodied persons between age 18 years and age 25 years will serve 3 years in the AFP, 1 year in training and education, 1 year in the field and 1 year in skills training and work in various community endeavors such as irrigation, medical teams, environmental cleanup, environmental protection. Those persons who have completed college education and are in full time stable employment will be able to avail of a waiver but remain liable to conscription until their 30th birthday.

    Conclusion.

    After some 5 years implementing the above policies the Philippine Nation would be much stronger and happier. Most OFWs would return to take up the jobs created by the policies and in general poverty would be largely alleviated by using the same resources more effectively.

    The corollary of poverty is wealth and these policies would see to it that wealth was derived from contribution and effort rather than position, influence and theft.

    Compulsory military training will do much to improve the lives and attitudes of the indolent, unemployed young persons whilst reducing crime and general violence.

    A fully upgraded AFP with an effective modern air force, blue water navy and well armed and trained soldiery will restore national confidence.

    The economic provisions of this manifesto will provide the country with the necessary stimulus to employ its own people and give them a decent living. Most of the programs will be funded by the great administrative savings and increased cost effectiveness of regional and central administration.

    The administrative proposals will ensure that the resources of the country are managed by qualified professionals whilst neutralizing the elements that have continuously failed and deprived the bulk of the population.

  3. Bert O. Romero on

    Mr. Secretary, then what will revolutionary change consist of? And if three previously successful revolutionary changes subsequently failed, what’s the assurance the fourth one will finally take the Filipino people to nirvana?

    On the relationship between campaigning and governing, the most often quoted dictum is campaigning is poetry while governing is prose. In short, there is no direct relationship between the two: successful campaign will not insure equally successful governance. And the most recent, though disquieting, example of this truism is the current incompetent and bumbling administration in direct contrast to the seemingly seamless campaign undertaken by the same governing cabal five years earlier.

    Anyway, to return to your thesis, how does NTC propose to undertake systemic and personality changes without resorting to violent Marxist-Maoist inspired methods of the 60’s when you and I and majority of the current crops of Filipino leaders in all spheres of the country’s life would join discussion groups in various campuses to dissect the same political, economic, military -diplomatic, and socio- cultural malaise that presently afflict the country? Serving from inside the government as a cabinet secretary would and should have given one the rare opportunity, complemented by the government’s resources, to institute changes . As we used to say in the 60’s , whether in or out of government, people can help transform systems which in turn will transform people. But as we then suspected, the system is so enveloping man simply becomes a cog in the wheel. Look at Binay and Drilon.

    At least in your current reincarnation, you are trying to give substance to NDCP’s adage that we Filipinos have had enough of blame throwing, it’s now time to propose solutions. And I am certain many Filipinos will heed the clarion call.