What kind of country do we want?

15

THE death 21 days ago of the internationally respected first prime minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew caused some to remember his advice to Filipinos.

Advertisements

Kit Tatad wrote about this advice in the perfect context in his article “Remembering Lee Kuan Yew.”

“Many leaders came to him for counsel, which was not always soothing or comforting. But he always spoke with candor and wisdom, and encouraged honest differences. In 1992, at the invitation of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, he came to deliver a speech at a dinner hosted by the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company. He began by describing the Philippines, quoting Asiaweek magazine, to the chagrin of his host, as a country where 98 percent of the population did not have a telephone while the other two percent waited for a dial tone. This was long before the Philippines became the texting capital of the world.

“But his real punch line was that a Third World country like the Philippines could not afford too much democracy; what it needed was more discipline and less democracy. ‘The exuberance of democracy leads to undisciplined and disorderly conditions . . . inimical to development,” he said. He got a standing ovation from the business elite that had earlier claimed a pivotal role in ousting strongman rule six years earlier. As a first-term senator at the time, I delivered a ‘Reply to Lee Kuan Yew’ from the Senate floor.”

In his reply to Mr. Lee Kuan Yew’s advice, Kit Tatad wrote, “Democracy, not authoritarianism, is the wave of the future. And the future has begun for all of us, including Singapore, which knows only too well the natural desire for greater free expression among its people. Our only error…is that we confuse the shadow of democracy for its reality, its form for its substance, and we tend to believe we already possess democracy when all we have is its caricature.

“Our only error is that until now we tend to run government through the newspapers and decide the common good on the basis of screaming newspaper headlines and less than informed media commentaries and editorials. Our only error is that we seem to value entertainment above education, and our most popular role models are not our most productive workers or our most serious thinkers but the most outrageous products of the popular imagination.”

Coup rumors, majority’s wish to see Aquino out
President BS Aquino’s approval and trust ratings have dipped so much, per the latest Pulse Asia survey. His approval rating dropped 21 percentage points from 59 percent in November last year to 38 percent in March. His trust rating declined 20 percentage points from 56 percent to 36 percent. This means the majority of Filipinos don’t like him and don’t trust him anymore.

And this decline in our people’s trust in this PCOS-machine-produced president has triggered rumors. One of these is that Liberal Party strategists are now setting up the mechanics of a Palace coup to save BS Aquino (and his Cabinet) from being hounded out of Malacañang by a People Power revolt or by a military or police-military coup and subsequently be treated harshly in punishment for their crimes of corruption, treason, criminal neglect of the poor and criminal unwillingness to do their duties.

All of this has made some of my friends want to discuss the matter of “What kind of country do we want?”

What kind of policies should the new government that is formed by the People Power revolt victors or the police-military coup leaders pursue?

Should the post-Aquino government be an authoritarian one that always acts to achieve the common good instead of a liberal democracy that is chaotic and undisciplined?

When Kit Tatad spoke in the Senate in 1992 to answer Mr. Lee Kuan Yew it did look then that “Democracy, not authoritarianism, [was]the wave of the future.”

But in today’s world–with First World countries in Europe and Japan hobbled economically, and the United States being the only democracy in the First World that looks like it has finally surmounted the last global economic crisis–Singapore’s authoritarianism and China’s Communist Party-guided state control of socio-economic, business and investment seem to constitute the wave of the future.

Our country could continue the way it has been under BS Aquino and his Liberal Party coalition because the Smartmatic-PCOS machines will ensure that whoever they choose become president, senators, congressmen, governors and mayors.

Or our country, by some miracle, could get to elect new, moral, truthful, patriotic, and meritocratic officials and lawmakers in the 2016 elections.

Or a coup could put in place an extra-constitutional set of power holders.

Whatever happens to us Filipinos and our beloved Republic, politically, we must all try to help transform our society into one that is decidedly truthful and guided only by the truth and reality.

Our government must be focused on serving the national interest and the uplift of the poor. It should and all the economic sectors should be determined to reach the highest levels of productivity.

Our government and the private and public schools must be geared to produce citizens who are skilled and truly educated — and immersed in human and spiritual values.

This means that we will cease to run government through publicity and TV coverage. And that we will no longer value entertainment above education.

Share.
loading...
Loading...

Please follow our commenting guidelines.

15 Comments

  1. Nick L. Azul on

    The only way the Philippines will ever be free of all the corruptions is to change the qualificationsof the people who will run for office from the lowest to the highest official. The best way is to include in the constitution that person related one way or the other to any present member of the govt is disqualified to run. We need an overhaul of the entire system. Of course this will never happened because the people who can change the constitution has vested interest to protect.

  2. Amnata Pundit on

    A country free of the stranglehold of the oligarchy is what I want. In short, one with a government of the people, by the people and for the people. In other countries this was achieved through the use of force. At the rate things are going, Im afraid we will not be an exception.

  3. puebloerrante , yes its so easy to have a data base of salns online but you have to remember the philippines never wants to do anything easy. In the immigration you have to have your finger prints taken. They have a brilliant electronic machine that takes them without ink & gives a perfect finger print. Its kept in the computer. Then you have to have your hand inked to get your finger prints taken manually incase the computer goes down. Why not print a copy off the computer, see how easy that is, but not in the philippines.
    Now filipinos love laws & rules, well just as long as they dont affect them. So until you can get the filipino to change you will never ever be like the japanese. They think country first. In the philippines its me first then my family. Thats the way here.
    Those in power of any sort want corruption to stay as it is as thats how its always been with them in power taking what they want, why change in their watch, change in the next persons watch.

  4. LKY was right spot on, after 20 years the 98% who dont have phones before are the same people VOTING THE WRONG LEADERS (the bobotantes) while the other 2% who waited for dial tone are the ones blaming them for their mistakes(the intellects).
    You deserve the government(or syndicate) of today because of ‘democracy’ , less of it is called dictatorship while more of it is called insanity(e.g. Aquinos). You have produced 2 of the worlds corrupt leaders, according to Guinnes records, now a third is on the way on mental grounds, cant even impeach because of a worst alternative-again voted by you. Perhaps what you want is not a country – but popularity.

  5. “What kind of country do we want?” is quite different than “What kind of country do we need?” We are a people who needs to be led by the hand, guided, shepherded, herded because we are a lost flock…but our shepherds will always pursue their same old agenda : to get rich and to get fat. If we want democracy, it will mean the country will stay its course forever. It will elect into office the same incompetent and thieving nincompoops, it’s like a frog that sitting in simmering water…it doesn’t have the sense to jump out of the pan…it will die a slow death. That’s it. We don’t need anything else. This “democracy” will do.

  6. Roldan Guerrero on

    In Japan, Voting starts at 10am, and by 3pm the election is over. Before 8pm winners are already declared and so far in all of Japans election history, no protest had ever been done.

  7. puebloerrante on

    hi guys i got a question about the SALNs.

    [Any person requesting a copy of a statement shall be required to pay a reasonable fee to cover the cost of reproduction and mailing of such statement, as well as the cost of certification.]

    different SALNs apparently are filed in different offices :
    ie : pres and vp = ombudsman; senators = secretary of state; goccs & afp = office of the president; etc..

    my question is :

    can’t they just create an online database where ALL the SALNs can just be made publicly available? for example, there are probably millions of political and military employees and requesting for a statement for each and every single one of them means that the public needs to pay for a copy for each single one. doesn’t that just defeat the purpose of transparency?

    do we need to pass the FOI bill to achieve this online SALN database? because i think the only way to root out corruption in philippine politics and the military is through following the money trail (or whatever it’s called).

    anyways, i’m just curious.

    ——————————-

    oh yea, btw, while i’m at it.

    is it possible to change the system of appointment of the different department heads of the executive branch?

    i was thinking they should just create a system of election where all three branches of the government will cast weighted votes for the department candidates from a shortlist or something. which would ensure a certain level of autonomy from offices like the ombudsman, COA, DBM, DOJ, etc.. instead of being beholden to the office of the president.

    of course they’d still be working under the president, but since they’re not gonna be presidential appointees, they’ll no longer be working FOR the president.

    ——————————-

    lastly, about the power of the purse and general appropriations.

    i was thinking that even though the legislators have the power to “legislate” budget appropriations. i believe legislators shouldn’t actually have the capacity to create projects themselves.

    ie :
    -they can approve projects = yes
    -they can approve budget for projects = yes
    -but they cannot propose their own projects. instead, they need to coordinate with the proper department and let that department propose the project themselves. this ensures that the project will be well coordinated with other government projects and that they would be planned by pros in their own respective fields of expertise.

    i was also thinking about how this could extends to LGUs, like they need to coordinate all of their projects with the right departments so that nationwide development would become more synergistic and balanced across different municipalities on a nationwide scale. (no more messy transport plans and urban/rural plans because they’re gonna be well coordinated across the board)

    ie : here’s how i see an example workflow :

    -NEDA, DPWH, DOST, etc.. = could be working together in tandem to create the nationwide plans for urban/rural development, transport plans, disaster mitigation, etc.. (for luzon, visayas, mindanao, sabah?)
    -the LGUs will give their input and their requests, to these departments and these departments will incorporate this data to the nationwide plan.
    -etc..

    i was thinking similar procedures can be conducted if a legislator have their own projects they want. they need to pass it along the right department.

    anyways, the gist is that nationwide development would no longer rely solely on the whims of the politicians who have no intricate knowledge about the related fields. like energy, transport, urban/rural development, etc.. unlike the different departments who are supposedly experts within their own respective fields.

  8. puebloerrante on

    hi guys i got a question about the SALNs. i was looking at this : http://www.gov.ph/saln/

    [Any person requesting a copy of a statement shall be required to pay a reasonable fee to cover the cost of reproduction and mailing of such statement, as well as the cost of certification.]

    different SALNs apparently are filed in different offices :
    ie : pres and vp = ombudsman; senators = secretary of state; goccs & afp = office of the president; etc..

    my question is :

    can’t they just create an online database where ALL the SALNs can just be made publicly available? for example, there are probably millions of political and military employees and requesting for a statement for each and every single one of them means that the public needs to pay for a copy for each single one. doesn’t that just defeat the purpose of transparency?

    do we need to pass the FOI bill to achieve this online SALN database? because i think the only way to root out corruption in philippine politics and the military is through following the money trail (or whatever it’s called).

    anyways, i’m just curious.

    ——————————-

    edit :

    oh yea, btw, while i’m at it.

    is it possible to change the system of appointment of the different department heads of the executive branch?

    i was thinking they should just create a system of election where all three branches of the government will cast weighted votes for the department candidates from a shortlist or something. which would ensure a certain level of autonomy from offices like the ombudsman, COA, DBM, DOJ, etc.. instead of being beholden to the office of the president.

    of course they’d still be working under the president, but since they’re not gonna be presidential appointees, they’ll no longer be working FOR the president.

    ——————————-

    edit 2 :

    ah lastly, about the power of the purse and general appropriations.

    i was thinking that even though the legislators have the power to “legislate” budget appropriations. i believe legislators shouldn’t actually have the capacity to create projects themselves.

    ie :
    -they can approve projects = yes
    -they can approve budget for projects = yes
    -but they cannot propose their own projects. instead, they need to coordinate with the proper department and let that department propose the project themselves. this ensures that the project will be well coordinated with other government projects and that they would be planned by pros in their own respective fields of expertise.

    i was also thinking about how this could extends to LGUs, like they need to coordinate all of their projects with the right departments so that nationwide development would become more synergistic and balanced across different municipalities on a nationwide scale. (no more messy transport plans and urban/rural plans because they’re gonna be well coordinated across the board)

    ie : here’s how i see an example workflow :

    -NEDA, DPWH, DOST, etc.. = could be working together in tandem to create the nationwide plans for urban/rural development, transport plans, disaster mitigation, etc.. (for luzon, visayas, mindanao, sabah?)
    -the LGUs will give their input and their requests, to these departments and these departments will incorporate this data to the nationwide plan.
    -etc..

    i was thinking similar procedures can be conducted if a legislator have their own projects they want. they need to pass it along the right department.

    anyways, the gist is that nationwide development would no longer rely solely on the whims of the politicians who have no intricate knowledge about the related fields. like energy, transport, urban/rural development, etc.. unlike the different departments who are supposedly experts within their own respective fields.

  9. Ruben V. Calip on

    You are absolutely right, Rene Bas. But, as you said, with the Smartmatic-PCOS machines the Aquino-LP band, or clique or whatever you call that group that runs our government now, can perpetuate itself in power exactly the same way that we have now.

    So, sir, the first step is to make sure the 2016 elections are Smartmatic-PCOS-free!

    Let’s OCCUPY COMELEC!

  10. Matthew Parkes on

    Let’s face it, the Philippine elite – the Tagalog-speaking graduates of Ateneo, UP, et al – are nothing but a disease that has infected this nation with their chronic rent-seeking, corruption, and incompetence. They are not the answer.

    The policy prescriptions for the Philippines are simple: free up the economy by fixing the defective Constitution, punish the corrupt (assuming you can actually find some honest people to do so), and basically follow what those nations in the region who have overtaken the Philippines in the past 50 years have done.

    However, this won’t happen. Filipinos love being victims. They love to be victims of the Spanish. They love to be victims of the Americans. They love to be victims of the Japanese. They love to be victims of Marcos. They love to be victims of the Chinese. But there is nothing in the culture that says, “We, as a nation, are now responsible for our own destiny.”

    And there is nothing resembling leadership in this nation that is able to stand up and say, “This is where we must go.”

    The culture is defective and must be replaced. The only way to do that is to open up the economy. The nation desperately needs a middle class with genuine middle class values and not the Philippine values of “chaos”, victimhood, apathy, carelessness, corruption, incompetence, and parasitism.

    Filipinos do succeed in other countries but not here. Why? In other countries they do not have Filipino leaders and managers. That means the so-called leaders and managers of this country are nothing of the sort. The only way to fix that is, again, to change the culture. If we want leaders and managers that mean global definitions of both words then we need to open up the economy to allow foreign companies run by real leaders and managers to come in and show the way to a new generation.

    Improving education means nothing if you end up with those better educated people working for the so-called “leaders” and “managers” who exist today. (Although it is more likely they will work as OFWs.) They will end up being corrupted by the utter perversion which is the Pinoy value system, an oxymoron if there ever was one.

    So, bring in foreign companies and start again. Get a new culture. Get a functioning value system. And get some leaders.

  11. May I suggest we turn to our Constitution, not on its man-made “laws” or treaties but by a clause only the hypocritical knows by heart (for lack of definition) but have not the slightest clue what it means. The clause reads, “we, the people… imploring the aide of Divine Providence…”
    To implore means to call forth and SEEK the Sovereign hand of God… I have yet to see this “option” taken seriously by anyone who ever took the Oath of Office.
    No wonder we’re in shambles!!!

    • And then, deLima and Deles, Ferrer (and of course, PresiNoynoy) says “Iqbal and Murad are the best!!! Okay… we don’t know their names but really… they can be trusted, so pass word-for-word the HouseBill for BaBaLA.”
      Iqbal and Murad?? They removed the “I swear allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines” in the House Bill for BaBaLA. Really? They can be trusted?

  12. During the past and previous administration of the past presidents of our beloved country the Philippines their have been efforts to uplift the poor, right? Perhaps if I can remember it was the time of the late President Ramon Magsaysay who have chance to do it in behalf of the poor people.

  13. One of the lines from “The Way” of St Jomemaria Escriva if I may paraphrase, ” it is preferable to be a cornerstone than a capstone.” In this country, people are elbowing each other to be the capstone in every field lof endeavour, in politics, in the media, in business, in newspaper columns, in entertainment, in fashion, in weddings celebrations.
    No one wants to be a cornerstone, hidden, unnoticed, forgotten; yet on it depends the structure from falling down.
    Being the cornerstone is the principle of servant leadership Christ instituted in the washing of the feet of the Apostles. Look how some of the church people wants to be in the headlines! You would wonder if Christ is their master, or their “pastoral” messages are really political statements. Is this vocation not enough for them that they have to get into political realm?

  14. sonny dela cruz on

    The generation of love and patriotism to the country in the Philippines is gone. This generation is all about MONEY. Those Filipinos running the COMELEC have no more regard for the betterment of the country and the people, their loyalty to their picked winners insured their job security and maybe grease money if any. Now, you see the result of the smartmatic machines that many say produced the present President, the senators, congressmen and the rest of the government elected officials. The votes of the people have never been a part of it. The question is what kind of a country do we have? The answer is very simple, CORRUPT.