Monday, May 7, 2007

Nobody Wants to Talk

Some opinion writers decry the absence of meaningful debate in this election. I agree, but let’s see who’s at fault. Which part of society has an obligation to promote public discourse?

We have a very bleak future staring at us if we continue down this course. We are not investing for the future. So far, the radio and television ads are chock full of accomplishments, laws enacted, promises and plans but there is no mention anywhere in these expensive promotional monologues about the crushing debt problem that we cannot afford to ignore any longer. Generations of politicians have come and gone and nobody it seems has any courage to confront this giant problem that is preventing us from providing meaningful educational, health and social services to our poor brethren.

Our leaders have thought of ways to cut services, raise taxes, improve collections, reduce graft but there appears to be profound fear whenever the issue of debt comes up. No serious questions are raised, no thoughtful accounting is demanded. Are our leaders afraid or simply lazy to confront this crisis? We just go on happily borrowing and paying off interest with whatever fresh loans that are strewn our way.

I am convinced that the debt issue is the single most important issue of our time. Because of this mindset, we have become an underproductive nation. We have lost national pride. We have become corrupt. The solution to this riddle is a political one. We will need a leader with a mandate to personally renegotiate the terms of our many loans in order that we may be allowed breathing space with which we can really grow our economy and begin substantially investing in preparing our youth so that they may stand a chance to compete in a bitterly contentious world.

16 comments:

Dins said...

salamat, Dr. bautista for running as a senator. asahan nyo po ang aking panalangin at boto. umpisa na nang pag-gising nang mamamayang Pilipino.

Bert M. Drona said...

Martin,

I am happy to know that you are aware of one of the fundamental/root causes of the Filipino predicament in the homeland: foreign, much of it odious,debt -- the millstone on the neck of each living and future generations of Filipinos-in-the- Philippines.

The past and present ruling administrations and their oppositions, to maintain and/or attain political and thus economic power therefore do not question our so-called "special relationship" with the USA, the VFA, the IMF/WB, WTO, etc. We do not question the "free market" system (at this stage of our political and economic underdevelopment) that has not and will not work in improving the lot of the native majority, etc.

We Filipinos live and think within a mental cage.

Good education for critical thought in addition to a vocation or profession is long overdue -- not implementable with the IMF/WB-imposed programs for redirecting Philippine educational system away from Filipino nationalism and instead, towards supplying apolitical and cheap, low-tech labor.


Bert

delfin said...

bert md, I agree, and our government should immediately build more schools, buy the needed books plus computers. And if the country needs to borrow the money from Japan or the US or the EU to fund this program, then of course we should borrow the money.

rey said...

The way to get tough with creditors is either via self-reliance (like Cuba) or having a "resource leverage" like oil (the reason why Hugo Chavez is a pain in the neck for the US). It is a good idea but it will be costly and I do not know if our countrymen are willing or ready to suffer the consequence just to get rid of our external debts.

Bert M. Drona said...

Delfin, Rey,

Because of our humongous foreign debt initiated and much stolen by Marcos and his henchmen, we can not afford to borrow more. Foreign financial institutions/governments nowadays go through the IMF/WB which in turn requires following the WTO rules; and as you may know, the controlling powers are the US and the other members of the G7. And we see what the WTO has done to our homeland and people since our rulers agreed to it in 1995.

As to hardballing like Fidel's Cuba or Chavez's Venezuela, I am with you but sadly, we Filipinos have lost our nationalism, especially in the two generations since the Marcos Dictatorship.

To do what Cuba and Venezuela are doing requires national unity which demands sacrifice. Without national unity borne out of nationalism, there is no drive to understand the root causes of our predicament and the will to act and face real adversities and hardships for the good of the next generations of Filipinos.

Bert

Anonymous said...

Vote for Villar!!!

Anonymous said...

I meant, Vote Ang Kapatiran... and also vote Manny Villar!

jill said...

most voters nowadays rely on tv ads for the candidates that they'll vote for. i think it's because they don't really see a difference whoever gets elected. but there's still hope, i'm glad that you decided to run dr. bautista, and i hope that more good people follow your lead. most ofw's now can't wait to junk their filipino citizenship, but you blazed a new trail. i do hope this leads to realizations for filipinos abroad about how important it is to serve the country.

Omi said...

Sir, I'm glad to hear that you also see foreign debt as a root of the problem. I am dumbfounded at how the administration is so narrow-minded and fearful of defaulting on our loans or re-negotiating their terms. Many countries have done it, why won't we?

Delfin said...

omi: The history of the Philippines includes when Marcos unilaterally reduced the payments for international loans. Very shortly thereafter, the Philippine economy collapsed -- businesses began closing, jobs lost. Very shortly thereafter, EDSA-uno.

Cory, so so Kawaii... said...

Good day sir!

I'm 21 and a nursing graduate from the Philippines who is currently residing here in the States.

I just wanted to say that I am deeply moved and that I admire your courage and your vision to make a difference in a country that has long been neglected by leaders who have promised to become servants to its people. I pray n hope with all my heart that you would win. My whole family prays for ur success as well.

I have linked your blog as well as your interview in Dr. Emer's blog to my blog to help spread the word. I have also asked some friends to campaign for you back in the Philippines. I believe in u po sir, there is still hope and it is never too late. ^_^

Thank you po for stepping forward and I hope that a lot of Filipinos would be inspired to do the same.

-- Cory de Guia
(Fairfield, California)

Anonymous said...

If you lived in the US, you'll know how to negotiate your debts from creditors. They have what you call-payment arrangements. And they are willing to work with you. Sometimes, you can still break your payment arrangement esp. if you don't really have money to pay for it. Wala namang nakukulong. Siyempre sira lang ang credit mo because it's sent to collections. But what can you do. Uunahin mo pa ba ang creditors, kaysa sa sariling pamilya mo. But at least you were able to use and allocare that small money you have to feed and educate them. Eh, di pag may sobra, saka bayaran ang creditor.That's the same concept Dr.Bautista is advocating. Bakit ka magpapa-pogi sa IMF/WB? The Phils.should just allocate a small portion in debt payment and put the rest of the money to other worthwhile projects that needs immediate funding such as health and education.

Dr. Emer said...

"I am convinced that the debt issue is the single most important issue of our time. Because of this mindset, we have become an underproductive nation. We have lost national pride. We have become corrupt. The solution to this riddle is a political one."

That is so true. Judgment Day nears. Let us hope we can bring some of those lost national pride back come May 14.

Don't lose heart, Dr. Martin. We are with you! All those campaigning can be good for the heart. You get to see how big the problem REALLY is, and you will know exactly what to do when you are in the Senate.

romela said...

I am pleased to be living in this generation (though plagued with debt), but has a sincere and competent senatorial candidate in its time. The youth need leaders like you, Doc. :)

decaf said...

the first time i read you're blog, i was deeply blessed just knowing that there is a certain Dr. Bautista whom I know would do very good as a senator.

i don't know you personally but i am campaigning for you, because i believe that you along with us other Filipinos who share the same hope for our country can and will start THE change.

thank you Dr. bautisa fo running. i pray that you keep your ideals until the end of election and, if God wills, your term's end.

may God richly bless you.

Anonymous said...

dr bautista,

too bad, a lot of filipino voters do not get the opportunity to hear the sentiments of people like you who only have the best interest of the country at heart.

the first time i saw you on FORUM 2007 i was impressed by the vision and programs you have proposed. too bad, TV stations don't show this on prime time on channels like gma or abs. this ought to be seen by the ordinary voters on timeslots of wow wow wee instead of immersing these people with no-brainer shows. it's high time the pinoy effectively exercises his civic duties. mabuhay ka dr bautista! i'll vote for you!