Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Why is the Philippines lagging behind?

 I've just finished watching TV Patrol online and I'm so saddened with typhoon Juan's wrath in our country. I can deeply feel how the affected families suffer with their house blown away by strong winds and their livelihood washed out by the typhoon and flood. About this time last year, super typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng left the Philippines terribly devastated which caused a big blow in its economy. It's no wonder that our country is lagging behind its counterparts such as Thailand and Malaysia. So we can't fully blame the country's economic situation to corruption. There have been many corruption stories anywhere but natural calamities are big factors for its neighboring countries overtaking it.
Comparing the Philippines to its neighboring ASEAN countries such as Thailand and Malaysia which have similar natural resources, the former is more prone to typhoons being an archipelago, the latter are not. It is visited by almost a hundred typhoons every year. Just imagine the assessed agricultural damages of about 2 billion pesos super typhoon Juan (a.k.a Megi) recently inflicting the country. This amount excludes infrastructural damages including houses, government and private buildings and facilities, roads, bridges, electric posts, etc. in the affected provinces. If assessed, it may be more than the agricultural damages. Then what about the costs needed to repair all this destruction? So we can say that what has been said to be corrupted by Thailand's former prime minister is less than the damages caused by typhoon and its effects such as floods, loss of electricity, etc. in 2 years time. The disasters brought about by Ondoy and Pepeng alone last year amounted to PhP50 billion. Then how long will it take for the affected areas and people to recover? Now multiply the losses from natural calamities each year (plus the losses in corruption)!

No one can stop nature's wrath but at least, our risk and disaster reduction management can help a lot. For example, with proper warning, some farmers were able to salvage their maturing rice and some pond owners to save what they could  before such terrible typhoon Juan struck. It's also good to note that most provinces prone to calamities were able to raise awareness for the protection of life. Last year, there was no warning given to people before Ondoy hit Metro Manila and its neighboring provinces, thus the loss was much bigger compared this time when warning was provided. It's indeed good to learn a great lesson from the past bad experience.

The Philippines may be lagging behind due to natural forces beyond its control but then we can admire the resiliency of the Filipinos, their ability to bounce back whenever a big storm strikes down or any sudden catastrophe hits the country. We can never say that Pinoys aren't hard-working or they lack ingenuity for they are world-class workers with creative and independent minds. So, it's only by good governance that the country can take back its position in the past.

The present government's priorities 
Now, we can see Noynoy gearing up while he steers the country. He takes off by addressing overpopulation and corruption issues while he also tries to develop  livelihood programs and infrastructures - such real ways to go. Hope to see him giving priority to education as well, not just by adding the number of years in elementary and high school. Comparing the universities between the Philippines  and Thailand or Malaysia, we are left behind in terms of facilities (such as good libraries) and technology but most importantly, teachers' development. Let's look at our rank in education worldwide to give us an eye-opener. Education will lift us up from poverty and help citizens to introduce innovations and contribute to the country's growth and development.

Creating more jobs for Pinoys is P-Noy's priority so that the family, which is the basic unit in the society, won't be disintegrated. OFW parents of young children should no longer leave to sustain the family's needs far away from the family leaving them not properly guided for the values they need to learn while they are young. If parents' leaving for a job in another country persists, we become a society debased of values and deteriorating morality, thus it creates more problems in the long run.

With our population controlled, livelihood created and education given high priority for the citizens to be productive and self-sufficient despite any calamities and catastrophes, we can do much better for sure. The present government aims not just to regain the country's economic position in the ASEAN region but also to give every Filipino citizen source of livelihood for a better life not by leaving the country but by contributing to it from working within.


Anonymous said...

WoW!Nice article! This is indeed an eye opener to readers.Calamities evrywhere are often regarded as "economic pullers" (I should say). However,we, Filipinos, are always hopeful-everything comes to pass.Our government is trying hard to recover from our losses. May GOd give us the strength that we need always!

gleenn said...

The abundance of natural disasters is really given on our nation. But thank God, at least our people still persevere in their own ways.

I agree with all the points said, especially regarding the population control. I strongly support the President. :)

nice A said...

@anonymous, how I wish I know your name. You have great thoughts. Thanks for stopping by.
@gleenn, wow you're my fellow advocate on population control. I love that.

ednaabrao said...

WELL, Let us support Pres. Noynoy! The concept of pluralization is effective in the sense that every Filipino contributes a good action for the sake of our nation.Not a single Juan dela Cruz should remain lethargic at this time. Those big-bellied daddies or padrinos at the senate (if there are still any) should start to pick up the shattered reputation that has long been exposed to the world! Hear ye, long live the Philippines!

Nortehanon said...

Sometimes, it is disheartening to note that many Filipinos look up to the Philippine government as a source of the things they need to survive: food, shelter, etc. The truth is, many of us do not realize that we should strive for these things, too.

I agree with you on giving priority to quality education. I must say that the government should look into some practices in the local districts.

For example, in some barangay schools, before mag-observe ang supervisor or superintendent, ina-announce na nila beforehand ang pagpunta nila. It is supposed to be a suprise visit para malaman kung prepared ang teacher at ang school? Pero bakit kailangang i-announce beforehand?

Now, yung teacher na oobserbahan at yung kanyang eskwela ay todo-todo sa paghahanda. Magpipintura ng bakot, magpapaayos ng classroom, at magpa-practice ng lessons sa mga bata so the children would know the dynamics kapag dumating na ang nag-o-observe.

Now, will the supervisor or superintendent be able to get the correct data needed? Hindi. Because staged ang class, staged ang performance ng mga estudyante. Importante pa naman sana ang tamang data in the formulation of policies and in the development of the curriculum.

Sad, but this is is happening.

nice A said...

@Nortehanon, yes, it's sad that many people blame solely the government for their poverty.
And regarding your observation on school practices, that's true. Kaya ang daming Pinoy na ang paniniwala ay nasa tuktok pa rin tayo kung edukasyo ang pag-uusapan. Oh, my! Math pa lng at science nasa pinakailalim na tayo ni hindi nga tayo sa tuktok kung Ingles nman pag-uusapan. Kaya marami tlga dapat baguhin ang ating sistema. Isa na yang evaluation procedures na hindi nagbibigay ng wastong inpormasyon.
Salamat sa dalaw ha? Sana lagi ka pang dadalaw dito. Dinalaw na rin kita at ang ganda nga ng blog mo.

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