Sunday, February 17, 2008

The People Want More Than Just Regime Change

So it begins. The usual "People Power" people are now trying to orchestrate another People Power on the advent of Jun Lozada's revelations. So far, a rally in Makati and a mass in La Salle-Greenhills were held which anti-GMA forces hope would gain momentum and morph into another People Power. Police estimated the crowd in Makati to be 10,000 while another 4,000 attended the mass in Greenhills which I am sure is quite disappointing to those who were hoping for another People Power.

I think that people nowadays demand more than just regime change. Marcos was replaced with Cory and Erap with Gloria but corruption still persists and has in fact worsened. Majority of Filipinos see no point in replacing GMA with Noli de Castro because past experience has shown that the so-called "reformers" become the ogres they once swore to slay. We have had two regime changes via People Power and look at our situation now: corruption has risen to record heights and political power once again is concentrated in the hands of a few families. The rich are not only getting richer but are buying Ferraris and Porshes. The poor are not only getting poorer but are getting destitute, eating garbage and selling their kidneys just to survive. The middle class are leaving for abroad, those who choose to stay are cynical and suspicious of politicians in general. All classes are sick and tired of politicians - one indication of this is that during the rally in Makati, organizers did not allow politicians to go up the stage fearing that they would turn-off the crowd and drive away potential sympathizers - and elections are getting more and more expensive.

Unless the "organizers" offer our people something more, I am afraid that their efforts to bring about another People Power will fail. Merely ousting GMA from Malaca├▒ang is no longer enough to convince people to go out into the streets. After GMA, what then? What they need to do is promise to institute radical reforms and wipe out politicians in government. On my part, I will probably join another People Power only if it promises to do the following:

1. Amend the Constitution to limit all elective offices to only one term, with no reelection. This will not only limit the preeminence of political dynasties but will radically change the flavor of Philippine politics (read more on this below).

2. Institute a comprehensive population management plan. Population growth should coincide with economic growth because at present, our country is producing more people than it can support. Filipinos are not experiencing the 7% growth simply because there are too many people.

3. Prioritize SME development. We must train our people to become successful entrepreneurs. A considerable chunk of the budget should be devoted to financing small-time businessmen.


Anonymous said...

Here's my two cents worth
1. one term limit plus consider consolidating public offices. there are just too many of them. even consider consolidating geographical regions. come up with criteria for towns, cities, provinces and stick with it.
2. document everything and have third-party auditors sign off on budgets and reports. there's just something inherently wrong with the philippine check-and-balance system for there to be a need for a third-party to intervene.
3. hope the people vote for "qualified" rather than "popular" candidates.
4. re-tool agrarian reform and modernize agricultural methods (see Brazil).
5. Separation of church and state (disclosure: i'm an agnostic/almost atheist).

Oliver M. Mendoza said...

Thank you for your comments.

Anonymous said...

hey iloilo boy, thanx for your comment.

my two cents to your proposal:

1. Consolidate government organizations--there's just too many of them! And the more an information or project changes hands, the more red tape there is, and the more money is corrupted.

2. agrarian reform, agrarian reform, agrarian reform... we were a producing power in the 1970s, before Marcos and the Sugar industry crash. We could make our lands marketable.

3. Distribute to farmers AND guide them on using it. They have great political potential with those lands.

4. Trim the bureaucracy. I think we've tried that one-term practice: our Prez is only for one term. it doesn't stop nepotism, or crony-proxyism, though. so consolidate offices... i agree with anonymous

5. The people should have some way to exert pressure on government: if there are no viable candidates, then boycott elections, and file a protest to the international community (though that would look bad)