If you are a regular reader of this site, you most likely love the Philippines, or you have an affection toward the country for sure. If not, why would you waste your time here? I have lived in the Philippines for more than a decade now, and I love the place.
Just because I love the place, though, does not mean that I think the Philippines is without it’s shortcomings and problems. Frankly, there are a lot of problems here.
Recently, I read an article that asked:
Are the problems of the Philippines too much to fix?
As I said before, there are a LOT of problems in the Philippines. Corruption in Government. Corruption in the Private Sector. Poverty. Littering. Bad Roads. Poor discipline among the Citizens. Insurgency by several groups against the government. I mean, there are some serious issues at play in the Philippines. Some can be easily fixed. Other problems will take generations, if they can be fixed at all.
Frankly, my simple answer to the question is that yes, the problems are too much for a single leader to fix. The problems are more than can be repaired in a single generation. Can the problems be fixed? Yes, I believe they can. Will they be fixed? I seriously doubt that serious headway will be made toward fixing the problems of the Philippines within my lifetime. I hope that I am wrong, but I don’t think so.
I suppose that most of the problems that I listed, and the tons of problems that I did not list, could be seen to stem from the big problem – Corruption. Corruption is present in both the Public and Private sectors too. It’s not just the government that is corrupt. Remember, it takes two to make corruption happen. In other words, if we are talking bribery, there has to be a giver and a receiver, so corruption is a two way street.
You know, about 2 years ago, during the Arroyo Administration, President Gloria Arroyo made two proclamations that fit right up the alley of this article. She said:
- The Insurgency of the NPA (New People’s Army) would be put to rest by 2010.
- The Philippines would become a First World Nation by 2020.
Well, obviously the Insurgency of the NPA was not put to rest as GMA said it would be. Really, there are two insurgencies being waged against the Philippine Government: The NPA throughout the Nation, and the MILF in the South (Mindanao). It seems to me that in the 10+ years that I have lived here (and a long time before that) little progress has been made against these insurgency groups. Personally, I do not see an end in sight to either of these wars.
Philippines becoming a First World Nation by 2020? 2020 is less than a decade away. When Gloria announced this a couple of years ago, I got a bit of a chuckle, because frankly, I saw no way that it could happen. I don’t know if Gloria actually believed this, or if she said it only to get some Filipinos kind of “pumped up,” but without a doubt it was a very unrealistic goal for her to even talk about.
So, what do you think, are the problems of the Philippines too much to fix? I believe that the right person, hopefully President Aquino, can start to chip away at problems and eliminate some of them. But, it would take at least a few administrations to make any real headway toward improving the problems in the Philippines.
My bottom line: The Philippines has some really big problems, but the truth is that every country has problems. In the end, the Philippines is where I want to live!