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Commanding Heights: Case of the Philippine Government Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by TOPH, Philippines Oct 29, 2003
Human Rights   Opinions
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Ideas… Reform… Rules…

These were the main topics that were shown in the three-long episodes of the Commanding Heights. Presumably, these can also be said as the three factors that are involved in the unending battle of world economies. There also exists a battle for the control of the Commanding Heights in the Philippines. Such had recurred continuously since the very foundation of the first Philippine Republic. The absurdity is that the battle is not predominantly between the Government and the few who control the Market Economy... but instead, it is a battle of the few politicians who are in themselves businessmen against other politicians of another party.

Thus, it is quite important to expound on the issue of who is to take charge of the Commanding Heights based on the Philippine context. With regards to these matters, a symposium that talked about the Philippine Political Economy was held on March 14 by Dr. Gerardo Sicat. In the said symposium the writer of this article posed a question based on similar questions that was raised by Atty. Marvic Leonen to Enrile and Abueva, “Is it possible for sound Economic principles to be better implemented if the Philippine Government shift to a Parliament?”

The question that was raised was immediately rebutted by a lady from TESDA. She remarked that a two party system of Government would be better. To ease the possible tensions, Mr. Dela Torre, the Reactor in the Symposium implicated that Political System is just a means to a higher end. Dr. Sicat added that we should be addressing more on Economics rather than Politics. But I strongly disagree to both of their reactions.

Though we have sound Economic policies, there is a lousy or worst, no implementation at all of such policies. It can be seen in the Commanding Heights how the Political System of any nation took part in the massive reforms that was undertaken economically. The Political system, therefore is not only a means in ratifying economic policies, they are supposedly to be a strong body to ensure such implementation. What we have right now is a bureaucracy that serves only for those who have their vested interest who are in power. Unfortunately, their interest are usually not in lieu and does not benefit the common people in any way, worst many of such interest even led to the corruption of the public. As much as I don’t want to be pessimist, I do believe that one satisfactory solution in implementing change is through Socio-Political means. As Dr. Solita Monsod often said, laws are to be made as to give a greater cost for those who don’t abide to them.
Thus, what the Philippines need is a Commanding Heights that can be based both on strength and stability… and not in any way be based on mortifying vested interest.

Unfortunately, the Philippine Government doesn’t have much of strength nor stability. What politicians boast about is the freedom that our nation possesses. However, the Philippines have already succumbed itself with too much freedom. It is undeniable that with such surmountable freedom, the Philippines has yet been more or less irresponsible in the courses of its action. It is not however clear whether a Parliament will work well for this nation (maybe if we cast De Venecia aside), whether it would be able to implement effectively the essential changes. Our country, if possible doesn’t need a parliament but instead, the country needs enlightened leaders that will lead this nation to progress.
It is quite interesting to note that in the study that was conducted by Dr. Sicat, only few Philippine Presidents was successful enough to implement the needed economic reforms for the nation. Marcos he cited was one of those few who limit the acquisition of land owners up to 7 ha of land. This however was not fully implemented due to pressures from large private land owners. However, generally speaking, his programs were implemented in the Philippines. Margaret Thatcher in her Thatcherite Revolution was an individual who brought out dramatic changes in the British Economy. Deng Xiaoping was also another individual that was so long been prosecuted during the Mao regime but whose ideas eventually led China to a greater prosperity. Mahathir Mohammad, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, one of those who often defy IMF intervention was able to save Malaysia’s economy during the Great Asian Crisis. These were enlightened leaders who shaped the future of their nations. How many of such people do we now see in the Philippine Government?

It is clear that the nation would be put to a greater turmoil if they were the one who are left to handle the Philippine Economy. Maybe if we have Joma Sison taking his doctorate in Economics then we could probably still hope. Passion should not over ride reason. Lenin was passionate but his passion joined him to his grave. If only Michael Gorbachev and his Prehistorics came earlier, the Soviet Union would still remain a Union. This is because Gorbachev was able to use reason. Cuba has a dreadful economy for so many years not because Fidel Castro was a lousy governing individual but because he was not open enough to the changes in the Economics being brought about by the times. Communism is essentially good, it is those few individual who are in themselves leaders of the Party, which gives the ideology a backward path.

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Since 2003 I've been an active contributor of Panorama. I am grateful for this online magazine for allowing individuals to be able to share their ideas and expression to other youth across the globe. Exchanges of ideas and aspirations leads to empowerment and spark of inspiration.

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