CHAFF FROM THE GRAIN
By HECTOR RONALD ROMERO VILLANUEVA
“Who is to guard the guards themselves?” — Juvenal
The Philippines is progressing by looking the other way and brags that it is one of the fastest growing economy even without a manufacturing industry.
It is a consumer-driven economy that is a self-perpetuating growth sustained by a burgeoning population that is growing exponentially and counting, which the government has failed to slow down.
Fortunately, the nation has a maverick mayor-president who has upended many inane policies, and challenged social malpractices and injustices.
Unfortunately, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has opted to focus his reforms on illegal drug trafficking, corruption, and criminality – to the subordination of the issues – which appear to be bottomless, endless, unwinnable, and ultimately will outlive the president.
It is all unfinished business and work-in-progress.
First, we have created real estate and retail trade moguls and tycoons who cater mainly to an exploding population as the government has miserably failed to implement a population policy and land use policy.
They say that the is a “sucker” born every day who is invariably either the poor or an OFW.
Second, whoever invented the inane concept of “number-coding” has not only succumbed totally to the auto industry but has also increased the demand for vehicles leading to traffic congestion.
Why not restrict importation of passenger vehicles and luxury cars to ease traffic?
The need for cheap mass transit beached urgent yesterday.
Third, while President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is on top of the situation, he can establish state-owned roads, tramways, mass transit, and rural networks or in joint venture with the private sector.
If the US or Japan is hesitant to help, and China underwrites our infrastructure, we need not fear a “debt trap” as long as there is dedicated, efficient, and honest management.
In conclusion, the Philippines is fortunate to have an incorruptible and patriotic President but President Duterte is a traditional politician who has been unable to shake the oligarchy to its foundation.
The status quo has remained and will remain immovable.
Nevertheless, PRRD has three more years to leave behind a lasting legacy that the Filipino people will remember him for, apart from his bizarre behavior.
However, the Cabinet members and the Duterte bureaucracy remain subservient, lackluster, lacking in initiative, and totally intimidated by the President.
There are still many inanities and anti-poor policies and practices that need looking into by the President.
Nonetheless, as A.P. Hebert once opined, “Nothing is wasted, nothing is in vain, the seas roll over the rocks remain.
You be the judge.