No sense of urgency



“History will absolve me.” -- FIDEL CASTRO

By Hector R. R. Villanueva Hector R. R. Villanueva

Regardless of their ideology, politics, background, and methodology, great leaders, such as Fidel Castro, Tun Dr.Mahathir bin Mohamad, Lee Kuan Yew, Mao Zedong, Deng Xiao Ping, and Park Chung-Hee achieved for their respective countries’ phenomenal growth and development.

Fidel Castro boasted that Cuba, surviving 50 years of subversion and harassment from its adversary, the United States, had achieved 100 percent literacy and sent medical missions and combatants to Africa and other sympathetic countries.

China, the world’s second economic and military power, needs no further elaboration.

Doctor of Medicine and non-politician Mahathir bin Mohamad, whose classic, book “The Malay Dilemma” was once banned for publication in Malaysia, is the patriarch and founder of modern Malaysia.

In tiny Singapore, without any natural resources when it seceded from Malaysia, under the leadership of Tripe A First from Cambridge University, has achieved the category of First World economic industrial states.

With engineering ingenuity and political will, tiny Singapore has converted saline water into useful and potable water while successfully converted recycled solid waste materials into useful productive products.

After the devastating and brutal Korean War of the 1950s that divided the Korean Peninsula, Park Chung-Hee become the founder and father of the world’s fourth largest economic power house which is South Korea.

In any Japanese factory shop floor, one can find clusters of kindred employees putting their heads together to find ways to cut cost, improve work flows, new materials and new procedures without having to wait for someone from Harvard or MIT or Berkeley to tell them.

In the Philippines, we have neither the sense of urgency nor the political will for innovation, invention, or game-changing transformation of society.

It seems, since the 1960s, the Philippines has focused on producing babies and a GDP stagnation of around 6 percent year in and year out.

On the other hand, we have Ivy League elites from Yale, Harvard, MIT, Stanford, and Wharton occupying the penthouse boardrooms of the largest unibanks earning one million pesos and counting per month without having contributed to discoveries or innovation.

In a word, the situation is pathetic.

It is a wake-up call.

The bottom line is that the Philippines does not have the kind of leadership that we had hoped President Rodrigo Roa Duterte will provide, such as the vision, the revolutionary ardor, boldness, statesmanship and inspiration for which the nation has hungered for a long time.

You be the judge.