CHAFF FROM THE GRAIN
“If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.” – Giuseppe di Lampadusa
The solution to every problem it seems is to create a task force and leave it at that.
With vaccines at hand to tame the raging coronavirus pandemic, and the economic recession appearing to bottom out, recovery is inevitable.
Thus, if we want to see democratic institutions upheld and strengthened, the economy becoming more inclusive, and the justice system fortified, things will have to change and reforms installed in preparation to the transition and transformation of the economy, attitudes, honesty, ethical behavior and national unity.
Looking hopefully at the future, what are the priorities and roadmap?
With the current leadership, will the Philippines be primarily narcotics-free or corruption-free, or growth-driven or egalitarian or contented with “the best is yet to come” promises?
Truth to tell, with the preoccupation of looking for money to buy and procure the vaccines, there appears to be no urgency to reduce unemployment or generate jobs or rehabilitate businesses.
Moreover, Congress, instead of focusing on COVID-19 response and economic rehab, has futilely revived the Cha-Cha at this late hour with the clock running out and neglecting vital bills under the proposed CREATE bill and Bayanihan Law are sufficient stimulus to revive the economy and placate the poor.
President Duterte must show greater leadership by reaching out and galvanizing the taipans and oligarchs to stand up and be counted and share their wealth with the country that enabled them to amass their fortunes.
With the harsh breakdowns, the rich are richer and the poor are poorer.
As the BSP haS noted, in spite of the low interest and financial stimulus, the unibanks have been niggardly in their lending policy.
In view of the widespread economic hardship and hordes of repatriated OFWs, there is the added need to practice austerity.
Indeed, the party-list system should be abolished and even the Senate as being superfluous, and expensive to maintain.
Undoubtedly, we shall overcome and we shall recover.
But, it will be a tight fit as population continuous to grow, the repatriated OFWs will add to the unemployment problem, and food security becomes critical.
With time running out, President Duterte must show greater statesmanship and leadership and leave behind a memorable legacy as his accomplishments are open-ended and work in progress, such as the war on drugs; the eradication of corruption; defaulting on the death penalty; insurgency, limbo in the West Philippine Sea, and status quo on constitutional reforms.
Thus, President Duterte either cracks the whip or rid forlornly into the sunset.
You be the judge.