Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Quo Vadis: Philippines? Solutions, not Lampoons!

Preface of the upcoming book - Quo Vadis: Philippines? (Towards peace, justice and progress) Solutions, Not Lampoons.

Martin Luther King, Jr., a peace advocate, said:




What matters now are PEACE, JUSTICE and PROGRESS in this our benighted land.

Thus, inspite of having written already three (3) books and expressing our views on various forums , (written or verbal) I dare again to write this book on things that matters now. I do not want my life to begin to end inspite of the fact that in my advancing years I may be in the so-called pre-departure area already.

The emphasis of this book is to find solutions (not lampoons) to the many social, political and economic problems facing our beloved Philippines which have reached crisis proportions.

Maybe some of the solutions proposed are just ‘little things’ but as Father James B. Reuter used to tell the author:

Little things make up to perfection

but perfection is not a little thing.”

A Call to Action!

As early as 1987, right after EDSA I, a core group of concerned citizens, namely:

Dr. Cynthia Bautista, Third World Studies Center, UP

Dr. Ma. Lourdes Carandang, Psychology Dep’t Ateneo

Dr. Doreen Fernandez, Communication Dep’t Ateneo

Dr. Carolina Hernandez, Center for Integrated and Development Studies, UP

Dr. Lourdes Ignacio, College of Medicine, UP

Dr. Patricia Jieuanan, Political Science Dep’t , UP

Prof. Felipe Miranda, Political Science Dep’t Ateneo

Prof. Carmela Otigas, Psychology Dep’t, Ateneo

Dr. Antonio Perlas, Dep’t of Health/Pfizer, Inc.

Dr. Carol Sobritebea, Asian Center, UP

Initiated and launched a movement called “MOVEMENT” TOWARDS MORAL RECOVERY” (MMR).

Among others, MMR outlined the issues facing us as a nation, thus:

1. Poverty Issues – that people do not have enough of the basics food: clothing, shelter, adequate education and health care.

2. Ecological Issue – that our trees are dying, forest is bare, fertility of the soil has been reduced to 50%, that our rivers and seas are polluted.

3. Graft and Corruption Issue – that our national coffers have been robbed; that smuggling, dollar salting, tax evasion from the 1,000 corporations, mishandling of public funds, graft and corruption are still rampant practices constituting economic sabotage.

4. Justice Issue - that our courts grind slowly for those who are without power in our society, that people in general do not obey the laws nor the rules especially in our streets.

5. That ‘more concern’ is in fact being promoted which makes law evasion almost a virtue. Sex Exploration of Women and Children – that our children and women are sexually exploited; that our men become exploiters particularly of women and do not collectively fight for the dignity of their women and children.

6. Social Justice Issue – that a significant number of our farmers, fishermen and tribal minorities are severely suffering from lack of access to life.

7. Discrimination – that our women, youth and children are discriminated against in work benefits.

8. Oppression – that syndicates among the poor exist to oppress their own kind.

9. Materialism and Consumerism – in a country with so much poverty, persons are becoming materialistic and consumeristic.

10. Violence – that life has become very cheap; violence is projected in media; pornography takes away all sense of nobility.

11. Outmigration – that the Philippines is being depleted in human resources. There is both a brain drain and a brawn drain.

12. Colonial Mentality – still a colonial mentality exist in the Philippines.

13. Inefficiency and Poor Public Service – that our government bureaucracies still lack discipline and a sense of service to people.

14. Threat of a Coup de’ Etat – that some persons wish to violate the constitution by an unlawful seizure of power.

Well Defined. But the question is: Considering contemporary scenery and happenings, which of these issues have been adequately or even just superficially solved?

Hardly! Because all things considered our country is still in the same, if not worse situation 20 years ago!

We hope that this book, even in little things, will offer some solutions to some of these issues/problems.

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