OFFHAND there are thousands of brilliant minds in and out of government who have a handle on the problems that have plagued the country for centuries. So why have we remained shackled to a social structure that has kept the big majority of us in economic backwaters?
Why do we continue to simply take sides with factions of the oligarchy that take turns exploiting the country’s resources for their own benefit? We have the human capital; why are we not organizing a non-partisan Think-Tank that would figure out how to cut the Gordian knot.
We can easily compose this Think-Tank of the best minds from all sectors of society with the exception of the religious sector. The Catholic Church must not be allowed to interfere in the affairs of a secular pluralistic state mainly because it has always behaved as a “legitimizer” of our unjust social order. It moreover threatens with hell-fire those who disagree with its pontifications.
Theme? “Agenda 2030: The Philippines a modern country in Southeast Asia, towards prosperity for all.” The idea is to move the country from its outdated feudal structure and culture (of regionalism, dependence etc.) to a modern secular pluralistic state that works for the “greater good of the bigger number.”
Everything must be disclosed and reviewed, no “sacred cows” in answering the questions: Where are we? What do we want? Where are we going?
Topics? 1- Changes in the educational system. Top priority should be to provide with quality education every Filipino child. Focus must also shift to critical thinking to help students understand complex systems and the relation between self and society and thus acquire a balanced sense of personal freedom and communal responsibility. Religious education must be strictly voluntary. Of corollary importance is a modern family planning program as fewer children means better educated children.
2- Reorientation from “consumer-driven” to “production-driven” economy. Had oligarchs been less greedy we would have industrialized ahead of South Korea. Because they remain greedy, Vietnam is getting $36 billion in foreign investments to our meager $6 billion.
3- Modernization of our political system. Congress is an exclusive club for billionaires and does not represent the people. Proportionate representation must be worked into our system and ethical standards set for all government officials. We need assurances they will serve the people and not just get richer and more privileged.
As long as their lordships, the oligarchs, take exclusive turns at the helm of this country there will never be prosperity for all. A comprehensive social restructure is needed. We have the human capital to do it peacefully and democratically. So, why don’t we?