Good news? Not in any way.
PERC or Political Economy Reserch Center is a Hong Kong- Based research company.They conduct yearly surveys to assess the corruption in the Asian nations. In its latest survey, the Philippines was hailed the most corrupt nation in Asia.
How did PERC conduct the survey?
PERC representatives gather data from the media and ask them questions. They ask them to rate the country in a scale of 0-10; 0 being the highest and 10 being the lowest. The Philippines got a rating of about 9.73 making us the most corrupt nation in Asia
How did the government react to it?
According to the palace, the PERC- conducted survey is not very reliable. They pointed out that in China and Vietnam, the media can only broadcast limited information. The government controls the flow of the news so the people in their country do not know what is really happening in their government.
They maybe correct but don’t you think it’s a wake up call for our government? We all know that corruption is rampant in our country. We have to stop corruption before it eats up the funds of our country– funds which are supposed to be used to improve the quality of education in our country; funds which are supposed to be used to create more jobs for our people.
What can we do about it?
Prevention is better than cure. Don’t let the number of corrupt officials increase in number. Let us start by choosing the right leaders, the right servants. This will not ensure the eradication of corruption for there are still appointed officials, but this will give us hope.
The bigger challenge is still on the government. The Philippines is now in the spotlight and the audience is the whole world. We need to redeem ourselves and prove them that we can do something about it. There are more corrupt countries than the Philippines but we should not wait until we get on top of the world’s list of corrupt countries.
It was a terrible idea. The only people who want him to run are those who want to use him.
Today is the submission of my project (a.k.a. this blog). This is maybe my last post for this blog but I hope this won’t stop me from my exploration. My goal is not just to inform you what our country needs but to inspire you, my readers, to do something about it.
It was really hard to do the interviews. I have to pick the right words so I won’t sound intimidating especially when I ask personal questions. It was even harder to convince people to participate in the interview.
These difficulties paid off, not just because I will be able to present a project but also because I learned and realized a lot of things from them. Even though I got to interview only 4 people, I became more aware of what our people need. I have been asking myself what our country needs. To be able to change something, you must first know what you need to change. And I realize that asking myself won’t do any good. If I really want to know, I have to ask those people who know what we need.
I noticed something constant in my interview. Everyone wants efficient officials. One of the reasons I see is the corruption that dominates our government. People see this as a major reason why the poor are still poor. I believe that the in order to have more efficient officials, like what Mr. Cuenca said, the people must learn how to pick the right officials. Most people vote politicians based on popularity scales.
We cannot blame other people for our actions. Personally, I don’t think that the government has the sole responsibility of reducing the burden of the poor. In order for the government to help them, they must first learn to help themselves. They look for better lives but they don’t do anything to make this possible. Also, it is also our responsibility, as citizens of the
Philippines to help our fellowmen.
As a high school student, I cannot do much of a change but I can start by avoiding brain drain and being aware of what my country needs. I do hope that when the right time comes, I would be able to help the people of my country.
My first interviewee is Celio V. Enoferio. He has been a pedicab driver for about 2 years. He has 4 children and lives in Brgy. San Roque in Diliman, Quezon City– just across Philippine Science High School. He was a construction worker before but due to tight management, he decided to become a pedicab driver. He earns an average of 120 pesos a day but he pays 40 pesos to the pedicab operator. When I asked him if his salary is enough to support his family, he said it’s barely enough to send his children to school but they have no choice but to live by it.
Do you think the Philippine economy can progress even further? It took him time to answer but eventually he said “Hindi na, hanggang dyan na lang yan.” He said the
Philippines would not progress if the government does not provide the people with more jobs with decent pay. According to him, this is the reason why people do not get contented with their leaders and keep on rallying. “Hindi sila makontento kasi yung mga politiko lang ang nagbebenipisyo sa pagkapanalo nila, hindi ang tao.” (They don’t get contented because only the politicians benifit when they win, not the people). When asked if he feels the effect of the foreign exchange rate he said he doesn’t notice it because the prices of the commodities are constantly rising. I mentioned the government’s effort of encouraging foreign investors to capitalize in our country and he noted that the government should put its focus in the people first before the foreign investors.
How about the May elections? Who do you think is better, the administration or the opposition? Without a doubt he said the opposition. “Baka sakaling magbago.” (Maybe [the government] would change). The Philippines needs a drastic change in terms of politics according to him.
If you can change something in the Philippines what would it be? The status of the poor and the government. The government should stop corruption. He pointed out that corruption is one of the main reasons why the poor stays poor. He wants the government to give more jobs and more educational opportunities for the poor.
“Kaya kayo mag-aral kayong mabuti. Para rin sa inyo yan.” (Study well. It’s for your own good)
This was his message before I leave his pedicab and go to the MRT station.
I was strolling along Rustan’s Edsa Shangri-La looking for prospect interviewees and ended up in this jewelry store. I was hesitant to approach the sales ladies at first because they are on duty and they might get mad at me. I managed to talk to one of them. Her name is Sheila Agayam. She’s been working there for 3 years. She says that her salary in the company can sustain her needs and save a little. Working in an internationally owned jewelry store has its benefits. They have their medical cards and insurances. More or less,
Agayam is contented with her job.
The first thing I asked her was about politics and the government. Do you believe that the solution to the problems of the Philippines is a Constitutional Change? No, it’s not the solution. If they are going to change the constitution, they must first change the people who run the government. “Mga trapo [traditional politicians] na kasi yan.” (Those are already traditional politicians). What we need younger and better politicians.
What do you think of actors in politics? “I’m against them. Nagpapagulo lang sila ng politika.” (They are nuisance to politics). That is not their business anymore. They must stick to what they know best according to her.
Ms. Agayam believes that the Filipino people must learn to choose their leaders well.
Do you feel President Arroyo has done a good job in improving the economy of the country?“Yes, of course” She did an incredible job. She was able to bring the Philippine peso exchange rate back to 48. “Kung nagpatuloy na tumaas yan, sobrang mahal na ng bilihin natin compared ngayon.” (If it continued rising, prices of commodities would be higher than it is today.) I asked her the same question I asked Mr. Enoferio.
Do you think the Philippine Economy can progress even further? Ms.Agayam has a different view of it. She said our economic growth can reach the two digit rate. When I asked her what things should be changed to make this possible, she said the government rule. They must remove corrupt officials in the government. She also mentioned another thing. She said “Nasa tao rin yan. Kung hindi tayo makikipag-cooperate sa gobyerno wala ring mangyayari sa atin.” (It’s in the people. If we wouldn’t cooperate with the government, nothing would happen.) Strive and work hard. These are two things that we need to do according to her to make everything possible.
The stock market, stock exchange, foreign currency exchange rate. Business terms. What do they mean to you? For stock holders, investors and businessmen, their lives revolve around these. But what about ordinary people– factory workers, drivers, What are those terms to them? Do they feel the effect of the change in the peso-dollar exchange rate? Do they even care?
We often hear the status of the Philippines from economists, analysts, politicians and business tycoons. They say that our economy is getting better because the exchange rate is in favor of the Philippine peso. They say that our GDP per- capita is growing because of the growing number of foreign investors. On the surface, it’s nice to hear but how about in the inside, in the urban poor areas of our country? Do they feel the same?
These people make up about half of Metro Manila, 60% of ARMM, and 30% of Central Mindanao. We cannot ignore what these people think about our country and what these people need.
As citizens of this country, we must try to help our fellowmen. We cannot be apathetic about their situations. But before we can help them, we have to know what they need, what they want. Let us dig deeper as I explore the Philippines in the eyes of the people.