88 Million Pinoys being double talked

April 19, 2008 § 1 Comment

Today, at one of the media fora here in the Philippines, a noted population expert Dr. Alberto Romualdez warned of the effects of the country’s rising population. According to the Philippine Population Institute, there are now about 88 million Filipinos, with only about 35 million gainfully employed. 

Any economist would definitely say that this is a very disturbing statistic. How would you possibly feed 88 million? With a raging global food crisis, a lethargic economy dependent on an ailing US economy and a mismanaged bureaucracy, the Philippines is really in a very serious situation.

Some suggestions are being written, one of which is an “encouraging” message from a former Philippine president. Joseph Estrada, who’s now going around the country for another dig at the presidency, urged Filipinos to use condoms. That’s not new. Since the time of former Philippine health secretary and now ex-Senator Juan Flavier, government has been encouraging Pinoys to use that sheepskin to counter God’s commandment, to no avail.

I think what’s relevant is for the Philippine government to try to manage this explosive situation by ensuring that the country has a stable supply of food. Also, government must try to push for an increase in pay to enable Pinoys to buy what they need. I’m sure that most Pinoys don’t have enough to eat and are now very deficient in their daily nutrient requirements. 

Philippine Agriculture secretary Art Yap insist that there’s enough supply of the Pinoy’s staple food (rice), yet reports say that only about 500,000 tons of rice were imported. That’s not enough. Government knows that more stocks of the staple grain are being hoarded and hidden in various warehouses across the country by unscrupulous traders. That’s why Philippine leader Mrs. Arroyo went to the Customs and berated her Customs hire, Morales, for his inefficiency and lethargic handling of rampant smuggling in his department. 

Notice that she did’nt scold Yap, who’s responsible for food security–she went to an underling of the Department of Finance. Yeah, talk about diversion. 

Anyway, Pinoys believe that every problem has a solution. And the solution is just effective governance, according to the very influential Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). If government continues to dilly-dally on punishing people who tries to control the very lifeblood of the nation, then, government should extricate itself from this and enforce the laws. Enforcement seems to be the case here and the government’s lack of political will is showing. Mrs. Arroyo always urge sectors not to play politics. Yet, she’s, in fact, playing the same game she wants everybody not to indulge to. Talk about double talk.




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