WHAT HAVE WE DONE SO FAR?Daisy Brett-Holt
How have we managed in dealing with the challenges brought about by the defects in our political system?
- STOP GAP MEASURES
Poverty alleviation is addressed by stop gap measures that usually boil down to dole-outs. Some of the billions spent on the non-foolproof 4Ps of the Department of Social Welfare and Development could be better spent on livelihood projects especially in the provinces. This would also unclog the cities and focus on badly needed agricultural programs. For too long, teachers tell ‘dull’ students to “Go home and plant camote” and teach the song Planting Rice is Never Fun. Lastly, usurers preying on the 4Ps’ recipients would go out of business.
38 YOU BE THE JUDGE! What Have We Done So Far? 39
- “ENDO” CONTRACT
Companies further exploit the lower and middle class employees by the practice of perpetual probationary status of 5 months per contract called “endo.” These young workers hop from one job to another in the hope of finding one that will finally make them regular employees.
- RISE OF CONDOMINIUMS AND MALLS
The rich businessmen have become builders of condominiums and malls, creating an image of prosperity as well as bane for the environment. The asphalt jungle of cities and even some towns has catered to the inflow of dollars sent by Filipinos abroad and spent with reckless abandon by their families here. When these heroes return home, most of them are back where they started financially (if they return home alive).
- EXPLOITATION OF OUR NATURAL RESOURCES BY LEGAL OR ILLEGAL MINING & LOGGING
Together with foreigners, local businessmen have also exploited our natural resources, to the detriment of the well-being of our countrymen. Sometimes, government policy even favors foreigners! With their deep pockets, they attract unscrupulous officials who bend rules and regulations to gain their favor.
- GOOD OR BAD GOVERNANCE
All these problems have led to a torrent of protest rallies, burning of effigies, and a lot of shouting and violence. President Duterte initially listened to the street
YOU ARE FIRED!
40 YOU BE THE JUDGE! Protesters in Malacañang. However, the President himself has lately become problematic with accusations given and taken back, unwittingly giving the police and the military the license to kill, and creating conflict nationally and internationally. Hence, the question remains.