Economic, Political or Social?

By Randell Tiongson on July 3rd, 2009

Without a doubt, the biggest problem of the Philippines is poverty. I doubt if anyone can debate the fact that poverty in this country is alarming.

Why is it so? Our country is not lacking in resources, both natural and human. Our lands are fertile, we have good supply of water, our seas are bountiful and we have our good share of minerals… plus more. Our labor force is really good– too good that we are end up ‘exporting’ them and adding the term ‘Diaspora’ into our culture.

So what is the problem? When I was much younger and being a student of Economics, I thought that our problems were economic in nature – distribution of wealth, stagflation, sustainability of economic growth, fiscal and monetary policies, etc.

As I got a little older and was exposed to the ‘real world’, I thought that the cause of our problems were political in nature. Too much corruption, poor service, inconsistent policies, self-serving officials, etc.

To a great degree, I still think our problems are economic in nature and yes, political in nature. However, after all these years, I would like to believe that our problems are largely ‘social’ in nature.

I’ll write about why I think so … soon.

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2 thoughts on “Economic, Political or Social?”

  • Geez, Randell. You always touch a sensitive part of our country’s dilemma – economics or politics. I’d say both and here’s why:

    Economics – I believe in pursuing a (real) free market economy. Let the market dictate the nature to which prices in consumer items and commodities. At the start, it will shock everyone but in the long-term, it will normalize. For example, Malaysia just opened up their market to the Free World; we should do the same.

    Politics – There’s nothing wrong with the organization or the laws. For the latter, amending it is better than changing it. What’s wrong is leadership and implementation. Leadership means letting the rest of the people follow the good values & discipline of good leaders (emphasis on the plural form). Implementation is strictly following the letter of the law. Case in point our Jeepney stops: long ago, there was no line and was always a mad scramble to get in the vehicle during rush hour; today, there’s a line (in some parts of the cities). Why’s that? What changed?

    If we change Economics but don’t change Politically, we’re still at a disadvantage. So, BOTH have to change positively; otherwise, it won’t work.

    My 2-cents 🙂

  • I very much agree with you on your stand. Politics and economics are what people blame but they are just surface problems. The root of all still revolves on us–on our belief, culture and philosophies as Filipinos.

    I can’t wait to read the rest of your entry.

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Economic, Political or Social?