The stalemate in the city streets and slums-A A +A
By Dr. Bob Ocio
Isyo ug Servicio
Thursday, October 3, 2013
"THE idea of exploiting the votes of the poor and their needs in congested cities is the idea of traditional politicians and their legions. It is the bankrupt idea of political exploitation and patronage." The idea of driving out the poor man from the streets without a vision to address the problem from the very roots of poverty is equally insensitive and endemic of an oligarchic social order."
Ngano kaha nga lisud papahawaon ang mga kabus sa kadalanan?
Binisaya: "Ang hunahuna sa pagpahimulos sa boto sa mga kabus ug sa ilang kagutom ug panginahanglanon, dinhi sa piot ug pit-us nga kahimtang sa syudad, idea sa usa ka mangil-ad nga pamolitika ug sa iyang Kampon. Kini usa ka bangkarota nga pilosopiya sa madag-ugdaugon ug mapahimuslanon nga pamolitika. Bisan pa niini, ang panghunahuna nga papahawaon ang kabus sa kadalanan nga walay klaro nga panglantaw sa unahan unsaon paghatag sa solusyon sa problema sa kakabus nga nagsumikad sa hinungdan niini, pareho ra usab nga walay pagbati ug usa ka makasubo nga edidensya sa kamatuuran nga kita nagpuyo sa usa ka sosyedad nga nagkulang sa panglantaw sa dignidad nga tawhanon ug makiangayon
"Unsa ba gyud ang hinungdan ug ang solusyon? Atong sulayan pagtubag:
One can only conquer an idea with a better idea.
We can only conquer such idea by having a vision to address the root problems and needs of the poor people otherwise the same kind of politics will come back like a mighty monster devouring the same people to the traps of false hope and an illusion of emancipation from poverty. I believe that we can only win this war against the monsters of the past administration not by fighting our battles in the congested streets of the city and perpetuating poverty itself, but by providing the people with the alternative and sustainable means to harness their capacities and resources by decentralizing development and arming them with the equipment to sustain and supply their needs in the countryside. That should mean lands, technology and financial support until they can stand up on their own two feet.
The idea that all of us can be retailers in the big city is an act of frustration for lack of opportunities. The better idea is to arm people with the means to become engines of production in underdeveloped areas. The late Mordeno Cua hit it in the jugular when he confessed his story that at one time, he asked the Koreans why we are way behind them in the cooperative movement and in the overall economy. The Koreans replied that "You, Filipinos borrow money from the coop to buy TV, while we Koreans pooled our money together to manufacture TV. You see, we retail goods from abroad, while we never have the support system to produce our own.
We buy food produced by big industrial food corporations and moneyed elite, which corner loans from our government financial and technological infrastructure while programs are wanting in the support structures for our people to sustain production of their own food in the countryside and in small scale entrepreneur activities. Worse, we destroy our lands and forests by destructive logging, mining; and eroded our soil via industrial production.
Such former rich forests and ecosystems used to supply the basic needs of a healthy soil and the water absorption capacity thereof which are necessary to boast food productivity. With the loss of opportunities in the countryside, people simply flock to the congested cities and further plunge into helplessness and despair. With the loss of the purchasing power of most people, we are simply becoming the retailers and consumers of second hand products called ukay-ukay.
Our solution: Restore the Ecosystems and boast sustainable food production and invest in the entrepreneur capacity of the common man so that the engines for growth will not only increase his purchasing power but also arm him with the capacity to produce his own needs.
As such, the war to clean up the city streets with our marginal settlers cannot be won on the streets but in the development of the countryside and in small entrepreneur support programs which generate local production of goods.
To achieve our goals: We need first a turnaround from the culture of corruption.
For how can we prioritize our basic needs if we cannot put our greed behind especially in the corridors of power? How can we prioritize the needs of the poor if we cannot empower them? This city is beginning to see a remake of chop-chopped deals and negotiated bids which do not necessarily reflect the kind of Hapsay politics that we all wanted.
As such, recycling the same system will lead us to nowhere but the stalemate in our dirty, ugly and filthy metropolis as we also found the budget for the change that we need swallowed in by the corrupt system. Thus, the need to pray for a rebirth of the kind of spiritual dimension in our political system which will have the courage to change gears and reject the status quo.
The first of our battles has yet to be won in the hearts and the spirit so we can learn to work together for the common good – "If my people will humble themselves, pray and change from their wicked ways, then I the Lord will forgive their sins and heal the land.
"Keep the faith! Make the difference!
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 03, 2013.