Canlas: The dynamics of nation building

AS 2018 unfolds, it is dutiful to take a refresher course on the dynamics of national development. It is instructive, though, to remind that the road to nation-building requires innovation along the way. That is to say the need to retire old concepts which have proved impracticable, if not hindrance, to the attainment of genuine socio-economic equity.

At the outset, education and health play a pivotal role towards increased productivity and income and thus, uplift living standards. A sound mind in a healthy body is indeed an indispensable resource in synthesizing the other dynamics of development. And it is gratifying to note the importance that education and health receive in terms of free education in state colleges and universities coupled with new facilities to accommodate growing enrollees. The same is true in the dispensation of socialized health services, such as, free hospitalization and other health-related benefits, particularly to the elderly sector. The role of PCSO and PhilHealth in this regard is commendable.

For another, the nationwide construction of road networks and related infrastructures is designed with the view to interconnectivity. This infrastructural development calls for the construction of light railways and subways in Metropolitan areas, particularly in Metro Manila under the Public-Private Partnership concept. Redevelopment of domestic airports as well as ports and harbors forms part of this transport modernization program. When completed these projects will enhance mobility and circulation allowing fast movement of people and goods. This will ultimately boost agro-industrial productivity, construction of affordable and decent housing, tourism and generate employment opportunities. Already, the revitalization of economic zones, as exemplified by Clark Development Corporation, could be attributed to the hassle-free travel proffered by well-maintained expressways leading to these industrial and tourism corridors.

Another important dynamics is the strengthened campaign on peace and order to protect the citizenry against criminalities, particularly against illegal drug trade. Of course, the 100 percent increase in the salary of PNP personnel and member of the armed forces is great moral-booster in the war against lawlessness. It must be borne in mind, however, that at the end of the day it is the Filipino people who pay for the bill. Anyway, thanks to the takeover by PDEA as lead agency in the war against drug offenders which resulted in much less casualties in its law enforcement operation. If only the 42,000 barangays will be manned by competent and dedicated leadership, the drug menace, including cleanliness, environmental and livelihood concerns could be better addressed leading to a peaceful, orderly and progressive Philippine society. Truly, charity begins at home. Thus, the frontline dynamics in nation-building are the barangays and the Filipino family.

Likewise, the much-strengthened small and medium-sized enterprise is an effective tool to reduce poverty and hopefully energize the heretofore slumbering middle-income group.

The creation of the Overseas Filipino Workers Bank is a truly revolutionary dynamics as it presages a radical restructuring of the present elitist-based capitalism. Through this Workers-owned bank, our millions of overseas workers can pool their resources to invest in the operation of shopping malls and other consumer-based enterprises. Admittedly, this scenario will promote genuine business competition of essential goods for the benefit of the consuming public.

Moreover, the statutory empowerment of senior citizens to actively participate in local legislation will lead to the passage of much-needed local laws to effectuate the assigned role of Sangguniang Bayan (Municipal Council).

Finally, all the aforementioned development dynamics will only attain their fullest potentials through the mechanism of a Federal form of government. This is because under the concept of Federal the development, exploitation, utilization and distribution of indigenous resources of component Federal states will be the sole responsibility of local leadership instead of being dictated from a long-distance command post in Malacañang.

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