"Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations, produced by enthusiastic effort and infinite labor in every country of the world. All this is put into your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it to your children. Thus do we mortals achieve immortality in the permanent things which we create in common." - Albert Einstein

Sunday, July 22, 2012

True State of the Nation

While numerous articles have sprouted in the past few days in anticipation of the State of the Nation Address, we are reminded of past speeches by Congressman Palatino. And selected phrases are shown below:
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“The number of workers organized into labor unions nearly doubled during the past year. This means that labor has improved its collective bargaining position for better wages and working conditions.” 
- Magsaysay, 1955
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“Instead of English, the local dialects are now being used in the first two years of the elementary grades.”

“As a beginning, mathematics and physics should again be taught as compulsory subjects in the high schools.”
-Magsaysay, 1956
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“…the maximum size of classes has been reduced from 60 to 40 pupils. The vernacular is now being used as a medium of instruction in the first two years of the primary grades.”
-Garcia, 1958
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More than fifty years later, one does not need to wonder what the state of the nation really is. Here are photos that tell the story: And the present does sound like echoes from the past.
Piket ng Gabriela sa harap ng tanggapan ng Department of Education noong Hunyo. (KR Guda)
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Mga manggagawang pangkalusugan na nagtipon at nagprotesta sa harap ng Rizal Medical Center para tutulan ang korporatisasyon ng mga pampublikong ospital. (Pher Pasion)
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Martsa ng militanteng kabataan patungong Mendiola, para irehistro ang pagkadismaya nila sa administrasyong Aquino, laluna’t nalalapit na ang State of the Nation Address ng pangulo sa Hulyo 23. (Pher Pasion)
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The IBON Foundation summarizes what the State of the Nation really is:

"....The Aquino administration has encouraged the profits of a few while the needs of tens of millions of Filipinos remain unmet. In contrast to the conditions of most Filipinos who remain poor, the wealth of an elite few and corporate profits have continued to soar. Amid poverty and economic underdevelopment the collective wealth of the 40 richest Filipinos more than doubled and grew by US$24.6 billion (108%) from US$22.8 billion reported in 2010 to US$47.4 billion in 2012. For comparison, US$47.4 billion is equivalent to over one-fifth (21%) of GDP last year...
...There is much reason to conclude that the so-called social contract with the Filipino people has been broken many times over. Growth remains exclusionary and the prospects for real, equitable and sustained development remain poor. However it is unlikely that these will be covered in the 2012 SONA. On the other hand, what is likely is that the SONA will be a broken record repeating accounts of supposedly inclusive growth and an economic upsurge that is belied by realities on the ground. The government and its untransformed policies unfortunately remain the bottleneck to development...."


“Even the wage increases are still not enough to meet the “living wage” that the government itself defines. IBON estimates the family living wage, which the NWPC had stopped computing in September 2008, to be at Php1,017 in May 2012 in NCR. This means that the current minimum wage covers only 44% of the family living wage. This is even worse than in 2001 under President Arroyo when the minimum wage was 52% of the family living wage.” - From the Midyear 2012 Birdtalk "Exclusionary Economics, Elite Politics"
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“The share of agriculture in the economy continues to fall and was down to 11.6% of GDP in the first quarter; manufacturing was at 22.9% of GDP in the first quarter of 2012 which is as small as its share in the 1950s. Yet manufacturing and agriculture are important sectors for creating jobs, have the greatest potential for high productivity, and should be the main drivers of economic growth. As it is, the domestic agriculture sector remains largely backward and local manufacturing still grossly underdeveloped." -- From the Midyear 2012 Birdtalk paper "Exclusionary Economics, Elite Politics" Downloaded from  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ibon-Foundation/425650640161




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