Thursday, September 15, 2011

Investment and competitiveness

The good news is we’re getting more and more into the issue of investment and competitiveness. The bad news is the RH bill continues to divide? Moral theologians (e.g., liberation theology) and legal luminaries (e.g., pluralism is embedded in our faith) are arguing for? Even priests would preach responsible parenthood? The writer remembers attending a retreat while in (parochial) grade school talking about ‘beget and educate.’ And even in the Vatican there are the pro and the anti-Vatican II camps – not exactly anti, but not exactly pro either? And one argument goes: Faith is personal, i.e., Christ is about having a personal relationship; and that relativism is inherently present in a personal relationship or in one’s conscience? And that sinners are in fact welcome to the fold – and to the horror of the scribes, embraced by Christ? Yet above the fray, church authorities are obligated to define the bounds of morality? But that is not the point of this blog!

The blog is about our economy – and especially our inherent inability to focus on investment and competitiveness. It is more concerned about confusing faith with responsibility. For instance, we debate about another person’s inability to make both ends meet – and then expect him or her to be bound by the church’s definition of morality, i.e., we are our brother’s keeper? And the perspective is not surprising given our faith, of being evangelists?

It is a debate that won’t find closure – whether the RH bill is passed or not? But do we really seek closure? Or are we about ‘kuro-kuro’? Unsurprisingly, we talk about investment and competitiveness yet we remain underinvested and uncompetitive?

Our ‘paki’ system reinforces our comfort zone, hierarchy? Whether we’re a tier above or below, ‘paki’ can always work in our favor? Either way we’re entitled to the spoils of a ‘handicapping system’ – i.e., we’re either subsidized or we’re privileged? While we claim to be behind meritocracy, in reality we see it as the lack if not the absence of compassion? In one word, it is ‘awa’ or ‘kawawa’?

Foreign investments must be founded on meritocracy, but given our parochial, hierarchical instincts, we assume that foreigners are a tier below and must pay the price – and thus the process of corruption gets a nourishing start? Do those behind aborted major projects – e.g., NAIA 3, NBN-ZTE, Ro-Ro ports, etc. – even feel they are in the wrong? As revealed in WikiLeaks, we simply disdain foreign investments?

In our value hierarchy, investment and competitiveness are not prominent? The good news is the Aquino administration continues to seek foreign investments and the China visit would hopefully give new life to the seemingly floundering PPP initiative?

The business community is rightly sounding impatient – we can’t seem to get our act together? We easily get distracted – or there is always a brighter idea that we would want to pursue? To have a national agenda is foreign to us? But a culture of impunity is par for the course? Those who view themselves higher in the hierarchy simply flout the rule of law – elements in the military, the police, the judiciary, the legislature and politicians across the spectrum continue to dig our grave deeper; and embarrass their peers?

But we are all evangelists? The wife is pleasantly surprised that the cleaning lady in the heart of Eastern Europe, once communist-ruled, is an evangelist. She’s playing the professionally cut CD, featuring the lady and her husband, singing evangelists, from their church.

We have our faith, and the responsibility, to be committed to a national agenda, and indeed be our brother’s keeper?

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