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Re: Sharing: Rizal's most probable economic views

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  • cdvictory21
    Un artículo muy interesante. Son las Filipinas de Don David San Juan más deplorable que las Filipinas de Dr. Rizal? A very interesting article. Is the
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 25, 2010
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      Un artículo muy interesante. Son las Filipinas de Don David San Juan más deplorable que las Filipinas de Dr. Rizal?

      A very interesting article. Is the Philippines of David San Juan more deplorable that the Philippines of Dr. Rizal?

      El autor habla sobre lo qué podemos hacer para mejorar nuestra condición deplorable.
      ¿Qué podemos hacer hoy que no pudimos hacer ayer?

      The author speaks of what we can do to improve our deplorable condition. What can we do now that we could not do yesterday?

      CV


      --- In RP-Rizal@yahoogroups.com, Edgar Millan <egadong@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > Jose Rizal's hidden discourse against Charter changeBy David Michael M. San JuanPosted at 06/23/2009 12:25 AM | Updated as of 06/23/2009 1:56 AM
      >
      > Boring speeches extolling the national hero's patriotism, altruism, idealism, internationalism and other isms will be heard again come June 19 as the country celebrates Jose Protacio Rizal's 148th birth anniversary. But as circumspect observers have noted, seasonal and pompous official commemoration that puts Rizal in the pedestal serves to alienate him and his ideals from the common folks. It's as if Rizal has lived in a so distant era that many Filipinos could no longer identify with what typical writers and orators claim he stands for. Amidst the token "motherhood statements" accorded his status, Rizal has become out of common touch and seemingly superfluous in these times when charter change and other political issues dominate the national and popular discourse.
      > An endeavor to bring him closer to the people is suitable in these turbulent times. His ideas on politics and governance could be this nation's guiding light to the way of genuine justice, peace, progress and prosperity, and away from the chaotic road of charter change, corruption and maladministration. The best way to jumpstart this tedious process is to revisit his writings, including his esteemed novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. Since public interest on charter change has drastically increased as a result of the House of Representatives' railroaded approval of House Resolution (HR) No. 1109, figuring out Rizal's probable stance on various constitutional amendments is in order.
      > Parity rights for foreigners: Anathema to national progress and survival
      > Proponents of charter change assured the public that their proposed constitutional amendments cover only economic provisions, as if the eradication of national patrimony and the granting of parity rights to foreigners are harmless to Filipinos. In fact, they are frank enough to admit in the concluding statement of HR No. 1109 that their only concrete charter change proposal is an economic one aimed at raising the global competitiveness of the country "in attracting foreign investments and technology transfers." Impliedly, Philippine lawmakers want to amend Sections 2 and 3 of the Constitution's Article XII so as to allow foreign individuals and corporations to acquire, own and exploit private or public Philippine lands, and to fully own and control businesses in the country including public utilities.
      > It is a pity that the current discourse on cha-cha have focused more on the constituent assembly (Con Ass) mode and what many people think as the hidden agenda behind it: term extension of elective officials or a shift to a parliamentary system which will allow the sitting president whose term expires in 2010 to run as congresswoman or member of parliament in the scheduled 2010 election and thereby give her a chance to maintain power – perhaps forever – as prime minister of a predictably rubber-stamp Philippine parliament. Nevertheless, the president has vowed to retire from politics once her term ends in 2010 thereby theoretically leaving just one imminent yet seemingly unobserved peril.
      > Few people notice the fact that many supposedly anti-Con Ass politicians (presidentiables, actually) support charter change through a constitutional convention (Con Con). In the June 10 multi-sectoral rally against Cha-Cha through Con Ass, among the politicians who were allowed to speak briefly, only Pampanga Governor "Among Ed" Panlilio condemned the administration-backed economic amendments. Other politicians trained their guns on the supposed attempt to institute a dictatorship through a parliamentary shift. It is interesting to note that many of them proclaim the necessity of charter change, albeit through a different mode, but they seem to deliberately avoid explaining what constitutional amendments they advocate. Their silence is deafening as regards the necessity or absurdity of amending the patriotic economic provisions in the 1987 Constitution. It is thus safe to assume that these anti-Con Ass lawmakers are in fact in favor of discarding provisions on national patrimony and Filipino primacy in the economy. It's just that they want it done through a supposedly apolitical Con Con.
      > If Rizal were alive today, he could help people easily deduce that the grand battle of our times is not about the means of cha-cha, term extension or a parliamentary shift but the imminent triumph of previously shelved out parity rights for foreigners – the most terrible anathema to Philippine progress and survival.
      > Simoun's counsel: Nation-building as an antidote to colonialism
      > In El Filibusterismo's seventh chapter (Charles Derbyshire's translation), the incognito anarchist rebel Simoun counsels Basilio to take advantage of the Spaniards' refusal to assimilate Filipinos as full citizens of Spain: "Are they unwilling that you be assimilated with the Spanish people? Good enough! Distinguish yourselves then by revealing yourselves in your own character, try to lay the foundations of the Philippine fatherland! Do they deny you hope? Good! Don't depend on them, depend upon yourselves and work!" In these times, Simoun's advice should enlighten Philippine lawmakers who keep on yakking that our national survival solely depends on the investments of USA, China and other foreign powers.
      > Rizal through Simoun implores Filipinos to think and act independently of colonizers as they seem not to care about the Philippines. Why bother to beg for their humane treatment if you can build a nation where you will be supreme? Why ask for foreign help when you can build on your own – a prosperous country, an economic giant – out of a resource-rich archipelago? When Rizal founded La Liga Filipina (League of Filipinos), he's trying to achieve just that as can be inferred in La Liga's aims enshrined in its constitution written by the "First Filipino" himself: 1) to unite the whole archipelago into one compact and homogeneous body; 2) mutual protection in every want and necessity (through a cooperative); 3) defense against violence and injustice; 4) encouragement of education, agriculture and commerce; 5) study and application and reforms (Retana in Monleon: 1968). If Rizal were alive today, he will certainly urge people to unite as a nation and achieve progress with minimal or even non-existing foreign support. The fact that Rizal founded an organization aimed at uniting "the whole archipelago into one compact and homogeneous body" is a proof that the national hero believes that Filipinos can achieve progress even without begging for foreign investment. Why ask for more foreign investment when the Filipino people can always invest for their own country?
      > Of course, Rizal's dream is grounded on reality. Time and again, forward-looking civil society groups have proposed debt renegotiation as a way to raise funds for our country's development. Just in the past 10 years, the Philippines paid a whopping 5,572,327,000,000 pesos to domestic and foreign financial entities (based on data from the Freedom from Debt Coalition/FDC, Bulatlat Media Group and Department of Budget and Management), without drastically reducing the country's unsettled debts since every year, so-called development projects are implemented through fresh debts. Such amount is more than enough to establish at least a gold mine, a noodle factory, a steel mill, a petroleum refinery and a huge rice plantation, businesses which if honestly run by the government will produce enough profits in ten years time to settle our financial obligations and bankroll vital social services such as health, housing and education.
      >
      > Rizal's prescription: Progress through independence, hard work and self-reliance
      > In the essay Filipinas Dentro de Cien Años (The Philippines A Century Hence; translated by Austin Craig) – which nearly sealed his status as an heir to Nostradamus – Rizal predicted USA's annexation of the Philippines. Trusting that the Filipino people will be able to achieve independence from Spain through sweat, blood and tears, he hopes that Filipinos "will defend with inexpressible valor the liberty secured at a price of so much blood and sacrifice" against the new colonizers. Instead of native leaders begging for statehood or parity rights for Americans (and now, for all foreigners), Rizal envisioned Filipino "men that will spring from their soil...," people who "...will strive to enter freely upon the wide road of progress..." and "labor together to strengthen their fatherland..." The national hero emphasized that to be truly independent, citizens must work hard to achieve not only political but also economic liberty, the very foundation of any genuine liberty.
      > Rizal exhorts Filipinos to use their struggle against recolonization coupled with self-reliant economic endeavors as a way to achieve progress for the infant nation: "Then the mines will be made to give their gold for relieving distress, iron for weapons, copper, lead and coal. Perhaps the country will revive the maritime and mercantile life for which the islanders are fitted by nature, ability and instincts..." It is most unfortunate that those tasked to offer flowers to Rizal's tomb annually are Filipinos who go against Rizal's counsel on nation-building, leaders who can only lead the people to further foreign economic subjugation, leaders who never tried to attain genuine progress through hard work and self-reliance, leaders who always beg for foreign crumbs, leaders who beg foreigners to exploit Philippine natural resources all the more. For example, our top economic managers today see no problem in awarding a billion-dollar gold mining project to ZTE Corporation, an enterprise wholly-owned by Chinese financers.Rizal's advice to rely on the Filipinos' own strengths and abilities has been shunned. The people's supposed "representatives" have started the first move to authorize the total surrender of the country's national patrimony, natural resources and national economy to foreign corporations. They idiotically assert that foreign investments are really beneficial to Filipinos when in fact, researches – such as what American William Pomeroy has published in a book – state that for every dollar that foreign corporations invest in the Philippines, they earn a net profit of $3.68, $2 of which is repatriated to their home countries. And that was in the 1970s. It is assumed that with the more efficient mass production schemes coupled with perennially low wages in these times, repatriated foreign profits from the Philippines should have grown exponentially.
      >
      > Smashing the myth of economic protectionismCha-cha proponents like administration Senator Edgardo Angara claims that we should "open up our economy" and do away with our alleged status as the "only country with a closed economy" in Asia. Deconstructing Senator Angara's bureaucratese, they desire parity rights for foreign corporations through the reversal of the Constitution's various provisions on economic protectionism – measures which nominally insulate Philippine industries from being gobbled out or slaughtered by huge foreign corporations. They allege that the country is suffering because of too much economic protectionism, but reality suggests otherwise.
      > To paraphrase an American politician, economic protectionism can't be called a failure in the Philippines because it is yet to be tried. In Rizal's Sobre La Indolencia de los Filipinos (The Indolence of Filipinos; translation published by the National Historical Institute), his indictment of a Spanish-led colonial government that treats every productive endeavor of Filipinos with nonchalance still applies to recent Philippine administrations: "There is no encouragement at all either for the manufacturer or the farmer; the government gives no aid either when the harvest, is poor, when the locusts lay waste in the field, or when a typhoon destroys in its path the wealth of the land; nor does it bother to seek a market for the products of its colonies." Yearly, more and more Filipino enterprises are forced to shut down due to stiff competition with heavily-funded and/or -subsidized foreign corporations. Tariff rates and quota restrictions on the importation of various foreign products with Filipino counterparts (such as textile, cement, wheat etc.) are close to zero, if not virtually zilch. Thus, Rizal's complaint regarding the lack of encouragement for local manufacturers still holds water in our globalization-obsessed era.
      > As regards agriculture, the proven backbone of every self-reliant and resilient economy, one is tempted to say kailangan pa bang i-memorize `yan (isn't very obvious?). Everyone knows that recent administrations have failed to boost Philippine agriculture. On the contrary, through the combined effects of a failed land reform program, zero tariff on agricultural products and filching of funds for the agriculture sector, recent regimes have only succeeded in making farming a non-viable enterprise, as evident with the number of informal dwellers in Metro Manila and other highly-urbanized cities who admit abandoning their unproductive plantations in the provinces.
      > Expounding on the virtually non-existent protection of manufacturers and other Filipino industrial entities, Rizal says thus: "The great difficulty that every enterprise encountered with the Administration also contributed not a little to kill off every commercial or industrial movement. All the Filipinos and all those in the Philippines who have wished to engage in business know how many documents, how many comings and goings, how many stamped papers, and how much patience are necessary to secure from government permit for an enterprise." Such shabby treatment of local entrepreneurs which still exists today has stunted the growth and development of strong Filipino industries. How can Filipino business burdened with red tape and extortion attempts compete with foreign corporations who are favored by the government through the grant of special privileges such as tax holidays? Where Malaysia has Proton Car and India its Tata Car, the Philippines has only imported brands to offer (even our jeepney industry is slowly dying). Where China can produce cheap yet durable laptops, we can only offer microchips. Where the USA has Hersheys' we only have a struggling sugar and cocoa industry.
      > Instead of trumpeting the supposed failure of economic protectionism, politicians must acknowledge that, at the very least, we are yet to try it. Why are they hell-bent on discarding something that we haven't even attempted to achieve? Let us first try applying economic protectionism as America did in its days as a fledgling republic before engaging in the so-called free trade.
      > The way forward: A genuinely independent nation
      > In El Filibusterismo's Chapter 24, Rizal through the idealistic young student leader Isagani voiced out what he wants the Philippines to become: a nation where "...commerce, industry, agriculture, the sciences, will develop under the mantle of liberty, with wise and just laws..." Simoun uttered Rizal's prescription for the Philippines to achieve liberty and its accompanying benefits by exposing what Filipinos should not do and/or be, in Chapter 7 of El Fili: "You ask for equal rights, the Hispanization of your customs, and you don't see that what you are begging for is suicide, the destruction of your nationality, the annihilation of your fatherland, the consecration of tyranny! What will you be in the future? A people without character, a nation without liberty—everything you have will be borrowed, even your very defects! You beg for Hispanization, and do not pale with shame when they deny it you!..." Recent readers need only to substitute "Americanization" etc. for "Hispanization" and Simoun's words will be more chilling. In the same chapter, Simoun emphasizes the task of nation-building as a way to progress: "instead of aspiring to be a province, aspire to be a nation! Instead of subordinate thoughts, think independently, to the end that neither by right, nor custom, nor language, the Spaniard can be considered the master here, nor even be looked upon as a part of the country, but ever as an invader, a foreigner..." Again, substitute "American" or "Chinese" for "Spaniard" and this quote will be clearer.
      > If Rizal were alive today, no doubt, he will be at the forefront of the broad coalition against charter change (be it through Con Ass or Con Con) especially if it concerns the discarding of patriotic economic provisions in the still young Constitution. Instead of begging for more foreign investments and opening-up the country's economy the way a destitute prostitute unwillingly give in to his/her client, Rizal will restart the Filipino people's unfinished nation-building endeavor as a good farmer patiently tills his land in the hope of having a bountiful harvest. Till the Rizals of our times are born, we can only hope and pray that our leaders will be able to realize that the charter change they want is a throwback to worse times, something which deserves to be shelved out. But, as a Salvadoran priest remarked in the film Voces Inocentes, we ought to be reminded that "Today, brothers, it is not enough to pray."
      > David Michael M. San Juan teaches Filipino in Colegio San Agustin; finishing his Master of Arts in Teaching Filipino at the Philippine Normal University; a graduate of Bachelor Secondary Education, magna cum laude, from Bulacan State University; he also currently serves as the officer-in-charge of the Filipino subject area in the High School Department of Colegio San Agustin.
      >
      > 3 commentsRizal's Hidden Discourseby ErnieN on Thu, 07/02/2009 - 21:04My kudos to Mr. David Michael M. San Juan for his timely renewal of Dr. Rizal's often forgotten immortal words. Alas, the incumbent President has now developed a thick and teflon skin to be influenced by personal deeds for the good of the country. Talk about timeliness, Honduras, another former Spanish colony is again in a national turmoil and peril. It was reported that the Honduran incumbent president wanted to hold on to his presidency through their version of CHA-CHA. Could the events in Honduras foreshadow the events in the Philippines should Mrs. Arroyo and her allies continue their reckless and power-grab-ASS before the 2010 national elections?
      > Rizal...by bayang sawi on Wed, 07/01/2009 - 19:18
      > Very good commentary and just on time.
      > Essay re Rizal on charter changeby normankonrad on Tue, 06/23/2009 - 23:45Hi. I found your piece on Jose Rizal and his likely views on charter change interesting because I'm running a political reform advocacy via my blog, La Nueva Liga Filipina (www.lanuevaligafilipina.wordpress.com), which I named after Rizal's Liga.
      > I would like to make only a minor correction. "La Liga Filipina" should read "The Philippine League", not "League of Filipinos". The word "Filipina" is used as a description, not a noun. "League of Filipinos" in Spanish is "Liga de Filipinos".
      > For example, "the Philippine revolution" is "la revolucion Filipina" in Spanish; "revolucion" being feminine, a syntax rule that we also use in Filipino.
      > Also, "Sobre La Indolencia de los Filipinos" should read "The Indolence OF THE (de los) Filipinos", not "The Indolence of ("de" in Spanish) Filipinos".
      > I hope you'll find the time to check out my blog. Cheers.
      > Sincerely,
      > Norman Sison
      > Take back our Pilipinas. Visit www.lanuevaligafilipina.wordpress.com
      >
    • Carlos Tapang
      Self-reliance is certainly admirable, but as a national policy with respect to world trade, I would beg to differ. Yes, we the people of Pinas need to
      Message 2 of 3 , Nov 28, 2010
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        FROM THE MODERATOR: I am posting this but bothered that we are getting away from the purpose of this website which is not to debate economic theory per se but to discuss the life, writings, and legacy of Dr. Jose P. Rizal. Postings should be about this. I write this reluctantly because I realize this is the passion of the poster. But it might be better put in another site.

        ===

        Self-reliance is certainly admirable, but as a national policy with respect to world trade, I would beg to differ. Yes, we the people of Pinas need to determine our direction as a nation, but I don't think we need to close ourselves to world trade. None of the Rizal quotes used in the article specifically say that he would be against open trade. We have achieved our independence, and as a truly democratic nation we determine our own destiny. We should thank Rizal and our other heroes for that. Now we can join the world in free trade.
         
        What I am against is our government borrowing money excessively. Private investment into Pinas, on the other hand, is something that we should be happy about. The extent and size of private foreign investments in Pinas is a measure of reliability in our institutions and our adherence to the rule of law. No foreign private investor would invest in our country if we cannot guarantee to that investor his return on investment. If an enterprise is profitable, it must have done good to both the investor and the receiving country. It can't be one-way.
         
        Private foreign investment is not equivalent to giving up our sovereignty, as the article seems to suggest. I would go as far as allowing foreigners to own land. That land would remain in Pinas, it cannot be hauled away. As such, it remains in our territory. What do we get in return? Together with peace and order, liberalization of foreign land ownership would cause foreign investments to skyrocket. With more investments, our economy would grow by leaps and bounds, and we would have an abundance of jobs.
         
        Protectionism only leads to corruption and cronyism, and this is true even in the U.S. Trade protectionists in the U.S. have succeeded in slapping anti-dumping tariffs on imported steel products, but it did not save the U.S. steel industry. All it did was allow a number of favored companies to survive. In Pinas, rampant corruption in the collection of customs duty is a malady that is best fixed by removing tariffs on ALL products altogether.
         
        Have we not practiced protectionism enough? The fact is that the practice of collecting customs duties has been with us for a long time. Look at Hong-Kong, a most economically dynamic city. They don't collect taxes on anything they import. And yet their industry in almost any field is very competitive. We have to allow our local industry to compete with imported goods. Our consumers would certainly benefit, and our industry would learn how to compete. The only people who would lose in liberalized trade are the corrupt customs officials and politicians.
         
        --Carlos


        To: RP-Rizal@yahoogroups.com
        From: cdvictory21@...
        Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2010 21:37:05 +0000
        Subject: [RP-Rizal] Re: Sharing: Rizal's most probable economic views

         
        Un artículo muy interesante. Son las Filipinas de Don David San Juan más deplorable que las Filipinas de Dr. Rizal?

        A very interesting article. Is the Philippines of David San Juan more deplorable that the Philippines of Dr. Rizal?

        El autor habla sobre lo qué podemos hacer para mejorar nuestra condición deplorable.
        ¿Qué podemos hacer hoy que no pudimos hacer ayer?

        The author speaks of what we can do to improve our deplorable condition. What can we do now that we could not do yesterday?

        CV


        --- In RP-Rizal@yahoogroups.com, Edgar Millan <egadong@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > Jose Rizal's hidden discourse against Charter changeBy David Michael M. San JuanPosted at 06/23/2009 12:25 AM | Updated as of 06/23/2009 1:56 AM
        >
        > Boring speeches extolling the national hero's patriotism, altruism, idealism, internationalism and other isms will be heard again come June 19 as the country celebrates Jose Protacio Rizal's 148th birth anniversary. But as circumspect observers have noted, seasonal and pompous official commemoration that puts Rizal in the pedestal serves to alienate him and his ideals from the common folks. It's as if Rizal has lived in a so distant era that many Filipinos could no longer identify with what typical writers and orators claim he stands for. Amidst the token "motherhood statements" accorded his status, Rizal has become out of common touch and seemingly superfluous in these times when charter change and other political issues dominate the national and popular discourse.
        > An endeavor to bring him closer to the people is suitable in these turbulent times. His ideas on politics and governance could be this nation's guiding light to the way of genuine justice, peace, progress and prosperity, and away from the chaotic road of charter change, corruption and maladministration. The best way to jumpstart this tedious process is to revisit his writings, including his esteemed novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. Since public interest on charter change has drastically increased as a result of the House of Representatives' railroaded approval of House Resolution (HR) No. 1109, figuring out Rizal's probable stance on various constitutional amendments is in order.
        > Parity rights for foreigners: Anathema to national progress and survival
        > Proponents of charter change assured the public that their proposed constitutional amendments cover only economic provisions, as if the eradication of national patrimony and the granting of parity rights to foreigners are harmless to Filipinos. In fact, they are frank enough to admit in the concluding statement of HR No. 1109 that their only concrete charter change proposal is an economic one aimed at raising the global competitiveness of the country "in attracting foreign investments and technology transfers." Impliedly, Philippine lawmakers want to amend Sections 2 and 3 of the Constitution's Article XII so as to allow foreign individuals and corporations to acquire, own and exploit private or public Philippine lands, and to fully own and control businesses in the country including public utilities.
        > It is a pity that the current discourse on cha-cha have focused more on the constituent assembly (Con Ass) mode and what many people think as the hidden agenda behind it: term extension of elective officials or a shift to a parliamentary system which will allow the sitting president whose term expires in 2010 to run as congresswoman or member of parliament in the scheduled 2010 election and thereby give her a chance to maintain power – perhaps forever – as prime minister of a predictably rubber-stamp Philippine parliament. Nevertheless, the president has vowed to retire from politics once her term ends in 2010 thereby theoretically leaving just one imminent yet seemingly unobserved peril.
        > Few people notice the fact that many supposedly anti-Con Ass politicians (presidentiables, actually) support charter change through a constitutional convention (Con Con). In the June 10 multi-sectoral rally against Cha-Cha through Con Ass, among the politicians who were allowed to speak briefly, only Pampanga Governor "Among Ed" Panlilio condemned the administration-backed economic amendments. Other politicians trained their guns on the supposed attempt to institute a dictatorship through a parliamentary shift. It is interesting to note that many of them proclaim the necessity of charter change, albeit through a different mode, but they seem to deliberately avoid explaining what constitutional amendments they advocate. Their silence is deafening as regards the necessity or absurdity of amending the patriotic economic provisions in the 1987 Constitution. It is thus safe to assume that these anti-Con Ass lawmakers are in fact in favor of discarding provisions on national patrimony and Filipino primacy in the economy. It's just that they want it done through a supposedly apolitical Con Con.
        > If Rizal were alive today, he could help people easily deduce that the grand battle of our times is not about the means of cha-cha, term extension or a parliamentary shift but the imminent triumph of previously shelved out parity rights for foreigners – the most terrible anathema to Philippine progress and survival.
        > Simoun's counsel: Nation-building as an antidote to colonialism
        > In El Filibusterismo's seventh chapter (Charles Derbyshire's translation), the incognito anarchist rebel Simoun counsels Basilio to take advantage of the Spaniards' refusal to assimilate Filipinos as full citizens of Spain: "Are they unwilling that you be assimilated with the Spanish people? Good enough! Distinguish yourselves then by revealing yourselves in your own character, try to lay the foundations of the Philippine fatherland! Do they deny you hope? Good! Don't depend on them, depend upon yourselves and work!" In these times, Simoun's advice should enlighten Philippine lawmakers who keep on yakking that our national survival solely depends on the investments of USA, China and other foreign powers.
        > Rizal through Simoun implores Filipinos to think and act independently of colonizers as they seem not to care about the Philippines. Why bother to beg for their humane treatment if you can build a nation where you will be supreme? Why ask for foreign help when you can build on your own – a prosperous country, an economic giant – out of a resource-rich archipelago? When Rizal founded La Liga Filipina (League of Filipinos), he's trying to achieve just that as can be inferred in La Liga's aims enshrined in its constitution written by the "First Filipino" himself: 1) to unite the whole archipelago into one compact and homogeneous body; 2) mutual protection in every want and necessity (through a cooperative); 3) defense against violence and injustice; 4) encouragement of education, agriculture and commerce; 5) study and application and reforms (Retana in Monleon: 1968). If Rizal were alive today, he will certainly urge people to unite as a nation and achieve progress with minimal or even non-existing foreign support. The fact that Rizal founded an organization aimed at uniting "the whole archipelago into one compact and homogeneous body" is a proof that the national hero believes that Filipinos can achieve progress even without begging for foreign investment. Why ask for more foreign investment when the Filipino people can always invest for their own country?
        > Of course, Rizal's dream is grounded on reality. Time and again, forward-looking civil society groups have proposed debt renegotiation as a way to raise funds for our country's development. Just in the past 10 years, the Philippines paid a whopping 5,572,327,000,000 pesos to domestic and foreign financial entities (based on data from the Freedom from Debt Coalition/FDC, Bulatlat Media Group and Department of Budget and Management), without drastically reducing the country's unsettled debts since every year, so-called development projects are implemented through fresh debts. Such amount is more than enough to establish at least a gold mine, a noodle factory, a steel mill, a petroleum refinery and a huge rice plantation, businesses which if honestly run by the government will produce enough profits in ten years time to settle our financial obligations and bankroll vital social services such as health, housing and education.
        >
        > Rizal's prescription: Progress through independence, hard work and self-reliance
        > In the essay Filipinas Dentro de Cien Años (The Philippines A Century Hence; translated by Austin Craig) – which nearly sealed his status as an heir to Nostradamus – Rizal predicted USA's annexation of the Philippines. Trusting that the Filipino people will be able to achieve independence from Spain through sweat, blood and tears, he hopes that Filipinos "will defend with inexpressible valor the liberty secured at a price of so much blood and sacrifice" against the new colonizers. Instead of native leaders begging for statehood or parity rights for Americans (and now, for all foreigners), Rizal envisioned Filipino "men that will spring from their soil...," people who "...will strive to enter freely upon the wide road of progress..." and "labor together to strengthen their fatherland..." The national hero emphasized that to be truly independent, citizens must work hard to achieve not only political but also economic liberty, the very foundation of any genuine liberty.
        > Rizal exhorts Filipinos to use their struggle against recolonization coupled with self-reliant economic endeavors as a way to achieve progress for the infant nation: "Then the mines will be made to give their gold for relieving distress, iron for weapons, copper, lead and coal. Perhaps the country will revive the maritime and mercantile life for which the islanders are fitted by nature, ability and instincts..." It is most unfortunate that those tasked to offer flowers to Rizal's tomb annually are Filipinos who go against Rizal's counsel on nation-building, leaders who can only lead the people to further foreign economic subjugation, leaders who never tried to attain genuine progress through hard work and self-reliance, leaders who always beg for foreign crumbs, leaders who beg foreigners to exploit Philippine natural resources all the more. For example, our top economic managers today see no problem in awarding a billion-dollar gold mining project to ZTE Corporation, an enterprise wholly-owned by Chinese financers.Rizal's advice to rely on the Filipinos' own strengths and abilities has been shunned. The people's supposed "representatives" have started the first move to authorize the total surrender of the country's national patrimony, natural resources and national economy to foreign corporations. They idiotically assert that foreign investments are really beneficial to Filipinos when in fact, researches – such as what American William Pomeroy has published in a book – state that for every dollar that foreign corporations invest in the Philippines, they earn a net profit of $3.68, $2 of which is repatriated to their home countries. And that was in the 1970s. It is assumed that with the more efficient mass production schemes coupled with perennially low wages in these times, repatriated foreign profits from the Philippines should have grown exponentially.
        >
        > Smashing the myth of economic protectionismCha-cha proponents like administration Senator Edgardo Angara claims that we should "open up our economy" and do away with our alleged status as the "only country with a closed economy" in Asia. Deconstructing Senator Angara's bureaucratese, they desire parity rights for foreign corporations through the reversal of the Constitution's various provisions on economic protectionism – measures which nominally insulate Philippine industries from being gobbled out or slaughtered by huge foreign corporations. They allege that the country is suffering because of too much economic protectionism, but reality suggests otherwise.
        > To paraphrase an American politician, economic protectionism can't be called a failure in the Philippines because it is yet to be tried. In Rizal's Sobre La Indolencia de los Filipinos (The Indolence of Filipinos; translation published by the National Historical Institute), his indictment of a Spanish-led colonial government that treats every productive endeavor of Filipinos with nonchalance still applies to recent Philippine administrations: "There is no encouragement at all either for the manufacturer or the farmer; the government gives no aid either when the harvest, is poor, when the locusts lay waste in the field, or when a typhoon destroys in its path the wealth of the land; nor does it bother to seek a market for the products of its colonies." Yearly, more and more Filipino enterprises are forced to shut down due to stiff competition with heavily-funded and/or -subsidized foreign corporations. Tariff rates and quota restrictions on the importation of various foreign products with Filipino counterparts (such as textile, cement, wheat etc.) are close to zero, if not virtually zilch. Thus, Rizal's complaint regarding the lack of encouragement for local manufacturers still holds water in our globalization-obsessed era.
        > As regards agriculture, the proven backbone of every self-reliant and resilient economy, one is tempted to say kailangan pa bang i-memorize `yan (isn't very obvious?). Everyone knows that recent administrations have failed to boost Philippine agriculture. On the contrary, through the combined effects of a failed land reform program, zero tariff on agricultural products and filching of funds for the agriculture sector, recent regimes have only succeeded in making farming a non-viable enterprise, as evident with the number of informal dwellers in Metro Manila and other highly-urbanized cities who admit abandoning their unproductive plantations in the provinces.
        > Expounding on the virtually non-existent protection of manufacturers and other Filipino industrial entities, Rizal says thus: "The great difficulty that every enterprise encountered with the Administration also contributed not a little to kill off every commercial or industrial movement. All the Filipinos and all those in the Philippines who have wished to engage in business know how many documents, how many comings and goings, how many stamped papers, and how much patience are necessary to secure from government permit for an enterprise." Such shabby treatment of local entrepreneurs which still exists today has stunted the growth and development of strong Filipino industries. How can Filipino business burdened with red tape and extortion attempts compete with foreign corporations who are favored by the government through the grant of special privileges such as tax holidays? Where Malaysia has Proton Car and India its Tata Car, the Philippines has only imported brands to offer (even our jeepney industry is slowly dying). Where China can produce cheap yet durable laptops, we can only offer microchips. Where the USA has Hersheys' we only have a struggling sugar and cocoa industry.
        > Instead of trumpeting the supposed failure of economic protectionism, politicians must acknowledge that, at the very least, we are yet to try it. Why are they hell-bent on discarding something that we haven't even attempted to achieve? Let us first try applying economic protectionism as America did in its days as a fledgling republic before engaging in the so-called free trade.
        > The way forward: A genuinely independent nation
        > In El Filibusterismo's Chapter 24, Rizal through the idealistic young student leader Isagani voiced out what he wants the Philippines to become: a nation where "...commerce, industry, agriculture, the sciences, will develop under the mantle of liberty, with wise and just laws..." Simoun uttered Rizal's prescription for the Philippines to achieve liberty and its accompanying benefits by exposing what Filipinos should not do and/or be, in Chapter 7 of El Fili: "You ask for equal rights, the Hispanization of your customs, and you don't see that what you are begging for is suicide, the destruction of your nationality, the annihilation of your fatherland, the consecration of tyranny! What will you be in the future? A people without character, a nation without liberty—everything you have will be borrowed, even your very defects! You beg for Hispanization, and do not pale with shame when they deny it you!..." Recent readers need only to substitute "Americanization" etc. for "Hispanization" and Simoun's words will be more chilling. In the same chapter, Simoun emphasizes the task of nation-building as a way to progress: "instead of aspiring to be a province, aspire to be a nation! Instead of subordinate thoughts, think independently, to the end that neither by right, nor custom, nor language, the Spaniard can be considered the master here, nor even be looked upon as a part of the country, but ever as an invader, a foreigner..." Again, substitute "American" or "Chinese" for "Spaniard" and this quote will be clearer.
        > If Rizal were alive today, no doubt, he will be at the forefront of the broad coalition against charter change (be it through Con Ass or Con Con) especially if it concerns the discarding of patriotic economic provisions in the still young Constitution. Instead of begging for more foreign investments and opening-up the country's economy the way a destitute prostitute unwillingly give in to his/her client, Rizal will restart the Filipino people's unfinished nation-building endeavor as a good farmer patiently tills his land in the hope of having a bountiful harvest. Till the Rizals of our times are born, we can only hope and pray that our leaders will be able to realize that the charter change they want is a throwback to worse times, something which deserves to be shelved out. But, as a Salvadoran priest remarked in the film Voces Inocentes, we ought to be reminded that "Today, brothers, it is not enough to pray."
        > David Michael M. San Juan teaches Filipino in Colegio San Agustin; finishing his Master of Arts in Teaching Filipino at the Philippine Normal University; a graduate of Bachelor Secondary Education, magna cum laude, from Bulacan State University; he also currently serves as the officer-in-charge of the Filipino subject area in the High School Department of Colegio San Agustin.
        >
        > 3 commentsRizal's Hidden Discourseby ErnieN on Thu, 07/02/2009 - 21:04My kudos to Mr. David Michael M. San Juan for his timely renewal of Dr. Rizal's often forgotten immortal words. Alas, the incumbent President has now developed a thick and teflon skin to be influenced by personal deeds for the good of the country. Talk about timeliness, Honduras, another former Spanish colony is again in a national turmoil and peril. It was reported that the Honduran incumbent president wanted to hold on to his presidency through their version of CHA-CHA. Could the events in Honduras foreshadow the events in the Philippines should Mrs. Arroyo and her allies continue their reckless and power-grab-ASS before the 2010 national elections?
        > Rizal...by bayang sawi on Wed, 07/01/2009 - 19:18
        > Very good commentary and just on time.
        > Essay re Rizal on charter changeby normankonrad on Tue, 06/23/2009 - 23:45Hi. I found your piece on Jose Rizal and his likely views on charter change interesting because I'm running a political reform advocacy via my blog, La Nueva Liga Filipina (www.lanuevaligafilipina.wordpress.com), which I named after Rizal's Liga.
        > I would like to make only a minor correction. "La Liga Filipina" should read "The Philippine League", not "League of Filipinos". The word "Filipina" is used as a description, not a noun. "League of Filipinos" in Spanish is "Liga de Filipinos".
        > For example, "the Philippine revolution" is "la revolucion Filipina" in Spanish; "revolucion" being feminine, a syntax rule that we also use in Filipino.
        > Also, "Sobre La Indolencia de los Filipinos" should read "The Indolence OF THE (de los) Filipinos", not "The Indolence of ("de" in Spanish) Filipinos".
        > I hope you'll find the time to check out my blog. Cheers.
        > Sincerely,
        > Norman Sison
        > Take back our Pilipinas. Visit www.lanuevaligafilipina.wordpress.com
        >

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