Ben Contreras .
WHAT if we are now 200 million in population? I ponder over this question, finding it very difficult to imagine what it would be like.
When was it when we were 80 million? For all we know, we are standing at 100 million and growing, growing very fast in fact. Michael Bengwayan puts it at 110 million to include the OFWs.
What would it be tomorrow? Wow!
Call me anti-poor for saying that teaching our people to rely on government doleouts is counter-productive. But that is the truth and it is staring at us. I thought we’re getting a lesson from that adage: “Give them fish and they eat for a day. Teach them how to fish and they eat forever.”
The population growth seems inevitable. And while the number of the poor is certain to continue to rise, so are the salaries of the senators and congressmen that are already shamelessly high. The poor will never catch up with the rising prices. Desperation leads them to rely on government doleouts.
Is the “pangtawid” program good for the poor? I disagree. Encourage them to use the land to grow food, support them for their needs in the farm like farm tools, fertilizer and technical know-how. Build more farm-to-market roads for easier transportation and fair prices of their produce. Teach them to make use of the available materials around them or in their area.
How many hectares of agricultural lands are idle? How much natural materials are left untapped for conversion to good and exportable products? We’ve seen on Youtube many ideas that are doable in our country. Why aren’t we learning from these?
Stretch the disparity in the income between the governors and the governed and you’ll be courting rebellion or revolution.
I remember former Camp Evangelista commander Maj. Gen. Victor A. Felix the first time we met and I asked him: “How do you intend to solve insurgency?” His answer was straightforward: Bring the government to the people.
Well, he is not the first to say this. There were others before him. But words can be empty if they are not put into action.
I still have to see a government program implemented as it is intended to be. Continuing corruption saw unfinished and anomalous projects that went unnoticed and unpunished. Exposes are not pricking on conscience. Even guardians have a price to keep their mouths shut.
Two hundred million mouths to feed. I have one consolation though: I won’t live to see that happen!
Yes, we don’t have the money to launch a class suit against the Cagayan de Oro Water District-Metro Pacific Water Investment Corp. deal. Fighting for a cause has always been a lonely battle even if it would eventually burden us in the future. But I believe in Divine intervention. In what form and to whom it would toll, we will never know. But it will come. Definitely!
When that happens, it will impact on the consumers heavily. And I thought we have consumers’ protection advocates in the city. Are we getting the message from them?