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Feb 04th
Home Sections Philippine Presidency President Arroyo Does Not Really Get It (She Comes Back to the USA Begging Again)
President Arroyo Does Not Really Get It (She Comes Back to the USA Begging Again) PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Philippine Presidency
Monday, 23 June 2008 09:56

Part III of “Saving the Presidency and the Philippine President from Herself”

President Arroyo comes again to the United States with a begging bowl on hand and her trip insults once more the dignity of the Filipino. But she doesn’t get it. She and her party have no inkling at all of what reality is all about.

NEWS FLASH: US President-elect Barack Obama will have no time to meet with President Arroyo when she goes to the US from Nov. 12-21, 2008, for a United Nations special session and meetings with Filipino Americans and American politicians and businessmen. Mr. Obama will most likely not have the time to meet foreign leaders during the UN meeting due to his tight schedule organizing his Cabinet and making the necessary preparations for his assumption of office on Jan. 20, 2009, the US ambassador to the Philippines, Kristie Kenney, said in an interview over radio dzBB.

President Arroyo, if she has an ounce of self respect and delicadeza left should wait until she gets invited by the American President after Jan. 20, 2009. She should not invite herself to visit the White House. In fact, she should not be making this November 2008 trip to the United Nations and the United States since the Philippines is facing lots of pressing problems from rebellion by Islamic militants and communist rebels, corruption investigations, rice shortages to budgetary deficits, etceteras, etc.


In her visit last January and June, Mrs. Arroyo also failed to meet Senator Obama because of his tight campaign schedule. "I think it's unlikely. At least what I know as of now (is that) President-elect Obama is not looking to meet with foreign leaders," Ms. Kenney said. She told Mrs. Arroyo that the US is not accepting any request to meet Mr. Obama when she briefed the President on the results of the US elections.

"I told her what we know as of now, they are not accepting any requests for meetings," Ambassador Kenney said.

Malacañang said on Wednesday that the President will try to meet the new US President when she attends the special session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Nov. 12-13. END OF NEWS FLASH.

O nce again, a President of the Republic of the Philippines visits the American corridors of power tomorrow, Nov. 11, 2008, with the proverbial begging bowl on hand. All American policymakers and decision makers know the dire financial situation of the Philippines. But not much American help is expected, as the United States itself is facing huge budgetary deficits on account of the economic recession, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the meltdown of the dollar as the world’s premier currency and the record-breaking prices of crude oil, food and other commodities coupled with the subprime-mortgage, healthcare and other economics-based crises.


President Arroyo comes again to the United States with a begging bowl on hand and her trip insults once more the dignity of the Filipino. She does not really get it.

Besides, the Philippines receives annually – in combined economic and military aid – between $170-million to $200-million, maximum. President Arroyo and her Dispensation forget that Her Excellency herself said the “Filipinos in America remit to their kin in the Philippines more-than $7-billion (spelled with a B) per year.” Filipino Americans send also several millions of Balikbayan boxes worth an educated guess of $250 per box. To read again what President Arroyo said about the Overseas-Filipino remittances, please click on this link, Reinventing the Overseas-Filipino Diet


E rgo, it is not necessary for a Philippine President to be begging the United States and other developed countries for financial aid. All the Filipino President has to do is to pamper the Overseas Filipinos, especially their contract workers and medical professionals toiling abroad, and persuade them to invest, instead of sending to their kin mere dole outs. As this writer has written, the Filipino top officials would simply have to lead the way in “teaching the people to fish, instead of giving them fishes to eat.” This idea has been stressed repeatedly in this website, particularly in these articles, Turning the FOOD Into Food Production (Part 3) and Back-to-the-basics Steps of Changing the Philippines (Part I) and Funding Reforestation as a Solution to Global Warming (Part6)


An overwhelming majority of Filipino Americans and Filipino workers in the United States suffers great embarrassment whenever the homeland’s national leadership undertakes such a “begging trip” disguised as a state or an official visit. Why? Because such “begging trips” affect the dignity of the Filipino, especially the Overseas Filipinos, many of whom are success stories in their indomitable ways.


Editor’s Note: To read the earlier articles in this series, please click on the following links:

Saving the Presidency and the Philippine President from Herself (Part II)


Saving the Philippine President from Herself (Part I)


Many Overseas-Filipino community leaders believe that President Arroyo does not really get it. Why?


Take for instance the disaster that was the Typhoon Frank. The national leadership of the Philippines, as led by President Arroyo, could not prepare the people for the coming of the typhoon, the path of which weather forecasters plotted at least five days in advance. The Philippine government could not relocate (even by force) the people living in dangerous sites – like those who have built their shanties near rivers, low-lying areas or in mountainous terrains that are prone to landslide. Why? There is a very-low regard among Filipino officials for the value of human life. They have a higher regard for the Philippine peso and the government coffers that they raid periodically. Even maritime authorities have a very-loose and relaxed set of rules on the clearances for the vessels’ sailing the port, and possible irregularities in the issuance of such clearances. Because of rampant corruption, many Filipino public servants do not take by heart their duties to protect the lives and/or the property of the citizens. Many are just after the get-rich-quick modus operandi.


In a sprawling Philippine archipelago where ferries and passenger boats are the main form of inter-island transportation, maritime tragedies happen because the bureaucrats do not learn the lesson of and from past disasters. The Philippines is the site of the world's worst peacetime maritime disaster when the ferry MV Dona Paz sank in 1987, killing more than 4,341 people.


Overseas Filipinos ask why the Philippine coast guard officials would allow the ferry to leave Manila late Friday despite the bad weather? Why did local-government officials not force residents who are in danger of becoming flood statistics to evacute dangerous domiciles?


There is a very low regard among Filipino officials for the value of human life.

There are more-than 800 passengers and crew members aboard the sunken MV Princess of Stars and the dead and missing will just become a footnote to the stupidity of the Philippine government.


He who loses money, loses much; he who loses a friend, loses much more; but he who loses faith, loses all – a Chinese (and Filipino) adage


The Overseas Filipinos, most-especially Filipino Americans, are losing faith in President Arroyo and the national leadership of the Philippines. As I wrote in 2003 and republished in this website in 2007, “Remember the adage that says, ‘He who loses money, loses much; he who loses a friend, loses much more; but he who loses faith, loses all.” I wrote also in the same paragraph, “Obviously, the first step is to regain the dignity of the Filipino because one cannot reinvent one's psyche if he feels ashamed of the home country and has no faith in her people and its leaders.” To read the article in its entirety, please click on this link, How to Get Back the Dignity of the Filipino (Part3)


The national government of the Philippines is virtually bankrupt financially and intellectually. The spike of rice and fuel prices in the international market has delivered a crushing blow to the Philippine economy. Amando Tetangco Jr., the governor of the Philippine Central Bank, reported on June 16th that “the Philippines' foreign exchange surplus shrank to 42-million U.S. dollars in May from $665-million in the same period last year, due to surging prices of rice and fuel.”

Everybody knows that the remittances sent by Overseas-Filipino workers (OFWs) have kept the Filipino homeland afloat. But while the OFWs continue to remit the much-needed foreign exchange to keep the national government functioning, more-than half of the national budget is lost to corruption. The Filipino national leadership has been wasting the OFWs’ contributions, instead of channeling them to constructive and well-meaning uses.

Many of the problems of the Philippines are created by the national leaders themselves. By stealing funds earmarked for fertilizer and other farm subsidies, the country has become the world's biggest rice importer. By not using the scarce resources to develop indigenous and sustainable sources of energy, the Philippines buys more-than 90 percent of its oil consumption demand from overseas.


The national leadership of the Philippines is virtually bankrupt financially and intellectually, with few exceptions.

The Philippines currently receives annually less-than $200-million in American economic and military aid. Compare this with the more-than $7-billion (spelled with a B) that Filipino Americans remit per annum to their kin in the homeland. The Philippines would not need any American-government assistance only if it can harness the resources of the more-than 3-million-strong Filipino-American community, which earns in excess of $52-billion in collective household income per year. But Filipino Americans have lost faith in the Arroyo Dispensation’s ability to solve many of the homeland’s problems caused mainly by the greed of Filipino politicians and national leaders.


Perhaps, the Arroyo Dispensation should go back to the basics and start doing the tenets of Economics 101. And at the same time, it can and should “restore the dignity of the Filipino” and “reinvent the Filipino psyche.” Mrs. Arroyo has barely 22 months left in her term to try to salvage a long-lasting legacy that may change her image as the most-corrupt President into one of the best Chief Executives the Philippines ever had. How to do it? The process is simple, as discussed in the Reinventing the Philippines.


Here are some of the articles in the said Reinventing the Philippines section:


Reinventing the Filipino Psyche (Part One)


Restoring the Dignity of the Filipino (Part Two)


How to Get Back the Dignity of the Filipino (Part3)


The Filipino: The Master and Lord of Suffering (Psyche, Part4)


Revisiting "The Religion of Blame" (Filipino Psyche, Part5)


RP Must End Its Participation in the "Alms Race" (Part 6 of "Filipino Psyche" Series)


Many Filipinos Suffer from Amnesia and Alzheimer Pandemic Diseases? (“Psyche” Series’ Part7)


Filipinos Are Indeed the Italians of Asia (Part 8 of the "Filipino Psyche" Series)


Nick Joaquin Stereotypes the Filipino People and Forgets to Discuss their Heritage of Greatness


Reinventing the Philippine Military to Prevent the Coming of a Junta


Reinventing the Philippine Military (Part Two)


The Military Background of Philippine Presidents (Part 3)


A Call to Arms? (Part4 of Reinventing the RP Military)


Anatomy of a Filipino Coup (Part 5 of "Reinventing the Military" Series)


"Reinventing" Filipino Suffrage


Reinventing the Philippine Criminal-justice System


Need we say more? Need more people have to die in “preventable” maritime disasters? Need the Philippine President have to go abroad to beg foreign governments for assistance? If President Arroyo does not get it yet, all she has to do is read the and just do the suggested fundamental structural reforms. And ask the Overseas Filipinos to help in doing it all. # # #

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Last Updated on Friday, 06 February 2009 03:22

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If a man will begin with certainties,he shall end with doubts;but if he will be content to begin with doubts,he shall end in certainties.-- Sir Francis Bacon, 1561-1626