Solutions to Problems of the Philippines

Solutions to Problems of the Philippines

Hey guys, I’ve written this write-up last 2013 in a barkada forum of my ex-office mates and I would like to share it now to the Public. It’s not entirely Travel related but some points and suggestions on how we can solve some of the ongoing issues the Philippines is having right up to now.

Some suggestions here are actually being implemented now like the contact-less card in the form of the Beep card. I’ve edited some words here and even added some but 95% of what I wrote is still here. This post is entirely block of texts and no pictures but I hope you’ll enjoy and maybe be inspired when reading it. Cheers!

I will be detailing my opinions on what should be done to the current problems and crisis here in the Philippines. I love our country and I hope some of these solutions will be implemented in years ahead. Please note that these are just my opinions, but I will welcome your comments and remarks.

1) Politics

a. Political Dynasty

For obvious reasons, we cannot get rid of it, but we can limit it. I suggest that, an individual aspiring for a position in the government cannot run/be hired/appointed in the same department/sector where he/she has a relative up to the 3rd degree. Like in private corporations, this is mainly to avoid conflict of interest. So for example, Mr. Juan dela Cruz cannot run for Mayor of Pateros since his wife is employed as an Accountant in the Municipality.

Second, an individual cannot run for a position that is previously manned and/or in the same department/sector by a relative up to the 3rd degree. He/she can run for that position or in any position in the same department/sector only after 6years. So for example, Mrs. Juana dela Cruz cannot run for Mayor of Pateros if the outgoing Mayor or any individual that is her relative is working in the municipality. But she can be elected in other towns/cities as long as she is qualified to do so. This is of course, should be applicable to the Senate, congress, judicial and even in the Executive.

b. Qualifications of aspiring politicians

Private corporations have strict policies regarding employing people to their organization, so why this can’t be applied to the Public sector as well? All aspiring politicians from the Councilors up to the President should have finished a College degree plus a crash course of Public Administration (like for 6 months). Barangay captains should have at least a High School diploma plus a crash course of Public Administration.

Besides this, there should be a “Public governance ladder”. For example, an individual aspiring to be Mayor should serve as a Councilor first, and a person aspiring to be governor should have served at least as a Mayor or a vice Mayor. Of course, this should be detailed and well planned as to what consist of the ladder because we might just end up with old geezers in the Senate.
This is to avoid non qualified persons running for top positions without experience or knowledge at all.

c. Elections

– More efficient automated elections. We do live in a 3rd world country, but that doesn’t mean we are outdated in technology. For f**k’s sakes, almost everyone owns a smartphone now.

– No more extravagant campaigning. Candidates running for a national post, would only be campaigning through national debates and will be given at least 30minutes but no more than 1 hour of airtime to pitch their qualifications and platforms. Comelec should post the candidates’ detailed qualifications and achievements in their website. As I’ve explained in the “Qualifications” item, if these people climbed the ladder already, then they should’ve significant achievements already. So no need for extravagant campaigning. Maybe 3 days of “miting de avance” would suffice. A National campaign is expensive and would just be unfair to those who doesn’t have the fund to do so.

For local campaigning on the other hand, current process can be done except that they won’t give any giveaways like tshirts, mugs, basketballs… What can only be given is their campaign material – detailed significant achievements and their platforms. No need for TV/radio airtime for local campaigns.
– There should be a limit on “Watchers” during elections.
– Candidates will clean up their own f**king mess after the campaign period.
– Harsher penalty for vote buyers/sellers.

2) Transportation

a. Air

– NAIA is the worst in the world, and we cannot be proud of that. How do we solve this? Either we move the International terminal out of Manila and make Clark the International Airport or we demolish NAIA, and build up a new one. A new one that is connected to Terminal 2 and 3 with walkators, high speed train and an expressway in and out of the airport. If we go for the Clark option, then NAIA Terminals 1 to 3 can be for domestic and Clark will be for international. A high speed train will be built from Clark to the NAIA domestic airport. These terminals in NAIA should also be connected to our LRTs and MRTs.

– More security personnel in the terminals and please, arrest the corrupt officials.

b. Land
– Upgrade the MRT. Widen the trains and add additional vehicles.
– Implement a contactless card just like HK’s Octopus Card that is useable in MRT and LRT.
– Add more stations and routes. Manila is just too much congested already with cars, buses, jeepneys, tricycles, etc. And with the rise of middle-income earners, Manila is just too crowded now that people are capable of buying cars of their own. Let’s build a network of trains so that people would think twice of bringing their car to and from the office. I personally would do that as long as the routes are efficient. Example of routes, add stations in Cainta to Taytay, maybe even up to Binangonan… Lots of People own houses in the Rizal province. Traffic is worst in the Ortigas Extension area.
– Add more expressways. Example is an expressway along the Pasig River.
– A long shot, but a subway is also good, rather, best. Laguna Lake subway comes to mind.
– A high speed train (or network of trains) from Ilocos to Bicol (with stations in between)? Why the f**k not? This can also solve the additional traffic the Provincial buses add to Metro Manila.
– When a network of trains is implemented in Metro Manila, City buses and jeepneys will eventually die down. That’s how you get rid of them. We can have a designated company for City Bus, or even the Government can provide this so that Buses will not add to the congestion. If this will happen, then the Bus drivers will just receive a fixed compensation rather than the “boundary” system. For the jeepneys, we can have electronic jeepneys and tricycles instead. And as I’ve said, this would just be minimal as we have a network of trains already. Just look at South Korea and HKG for example.
– Also as part of the modernization, aside from FX taxis, jeepneys should be replaced by electronic jeepneys. A long shot as of now, but when the network of trains is implemented, this can be done.
– Stricter penalty for taxis asking for contracts and not meters.
– If network of trains will be implemented, we can extend these networks to nearby provinces so that development of new CBDs can prosper as well. People don’t have to work in Manila, but they can look for work in their own provinces. Just like I said, the high speed train from Ilocos to Bicol will be very beneficial for this.
– Implement pedestrian crossings better. We must instill discipline not only to the motorists but also to pedestrians and commuters as well. Consider putting up pedestrian traffic lights especially in CBDs.
– Implement a subway in Makati. That’s the only hope traffic will subside in that place. We already have underground crossings, then f**king implement a subway already.
– Lesser taxes on electronic and hybrid cars. I mean, come the f**k on. Sustainability is the key to the future.

c. Water

– Add more ports for ferries within the metropolis. And I mean high speed ferries for that matter.
– Implement stricter rules for shipping transportation to avoid accidents in the sea.

3) Energy

a. Sustainable sources of energy

– Why implement huge windmills in Ilocos only? Why not in other parts of the country? We are very rich in natural sources, but we never fully use its true potential. The Philippines is a tropical country and we get direct hit of Sunlight around 8-12hrs a day. We must take advantage of this and buy or create solar panels to power up houses, buildings, trains, etc. Solar, water, geothermal, air… we have all of these.

– Oil and gas. Again, a source that we never tap its full potential.

4) Natural resources/Environment

a. Mining

– I know that this is debatable. But do you know that only 1% of the Philippine’s mining resources are tapped? I’m not into the destruction of our natural resources, but responsible mining is better than not having mining at all. The Philippines is very rich in precious metals, and once tapped, will boost our GDP.

b. Plant more trees

c. Stop the destruction of our natural resources. We can move forward without sacrificing it.

5) Tourism

– First of all, the Philippines is a wonderful country with so many beautiful places. We already are rich with these alone, but why are Tourists not attracted? There’s too many to mention, but I’ll enumerate what needs to be done in my opinion:

i. Read the Transportation section of this document. It will significantly boost tourism once this is implemented. Surprisingly, when travelling, comfort is the one tourists are looking for.

ii. More landmarks, not just malls. Let’s create man made wonders as this is the area that we lack. Either we build the tallest building, or build an underwater office, we need landmarks or places that would make tourist go “F**k, that’s amazing!”

iii. Patriotism and national pride. This is not pinoy pride when Manny wins a bout. Yes, I get it we are hospitable and happy people. But we do lack national pride. How we do that? We can start with our streets. Let’s treat our streets like our own home. We clean and take pride of it so we can say to tourists that, “hey come and visit us, our place is beautiful and very clean”. Speaking of which, a law should be enacted nationwide that punishes littering, strictly.

iv. Get rid of squatters. Not kill them, but get rid of them. This brings us back to the Transportation issue. If only Manila is not the main economic center of the country, then all the people from the province doesn’t need to dwell here in Manila. They will have options. Then strictly punish illegal settlements. The middle income earners are working hard to pay their monthly loans while some people are just content lying around and asking the government for help. This will be a significant boost to Tourism if tourists won’t see shanties and beggars. The government is too soft to these so called “masa”.

v. Security. How much do I have to emphasize this? One thing the tourists are shit scared with our country because their life are threatened once they step into the country, not just the metropolis. What a pity it is to leave Mindanao hanging in all of this. Mindanao is such a beautiful place but is rather more popular with the beheadings and kidnappings. The government must make amends and take this issue seriously. It is hindering our progress and our hope for a better nation. We may have different religions and ideologies, but we are all Filipinos.

6) Population control

a. Pass the RH Bill. ‘Nuff said. It’s not just the free condoms and pills. Education is much more important.

7) Education

a. Seriously consider adding Financial Education to the curriculum. It’s time for us to be a country of entrepreneurs and investors, not just a country of laborers.

b. Revamp the college curriculum and upgrade the quality of education in all schools. CHED and DECS should do more.

8) Labor and Jobs

a. My friend once said, “There are lots of jobs in the Philippines, but many are not qualified”. Let’s prove him wrong. We, Filipinos, must aim for a higher goal than what we set a year before, or a year before that.

b. A higher minimum wage is ok, but not an end-to-all solution. What we need is a restructuring of the income tax. Reduce income taxes, but we can increase Philhealth, pagibig and sss contributions. The government can make use of the money improving their services and benefits to the people. Improved health care, pensions and loans. At least the people are benefiting already instead of just paying the taxes blankly and seeing the corrupt officials pocket it.

c. The government can do a 1 year trial and send people to every home and check if there are unemployed persons. These unemployed persons can be interviewed and profile them for a job opening that matches their qualifications. Sometimes, you really need to spoon feed these “Juan Tamads”.

9) Graft and Corruption

a. This is serious issue. The government must make a more intense audit in all government agencies and sectors. The Philippines is dying and progress is hindered because of corruption. Stricter penalty should be implemented. It’s funny how an ex-President convicted of Plunder is now a Mayor. Really, Death Penalty should be imposed to these fools.

10) Crime

a. Bring back Death Penalty.

b. Re-train PNP and impose stricter penalties to those officers who commit crimes than civilians. They should be role models and as role models who committed a crime, then a heavier penalty should be given.

He is a programmer by profession but has a soul of a traveler. Aside from his ultimate dream of travelling around the world, he loves to eat, drink, listen to music, talk about aliens and the occasional secret guilty pleasure of singing love songs in videoke. His favorite superpower is to teleport from one place to another. I guess you know why.

  • Chrys

    Most of your suggestions are good, though some of them are either inappropriate solution, one-sided, foul or based from hasty generalization of the problem. A lot of the problem in the Philippines needs deeper, wider and more thorough research. The government cannot simply just get rid of the slums. Nor one cannot just simply call those unemployed “juan tamads”. For all you know these people are the ones who strive hard just to survive. While there you are enjoying, exhausting your money traveling, just to satisfy yourself, why not help by donating something to those in need, may it be monetary, a necessity, be a volunteer or even share your knowledge. You’ve traveled, you’ve seen a lot of things may it be good or bad. You’ve seen the conditions of those unfortunate. You should now realize the great disparity our world has, and try to help even a little about not just spread hate to those who bother your travel experience.

    • Hi Chrys,

      Thanks for visiting my blog and for your opinion!

      I do get your point and maybe I was a little harsh on my words but that’s what I see in reality. A father of 10 doing nothing but drink everyday (worst, use or sell drugs) is one of my example of a “Juan Tamad”. I’m sorry, but I don’t have sympathy to these kinds of people. Then they even have the nerve to ask for government support when in reality, they aren’t doing anything to feed their family to survive.
      Do you also know that some squatters in the East Bank Road area are rich? They even have their own businesses yet, the land where their house is built (some even have rooftops) is free and some even have free electricity (jumpers). So how about the plight of the middle class working very hard, breaking their backs just to provide a safe home for the family? Not to mention, these middle class families are paying high income taxes while some just lounge around and wait for food to fall from the heavens!

      Believe me, I grew up poor and I know the situations of the poor people, that’s why I’m all praises to those who worked hard to make ends meet at first but eventually became filthy rich because they just simply don’t accept their situation and don’t want to be poor for the rest of their lives.

      And also, you don’t have an idea on what I do with my life and money to judge me that I just exhaust my money on traveling. I don’t have to shout to the public the good deeds I’m doing. Plus, we don’t spend too much on travelling, that’s why this blog is created in the first place. To help other travelers on budgeting and planning their travels, not to brag about them. I also don’t spread hate, where did you get that? But yeah, as I said, maybe I was harsh with my words. I’ll edit the “get rid” part to “relocate”. Bother my travel experience? if our safety and security is threatened, then yes, they do bother our travel experience and many other people traveling or not.

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