Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Junk politics for science and technology programs

The reality in falling on the head of every Filipino affected by so much politics in the midst of economic crisis. But many people can still manage to give a shy smile and talk about their problems over a cup of coffee and hot pandesal at breakfast time.

However, if you come to think about it a developing country like the Philippines has a big heart when it comes to politics. But science and technology, a big no, no. For many years, many Filipinos find utmost satisfaction listening to the false promises of politicians as if they had been fulfilled. Thanks if they did. But most of them just floated into the thin air.

With too much politics, the country's prosperity was reduced to a pulp. Programs on science and technology were sidelined or forgotten for a long time because politics has been made a priority. If there are project developments around, these are only superficial adornments to show that they are doing something out of their countryside development funds. But deep inside their hearts, they still prefer to fulfill their secret agenda as a means to prolong their stay in power. No politician or government official will tell you this. But that's reality.

The draw back is that when programs for science and technology were shelved, what does this mean? It could be that there is no sufficient budget to undertake the project or it could be that the return on investments (ROI) are not feasible so that their attention will get back to them at a later time, until everything is forgotten.

Now, whether we like it or not, the Philippines is on its bended knees to seek all kinds of loans from the United States or China in exchange for what? The country has made secret bargains with China, which turned out to be unacceptable to the people. Hence, the ZTE-NBN scandal and the seismic geological exploration issue in the Spratlys even if it violates the Asean agreement and the country's sovereignty. We are making a lot of bargain deals as a means of seizing the opportunities at hand.

For the Philippines to prosper, the government must once and for all concentrate more on how to improve and develop our science and technology programs and less on politics. In this way, we won't be begging for long-term assistance from other countries at the expense of losing our sovereignty and our dignity as Filipinos.

If not, the government can always look back and allow ordinary citizens in the rural areas to occupy idle public lands to plant jathropa plants for biodiesel production. Given the right incentives, these people won't have second thoughts but will surely go for it rather than stay idle most of the time. It's something that the national government should do to spark the interests of the poor what to do with their lives rather than wait for what the government can do for them.

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