Going up to Baguio to speak before the employers
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus Jimenez (The Freeman) - September 17, 2019 - 12:00am

I have been travelling a lot in the last quarter of my life, and it gives me a lot of things to write about. I have had the opportunity of seeing places, meeting Asians, Europeans, Arabs and Americans, over cocktails and coffee, champagne and whiskey, giving lectures, speaking before conferences and conventions, and signing my books as they are bought by people who believe in my writings. Such has been a happy way to earn a living and to make a life.

I just arrived last week from Singapore, where I gave some lectures to Asian HR executives, and looking around there, I could burst into tears comparing our cities to that small city state south of Malaysia. Singapore is the second most prosperous economy in the whole world.

I was in Vietnam, Thailand and Jakarta, Indonesia last month and I am amazed how fast these ASEAN economies have prospered in a VUCA (volatile, unpredictable, complex and ambiguous) business environment. Vietnam which was pulverized by American bombings and Viet Cong raids, is now an emerging tiger economy. Thailand is flourishing beyond our comprehension. Soon, even Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos may do better than the Philippines.

And our country is still fighting dengue and rounding up criminals who were surreptitiously smuggled out by prisons officials, who were fired then praised to high heavens for being honest and upright men. The economy is doing well, ''kuno'' but there are millions wallowing in poverty.

Homeless, jobless and hopeless, many of our people are hooked into drugs as the only commodity to help them survive. Many in government even prison officials are making millions selling passes to rich convicts. The president is alone like Don Quixote de la Mancha fighting against the windmills of corruptions, crimes, and all sorts of shenanigans. That is my topic in Baguio when I speak before employers.

The Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines, the official organization of Philippine employers, is going up to Baguio to hold its monthly general membership meeting in the famous Baguio Country Club. I'm going up to there as one of the invited guest speakers to discuss the role of government in running the private sector, managing the businesses and leading the people.

I will tell them that our country is being left behind by its ASEAN counterparts because of too much politics, too big a government whose senators and congressmen are a big burden to the people, being paid billions for passing laws that make life more miserable. Just to solve the traffic, they need an emergency power. My goodness. Why don't they all resign, go home and plant camote.

I do not know about you. Me, I'm escaping again to Baguio and I will spill the beans to the people who really care on what matters most in life. I will just share a few goblets of local Igorot wine and sing my heartaches away. This is a crazy place to live but this is my only country. I may fly every so often away. But, I always come home. I do not know why.

ASEAN
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