The Philippines' burning problems in 2021

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus Jimenez - The Freeman

The still-ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the trillions in national debt, the worsening poverty of the people, the series of natural disasters, unabated outward labor migration, territorial borders insecurity in the West Philippines Sea, alarming unemployment problem, deterioration of the quality of Philippine education, global terrorism, the unresolved insurgency and internal security threats, and the looming food insecurity are just some of the problems.

The next president of the Philippines will be overwhelmed by these mounting economic, social, and political problems. Not only the top leader but the people as well are bound to suffer more by the confluence between global warming that shall continue to cause natural disasters, like hurricanes, super typhoons, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. These natural phenomena shall bring about untold suffering among the people, especially the poor and the powerless. And such natural disasters shall exacerbate the economic devastation of men, communities, and nations.

Bad government and national leaders who are incompetent, corrupt, greedy, and oppressive, those who do not have fundamental respect for human dignity and human life may exacerbate the endemic fear among the citizens whose liberties and freedoms are being besieged by too-strong powers vested in the governments and its minions. The right to life, liberty, and property are constantly being sacrificed in the name of national defense and the security of the state. Dissent, even if conscientious and bona-fide, can be under constant dangers of being stifled and branded as subversion, treason, and sedition.

And while the governments are being very authoritarian and even despotic in dealing with its own constituencies, the nation's territorial borders are being left unguarded against the unjustified incursions by stronger world powers. Governments are very stern and unforgiving when poor citizens violate the law, driven by hunger and social injustice, and yet the same governments are inutile vis-a-vis global bullies that transgress our national integrity and infiltrate our lands with terrorists and saboteurs.

The most threatening risks that our country faces is the worsening poverty of our people, the unabated outward labor migration, the trafficking of minors and women, the homelessness of millions and the unemployment trends that will progressively grow worse and worse before it becomes better. Our women work as virtual slaves for 12 to 18 hours a day as domestic helpers in rich countries. And they silently suffer in repressed agony. They are being exploited, maltreated, raped, insulted, abused, maligned, and degraded as humans in dirty, difficult, dangerous, and degrading jobs.

Outward migration shatters marriages and destroys families, especially children. Instead of resolving the issue, the government created a separate department precisely to abet and exacerbate the brain drain and diaspora of Filipino talents. The national leaders are destroying the future of the Filipinos, instead of finding remedies to preserve the national soul.


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