Sunday, April 01, 2007

Most Corrupt Country

To reiterate again, the PERC report (Has anyone seen it? You have to purchase a copy) is based on a perception study of multinational banks and companies on the ease of doing business in the country aka dealing with the government bureaucracy. As the comments below emphasize it is a perception of corruption of government and politicians and not the Filipino people as a whole.

(Tiendasitas, QC 2006)

It is unfortunate though that this priveleged class (government and politicians), having been elected and/or appointed, are deemed the representatives of the "country". Many good things have been happening in the country INSPITE of government and politicians. The strength of the Philippines is its people with their diverse skills, moral courage, compassion, and willingness to give and share. Let no one, neither a foreign consulting group nor a survey mask this truth. It should also be a collective initiative of all Filipinos to highlight what we do best to the world.

Gawad Kalinga has been mentioned, but no one has emphasized that one vision for the 7,000 communities to be organized is that they would be trading with each other in a way that is transparent and principled.

Other people's initiatives exist. Good examples of entreprenurial initiatives in information, communication and technology (ICT) or infopreneurship include the
Brain Gain Network and Davao's Silicon Gulf. The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is spearheading opensource IT solutions for Filipinos through Bayanihan ICT, while entrepreneurs have provided free access to agricultural trading through b2bPricenow. The Foundation for the Philippine Environment is a pioneer in the debt-for-nature swap strategy and has funded many environmental initiatives. Corporate Philippines has worked to be more environmentally friendly through the Philippine Business for the Environment. The OFW movement is strong and diverse with such groups as Tulong Pinoy Movement and other OFW help groups active worldwide. Philippine literature is robust as can be seen in the Panitikan portal. If you want to see how good Filipino graphic artists are, check out Firefly's virtual reality work and services offered. How about the awesome art found in ArtCebu or Canvas?

Still other initiatives include
RockEd Philippines on popular art and music, Filipino Martial Arts and Martial Arts of the Philippines on the revival of Filipino pride, history, and culture through indigenous martial arts. Members of the Mountaineering Federation of the Philippines have scaled Mt. Everest and are active in environmental work and manufacturing outdoor products. A more mass-based form of football (soccer) is now being promoted nationwide by a new generation of socially aware footballers. Check out Futkal and Pinoy Soccer.

Short of a coup d'etat or armed revolution, what are the options of Filipinos in transforming government service and politics? The sampling of groups and movements above show us how. By their actions and by example, in both small and big matters, they are pressuring bureaucrats and politicians to become more transparent and accountable They are tackling poverty and social inequality. They are promoting Filipino pride, history, and culture. They seek to become better stewards of the country's resources.

It is servant leadership not tradpol leadership that will develop the country.

Their successes will eventually confront bureaucrats and politicians with the choice of: reform or become irrelevant to the Filipino people.

So, let us remind the world (and PERC) to be careful with their choice of words.

It is not the country that is corrupt.

It is the Philippine government and Filipino politicians that are perceived to be corrupt.

They are not us and we are not them.

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