Thursday, 27 September 2012

Thinking of prestige (while forgetting to feed and improve its people)

Thinking of prestige (while forgetting to feed and improve its people)

It was a day ago when this writer sought a news report regarding a standoff between residents of a compound and riot policemen at Guatemala St. in Makati. The standoff was so fierce that, like what everyone sought in Silverio Compound in Parañaque and earlier ones, all ranging from pelting stones, water cannons, good old beats and fierce resistance that includes barbarity. Houses were constantly destroyed despite resistance from those dwellers whom outsiders rather called them as "squatters".

And since they've been described much as "squatters", "lumpen", or even an overtly subjective "scum of the earth" or any other word trying to pertain these people over, especially those living in compounds illegal yet afford to earn a living, having voting rights and its children studying at public schools, all trying hard to experience a trying hard low cost of commodities different from those from the provinces with a different rate; how come the state took less care other than being used for rhetorical purposes and be featured in their crass propaganda instead of creating a program that is different from mere relocation with less development save for houses made in a questionable terrain such as a danger zone.

Personally, this writer thinks that time and again the rapid yet uncontrolled urban development and a neglected countryside made these thing happen. That, ranging from shantytowns to old communities, all fell under the hands thinking about prime lots and building façades made primarily for the sake of prestiege.
The latter somehow became much of a top priority of every developer these days, thinking that in a fast changing society, edifices are made to inculcate prestiege and that includes currying investment (and promoting the near fallacy of) National development.

And yet, these includes the hands of those who are likely to be thrown decades after creating a community. Worse, much likely the same people originally who had lived for decades as residents who earned a living, with its children raised, and afford to vote and pay taxes imdirectly despite described as undocumented. In fact, it is ridiculous again and again to see such incidents like these, standoffs between the people and the system is enough to justify what left wingers called as class warfare. The former tends to defend their right to living in an urban area whilst the latter tends to impose laws safeguarding property of an individual, who is too late to develop a property dubbed as "theirs".

Trying to keep yet compelling to give way

As politicians of old continues to preserve the antiquated social order with various measures such as paper reforms and crass rhetoric, of personality cults such as trying hard benefactors of tax-funded projects, such desperate measures taken rather stresses their intention of trying to keep the former by giving way concessions to those who are calling for.
The Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program for instance, being made by a clique of Landlords, was made merely to appease the peasantry with promises of arable land, yet at the same time goes for companies who exploit the idea for expanding corporate farms and be described as development, worse, those who control are called by names than by their companies such as Floirendo for its banana plantations and Nenita Farms, or Coujuangco for its Hacienda Luisita, what else?

these actions rather thinking about prestiege rather than emphasising means to develop and uplift the society such as feeding its people while improving themselves as part of the society; that somehow worth to ridicule that such edifices, projects, laws, programs made are merely done to appease, gag the growing number of people opposing the system. In fact, it is even near worthless that Conditional Cash Transfer programs is not effective other than a waste of taxpayer's money that is for increasing subsidies for health, education, social welfare.

Once, this writer, whilst watching an old newsreel made during the early days of Francoist Spain, at first it was all realistic to see a good façade of development made after years of war such as electrification programs, trains, and building new train tracks; but on the other hand, it is all but an actual stage to think that Spain and its economy during those times remained below despite supported by Germany and Italy, and even ostracized by the West due to its pro-axis sympathies during the Second World War; it is obvious much that despite the so-called efforts to reconstruct and trying to prove sufficiency, it rather emphasized an attempt to revive greatness, prestige as its main priority rather than to support its vast majority of poor people trying to uplift yet remained below due to rising inflation rates as evidenced by this: Inflation soared, economic reconstruction faltered, food was scarce, and, in some years, Spain registered negative growth rates. By the early 1950s, per capita gross domestic product (GDP) was barely 40% of the average for West European countries (prior to scrapping of earlier policies and support from the Americans during the 50s). That perhaps made this writer think that Spain had became more Quixotic than realistic in setting its goals (such as prestige-filled projects of those times featured in a newsreel) comparing to Argentina under Juan Peron.
And since it is described by this writer as Quixotic, due to the failed Badajoz plan due to prevailing feudalism and insufficient industrialization ,all despite exceeded projections of light industries such as textiles, noticing that there was no target set to canned vegetables (95%), fertilizers (91%) and drying of plant products (76%) (according to Wikipedia).

This writer knows that the issue of Philippines and Spain is greatly different, but some are quite same in a way everything seemingly is a carnival of sorts, a stage that features infrastructure such as housing, high rise buildings, call centers yet failed to curb such serious issues such as a growing gap between the rich and poor, agrarian question and the need for industrialization different from a mere assembly line one the Philippines had and be described as industry; and speaking of industry, how come spare parts came from China and Japan whilst the Steel domestically produced are merely for showcase purposes? Otherwise, it shared the same fate as what the criticized Badajoz plan had despite supported and funded by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank that is, a subject of debts.

Well, as evidenced by what being sought and a great contradiction that aggravates perennial issues, such incination to so-called "pride" without prioritizing social welfare made promises rather a mere rhetorical piece with its programs featured more of a means to curry favor to those wanting to invest. In fact, such actions taken by the ones desperate to keep their seats made a variety of ways and means just to appease the people such as projects and decrees, same as those whose hypocrisy been bad to the bone such as calling the poor entirely as spoiled brats not noticing that those from their ranks are much spoiler as the poor whose majority had much problem such as food to eat and miseducation.
And since they condemn them while at the same time calling for donation such as for christmas and calamities, why not instead help educate themselves and be rich in law other than wealth? Man does not live in prestige so to speak in a way high rise buildings in Makati are made for a purpose other than a bling bling to show how developed the Philippines as of today.

As for the poor who are affected, squatting is rather but a reaction from the growing yet uncontrolled development in the urban landscape. They are willing to become workers yet they end up whether semiproletarian or nearly lumpen as likely to be described by the mainstream of modern society, the massive influx, fueled by promises of development, of jobs, even escaping from the low standard of living due to feudal tendencies in the countryside (with few traces of development) created what people on high described as mess yet failed to undertake measures to resolve.

Thinking that their only way is merely to force evacuate and resettle in areas once arable land and be described as developed, how about urban resettlement and redevelopment of once depressed areas as what being tried in Silverio compound according to Local Government Unit in Parañaque, yet since the developer is known for making malls, which is emphasised then? Building a commercial complex or mass housing to those being evacuated forcibly despite their land given by the government years earlier? This writer thinks that again time and again the ones described as have not, lumpen, are really being used then thrown away yet leaving an issue that created this people unsolved thus aggravating antagonisms within the society despite giving way some antiquated decrees just to preserve what most described as-it-is.

And since these brouhahas still continue to prevail, as evidenced by a still widening gap between the rich and poor people, of strikes, growing shantytowns, uncontrolled development, and near-nonsense prestige filled rhetoric, this writer question to the people, especially to those who desperate and being compelled to do so, which is to be taken seriously: helping the people wholeheartedly or thinking about prestiege in setting such tangible goals like laws and programs? Which is which then if that's the case?

Well, this writer didn't made this writeup entirely on behalf of the poor, but rather made to say that policies should be rethink by those whose reason is about prestiege whilst forgetting about its people the way edifices should be made with a serious reason other than as "bling blings" outsiders to see.