Tuesday, 17 November 2015

"Still a vassal for exclusive economies in a still unequal world"

"Still a vassal for exclusive economies 
In a still unequal world"

Notes on the "Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation" leaders forum
and its neoliberal policies involving education and national development

"NOT ALL jobs require a bachelor’s degree." These are the words neoliberalists stated in regards to their stand justifying the neoliberal trend when it comes to education. As personalities behind member-economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum were urged last Monday to encourage young people to take up vocational education or training courses, rathter than promoting tertiary level education, "to address the lingering problem of job mismatch."

Quite nice to hear that so-called "profound statement", direct, incorrect, and precise. But on the other hand, it seems that they simply stated that so as to justify cheap labour policy, rather than with beauteous ones people used to hear upon such as the benefits of K12. But K12, sadly speaking, has been hastingly being implemented and caused alot of problem during its transition. Worse, there are existing policies when it comes to education, be it commercialisation, attempts for privatisation, and deregulation such as those of "Tuition and Other Fee Increases" as well as "Budget Cuts" in State Colleges and Universities. Remember: The government may also argue that it increased the budget for basic education but the funding remains way low in the 6% of the GDP under UN standard.

Good it may be the idea of taking vocational education, particularly when it comes to domestic-based National Development alongside Agrarian Reform and Industrialisation, and developed countries like Singapore and Germany has done it so. Japan, in its prewar and wartime days has encouraged its youth to engage in both academic and technical work as part of speeding up production if not building a better nation, and somehow quite inspiring for a developing country to have its youth engage in technical and vocational work alongside academics; but if the basis of their insistence is rooted on cheap labour export to "developing clients", then what a mockery of education, and even development it is then! Knowing that the system has greatly relied on remittances to fill corrupt officials cash in their pockets.

However, apologetics insist the idea out of it. That in a still agricultural country in need of agrarian reform, they will insist a knowledge-based one, in a country that has a still stunted industrial sector, they will insist a service oriented one "so as to keep in par with the west" the way they insist free trade and deregulation brings cheap goods and services; and  statements insist that the private sector accounts for more than half of the Philippines’ gross domestic product as well as employment.
And since they afforded to say so, then how about the agricultural and industrial sectors? How come it is being almost disregarded as the system focused on the service-oriented sector? People may heard about its neighbours taking pride in increasing production especially in meeting its people's demand be it food or gadgets, but in a still developing country, why to rely heavily on a sector depending on outside, rather than domestic capital? The system may take pride in its country's "development", yet it still didn't develop its own industries nor emancipate the farmers from its bondage, so as to resolve its actually existing crisis.

So is the goal of “Building inclusive economies, building a better world”, as the theme for that economic summit lies a profound idealism, especially for a still developing country that tries to keep in touch with its developed neighbours. But after 1996 with its first summit in Subic Zambales, it seems that the Philippines has remained mal-developed regardless of increasing Gross Domestic and National Products, depending on remittances from its own diaspora. Globalisation and Neoliberalism has crippled rather than developing Small and Medium Enterprises’ (SMEs) in the guise of Participation in Regional and Global Markets; and policies in education and health has increased mortality rates and dropouts. Is this what the system taking pride most of the time? What a mockery then.

But regardless of their statements, still, the Philippines remains stunted in its "development" besides having a "Semifeudal-Semicolonial" order; in communities affected by calamities, the system's negligence, if not a mockery of support contradicts messages such as "it is easier for the people to build sustainable communities", for reality shows that building sustainable communities under the present order does not guarantee sustainability. Most likely intensifying repression within those communities with same "brutal" methods yet with new "correct" names and reasoning. Yes, they would say that their communities are sustainable, but at the expense of the people's right to live for the fact that they are evicted by "developers" favourable to the system. So are the farmers who are threatened by evictions, if not already evicted in case of Hacienda Looc and other estates taken over by co-called "developers".

Anyways, for a developing country, building a sustainable community should be based on application of social justice and productivity, but if the system and its apologetics afforded to speak heavily of "self-help" as a panacea for social ills, then it is better to say that if they afforded to speak much of self-help solutions, why not urge them to act collectively knowing that the problem is social rather than individual?
Remember: most of these people are paying taxes no matter who they are, call them names as you wish but the call of the majority should prevail over the visitors such as foreigners under different names and countries. Also remember that since the people are sovereign under the law, they demand agrarian reform, nationalist industrialisation, a progressive fiscal social policy, empowerment of women and youth, a patriotic, popular, and progressive education and culture, and others that somehow real than those what these neoliberalists afforded to babble.

The Philippines, as well as other countries are tired of being vassals to the developed ones with economies that are exclusive, rather than inclusive, and now it's up to the people to rise up and vent the rage-collectively.