The Philippine economy is doing great! The report of Asian Development Bank (ADB) is very encouraging: “Relatively high rates of economic growth are projected over the forecast period, though easing from the fast pace in 2013. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is forecast at 6.4% in 2014 and 6.7% in 2015.”
But this economic growth is not being felt by the majority of the people. Only a handful of elite families are enjoying this so-called increase in our national wealth. ADB remarked that “the challenge is to translate solid economic growth into poverty reduction by generating more and better jobs.”
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) actually generate more and better jobs. So, let’s encourage and support SMBs to meet the challenge of generating more and better jobs. SMBs would survive better and even thrive without the corrupt systems that are rampant in the Philippines — like patronage politics, political dynasties, cronyism, and the pork barrel system.
Filipinos are very good entrepreneurs. They are doing very well in other countries. But we have to level the playing grounds here at home by intensifying our advocacy for good governance.
In the context of the Philippines, to work towards good governance means addressing, analyzing, critiquing, and, radically transforming the current bad governance in our country which is characterized by oligarchy patronage politics, bureaucrat capitalism, and unjust globalism into a kind of governance that is —
- consensus oriented;
- effective and efficient;
- equitable and inclusive; and,
- run by the rule of law.
PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. decided to intensify our advocacy for good governance as we seek to balance our advocacy for inclusive business and social entrepreneurship. We are now a member of the Christian Convergence for Good Governance. Its vision is to see “faith communities demonstrating and promoting peace, justice, righteousness and compassion in all strategic structures of society.” Its mission is to “advocate, equip and mobilize Christian communities for good governance and nation building.”
We dream of a day when our people would enjoy a land where the term governance means:
- corruption is an abnormality rather than the norm;
- the views of minorities are taken into account;
- the voices of the most vulnerable in society are heard in decision-making;
- the leaders are responsive to the present and future needs of society.
PBCI will intensify our efforts in working with all sectors of our society until we see pro-people economic development run by a set of government systems the people would experientially assess as good.