Friday, July 6, 2007

What Not to Do

Last March 2007, Mr. Abaya wrote a column Most Corrupt Country. I simply sent him an entry in my blog as a reaction to his column. His reply to my post was

Good citizenship also means having the courage of your convictions by attaching your full and real name to your opinions.

He did not comment on the merits of my arguments. Instead, he made an issue out of who I am.

Tony Abaya is somebody while I am just a nobody. His English is flawless while mine is just passable. He is a columnists who rubs elbow with presidents and other people in power while I just live sa looban. Is being anonymous makes my argument less valid? In the internet, I believe, we are on the same level. Identity should not be an issue. I am not revealing my identity to avoid of being accused of "Sino Ka?" or "Ano ang karapatan mo?" Dito sa cyberspace pantay pantay tayo.

Having said that, let me react to Abaya's latest column What To Do. Apparently, Abaya was challenged by his readers to offer solutions instead of just griping and whining. His column essentially listed a litany of suggestions. His suggestions included developing a hydrogen economy, have an electronic voter's id, no election until election is computerized, banning of political ads on radio and tv, have a run off election for president, a qualifying exam for candidates for public office, solid waste of Metro Manila be buried in sanitary landfills, outphase buses and jeepneys, a cable car network in Baguiio City, a subway from Caloocan and Muntinlupa, form student brigades for house building, a freeway from Luneta to Cavite, a one hectare manufacturing zone in every town, manufacture goods for export, vigoruous tourism promotion, adopt legal and constitutional method to defeat the insurgents, a one hour tv/radio program dedicated to what govt does, send medicines instead of soldiers to Iraq, acquire pilotless aircraft to curb smuggling, illegal logging and poaching, etc. etc. etc. Whew!!! Such a long list of suggestions.

Being close to power, has any of his suggestions ever been implemented? Are the suggestions realistic enough to be doable. Either these suggestions need money or political will. We don't have both. So they are just that, mere suggestions.

It very easy for columnnists to say let us do this and that. Well, it won't really matter what they say as long as they fill up that newspaper space. That is what they are paid for, fill the space. The column will elicit positive or negative reactions. Then let's move on to the next column. Just like in blogs, posts may provoke some debate and discussion. Then it will be on to the next post where you read the same people making comments and reactions just like in this blog and this blog. And the cycle goes on and on. At the end of the day, nothing really changed, only bloated and hurt egos. Just an observation.

My suggestions? It is written all over this blog. It empowers. It is doable. Unfortunately, I am just a nobody.

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