Saturday, December 22, 2007

Human Capital

This blog is about our damaged culture and the necessity to fix it if we want to move forward as a nation. The politcial solution has to wait. We need to do something about "us" first.

Through Manolo's blog, nakalkal uli ang isyu ng pag uugali nating mga Pilipino. Through a link, I was able to read an essay written two decades ago by James Fallow entitled A Damaged Culture: A New Philippines?. And Newsstand noted, "Has anything actually changed?"

One thing that really prevents us from taking off is our penchant for a political solution. Again, the politcal solution has to wait. We need to change first as a people.

Artemio Panganiban noted on his Inquirer column today the three L's of our survival instinct, lusot, lagay and lakas. He noted that the World Bank identifies three sources of wealth; natural capital, produced capital and human capital. Natural capital accounts for 5% of the total wealth, 18% for produced capital and 77% for human capital. It is just too obvious why we are not progressing. There is so much that has to be desired with regards to our human capital.

I was at SBMA in the last couple of days. We stayed at the Binictican housing renting a four bedroom house. I ahve been to SBMA several times. It is quire notable that once you are inside SBMA, the aura is different. There is so much order. Everyone is very conscious of the rules. In boarding a vehicle, it is quite automatic to facten one's seatbelt. In the housing where we stayed, there is zero trash. At stop signs, drivers do come to a full halt even when there is no other vehicle around. Everytime I visit the palce, I kept saying to myself, kaya naman palang gawin kung gugustuhin. I am not a regular visitor of Marikina but from reports, I reckon there is also a lot of sense of orderliness in that city. Again, kaya naman palang gawin. The human capital is capable of making things work.

But as a nation, as a race, as a people, there is so much to be desired on the Filipno human capital. The poor survive with the three L's. The middle class see the solution to their woes outside the borders of the Phlippines. While the rich continue to benefit from an expanding economy. Everythin is about the "I", my interest, my future, my survival. Nothing about my country. Oh yes, we have so much debates about our country. But that is as far as it goes, debates. Some took the extra step to form groups. Now we have thousands of groups but not even one truly making a dent. Not even one because no single group or cause has truly captured our imagination.

Our human capital is our biggest liability. The World Bank considers it as an intangible asset. But that asset is not really working for us. The human capital retards our growth. Our damaged, decadent, superficial (whatever we call it and it is pointless to debate on terminologies) culture needs correction, redirection and guidance. We can do it one small step at a time. We only need to be creative and imaginative to get the attention of everyone. Once we get everybody's attention, we can start to influence the collective mindset. It can be done.

Merry Christmas!

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