Pressing priority problems for the next president

Published by rudy Date posted on August 23, 2021

by Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman), 23 Aug 2021

The next president has seven major, major problems to tackle. Seven calvaries where he or she can be crucified; first, the health crisis; second, economic devastation; third, social ills; fourth, national security threats; fifth, unabated corruption; sixth, the peoples’ diminishing trust in the government; and seventh, a general feeling of hopelessness and helplessness among the Filipinos.

The first and most compelling problem is the health crisis which seems to be getting worse instead of getting better. We keep on counting deaths and infections, as cemeteries are full, families are lining up in crematoriums to cremate their dead, the hospitals are full, and the health workers have died or sick and over-fatigued. The second is the economic devastation highlighted by a foreign debt reaching an unprecedented national debt of ?11 trillion by April 2021, and can escalate to ?13 trillion next year. The third is the growing social cancers of poverty, exploding population, deteriorating public health and lower quality of education complicated by insufficient social welfare. The fourth is external and internal threats to national security. Fifth is the unabated graft and corruption in government and even in government-owned and -controlled corporations.

The more serious problem, to my mind, is the people’s diminishing trust in government, and mainstream politicians, who have the gall to make promises again to liberate the people from poverty, hunger, and social injustices. These shameless trapos are now starting to release their TV ads and their hackneyed slogans and yet they have remained nowhere to be found when the people are starving, when the poor are lining up under the rain storms, floods, and even volcanic eruptions. The poor are putting up community pantries but these millionaire congressmen and senators do not lift a finger to bring hope to the suffering people. Except for a very few who showed symbolic and token help, just for show, the others were hiding either abroad or in their mansions and resorts. These are the kind of politicians who cause people to lose faith in government.

The worst of all is the feeling of hopelessness and helplessness among our people. They are poor and they do not find a way out of poverty. The farmers still do not own the lands that they till. The fishermen are fenced out by a number of favored moneyed corporate fishing companies. The laborers do not have job security. Wages are still low and jobs are very difficult to find. There is food insecurity and millions are living in shanties with no clean water, with no sanitation, and people urinate and defecate anywhere, thereby exacerbating the health crisis. The next president will face many gargantuan mountains of social, economic and political problems.

If we want a leader who has the competence to lead us from this socio-economic and political malady, we have to be very careful in choosing the next president. If we still blunder, then a revolution may become not only imminent but inevitable. That is what the CPP-NPA-NDF want. And is precisely the scenario that we should, by all means, avoid. Ponder on this very, very carefully.

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