May 1, 2009
In commemoration of Labor Day
Independent senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan today urged government officials to set aside politicking and personal motives and work together to create more jobs at home.
“Itigil na muna ang pamumulitika at ang walang-tigil na pagngawa sa iba’t-ibang libel ng gobyerno. Unahin natin ang paghahanap ng mga solusyon sa kawalan ng kabuhayan at kakulangan ng trabaho dito sa Pilipinas.”
“Hindi na natin ito puwedeng ipagpaliban dahil gutum na gutom na ang taumbayan,” he said.
However, Pangilinan warned that sending workers abroad is not the solution. “Our overseas Filipino workers are exposed to great risks while they’re abroad, and their families are suffering from various social ills. This is not the solution we’re looking for.”
“Sending Filipinos abroad is merely a band-aid solution and will not be sustainable in the long term,” he reiterated.
The reformist senator lamented the fact that the country had “slept” for the past 20 years, citing economic indicators that show only a 0.75% growth in per capita income from 1981 to the present, versus 400% growth for China, 150% for Malaysia, and 100% for Thailand.
Pangilinan stressed that it will take a new brand of public sector leadership to “pull our country out of the mess we’re in.”
“We cannot keep on doing the same things and expect different results. We might as well hit ourselves on the head with a rock,” he commented.
For the country to prosper, Pangilinan said, public sector leaders need to offer Filipinos with a clear vision and a concrete program of action anchored on principles and integrity, rather than a series of stop-gap measures based on the “politics of survival and corruption.”
“We need to sit down and work out a program to create jobs, enable entrepreneurship, and encourage more overseas Filipinos to invest back home.”