November 18, 2004

Daily observations

1. Children now go to school at such a young age. I sat across a middle aged woman and her child this morning. The girl's hair was still thin, you can see her scalp. Kalbo pa and she had a bag like some grade school student and was already going to school. My nephew is three and still couldn't talk straight when he started going to preschool.

Well, is it because there's so much to learn already or is it because parents just send their kids to school because nobody will be left at home to take care of them?

2. I've been reading articles regarding the fiscal deficit and oh my -- i know the Philippines is in bad shape. However, reading through these 30 page articles, the Philippines IS and IS REALLY in bad shape. Imagine, by 2009 we can't even pay a cent of our 3 plus TRILLION debt and i can say we will be hard up in paying even interest payments alone.

Golly, if this crisis ensues and foreign creditors won't allow us to borrow anymore, how the hell will our country survive? Every year we need to borrow because the country's earnings can't support the government's operations. Every year, these debt will compound to bigger amounts and interest rates will be higher. Bleak. Very bleak.

Some people just blame it on Arroyo alone, or Estrada, or corruption, or government corporations like NAPOCOR and GSIS (which can not survive on their own), or even taxpayers who are not paying enough. (Let me just mention that it is the salaried employees who give the most taxes and business people just get richer and richer and paying the least possible taxes they can pay.)

This problem dates back to the Marcos administration, where all sorts of ostentatious projects were started and we had to incur lots and lots of foreign debt. Then came Aquino and Ramos who also had to incur debt because of deficits or the financial crisis and in whose administrations, many tax leaks had to be done to spur economic growth. Yet, the economy did not grow as expected. Estrada and Arroyo inherited these debt and tax system irregularities.

Taxpayers are not paying taxes because they actually don't see where their money goes. Well, it goes to debt payments, local projects, national projects and the like. The money also goes to corrupt people.

What i'm trying to say is, everybody is to blame, well in varying degrees. This means everybody is to share in whatever measures there are to avoid a full blown crisis. Government has to tighten its belt. Taxpayers need to pay taxes. Corruption must be curtailed. Corporations must manage themselves and not just rely on the national government.

But it almost seems hopeless, really...

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