Introducing the Concept of Community Industrialization
by Tony Cruzuda
A distinction is made between agricultural economies and industrial economies. In the former, the major outputs are nature and soil based, predominantly food; in the latter, the major outputs are machines that create tools, including computers to produce non-agricultural goods, with a high degree of efficiency and added value. Thus,. And industrialization is perceived as the higher stage of economic development. Accordingly, national industrialization is viewed as the apex and fulfillment of national development.
The industries are viewed as the engines of growth because of the inherent higher potential productivity, when compared to the limitations of agriculture.
However, where the industries have not been developed, the actual agricultural output could be greater, given our rich natural resources as an archipelago. A comparative study of the value of minerals being mined inSamar(which would have a limit once exhausted), with the potential productivity of agri-aqua resources of the area, showed that the latter being renewable would surpass the former in total value across time. And if the environmental damage from industrialization is factored in, then the value of the agri-aqua long term output is eventually greater.
While the level of progress brought about by Industrialization may be desirable by itself, this question must still be asked: What kind of industrialization?
1. Industrialization and the ecology.
As an archipelago, our ecosystem is rich but fragile. That past disregard of this reality has hampered national growth is all too obvious.
Industrialization without safeguards has brought on the consequence of climate change. The highly polluting countries now find it hard to make heavy cuts on their carbon emission. Could industrialization have been less damaging to the environment? Only recently are we seriously looking into green technologies
2. Industrialization and agriculture.
Admittedly, the agricultural economy serves as the foundation of industrial development. Allocating productive resources to the majority and most needy enables the creation of a strong domestic market and increased purchasing power of communities, rural and urban. In the Philippine experience, the inability to industrialize at this late hour may be traceable to the neglect of agriculture. Proof of neglect of agriculture is all over.
3. Industrialization and the siphoning of local capital.
Since government policy has favored reliance on foreign investments instead of systematic savings and capital build up, our style of industrialization results in the siphoning of capital and the factual dominance of foreign investment. So our industries belong not to us but to transnational corporations.
4. Industrialization and marginalization.
Industrialization is capital intensive, and automatically creates a big divide between the owners of industries and the working population. The communities where mining has been done are afterwards left in ruin, while foreigners and the elite get all the money.
5. Industrialization and the disruption of community
The way by which industrialization has given rise to commodification, materialism and commercialization has greatly eroded the priceless value of community. Is crass materialism to be preferred to human worth?
Going by these five instances, we must conclude that the kind of industrialization, or how we go about industrialization matters. Not just incidentally when the cost is (1) planetary ruin, (2) massive loss and neglect of productive capacity of the majority (3) emaciating local resource and massive capital flight; (4) massive and perpetuated poverty and social exclusion of the majority; and (5) the dissipation and loss of cultural and social capital.
Wouldn’t we rather have a manner of industrialization that enhances the environment and protects the Earth? Industrialization that optimizes the human resource and knowledge capacities of all citizens; industrialization that builds self reliance; that effectively ends hunger and poverty soonest; and that conserves and enriches the best aspects of our humanity?
DESTRUCTIVE VS BENEFICIAL INDUSTRIALIZATION
In the light of the historical experience of the impact of industrialization (19th century) and the more modern form that has been tied in to the collapse of the capitalist financial system… we need to give Industrialization a new face.
Some policy choices are patently questionable;
- Rice importation when self-sufficiency is perfectly possible? ThePhilippinesought to be a leader in the rice industry.
- Underdevelopment of the coconut industry (oil and many other industrial products) when it is a crop that can provide survival means to all the poor.
- Chemical fertilizers (rather than organic, and for a long time resisting organic) when it was known chemical fertilizers will destroy the soil, and dependence on greater dosage of chemical fertilizer would lead to a dead end? Why only now with organic farming?
- Forestand Watershed destruction. Why was a decisive stop made when its consequences were clear?
- Low investments in Renewable Energy, when logic shows that exhaustible fossil fuel will mean increasing prices and declining supply in the future?
- Insistence on Nuclear Power, when the uncertainties of nuclear waste disposal is high and will be a burden to many human generations to come? Why add to the stock of nuclear waste when it poses a great danger?
PROPOSED POLICY POSITION
National Industrialization must be undertaken a social enterprise: meaning,
- a collaboration between enterprise groups and consumer communities with their respective local governments, interlinked on a national scale into one community of communities and at this scale of consolidation, partnering with the national government. (given the current state of government, necessarily understood to be critical collaboration)
- directed at optimum productivity (output), achieved through optimum development and utilization of human capacities (human resource management), in the optimum application of the appropriate technologies), at the optimum level of social ownership and contribution, thereby correcting the social inequality (rich-poor gap) and ending the centuries of inherited poverty for the majority.
- requiring two complementary centers of initiative and leadership; one of which is government, the other the de facto “Community of Communities” which has been created through the “brick and portal” combination of inter-community transactions.
- Inter-community transactions as in inter-family, inter-barangay for municipal/city, inter-municipal or inter-city for provincial, inter-provincial for region and inter regional for national are the operative modes, resulting in a horizontal flow, partnering dynamics and relationships, connectivities and structures, rather than hierarchic rule or command.
COMMUNITY-OWNED, COMMUNITY PROPELLED INDUSTRIALIZATION
On the ground Setting:
The Philippine (Farm Productivity) Forum brings together all the rural production units and manpower form the basic and most numerous network, nationwide. These will be phased into the Tangkilikan economy.
The Small and Medium Enterprises in urban areas will be imbedded in their respective communities and interlinked among themselves and with the agricultural/rural communities as a result of the Tangkilikan seminars.
The Alliance of Urban Poor Organizations which will undertake their own productivity programs which combine both the need for livelihood, shelter and services. The networks they have created will be linked to the urban and rural entrepreneurs also through their engagement in the Tanglikikan system.
A services local professionals will be phased into the build up of these three major sectors, providing the training and managerial services as partners, mentors and process coach and facilitators. In addition, the capacity building activities in all three sub-sectors will seek to produce new professional managers and facilitators from within, each sector.
The programs of all three sub-sectors cited above will have built in components for generating jobs for the underemployed and the jobless, as well as consumer-related initiatives that imbed the social enterprise in the geographic and ecological setting of each locality.
Along with the dynamics of the Tangkilikan economy, the updated NEPA spirit will be nurtured in each of the subsectors
A joint undertaking of the Korea-Philippines IT Training Center (KORPHIL), NEPA and NepaSERV will seek to trigger the process of community industrialization in selected sites. Through large scale application of the cell phone and internet technology will the process will be taken up in all barangays nationwide. The process facilitation function is offered to all volunteers, entrepreneurs and professional and organic community leaders, in every barangay who wish to propel the community industrialization process in their respective locality.For NEPASERV March 6, 2010