Closing Speech to Makabayan Roundtable

Closing Speech to Makabayan Roundtable

June 22, 2011


Senator Manny Villar, Cong. Teddy Casino, Ka Satur, Ka Liza, Mr. Sonny Africa, Dr. Chito Medina, Mr. Jess Arranza, Mr. Sergio Ortiz-Luis, Mr. Joseph Ranola, mga kaibigan sa Makabayan at mga kasamahan ko sa NEPA, magandang tanghali sa inyong lahat!

Tulad ng sinabi ng ating butihing mambabatas Sen. Manny Villar, napapanahon at makabuluhan ang ating pagpupulong ngayon.  Nahaharap sa ating bansa sa matinding krisis, isang krisis na matagal nang nagsimula at parang walang malinaw na katapusan. Ang krisis na kinakaharap natin ngayon ay araw-araw na nadarama ng ating mga kababayan mula manggagawa at mismong mga negosyanteng Pilipino.

At sa harap ng krisis na ito, namamangha ako kung bakit parang walang sense of urgency upang harapin ang mga ito. At ang ilang tangka ng pamahalaan para lutasin ang krisis na ito ay kulang at mababaw.

NEPA agrees with IBON on the major points against the 2011-2016 Medium Term Philippine Development Plan. We agree that the current Medium Term Program is just a rehash of previous programs with the most minor of changes. Among these are there the conduct of consultations. But what is the sense of having consultations when as the environmental lobby groups ruefully says, NEDA listened to us but they listened to the mining lobby more as they have a bigger voice.

We agree with IBON that the current development model is a simple reaffirmation of a flawed development model that we have had for the past 50 – 60 years. What is bandied about as a new world order or what is now fashionably called globalization have been with us since the time of the first Macapagal. Only it is much worse now.

How do we turn things around?

Since 1934, NEPA believed and advocated that national industrialization is an inescapable component of true independence.  Since the 1950’s, the NEPA leadership had already proposed a blueprint for a complete industrialization so that we as a nation can sustain the growth we enjoyed in that decade when our country was second only to Japan in economic development. More than half a century have passed, we are still advocating national industrialization but only this time, we are not the second most developed economy – we are scrapping the bottom of the barrel.

Our esteemed guests have put forth a policy framework and a workable program for development. We are most pleased that we share our vision especially with what Cong. Teddy Casino had put forth. We must build the Filipino domestic economy, we must develop the local market, and we must buy Filipino.

NEPA also agrees with the need Mr. Arranza that in order to help Filipino business men, the government must prioritize Filipino products, Filipino companies in its procurement policies. One of NEPA’s bedrock principle is Tulungan.

But let me just add one more thing to the discussion. Stewardship. We are stewards of this nation, of our generation and the generations that will follow us.

Our money, our capital, our natural resources and our people are invaluable wealth that we must safeguard as well as use for and in behalf of our nation.

Our government has made it a policy to export of our people to the most far-flung corners of the world in search of measly pay. Our government has given tremendous incentives so that our natural resources can be exported to support the industrializing plans of other countries. Our seas are combed by foreign vessels.  Money, capital, profit generated in our country, are being sent out in the name in free movement of capital.

My friends, this is not stewardship of our country.

I am honored to be part of this gathering, and rest assured, NEPA will continue to fight what its leaders 77 years ago started. And with friends like you, I know, we cannot but succeed.

And so, on behalf of NEPA and MAKABAYAN, I thank you all for being here today. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas, Mabuhay ang Pilipino!

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