The NEPA Salvador M. Enriquez Lecture Series
(Consultations on Industrialization 2012)
Breaking Barriers to National Industrialization is a call to action, an appeal, to every Filipino to be a part of the movement for an industrialized Philippines. This call to action will be launched through a series of consultations, lectures and discussions coupled with other creative forms (like concerts, trade fairs, exhibits, film showing, among others).
The academe is the rightful place to launch this project. Decades of economic failure deserve experts’ scrutiny. This time, however, the public should take an active role in ensuring that the nation’s interest is at the heart of experts in this endeavor. hile the students can be relied upon to propagate what can be the product of this project.
The academe is tasked to process and disseminate society’s collective knowledge. Experts are produced and ideas are harnessed.
For quite a time academic institutions have been working independently on their own. Experts are left alone to fend for themselves. Many academic researches, studies, programs have not been put entirely to use for common good. Foreign-vested interests, however, have been keenly accessing the academe and experts. Not a few would be lured to work for these vested interests groups as they offer attractive remunerations and opportunities. Meanwhile, many patriotic experts can only submit to frustration as they witness how the economy suffers.
Under the guise of academic freedom, academic institutions and experts cannot be compelled to prioritize national interests. The nation, however, can always depend on the patriotic elements of the academe to side with the people as they take up the challenge to industrialize this country.
People’s experts may now speak up.
The people’s experts turn to speak up! Famed economic advisers and planners of the government have been implementing the same economic strategy and approach for decades. But the economy continues to dive into the economic abyss. In a much wider view, western economic framework which has constantly guided the country’s economic planners has already been shattered.
The country can now opt to free itself from foreign dependency and gain self-reliance. Patriotic experts since the heyday of nationalist awakening in the 50’s to the present have argue for a nationalist framework and have put forward concrete proposals on how to go about industrializing the economy but the government has always opted to listen to western economic apologists who claim to be experts.
Local entrepreneurs can verify experts’ opinion
There is no better way to check the veracity of ideas except through practice. Local entrepreneurs have long been struggling to survive the most unfair competition. Not a few would give way to co-optation and become local partners of multi-national and transnational corporations to the detriment not only of other local entrepreneurs but the entire Filipino people.
Entrepreneurs from existing local industries including those that once existed will be joining the experts. They would be able to provide proofs of the ills of the local economy. Their survival can inspire the nation that all is not lost yet. What they have achieved gives the nation a head way and confidence. Lessons learned from their experiences can guide other entrepreneurs and policy makers.
Students, the most articulate section of the youth, can awaken the whole nation to action.
One of the major barriers that hinder local growth is the nation’s colonial orientation. Filipinos are wont to believe that foreign goods are a lot better than locally produced ones. The mass media can only bombard the public with commercials promoting love for foreign products.
The path towards national industrialization starts from the people believing and wanting to be industrialized.
Students and youth are the immediate target audience. They can become effective partner in research, documentation and in echoing what can be concluded by this project. The youth, once convinced, can unleash a very passionate campaign that can move people to action. Students and youth, especially those employed, can create a strong opinion center for national industrialization. Students and youth can creatively use various media and forms to promote this cause. A well-informed studentry has been proven to be an effective tool for social change. After all, the future belongs to the youth. Industrializing the nation is a cause they have to fight for.
This time, concerned government agencies, legislators and local executive officers should listen and learn from the experts and experiences of the people.
National industrialization necessitates a major policy reforms in governance. The decisive step towards industrializing would need a government that is willing to reverse the nation’s course towards independent, self-reliant and democratic path.
Let us register a strong appeal to legislators, officers of government agencies and local executive officers to urgently consider proposals for industrialization. Serious lobby efforts should be pushed. Clear and concrete proposals for industrialization must be put in the priority agenda of every government agencies and branches.
The collective will of the Filipino people can industrialize the country.
It is hoped that this project can ventilate the issues on why the economy continue to worsen and why and how industrialization should be undertaken.
Activities and Participants
Experts from various disciplines (natural and social sciences, engineering, economics, among others) within and outside the academe will be invited in a series of consultations to discuss their findings and proposals. Representatives of various sectors will be invited to join.
2. Lecture series
Lecture series on the works of patriotic economists and basic economic concepts will also be given to students, entrepreneurs, local executives and other interested groups.
3. Book sale, trade fair, exhibits and other forms of activities
Trade fairs, concerts and other art exhibits to promote local products can be held inside the campuses. While book sales, exhibits of local inventions and other scientific breakthroughs can be organized in campuses, malls and other most visited places.
Entrepreneurs, inventors, authors, artists and students work will be encouraged to participate.
4. People’s economic summit
The series of consultation can culminate in a people’s economic summit. It is hoped that the people may be able to draw up a comprehensive economic proposal for industrialization.