A Liberal Manifesto


I haven’t read it all. Probably 15 percent of this voluminous material that spells out what the government will do in the next five years. But by the looks of it, the current development plan is more of the same just like in the previous administration’s, only re-written in new style, with more emphasis on swifter justice (even included as a new chapter even if justice cuts across many areas).

Malasakit is to level the playing field; this section boasts only of swifter delivery of services to them. Nothing new in terms of strategy; it’s the approach to delivery that may be different after all.

Swifter and more efficient are the operative words I believe to differentiate the current from the previous administration’s version of the PDP. If only to promote what this current administration all along felt to be the thing lacking in the former government.

The section on drug war seemed forced into the text just to highlight the presidential preference for it.

But come to think of it, this PDP practically echoed what Mario Taguiwalo all along said and was talking about: middle-class aspirations.

“The Filipinos’ vision for the Philippines in 2040 is a prosperous, predominantly middle class society where there is equality of opportunities and poverty has been eradicated. It will be a society where people live long and healthy lives with a higher life expectancy at birth of 80 years. Longevity will be enhanced by the ability of individuals and communities to withstand natural as well as man-made shocks and disasters. With smarter and more innovative people, the country in 2040 is also envisioned to be a major player in the global knowledge economy, producing innovative products and processes that are used to make high quality goods and services at competitive prices. The Philippines will be a high trust, more caring, and peaceful society where human security is assured and government enjoys the people’s trust because it is clean, efficient, and service-oriented. High trust will also prevail between the private sector and the government, as well as between and among peoples. Overall, a high trust society will facilitate official and business transactions, and smooth interpersonal relations. 

On the kind of life they want for themselves, Filipinos want a life that is stronglyrooted, comfortable, and secure: matatag, maginhawa, at panatag.

The terms “strongly-rooted, comfortable, and secure” used to describe the life envisioned by Filipinos by 2040 reveal middle-class aspirations. They include home ownership, a steady source of income to support family and self, college education for the children, a motor vehicle, stable finances to cover daily needs and contingencies, savings for retirement, and time for vacation and travel. There is also a strong family orientation that underlies the preferences as reflected in the choice of living and working in the same locality, the desire for adequate spaces that allow for activities with family and friends, and the desire for access to convenient and affordable transportation for occasional visits to family and friends, among other reasons. The same value is reflected in the importance attached to education. Nearly every Filipino family considers college education a requisite to a decent job and so aspires to have the children complete a college degree.

The desired lifestyle requires a monthly family income of at least ₧120,0004 for a family of four valued in 2015 prices in the National Capital Region.”

This is a liberal manifesto. As to being grounded on reasonable anchor, that we will see.


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