Are Filipinos Ready for Globalization?
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Globalization deeply affects the values and structure of Philippine society. The State has a responsibility of protecting its citizenry and environment to the possible effects of it. Globalization is not the cure-all answer for our economic woes. There are more things to life than a competitive market or liberalization. It does automatically lead to economic growth, much less societal development and progress. There are other dimensions and considerations in the development of a nation. There needs to be a societal framework and a set of institutions to ensure the appropriate and justified working of an open market economy.
Economic performance is heavily dependent on the vitality of institutions outside the economy – the institutions of political, cultural, and social life as well as institutions that ensure the integrity of nature. The economy dies if society around it dies. Markets are important but they need the support of the appropriate institutions to function properly and effectively. A vibrant culture and a just polity are essential for an efficient economy.
The Philippine Agenda 21 is the unique response of the country to global challenges. It embarked on a threefolding stakeholdership as a means to achieve a more compassionate economy within the context of sustainable development. This participatory activity involves the civil society representing culture, government representing polity and business representing the economy. This development approaches have more chances of working since the development perspective encompasses all dimension of society. In order to fully participate in globalization without sacrificing national interest and patrimony, the State must address the five goal elements of PA 21 namely, poverty reduction, social equity, empowerment and good governance, peace and solidarity and ecological integrity.
Globalization brings fears to the Filipino workers. The fall of protectionism and other barriers to trade contribute much to the uncertainties that workers face today. The State has a vital role in developing the skills and improving the welfare of the Filipino workers for them to face globalization squarely. He must have the necessary training and equipment to protect him against the dislocations and uncertainties emerging from globalization.
Meanwhile, rather than toe the line of rich nations pursuing globalization as a way out of their economic crisis or stagnation, the government can curb landlessness, joblessness and homelessness instead. Protecting national patrimony, pursuing genuine land reform and developing basic industries are among the best alternatives to take for now. The greatest challenge posed against the country in this whole globalization phenomena is keeping the solid of identity of Filipinos. More than the basic needs, it is primary that the Philippines be wary of the whole system of globalization which seems bent on eating up what is left of the country. In these times when the trend is outward looking, it is important for us to keep our eyes on what is here and what must be done here now. The interest of the Filipinos above all must be our priority. When we have done our duty to each and every Filipino, then we are ready and capable to face global challenges.
The key to a competitive future lies in working for and engaging in an integrated community and working aggressively to make ourselves a dynamic and productive economy in our own right. We must band together and integrate our efforts to prove our worth to our neighboring countries. We, as a country must prove itself equal to the challenge of global competition.
Perhaps, I am quite pessimistic about this whole globalization thing as I feel we have burned many times over by the domination of the Western world. A part of me could sense that globalization is another form of Western conquer in disguise. But then, I also know that globalization is inevitable and our country escaping the trend of globalization is even more inevitable.
I am amazed by the fact that today, a whole realm of information is right at every person’s fingertips. If we look through history, power and authority took many forms. At first, power lies with he who has the land. Eventually, he who has the political position has the authority. He who manages most of the resources was regarded as the most powerful. Today, it is a battle of who holds the most and right information at the right time. And the battle for information takes on many dimensions. I guess this is one phase of globalization that continues to enthrall me.
And in this world of information, I see Filipinos positioning themselves as brilliant instruments of technology. It is undeniable that in every country is a Filipino community. It is my pride that in the ICT industry, Filipinos are one of the premiere service providers. With this as our strength, maybe capitalizing on our human resources can be the answer to addressing the negative travails of globalization. With a Filipino in every corner of the world, who really knows how we can go in changing the world? The Chinese have done it. Every Chinese community in every country is regarded as a thriving community. Maybe we can do the same.
As globalization is inevitable, Filipinos must find ways on how to adapt to the new system and still make a mark, not leaving behind the Filipino identity.