I admit I have grown impatient with what I read from bloggers and social media postings. Filipinos always saying, “it is our fault as a people that we are in this sorry state. If only we elected the right leaders. If only we were less corrupt as a people”. And so on, and so on. I have news for you. Filipinos are no more corrupt than any other nationality. In my travels and experience living abroad, I have come to realize that people are the same everywhere. What is different are the institutions–which form the culture, which in turn form the behaviors. What I am saying is if you put any other nationality in this kind of setting and milleu, you would likely get the same kind of behavior and result.
In other words, people here tend to blame the symptoms instead of looking for the causes of their lousy situation.
What is the cause? It’s the form of government. As a (former) American, I am so surprised and aghast to find the American form of government transplanted here. For a developing country, I cannot stress any stronger how unsuitable and just plain wrong the American system is. It is a slow-to-respond system; not what you need in a country where rapid decisions need to be made. It is a system built on compromise and “horse-trading” i.e.. give me something, and I’ll give you something in return. Again, in a developing country setting, especially in the Philippines with its entrenched political family dynasties, this just makes things ripe for corruption.
So, if I read another exhortation about national change-has-to-start-with-the-individual bullcrap, I am just going to wade in there and start trolling. Filipinos say they have to stop voting in the wrong people. They say the elite have to educate the masses. That is all hogwash. Filipinos will always face the same poor choice of leaders, because no good leader can emerge or develop in this kind of system. It will always be traditional-style politicians because you have a traditional style of government. At best, the choice will be between the incompetent/honest vs the more competent/corrupt. That was how it was in 2010 and I’m afraid that is how it will be again in 2016.