Poverty and Industrialization

Manila Bulletin, November 13, 2010 | Go to article overview

Poverty and Industrialization


MANILA, Philippines - THIS is one of my articles that discusses controversial government policies, and at the same time, suggests solutions to those running the government. We are familiar with the poverty alleviation program which allocates R20 billion to be given under certain conditions to the poorest of our countrymen.

Frankly, I cannot see the end of poverty of our masses, not even if we dole-out R100 billion in five years. For as long as the government's policy is stuck in the quagmire of land reform, there will be no relief.

In previous articles, I wrote that there are not enough lands to give to all the landless in order to improve their lives. The agrarian reform policies from the past administrations have been proven to be total failure. From PD 27 during martial law until the present, we have failed to produce enough rice and corn for our own needs. In fact, the land reform program of giving land to the landless tillers of 3-5 hectares will ensure that the poor will even become poorer. If at all, land reform is only good as the initial stage in the development of a country. Land reform should be implemented in a short span of time, after which it should be terminated.

As the experience of Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and even China has shown, the policy of focusing only on agriculture is a passing program. If the People's Republic of China (PROC) continued the Maoist policy for the use of land, China would remain a poor Third World country. However, there was Deng Xiao Ping who said that he did not care what the color of the cat was, provided it caught mice. Deng was jailed as a capitalist roader by the Maoist faction. Now look at China, it has evolved and developed in just a couple of decades into one of the most dynamic economies of the world, and probably soon will be the biggest economy.

The secret of development is no secret at all. …

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