Pilipinas, Kay Ganda!
by: Harvey S. Keh
The Manila Times
We have often gotten used to the bad news and stories in our country that has often covered the front pages of our newspapers and the headlines of our TV News programs. Yet, in the past several weeks, there have been several good stories that are worth noting and celebrating. These good stories make us realize that there is so much to hope for in our country and more importantly, they show that the Filipino can compete with the best in the world.
One of them is the announcement by international business groups that our country is now at the top of the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry overtaking India in this sector. The BPO industry is one of our economy’s growth drivers since it provides thousands of jobs to Filipinos and at the same time brings in billions of dollars in investments to our country. This sector if nurtured properly can be one of our country’s main weapons against poverty since it gives its employees an above average salary ranging from at least P 20,000.00 to up to P40,000.00 per month which is more than enough to provide the needs for a family of four to six members.
Sadly, our education system hasn’t been able to cope with the high demand for skilled BPO workers. That is why some BPO companies still find it hard to fill up their vacancies. Let us hope that our government particularly the Department of Education will address the problems of access and quality of our public basic education system so that more Filipinos can become competent enough to be hired in this growing BPO industry in our country.
Another good news this week is in the field of sports. Our national football team recently held their Singapore counterparts to a draw while bringing down the highly-favored Vietnamese team, 2-0. As we all know, our country is a known lightweight in the football world and in the past Southeast Asian Games, our football teams have been the perennial whipping boys of the tournament. Yet, in the current Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup being held in Vietnam, they surprised everyone by beating the defending champion Vietnamese team in front of their 40,000 hometown fans.
Many sports analysts and experts have consistently said that Filipinos have the physical gifts to excel in football if only our athletes were given proper training and exposure abroad. Sadly, much of our funds still go to basketball which is a sport that requires height and heft, something that we are lacking compared to people of other countries. Perhaps this huge achievement by our football team will awaken our government leaders and the private sector toward investing more in our national football development program. Who knows? Perhaps all of us will still live to see the day that our country will be able to compete in the World Cup.
In the realm of politics and governance where public distrust is usually high, the recent Pulse Asia survey continues to show that almost eight out of 10 Filipinos still trust President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino 3rd despite some earlier missteps of his administration. The very high trust rating of Aquino goes to show that Filipinos are willing to be patient with him as he continues to promote good governance and sustainable reforms in our country.
One thing that is good about this present administration is that they have been very transparent to the public with regard to the things that they have been doing. Some critics have actually said that Aquino may have become too candid about how he feels about certain issues but I feel that this total honesty in the public eye is what Filipinos appreciate more about him. In the last administration, it was rare for the President to actually face the media and answer questions pertaining to different issues but in Aquino’s case, he has always made it a point to make time to let the Filipino people know about what is happening in his government.
Let us just hope and pray that he will continue to use his political stock wisely and will not be swayed by people around him who have self-serving interests.
Finally, the Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation Inc. based in Bacolod City brought pride and honor again to our country. Its ingenious use of a hydraulic ram pump to bring water to more than 170 upland villages won this year’s BBC World Challenge.
Access to clean water is very important since without it a community becomes susceptible to diseases due to a lack of hygiene among its members. More importantly, this innovative venture allows the villagers to save money and time since they no longer have to walk for several kilometers just to be able get their water. The time and money saved can now be used for other activities such as the education of their children and setting up their own small livelihood programs.
There are so many wonderful and inspiring stories in our country that we need to celebrate and be proud of. Indeed, when one reads about these stories, one can easily say, Pilipinas, Kay Ganda!