The challenge for any unbiased critic is to remain unbiased, not to let a theme develop that becomes so consuming that it overwhelms reason and perspective. I confess that certain themes creep up on me and emerge as biases. So most of my remarks criticize the Catholic Church even though I know it does so much good work. And I rag incessantly about the trade of favors and education that teaches students to obey rather than aspire, and the lack of courtesy in the Philippines that generates a variety of pollutions, not to mention mangy dogs. Frankly, I wouldn’t mind if someone ate the dogs if it suits their palette and it would get rid of these threats to motorcyclists and kids.
But these social trends make the Philippines what it is, a vibrant sometimes brusque and unhealthy place that has values different than mine. It is the difference that is also the attraction, so there you go . . .
Today I want to recognize good works being done by the Aquino administration in Mindanao. I don't believe the solution to the problem there is separatism for Muslims. I think it is finding a balance where Muslims can freely exercise their faith within an economic and security umbrella that provides a way for individuals to prosper, if they work fairly, thoughtfully and in a disciplined way. It is hard to be disciplined if all you have is spotty day labor for rock-bottom wages.
The administration has just announced the signing of a series of Memoranda of Agreements with various local governments in Muslim Mindanao. These agreements are outside the peace negotiations. They allocate 718 million pesos to development of an economic infrastructure in several communities: roads, warehouses, bridges, water systems, health centers, and the like. Here's a link to more details at gulfnews.com.
I think if local citizens recognize the government is interested in their well-being, they will be less inclined to support those who would tear down the pipelines for improvement.
That's all this blog is about.
Recognizing good work done within a strategy that makes sense.