Commentary: The economy and the wallet
By Bong Pedalino
Tacloban City (4 September) -- As expected, detractors of the administration were quick in raising eyebrows on the President's announcement last week that the economy has reached its highest growth in twenty years thus far.
Although the announcement was accompanied with figures culled from records of the National Statistics Coordination Board (NSCB), the doubtful, most of them politicians, went ahead with their bag of doubts anyway, making the NSCB the message instead of the messenger.
Was the messenger faithful enough in delivering the message? But then, speaking of faith even in the temporal world of business and finance, there is hardly any difference with faith in the spiritual realm: for those who believe no explanation is needed, while for those who do not believe -- or refuse, deliberately, to believe -- no explanation is possible.
Everytime the economy showed signs of improvement, at least in the implementation of radical, fiscal reforms that gradually bore fruits, the common rebuttal among skeptics is that it has not trickled down to the grassroots, which is actually asking too much because public spending was meant to pump-prime the countryside.
This time around the critical view was more specific: the economy did improve, but it would mean nothing when the wallet of Juan de la Cruz remains empty.
Now this is not only asking too much -- this is expecting too much. A turn-around of the economy does not automatically translate to a fat wallet simply because the contents of the wallet depends for the most part on the wholesome work attitude of its owner than on the general economic direction of the government.
Whether the economy at any given time is in the doldrums or at its peak, the wallet of an individual can still have cash, provided that person is resourceful enough to earn a living the legal way and with dignity, however humble his or her occupation may be.
Whether the economy is shining or flickering, or anywhere in-between, the wallet can still have money, provided its owner is bold and daring enough to go into money-making ventures with or without the support of the government.
All times are times of crisis, a Chinese proverb says. But to a man who makes hay while the sun shines, there is no significant difference. His wallet, though not necessarily fat, is sufficiently loaded, both in good times or bad.
LOCAL FRONT: Gawad Kalinga (GK) in Southern Leyte province has already built twenty-one (21) villages so far in the past five years, pouring in some P 62 Million pesos from generous donors coming from outside. And at the last count, over half a dozen GK villages are already laid in the drawing table. Now with the Couples for Christ-GK rift being made public, the good news is that in the province its still all systems go for the CFC-GK, as practically all LGUs were all-out in their support. Has GK diverted from the spiritual roadmap provided by CFC as claimed by the breakaway group? Definitely not. While some CFC members do feel that more focus was given to GK than the pastoral side, evangelization as a whole did not suffer as what it has been portrayed. Immersing in actual GK work is in itself a way of evangelizing people, not just lip-service. In short, in GK we walk the talk.
ODDLY YOURS: The lunar eclipse on August 28, 2007, once again regaled those privileged to see the mighty wonders of a rare heavenly show, wherein the moon was partly covered by the earth's lighter shadow cast on our only natural satellite. But is the moon really Earth's lonely neighbor? Perhaps not, at least recently. In 1999, scientists discovered that a five-kilometer wide asteroid may have been caught by the earth's gravitational pull, thus becoming another natural satellite of our planet. This relatively new-found asteroid, named "cruithne" will take 770 years to complete a horseshoe-shaped orbit around Earth, and it will remain so for at the very least 5,000 years, scientists estimate. In effect, our Moon has now a sister or a brother, whatever gender you may like to call it. (PIA) [top]