Friday, September 05, 2003

Why is our country in such a mess?

I am always sad when I hear even decent people say "Mao gyod tang mga Pinoy" when discussing the poverty of our country.

A long time ago, some journalist by the name of Fallows stirred a hornet's nest among the Philippine leadership when he concluded that the underdevelopment of the country is due to its damaged culture.

But what about the success of Filipinos transplanted into a Western setting?

So what ails my beloved country? The country who produced a Rizal among other world-renown people.

The simple answer is religious domination and softness of our government.

Any nation that has a dominant religion with pervasive influence on the government is doomed to a life of penury. The Philippines has a state religion - Catholicism. Just the simple need to bring down our birth rate is blocked by the Catholic Church. Italy, which is the seat of Catholicism, is not dominated by the church. But the Philippines is. And so are the other poor countries in Latin America.

There is a simple recipe for national progress. One, a nation's government must be strong and democratic. Two, it must not be dominated by any particular religion. Look at America, Japan, England, etc.

The Philippines is a soft state and is dominated by a particular religion. Should we wonder why it is poor?