Hope for the Philippines

Is there still hope for the Philippines? Edgardo Angara, an opposition senator once said that the country would not see progress within the next 25 years. The richest man in the Philippines has a more dismal outlook, as he predicted that the Philippines would "continue to sleep in the next 100 years" because of politicking in the land.

Lucio Tan, a tobacco tycoon who expanded his business empire under the Marcos and Estrada administrations, cited the need for the Filipinos to change, if we don't want to be left behind by our neighbors, particularly China where things change every year. "In Manila, in 50 years there is no growth," he said. 

Of course, Lucio Tan based his prediction on how the Philippine economy paced in the past century when cronies were allowed to dictate economic policies and when the largest companies were involved in manufacturing of beer and cigarettes.

A more appropriate prediction, however, shall be based on how it can respond to the challenges of a new global economic order where competition and not political alliance is the name of the game. With that it mind, anybody would find it hard to determine what will happen even in the next 25 years.

The World Bank said the world's gross domestic product would reach US$140 trillion while its population would climb to 9 billion in five decades. Whether Filipinos would change their ways in five decades is hard to foresee.

At present, Filipino politicians argue, several religious leaders mislead their followers, some law enforcers participate in crimes, a number of traders bilk the poor of their hard-earned money, and many people become insensitive to the needs of their neighbors. Is there still hope for the Philippines? 

God promised this to Israel, and we believe this also applies to the Philippines today.

"If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14)  

Bible verses were quoted from the New International Version (NIV).

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