Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Is poverty the root of conflict in Mindanao?

In Manila, we can complain about the shitty government services that we sometimes get when we have to deal with one government agency or another.

We can complain about the MMDA reblocking project or MMDA traffic officers create traffic instead of easing it. How, for some reason they can't see jeeps and buses turning every streeat corner into a bus or jeepney station.

Or we can complain about how some city governments perpetually maintain an inordinate number of potholes in major streets. Or how they approve the operation of businesses that aren't supposed to be in residential areas.

Or how the police routinely miss catching criminals. Or how government hospitals and health centers are almost always lacking in medicines or equipment. Or how public schools actually make perfectly sensible children stupider than their parents.

Thing is, it seems we who live in Manila and other urban centers are perpetual complainers.  It's almost a cultural trait that we assimilate from the time that we can walk and talk.

Now, in contrast, we have people in other parts of the country who do not complain about the things we regularly complain about.

They don't complain because they don't have anything to complain about.

They don't have roads, they don't have government hospitals, they don't have schools, they don't even have police, or any of the other government services that routinely gets complained about.

In Manila, we can complain about "the miscarriage of justice" or a "corrupt bureaucracy"; in some places, they don't even have courts or a functioning government office of any sort.

Considering all this, President Benigno Aquino's call for all out justice almost hits the mark.  Perhaps, the better call and one that can be implemented by the executive branch is a call for "all out goverment services".

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