SPECKS OF LIFE: Was the US visit a success?

          “Politics begin where the masses are, not where there are thousands, but where there are millions. That is where serious politics begin.” – VLADIMIR LENIN


          To my mind, I would qualify PBBM’s six-day working visit in the US as a success.

Not as hugely as it ideally was imagined. But the warm reception by his American hosts tells the whole story.

PBBM flew to the US East Coast to deliver a speech before the UN General Assembly in its New York headquarters.

But as is usual when a Philippine president is accompanied by his economic team and a score of Filipino businessmen to boot, you can expect that something positive and beautiful will happen.

Yes – as always – the Philippine entourage took advantage of the time they had in their hands because seldom does this rare circumstance ever happen.

Indeed, PBBM’s meeting and dialogue with US Chief Executive Joe Biden was meaty and substantial enough as both mutually agreed to  further strengthen their bond and alliance as the contemporary events warrant.

The contentious situation in the South China Sea was mentioned while PBBM reiterated the Philippines’ century-old, enduring partnership – economically and politically – with the USA.

As the world appears to fall into recession – one discovers this everytime the US raises interest rates to protect the dollar – the government should exert greater efforts to attract foreign investments to buoy our economic recovery due to the global pandemic lockdown.

The warm welcome extended to PBBM and his party at the New York Stock Exchange is a signal that the Philippines is a bright prospect as the next investment haven in the ASEAN region.

Not only are we enjoying political stability as reflected in several peaceful electoral exercises where the great majority of Filipinos trooped to the polling booths to cast their votes, but the whole country is also enjoying what others casually describe as “relative peace and security.”

Himself acting as the country’s number one salesman, PBBM may yet give this a serious thought.

Why not duplicate the US sojourn by making a thoroughly planned working tour of the European Union where European investors and businessmen hurt by the pandemic may be scouting for a new site to put up new business investments and recover what they have lost?

Surely, these EU businessmen don’t put their eggs in just one basket.

The only wrinkle I see is the restrictive constitutional prohibition preventing foriegn investors from owning their businesses cum investments a hundred percent.

This could be very discouraging.

In reality, it already is.

If FDIs (foreign direct investments) come pouring into the country during the entire six years of the PBBM presidency, the Philippines may yet emerge as another Singapore (or HongKong) in this part of the planet.

And then – following this vision – the millions of OFWs scrounging for a living in various parts of the globe may be persuaded to permanently come home, settle down and re-join their families.

Again – this is a BIG IF.

The national leadership should ideally prepare the business climate and the political atmosphere necessary for FDIs to make a beeline to this country they call the “Pearl of the Orient Seas.”

To my mind, the results of the US visit will be the gauge.

It is basic that every businessman and investor looks for profitable ventures.

They also look for governments that have the highest standards of business ethics and practices that will protect their huge investments.

Foreign businessmen and investors shy away from countries notorious for corruption and political machinations.

The pathway to progress is evidenced by a people whose majority supports the government.

With the 31 million plus votes garnered by PBBM in the 2022 presidential balloting – considered monumental in our political life – the Filipinos should be able to get out of the economic (and political) slump in due time.

This is the democracy that the Filipino nation ideally deserves.

There is no excuse for failure.

Amusingly, I quote George Washington who said: “99% of failures come from people who make excuses.” (Email your feedback to fredlumba@yahoo.com.) GOD BLESS THE PHILIPPINES!






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