PHILIPPINE DEVELOPMENT IN A STATE OF PERPETUAL WAR WITH CHINA

We are now in a state of perpetual war with China. Whether we like it or not, this is our reality. What is a state of perpetual war? There are many renditions to its meaning but I like what Emmanuel Goldstein, a character in George Orwell's classic dystopian novel 1984 has to say: "It does not matter whether the war is actually happening, and, since no decisive victory is possible, it does not matter whether the war is going badly. All that is needed is that a state of war should exist." In our case, China had already pushed us into that psychological corner and sealed in our minds the sense of inevitable conflict that could likely flare up anytime in the region. With a dreaded sense of anticipation, I have been asking myself how can a country committed to a policy of “peaceful rise” undertake unilateral aggression against us? How can a country that seeks to be a vanguard of a peaceful international environment threaten us with force? And how can a country that projects itself as a responsible world leader inflict us with unnecessary confrontations? These are unsettling questions to deal with when China’s ideal constructs do not fit with their realities. And yet, we have to make sense of the dissonance between its broadcasted pronouncements and corresponding actions for the sake of our own safety and preparedness. I must say that China’s disdain for the rule of law and reliance on the efficacy of coercion and conflict in West Philippine Sea unmask its true character as a troublemaker and belligerent country in the region bent on pursuing its imperial dream by any means necessary. That is, the renewal and long-term goal of maritime supremacy and dominance in Asia, a resurgent Pax Sinica, so to speak.

ALSO: The global pressure on education

Invited to participate in the external review of a Japanese university’s program to systematize its globalization thrust, I found myself in Tokyo this past week meditating on what the term “globalization” means for education. Japan is probably the best place to observe how a nation attempts to adjust to the emergent realities of a globalized world while it jealously guards its distinct culture and identity. In many ways, Japan remains a closed society, tightly bound by a culture wrought during more than 150 years of deliberate isolation. Foreigners in Japan constitute no more than 3 percent of the population. It is never easy for a “gaijin”—literally an “outside person”—to live in Japan, no matter how well he or she is able to speak its language. Similarly, there is probably nothing more difficult for the average Japanese than to live outside his or her country. This internal coherence is a source of strength as well as of weakness. Destroyed and defeated during World War II, Japan drew heavily from the willingness of its people to sacrifice for the nation’s good to rapidly rebuild its economy. By the mid-1980s, so robust was the Japanese economy that the government of Japan vigorously urged its people to internationalize, “to make friends with imports”—to buy more things from abroad that were of comparable quality but cheaper than Japanese-made goods. But this was an internationalization that still very much drew its motifs from Japanese pride and nationalism. The main purpose of that campaign was really to rally support for Japanese capital’s investment forays abroad.

ALSO: Cha-cha-cha for women

As yesterday’s editorial pointed out, it hasn’t been a straightforward, unimpeded march toward gender equality in the country. If anything, for every step forward, for every groundbreaking development for Filipino women and girls, there has been a corresponding stumbling block, a regression, the return of old troubles and hurts. For every gain women have made in laws and achievements, there have been dismaying revelations about the persistence of old crimes (rape, incest, trafficking and exploitation) and the emergence of new ones (cyberporn, cyberprostitution). And so, while women around the world celebrated International Women’s Day yesterday, the celebration was tempered by a tinge of regret (we could have done more) and a frisson of anger (why are change and progress so difficult to achieve)? Indeed, why celebrate IWD at all? (Locally, we celebrate women for the entire month of March.) The British newspaper The Independent insists that “we need International Women’s Day to remind ourselves that hundreds of millions of boys and girls are growing up in a world where violence against women is acceptable, female subjugation is the norm.” And that, as Anjali Kwatra of the international development charity ActionAid said: “International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate women and all their achievements, but also to highlight what still needs to change. There are still so many issues to fight for.”


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Philippine development in a state of perpetual war


By EFREN N. PADILLA

MANILA, MARCH 10, 2014 (GMA NEWS TV)  By EFREN N. PADILLA - We are now in a state of perpetual war with China. Whether we like it or not, this is our reality.

What is a state of perpetual war? There are many renditions to its meaning but I like what Emmanuel Goldstein, a character in George Orwell's classic dystopian novel 1984 has to say: "It does not matter whether the war is actually happening, and, since no decisive victory is possible, it does not matter whether the war is going badly. All that is needed is that a state of war should exist."

In our case, China had already pushed us into that psychological corner and sealed in our minds the sense of inevitable conflict that could likely flare up anytime in the region.

With a dreaded sense of anticipation, I have been asking myself how can a country committed to a policy of “peaceful rise” undertake unilateral aggression against us? How can a country that seeks to be a vanguard of a peaceful international environment threaten us with force? And how can a country that projects itself as a responsible world leader inflict us with unnecessary confrontations?

These are unsettling questions to deal with when China’s ideal constructs do not fit with their realities. And yet, we have to make sense of the dissonance between its broadcasted pronouncements and corresponding actions for the sake of our own safety and preparedness.

I must say that China’s disdain for the rule of law and reliance on the efficacy of coercion and conflict in West Philippine Sea unmask its true character as a troublemaker and belligerent country in the region bent on pursuing its imperial dream by any means necessary. That is, the renewal and long-term goal of maritime supremacy and dominance in Asia, a resurgent Pax Sinica, so to speak.

According to U.S. intelligence, by 2020, China intends to secure its dream of maritime supremacy in South China Sea via a planned step-by-step occupation and control of all island chains (i.e., Spratly Islands, Paracel Islands, and Scarborough Shoal) within its manufactured nine-dash-line. Once it possesses the new strategic island inlets in South China Sea, it’ll have the territorial stage to control military and commercial passages between the Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean and vice-versa. By 2040, China aspires to contain and replace the U.S. Armed Forces supremacy and dominance in Pacific Ocean Rim as well as Indian Ocean Rim (WEST 2014, U.S. Naval Institute Conference).

Now that China has laid down its long-term strategy towards the fulfillment of its resurgent age-old hegemonic ambition of a pan-Asian order of “China is for Asia,” the battleground theater has been set for the competition among great powers over long-term maritime presence and freedom of navigation in South China Sea as well as East China Sea that could lead to a new global conflict.

What about us? How do we figure out our role in this impending global conflict? What is our strategy? As a petty state, our options are few and far between. For now, we have three tracks available to us: the ASEAN track, the mutual defense treaty track, and the rule of law track (that China eschews).

To date, the ASEAN track is still a work-in-progress when it comes to making a united stand against China while the military track is not an option for us right now. As things stand, our main option for now is to rely on the rule of law to resolve out conflict with China. Hopefully, we will hear sometime next year about the decision of our case against China that we filed for international arbitration.

Militarily, we must hedge against war. It is true we have friends and allies whom we have mutual defense arrangements but they can only assist us militarily. Besides, we cannot simply rely on others to defend our country. In the end, they cannot fight our war for us. We have to fight our own fight.

Is there something we can do long-term wise? I think so.

As a sovereign nation on the cusp of a changing geopolitical landscape in Asia, we must strategically reposition ourselves militarily and economically as a maritime country in the region.

Planning-wise, we have to do it now because we are running out of time to prepare. And the status quo is not an option for us anymore. Just consider the dismal assessment of the writer Victor Robert Lee on the implication of Typhoon Yolanda regarding the self-defense capabilities of our country.

What does this strategic repositioning entail? The answer is very easy, and yet, very difficult. It is very easy because we already have an existing and successful model to follow, that is, the Subic Model. At the same time, it is very difficult because we still have to have a leader who is not only corrupt, but also, a visionary and a strategic planner committed let’s say, to implement within five years the selected growth points in Mindanao.

The idea of strategic repositioning is to immediately start developing the Island of Mindanao into a maritime hub of city-states where in the future we can land, anchor, and service our own and our friends and allies military and commercial fleets. At the same time, advance the entire island into an integrated and interconnected agricultural and commercial development zone.

As a starter, we can plan and design a functionally-integrated tri-city-states located along the gulfs of Davao, Butuan, and Zamboanga with Subic-like facilities, military airbases, and connected to their hinterlands by a wheel-like toll road of circumferential four-lane freeway and/or rapid rail system hugging the coastline of the entire Island and spooks of inland-four-lane freeway and/or rapid rail system connectors emanating from the boundary of Lanao del Sur and Bukidnon.

The same pattern of sea, air, and land-based transportation network system can be implemented in selected city-states and their hinterlands in Visayas Island as well as Luzon Island.

I am sure there are more similar ideas regarding the strategic repositioning of our country aimed at dealing with our state of perpetual war with China. And since we know what China wants and what it is doing now and what it will do in the future, it behooves us to urgently plan and build our military defenses as well as our agricultural and commercial viability for today and tomorrow.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of this website.

FROM THE INQUIRER

Public Lives
The global pressure on education By Randy David Philippine Daily Inquirer
12:55 am | Sunday, March 9th, 2014


By Randy David

TOKYO -Invited to participate in the external review of a Japanese university’s program to systematize its globalization thrust, I found myself in Tokyo this past week meditating on what the term “globalization” means for education.

Japan is probably the best place to observe how a nation attempts to adjust to the emergent realities of a globalized world while it jealously guards its distinct culture and identity. In many ways, Japan remains a closed society, tightly bound by a culture wrought during more than 150 years of deliberate isolation. Foreigners in Japan constitute no more than 3 percent of the population. It is never easy for a “gaijin”—literally an “outside person”—to live in Japan, no matter how well he or she is able to speak its language. Similarly, there is probably nothing more difficult for the average Japanese than to live outside his or her country.

This internal coherence is a source of strength as well as of weakness. Destroyed and defeated during World War II, Japan drew heavily from the willingness of its people to sacrifice for the nation’s good to rapidly rebuild its economy.

By the mid-1980s, so robust was the Japanese economy that the government of Japan vigorously urged its people to internationalize, “to make friends with imports”—to buy more things from abroad that were of comparable quality but cheaper than Japanese-made goods.

But this was an internationalization that still very much drew its motifs from Japanese pride and nationalism. The main purpose of that campaign was really to rally support for Japanese capital’s investment forays abroad.

In academia, internationalization was promoted by way of organizing more field trips to different countries where students could learn and appreciate other cultures, taking in more foreign students and faculty members, offering more courses in the use of English for different contexts, and teaching Japanese students to speak for their country while they are abroad.

Strangely enough, while all these have become part of the internationalization program of many Japanese universities, I am told that the number of Japanese graduates who are willing to work in the overseas offices of Japanese companies is declining. Fewer still are those who would seek foreign employment on their own.

I think the phenomenon of globalization is something altogether new. All over the world, there is a growing recognition by governments of the need to produce graduates equipped with global competency—individuals who not only can live and work in foreign cultures but can also navigate the complexities of a world society. Here, I think, lies the crux of the issue.

Global society does not distinguish nationalities, ethnicities, and races—nor does it seek to bridge them. It simply transcends them, just as it ignores the social hierarchies created within national cultures. Global society is not segmented into nation-states.

Rather, it manages the complexity of the modern world by spinning off a number of autonomous and functionally-differentiated global spheres—like the economic system, the scientific system, the mass media system, the art system, etc.

We may not see this yet in politics or in law. But globalization is very much evident in the economic system, whose processes are becoming less and less controllable by national governments. Today, we can reasonably say there is only one modern economy, and it is global in character.

As education frees itself from its traditional religious and/or nation-state moorings, it increasingly takes its cues from this world economy. This is why the pressure to globalize is being felt everywhere in the field of education. Japanese industry worries that its own universities are turning out graduates who cannot function in the global system.

While Asian universities are still primarily talking of sending out more of their students abroad for short-term international exposure, the big universities of the West are exporting their faculties and curricular programs through joint programs with local institutions.

Forced by financial necessity to go global because of declining subsidies, Western universities are banking on the prestige of their academic brand names to keep themselves afloat. They are the true purveyors of globalized education.

National governments everywhere are used to keeping a tight grip on their educational systems. But, in the age of the Internet, it is no longer easy for them to define the horizon and agenda of education. This is the reality.

The global pressure on education is exerted primarily by industry but is also coming from families. It takes the form of a demand for high-quality graduates with global knowledge, skills, and values, who can find high-paying jobs and pursue stable careers in the world economy.

These are highly mobile individuals who do not speak for any country and, if they are at all anchored in any tradition or culture, they are not expected to bring these affiliations to bear on their jobs Their engagement in the global economy is purely functional. The global society does not recruit them as whole persons but only as performers of highly-fragmented roles.

The challenges this poses to schools everywhere are immense. The old universities are wont to think of themselves as sources of not just knowledge and skills but also of wisdom.

They see their task as the formation of human beings with solid ethical values, people who not only can find their way in a complex world but also can be relied upon to help make it a better one. That vision is becoming rare in a world that values global competence but not global citizenship.

At Large
Cha-cha-cha for women By Rina Jimenez-David Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:53 am | Sunday, March 9th, 2014


By Rina Jimenez-David

MANILA -As yesterday’s editorial pointed out, it hasn’t been a straightforward, unimpeded march toward gender equality in the country.
If anything, for every step forward, for every groundbreaking development for Filipino women and girls, there has been a corresponding stumbling block, a regression, the return of old troubles and hurts.
For every gain women have made in laws and achievements, there have been dismaying revelations about the persistence of old crimes (rape, incest, trafficking and exploitation) and the emergence of new ones (cyberporn, cyberprostitution).
And so, while women around the world celebrated International Women’s Day yesterday, the celebration was tempered by a tinge of regret (we could have done more) and a frisson of anger (why are change and progress so difficult to achieve)?
Indeed, why celebrate IWD at all? (Locally, we celebrate women for the entire month of March.)
The British newspaper The Independent insists that “we need International Women’s Day to remind ourselves that hundreds of millions of boys and girls are growing up in a world where violence against women is acceptable, female subjugation is the norm.”
And that, as Anjali Kwatra of the international development charity ActionAid said: “International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate women and all their achievements, but also to highlight what still needs to change. There are still so many issues to fight for.”
* * *
For Filipino women, declares Sen. Loren Legarda, mere “presence” is already an achievement: “Filipino women are involved in all sectors of our society. In fact, they are present in more than a hundred countries around the world, caring for children and parents not their own, and operating businesses and industries as part of the force that drives the growth of the global community. We are sharing 10 million Filipinos with the rest of the world, and 60 percent of them are women.”
That in itself represents the complicated cha-cha-cha involved in changing the status of women. True, Filipino women (and men) are contributing to the national coffers by their hard work in foreign climes, and spreading goodwill and affable relations while doing so (Rose “Osang” Fontanes, the caregiver and singing sensation in Israel comes to mind). But they are also enduring loneliness, abuse, and discrimination—even as they try to mask their ordeals with cheery messages home and balikbayan boxes filled with goodies.
US Secretary of State John Kerry underscores the need to improve and elevate the status of women, not just for the women themselves, but also for countries as a whole.
“Countries that value and empower women to participate fully in decision-making are more stable, prosperous, and secure,” said Kerry in a statement. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon expands the concept: “Countries with more gender equality have better economic growth, companies with more women leaders perform better, peace agreements that include women are more durable, and parliaments with more women enact more legislation on key social issues such as health, education, anti-discrimination and child support.”
* * *
In the Philippines, writes Miyen Verzosa, executive director of the Philippine Commission on Women, the theme for Women’s Month is “Juana: Ang tatag mo ay tatag natin sa pagbangon at pagsulong!” (Juana: Your strength is our strength in rising from adversity and moving forward)
This theme, and the spirit of rising above challenges and fashioning responses from the rubble of disaster will be carried forward by the Philippine delegation to the 58th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, which opens tomorrow. Our delegation is headed by Neda Deputy Director General Margarita Songco. Ambassador Libran Cabactulan, head of the Philippine Mission to the United Nations, will also preside over the negotiations.
With the Millennium Development Goals due for an overall assessment next year, this year’s CSW priority theme is “Challenges and Achievements in the Implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls.” This early, it is foreseen that the Philippine delegation will take active part in articulating the need to mainstream women and girls in overall plans for prevention, response, mitigation and reconstruction related to disasters, particularly in side events that have to do with postdisaster responses and the need to protect women and girls in the aftermath (including sexual exploitation,
trafficking and reproductive health challenges).
* * *
I write of the CSW58 because I will be joining the Philippine delegation as one of many representatives of nongovernment organizations (for my women’s group Pilipina).
And so, as I fly out to New York early next week, I will be carrying with me thoughts of everything that we as women have achieved, as well as the difficulties and challenges we still face, particularly in the aftermath of natural and human-made disasters.
I will be thinking in particular of young women, the women our generation raised from babies to girls to the women achievers they have become.
Indeed, it’s been a cha-cha-cha the last few decades, one step forward that we have cheered on, two steps back for news of yet another girl child raped, exploited, killed. But the dance has taken place against the backdrop of a personal and social sea change that has seen women break free of the “braces on their minds” to envision futures and selves we could only dream of in our time.
Finally, let me quote as affirmation and celebration from poet Katie Makkai, as posted by my friend Rej Layug Rosero on her FB wall: “You will be pretty intelligent,/pretty creative,/pretty amazing/But you will never be merely pretty.”


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