Reboots, paradigm shift are all the rage this year. For instance, DC Comics announced that it was rebooting its entire comic book line, bringing 52 of its comic books to issue as well as publishing all their comics digitally. Then recently in the Philippines, a move is in place to bring divorce back, which Archbishop Oscar Cruz calls a anti-Filipino.
The Philippines went on a sort of reboot. At the very least, we are seeing the reboot ongoing. As Deputy palace spokesperson Abigail Valte pointed out sometime ago, “Democracy is already in the recovery room as of May 2011“.
If you look at the Philippine Development blueprint, you could see the depth, and breathe and shape of what Aquino wants the Philippines to be, when he leaves office.
It explains why the government refuses to spend money it doesn’t have. Without government spending 17 percent, it showed why the economy slowed down to 4.9 percent. In the same quarter in 2010 the economy grew double that, what with election, and election spending driving the growth.
How I read the tea leaves, government doesn’t want to spend what it doesn’t have. The administration intends to institutionalize spending: if the government doesn’t have the money to pay for it, the government doesn’t finance a project.
We can talk about lies and statistics. It is pretty good take, but without Government propping up GDP, who will pickup the slack? A GDP growth of 4.9 percent showed that the private sector as a whole wasn’t able to pickup the slack that government dropped. So the question is: as government intends to spend less, or at the very least manage its spending, what is it doing to get more business into invest?
Is the government making it easy for investors of all stripe to come in? Is the government interested in tapping the OFW market to invest in the Philippines? What is it doing to make investing in the Philippines easier, and more interesting?
The question also comes in that we know that Internet is a game changer, and that the Internet is like roads, and railways and electricity before it: they generate business. There is no clear cut government policy on the Internet. There is no clear cut government policy on science and technology. And yet we have policies like Cybercrime bill that is being debated in Congress that doesn’t actually help, but make Internet worst for Filipinos. Our legislators lack the understanding, and the foresight to take this Internet and make it go zoom. Do you want the government to regulate the Internet?
In the past year, we’ve also seen the push to diminish the power and influence of the Catholic Church. The push for reproductive health for example is one thing. It is meant to institutionalize maternal health and the side effect of course it goes against “church teaching.” Then there is a push to revive the Divorce law in the Philippines. The latter since the Philippines now becomes the only country in the world without any sort of divorce law.
There was once a divorce law according to @nerveending. The Philippines had a divorce law prior to 1947. Then we didn’t. Today, if you want to go get divorced, there is always annulment or legal separation. So you can get separated from your wife or your estranged husband. Relationships are never easy. They’re messy. They’re never black and white. It lives in that gray terrain. Divorce becomes important so we could protect wives and children who are being abused where the only recourse is to separate. Divorce becomes important when to have a better life, a man or a woman must reboot their continuity.
If the Reproductive Health bill becomes law, and it is followed by a divorce bill? That would be one continuity reboot for the Philippines. It signals that the nation is slowly becoming secular and less under the thrall of the Vatican.
As a Catholic, for me, it presents an opportunity for the Church to focus on the spiritual. I want sermons and direction that make me a better person. I don’t need the Church to tell me what is wrong with government. Filipinos everywhere already know what’s wrong with our nation. It is that time in history that we fix it. I need my church to help guide that poor maid who is always beaten up by her husband. I need a Church that guides street children away from the streets, and into education. I need this church to be relevant.
This is how I see continuity reboots. Like all things in life, it would depend a lot on how it is executed.
Image credit: The New Justice League by Jim Lee
Upate: @mannyneps and @jesterinexile points out that if you’re a Muslim in the Philippines then divorce is legal.