MANILA, August 15, 2013—A political party criticized the Philippine government’s lack of a long-term strategic plan that projects the development outlook of the country for at least 50 years ahead, noting that the absence of this long-standing perspective explains the persistent occurrence of most issues hounding the country. 

Rizalito David, Ang Kapatiran Party (AKP) executive committee member, said the lack of an innovative and long-term perspective hinders the Philippines from achieving authentic growth as adopting a short-lived development outlook bound by the term of an incumbent official limits the potential growth of the country. 

“What we lack as a nation is a strategic plan that defines the long-term direction of our government. We do not know where to go and the fact that we always think on a short-term basis constitutes a great lack on our part,” he said in the Kilusang 99% academic forum held recently at the Adamson University. 

“Where do we really want to go? Do we want to establish a service-oriented, industrialized, or agricultural economy? Until now we still have not made up our minds,” he added. 

He noted that adopting a long-term plan will solve the perennial issues of the country as it defines the basic economic framework where all other societal aspects would adhere to for a long period of time. 

“The strategic plan is very important for it will serve as a long-term plan that leads everything to a common vision in the future,” he said. 

David noted that other progressive nations plan their development outlook 50 years ahead of time to be more strategic in their governance approach, adding that Filipino officials must also do the same. 

“We need leaders who will think long-term strategically and not those who will simply settle with a six-year period. There must also be a short-term agenda that spans the term of an incumbent official but it must be geared toward the country’s long-term development plan,” he said. 

David also criticized the sectoral approach adopted by the government when resolving issues saying this leads to the further separation of societal sectors. 

“We should not approach the country’s problems by sector. Instead, we must lead all efforts to a common goal that benefits not only one group but the entire Philippines,” he said. 

Responsible voting 

Reynaldo Pacheco, AKP founder and chairman emeritus, also noted in the forum that if Filipinos want to experience real change, they must shun personality politics and practice responsible voting. 

“Our political leaders must not be blamed for what is happening in our country. There is no one to blame but us for we are the ones who voted them into positions,” he said.

“Dedication is required here. Now I realize why we get the leaders we deserve,” he added. 

Pacheco urged Filipino voters to vote in accordance to a political party’s ideologies, principles, and platforms, and not by the mere popularity of the candidates they field. 

“How do you vote? According to personality or according to the principles and platforms of a candidate?” he said. 

He noted that real progress will not be attained if Filipinos will not push for the change needed by the country. 

“Our country will not be able to develop and progress if love, justice, truth, and order will not reign in us,” Pacheco said. (Jennifer Orillaza)