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Charles John P.

Cubar MPA-PFA PA 201

1. Is democracy still an ideal government to the country?

Yes democracy for me is still an ideal government to our country. That is of the
people for the people and by the people. Democracy is a form of government in
which all eligible citizens participate equally either directly or through elected
representatives. Democracy is the best form of government simply because no
other form of government is known to work well. Democracy may have its flaws
but all in all it works very fluidly. Some plus points of having a democratic form of
government are the following:
1. Freedom
2. Democracy represents the views and notions of all the citizens of the country,
whether majorities or minorities.
3. It helps in solving conflicts and quarrels in a better way.
4. It provides a dignity to the people.
5. Democracy allows various people to rule the country through the
6. It also allows people to express themselves clearly and freely.
7. It Respects & promotes Human Rights
8. In this form of government all people are equal before the law.
9. Democracy is the only form of government where the people can voice their
10. In my view there is no other alternative form of government better than a

2. What makes the country be a weak nation and/or a soft state?

Our country will be a weak nation and/or a soft state because Philippines are
dominated by powerful interests that exploit the power of the government to serve
their own interests rather than the interests of their citizens. Policies decided on
are often not enforced, if they are enacted at all, and in that the authorities, even
when framing policies are reluctant to place obligations on people.

The exploiters of our Soft State? are (1) rent-seeking oligarchs or rich and
powerful politicians and their families; (2) warlords; (3) politicians who use
force, fraud, or buy votes; (4) rent-seeking businessmen and government
administrators and employees; (5) gambling lords, drug lords, and smuggling lords;
(6) tax evaders; (7) rebels who collect revolutionary taxes; (8) terrorists; (9) and
even poor informal settlers and squatter syndicates who occupy private or
public land and are protected by politicians.

Our weak nation and Soft State are clearly related to many political leaders who
use their power and authority more to serve their private and political interests than
to serve the common good and the national interest. On the whole they have failed
to lead us towards our constitutional vision, ideals and goals through good
governance and the rule of law.
Our Basic Problems as a Weak Nation with a Soft State are the following:

1. The failure of our leaders to unite and inspire our diverse peoples as a nation.
Too many of our leaders as well as citizens may not love our country enough
to transcend their selfish personal and family interests when called upon to
lead, to obey the laws, elect leaders, support change and reforms, and sacrifice
to promote our common good and national interest.

2. The poverty, ignorance or apathy of many of our citizens make them vulnerable
and politically dependent. They sell their votes to cynical, vote-buying
candidates, exchange their support and loyalty for the political patronage and
protection that leaders promise and provide.

3. Our failure to develop faster economically so that many more citizens would be
better educated and employed and be able to escape poverty and rise to
belong to the middle class, so they could become more secure and
independent, more informed about public affairs, and also more critical of bad
governance and corruption. They would demand change and reform in our
politics and government.

4. Every nation needs social and political trust as social capital. But Most
Filipinos do not trust each other (57 percent; Jose V. Abueva. A Survey on
Filipino Citizenship, 2002).

5. Most Filipinos would know what is for the common good but care only for what
is good for their and their family (73 percent).

6. In our society, the poor people are oppressed or exploited by the rich and
powerful people (65 percent).

7. Many Muslims resent their relative poverty, exclusion and underdevelopment

and the political and cultural dominance of Christians; thus the perennial Moro
armed struggle for political and cultural autonomy, if not secession, and the
Moro rebellions since the early 1970s.

8. The Maoist communist rebellion, which started in 1968, succeeding the Soviet
oriented communism that began decades earlier.

9. In a nation of ethnic, linguistic and cultural diversity, and social inequality, there
are varying degrees of resentment towards a highly centralized and Manila
centric governance expressed in the term Imperial Manila.

10. The dominance of English and Filipino the supposedly evolving national
language which is largely Tagalog in our language policy and official
communication is prejudicial to the people in the outlying provinces, and
especially the poor, whose languages are often not used in official

We have a Soft State. According to our Constitution: The Philippines is a democratic

and republican State. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority
emanates from them. (Section 1. Article II.)

Our weak nation and Soft State are clearly related to our leaders who belong to family
dynasties and use their power and authority more to serve their private and political
interests rather than to promote the common good. Entrenched in their power bases, they
lack the spirit of nationalism and the sense of urgency and accountability to the citizens
who are the constitutional source of the nation-states sovereignty. On the whole, our
political leaders have failed to lead us towards our vision, ideals and goals through good
governance as defined below.


3. What makes our present governance be an ideal one?

Our present governance can be an ideal one by amending our 1987 Philippine
Constitution. Among Abuevas proposed amendments to the 1987 Constitution include
are the following:

a) Amend Article II, Section 26, so it explicitly defines what degree of consanguinity
and/or affinity among political dynasty members is prohibited by the Constitution.

b) Extend the term of local government officials from 3 years to 5 years, but also
limiting chances of holding public office to ensure equal access to opportunities
for local public service.

c) Political parties must uphold a solid political ideology. Parties may also be entitled
to state subsidy and protection.

d) Change current presidential form of government to a parliamentary form of


e) Change current traditional, highly centralized unitary system of government to a

decentralized and devolved structure composed of autonomous territories/regions
and ethnic cultures but without completely switching to a federal system.
f) Restructuring the entire tax system that will re-allocate taxes based on federal,
state, and local government taxes.
g) Amending provisions on foreign participation in the countrys economy and

h) Amending a new Bill of Duties to complement Article III or the Bill of Rights.

Our democracy will be truly consolidated when we experience as true, real, and secure
the 1987 constitutional principle in Article II, Section 1. The Philippines is a democratic
and republican State. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority
emanates from them, said Abueva.

Good governance in a constitutional democracy depends not only on good leaders and
good citizens but also on functional institutions, through which we are able to satisfy
our various needs and fulfill our lives as human beings, as citizens, and as a nation, he

According to Mendoza, Decentralization, not federalism, is the remedy for such problem.
Federalism is a structuring principle which is appropriate for organizing self-governing
communities into a union.

For diffusing power, the appropriate tool is decentralization, which is a managerial

concept involving the delegation of administrative powers to local governments while
keeping the determination of policies in the central government. he added.


4. Can we go for modernization without putting at risk the image of our democracy?

We can go for modernization without putting at risk the image of our democracy by
balancing our economic and social structure, and its best hope in the Philippines could
be in our enlarging middle class. They may not yet have the economic and political clout
of the elite, but coming from the poor and aspiring in their own way to become more
prosperous, they have the most at stake in creating a new regime of opportunity and

It is the middle class that has served as the voice of Philippine democracy, primed
by its education to value freedom of thought and expression. It is the middle class that
stands at the vanguard of modernization, having not just the desire but also the means
through education and entrepreneurship to change the future.

This exposure to global culture and its elevation of local aspirations will be a major
force in reshaping the Filipino future. And again, it is the middle class the dwellers of the
Internet and the Ulysses of this new century that will lead in this transformation, just as
they have led the most important movements for political and social reform in our history.
One of the greatest challenges of our modernization may be that of electoral reform
not just a reform of the electoral process, but a reform of the voters mind not to vote for
popular candidates, but to vote wisely, to see the vote as a chance to short-circuit a
historical process and to lay claim to ones equality and patrimony.

And this is where culture comes in, as an instrument of social and political reform
and modernization. If we look at culture more proactively not just as a way of living but a
way of thinking, then there is much room for the promotion of true democracy through
cultural expression.

In sum, much remains to be done to lend more substance to Philippine democracy

in terms of addressing age-old economic and social inequalities. But the first field of battle
exists in the mind and spirit, and the first campaign in this battle, the first declaration of
freedom, has to be an act of the imagination.

I prefer to see democracy as a process rather than a product; the aspiration can
be as powerful as its actualization. This democracy is first formed by its assertion: by
seeking democracy, we begin to achieve it, and this assertion is the task of our artists,
writers, thinkers, and opinion makers, the imaginative shapers of our national identity.