Book Series: SENIOR MOMENTS ARE FOREVER

July 24, 2020

34th Moment: Politicians, IR4.0 and Development Work 

 

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A politician in Heaven: A community development worker died and was guided to the gate of heaven by an angel. There was chaos on the gate with pious souls edging to be ahead of the others. The CD worker asked the guide angel what’s happening. The angel said a politician was entering the gate. The community worker was surprised. “What? A politician is being given importance in the gate of heaven over these pious souls?” The angel said, “This is the first time a politician is entering heaven!”
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The politician and the GRO: A politician entered his favorite night club and asked for the most beautiful GRO to his table. Politician to the GRO- you know I am rich; I have power, I help people and I am honest.
GRO to the politician- you know I am not rich, but I am loving. I entertain men and I am a virgin.
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Fourth Industrial Revolution: We are now on the 4th wave of Industrial Revolution or IR4.0. From agricultural, industrial, electronics, internet and now artificial intelligence. It’s happening too fast, the strong happily enjoys the perks the weak is left behind laboring under the yoke of the old waves. Ultimately there will only be two kinds of people, the civilized and the uncivilized, back to the natural order in the universe: yin and yan, day and night, black and white, man and woman, creditor and debtor, etc etc. Some sectors are already talking about IR5.0, IR6.0. Who knows how far it will go? But in all these revolutions there will always be the “.0” which means ORPHANS of progress and development. 
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The reason why, even up to my senior years today, I committed myself to development work is because of its clear focus on “Humanity”, or man and his environment. Politics, religion, economics, sociology are just secondary. When you deal with man and his environment your actions are directed towards their benefits which is always on goodness, otherwise you cannot connect the two and your work is meaningless.
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Hence, in each country that I worked I studied their politics, their culture, their economy and their religion so I can relate my work with my target groups and their communities. Political and economic system varies even if they are either democratic, theocratic, autocratic, capitalist, socialist, communist or traditionalists. Culture and traditions and their social structures are subjugated to their political economy that are premeditated according to the private interests of those in power. Human development systems are designed to mold men towards the establishment and their system.
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In religion I experienced that whether a society is Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Jew, or Shinto people looks at supreme beings. Their faith are attached on goodness manifested by the manna that the majority enjoy. But in most, if not in all cases, civilizations believe on a hierarchy of these supreme beings, and that there is one who is supreme above all. Different societies call this ultimate supreme being in different names. That is why in development work we are a-religious as we are a-political. Man, and his environment is our major subject.
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The difficulty in development work if you consider humanity as consisting man and his environment is that you have to understand different philosophies, fundamental principles, dogmas, theories, traditions and you must be able to design frameworks, structures, systems and most of all the tools and implementing guidelines and strategies to make development work. But most of all, and the most difficult is that a development worker must develop a strong focus on the nature, goal and objectives of his/her job. Entry points are plenty, temptations and material incentives abound. They are the disruptive elements why real human development policies, programs and projects fail most of the time.
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Our priests and bishops are not the church, we the believers are the church. They are just our servants. We are the voice of God. There are many instances that God has chosen sinners to save man. 
But as we Catholics are believers in God, we are also citizens of the secular state that should operate separately from the church according to our constitution. Unless we change this basic law, or unless we renounce our Filipino citizenship, we are bound to abide by it, priests, bishops, ordinary citizens alike. We have the duty to support our duly elected leaders in making this country move forward and not backward or stagnant. We must help our government cleanse itself, make us safe, give us better lives and maintain peace and be united. We have strategic choices to make, as Catholics and as citizens of this republic. In both cases we can cleanse our church and our government. But there is one important choice: cleansing ourselves first. 
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Serious topics for academic thesis or doctoral dissertation: A supply chain study on the kinds, mix and sources or suppliers of goods, products and commodities being sold in the big malls in Naga City. This may help determine what are the local market demands, what kind of industrial policies must be proposed, what kind of industries can be established in Naga or CamSur and how can these anchor firms help in promoting local economic and area development. Study on the profile of loans approved by banks in Naga City: We must study the types and purpose of loans, amount of loans, profile of borrowers, criteria for approval, etc etc. Let’s see how the banks relate their loan programs to help the local economy, and what development policies must be proposed for the benefit of everybody.
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