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Domestic industrialization

I RECALL the late 60s, Japanese tourists wearing cameras over necks, taking pictures of significant products or sights in the country. Whether in watch, clothing, shoe stores etc., they were at it. A few took nervous side glances, before taking a shot, masking motives for such insatiable bent for collecting images when abroad. It became clear to me, this was a patriotic zeal to bring home said pictures, so Japan could copy the design for budding industries/factories destroyed after World War II.

No country ever becomes “developed” so long as it perennially stands and leans on the assistance of another country.

Whether it is the United States, Japan and now China for finished and manufactured products, to grants and aid. The attitude remains “third world”, looking to foreign nations to protect us, to invest or make donations in our country etc. We have not graduated from a sense of helplessness, like orphans looking for “Big Brothers” approval.

We stay “developing”, even into the 21st century because of strategic and selfish errors in judgment by previous leaders. From Ninoy Aquino who divulged the plan of the Philippines to retake the oil-rich Sabah territory, removal of US Bases, to the sale of the National Steel Corporation etc. We are besieged from all sides with gargantuan problems having wasted opportunities to be a “developed country”. We are swamped with spending priorities and where to source funding for defense to the economy. We must industrialize! We must stand on our own two feet, trusting our capabilities. We cannot remain a purely agricultural, service, and OFW provider abroad. We require a steel plant for backward integration. Tooling plants. Factories to build other factories. We are rich with natural resources which may be harnessed for “Philippine Made” products e.g. spoons, fork, tools, guns, cannons, cars, eventually ships etc.

The model was Japan copying US products. Then South Korea copied Japan, now China is doing the same thing. The key is, a serious industrialization program for the Philippines. (Erik Espina)