Nitpicking on jobs and PCOS machines
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2013-02-12

Attempting to belittle the impressive economic gains achieved by the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III (P-Noy), the carpers have been bellyaching lately about the lack of jobs that the economy failed to deliver. Some carpers also bellyached about the mock election that they’re claiming had “demonstrated” the failures of the PCOS machines that’ll be used for the 2013 elections.

In both instances, it boiled down to nitpicking on a seemingly logical and factual point that they then insidiously projected as the whole. Anders Behring Breivik went on a shooting rampage in Norway and killed 91 people. Following the carpers’ logic, all Norwegians are murderers or easily inclined to commit murder. The truth is Norwegian people and communities are among the most peaceful in the world.

On the issue of jobs, this is an attempt to belittle the economic turnaround that the P-Noy administration has accomplished in less than 3 years in office. Even a grizzled veteran like CNN’s John Defterios expressed admiration over what P-Noy has accomplished. Defterios has interviewed hundreds of CEO’s and economic leaders and would know what is a significant economic stride from a lucky upward glitch.

It’s as if these carpers are saying that the announcements by many foreign experts that the Philippines is a rising tiger economy meant nothing. For sure, we are not there yet but only an intellectually dishonest carper will deny that we have made a dramatic turnaround from the cynicism during the Gloria Macapagal Arroyo years. Let’s not forget that the most important battle to be won is the battle for the investor’s heart and mind and in this battle, P-Noy has attained a resounding success. We should not allow this great stride to be undermined by carpers and P-Noy haters.

When we discuss jobs, we have to assess many factors ­— many of these are shortcomings of people who are either not qualified for available jobs or the indolent ones, people who don’t want to work. Job creation would mean manufacturing operations and the biggest impediments have been our labor front and the high cost of energy in our country. This is not to say that we cannot create more jobs — only that manufacturing jobs will not be easy to attract. This doesn’t stop us from creating jobs from tourism upsurge and from a more active agriculture sector.

In a recent documentary on NewsTV, they featured a mother who wasn’t equipped with a sufficient educational background but was able to generate the earnings that funded her family’s needs. This mother simply worked harder than the next peddler. She peddled what people needed in the morning, what they needed in the afternoon and what they needed in the early evening. In the 1960s, there was this well admired peddler in the Ermita area known as Mang Bernie. Folks were impressed to know that through dint of hard work, Mang Bernie was able to provide a university education to all his children. Surely, you will agree that one doesn’t require a high school education to be able to work as a peddler.

Comelec (Commission on Elections) Chairman Sixto Brillantes has a right to be piqued over the way nitpicking is being done against the PCOS machines before and after its recent mock election. The snags that were found in the mock election were minor problems that could be easily resolved. Many of these happened too in the 2010 elections but were remedied.

We’re never short of sore losers during elections, losers who refuse to admit defeat and will claim to be victims of cheating. There were several of those too during the 2010 elections but none of them were ever able to prove that they were cheated. There’s no way our people can be cajoled into returning to the manual count, the well of fortune of poll fraud operators and the system that perpetuated the evil persons in public office. We have the PCOS machines and nothing else for the moment. Based on the results of the 2010 elections, as well as the mock elections, we just have to live with these machines and ensure that glitches are kept to a minimum.

Expect and accept glitches with the PCOS machines but only for as long as these are within the tolerable margin of error. Many of the causes of the glitches are not even in the machines but the difference in available technology at the polling place. The telcos and not the Comelec provide the transmission signals at the polling place. Comelec cannot transmit where there’s no signal due to intermittent disruption. During the 2010 elections these glitches were minimal and didn’t really affect the outcome of national as well as local contests. Even in other more developed countries with uniformity in technological dispersion, there have been glitches in their automated polls.

By all means, let’s search for improvements as well as provide more safeguards to our automated polls — but this doesn’t justify what the carpers are trying to project these days. Let’s improve, not junk, this good thing — automated polls — that we started in 2010.

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Shakespeare: “Madness in great ones must not unwatched go.”

  Previous Columns:

It had to happen on The Ides of March and Holy Week

Suggested guidelines for liability- free Internet posts

Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

All Excited by Pope Francis

A great disservice to P-Noy

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