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No Problem! July 3, 2007

Posted by Janjan in Armchair Politics, Legally Opinionated and Jurisprudent.

I would like to copy and paste a heads up from Manuel L. Quezon III, addressed to all Cebuanos. The full text can be read in his column in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

And I quote:

Last May, the people of Cebu rejected the division of their province, knowing the proposal to chop their province up was merely for the convenience of the political leaders proposing it; by so doing, to my mind they’ve pointed out that consolidation, and not atomization, can be a means for building a positive future not only for the province, but the country. In 1952 we had 52 provinces; today, we have 81: our neighbors haven’t dissipated their energies on carving up their territory the way we have. The result? More officials; more offices; more paperwork. And for what? Multiplying officials doesn’t result in better officials.

What’s crucial here is that gerrymandering Cebu became an election issue. While we all might wish to be more united and disagree with each other less, we also have to recognize that there are certain things not only worth fighting for, but also worth fighting over. The issue has been settled: that is the advantage democracy confers.

And there’s one other thing about the Cebuanos that I find inspiring, and it seems to stem from the entrepreneurial spirit that has always been a local point of pride: their ability to identify problems, and work out solutions without resorting to extravagant experiments.

When I inquired about opinions concerning Federalism, one person gently told me the province has accomplished a lot in convincing neighboring provinces to join in on a regional tourism development plan; that efforts to control their air traffic and even shipping management were ongoing: and that if these initiatives work out well, then they will serve as a model for other regions, and it’s all being done within existing laws, the framework here and now. “No problem!”

I happen to think that one of our largest problems is that we’ve forgotten the value of debate, the problem-solving nature of disagreements; we have lost the common vocabulary that makes consensus possible after the heated and passionate words have been exchanged. But whenever I visit places in Cebu, it also reminds me that what we will never lose is the capacity to do more, with less.


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