06 January 2006

Make Up Your Mind

Usually I don't blog about political topics, but I find myself blogging about one today.

I read this article about the plan to cancel the Manila-Riyadh route of Philippine Airlines. The reaction from the Filipino workers in that region was a call to the airline and the Philippine government, yes, the Philippine government, to prevent Philippine Airlines from doing so. The reason? Patriotism.

Rewind to November 2005. If I am not mistaken, Filipino citizens rallied and called on the government to halt the implementation of the Extended Value-Added Tax. They say that this will make the prices go higher.

What am I driving at?

I am pointing at the fact that Filipinos cannot make up their minds as to whether allow the government to intervene in the market or not. With the EVAT issue, the government is intervening, so that the government will have additional income. People don't like that. But with the airline issue, the people want, yes, they want the government to intervene and disallow the airline from shifting its route to a more profitable one. The reason behind the pullout is that the airline is saying that the route is not very profitable.

Now, would one want to be patriotic and maintain a non-profitable route, or would one want to set aside faux patriotism for a moment and let the airline use that aircraft into use, by plying a more profitable route?

In the long run, I guess the latter option would be more feasible.

No wonder I didn't make politics my field. Filipinos are so sentimental, emotionally-driven, when it comes to politics. Even one citizen commented in the article that because he noticed that other "small third-world countries" (sic) send their national airlines in the Middle East, then why would the Philippines stop doing so?

So what?

Anyway, forget about it. What can a rant from a person like me do to influence the situation?

On a different note, I received my books for the Spring semester today. Oh boy. Reading materials again.

Tonight, I cooked Tunisian Vegetable Stew. I liked it. The spices were just amazing in their seduction of the palate. Oh well, I better stop romanticizing.

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