Dear Fellow Filipinos,
Greetings of peace!
Last week I wrote an open letter to all Filipinos expressing my views about the upcoming May 2007 elections (for those who failed to read it, its posted at http://filipinochangemaker.blogspot.com/ ) and the response has been very overwhelming to say the least. Maraming maraming Salamat to all those who emailed me personally and forwarded my email to many more Filipinos all over the world. I am very sorry that I cannot email each one of you personally thus, I have devided to write an open letter to all of you especially to all overseas Filipinos.
Many of those who emailed me were overseas Filipinos some of whom have migrated and decided to live abroad while many more are those currently working on foreign soil. An observation that they gave was the reason why the Philippines has never progressed through the years is because of two main reasons: Poor Quality of Education and Lack of Good Filipino Leaders. I couldn't agree more with these observations but then again the question persists on what shall we do about it or rather what can we do about this growing problems in our society? For those who continually ask these questions especially to Filipinos who now live and/or work overseas, allow me to share with you a possible answer that I have thought of...
Last 2006, the remittances of Filipinos living and working abroad reached more than US$ 10 Billion, this stagerring amount was the main reason why despite the fact that our government has time and again been tagged as one of the more corrupt and least transparent ones in the world, our economy has remained afloat and thankfully, peace and order has been maintained. Now, what if just 1% of this amount (US $ 100 Million = 5 Billion Pesos) was invested by Overseas Filipinos on helping poor college students go to college or building public school libraries so that our Filipino children can learn how to read... here is what would happen:
a.) 100,000 Poor but Deserving Filipino Students would be able to Finish College and hopefully have a better future for them and their families.
b.) 50,000 Public School Libraries would be built. Virtually every Public elementary Schools would have adequate Public School Libraries, helping more than 9 million Filipino students from every nook and corner of the Philippines learn how to read.
Wow! This is how powerful the Overseas Filipinos are, if every Filipino living or working abroad would just commit to making a Social Investment in our country, the results will not be additional money in the bank for you but an even greater return... A Much Better Philippines for you and your children! So that one day the next generation of Filipinos will no longer need to leave our country and their families to seek greener pastures and a better life. More importantly, we can show the world that genuine People Power still exists in our country not in the form of toppling our government but rather in building a nation ravaged by weak leadership and self-serving interests.
And How much does it cost to invest in our country's future? Not much in fact....
a.) US $ 60 can help send a Filipino Youth Leader to a Youth Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship Training Seminar to help develop better leaders for country. Who knows the youth leader you invest in may be the next Mayor, Governor, Senator or even President of our country....(Visit www.ashoka.org or www.changemakers.org to learn more about Social Entrepreneurship)
b.) US$ 100 can help buy a complete set of reference materials for a Public Elementary School Library for more than 2,000 students to read. (Visit ahonfoundation.blogspot.com to learn more about building public school libraries)
c.) US $ 200 can help send a student to college for one year (Visit www.pathwaysphilippines.org or www.iskolar.org to learn more about sending Poor but Deserving Filipino Students to College and giving them a brighter future)
Thus, this is my response to those who ask me what we can do to help our country and to those who ask me to stay so that I may continue to give Hope to our nation. I ask you now to give me and many more Filipinos a reason to stay by investing in our nation. The problems of our country will not go away overnight but we need to start somewhere and it is only in working together that we can help make this country great again. And I know that all of you still believe that we can make this happen! For as long as there are many more Filipinos who are willing to take a risk and invest in our country's future then indeed there is still much HOPE left in the Philippines! :)
Again, thank you very much for your time in reading this email.
May you have a pleasant day and God Bless the Philippines! :)