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Malacanañg Palace Is Now In Bread Business!

Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA), by term limit, has only until 2010 as President. As I understand, she is a product of U.S. Harvard school of economics. I think she has her good shot until 2010 to show what she is – a sound economist rather than playing trapo.

She seems so much concerned about her place in history. I think, survival, the future, destiny – they are more by God than by oneself, if I am to drag the great old man in here.

Really, Filipinos in selected parts of Metro Manila woke up yesterday to learn that government has now gone into business of selling bread. Yes, b-r-e-a-d as in bakery. I find this a very interesting social-economic development. Food going farther away from reach, especially of poor Filipinos, seems to be the concern.

I have a neighbor across our street that is in neighborhood bakery business. Twelve years ago or so, he was a self-employed Pedicab driver. He sold his tricycle thinking he’d make a successful baker, which was his employment before he managed to buy a motorbike that he later added a cab to.

I remember when he started his bakery business, he was selling 2  pcs by 3 inch long pandesal per peso. Somewhere in time his pandesal became one peso each. Today they’re still sold at one peso apiece, but they are now shrunk to 2 3/8″ long from the old 3-inch. And I see more Matsakaw in his shelves lately. Matsakaw are pandesal that are not sold in the day. Pandesal are sliced, re-baked to a crunch and sold cheaper for cost recovery.

And my neighbor’s real-time problem? He is squeezed between high costs of flour, LPG, electric power, and his customers.

And, as also reported by media, his kinds now are making noise out there, alarmed by this new scheme of selling bread by the State. They’re facing displacement. Like I said, this seems interesting development. If people have noticed this is a direction from capitalism to socialism.

By the way, let’s take Karl Marx: That social evolution from Capitalism to Socialism is in-avoidable. This is caused by social classes and by their interests and conflicts.

Let’s add Eduard Bernstein: That social evolution is taking place we are there or not. Meaning, that revolution is not always necessary. Social Democracy is based on that theory.

Half the world is not hasty at pushing revolutionary change. Under certain conditions socialism is seen as counter productive when dogmatically applied in those conditions. (For one thing, as we all know Homo erectus needs his type of motivation and he is much in us today.)

Helping system to grow until it becomes too old and to fade out naturally, or should system be aborted or killed outright and radically. They are issues that confront the progressives. There’s your conflict between a [social] democrat and a communist.

But back to this Government bakery business – is it progressive or counter progressive?

But most Juan dela Cruzes from observers’ standpoint have their own questions, too – “Ano na namang pautot ito?” The man in the street has not read Historical materialism, but the principle is very much practiced by him. Indeed, what kind of superficial gimmick is this bread business by Malacanañg?

If I may synthesize them: So, Malacanañg is selling cheaper and bigger bread than that my baker-neighbor is selling. And they come in more expensive packing as shown in TV. They must have cost higher than what my baker-neighbor is producing. This must be good business for government supplier or suppliers, presumably big bakery businesses, which is nothing wrong per se and in some aspect of time is, in fact, progressive.

But, is this bread business by government sustainable or is it another of those pains in the ass of Juan dela Cruz in the long run? And, is the State ready to assume the role of those it will displace? And looking at the already high un-employment problem, what happens to those who will be displaced?

Why does not, or cannot government just simply bring in or affect cheaper flour (LPG and electricity, too) for all Filipinos? Looking at the situations, I don’t think that this bread program can even be pushed Metro Manila-wide. Yes it will make some sections of Metro Manila happy. This ought to be done country-wide. Malacanañg has reportedly appropriated P5 billion pesos for dole out to Filipinos reduced to beggars out there. But as we all know, Juan dela Cruz who is shouldering all these, is not that rich.

Juan dela Cruz appears to be right – it looks like another pautot to prop Malacanañg hopefully until 2010. Everybody does that in his or her term – let the next administration pick up the bills later, ha-ha-ha?

[add to your dictionary folks: Trapo short for traditional politician.  Ilonggo dialect: rag, dirty cloth. Pautot to create wave thinking it is smart. Tagalog and Ilonggo dialect, literal: to fart. Intentional loud fart that disgusts instead of amusing people.]


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