Tuesday, October 9, 2012

There will be no real progress and development without peace

The breakthrough in the peace process between the government and the MILF that brought forth the Bangsamoro will help pave the way for progress and development, and must therefore be given a chance by pundits before jumping to conclusions.

It all starts with a cessation of hostilities. We cannot hope to have progress when there is war. Let’s not fool ourselves into thinking we can reach developed nation status without ending armed conflict in the countryside.

We have been trying to achieve peace in a certain way for decades, and now we are trying to do it another way. The best thing that could happen is that we have broken the status quo. That is a good start, in my opinion.

We have seen how Cagayan de Oro, General Santos, and other such cities have flourished when a cessation of armed conflict was implemented during the Ramos administration. These regions have since progressed exponentially. Once economic progress sets in, the people themselves will work hard to sustain that progress. We must not forget that poverty is the main reason why there is social unrest.

The government must seize this opportunity and act quickly as soon as that window of opportunity presents itself to introduce and implement economic reforms and development in the region.