Note: I had to go to the Manila Bulletin website just to dig this information which I initially learned through radio reports. It seems that the Inquirer find the gains of the trip too minor that they focused on the controversy attached to it. I can hardly find this information in the front page.
STATE VISIT TO ESPANA
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (PGMA) left for Spain and ushered PhP1.2 Billion (about $28M) in Foreign Direct Investments (FDI). This is good news since FDI’s, being tangible capital, does not leave the country as easily as other forms of capital (like stock market funds). Please check this link for the details.
AT WHAT EXPENSE?
- The president, aiming to please the source of her family’s wealth, told the Spanish government that she has signed a directive promoting the teaching and learning of the Spanish language.
- Apart from her official delegation, she is accompanied by more than 30 congressmen who are being suspected of being there, simply to have a good time.
What does her directive state? With not so many Spanish speaking teachers in the country, how much will it cost to train instructors and write Spanish books and instructional materials? If the language will be brought back, I am almost sure that it will cost the country more than PhP1.2 Billion and that easily offsets the gains of this trip.
PARA QUE? And what will the country need the language for? The country’s current trade volume with Spain does not warrant much need for Spanish speaking Filipinos. In my estimate, even the projected volume of trade for the next several years will never justify the need for such change in the country’s educational system.
In addition, the much touted demand for Spanish speaking call center operators will never come close to the supply volume after the first graduates of the new curriculum are ready.
My president,Please “let the market dictate!”By the way, a State visit is good but a very big delegation is definitely not. The published roles of the congressmen definitely do not justify that much number in your entourage. And with so many poor people in this country, bringing political allies on what the citizenry perceives as a very expensive junket makes you look so calloused that you have lost your feelings for your countrymen.Señora Arroyo, no desatienda por favor nuestras sensaciones - please do not disregard our feelings.Muchas Gracias!- JCS 2007, Tu Muchaho