Jan. 31, 2005
The Republic of the Philippines is an archipeligo of over 7,100 islands located north of Malaysia, Australia and Indonesia in the Pacific Ocean and south of Taiwan. The Philippine Islands became a Spanish colony during the 16th century; they were ceded to the US in 1898 following the Spanish- American War. In 1935 the Philippines became a self-governing commonwealth. Manuel QUEZON was elected President and was tasked with preparing the country for independence after a 10-year transition. In 1942 the islands fell under Japanese occupation during WWII, and US forces and Filipinos fought together during 1944-45 to regain control. On 4 July 1946 the Philippines attained their independence. The 21-year rule of Ferdinand MARCOS ended in 1986, when a widespread popular rebellion forced him into exile and installed Corazon AQUINO as president. Her presidency was hampered by several coup attempts, which prevented a return to full political stability and economic development. Fidel RAMOS was elected president in 1992 and his administration was marked by greater stability and progress on economic reforms. In 1992, the US closed its last military bases on the islands. Joseph ESTRADA was elected president in 1998, but was succeeded by his vice-president, Gloria MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, in January 2001 after Estrada's stormy impeachment trial on corruption charges broke down and widespread demonstrations led to his ouster. MACAPAGAL-ARROYO was elected to a six- year term in May 2004. The Philippine Government faces threats from both Muslim separatist groups and communist insurgents. In area it is slightly larger than Arizona. Population 86,241,697 (July 2004 est.)
0-14 years: 35.8% (male 15,758,255; female 15,152,291)
15-64 years: 60.2% (male 25,847,345; female 26,096,211)
65 years and over: 3.9% (male 1,473,873; female 1,913,722) (2004 est.)
total: 22.1 years
male: 21.6 years
female: 22.6 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.88% (2004 est.)
Stats from CIA Factbook 2004.
There are many reasons for my proposal to make the Republic of the Philippines the 51st (and possibly 52nd and 53rd states, see North and South Carolina, the Dakotas, West Virginia, etc..) of the United States of America. I will list them in order and expand on them as I go along. Firstly, we have longstanding ties with the Philippine people. The Philippines was an American territory and commonwealth until they achieved their independence after WWII. English has been spoken in the Philippines since 1762, and the Philippines is the third largest English- speaking nation in the world, after the USA and United Kingdom.
Secondly, the people of the Philippines, known as Filipinos, for the most part admire, respect and emulate the United States, especially for its rule of law, fair elections, civil rights, industriousness, sense of fair play, and economic vitality. Many in the Philippines feel that becoming a U.S. state would be preferable to the rampant cronyism, corruption, bribe-taking and favoritism displayed by many of their current leadership and poverty that pervades many of the islands. Thirdly, becoming a state(or states) of the U.S. would enable Filipinos to travel freely within the U.S., opening up new vistas of opportunity for many(such as the hundreds of thousands of well-trained Filipino nurses, doctors and other medical technicians, of which there is a shortage in the U.S.), and would encourage both foreign and U.S. investment in the new state(s), as stabilization would occur. One great benefit for current citizens of the United States would be 80 million new taxpayers and contributors into the Social Security system. The Philippines has a great number of underemployed and unemployed, yet highly intelligent and educated young adults, who, with adequate investment, could turn the Philippines into the "Silicon Valley" of Asia, enriching the whole United States all the more. Small business loans, which are almost impossible to get now in the Philippines, or come with "loan shark" type interest rates, would be much easier to find, causing a boom in these small businesses, and hence employment, in the islands.
I believe the Philippines should be admitted as three separate states, based on culture and geography, so as not to overwhelm the U.S. Congress with a sudden influx of 140 representatives in the House of Representatives from one state. Each state, would of course, also have two senators.
The United States will also greatly benefit in having the Philippines a state of the U.S. because of the rich natural resources which could potentially be developed with modern technologies. Also, the U.S. would again have bases close to communist China and other trouble spots, from which to contain any potential enemies, and some of the people of the new state(s) would gain employment at these military installations and in catering to the personnel assigned there. On that note, Filipinos would be able to join the U.S. military directly, with no hassle, and gain the benefits and training that accrue to those who serve. The Philippines already has the only U.S. Veterans Affairs medical facility outside the U.S., and that could be expanded upon. There are many other benefits that make this an ideal proposal, and I welcome your comments and suggestions, especially those from people in the Philippines or of Philippine descent.
About the author: Mr. Srout is a veteran of the US Army (MOS 96B20-Intelligence Analyst) and is a keen student of the War Between The States. He is currently helping his friend Dave Brown market his book "Cooking For Cavemen"
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