Tip from a former President: Dialogues, consensus are musts

By JC Rodriguez, abs-cbnNEWS.com

Posted at Jul 17 2011 03:00 PM | Updated as of Jul 17 2011 11:00 PM

MANILA, Philippines – For former President Fidel V. Ramos, dialogues and consensus are keys to solving the problems that the current administration is facing.

In the pilot episode of Atty. Adel Tamano’s new show on ANC called “Tamano Perspective”, Ramos stressed the value of communication.

“Be sure that there is dialogue, consultation and eventually a consensus. It’s not the solution of a big problem, but the consensus will lead to a direction, to a solution of the problem,” he said.

Ramos noted that the road to transformation is a long one. To get there, Ramos advised leaders, and the public as well, to be consistent in their actions, regardless of who the President is.

“Any problem must be seen short-ranged and long-term. Because to effect reforms in our country, we need maybe one whole generation to transform. Meaning, [that’s] 4 Presidential terms. Continuity is important. We should not be zigzagging all the time just because there is a change in administration. We must move upwards,” Ramos said.

Spratlys row

The territorial dispute over Spratly Islands must be addressed in a peaceful manner according to international laws, he said.

Territorial disputes are no longer "in fashion," he added.

“We are now in the 21st century, aggressive wars or wars of invasion or armed conflicts to gain territory are no longer the fashion. The real enemy now are the following: international terrorism, natural and man-made catastrophes, and endemic diseases,” said Ramos.

He noted that instead of focusing on disputes, the countries involved in the Spratlys row should look at the bigger picture.

“At this point, the leaders should now invest the funds available in each country to protect ourselves from catastrophes, for instance,” he said.

Quality of life

Ramos maintains the same ethos of looking at the bigger picture when asked about the controversial and highly-debated Divorce bill.

Ramos said divorce is just a small bit of a bigger issue.

“Divorce is a small bit of the bigger issue of family life, which itself is the bigger issue interest of quality of life. We are the only country in the world now that does not allow divorce,” he said.

Ramos added that Catholicism doesn’t equate to overpopulation, citing “successful and high quality” Catholic countries Italy, Spain, Austria, France and Ireland.

“What are their population growth rates? Less than 1%. What’s ours? 2.03%. Yet, these countries I’ve mentioned, which are in the majority Catholic countries, are within the top 20,” Ramos said.