Here's a comment i made in reaction to UPn Student and Watchful Eye's comments over at mlq3's:
Unlike in Malaysia, where the Chinese community constitutes a substantial minority (around 30%), the ethnic-Chinese population here is far too small to be the made the target of affirmative action programs as implemented by UMNO. Besides, our geographic proximity to China and hundreds of years of trade ties means that a lot of ethnic-Filipinos actually have mixed blood so the distinction between Malay/Chinese does not seem to apply as strongly to us. (Physically, Filipinos resemble Thais more than they resemble Malaysians or Indonesians.) The Filipino super-rich is a small community so a more targeted approach may be desirable.
As i mentioned* in Ellen’s blog previously, i’m hoping that the next leader of the country (whether he/she be democratically elected as i would prefer, or a dictator), would summon the 300 wealthiest families of the Philippines to Malacanang and ask each of them for a workable plan to redistribute a portion of their wealth to the poor (e.g. as seed money for livelihood programs). This plan, once agreed upon, should be closely monitored by the grassroots organizations for faithfulness of implementation and quality of execution. Within the ranks elite, they should also agree to police their ranks of would be cronies.
Where we should have a broad based policy against a class of people would be the big landowners (rural or urban) as it has been shown that among the forms of inequality, as i mentioned in this post and as alluded to by hvrds below, it is inequality in land ownership that is the most detrimental to economic growth. That’s why our neighbors who tackled this matter early on had more success in economic development. Besides, it is better for capital to be diverted to industry rather than real estate.
Update 11-22-07: Interesting discussion on what to do with the Philippine elite at this thread over at Manolo Quezon's blog.
*comment at February 15th, 2007 at 7:35 pm