NA – Nursing Association. Most of the Registered Nurses of the Philippines are working abroad. There are many Filipino Nursing Associations outside the country. Alumni gatherings are held in countries where there is a large concentration of Filipinos. UP Alumni groups pa lang eh, napakarami na sa Tate. The United States employs thousands of Filipino nurses, both young and old. Thus it is no longer surprising to hear reports of Nepalese health practitioners who are hired by provincial hospitals to work in the Philippines. We need to import doctors and nurses already.
NB – National Broadband Network. National Broadcasting Network. Noise Barrage. The NBN-ZTE was a controversial project of the Arroyo administration. The project’s objective was noble but it was tainted with corruption. It was later cancelled to minimize public outcry. It cost the political fortunes of Ben Abalos and Romulo Neri. The scandal also produced star witnesses: Joey de Venecia and Jun Lozada.
The NBN channel is a government-run TV station. It used to be known as PTV-4. It only run shows which are not critical to the administration. Only politicians and their few hirelings loyally and reluctantly watch NBN. Some Filipinos watch it to view Lotto results. Sino ang nanonood ng Dial M ni Manoling Morato? Aminin. NBN gives public broadcasting a bad name.
The most famous Noise Barrage protest action in the Philippines took place in 1978. The metro-wide noise barrage demonstrated the widespread resistance to the Marcos regime. Noise barrage actions are still effective today.
NCEE – National College Entrance Examination. Hindi ko na ito inabot. My batchmates took NSAT or National Secondary Achievement Test. During college I wrote a paper criticizing standardized examinations. I still believe that standard tests are inaccurate and unnecessary indicators of learning. Once upon a time I was an advocate of the “de-schooling society” movement.
ND – National Democracy. Those who struggle for national democracy (with a socialist perspective) are called Natdems or ND for short. Natdems are revolutionists. Natdems are Maoists. The ND movement remains an important political force in the country. It is the most consistent and formidable alternative and moral force for change in the Philippines. Others are just noisy derivatives.
NGO – Most of them are peopled by genuine and educated idealists. Many of them are sincere activists. Unfortunately, there are NGOs which are established mainly to tap the funds of big foundations or to defeat the organized party of the working classes. David Harvey warns about depending too much on NGOs:
“The NGOs have in many instances stepped into the vacuum in social provision left by the withdrawal of the state from such activities. This amounts to privatization by NGO. In some instances this has helped accelerate further state withdrawal from social provision. NGOs thereby function as ‘Trojan horses for global neoliberalism’.”
Arundhati Roy delivers the same warning about the “NGO-ization of resistance”:
“NGOs give the impression that they are filling the vacuum created by a retreating state. And they are, but in a materially inconsequential way. Their real contribution is that they defuse political anger and dole out as aid or benevolence what people ought to have by right.
“They alter the public psyche. They turn people into dependent victims and blunt the edges of political resistance. NGOs form a sort of buffer between the sarkar and public. Between Empire and its subjects. They have become the arbitrators, the interpreters, the facilitators.
“In the long run, NGOs are accountable to their funders, not to the people they work among.
“NGOs have funds that can employ local people who might otherwise be activists in resistance movements, but now can feel they are doing some immediate, creative good (and earning a living while they’re at it). Real political resistance offers no such short cuts.
“The NGO-ization of politics threatens to turn resistance into a well-mannered, reasonable, salaried, 9-to-5 job. With a few perks thrown in. Real resistance has real consequences. And no salary.”
Nu – Nuclear energy is a hot topic again in the Philippines because of the proposal to revive the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. I’m now convinced that it is not wise to build nuclear power plants in the Philippines, which is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire. Instead, the government should build more windmills, and geothermal and hydroelectric power plants. Convert BNPP into a tourist attraction, or a science complex.
Other Southeast Asian countries are also planning to build nuclear power plants. Elsewhere in the region, North Korea has successfully launched a long-range rocket a few weeks ago. Ominous signs of troubled times? Countries willing to adopt nuclear technology in anticipation of oil price surges? Nuclear energy to slow down global warming? Nuclear missiles in preparation for poverty and recession wars in the world? Am I too gloomy?
Nationalization – I refer to the proposal of prominent U.S. economists to nationalize “zombie banks.” It seems the term nationalization is getting more popular today. Some neoliberal economists insist that the proposal to nationalize financial institutions is “not Bolshevik but pragmatic” approach to deal with the economy that is “near depression.” Tingnan ninyo, sila (kayo) rin pala ang magpapanukala ng nasyonalisasyon.
Another aspect of the current N-word is related to the protectionist measures included in the stimulus plans of several countries. Buy America. Buy Malaysia. Buy _____________ fill-in-the-blanks protectionism. Before, economists are allergic to trade protection proposals. Today, they can’t resist suggesting these “unorthodox” measures.
Ang masasabi ko lang: Pula, pula ang kinabukasan. Sa mga nagdududa, kayo ay, ika nga ni dating Bise Presidente Spiro T. Agnew ng Estados Unidos, mga "nattering nabobs of negativism". Uy, panay N-words yun ha.