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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Ford Philippines Closes Shop on BS Aquino’s Hacienda Economics

All of the chuwariwap cheerleading of BS Aquino about improved sovereign credit ratings, higher GDP growth, higher government spending, corona impeachment, “it’s more fun in the Philippines” , “Philippines ready for business”, news about the forty richest Filipinos, passing more laws on transparency – HAS NOT CONVINCED FORD PHILIPPINES TO REMAIN OPEN because in the words of Ford Philippines – “we could not make a strong enough business case for future manufacturing”.

FORD PHILIPPINES RIDES INTO THE SUNSET OF BS AQUINO’S HACIENDA ECONOMY. AND MOVES TO.. THAILAND – WHERE PEOPLE CAN AFFORD CARS AND ELECTRICITY IS SUPERIOR THAN MERALCO’S EXORBITANT ROLLING BROWNOUTS.

Ford to close Philippines assembly plant

June 27 | Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:42am EDT
(Reuters) – Ford Motor Co said on Wednesday it will close its assembly plant in the Philippines later this year as part of a restructuring in the region.

The decision to close the plant in Santa Rosa when production of the Escape sport utility vehicle ends was made as part of Ford’s effort to cut costs, the company said. The Philippines market will be served by imports from other plants around the world, mostly from Thailand.

“The company studied every possible scenario and opportunity, but we could not make a strong enough business case for future manufacturing,” Randy Krieger, Ford Group Philippines president, said in a statement.

The plant, in which Ford has invested about $270 million since it opened in 1998, can build 36,000 vehicles annually and employs 250 people. Some of the affected employees will shift to sales and marketing in the Philippines, or to other plants in the region.

Ford is currently the only volume exporter of vehicles from the Philippines and has exported more than 80,000 vehicles with a value of $1 billion to Southeast Asian markets including Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. The No. 2 U.S. automaker still plans to double its number of dealers in the Philippines by 2015.

Ford said a separation package, including training and counseling, will be offered to all of the affected employees.

Ford’s exit will have a substantial on the Philippine government’s tax revenue, LGU revenues, the incomes of its employees, and the industries which benefitted from the consumer spending of Ford Philippines and its employees.

It will be interesting how long the BS Aquino and Butch Abad can continue with their bullshit about increased government spending as there are more companies leaving the Philippines, companies who are taxed, companies whose incomes are taken away by the Philippine government in the name of “increased public spending”.

I am not surprised that Ford Philippines has come to the conclusion that it can’t make the case for staying in the Philippines. I’ll wager a couple of cost drivers that have made Ford come to this decision.

1. Very High Cost of Electricity – Only MERALCO and NAPOCOR Make Money

Car manufacturing is an industry which uses electricity greatly. When MERALCO and/or its provincial allies is the only source of electricity in connivance with the Philippine government, it can charge anything it wants to the detriment of electric power consumers. It’s not a secret that the Philippines has one of the highest rates of electricity in Asia.

The country has not had any new power plants constructed – nor has the Philippines opened the economy to allow more foreign majority owned companies to generate, transmit, and distribute electicity.

The high cost of electricity will show up in the sales price of the Ford’s products – which means Ford could price itself out of the market or eat up its profit margin.

2. Low Purchasing Power of Filipinos

The per capita GDP of Filipinos is among the lowest in ASEAN – and fluctuates within the $2000 to $3000 band. It may have been double the country’s per capita income a decade ago, but it remains one of the smallest in Southeast Asia.

While FDI comes in droves to ASEAN – the Philippines remains stuck with only 5% of FDI. The jobs in the Philippines are created by Filipino businesses only. The purchasing capacity of the workforce therefore is stuck to low wages that can ill afford a Ford car which retails for $15000 – and with monthly payments of $250 – or $3000 per year. Spending $3000 per year on a car – in a country where people only make $2000-$3000 per year just does not add up.

If you can’t sell what you manufacture because people have low incomes – AND whatever income they have they have to spend on electricity, water, phones, food, education – which are as exorbitant in relation to their paycheck – you can’t make the case.

3. Higher Purchasing Power of Continental Asia

The open and liberalized economies of the countries in continental Asia have led to a rise in per capita GDP. The dividing line that marks the entry into a a more affluent consumer society gravitates around $5000 per annum currently. The Philippines is still way off that mark.

The Gross Domestic Product per capita in Thailand was last reported at 8553.78 US dollars in 2010, when adjusted by purchasing power parity (PPP), according to a report published by the World Bank.

For short, Thais and its population of 70 million are able to afford $3000 per year car – with more than $5000 to spare – an amount which is more than twice the Philippine GDP per capita.

The geographical proximity to the markets of China, Vietnam, and South Korea also help.

It’s also no secret that Thailand has opened its economy to allow foreign majority owned businesses unlike the Philippines which has the 60/40 constitutional restrictions. The open economies allow a more diverse mix of businesses to flourish and create jobs for Thais.

EAT DUST, PHILIPPINES

In contrast, the Philippines protected economy – limits the jobs to companies owned by Lopez, Sy, Ayala, Cojuangco – and poverty reduction is via CCT subsidy instead of job-creating investments.

The results and outcomes are there for us to see in broad daylight – a BLINDING FLASH OF THE OBVIOUS.

Ford gets stuck in a hole if it stays in the Philippines. Its products become uncompetitive; Its revenue margins get reduced; The rolling blackouts impact its supply chain; The lack of purchasing power of Filipinos; and, the emergence of more affluent markets in continental Asia. And that’s on top of the ridiculous regulations, taxes, political circuses, and corruption in the Philippines.

Ford Philippines is just following what the Filipinos overseas have done – leave the stinking uninspired hacienda economy behind for more dynamic open economies.

Meanwhile, Freddie Aquilar should consider remaking “Ang Bulag, Pipi, at Bingi” as the new National Anthem of the Philippines. And while we are at it – move the capital to Tarlac.


About the Author

BongV

has written 389 stories on this site.

BongV is the webmaster of Antipinoy.com.


Status Symbol

Watch this.

Bakit ba ganon? Mahalaga mashado sa mga Pinoy ang image, na dapat isipin ng iba ay kaya nila ang buhay, ok lang sila hindi sila naghihirap, may kaya sila. Status symbol, importante sa Pinoy.

May nakausap nga ako, dati kong kaklase noong highschool. Sabi niya importante daw na ang kotse mo ay SUV, at may relo ka sa Pinas. Yung mamahaling wrist watch ha, hindi yung swatch lang. Kasi status symbol daw yan. Magiiba ang tingin sa iyo ng ibang tao. Sabi ko naman hindi naman practical siguro ang SRV unless may malaki kang pamilya at malaki ang sahod mo. At bakit ka pa mag rerelo, kung may celphone ka naman na may orasan din. Bakit ka pa mag susuot ng relo?

Isang araw pagbukas ko ng facebook nakita ko may bagong photo na napost yung kaibigan ko. Nagpost siya ng bagong picture. Gusto lang naman niyang ipakita yung bago niyang relo na TAG HEUER. At may caption pa na "watch this".

Hindi ba kayo nagtataka kung bakit fixated mashado ang mga unggoy Pinoy sa mga sikat na brands at designer labels? Pag hindi kilala yung brand na suot mo, kakantyawan ka na laos. Kaya bibili ka ngayon ng damit na may sumisigaw na Gucci sa harapan. Yung mga gago na may YS label na sinakop na yung buong damit, at maglalakad siya sa mall suot yung sumisigaw na YS tshirt niya na ang baduy naman at wala naman siyang pambili sa mamahaling mall na yan. Tapos kakain siya sa Jollibee, at sisigawan ang crew pag mashadong matagal yung inorder niyang burger yum, habang suot niya yung sumisigaw na YS na damit niya, na ang baduy-baduy at nakalimutan pa niya mag toothbrush mashadong maasim yung hininga nya.

Sige dito kayo kumain kung talagang
down to earth kayo.
Pag kumain naman sa medyo mamahaling resto, pagdating ng pagkain naaliw ang Pinoy sa magandang presentation ng kanilang inorder. Pipiktyuran ito at ilalagay sa facebook. Oo, ipagsisigawan niya na siya ay kumain sa resto, sosyal siya at may pera siya. Mga kapitbahay, mga kapitbahay! Tingnan niyo yung kinakain ko ngayon beef in oyster sauce dito sa Shaolin Tree Chinese Restaurant sa Greenbelt Makati! Tingnan niyo ito mga putanginang mga patay gutom kayo!

Mayroon din mga firearms enthusiasts na nagpapamember sa shooting range or gun club na malapit sa kanila. Walang laman mga utak nito kung hindi mga baril. Mahilig sila sa baril at kating-kati sila. Dinadala nila ito kahit saan, kahit sa inuman kagaya ng kakilala kong tikalon na taga Bacolod. Imporante talaga na makita ng mga tao na may baril sila, dahil status symbol ito. Magkano baril? Mahal yan. Mas mahal ang registration at lisensya niyan na nirerenew kada-taon parang registration ng kotse. Mas mahal nga lang.

Bakit ang hilig ng mga Pinoy sa mga baril?
At pag may baril ka, malakas ang loob mo na maging kupalin lalo na sa inuman. Kung may aangal, sasagot ang baril na hawak niya. Ano sinusubukan niyo ba ako ha? Sino lalaban sa akin ngayon na may hawak na akong diyos? Diyos itong baril, luluhod ka dito. Ito ang diyos! Ako ay Pilipino mayabang ako! Ang kayabang nasa dugo ko dahil punong-puno ako ng insecurities! At pag nalaman niyo na walang lisensya ito at registration dahil wala akong pambayad, naghihirap na ako sa totoo lang ay ako ang luluhod sa inyo wag niyo akong isumbong sa pulis. Basta meron akong baril, na diyos niyo, naitatago ko ang insecurities ko at sikreto ng aking estado sa buhay. Ako ay walang pera, hambog lang talaga, ako ay Pinoy na may dugong mayabang, ako ay may baril kanino kayo luluhod ha mga putangina kayo!

Meron akong kakilala na nakaharap ng gago noon, talagang hinamon niya. Hinarap niya talaga dahil naglabas na ng baril yung kainoman niya. "Sige putangina mo iputok mo na yang baril na yan, itutok mo dito sa ulo at pasabugin mo utak ko! Gusto ko na mamatay, wala akong paki sa buhay kong ito, itong buhay na walang kwenta dahil sa tindi ng pagmamalasakit ko sa bansa na nasasayang lang! Ayaw ko nang mabuhay dahil sa lakas ng aking desire na makita na umahon ang bansang ito, na aminin na natin wala na talagang pag asa, wala nang pag asa ang bansa na ito kaya sige na iputok mo na yang baril na yan tsutsupain ko pa yan na parang bakla na naghahari ngayon sa bulok na bansang Pilipinas! Bulok na bulok talaga ang Pilipinas kaya iputok mo na yan, putangina ka, kung hindi susuntukin ko talaga yang pagmumukha mo at wala kang magagawa dahil alam kong hanggang porma ka lang! Putok mo putangina ka! Putok mo!"

Hindi niya maiputok. Hanggang porma lang talaga. Kaya binuhat niya yung lamesita na pinaglalagyan ng mga nainom nilang tanduay at hinagis niya sa ulo niya, buti hindi natamaan dahil lasing na lasing na siya. At nagtatakbo na pauwi ng bahay niya yung mayabang na may baril, natakot sa kanya, binato niya ng mga bote at baso na napunta lang sa bakuran ng kapitbahay namin tinamaan yung nakaparang SUV niya. Nagalit siya lalo sa sarili niya kaya kinuha niya yung motor niya at balak sanang sagasaan niya habang tumatakas kaso dahil sa matinding kalasingan dumiretso siya doon sa may damuhan, lumusot sa mga talahib at tuloy-tuloy sa bangin.

Bigatin ka pag meron ka nito sa Pinas.
Napatunayan niya na hanggang porma lang talaga yang mga gun enthusiasts na yan, hindi naman pala kakasa. Naglalabas lang ng baril para lang ipakita sa tao na sila ay mapera. Sa paglabas din ng baril, gusto din niya i-announce na siya ang leader, alpha male, ang masusunod at mahal na hari. Your Highness! Liege lord! Kaya dapat siguro magkaroon na ng gun ban sa Pinas dahil sa putanginang mayayabang na Pinoy, may dugong mayabang talaga hindi nababagay sa atin magkaroon ng baril. Dapat na may baril lang ay mga militar, pulis. Pero civilian, dapat bawalan.

Nabwisit din ako isang araw post ng post sa facebook ang isang kakilala ko. Dami niyang pinopost na mga photos, mga kuha daw niya. Picture ng kanyang kotse, bahay, gamit sa bahay. Mga walang kwentang bagay. Baka gusto niya lang ipakita na may mga mamahaling gamit siya. Nabwisit ako nang makita ko na may picture siya ng camera. Nagcomment ako, "Tol, bakit naman pati camera kinunan mo ng litrato? Dapat yan ang ginagamit mo pang kuha ng litrato diba"? Gusto lang yata niya ipakita na may mamahaling camera siya. So yung mga gamit sa bahay na una niyang pinost, ay mga kuha gamit ang mamahaling camera. Eh walang nagcocomment kasi wala naman siyang mata sa camera. Ang bulok ng mga kuha niya. Ang dilim pa hindi mo matatawag na art. Hindi nga pasado yan sa Abante, kung mag apply siyang ng trabaho na camera man. At shempre para malaman ng tao kung anong camera ginamit niya, na may bago siyang bili na camera na mamahalin talaga, at para mag improve ang kanyang status symbol, kailangan kunan din niya ng photo yung camera.

At yung mga bwisit na mga holiday photos ha sino ba nabubwisit na rin sa mga friends ninyo na mahilig mag share ng mga walang kwentang picture nila? Ano paki alam ko kung nagpunta ka sa Hong Kong burat na tao ka? Binayaran mo na ba yung utang mo sa tindahan sa kanto? Saan mo nakuha yung pera pang holiday diyan? Inutang mo na naman sa credit card mo? Puki ng inang Pinoy ka!

Christian Filipino expat workers warned of danger in Saudi Arabia

In the wake of the recent fatwa by Saudi Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah ordering the destruction of all Christian churches on the Arabian Peninsula, an expat watchdog group warned non-Muslim Filipino migrant workers that they must avoid violating the religious restrictions while in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In plain language, that means they cannot perform Christian worship services, even in a private home (which counts as a “house church”).

Employers in the Gulf States are infamous for harsh and sometimes fraudulent treatment of poor migrant workers, whether Muslim or not. Migrant workers must ask themselves: Are Saudi wages worth bowing the neck to spiritual as well as material enslavement?

Christians who intend to go to the KSA should be aware that they may face martyrdom if they continue practicing their faith, especially if they follow the Great Commission by mentioning it to anybody. Those who can’t accept that possibility, or whose faith is not strong enough to withstand that test, would be better off staying home.

gulfnews.com has the story:

Non-Muslim Filipino expats in Saudi Arabia told to be cautious

By Gilbert P. Felongco, Correspondent

Manila: A migrant watchgroup urged Filipinos in Saudi Arabia to be more cautious in expressing their faith after the country’s most influential Islamic scholar issued a fatwa against religious structures in the Arab Peninsula.

In a statement, John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator, said it is understandable why a religious leader of a kingdom hosting a large population of migrant workers would issue such a restriction on the exercise of religion other than Islam.

He said that Saudi Arabia is not just any other country hosting a large Muslim population but is considered as the centre of the Islamic faith.

“Saudi Arabia is an Islamic state. It is where the two Holy Mosques are located,” Monterona said, referring to the Masjid Al Haram in Makkah and the Masjid Al Nabawi.

He urged fellow non-Muslim Filipino workers and the Filipino community in Saudi Arabia to exert extra caution and avoid violating the religious restrictions imposed by the host government to avoid being penalised.

“The fatwa should be viewed as a warning. The host government. and Saudi religious officials are well aware that there are religious activities being held discretely in homes and apartments by non-Muslims,” Monterona said.

He noted that last year there were a number of Filipino workers and other nationalities that were arrested by Saudi religious police in Riyadh for illegally conducting religious worship and activities.

“The Filipinos, along with their pastors, were eventually released on the condition that they will stop their regular religious worships and gatherings,” Monterona said.

Out of the 1.2 million Filipinos in Saudi Arabia, about 10 to 15 per cent are Muslim and about 5 per cent have converted to Islam, Monterona said.

Leaders of different Christian denominations–including the Russian Orthodox Church’s Archbishop Mark of Yegoryesk and the Roman Catholic archbishops of Austria and Germany–have criticised the fātwa issued by one Grand Mufti Shaikh Abdul Aziz Al Al Shaikh.

The Grand Mufti issued the fātwa after a top Kuwaiti official had sought his opinion regarding the construction of Christian worship centres or churches in Kuwait.

The fatwa declared that temples, chapels, and churches of Christian denominations in Kuwait and the entire Arab Peninsula must be banned and that existing Christian edifices should be destroyed.

Prior to this, there had been an appeal from some Roman Catholic Church leaders to give the religious minorities some freedom in exercising their faith as Muslims in other countries, including the Philippines, have been given.

The Philippines has a population of mostly Christians. The country, just like most of Southeast Asia, boasts tolerant policies when it comes to the exercise of religious freedom.

The government of the Philippines does, indeed, allow religious freedom. Not so the militant Muslims in the large southern island of Mindanao, who recently killed Pastor Mario Acidre for apostasy and for proselytizing Muslims.

Source: http://1389blog.com/2012/03/27/christian-filipino-expat-workers-warned-of-danger-in-saudi-arabia/

Should Mindanao secede from what could be turning into a failed state?

Seems like the whole Media fiesta that is raging around the the Duterte’s of Davao City, specifically on-leave Mayor Sara’s fists and the Duterte father-and-son fingers is opening up old raw emotions about the subjugation of Mindanao to the 100-year-old elephant in the room — the legacy of colonial rule, Imperial Manila. Many Davao folk have now taken to responding to perceived incursions of Manila-based pundits (not to mention the investigation team sent by Malacanang to sort the sh*t out of Davao’s quaint feudal politics) into what they believe is “their business.”

“Mind your own business” apparently is the intelligent argument of choice of our Davao “brothers,” fellow Luzonians. Is that a fair call?

Maybe it does hold water. After all, Filipinos for so long have seen their 400-year subjugation to the colonial rule of Spain and then that of the United States over the first half of the 20th Century as shameful realities of their history. This shame manifests itself in rather flaccid efforts mounted by one Filipino politician or another over the last 60-odd years of “independence” to scrub off as many traces of this legacy as they could from the cultural character (perhaps with a river stone, as tradition dictates). It started with the summary re-writing of history declaring the 12th of June 1898 as the country’s day of “independence” and relegating the real one on the 4th of July 1946 to some sort of token recognition of some imagined “friendship” with the United States. And it all culminated with the kicking out of the Americans from their military bases in 1991

Thanks to the 12 bozos who voted against US military bases in the Philippines in 1991 — Senate President Jovito Salonga, Sens. Wigberto Tanada, Teofisto Guingona, Rene Saguisag, Victor Ziga, Sotero Laurel, Ernesto Maceda, Agapito Aquino, Juan Ponce Enrile, Joseph Estrada, Orlando Mercado, and Aquilino Pimentel — Filipinos have, right in their faces today, a sad lesson twenty years in the making in what it is like to languish outside the American sphere of what is globally relevant.

Perhaps, today, the fact that the Philippines is still a nation that presumes to be composed of a northern island historically ruled by a bunch of quaint Ilocano- and Tagalog-speaking tribes and a southern island chain composed of largely Cebuano-speaking remnants of ancient sultanates, is a testament to the strength and endurance of the colonial legacy of European civilisation in the Far East.

Beyond the passive-aggressive approach Filipinos take to loudly assert their indigenous identity above the sheer weight of substance of European culture, not much more than a whimper comes out: laughable changes in the names of major roads, a curiosity of an initiative to change the country’s name to “Maharlika,” and, most misguided of all, imposing the northern imperial Tagalog dialect as de facto the “official” national language. This inability to get beyond a rather pathetic idea of what being “nationalistic” is all about begs a simple question:

Are we forcing the issue of a Philippine “national identity”?

One person who, along with Yours Truly, was cited by national treasure Manuel L Quezon III as delivering among the most “provocative” works over the last twenty years is David C. Martinez. Martinez has taken a scholarly approach to exploring the option of partitioning the Philippines into its natural constituent “nations”

Poverty, inequality, and corruption plague the Philippines six decades after independence. Of the past five presidents, only one took office and left it without military intervention, and he was a general. In his controversial book, A Country of Our Own (2004), David Martinez describes the Philippines as a failed state. The country in his eyes comprises five regions (“nations”): Cordillera, Luzon, The Visayas, Mindanao, and Bangsamoro. He proposes holding legally binding referenda in each of these places to determine whether those who live there wish to remain inside the Philippines or form their own independent country. In a conversation moderated by Stanford’s Don Emmerson, Martinez and the Filipinist scholar Lela Noble will examine arguments and evidence relevant to a crucial question: Is the nation-state project still valid for the Philippines?

Today, in the aftermath of the Duterte imbroglio, it seems that the issue of how different Mindanao is from Luzon in both manner, style of thinking, and approach to governance has come to light. It is the elephant in the room we could no longer ignore. Perhaps it is time we face the real debate on how viable this notion known as “the Philippines” remains.

Koko Pimentel’s royal tantrum versus Migs Zubiri and why Filipinos need to vote wisely in 2013

June 29, 2012

Election time is just around the corner in the Philippines again with various seats in Congress up for grabs. The stakes are high. Pressure amongst the handful of feudal clans who rule the land to keep the goods within the familyis mounting as the whelps of aging lords and ladies of various manors carved out of the former Spanish colony posture and grandstand for a slice of their daddies’ power pies.

One such whelp is Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel The Third (why one would use the name “Aquilino” three times in the family is anyone’s guess). In a spectacular exhibition of brattiness we have come to be so familiar with among the sons-of-politicians that now gleefully run the country like they once drove their daddies’ cars and swiped their mommies’ Visa cards, Koko, I read, stomped out of his party, the “United Nationalist Alliance” (UNA) in what seems to have been a fit of rage over “the coalition’s decision to keep Juan Miguel Zubiri on its 2013 Senate slate”.

Galing ako sa bahay ni Erap [I came from Erap's residence], and I said, ‘Sorry Ninong,’ and we talked a little. But the former president did not make any effort to stop me,” Pimentel told reporters on Thursday.

Pimentel said that he could not stomach running with Zubiri because the latter was allegedly the biggest beneficiary of the fraud perpetuated in the 2007 polls.

“Hindi ko talaga masikmura na tumakbo kasama ang kalaban ko. It is my personal decision,” he said.

Pimentel said he would run as an independent senatorial candidate under PDP-Laban.

O sige na anak, meme na meme na…

All about winning: Senator Koko Pimentel in victory

Former Senator Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, if we recall voluntarily resignedhis position as Senator out of delicadeza (it seems) in mid-2011 after he was implicated in allegations of electoral fraud in the 2007 senatorial elections. Those allegations of cheating were, get this, initiated by losing candidate Koko Pimentel.

Pinoy nga naman talaga.

Even more bizarre (as the politics of feudal societies tend to be), Pimentel’s allegations were corroborated by suspended Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao governor Zaldy Ampatuan — the prime suspect in one of history’s worst orgy of civilian killings. Fifty seven people were massacred — allegedly under the instructions of Ampatuan — in 2009 (of which 32 were “media workers” as the Philippine Media seems to like to repeatedly point out ad nauseum).

Perhaps therein lies Koko’s pain. The bloodstained character of his cheating complaint notwithstanding, his triumphant taking of his Senate seat wasnapurnada; i.e., marred by the pogi (brownie) points Zubiri seems to have garnered after he was hailed as one of the extremely rare instances of a Filipino politician resigning out of a sense of honour.

Zubiri insists that he is not guilty of cheating and even said that he did not ask anyone any favors. He also insists that he is as much a victim of the so-called election syndicates:

Zubiri, however, said that he did not ask anyone for any favor regarding the elections. “Ang inyong lingkod ay lalabas ding biktima noong botohang naganap noong 2007 (I am also a victim of the 2007 elections),” he said.

Resigning from their posts is something that many public officials who were embroiled in controversies in other countries have been known to do. In Japan for example, they change Prime Ministers like they change shirts. If it’s dirty and needs washing, they need to go. A public official who is involved in an imbroglio or who does not deliver his duties must resign without even waiting for any calls for him to do so. He does this to save face and it is part of their culture. The people readily accept this practice as normal and will likely not raise an eyebrow over the next one.

* * *

The point I wanted to make, however, has really nothing to do with all that discussion around people and events. Those are discussions best left to small minds and the sons and daughters of aging oligarchs.

What I really wanted to highlight here is the complete absence of anything to do with what these parties, these candidates, and these legislative elections are really all about. The hard questions are, as always, glossed over in favour of the wrong arguments and the irrelevant views of the mal-educated and ill-bred: What national issues are at stake? What is the legislative agenda being evaluated (this, if we recall, being a Senate election)? Where are theplatforms of these candidates? Do these platforms even matter? Are these platforms used to keep track of the actual performance of a politician over the course of his term? And what’s up with these “political parties” and “coalitions”? What do they really mean? What principles do they stand for?

All I hear in the aftermath of the above questions is the sound of heads being scratched.

So yeah, you guessed it. The old familiar cry of Get Real Philippines! is back in the forefront of the cream of the elite Filipino minds who wield the only true and rare insight in the morass of online chatter that dominates this intellectually-bankrupt society.

Platform plez.

Platform Plez

If your politician does not have a platform and, if he does, does not make it the centrepiece of his campaign, then he or she is wasting your time.

Come on, let’s join us!

Claw your way out of the jolog pit and be counted as a true Get Realist and a true Filipino!

Be the voter the Republic of the Philippines truly deserves. Use your brain and think. If Filipinos want to be the proud people they insist they are, then this (and, for that matter, every election) is their chance to prove that they have earned that “pride” and that songs, dances, and adolescent dramas such as those exhibited by these children no longer matter.


Friday, June 29, 2012

Filipinos cannot progress if they cannot follow even simple guidelines

by

A noted blog commentator once made an assertion that the Philippines will never be a great nation unless Filipinos learn to live by the principle of the “rule of law”. Indeed, some people even insist that none of the calls by certain sectors of Philippine society for a system change like a shift from a Presidential to a Parliamentary system or even constitutional amendments will work to uplift the status of the nation because most Filipinos simply cannot follow the “rule of law.”

Earthquake discipline: Japanese orderliness even in time of stress

It is quite certain that the success of any nation depends on the character of the head of state and the character of the people in general. A strong leader will put the interest of the nation first before anything else. A strong leader supported by strong institutions can work towards achieving social and economic stability for the people.

However, a weak leader in a country like the Philippines, which has weak institutions will tend to succumb to the world-renowned Filipino “padrino” system — a system that trumps any other system in place. Worse, such a leader will mask his weakness or understanding of the law by acting like he is above the law.

A weak leader, whether he is leading a country or a small community tends to let praises or expressions of adoration from the public get to his head. Because he is easily impressed by such accolades, he also tends to become arrogant and will see criticism of him as a mere non-constructive annoyance. Such a leader will not work towards unity and harmony in Philippine society. Unfortunately, weak systems tend to harbor weak leaders.

What is with Filipinos and following the rule of law?

There is very little evidence that Filipinos are capable of living by the “rule of law”. The society is quite extraordinary in the sense that simple rules and regulations whether on the road or in the work place are for the most part ignored. This is because each individual has this baseless sense of being more important than everybody else. It is why you see people cutting you off on highway lanes on the road or pushing their way in lines ahead of the rest in a queue. In other words, Filipinos in general tend to put their own interest first before other people.

As a blogger, I quite often come across commentators who cannot even follow simple commenting guidelines. There are some participants in the blogosphere who constantly violate the guidelines by consistently writing obscenities and foul language on forums just to give the impression that they are above the guidelines. The funny thing is, being moderated does not even stop them from misbehaving. They even cry foul for being moderated instead of conforming to the guidelines.

This brings us to another world-renowned Filipino mentality — the “victim” mentality. Filipinos are good at playing the “victim card” because they are very sensitive and emotional people. They play the victim card in front of the public to get as much attention as possible. Filipinos always try to get around following any rules and regulations or even simple guidelines by appealing to emotion.

Filipino victim mentality was quite evident in the case of a group of nurses in the US who reportedly filed a discrimination complaint when their employer called their attention for speaking too much in their native Tagalog at work. Victim mentality was also quite evident in the way the Philippine government tried to intervene and stop the execution of three drug mules that were sentenced to death in China for violating their anti-drug rule. Likewise, victim mentality is definitely evident in the way the incumbent President, Noynoy Aquino (PNoy) cries foul whenever he is criticized for decisions that were obviously not thought through very well.

It is quite interesting to note that some Filipinos would rather act like idiots than follow the rules. They always want to find an easy way out of a situation. They want to make uncomplicated things complicated. This brings us to another world-renowned Filipino trait: “lack of discipline.”

Filipinos in general are incapable of any form of discipline because they focus more on form rather than substance. In short, they want to stand out. They lack the discipline to engage in discussions in a civilized way and lack the discipline to not turn a public forum into a circus. This is why issues do not get resolved. This is a consistent observation — from every Senate inquiry being broadcast to the Filipino public down to the most benign discussions in the blogosphere, Filipinos love honking their horns.

Worse, Filipinos in general feel a strong sense of entitlement to relax or “chill-out” even when there is still so much to do to move the country forward. Instead of discussing solutions seriously and in detail during their spare time, Filipinos would rather spend it fooling around — never mind that societies from great nations like China, Japan and South Korea have historically shown that being more serious and devoting more of their time to solving problems yields better results in the long term.

From the top guys and gals sitting behind desks at the Presidential office down to the tricycle driver down the road, everyone just wants to have “fun” in the Philippines first before tackling the problems of the land in a more serious manner. You can be forgiven for thinking that one hit wonder Wang Chung probably wrote the song “Everybody have fun tonight” for Filipinos. It can absolutely boggle the mind to wonder why Filipinos cannot limit switching to party mode when they are at an actual party.

As discussed in my previous article, Filipinos are proud of being a happy-go-lucky society and make it a point to show the rest of the world that they are coping with smiling faces despite the dire circumstances they face. This mentality shows that Filipinos are satisfied with mediocrity and find striving for excellence too daunting. A few remaining Filipinos who want to engage in a more serious discussions are even labeled “kill-joy” or “librarians.” Aside from their penchant for bullying when others don’t engage in “pakikisama,” Filipinos indeed, have a tendency to discriminate against more sober ways of tackling solutions.

Unfortunately, a 90 year old study by psychologist Dr Leslie Martin and his colleagues in California suggested that “too much of a sense that everything will be fine can be dangerous because it can lead one to be careless about things that are important to long life.” Likewise, the study also showed that those who are always optimistic take more gambles with their health. They were more likely to drink, smoke and eat badly, which is a typical characteristic of a Filipino. While prudent and persistent individuals are more cautious with their health and overall wellbeing – characteristics that are less likely to be found in Filipinos.

Filipinos have so much to learn from the Japanese. Despite the devastation that the people of Japan experienced due to the magnitude 8.9 earthquake that hit country and the killer tsunami that followed immediately after, people around the world admired the stoicism and orderly reaction of the Japanese. People in most societies would have found themselves wailing in misery and chaos after such destruction.

Maia Szalavitz in an article she wrote for TIME magazine aptly described how it works for the Japanese – they follow the belief that “others are at least on par with the self, if not more important.” Here’s an excerpt:

“In restaurants, you never pour your own sake, you have to notice whose glass is empty and you serve them. It’s these little rituals [that have prepared them for this crisis] so that even if you have one bowl of rice, you share it with a stranger.

The wonderful thing about the Japanese is that they are presenting an example of the pro-social power of the group. The group as a whole is saying explicitly or implicitly, this is what we do: no looting, no horn honking even if you’re in a 12 mile traffic jam, no complaining. [CNN's] Anderson Cooper said he’d never seen such calm in the face of such adversity.”

Not that Filipinos need copy what the Japanese do to a tee, but the most interesting thing to note about societies like Japan is that nobody has the desire to grandstand. Individuals do not want to show that they are more important than everybody else. This is in stark contrast to people in societies like the Philippines where people in general want to be the “star.” And this is the reason why some Filipinos think that they are above the “law” or above even just simple “guidelines.”

Discipline should be inculcated at an early age. If people are not taught how to follow rules and regulations when they are still young, they will be shocked to realize once they enter the “adult” world that they will have a hard time coping with life if they keep deviating from the rules that put order in society. Which is what is happening to most Filipinos now.

Does the Philippines Need the BSP? The One Billion Dollar Question

The European economies are in financial dire straits because of unsustainable welfare state policies. The answer is not to lend money but to support the call for financial austerity. This means slashing entitlements, free lunch programs, subsidies, privatization of public enterprises, elimination of regulations that have to be enforced by a fat bureaucracy. Lending money will not help promote global stability – instead it will just prolong the agony. It will not be long before the IMF will come back for another round of donations.

THE PHILIPPINES NEEDS BSP LIKE TETAY NEEDS GENITAL WARTS.

If the Aquino administration really wants to help the Eurozone countries in financial straits – it will be better to terminate all existing ODA from the EU – and return all funds to the EU taxpayers – let us stop enabling mendicancy.

Shield Who? From What Economic Fallout?

What shielding overseas Filipino workers from any possible economic fallout is BS Aquino talking about – the Philippines is ground zero for ASEAN’s economic laggard – how much more of an economic fallout do you really want? Is Henry Sy worried that there will be less Filipino remittances spent in Shoemart that will ensure he remains the Philippines richest man?

Workers who deliver value to companies are the first to be retained during an economic fallout – nationalities or country of origin notwithstanding. And that’s not because BSP is able to lend the IMF money for Euro parties.

The OFWs are working in the scorched deserts of Iraq and Saudi Arabia, or lying low in the civil wars of Egypt, Libya, Syria – demanding not to be returned to the Philippines because the economic fallout in Manila, Cebu, Davao and all its islands is worse than any Arabian despot. A country of slaves – whether at home or abroad – but at least nagdidildil ng hamon at keso sa Paris, London, Hong Kong, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles – rather than dildil tuyo and dilis in the Philippines. Ahhh.. the realities of the economic diaspora that led the mom of Jessica Sanchez to the West Coast of the USA.

Who’s Gonna Earn What?

Yup, BSP will earn from the transaction but Filipinos wouldn’t. The value of their savings accounts will not increase. Their assets and portfolios will not increase. Their net worth will not increase. The GDP per capita, much less the Gini coefficient wll not change. Our international reserves have risen due to the OFW remittances and this irresponsible plunderous lending needs to stop – not at OFW’s expense, or taxpayer’s burden for that matter.

The economies in the EuroZone will not be helped by additional lending. They are on a tailspin because of wasteful public spending. Lending more money is throwing good money after bad. The taxpayers of the Eurozone economies are highly burdened by huge government bureaucracies with fat retirement pension plans, burdensome regulations, and exorbitant tax rates.

BSP’s earning from the misery of European taxpayers does not really help at all – it’s DISGUSTING.

Lending $1 Billion is lending the European taxpayers a longer rope to hang around their neck – and ours, too. Yell

The Filipino public should distinguish between personal austerity and government austerity… oopps.. austerity does not exist in the Pinoy vocabulary. Panay yabang, kahit baon sa utang. We just had a budget deficit, public debt has just increased – and we want to lend our dollar reserves to the IMF so it can take the skin off the back of European taxpayers? Karma’s a bitch – that lending will also hurt Filipinos. Specially when such money can be translated to VAT tax reductions for Filipinos – or outright repeal of the VAT so that taxpayers will be more liquid to face the economic challenges. Lending by the BSP does not improve the life of Filipinos inasmuch as lending by the pawnshop takes one out of chronic poverty.

Should Filipino Taxpayers Enable/Subsidize Irresponsible Government Policies – At Home and Abroad?

Lending more money to feed the voracious tax wasting appetites of Euro bureaucracies does not help taxpayers at all – whether Filipino or Europeans.

Subsidizing exorbitant tax rates, huge bureaucracies,and tons of regulations will not avert financial difficulty or gloom for countries that pursue unsustainable welfare state policies. The gloom will be on government vested interests and government fat cats who have to go if the leviathan Euro agencies are downsized.

You think France has a high 66% tax? Wait till the French raise it to 75% Money mouth prompting Will Smith to howl. On top of that look at what the Italians have come up – on top of the mafia, sex orgies by Berlusconni, Ferraris, the Foreign Legion Italian politicians have constructed a very impressive maze of red tape, intervention, and regulation. From the Wall Street Journal, here is just a sampling of the idiotic rules that paralyze job creators and entrepreneurs:

Once you hire employee 11, you must submit an annual self-assessment to the national authorities outlining every possible health and safety hazard to which your employees might be subject. These include work-related stress and stress caused by age, gender and racial differences. …Once you hire your 16th employee, national unions can set up shop, and workers may elect their own separate representatives. As your company grows, so does the number of required employee representatives, each of whom is entitled to eight hours of paid leave monthly to fulfill union or works-council duties. …Hire No. 16 also means that your next recruit must qualify as disabled. By the time your firm hires its 51st worker, 7% of the payroll must be handicapped in some way, or else your company owes fees in kind. …Once you hire your 101st employee, you must submit a report every two years on the gender-dynamics within the company. This must include a tabulation of the men and women employed in each production unit, their functions and level within the company, details of their compensation and benefits, and dates and reasons for recruitments, promotions and transfers, as well as the estimated revenue impact. …All of these protections and assurances, along with the bureaucracies that oversee them, subtract 47.6% from the average Italian wage, according to the OECD. …which may explain the temptation to stay small and keep as much of your business as possible off the books. This gray- and black-market accounts for more than a quarter of the Italian economy. It also helps account for unemployment at a 12-year high of 10%, and GDP forecast to contract 1.3% this year. Foot in mouth

As pointed out in the Cato Blog

You won’t be surprised to learn that the unelected prime minister of Italy, Mr. Monti, isn’t really trying to fix any of this nonsense and instead is agitating for more bailouts from taxpayers in countries that aren’t quite as corrupt and strangled by red tape.

Monti also is a big supporter of eurobonds, whichs make a lot of sense if you’re the type of person who likes co-signing loans for your unemployed alcoholic cousin with a gambling addiction.

Eurobonds, BSP bonds – same tune. Laughing And that includes OFWs co-signing loans for unemployed philandering spouses or relatives with a mahjong or shabu addiction.

Italy’s got regulation, so does the Philippines – check out the asinine Retail “Liberalization” Act of 2000

Section 1. Prequalification Requirements. – Before a foreign retailer is allowed to engage in the retail trade business or invest in an existing retail store in the Philippines, it must possess all of the following qualifications:
(a) A minimum of Two hundred million US dollars (US$200,000,000.00) net worth in its parent corporation for Categories B and C, and Fifty million US dollars (US$50,000,000.00) net worth in its parent corporation for Category D;

(b) Five (5) retailing branches or franchises in operation anywhere around the world unless such retailer has at least one (1) store capitalized at a minimum of Twenty-five million US dollars (US$25,000,000.00):

(c) Five (5)-year track record in retailing; and

For purposes of determining compliance with the above requirements, the net worth, track record and existence of branches and franchises of the parent company, its branches and subsidiaries and of its affiliate companies, as well as their predecessors, which substantially owns, controls or administers the operations of the applicant shall be considered.

(d) Only nationals from, or juridical entities formed or incorporated in countries which allow the entry of Filipino retailers shall be allowed to engage in retail trade in the Philippines.

Preventing spillover to other parts of the world is not achieved by lending a billion dollars so that government agencies can continue to waste good money after bad. Countries with prudent fiscal policies – small governments, minimal regulations, small tax rates will have prosperous citizens that are able to weather an economic storm – in fact even thrive in it via savings and purchases of precious minerals.

The Philippines’ export performance need not be limited to Europe. Sending thousands of OFWs to Europe isn’t really a good solution either – not when we restrict the entry of foreign investments which are foreign majority owned – (read – higher than 40% up to 100%).

To Shield or To Compete?

To “shield” the OFWs – let’s not create OFWs in the first place. Make high paying jobs available at home – and at par overseas. Let’s stop breaking families apart so that there is lesser reason for the DSWD to come up with subsidy scams and what not. It’s still fresh you know – the CCT subsidy is racked with fraud, is ineffective and despite huge increases – self-rated poverty, hunger, and joblessness have increased. Who are we really shielding when we keep the prices of commodities high – electricity, gas, telecom, internet, consumer goods? Are Filipino consumers LESS IMPORTANT than Filipino businesses? Why should Filipino consumers be penalized for the inability of Filipino businesses to innovate and be more cost-effective? Should Filipinos be perpetually condemned to watch the telenovelas and the douchebags that proliferate in the noontime shows of ABS-CBN and GMA7? Should Filipinos keep on protecting the rolling brownouts of MERALCO? If we shell out more money for electricity, water, gas – we have less money for health, education, investments and savings. Kinda convenient for the government to come in and offer “free health services”, “free condoms”, “free tuition”, “free education” and the whole buffet of “free lunch” – yup, gobble up the pork barrel – then proclaim that the plunder drives economic growth. Money mouth

Shielding OFWs from global uncertainty is best done by not having OFWs in the first place. How exactly? By removing Sec 10 and 11, Article 12 of the Philippine constitution. Th 60/40 provision restrict the entry of foreign companies that can provide jobs to Filipino parents, husbands, wives, aunts, cousins, friends, relatives – and not just to those who know to pander and kiss the ass of the oligarchy.

Fiscal austerity – downsizing government, eliminating regulations that skew the market will do more to stabilize the economy – take it from Sweden and Germany’s austerity or Iceland – who jailed the bankers, removed the entire government, and rewrote the constitution – pecafully.

Businesses should be allowed to thrive because they provide a value to consumers – not because the owners happen to be Filipinos. The Filipino First policy is a relic of a bygone era. The country needs protectionism like BS Aquino or Kris needs genital warts.

BSP investments are useless to Filipino taxpayers. Not when they have to toil overseas amidst gunfire, prostitution, and servitude. I am more concerned about the personal income of Filipinos and keeping Filipino families together than the bottom line of Henry Sy, Pangilinan, Ayala, Cojuangco, Lopez. BSP has done nothing but cause inflation rendering assets of pensioners to decrease – it’s another tax in disguise.

Sure the BSP may have “shielded” the Philippines from the busts of the global economy – but it too has shielded the Philippines the economy from the booms of the global economy. Laughing

Should the BSP Have Been Created in the First Place?

The BSP frequently cites the law which created it as having vested it with authority to invest taxpayers property in foreign capital markets.

Having the authority, does not necessarily mean such authority will be exercised. Restraint should be the rule – not the exception. Investment is the role of the private sector. Investing public property in financial instruments only benefits the vested interests – not the Filipino taxpayers.

This matter puts into question into whether the law creating the BSP needs to be amended and the BSP no longer allowed to move funds around. Wealth creation should be reclaimed or claimed by the Filipinos for themselves – through Congress , their votes, their consumption behavior – the government has no business playing around with public funds.

The $1 billion commitment of the BSP to the FTP is a form of economic plunder. It uses public money to sustain tax-wasting policies that impose a burden on European taxpayers – and Filipino taxpayers, too.

The bullshit about the consultation between BSP, DOF, Congress is a ruse. The core of the matter is that Filipino taxpayers should not bear the burden of having the countries dollar reserves subsidize Europe’s Self-Inflicted Decline: French Taxing, Italian Regulating, Greek Mooching, and IMF Economic Illiteracy.

Is the BSP Still Needed?

Singson’s bravado in using the name of Filipino taxpayers, to trade in financial markets – on top of causing inflation and booms and bubbles puts the question of whether the BSP is needed. Undecided

Eliminating the BSP – and tying the Philippine peso to the gold standard will be opposed by fears of potential deflationary effects and more exchange-rate volatility on the short term. On the long-term however as lesser inflation and booms and bubbles are caused by BSP intervention in financial market – the result would be more long-term stability for the global economic system – and Filipino taxpayers prosperity.

Considering that the Philippines has sizeable gold deposits Wink – it will be more prudent to abolish the BSP – and peg the peso to the Gold Standard.

Yes – you heard me. Abolish government monopoly of monetary markets – abolish the Central Bank of the Philippines – Free the monetary market from the clutches of the BSP and the IMF. Yell


About the Author

BongV

has written 389 stories on this site.

BongV is the webmaster of Antipinoy.com.