Pinoy Emo Politics is so Baduy.. and Misguided!

I thought I’d revisit my emo days after reading the goings-on in Subic at the height of the APEC Summit.. Ewan ko, nangilabot ako sa nabasa ko. As in.. so baduy! LOL. The uber- emo narrative goes like this

Like most people in the progressive left, I was against it. I believe that if businesses can be allowed to globalize, we should also allow the workers to globalize. If capital can go around the world looking for cheap labor, then labor itself should also be allowed to find better pay anywhere in the world. What I’m for is simply for fairness.


My problem with the Philippines “progressive left” is that – it is not at all “progressive” – it has lost its edginess and substituted reason for dogma. In its quest to follow the “mass line” – the Philippine left imploded when it was filled with populist but naive ideas which sent it to sheer irrelevancy – just like its counterparts overseas.

Look at the specific statement above – no one’s stopping the workers to globalize – go ahead and globalize. Typical strawman fallacy.. hahay. Labor itself is already finding better pay anywhere in the world – in case you forgot, they are called OFWs.

As you see, the Philippine Left’s development paradigm is still stuck in 1900s Marxist dogma – not to diminish Herr Karl Marx’s contribution on historical materialism but I just upgraded to Michael Mann’s 4 Networks Theory, Alvin Toffler’s Third Wave and John Naisbitt’s Global Paradox.

Class struggle and class conflict have their respective roles in a certain framework – but it is not the end all and be all of what we aspire to do and achieve. Class struggle and class conflict are simply a means to an end – a better life not just for Pinoys but for humanity. The East is Red? I don’t think so. Between Marx prophesy of the present – and John Naisbitt’s more encompassing and greatly substantiated view:

The major new trends in global economics, politics, and social life all point toward a “global paradox,” according to John Naisbitt — “the bigger the world economy, the more powerful its smallest players.” As the overall system grows in size and complexity, the importance of the individual parts increases in direct proportion. This apparent contradiction is at work in both business and politics, he says. To survive, big companies today are decentralizing and restructuring. Many have discovered the increased efficiency and effectiveness of lateral rather than vertical organization — networks of autonomous units rather than formal hierarchies. Similarly, as the world economy gets larger, the component nation players become smaller and smaller.

By way of example, Naisbitt describes the political and economic imperatives underlying the break-up of the former Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia, as well as the push for national sovereignty that has characterized such states as Andorra. While economic and technological forces have weakened the traditional nation-state, he maintains that they have strengthened, not separated people from, longstanding identities of language, culture, religion, and ethnic heritage. Paradoxically, “the bonding commonality of human beings is our distinctiveness.”

Both of these trends, universalism and tribalism, are supported by technological advances in electronic communications, according to Naisbitt. Telecommunications are the driving force that is simultaneously creating the new world economy and making its parts more and more powerful. We are moving in telecommunications to a single worldwide network of information networks, with everything linked to everything else, he remarks. This change has important consequences for democracy worldwide — it can be likened to the shift from sluggish, centralized mainframe computers to interlinked PCs. “As the power and reach of the communications infrastructure expands, the tools needed to harness that capability shrink.”

Consequently, the idea that the central government — “one huge mainframe” — as the most significant part of governance is obsolete, he says. In fact, traditional representative politics is coming to an end for “now citizens who live in representative democracies have the power to radically decentralize and to evolve into direct democracies.”

Naisbitt devotes a chapter each to a look at the telecommunications revolution, the tourism and travel industry, the emergence of new “codes of conduct” in business and politics, the burgeoning Chinese economy, and the increasing importance of Asia and Latin America in the global marketplace. In each of these areas, he surveys the major trends and observes the “global paradox” at work — as the world becomes vastly more integrated, the small, agile, and informed players will profit the most.

Like his book Megatrends, this is a quick and dirty account of infinitely complex global trends. The prose has the same breezy tone as your average newsweekly. Naisbitt’s pop sociology may not be to everyone’s liking, especially those looking for a deeper and more complex analysis. Nevertheless, this book has has an important function, I think. It summarizes sweeping global trends that we need to recognize and reckon with — all of us, not just those the opinion-makers or those looking to profit from the new economy.

When the Philippines “progressive left” kept the “evil” foreign monopolies out – it unwittingly strengthened the LOCAL monopolies – PLDT, MAYNILAD, MERALCO, GLOBE, BAYANTEL, ABS-CBN, etc). Thus, if you had lousy service, you had nowhere else to go. If you had cheap wages, you had nowhere else to go but out of here – anywhere but the Philippines. It would have been nice if there was competition – but the Constitution kept them out – thanks to the Philippine “progressive” left and the oligarchs – the Philippines is anything but progressive. Remember this – whenever you see an OFW – he/she is pursuing the job overseas, because the investor from overseas was kept away by the Philippine Constitution’s 60/40 provisionsIf the mountain will not go to Juan, Juan will go to the mountain.

When the Philippines “progressive left” kept the “evil” foreign businesses out – it allowed the “good” domestic businesses lots of leeway to continue with EVIL practices, EVIL pricing structures, and EVIL anti-labor legislation (there aren’t that many foreign businesses… duhh).

Do you know why the OFWs went to the better paying jobs? Because “progressive” leftists bought the protectionist line of the oligarchs – and kept businesses that provide better pay out of the Philippines. Sakit na nga ng ulo sa oligarchs, dinagdagan pa ng “progressive left” – sumakay sa protectionism – ayun, nadenggoy tayo.

Here’s another case – Mexico and the US in NAFTA. If classical protectionist theories were to be believed, Mexico’s agricultural sector, particularly the farmers would be affected. What has been the experience thus far? According to a recent study on globalization:

There is substantial evidence for North America that free trade has led to higher levels of productivity and real wages. That is especially true for Canada and the United State. So far, Mexico has not shared in productivity gains in manufacturing to the same extent as those with its neighbors to the north. So this is subject for ongoing investigation. At the same time, the chief concern when Mexico joined NAFTA was with the potential competitive effects in agriculture, and especially on corn, which is a staple crop for the rural poor in Mexico. Fortunately, it appears that competition from U.S. exports of corn has had a much more modest effect than was expected (McMillan, Zwane and Ashraf, 2007). There are several reasons for this outcome. First, the poorest farmers are not sellers of corn, but instead consume it themselves while buying the extra that they need. So these farmers benefited from cheaper prices for corn imported from the United States. Second, the Mexican government was able to use subsidies to offset the reduction in income for other corn farmers. Surprisingly, the total production of corn in Mexico has actually risen after NAFTA instead of falling.

For those who have the time, you can read the details of the study below:

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Rally? I say, let’s make money. We only have 24 hours in a day – those hours, whether we use them or not, will never come back. We can use the 24 hours to join a rally – or learn a skill that can create a career that will lead into a business that creates new jobs for our countrymen. So what happened after you left the hospital? Nothing, exactly, pobre ka pa rin, kasing-hirap pa rin ng ipis at daga. Subalit lalong yumaman ang ABS-CBN, from the ad placements during the APEC summit – plus yung mga eksena mo ng masugatan ka – haneps sa coverage, good for ratings. Malay ba ng “progressive left” – give them exposure, they’ ll do anything – even becoming the capuchin monkey of the organ-grinder/media conglomerate –na sila ay niluto sa sariling mantika.

Another myth promoted by the Protectionist bloc is that Infant Industries Will die if Exposed to Open Competition

Infant industries can actually thrive in open competition. For example, under open competition, a Filipino startup in say renewable energy can have a novel idea funded by foreign venture capital in a 20/80 equity arrangement with provision for gradual shifts to 80/20 as certain trigger points occur. But that’s not gonna happen – you know why? You guessed it – the Philippine constitutions 60/40 stipulation.

Let’s look at another scenario – telecom. You are a communications engineer with much experience in Dubai and Jeddah. You know the ins and outs of a telecom network and a Saudi investor has taken a confidence in your ability. The Arab is willing to invest in you. You return to your hometown planning to open a telco BUT the Arab is not willing to invest unless he has majority shares, you don’t have a problem with that – THE constitution, does not allow the Arab to have more than 40% – there goes YOUR plan – and the jobs of your kabayans who could have benefited from such a venture. By nipping you in the bud (preventing cooperation with foreign investors in innovative eqity arrangements), the oligarch companies ensure domination of the market – no one grows except PLDT, MAYNILAD, MERALCO, GLOBE, BPI, etc).

Here’s another one – retail. You worked as a nanny overseas – London, New York, Jeddah, Hong Kong. You got married to a foreign national. You both decide to be semi-retired in the Philippines. He’d like to make some business on the side, so that when you and him travel, you both don’t have to draw from your savings but you can draw from the business. He is willing to invest in a retail store – and put your brothers and relatives to work. He also plans to introduce some green innovations in your town. He is also an exceptional civil engineer in Europe – he can do wonders for urban planning but he can’t get a license to practice his profession in the Philippines because  Philippine Constitution does not allow non-citizens to practice the license professional occupations such as nursing, engineers, architects. Can you imagine what would happen if the US and the middle east disallowed Filipinos from working in their host countries because they are not citizens – how would you feel – who’s your daddy now? One day, he goes to the DTI and find out he cannot operate a retail store because the Philippine Constitution said so – 60/40 – also refer to FINL – retail is off-limits to foreign investors. Hindi lang naman siya ang kikita – kikita ka rin, ang kamaganak mo pa, ang katulong pa nila, ang gastos sa bahay – it all trickles down. We are missing a lot because of the stupid protectionist clauses which favor only those who have the money – the only way you can level the field is to get foreign funds to your side given the oligarchs monopolies already have the capital – but the constitution protects this lopsided arrangement… wakanga.. masyalo na lugi akyen negosyo.. bayad na lang ako dummy...

As you can see, the “progressive left” is barking at the wrong tree.

Ganito pala sa Olongapo, parang war zone,”. This was the surprised remark from one of the media personnel from GMA-7 who witnessed what happened that fateful day in November 1996.

My rights end where the rights of others begin

Pa surprised surprised – ano ka? gunggong? Dude, you have the heads of state of the APEC states – what do you want to do, put security guards and CHDF? Napakatanga talaga ng reporter na yun ng GMA-7 kung sino man yun.


Not by any known rule, not by any written law, but by physical intimidation from so-called people monitors and physical harm from alleged spontaneous mobs.

The blood that was shed was proof enough of how they try to suppress civil rights in Olongapo.  The huge crack on my head is a living proof that a community ruled by an iron hand who organizes people’s mob fuels fanatics willing to kill their own.

Now the world knows, even for a just a glimpse.

There are two sides to these – I mean if I lived in ‘Gapo and then these rascals from outside of ‘Gapo came and disturbed the peace – I, too will be so pissed. How would you like it if I did the same thing – trashed your hood?

Ang hirap kasi nito – the “progressive leftists” only see their right to express, they think that with such right comes the license to paint graffiti on private property, throw trash in the streets, and harass people who don’t agree with their views – threaten them with bodily harm even. Kung ganun lang rin naman, what’s the point in talking, let’s just set a date and time and have a gun duel, para tabla ang laban, matira ang magaling – tapos.

If you paint graffiti on my fence, you are lucky to get a crack in the head, at least I didn’t shoot you. – your right to expression ends when you violate my private property and vice-versa. Leftists are not  the only people with rights. Learn to respect other people’s rights if you want to be respected, respect other people, too. If you violate the laws and you become unruly, go riot and cause harm to property, definitely you’ll get a crack in the head, dumbass. If you are expressing the “wrong stuff” – I have the obligation to respond. Let my light shine brighter – ika nga.

Davao’s citizens  had enough of these “progressive” leftists after they saw the greater anarchy, disorder, and disrespect for property that these “leftists” would cause. It got worse with the kangaroo courts. I was very disturbed when I saw people being shot in broad daylight without due process of law, all you received was an envelope with a bullet in it – that the People’s court had found you guilty of blood crimes to the people. The left was rallying about the fascism of the right – and yet, it was behaving no differently. A tooth for a tooth and no sooner will the world go toothless.

The “progressive left” can point to LIC (Low Intensity Conflict) doctrine as the culprit behind Davao’s Alsa Masa. I say the left is in denial – it went overboard with its methods so much so it turned people off. I mean, how can you be shouting against the AFP as fascists and thugs when you have your own thugs taking out people who happened to disagree with the party line? The left lost the moral ascendancy – and the LIC strategy eagerly jumped on the opportunity provided by the dogmatic intolerance of “progressive” left which was actually….retrogressive.

Don’t get me wrong – am all for human rights, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and all that – I was tibak once upon a time, too. But, when one senses that one rally after another, one dead body after another, does not really cause that much change – one has to rethink the value proposition about these rallies.

How can we get more done if we are in the streets nearly every week?

We have jobs, too you know. We have bills to pay. Children to send to school. We have to plan for retirement, too. If we were under a dictatorship, I’ll throw my lot with the “progressive” left. But we have already kicked the dictator. And now the left raises the imperialist bogeyman. I used to buy that before – but am not buying anymore. Imperialism is a convenient excuse for people who don’t want to rise to the challenge of competition and innovation. Grow up people, the only way you can beat imperialism is to become a better capitalist – and a better “imperialist”. LOL. Don’t compete by the use of guns, compete based on ideas and innovation – start upgrading those jeeps for gadzooks.

When we are able to elect candidates who truly represent the social consensus, if we are able to elect people who pass the laws and policies that we want – we wouldn’t be rallying against the laws that we don’t want in the first place. And if we do rally against the law that we wanted – we need to get our senses smacked for plain lack of utility – inutile.

There’s a smarter way to change the system – spread prosperity to people outside the oligarch circles. Once the lower rungs of Maslow’s heirarchy are satisfied, then people can focus on the higher heirarchies.

Emo? Rally? Been there done that.

Go with the emo, bleeding heart, scatter brained rallyista or the calm, collected, deliberate, analytical, methodical, and highly efficient realist?

There’s a better way – a peaceful way, a smarter way. But you gotta drop the emo crap – you have to… THINK!!!!

BongV’s Note – This is  a work in progress: Last edited by BongV on March 17, 2010 at 4:20 pm


  1. Funny thing, I haven’t read Third Wave by the Tofflers. Read the War and Anti-WAr book though.

  2. It’s a must-read. also, check out the fourth wave

  3. I was wondering how your import cooperative model could be replicated. What are the specifics of your model.

  4. Persona Non Grata · ·

    Sounds like progressive left is financed by the oligarchs

  5. Persona Non Grata · ·

    Since progressive left are run by uneducated masses, they can easily be duped.

  6. Free:

    Absolutely, it can be replicated.

    Assuming you already have a coop AND you have an overseas retail/wholesale trade counterpart – you can sign an MOU – Memorandum of Understanding, which leads into a MOA – Memorandum of Agreement , which turns into a JV – Joint Venture – which incorporates into an entity consisting of the domestic coop and the foreign coop/corp/proprietor/partnership. Then you do business by the book – the usual accounting, marketing, R & D, production functions.

  7. The leftists are living in a world that no longer exist. They are practicing an ideology that has long been debunked and pretending that that’s not the case.

  8. BongV, don’t you think you are preaching to someone whose mental processes are operating like yours when you were younger?

  9. ricelander:

    mismo. that’s why i can relate to it and provide a counter-argument.
    this was my internal dialogue then – my reflections on protectionism – it started out as thought experiments which became validated when i worked in investment promotions later on.

  10. Since when does “progressive” apply to both right or left in this country? With oligarchs controlling everything, you might as well throw “progressive” out the window. Progressive is most likely the word only of dissenters. Even the left doesn’t dissent at all.

  11. It is still business. Ask an HR dealing closely with rallyist and you’ll find that they’re up for grabs depending on agreed amounts.

  12. It will always remain. And left politics will always thrive as long as class struggle continues until the present day. Some people are just quite apathetic and even pointing much the left as people who wreck most of the time using an antiquated idea, and even misunderstand some Marxist-Leninist rhetoric at all times like socialization of industry, of a “communist state”, such dumbass idea are rather out of a narrow westernized mindset-who didn’t read Marx and his idea of a communist society without a state (the state withers away, and the ones being called as “communist states” by the mass media are rather be called as “socialist” since communists hath no state at all). However, Marxian ideas developed further-especially in historical materialism and in dialectical materialism in this present day. And since they are materialists, and not idealists, and out of such realities, it involves a lot of concepts that may likely to be discussed, adapted, modified in midst of the struggle.

  13. I don’t think so. How come you call the left uneducated? Have you been to a rally, to the countryside just to say that they are uneducated. Don’t create stereotypes as I may say.

  14. Is that so? It always develop and develop to another phase despite having an antiquated idea. Remember the left are not idealist, but materialist rather-that makes up and idea concept different from those who can’t create a concept and insisting on their dogma!

  15. You know, the word “emo” reminds me of something. Right now I’m doing work on Romantic and Realist literature. Somehow I find it comparable to our blog’s situation here.

    First, Romantic literature is based on seeking truth through unbridled passion and emotion. They believe in letting the human side express itself the fullest. I consider Romantics the first “emos.” While this makes some fantastic aesthetics, most Romantic literature even shows that unbridled passion and emotion can lead to doom and gloom. So many stories are tragic, showing misguided actions, other people caught by stray bullets of revenge, etc. like in Wuthering Heights.

    The movement that followed was Realism. Instead of focusing on passion and intense emotional plots, the writers just describe things as they are. The stories can also be shocking and depressing, but these are shown as a result of social problems aside from unbridled passion. An example of this is Mark Twain’s stories on Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. Some Realists also wanted to explore some science and logic in their stories, something Romantics rejected.

    I can compare the opponents of AP to the romantics. They choose candidates or react to the opinions about the country with passion and emotion. They hate one politician, while they blindly love one candidate. But their sentiments and actions will ultimately lead to tragedy, in the same way the lot of Fiiipinos has chosen the tragic path, with obvious results. In other words, the “emo” way sucks.

    We at AP, coincidentally, call ourselves Get Realists. Just like the literary Realists, we prefer to see things as they are. We like to see things through logical, scientific eyes. Like Realist literature, our writings can sting society like hell. But that’s how it is. Truth hurts. And thus our approach to challenge the problems based on facts.

    So the AP vs. other blogs and opinion makers is like the Realists vs. Romantics movements. Yet chances are greater that time will prove the Pinoy Realists right.

  16. […] (in whatever shape, form colour or hand gesture they happen to take) can too. It’s called Emo Politics, and those who have the pedigrees to mount campaigns on such politics will attest to its […]

  17. […] may succeed in fooling the majority of Pinoys with your emo politics, but at the end of the day, you too belong to a nation that has become the top laughing stock of […]

  18. I don’t think the progressive left are uneducated… they won’t be called “progressive left” nor understand what’s going on if they are not educated.. think about it.. but I believe some of them are uneducated (or the best thing to say would be most of the people who sympathize with them are uneducated).. some people don’t even understand the difference of the “moderate left” and the “extreme left”.. like the Philippine military, for instance, always claimed that the likes of Satur and co. were a bunch of commies when in fact they were nowhere near that… I do agree that some progressives are easily dupe by the oligarchs money…

    Though the left (the moderates and progressives) and even the extreme left (communist, marxists) are the only political parties in the Philippines with principles and pure ideologies unlike the mainstream political parties (LP, NP) who are claiming to be center-left or center-right yet behind the mask are simply populist political party based on nepotism or patronage system of political elites..

  19. […] are able to convert to your camp being anything but. Your sort of crowd follow their gut and your emo politics. Worse, they fight your battles for you following your cowardly […]

  20. Anonymous · ·

    “Infant industries can actually thrive in open competition.”

    Not true, but tell yourself that when you are obviously brainwashed by globalist and capitalist propaganda. Read this and see for yourself:

    In fact, globalization is one of the great myths in the 20th century. It has led to the immense wealth transfer from poor countries to the 1st world, has led to disparities in standards of living, and the control of wealth is concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. In fact, the very globalization you so despise is also responsible for the decline of America’s Car industry.

    As much as I enjoy your website regarding Philippine society, I just cannot let this go by. Get real, capitalism creates massive inequalities and only serves to enrich an elite few.

  21. Anonymous · ·

    “In fact, the very globalization you so despise is also responsible for the decline of America’s Car industry.”

    Which you so praise I mean. Sorry for the typo.

  22. On the contrary, the case in South Africa that you referred to is
    actually the market at work. The initially protectionist South African
    automobile industry was inefficient and cost car owners an arm and a
    leg. Between the income of the South African auto-industry and the
    expense of the South African consumers – clearly protectionism favored
    the auto industry AT THE EXPENSE OF CUSTOMERS.
    With the opening of the South African automarket, it forced inefficient
    companies to shape up or fold up.

    Local companies have various options:

    a) to consolidate with other local companies

    b) to go into a joint venture with a competitor of the new foreign entrant

    c) increase capitalization

    d) participate in a market segment where they have the competitive
    advantage and generate more bang for their buck.

    Ang Pinoy kasi –

    1. Ayaw magulangan dahil manggugulang. Hello, there are regulations for that.

    2. Tamad – ayaw mag-isip ng mga paraan paano magcompete.

    3. Sobrang makasarili – their capital remains sole proprietorship
    because they are unwilling to go into corporations.

    Hello, look at your local oligarchs, they operate through… YES…

    Ang “progressive left” kasi, mendicant mentality – ang iniisip paano
    kumita mula sa company. Yung negosyanteng pinoy naman, paano gulangan
    ang empleyado at supplier para lumaki ang margin. Ang lahat ng players
    nanggugulang. Unlike sa ibang bayan – people compete based on value –
    thus customers get their money’s worth, di tulad sa pinas – continuous
    ang bayad mo ng fixed monthly service fee sa utility, sangkatutak naman
    ang outage.

    With competition – those that can’t adjust will fold up – why should
    customers bear the burden of the automaker’s inefficiency? Shape up,
    get better, or get the eff out – you shouldn’t be in business in the
    first place.****Now on the matter of foreign companies destroying South
    Africa’s automobile industry – the numbers beg to differ
    South Africa’s automotive industry

    South Africa’s automotive industry is a global, turbo-charged engine
    for the manufacture and export of vehicles and components. The sector
    accounts for about 10% of South Africa’s manufacturing exports, making
    it a crucial cog in the economy.

    Diesen Artikel auf Deutsch

    Lire cet article en

    Leia este artigo em

    With annual production of 535 000 vehicles in 2007, expected to rise
    to 630 000 in 2008, South Africa can be regarded as a minor contributor
    to global vehicle production, which reached 73-million units in 2007.
    But, locally, the automotive sector is a giant, contributing about
    7.5% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and employing around
    36 000 people.
    The government has identified the automotive industry as a key
    growth sector, with the aim of increasing vehicle production to
    1.2-million units by 2020, while significantly increasing local content
    at the same time.


    GM, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, VW …

    Industry Development Programme


    component manufacturers

    for choice


    South Africa has been one of the best performing automobile markets
    in the world in recent years. New vehicle sales figures soared to
    record-breaking levels for three years in succession, from 2004 to
    2006. In 2006, sales increased by 14.4% to just under 650 000 units,
    generating revenue of R118.4-billion.
    Sales dropped by 5.4% in 2007, and are expected to drop further in
    2008 as higher interest rates and rising prices curb spending.

    Vehicle sales in South Africa

    (Data source: Naamsa)

    However, major export programmes are likely to keep the local
    industry buoyant. Vehicle exports were around 170 000 units in 2007,
    and the National Automobile Association of South Africa (Naamsa)
    expects this to jump to 285 000 in 2008. This is extraordinary growth,
    especially when compared to 1997, when the number of units exported was
    below 20 000.
    South Africa currently exports vehicles to over 70 countries, mainly
    Japan (around 29% of the value of total exports), Australia (20%), the
    UK (12%) and the US (11%). African export destinations include Algeria,
    Zimbabwe and Nigeria.


    All of the major vehicle makers are represented in South Africa, as
    well as eight of the world’s top 10 auto component manufacturers and
    three of the four largest tyre manufacturers. Many of the major
    multinational companies use South Africa to source components and
    assemble vehicles for both the local and overseas markets.
    Between 2000 and 2006, the industry’s investment in production and
    export infrastructure quadrupled, from R1.5-billion to R6.2-billion,
    before slowing to R3-billion in 2007. Capital investment is expected to
    be around the R4-billion mark in 2008.
    Most of this has been foreign investment, with the parent companies
    of local car manufacturers expanding local operations to improve
    production capacity, export facilities and supporting infrastructure.
    All of the large manufacturers in the country have launched major
    export programmes in recent years – the latest (in January 2008) being
    Ford Motor Company of South Africa.

    Ford, GM, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, VW …

    In January 2008, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa announced plans
    to invest more than R1.5-billion to expand its operations in South
    Africa for the production of Ford’s next-generation compact pickup
    truck and Puma diesel engine.
    The local arm of the US car giant said the new investment would
    start in 2009 and be split between its assembly plant in Silverton,
    Pretoria and engine facility in Struandale, Port Elizabeth, with most
    of the vehicles produced earmarked for export.
    General Motors
    General Motors South Africa, which is based in Port Elizabeth in the
    Eastern Cape, markets the brands Chevrolet, Opel, Isuzu, Saab, Cadillac
    and Hummer. In 2005, the company was awarded a six-year contract to
    assemble and export the Hummer H3, resulting in a US$100-million
    investment in its Struandale plant.
    GM South Africa is building a new multimillion-rand vehicle
    conversion and distribution centre and is investing another
    R481-million in its operations, upgrading its production facilities and
    tooling in 2008.
    Mercedes-Benz South Africa manufactures Mercedes-Benz and Mitsubishi
    vehicles at its manufacturing plant in East London in the Eastern Cape.
    The company’s headquarters are located in Gauteng province, from where
    the Mercedes-Benz, smart, Maybach, Mitsubishi Motors, Freightliner,
    Western Star and FUSO brands are marketed and financed.
    Mercedes-Benz SA recently spent about R2-billion on upgrading its
    manufacturing plant, and now produces both right- and left-hand drives
    versions of the latest Mercedes-Benz C-Class car for domestic and
    export markets.
    Toyota South Africa recently completed a five-year, R2.4-billion
    modernisation and revitalisation programme. Its Prospecton facility,
    just south of Durban, is now one of the most technologically advanced
    Toyota facilities in the world outside of Japan, and is capable of
    producing around 220 000 units a year.
    As a global production facility, Toyota South Africa has transformed
    from a purely local supplier into an effective export base to supply
    vehicles into markets in Europe and Africa. The company, which exports
    to more than 40 destinations, says it expects to export around 140 000
    units in 2008, or almost 60% of total automotive exports from South
    Volkswagen South Africa is located at Uitenhage near Port Elizabeth in
    the Eastern Cape. In 2007, the company celebrated its 56th anniversary
    in South Africa – and its 2.5-millionth vehicle off the production
    line. It is a local leader in the passenger market, accounting for
    around 21% of all new vehicle sales.
    Between 2000 and 2008, Volkswagen South Africa invested around
    R6-billion in new models, a new paint shop and a new truck and bus
    assembly plant.

    Motor Industry Development Programme

    The catalyst for this phenomenal growth has been the government’s
    Motor Industry Development Programme (MIDP). Introduced in 1995, the
    programme is legislated until 2009 and will be gradually phased out
    until 2012.


    auto incentive plan approved

    The MIDP has boosted exports by enabling local vehicle manufacturers
    to include total export values as part of their local content total,
    then allowing them to import the same value of goods duty-free. This
    has allowed auto makers to concentrate on manufacturing certain
    vehicles or components for export, while importing other models.
    The programme also grants a production-asset allowance to vehicle
    manufacturers that invest in new plants and equipment, giving them 20%
    of their capital expenditure back, in the form of import-duty credits,
    over a period of five years.
    The government plans to introduce a successor to the MIDP, which
    will be aimed at improving the domestic value chain. The new programme,
    which will last until 2020, will focus on value addition while being
    consistent with South Africa’s multilateral obligations. It is likely
    to take the form of a subsidy to production.
    The Department of Trade and Industry says the new support programme
    will result in more jobs as well as the long-term sustainability of the
    industry. The plan will support production and investment plans that
    “intend to reach a minimum volume of output for each platform of 50 000
    units a year within a reasonable period of time”.

    Competitive advantages

    South Africa’s automotive industry offers a number of competitive
    advantages to international concerns. These include a world-beating
    cost ability on short- or low-volume runs, competitive tooling costs,
    and a high degree of manufacturing flexibility. The local industry also
    has good access to southern hemisphere and African markets.
    The South African industry boasts several unique technologies, such
    as differential locks for off-road vehicles, aluminium welding
    technology for radiators, and the ability to design components, such as
    air cleaners and air conditioners that can cope with the higher
    temperatures and dust levels in Africa.
    The country’s first-world production facilities are coupled with
    access to raw materials and relatively cheap electricity, as well as
    stable transport and telecommunications infrastructure.
    The Automotive Industry Development Centre and the Gerotec testing
    centre near Pretoria are world-class facilities for research, design,
    testing and training.
    New investment opportunities are being created for the industry by
    the introduction of free trade agreements with the European Union and
    the South African Development Community, as well as the US government’s
    African Growth and Opportunity Act.

    Auto component manufacturers

    There are more than 200 automotive component manufacturers in South
    Africa, and upwards of another 150 that supply the industry on a
    non-exclusive basis. The component industry has a turnover of about
    R50-billion, or approximately 2% of the country’s GDP, and is looking
    to strong growth as export potential continues to increase.
    South Africa exported R30.3-billion worth of auto components in
    2006, a 32% increase over 2005. Catalytic converters continued to be
    the country’s most exported vehicle part, accounting for almost half of
    all component exports.
    Other key exports include engines, silencers and exhausts,
    radiators, wheels and tyres, stitched leather car seat covers, car
    radios and sound systems, and axles, especially for heavy trucks.
    Germany, Spain, the UK, the US, France and sub-Saharan Africa are
    the leading destinations for South African auto parts exports.

    Spoilt for choice

    There are a “staggering” 1 390 variants of cars, recreational
    vehicles and light commercial vehicles on South Africa’s showroom
    floors, according to a report by business website
    The choice available has more than doubled over the past 10 years.
    In 1997, soon after the re-entry of Alfa Romeo, Renault and Chevrolet
    into South Africa – and when locals first got a taste of Mahindra,
    SsangYong, Dacia, Kia, Hyundai, Daewoo, Saab and Subaru – there were 37
    manufacturers offering 595 different models.
    Since then, Bentley, Cadillac, Citroën, Dodge, Maybach, Mini,
    Proton, TVR, GWM, Lexus and Tata have established dealerships in South
    Africa, either independently or by joining forces with established
    distributors and related group companies.
    However, despite the new entrants, the majority of South African
    buyers tend to choose the well known, established brands such as
    Toyota, Volkswagen, Ford, Mazda and BMW. These brands together still
    account for more than 80% of new vehicle sales in the country.
    Article last updated: September 2008

  23. Don’t be so focused on the moves of the American companies in the American market, pay attention to their presence in the global market – they are selling like hotcakes in India, China, Russia, and South America – thanks to globalization. Sure the American auto companies cut the American jobs BUT they moved the jobs to.. China.. The Philippines.. India.. Brazil… and Russia –

    Note that the Ford Focus including the hybrid models, sold in the US, Europe, and Australia – are assembled in Laguna. Sure some Pinoy companies folded up, but the net job gain was more than offset by the new entrants.

  24. Anonymous · ·

    “Sure some Pinoy companies folded up, but the net job gain was more than offset by the new entrants.”

    Hogwash! Give me facts that really state the Philippines gained more jobs than before or you will just lead me to believe you are just pulling facts out of your ass. Furthermore, those are repeated lines in International Economics. The statement “job losses are inevitable but their is a net gain when you open up shores” in International Economic books is so nonsensical that it makes me cringe.

    Sorry, that maybe true for China, but for countries like us, I hardly see any rise in the number of employed in the job figures. Capitalism only works for those who are willing to have their wages slashed further so they can live like rats in the streets. China beat us to that, their wages are so low that you need to work 12 hours a day just to make meets end. Of course, you might say that is all fine and dandy and Filipinos should have their wages cut but don’t come up in here telling me that when you won’t even be willing yours to be cut. To do so would be just hypocritical.

    Furthemore, contractual jobs don’t even count. I don’t like the fact that the government has changed the definition of underemployment to make it seem as if the Philippines doesn’t suffer from chronic unemployment and you globalists suck at it hook, line, and sinker to support your nonsensical views!

    “Ang Pinoy kasi –

    1. Ayaw magulangan dahil manggugulang. Hello, there are regulations for that.

    2. Tamad – ayaw mag-isip ng mga paraan paano magcompete.

    3. Sobrang makasarili – their capital remains sole proprietorship
    because they are unwilling to go into corporations. ”

    Those are cop-outs. Since Filipino industries failed with the advent of globalization, hey let’s use our former imperial master’s racist term for us and call Filipinos lazy! Tell the cement or steel industry (which was one of the most efficient in Southeast Asia) that when we were subjected to predatory dumping!

    As for your other posts about South Africa, that’s fine and all were it not for the fact that you were equating the whole automotive industry as the whole economy! Sorry, economics doesn’t work that way. Read the link about South Africa…AGAIN!

    It clearly states that local companies have dwindled and their industries have been concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. Most, if not, all are just multi-nationals running the country, so again, I feel like you are evading the real issue here and posted a comical rebuttal about the car industry when we were clearly talking about the macro-economic picture as a whole.

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