A Tale of Two Countries – Korea and the Philippines

Korea and the Philippines. Bow.

Both were under the Japanese.

Both were under the Americans.

Both were “born” after World War II. South Korea was among Asia’s weakest economies. The Philippines was “next to Japan” – by virtue of the American infrastructure and developments.

Both had dictators – Park Chung Hee and Ferdinand Marcos were Ronald Reagan’s S.OB.s against communism.

In 1986, the Philippines had EDSA. In 1987, South Korea had its first democratic elections in 30 years.

In 1987, The Philippines crafted a new constitution which did not allow foreigners to own real estate.

South Korea on the other hand, allowed foreigners to own land – and this was further liberalized in 1998.

Note that,  both had low import tariffs.

By 1996, Korea had achieved OECD status.  In contrast, the Philippines remains a “developing economy that up to today is still “planning to become a first world country by 2020.

Half a century after being “born”, Korea is a member of OECD. Philippines is still dreaming to achieve OECD status by 2020. Korea got there more than 10 years ago.

As of 2010, South Korea is now one of the top five automobile makers in the world, and now has the capacity to design and build its own nuclear power plants.

And the Philippines is negotiating with Korea to buy a scrapped nuclear power plant initially developed for North Korea.

Today, while Filipinos have to put up with PLDT’s shitty and expensive service – and your other choice is an equally crappy Globe or Bayantel Smart service – couldn’t tell the difference between Globe/Smart/Bayantel – they have the same owners???

Guess what… CNN recently came up with this article –

Why Internet connections are fastest in South Korea
By John D. Sutter, CNN
March 31, 2010 10:09 a.m. EDT

Editor’s Note: Which 17 countries have faster Internet connections than the United States? See our Internet speed map.

(CNN) — People in the United States basically invented the Internet. So U.S. connections must be the fastest and cheapest in the world, right?

Not so much.

Broadband Internet speeds in the United States are only about one-fourth as fast as those in South Korea, the world leader, according to the Internet monitoring firm Akamai.

And, as if to add insult to injury, U.S. Internet connections are more expensive than those in South Korea, too.

The slower connection here in the U.S. costs about $45.50 per month on average, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In South Korea, the much-faster hook-up costs $17 per month less. An average broadband bill there runs about $28.50.

So why is U.S. Internet so much slower and pricier than broadband connections in South Korea? The question is timely, as the U.S. government pushes forward with a “broadband plan” that aims to speed up connections, reduce costs and increase access to the Internet, especially in rural areas.

Map: U.S. Internet is slower than Slovakia’s?

The comparison between South Korea and the United States is not perfectly instructive, especially since “we probably won’t ever be South Korea,” said Robert Faris, research director at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

“The whole political and social climate is so different, the geography is different, the history is so different,” he said. “It’s all pretty different.”

With those caveats in mind, here are the five potential reasons U.S. Internet speeds are slower and more expensive than those in South Korea. This list was gleaned from interviews with broadband experts and from policy papers:

Korean competition

Countries with fast, cheap Internet connections tend to have more competition.

In the U.S., competition among companies that provide broadband connections is relatively slim. Most people choose between a cable company and a telephone company when they sign up for Internet service.

In other countries, including South Korea, the choices are more varied.

While there isn’t good data on how many broadband carriers the average consumer has access to, “I think we can infer that South Korea has more [competition in broadband] than the United States,” Faris said. “In fact, most countries have more than the United States.”

Some academics, including Yochai Benkler, co-director of the Berkman Center, have criticized the U.S. government’s broadband plan as not doing enough to create the kind of competition that is present in other countries.

In a New York Times editorial, Benkler says competition will reduce costs for broadband consumers.

“Without a major policy shift to increase competition, broadband service in the United States will continue to lag far behind the rest of the developed world,” he writes.

Culture and politics

There are stark cultural differences between hyper-connected Korea, where more than 94 percent of people have high-speed connections, according to the OECD, and the United States, where only about 65 percent of people are plugged into broadband, according to an FCC survey.

The South Korean government has encouraged its citizens to get computers and to hook up to high-speed Internet connections by subsidizing the price of connections for low-income and traditionally unconnected people.

One program, for example, hooked up housewives with broadband and taught them how to make use of the Web in their everyday lives.

Parents in Korea, who tend to place high value on education, see such connections as necessities for their children’s educations, said Rob Atkinson, president of the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation.

These cultural differences mean Korea has a more insatiable demand for fast Internet connections, he said. That demand, in turn, encourages telecommunications companies to provide those connections.

Faris, of the Berkman Center, said no one society has a stronger appetite for Internet connectivity than another. Korea’s government simply has whetted that appetite, and provided the incentives to make high-speed connections accessible to a large segment of society.

Political culture has more to do with it, he said.

“The United States is a more litigious culture than others, and the power of the FCC [Federal Communications Commission] to regulate is not as strong here as it is in other countries,” which means its less likely that the U.S. will pass policies to promote the growth of ultra-fast broadband.

Open versus closed networks

There is vigorous debate in the telecommunications world about the role “open networks” have in creating fast, cheap Internet connections.

The idea behind an “open” system is essentially that, for a fee, broadband providers must share the cables that carry Internet signals into people’s homes.

Companies that build those lines typically oppose this sharing. A number of governments, including South Korea and Japan and several European countries, have experimented with or embraced infrastructure-sharing as a way to get new companies to compete in the broadband market.

The U.S. does not require broadband providers to share their lines, and some experts cite Korea’s relative openness as one reason the Internet there is so much faster and cheaper than it is here.

The most important thing is that countries create a way for companies to enter the broadband market without having to pay for huge amounts of infrastructure, said Faris.

Population density

South Korea, with more than 1,200 people per square mile, is a lot denser than the United States, where 88 people live in the same amount of space, and where rural areas and suburbs are large.

The result for broadband? It costs less to set up Internet infrastructure in a tightly populated place filled with high-rise-apartments, such as South Korea, than it does in the United States, where rural homes can be great distances apart.

In both countries, copper wires tend to carry broadband signals from fiber optic cables and into the home. Data can travel fast on copper wire, but it slows down the farther it goes.

In South Korea, that’s usually just from the base of an apartment building to a particular unit. In the U.S., copper wire may have to link a home with a fiber optic cable that’s a mile away.

Korea had a plan … a decade ago

In the 1990s, South Korea set a priority that it would be a highly connected country with a high degree of Internet literacy.

“They made this a priority 10 years ago and they’ve really executed on it,” said Atkinson, from ITIF, the Internet policy think tank.

The country is still four to five years ahead of the U.S. when it comes to broadband policy, even as the United States tries to catch up, said Taylor Reynolds, an economist at OECD.

“Korea has long been a leader in broadband and in very fast broadband,” he said. “And, in fact, the technology that Korea has used for probably the past four to five years is VDSL, and that’s a technology that’s now being put in by AT&T” in the United States.

Meanwhile, Korea is abandoning that technology in favor of the next big thing, Reynolds said. That likely involves bringing super-fast fiber optic cables straight into homes. And, according a recent report by the Berkman Center, that could make South Korean Internet 10 times faster than it is now.

Faris said Korea’s clear-cut plan helped lead to its faster broadband speeds.

“A big difference is that Korea made a decisive move to expand Internet in the country,” he said. “They said we want to be very good at connecting to the Internet. A lot of government money was thrown at it …

“The U.S. has taken a fairly hands-off approach to the sector. They’ve left it to the private sector. There’s been some money put into it, but not that much, on a per capita basis. We just haven’t taken it that seriously.”

Who said this thing about infant industries needing protection?

I would think that South Korea needs “protection” from the US after all it was poorer than the Philippines at the outset – looks like all it needed was …. competition.

Here’s some more, while Korea’s SMEs are in photovoltaic systems and nanotech – cottage industry pa rin tayo…. cute ano?

Excuses, Excuses, and More Excuses

Korea was highly protectionist of its own economic environment. So was the Philippines – still is.

Korea had a government which supported its own government-controlled corporations, not sell them to the private sector. The Philippines had to sell off its corporations because they were inefficient – Pinoys weren’t paying taxes, and excpected public services – then wala ng revenue pinagnakaawan pa – they were a frakking shame.  If the Philippine GOCC was run as efficient as the Korean GOCC then it would be a waste.

Korea had high-tarrifs on imports which could directly compete with its own local industries. Philippineas had high tariffs on imports which could directly compete with its own local industries, TOO.

Korea invested heavily in education, which paid off. Tough luck, Filipinos don’t vote for politicans who support legislation of that nature – mga ignorante kasi.

Korea then opened up its economy when it was ready on the world stage. That’s crap. How can you just “open up” when their constitution, allowed foreign ownership of land, even BEFORE they “opened up”.

The Philippine government sold every government-controlled corporation to the private sector. Now you complain of high water and electricity prices. But LIMITED it to FILIPINO corporations – FOREIGN corporations could have provided a better deal – we will never know, because we kept them out.

The Philippines was highly lax and liberal in foreign trade. Not really,for example, importation of galvanized iron – the most common material used as roofing by the poorer sectors.

Galvanizers complain of tariff
distortion, unfair competition

BY IRMA ISIP

Steel galvanizers said government’s plan to lift the import duty on steel raw materials due to supply problems of the local manufacturer would also correct the distortion prevailing in the market.

Senior Trade Undersecretary Thomas G. Aquino at the weekend said the technical level inter-agency committee on related matters will tackle a petition of downstream steel players to remove the 7-percent tariff protection for hot rolled coils (HRC) and cold rolled coils (CRC) following the inability of Global Steel Philippines Inc. to supply its customers due to labor problems, power interruption and non-payment of real property tax.

The Philippines opened up its markets too early – Is a myth. Korea opened up, and it developed. It did not develop first then opened the market. Markets are created every day – one market is up one day, down the other – either open up and get on the gravy train – or miss out, simple as that.

The Philippines had too much foreign debt which of course just went into the pockets of corrupt politicians. If I believe that foreign debt brouhahaha, the US will be so poor right now – it owes TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS. 🙂

The Philippines never invested much in long-term solutions and left its budding engineering graduates to rot high and dry. Well, Filipino voters chose to vote for politicans who wre myopic, you get the government you deserve. Foreign companies could have provided for solutions and employment for budding engineering graduates instead of being wasted in Filipino corporations that treat people like dirt.

In short, you guys are suggesting we make the same mistakes again. Definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Sorry, economic liberalization is not the answer contrary to factual events – Actually, the instanity is yours, half a decade of protectionism – same tired policy that has factual results – kulelat ang Pilipinas, angat ang Korea. That’s what insanity does to you – you never notice that YOU already are in a protectionist environment and are showing the results of such environment. Low tariff rates without open FDI policy = kulelat. Low tariff rates WITH open FDI policy = angat.

Apparently, the Philippines… and Filipinos remain… clueless and would rather remain protected as infants forever.

Infants forever? – that’s so effin retarded.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0BsIoBYADg

Solution? Tanungin mo sarili mo how can you remove the protectionism? Ano pa nga ba eh di change the constitution, di ba? How?

Eh di based sa procedures ng constitution.

And if you want to go faster, vote for a candidate who supports removing the protectionist clauses in the constitution and allows foreigners to own land on which they will put their business office and residence – GO GORDON.

To the protectionists and the Noynoyistas and Villaristas.. this one’s for you –

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkPAsIUWZ_c

_________________________________

P.S.

Let the new Filipinos’ voices ring throughout the land.. to the beat of APL

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DwRU5Cr674

Thank goodness APL landed overseas, if he were in the Philippines – di papansinin yan dahil hindi tisoy, he wouldn’t even be discovered.

I still think the Jeepney needs an upgrade, like the Land Rover or do we need the Koreans to do it for us? 😉

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57 comments

  1. The reader just has to either craft another excuse in favor of protectionism to the oligarchs’ advantage or simply accept the above empirically tested evidence to the advantage of the greater good of the whole nation (hint: The latter (i.e. straightforward empirical evidence) would be the more parsimonious of the two.)

  2. I’m in favor of this open market solution at least it has been shown already that what we currently have fail to deliver the goods so better try something else. Who knows it works?

    There are two obvious problem with these: oligarchs as mentioned by Artemio above and the distorted progressive left concept of good to Filipinos which both factions will exhaust their means to prevent this from happening.

    But there is still indicator that any attempts would just fail. What is it?

    Foreigners living in the Philippines are behaving already like locals or even worse. Are we really a cursed nation that even those coming from other countries will just morph into one of us? We can’t just seem to believe that opening doors would help us because aliens have proven they’re no different than us when living in the Philippines.

  3. As an alien, I take strong exception to your unsupported generalization.

  4. Anonymous · ·

    “In 1986, the Philippines had EDSA. In 1987, South Korea had its first democratic elections in 30 years.

    In 1987, The Philippines crafted a new constitution which did not allow foreigners to own real estate.

    By 1996, Korea had achieved OECD status. In contrast, the Philippines remains a “developing economy that up to today is still “planning to become a first world country by 2020.

    Half a century after being “born”, Korea is a member of OECD. Philippines is still dreaming to achieve OECD status by 2020. Korea got there more than 10 years ago.”

    You forgot to add this:

    Korea was highly protectionist of its own economic environment.

    Korea had a government which supported its own government-controlled corporations, not sell them to the private sector.

    Korea had high-tarrifs on imports which could directly compete with its own local industries.

    Korea invested heavily in education, which paid off.

    Korea then opened up its economy when it was ready on the world stage.

    In contrast:

    The Philippine government sold every government-controlled corporation to the private sector. Now you complain of high water and electricity prices.

    The Philippines was highly lax and liberal in foreign trade.

    The Philippines opened up its markets too early.

    The Philippines had too much foreign debt which of course just went into the pockets of corrupt politicians.

    The Philippines never invested much in long-term solutions and left its budding engineering graduates to rot high and dry.

    In short, you guys are suggesting we make the same mistakes again. Definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Sorry, economic liberalization is not the answer contrary to factual events.

  5. I’m a bit skeptical though. Some people are naturally competitive. Give them more competition and they step up to the challenge. And then there are some when faced with more competition shrink away and whine.

    Koreans are an intense people. They get up to a singular focus and adopt a serious approach towards achieving their goals. Pinoy, on the other hand, are scatter-brained and adopt a patawa mentality when challenged.

    Open up the market and Pinoys, instead of finding opportunity to spread their wings, will simply sell out to foreigners instead of embracing the freedom to compete by upping their game (the way the Koreans did).

    Even in a protected market, Pinoy industry simply becomes stunted and retarded. In contrast, Korean industry expanded massively under a protected market so much so that by the time it opened up, it was a mature capital-intensive economy.

    You can’t win either way with Pinoys. You open the Philippine economy to competition and Pinoy industry simply gets steamrollered by the competition. Close the Philippine economy and Pinoy industry atrophies and dies.

    Lose-lose. That’s Pinoys for you.

  6. Some people may still believe the myth that the model to follow is Japan – the closed economy. Since Japan had natural resources and closed itself off from the world economy to maximize them is one simplified explanation. However, the myth are there. “Closed” certainly doesn’t mean that the Japanese “bought only Japanese.” Certainly they needed to access patents to technology available abroad, like transistor circuits, to make their own products. Just how closed were they? Next, there are so many factors and circumstances that made Japan successful compared to the Philippines. The latter has very different factors, such as different culture, different kinds of resources, different social structure, etc. It’s a different ball game. And thirdly, that’s it… what makes you think Japan was that closed? Perhaps it also received foreign investments? It didn’t depend on remittances from foreign labor – which would never push a country up to first world.

    These people would complain, why look at Korea, we should not look abroad for solutions. OK, then why look at Japan?

    Korea had foreign investments obviously. This is a world where anti-foreignism will certainly kill you… and you deserve it.

  7. I think that fact that we’re exporting so many skilled workers to other countries means that we’re ready for the world stage, and opening our market to foreign ownership should be a go.

  8. Good on you!

    But I was referring to many aliens involves in business do the same thing as the locals. Case in point was an editorial column of the late Max Soliven that alien businessmen were still willing to pay off 3 officials just to get permits.

    That aliens pushing for projects all over the country are willing to negotiate the kickbacks to officials just to make their projects push through.

    That big mining firms ignore environmental laws and dumped their waste without due regard to environment just to maximize profits.

    That aliens willing to offer officials even girls as perk for now defunct NBN project.

    Oh, many ordinary aliens too insulted many sales lady around the country if they couldn’t be understood by poor sales lady. That 2 Australian pilots stomped their shoes in NAIA that to show their egos to Filipinos…..but then again I was speaking about business people willing to stoop low on their morals just to have profitable business thrives.

  9. Btw, as an added info, there are cases where an alien think there are dirt involved in the transactions.

    Every tickets for an event e.g. concert in some cities can only get approval from govt offices if the organizer “paid under the table” to speed up the transaction.

    One foreigner was so proud he was finally able to get approval without doing the same thing before and boosted to his friends he can do it without. Later did he realize that his Pinoy counterpart did all the dirt for him. In his mind, he ceased to be dirty. To a Filipino like me, there was not much any difference.

    I worked in a multinational company before and one way for the company to pay bonuses is to send free hotel and holiday tickets to govt auditing bodies to lower down taxes.

  10. justice league · ·

    For those of you wanting to change the Constitution, if you guys/gals are so in favor of your advocacy; then you should all work for a “People’s Initiative”. Why don’t you guys/gals donate time, effort, and money for it?

    Even if Sen. Gordon wins; he will not be a member of a Constituent Assembly nor a Constitutional Convention. Though he may recommend what revisions or amendments he wants; he doesn’t have total control of what the proposed final revisions will be. And based on experience here, the proposals will be for acceptance or rejection in toto.

    It is likely that no amount of your claims in favor of some proposals will make any unfavorable recommendations palatable when they are lumped together.

    As one of the Grand Preachers in Antipinoy.com likes to claim “We see them — their person — as signs of “hope” despite the lack of any clear evidence of any strong causal link between who the president is and how probable our achieving our national aspirations becomes.”

    So what are you guys/gals waiting for?

  11. J.B.

    The operative word is “when in rome, do as the romans do”.

    when foreigners see how we treat each other, and adopt our ways – suddenly it becomes reprehensible. aha 🙂

  12. I seen many photo of Korean shoplifters than the Filipino at the grocery store even there clothes design very nice no wonder the Japanese business store so angry at the Koreans.

  13. Korea was highly protectionist of its own economic environment. So has the Philippines.,

    Korea had a government which supported its own government-controlled corporations, not sell them to the private sector.The Philippines had to sell off its corporations because they were inefficient – Pinoys weren’t paying taxes, and excpected public services – then wala ng revenue pinagnakaawan pa.

    Korea had high-tarrifs on imports which could directly compete with its own local industries. Philippineas had high tariffs on imports, too.

    Korea invested heavily in education, which paid off. Tough luck, Filipinos don’t vote for politicans who support legislation of that nature – mga ignorante kasi.

    Korea then opened up its economy when it was ready on the world stage. That’s crap. How can you just “open up” when their constitution, allowed foreign ownership of land, even BEFORE they “opened up”.

    The Philippine government sold every government-controlled corporation to the private sector. Now you complain of high water and electricity prices. But LIMITED it to FILIPINO corporations – FOREIGN corporations could have provided a better deal – we will never know, because we kept them out.

    The Philippines was highly lax and liberal in foreign trade. Not really,for example, importation of galvanized iron

    Galvanizers complain of tariff
    distortion, unfair competition
    BY IRMA ISIP

    Steel galvanizers said government’s plan to lift the import duty on steel raw materials due to supply problems of the local manufacturer would also correct the distortion prevailing in the market.

    Senior Trade Undersecretary Thomas G. Aquino at the weekend said the technical level inter-agency committee on related matters will tackle a petition of downstream steel players to remove the 7-percent tariff protection for hot rolled coils (HRC) and cold rolled coils (CRC) following the inability of Global Steel Philippines Inc. to supply its customers due to labor problems, power interruption and non-payment of real property tax.

    The Philippines opened up its markets too early – Is a myth. Korea opened up, and it developed. It did not develop first then opened the market. Markets are created every day – one market is up one day, down the other – either open up and get on the gravy train – or miss out, simple as that.

    The Philippines had too much foreign debt which of course just went into the pockets of corrupt politicians. If I believe that foreign debt brouhahaha, the US will be so poor right now – it owes TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS 😀

    The Philippines never invested much in long-term solutions and left its budding engineering graduates to rot high and dry. Well, Filipino voters chose to vote for politicans who wre myopic, you get the government you deserve. Foreign companies could have provided for solutions and employment for budding engineering graduates instead of being wasted in Filipino corporations that treat people like dirt.

    In short, you guys are suggesting we make the same mistakes again. Definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Sorry, economic liberalization is not the answer contrary to factual events – Actually, the instanity is yours, half a decade of protectionism – same tired policy that has factual results – kulelat ang Pilipinas, angat ang Korea. That’s what insanity does to you – you never notice that YOU already are in a protectionist environment and are showing the results of such environment. Low tariff rates without open FDI policy = kulelat. Low tariff rates WITH open FDI policy = angat.

  14. I think a factor is historical enmity between the two nations. Japan had Korea under its belt until after World War 2, when the two Koreas were born, finally fulfilling Korean dreams of independence. Japanese and Koreans from my understanding tend to be unfriendly to each other.

  15. Ang critical issue is this – we would rather protect the few oligarch businesses AND send millions of Filipinos overseas.

    Shouldn’t we be protecting the millions who we had to send overseas – keep those best and brightest home.

    Bring foreign investments in.

    Don’t allow our local companies to keep on treating Filipino employees like dirt.

    Let the foreign companies who treat Filipino employees like gold come in.

    Remove the protectionist clauses of the constiution.

  16. JL:

    I have no problem with a people’s initiative to have the protectionist clauses removed from the Constitution.

    This can be attacked on two fronts – first through a “champion” – in this case, Gordon.

    The second front is thru the people’s initiative, which can go with or without Gordon.

    What am I waiting for? hmmm.. people like YOU 😀

    Now there’s two of us who are up to this advocacy – let’s find some more 😛

    As you can see – I am donating/time/money and effort – to explain to a wider audience the need to remove this protectionist clauses.

    Now, taking this to the next level – spending more money/time/effort to have the protectionist clauses removed is another matter. After all, it does not make sense to put the cart before the horse.

    Generate the rationale, stimulate the interest, solidify the desire, and act on it – just a matter of “staging”.

  17. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by carabaopower: RT @TopsyRT: A Tale of Two Countries – Korea and the Philippines http://bit.ly/9PtdCf

  18. Another favorite example for the advocates of an open market is South Korea. As in Brazil, the Korean ‘economic miracle’ was realized at a great human cost. The particular kind of industrialization policies the Park regime has pursued have achieved the paradoxical feat of combing increased production with greater poverty. From 1962 to 1976 (where the great economic miracle occurred) the Gross National Product rose at an average yearly rate of 10 percent, reaching its peak in 1973 (16.5%) and in 1976 (15.2%). Per capita GNP increased from insignificant levels to $380 in 1974 and $700 in 1976. However, the statistics of per capita GNP, often flaunted by the regime as if to suggest it represents an average actual annual incomes, is meaningless in a country where the inequalities in the distribution of wealth are as pronounced as they are in South Korea and where inflation has eaten into hard-won wage increases.

    In fact, it may even be said that increased productivity was realized at the expense of the Korean workers, whose wages in the manufacturing industry where about 1/8 of the wages of their Japaneses counterparts in 1975. Wages are even lower in export-oriented industries such as textiles and electrical appliances which employ mostly women because ‘they cost less than half of their male equivalents.’ To keep workers in their abject condition, they are virtually denied their thee basic rights: to organize, to bargain collectively and to strike. Their state of impoverishment is reflected by the fact that in 1976, the average Korean workers was earning $93 a month when the Economic Planning Board itself declared that $142 was needed to sustain an average family.

    Where then does all the wealth of South Korea go? Mainly to Japanese and American capital dominant in key and export industries as well as to the ruling political and technocratic elite. The South Korean “economic miracle” therefore is premised on dependence on foreign capital, impoverishment of the majority Korean masses, and repression to preserve the status quo. The same blueprint is being foisted on the Philippines as advocated by the Anti-Pinoy. Is this the future Filipinos want? Do we seek to develop a fake economic growth to hide a genuine underdevelopment?

  19. justice league · ·

    BongV,

    I don’t remember fighting the removal of protectionist clauses with regards to foreign equity in business. But that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m already sold on the idea.

    (But one thing to be considered is when the State, when the public interest so requires; needs to take hold of certain businesses.)

    But again based on experience, no matter how much you try to explain the worthiness of removing protectionist clauses in business or land ownership; those who will actually work on the revisions will lump the “good” and the “bad” to be rejected or accepted in toto in a single plebiscite.

  20. Let’s put it this way.

    Do you want a job or not?

    If you are not contented with the market – create your own job.

    If you don’t have the capital – get the capital – either locally, or overseas.

    At the moment, you can’t even get capital locally – that’s a fact.

    Thus, you have to get it from overseas. Your ability to get the capital will depend on your foreign investment policies. Obviously, Korea’s “impoverished masses” are WAY BETTER OFF than the Philippines “impoverished masses”.

    What exactly do you want?

    To stay AS-IS? Stay protectionist forever? Naiwanan ko na, all you neighbors have opened up, except YOU, all their “impoverished masses” have higher quality of life than you.

    How do you know opening up will not work for the Philippines – you have not even tried it? But the nations who have, and who started off from the baseline in the Philippines have progressed in leaps and bounds. 😀

    you can keep on ranting how unequally treated you were – AND STILL WITHOUT A JOB.

    Or, would you rather kiss the local oligarchs ASS – and just live off the remittances of OFWs? 😀

  21. Therefore, at this point in the advocacy, your optimal choice of action to effect the consitutional change – is thru a champion – Gordon.

    If and when Gordon does not sail, then you execute Plan B / Plan C for that matter.

    Plan D – am already overseas, I’ll just write about the people who would rather starve to be proven right – they’ll die for protectionism – and they sure are dying from lack of jobs, they asked for it, they got it 😀

  22. Interesting.

    But the lose-lose may have its root to oligarchic control, not a nature over nurture thing.

    Why would a company compete mostly on the basis of ingenuity against other local companies when there is more easier route like paying off a local exec (or befriending him or eating lechon with him) to inhibit other local business having a hard time getting permits on its operation?

    The flood of foreign interest would probably dissolve the oligarchs which is the main problem. As what would happen eventually to locals, I don’t know, but what else to hold to our system which is unworkable for the benefits of poor Filipinos?

  23. UP n grad · ·

    Puwede-na-iyan mentality very evident.

    I’ve hired carpenters and electricians to work on my rental houses.
    I don’t get Pinoys ‘cuz practically all go for shortcuts, one of them thought I was friendly
    so his comment was “… puwede na iyan, rental lang naman, eh.”

    When I asked, he said “don’t know” if the shortcut conforms to code.

    —————–
    I see the same thing — that Pinoys in Pilipinas are culturally unaware that concept that quality sells —
    is evident with regards Pinas-brand products. Evidence — just check out the bottles, the
    packaging for patis, toyo, noodles.

  24. UP n grad · ·

    to cleve : It will be perfect if GINI and GDP go hand-in-hand.

    To put it another way, it is possible for GINI and GDP progress to go hand in hand, but only
    if a country elects the correct set of officials from the chief-of-state all the way down to the
    city and municipal officials. Corporations create the jobs. The elected officials are tasked
    with crating the proper balance of taxes, fees and incentives. The elected officials are also
    tasked with collecting the taxes from the local oligarchs and capitalists and from the mid-level
    and upper-level employees. The elected officials are tasked with the task of using these taxes
    towards better education, better health benefits, better “… for the greater good”.

    Corporations create the jobs… the local officials do the GINI.

    But without those jobs, then GINI human development is quite a challenge, indeed, which
    is why China now is willing to utilize the GDP-first, GINI-later development model.

  25. Persona non Grata · ·

    5:15AM my computer wakes up. Several minutes later it nudge me out of bed. Moments later alarm clock tunes to NPR. The moment I whisk off my comforter I say good morning to my laptop. Check e-mail. Hit the shower with a brewed coffee. Monday to Friday. Without fail.

    I continue reading e-mails, news at work. Work can wait. Assign it to a sucker. The greatest climax of my early morning hour is AntiPinoy.com. It is addiction!

    Whammoo! BongV’s Tale of Two Countries-Korea and Philippines. Cannot stop reading it. First time I have read an article from beginning to end including commentaries. I tried to get BongV’s article out of my mind it kept taunting me to go back in regardless the risk of reprimand from managers. I tried drowning my head with Eyehategod grunge to no avail.

    I gave up. I left early.

    This is the article I am wanting.

    NOW, I AM SOLD OUT TO GORDON.!!!!

    BongV got a compelling argument.

    Those who want my vote from Gordon, check my eBay account, to the highest bidder. PayPal accepted 🙂 Bidding starts today.

  26. justice league · ·

    BongV,

    If and when Gordon does not sail, then you execute Plan B / Plan C for that matter. Plan D – am already overseas, I’ll just write about the people who would rather starve to be proven right – …

    Your plan B/C will be executed if and when Gordon does not sail.

    But it appears your Plan D on “writing” is already being executed.

  27. UP n grad · ·

    Japan was an especially brutal conqueror. Racism and a murderous undisciplined
    military heaped rape, death and destruction onto the conquered, e.g. “Rape of
    Nanking”. The Japanese were also conducting biological warfare experiments
    (on Chinese and Korean prisoners primarily, but most likely also included Filipinos).
    Google-search for “Unit 731 Japan”).

    Of all the countries overrun by Japan during World War 2, I think it is only the Philippines
    that is A-okay friendly now with Japan, except for the survivors among “Comfort Women”.

  28. If I may jump in, I doubt protectionist clauses are helping much if they don’t protect our seamen from poor job conditions, pay and abuse. I think protectionism has made jobs in our country so low-paying and so poor in conditions that people have to go and become seamen. I believe the connection can be made between protectionist policy and how it affects our seamen.

  29. So parang BASTA LANG MAY TRABAHO NA?

    If we seek to develop, if we know what development is, I think BASTA MAY TRABAHO LANG is not a good solution.

    We are not a protectionist state. We’ve never tried being one. Or to put it right, we’ve never practiced being one.

    And why can’t we get a capital locally? What is a CAPITAL? :))

  30. May Party Sa Dasma Wala Akong Wheels · ·

    No offense but you don’t know what you’re talking about. There are lots and lots of jobs out there locally, if you’re willing to get inhumane compensation. The local oligarchy makes sure they can afford to hire you or anyone else dirt cheap (relative to how much your work is worth abroad). So, HINDI BASTA MAY TRABAHO LANG.

    Talaga? Yung protectionist provisions sa 1987 Constitution ni Cory ba’y wala dun?

    And why can’t we get a capital locally? What is a CAPITAL?

    Google it please, thanks.

  31. JL:

    What makes you think this is Plan D?

    I could be stage 1 of Plan A – IED Campaign 🙂

    on this aspect of my advocacy, while am on Plan D on another advocacy.

    but then, why will I cue the world off on what my plans are – that’s MY business 😉

  32. cleve:

    Exactly – that’s REALITY – you choose – plain and simple.

    A: NO Investments = No Jobs, you, your family, your community can die and starve (CLOSED DOOR = North Korea and Cuba)

    B – OLIGARCH Investments Only = Crappy Pay, Dirt Poor Wages – you eat a little; If you want some convenience, Go to Singapore/HK/JP/US/DE/UK/KSA/UAE/FR – become and OFW; emigrate even. Put up with Lousy Oligarch-owned companies like PLDT, BAYANTEL, GLOBE, BPI, PAL, MAYNILAD, MERALCO.

    C – OPEN UP The Economy – Repeal the protectionist clause of the Constitution – Allow Foreign Investors Own the Land where they do business and reside – It does not assure that FDI will come in immediately BUT you have Foreign Companies who are able to pay TOP dollar for TOP talent instead of wasting in a Filipino OLIGARCH Owned Company like PLDT, BAYANTEL, GLOBE, BPI, PAL, MAYNILAD, MERALCO.

  33. Will always be foreign-dependent. A pattern of development continuously propagated by them of course.

    AND CUBA IS NOT STARVING.

    I find it, ahm, stupid, to argue with you since our assumptions are very different. I assume you don’t believe that the underdevelopment of Third World Countries is caused by the global neo-liberal capitalist policies of the highly industrialized countries. If this is something that you don’t believe in to, I might as well consider you as one of those who deny the existence of the holocaust. 😀

  34. cleve:

    that’s a strawman argument. the holocaust was factual.

    I disagree that the underdevelopment of third world countries is caused by neoliberal capitalist policies. I assert that the underdevelopment of third world countries is caused by following stupid protectionist policies that do not leverage economies of scale and keep people BACKWARDS. third world countries are underdeveloped not because of neoliberal capitalist policies BUT because third world countries do not have good business sense.

    the tools used by the “imperialists” companies are the same tools used by “domestic” companies – sales, finance, accounting, operations management, marketing – why penalize performers for the stupidity of laggards? Why should a consumer subsidize a lousy company (foreign or local). going global is the prize of success. reward the performers – not the losers.

    In the case of the Philippines – how can you say for example – a foreign company overcharged you with electricity when the electric utilities are owned by MERALCO SINCE YOUR GRANDPARENTS AND THEIR PARENTS WERE BORN?

    how can you say for example – a foreign company overcharged your cellphone bill when the companies who provide telephone service are FILIPINO – PLDT – SAME COMPANY SINCE YOUR GRANDPARENTS AND THEIR PARENTS WERE BORN?

    you will never know – because the Philippine constitution restricts foreigners from owning more than 40% of equity in a telecom venture. unlike Singapore (as pointed by GCL) – which can fine tune its policy to be selectively protectionist on a per industry basis BECAUSE there is no outright prohibition and equity caps in its constitution – SEE THE DIFFERENCE? 🙂

    If this is something that you don’t believe in to, I might as well consider you as one of those who deny the existence of the holocaust. 😀

    ***

    Sure, Cuba is NOT starving – but who wants to live there except the Cubans.

    Sure Cuba is not starving, BUT it is appliances, and lifestyle is still stuck in the 1950s –

    The internet is a tightly controlled privilege in Cuba, reserved for the trusted elite. Information is not freely exchanged. The government of Cuba reports 40,000 people online in Cuba, and one computer for every 100 people. The International Telecommunications Union reports 60,000 internet users in Cuba. This figure is widely disputed by those in the know, when connecting to the internet is important. With two percent (2%) of Cubans having telephones, and the five ISPs being restricted to serving government, some post offices and the larger hotels in major cities, even those clandestine “DOTCommies” have it tough. 😀

    Will always be foreign-dependent. A pattern of development continuously propagated by them of course.

    AND CUBA IS NOT STARVING.

    I find it, ahm, stupid, to argue with you since our assumptions are very different. I assume you don’t believe that the underdevelopment of Third World Countries is caused by the global neo-liberal capitalist policies of the highly industrialized countries. If this is something that you don’t believe in to, I might as well consider you as one of those who deny the existence of the holocaust. 😀

  35. cleve:

    if i’ll go by your logic of this imperialist nations that keep third world nations at bay as true and apply it to the automobile industry, the following will hold true:

    FORD will always be the number one automobile company – it had a headstart, it invented the automobile – NO one can beat it.

    Korea/Japan/Malaysia – nations who were infants in the automobile industry will never catch up with Ford.

    For that matter, the Europeans will never catch up with Ford because – they were “infants”.

    Now, if I take a reality break, I find out that:

    1. Ford is one of the top – BUT NOT THE ONLY ONE.

    2. Hyundai, made by Korea – is one of the top automobile brands in the world

    3. Japan – which had an “infant industry” has at least two of the top automobile brands.

    Sure Japan and Korea were foreign-dependent, in the beginning of liberalization. Then they went into joint ventures. Since their constitutions did not have prohibitions that limited foreigners to only 40% equity – the Japanese, Koreans, Singaporeans, Taiwanese had more flexibility, and can enter into equity arrangements such as 20% local – 80% foreign (that would be unconstitutional in the Philippines and will not be allowed). After this initial equity arrangements, the market developed into what it is today – with Koreans now having more equity. In the case of the Philippines – the Constitution limits your options outright – and those opportunities are lost forever, due to the clause in the Philippine constitution which states and I quote –

    Section 10. The Congress shall, upon recommendation of the economic and planning agency, when the national interest dictates, reserve to citizens of the Philippines or to corporations or associations at least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by such citizens, or such higher percentage as Congress may prescribe, certain areas of investments. The Congress shall enact measures that will encourage the formation and operation of enterprises whose capital is wholly owned by Filipinos.

    Section 11. No franchise, certificate, or any other form of authorization for the operation of a public utility shall be granted except to citizens of the Philippines or to corporations or associations organized under the laws of the Philippines, at least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by such citizens; nor shall such franchise, certificate, or authorization be exclusive in character or for a longer period than fifty years. Neither shall any such franchise or right be granted except under the condition that it shall be subject to amendment, alteration, or repeal by the Congress when the common good so requires. The State shall encourage equity participation in public utilities by the general public. The participation of foreign investors in the governing body of any public utility enterprise shall be limited to their proportionate share in its capital, and all the executive and managing officers of such corporation or association must be citizens of the Philippines.

    Also, the Philippine constitution in the first section the same article states”The State shall promote industrialization and full employment based on sound agricultural development and agrarian reform, through industries that make full and efficient use of human and natural resources, and which are competitive in both domestic and foreign markets. However, the State shall protect Filipino enterprises against unfair foreign competition and trade practices.”

    The thing is the State protects Filipino enterprises against “unfair foreign competition and trade practices” yet is does not protect Filipino citizens from unfair monopolistic and trade practices of domestic companies… mga ipokrito – In the end, we don’t have investments, we have to go abroad for good-paying jobs, and we have to put up with the lousy PLDT DSL, the MERALCO brownout, and the water-outages of MAYNILAD. This has got to stop. If you don’t see this – I’d say you are a holocaust denier 😉

    ****

    So, back to your assertion – we will always be foreign dependent – That’s the reality of globalization – we are all dependent on each other. US is dependent on China, China is dependent on US.

    Given this scenario we are back to square one. We can either resist or embrace globalization.

    You reject globalization, I embrace it. Plain and simple.

    Korea, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia have allowed foreigners to own the property on which they build their business and residence – because it makes good business sense.

    Philippines, have NOT allowed foreigners to own the property on which they build their business and residence – instead they make foreigners marry a Filipina (pambubugaw if I may say so), encourage the use of proxies (fraud-laden if I may say so), double citizenship (naturalization at gun point) – which is NONSENSE.

    I prefer the Korean/Japanese/American/Singaporean/European ethic that says – we will compete, we will find our niche, we will study our comparative and competititive advantages, and we will leverage the strength of every link in the global village to generate jobs and revenues for our respective nations.

    Think Global, Act Local. 😉

    Remember this under a protectionist policy environment – the volume of inefficiency soon outweighs the social benefit produced. That is an anachronism in a modern market economy. If you don’t see this – I’d say you are a holocaust denier 😉

    The Philippines is simply reaping the fruits of protectionism in a global environment. Same results from doing the same protectionist policy – limiting foreigners to 40% equity max, and not allowing foreigners to own the land on which they put their business and residence. FDI Policy and Import Tariff Policy are policy tools and can operate without the other. If you don’t see this – I’d say you are a holocaust denier 😉

    Harmonizing both policies ensure we get the best bang for the buck. We don’t have such flexibility at the moment – due to Article 12, Secs 10 and 11 of the Philippine Constitution.We need the flexibility – change Article 12, Secs 10 and 11 of the Philippine Constitution. If you don’t see this – I’d say you are a holocaust denier 😉

    Will always be foreign-dependent. A pattern of development continuously propagated by them of course.

  36. Uncle Pinoy · ·

    Bravo, BongV, for this long-overdue article.

    BongV is correct in identifying what ails the Philippines economy – protectionism and other socialist economic policies. While cultural and social shortcomings hinder our growth, the solution to our economic travails is a CHANGE IN ECONOMIC POLICIES. Our traipse to being the basket case of Asia started in the 1950s when we enacted minimum wage laws. US manufacturers left the country in droves to neighboring Asian countries. Our Labor Code today looks like it was written by people who have never run a business. We have got to stop treating investors (and foreigners) like the Devil.

    I fully agree with the first step to be taken in correcting these policies: AMEND THE FRICKIN’ CONSTITUTION. Let foreigners own private land and invest in protected industry (with investment conditions). And let those who like what’s happening in Cuba to MIGRATE there!

  37. justice league · ·

    Bong V,

    What makes you think this is Plan D? I could be stage 1 of Plan A – IED Campaign

    Unlike Plan B/C which you stated to be executed if and when Gordon does not sail, you never indicated when Plan D is going to be executed.

    You could even choose to execute B and C together or even C before B so Plans A, B, C, and D need not be in chronological order except that Plan A (help Sen. Gordon set sail or choose a champion) is to be done before B/C.

    I have vague images of workers rallying to protect the companies which abuse them, they want better wages but they don’t want companies which can deliver a better deal into the economy, what makes them think that the domestic companies are about to give in. I just laugh – hit the domestic companies hard – how? bring in foreign companies, nothing like a threat to the bottom line that will shake people up – so what if the domestic company closes up (frankly, it will not, it will shape up before it closes up; gives you enough time to get a job in the foreign company – payback is a bitch) or.. become an entrepreneur.. DARN IDIOTS. Kaya na-truncheon, DAHIL TANGA. Hay naku, mabuti na lang I am kind to animals – party animals like me. Why bother kung gusto nila magpakatanga e di magpakatanga sila, basta ba naman e maglinis sila matapos silang magrally – or matutong magboto ng wasto, …

    If this is also only “stage 1 of Plan A – IED Campaign”; how much of a difference will there be between the “WAY” you write for stage 1 of Plan A and the “WAY” you’ll “write” in Plan D?

    but then, why will I cue the world off on what my plans are – that’s MY business

    One can only guess but never really tell why you would cue the world to what your plans are. But I would guess it’s the same “why” that you told the world your plans in the first place.

    You already told the world that your Plan

    A- choose a “champion”

    B/C- People’s Initiative …..

    D- write about the people who would rather starve to be proven right.

  38. One can only guess but never really tell why you would cue the world to what your plans are. But I would guess it’s the same “why” that you told the world your plans in the first place.

    ah, someone was asking, namely, YOU 🙂

  39. justice league · ·

    BongV,

    ah, someone was asking, namely, YOU

    I asked only 2 questions:

    “Why don’t you guys/gals donate time, effort, and money for it?”

    “So what are you guys/gals waiting for? ”

    And you already answered both in your first reply.

    Everything else was voluntary on your part.

  40. It’s a very attractive argument – to be successful, do what Korea did. Let foreigners own land in the Philippines and remove protectionist measures. Pls. don’t forget that since 1521 to to mid-1970s foreigners could and did own land in the Philippines. From 1946 to mid-1970s, Americans could and did own land, plenty of land. And they could also exploit all the natural resources.

    One thing I believe that must be factored in the argument is the historical context. Whey did Korea succeed and the Philippines fail? That would make a fascinating book.

    Ofhand, I think mainly because South KOrea’s back was put against the wall and it was to the US’ interest to help it succeed. Remember the Korean wars divided and devastated KOrea. Afterward, South Korea was left with the barren portion of the land and most of the existing industries were in the northern part of Korea. Its situation was just like Taiwan. Desperation made them succeed.

    And it helped that the Americans gave them enormous military and economic aid.

    In contrast, what did the American government do? Before I continue, don’t get me wrong. Som of my dearest friends and relatives are Americans. My quarrel is with the US government, the US leaders who made policies and executed them.

    First of all, if you look at history, the Americans did not really have to bomb Manila in such a devastating manner. But they did because they wanted to get the American prisoners of war out as quickly as they could from where they were.

    Manila, the main center of art, culture and industry, was reduced to rubble.

    Afterwards, did the US Congress give aid to the Philippines? Only a little. Much of the aid went to Japan initially because the US felt it was the only country that coul stop COMMUNIST China. And the little aid that came from the US went to the American businessmen in Manila, the oligarchs, the congressmen.

    And oh, they also tied that aid with continued American ownership of land and exploitation of natural resources.

    Now let’s go back to Korea.

    while Americans helped Korea, it was the national character of the Koreans that kicked in. Oh how they hated the Japanese. They were going to show them who was the greater nation.

    From what I recall, the US also demanded that South KOrea implement a land reform program. The US also did the same with Taiwan and with Japan.

    Can we now draw a correlation between having land reform and having industrialization and economic progress? I don’t know. That part would have to be studied by experts. But it sure is uncanny, don’t you think, that the three countries which stepped out of feudalism were able to succeed better than the one (i.e. the Philippines) which did not. Somehow, the energies and wealth of the nation were unlocked and diverted to industries and other sectors.

    Finally, about letting foreigners own land, I recently attended a Wallace Business Forum and the conclusion was that land ownership was not a terribly pressing concern for foreign businessmen doing business or wanting to do business in the Philippines. They were mostly concerned with ever-changing, quicksand regulations affecting their businesses.

    Many foreigners do own land here. They do it through their wives, girlfriends and lovers. And they leave pieces of their hearts here.

    Happy Easter!

    Raissa

  41. Can we now draw a correlation between having land reform and having industrialization and economic progress? I don’t know. That part would have to be studied by experts. But it sure is uncanny, don’t you think, that the three countries which stepped out of feudalism were able to succeed better than the one (i.e. the Philippines) which did not. Somehow, the energies and wealth of the nation were unlocked and diverted to industries and other sectors.

    Actually, there’s a lot of studies which have discussed the Philippines botched land reform program compared to the SoKor, Taiwan, and Japanese experience. The bottom line is this – 1) The Philippine land reform program was full of loopholes (favorable to domestic oligarchs) – AND industrialization and economic progress.

    And perhaps you might consider going through this material which was not covered by Peter Wallace

    http://www.adbi.org/discussion-paper/2006/11/28/2066.fdi.south.asia.policy.trends/impact.and.determinants.of.fdi/

    http://www.economywatch.com/foreign-direct-investment/determinants.html

    On the matter of AID – The Philippines is among the biggest recipients of USAID – funny how we bash Uncle Sam then we ask for AID.

    Now, even with the Philippines coming out as rubble after World War II, its economy was still considered next only to Japan. And, Korea was down low on the totem pole.

    Am just thinking when will Filipinos realize how disastrous the protectionist clauses in the constitution are – when Bangladesh creates its own automobile – and Pinoys are still stuck assembling Jeepneys with surplus pre-owned engines from Japan?

  42. the only difference is pinoys tolerate thieves in government. philippines has it all, natural resources, great manpower, but an illiterate and idiotic “masa” who could not even read or write voting for a dancing presidentiable. korea jails their presidents for corruption, here we pardon them and expect the same treatment if ever she’ll be jailed. go to divisoria, these chinese mainlanders cant even speak tagalog yet they have philippine passports for 50t. koreans in the country also do this things. pinoys are very prone to corruption so its not possible for the philippines to succeed unless we really do something about these corrupt officials… but then again.. its an impossible dream

  43. Nothing i can say it insults all of us but it’s true if we dont want to be insulted i advice all the voters this 2010 to vote REALLY WISELY AND DO NOT SELL YOUR CHILDRENS FUTURE!?

  44. “Foreign companies could have provided for solutions and employment for budding engineering graduates instead of being wasted in Filipino corporations that treat people like dirt.”

    This is so true. The compensation given in this country isn’t even worth half of the work you do. Maybe this is one reason why Filipinos have a very low self-esteem; how can you realize your own worth when Filipino corporations that employ you treat you like dirt and do not pay you what you’re worth.

  45. It all boils down to one clincher of a word. Competition. It creates more selection, better quality and thus lowering the price of certain goods. If they don’t want to compete, their loss. And from competition you get progress.

    I mean the whole buy pinoy shpiel is nice and sympathetic, but the problem is sometimes it becomes an issue of charity than being proud knowing its a well made item. Because there is no competition to spur the manufacturers so they get to make the rules. Reminded me of how Pinoy guitar makers have to deal with either increasing the quality and lowering the price or succumb to the Chinese counterparts that are mass manufactured but are cheaper and durable. Because if they don’t do it they’ll immediate customers anyway.

  46. 90 million people. Under the right administration, and you give the citizens something to do, you can tax say 50-60% of the population. Money comes back, create services to further help the citizens.

    Currently you couldn’t even get much out of 1/4th of the population. So then you’re forced to get money elsewhere or take loans for the projects.

  47. […] Carolla, we missed the message of Chip Tsao, we missed the message of Alec Baldwin – we also missed the prosperity that has come to the ASEAN, except the […]

  48. […] Carolla, we missed the message of Chip Tsao, we missed the message of Alec Baldwin – we also missed the prosperity that has come to the ASEAN, except the […]

  49. Rex Ian Sayson · ·

    Hi everyone,

    Just wanted to share a reflection I’ve been going through some time now about “wasted votes”. Is there really such a thing?

    Which vote is a wasted vote? The one used to give the best candidate a fighting chance, or the one used to let a supposed front-runner’s backers control the outcome with unscientific surveys? Having generated the largest business portfolio for my previous company using market research, it really bothers me that the methodologies behind the various election surveys seem so loose that the results are practically useless except for whatever agendas those who paid for the surveys may have.

    For example, if Noynoy A is really the front-runner, how come most people I speak with are supporting Gordon?

    Obviously since I’m not a Villar-ionaire I can’t do a proper survey myself at this point, but it’s very worrying – look at the financial crisis caused by believing too much in credit ratings paid for by the companies being rated themselves – how much misery has been caused by this ill-placed compianza? Should we peg our faith in getting the leaders we deserve on unscientific surveys, or should we peg our faith on finding the best fit candidate for our country’s needs?

    What would you like our country to have achieved 6 years from now? How do we measure the achievements we would like our people to have accomplished in 6 years, 12 years, 24 years, and what kind of proven accomplishments let us know which candidates are the best choice?

    I am sure different voters will have different criteria, and different results, but I hope you’d help spread the word to let the best candidate win, and not necessarily the ones pre-selected by paid-for survey companies. Personally, I’m impressed with this platform and the values, qualifications and experience behind it http://bit.ly/cABGn9

    Just to share, where I’m from, I can go jogging at night, there’s a functioning public library, LTO transactions take 15 minutes, public school students have international-standard classrooms, and it doesn’t even need to collect the same taxes as Makati. Do we want to just survive in our country, or really live?

    I believe our people will make the right choice if we just remind ourselves to stay focused on what this election is about – our future, our dreams, and our loved ones.

    May the best candidate win.

    What do you think? Please spread the word to everyone you care about also

    Cheers 🙂

  50. I share your reflection, Rex, and I’m sure many of us bloggers in this site do too. Thanks.

  51. Actually, South Korea practiced protectionism, and not just South Korea but other Asian countries, including Japan and the tiger economies. They practiced trade liberalization only during the late ’80s onwards, and even then their economies are still partly centralized.

    In contrast, the Philippines did the opposite: decontrol measures starting ’62, cooperation between government and multinationals from the early ’80s onwards, and import liberalization from ’91 onwards.

    Also, what the other comment writers said is correct: the U.S. provided military support and provisions for protectionism to South Korea and other countries, including Japan. In contrast, the Philippines became the first of several clients of structural adjustment policies, leading to disastrous results.

  52. South Korea was able to recover from the crisis of 1997/98, even though it had carried out a structural adjustment program. Why are some countries able to overcome economic crises and adjust their economy in the world economy while other countries fail?

    The other factors is that after WW II, Korea and Taiwan undertook land reform – the Philippines – didn’t.

    Thus, the lack of land reform + protectionist policies was exacerbated by structural adjustment. The roots of the inequity however go deeper. Structural adjustment. like corruption, is an exacerbation of the inequity but is not the root cause.

  53. miriam quiamco · ·

    I only read Belo’s piece halfway when I posted a comment about the Philippines not generating high growth as China due to structural defects. Belo’s take on our underdevelopment makes a lot of sense. If we did have the guts to start off with economic policies away from the dictates of these international financial institutions, then, would we have developed economically just like Korea, Taiwan and Japan. By the way, it is interesting that Taiwan and Korea are former Japanese colonies, I think they benefited a lot from the massive infrastructure projects Japan built during their occupation years. It is also theorized that they learned a lot from the Japanese management style.

    There is mounting evidence from the experience of many third world countries who followed the policies of IMF and World Bank to the letter which give substance to the claims that Belo wrote in his piece. Indeed, it is ironic that these highly bureaucratic financial institutions created after the Second World War to bring economic prosperity to poorer countries have failed due to their remoteness from the human suffering their technocratic approach to development has spawned. It is worth noting that South Korea castigated the IMF and World Bank during the financial crisis in the late 90s and declared debt moratorium, I think. Many anti-globalization experts also support the position which Belo articulates so clearly.

    South Korea is not entirely dependent on foreign capital, although Japan did extend development assistance, their nationalistic leadership made sure there was also real technology transfer which benefited their industries. Samsung, Hyundai, and others have learned a lot from Toyota and other Japanese companies and they are even stronger now than some of their Japanese industrial counterparts. It is not true though that it is only in Korea where the workers have been exploited by their local entrepreneurs, the Confucian culture makes people in Japan and Korea accepting of many otherwise exploitative labor practices such as the treatment of their women as second class citizens. It is worse in Japan, women even until now are still at a disadvantage in the labor market, and those who get hired are underemployed, mostly there are structural incentives for women not to stay active in the labor market. You can also say that Japan has benefited a lot from unfair labor practices of not paying overtime work to their workers. Even after the economic miracle, only big corporations pay overtime and with the recent economic downturn, companies have been hiring foreign labor on contract basis from employment agencies that do not pay ovet-time to the workers who are also underpaid. There is even a peculiar Japanese phenomenon of “karoshi”, death from overwork. The Japanese economic miracle has only been possible due to the enormous suffering their people are capable of bearing. There is national unity and understanding that they have to sacrifice and work hard to make their companies grow before they can start enjoying benefits.

    I wouldn’t paint South Korea as a developed country dependent on foreign capital, many Koreans did contribute to the pooling of capital for the country during the inspiring leadership of Park after the war. And Korea is number 15 in the HDI ranking, which means there is widespread prosperity in Korea, with Japan being number 10. I would agree with Belo that our economic development paradigm is flawed, and I wonder how we can radically switch this paradigm to one that will not shake up international financial institutions too much. Either way, the country needs to push for some radical policy reform, like confronting the oligarchs on their large plantation estates so that our self-sufficiency in food could be realized. Trade liberalization I agree has killed a lot of our budding industries, Japan and I would surmise South Korea did have time to develop their industries before joining the WTO. Even now Japan is still considered protectionist.

    We were only able to grow the economy on GMA’s massive infrastructure projects from borrowing more, the good news is that our debt payment ratio to our GDP is going down. There is need to develop more rational policies, the trade liberalization pact with China is a concern for our agricultural sector, and with our economy not building industrial capacities to be able to export and take advantage of this agreement makes it even more worrisome. I think there is merit to protectionism which does not necessarily mean being soft on the oligarchs, but protectionism without a clear industrial policy is self-defeating. That is why congress and senate have to debate policy options for the country, we don’t have time to waste on the vindictive policies of the Aquino regime, there are many pressing issues to tackle.

    I don’t presume to know what exactly these economic policies should be, our legislators should debate and the media should include the general populace in debating policy issues. We have no more time for gossipy coverage of governance, time to engage in constructive debate. There should be sustained discussions on the ideas propounded by Belo which are standard among the leftist community of world economists.

  54. […] of protectionism are pretty much well covered and I don’t have to belabor the obvious that protectionism and import substitution models don’t […]

  55. […] like to share: an article on South Korea and the Philippines on Anti-Pinoy. Another one is A Tale of Two Countries. The two articles were written by two different […]

  56. Hyden Toro · ·

    On with our Wowoowee Politics…set up the Dancing Girls, gyrating seductively…at least, we have entertainments. Vote for Wowoowee Revillame for President!

  57. […] Ownership is a major barrier – 60/40 – foreigners can’t own more than 40% – how long does that have to be rubbed in your faces till you get it? How many foreign investments have we let slip our hands because we wanted to ensure foreigners went into a joint venture – and had to be the minority – across ALL sectors (Telecom, banking, agriculture, health, education, manufacturing, services, electricity, water)? Protectionism does not work. […]

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