The Pendulum Swings: It's Official – Philippine Government Completes Transition From Devious to Slightly Above Witless

The past couple of days has seen the Philippines in a transition. After 10 years in the Presidency (four in Erap’s time, plus another six punctuated by “Hello Garci”), the devious stonewalling and sophistication of Pres. Gloria Macapagal gives way to the incompetence and witlessness of the incoming administration of Pres. Benigno Aquino III. Even as the emo politics crowd is fawning over Noynoy, the stark realities of the challenges of governance sink in the list of “agendas” are getting longer. The bigger question is when the euphoria subsides is when will the finger pointing start and who will it point to? After all, victory has many fathers – and failure is a bastard.

One Last Call For Sophisticated Stone-Walling and Cunning

It is but natural that Arroyo, like any other leader, would like her legacy to be remembered by people. Whether one was shown the door via constitutional processes(Nixon, Johnson, Bush, Cory Aquino, Fidel Ramos, Gloria Arroyo) or extra-constitutionally (Sadam Hussein, Shah of Iran, Ferdinand Marcos, Joseph Estrada), “legacy” takes on a higher sense of urgency when one leaves the office in bad taste.

I have nothing against remembering legacy – if it is for real. There is the kind of legacy that one leaves and people remember as you having actually worked for it. Reagan’s legacy was bringing the Cold War to an end (the vacuum left by the Soviet Bear was rapidly filled by towelheads adept at asymmetric warfare); Bill Clinton’s legacy was globalization and free trade (APEC and NAFTA); FVR’s legacy was Liberalization of the Philippine economy; and Erap’s legacy was a book of Erapism jokes 🙂 The point being that – a leader’s legacy is dictated by the choices he/she actively made and pursued when he/she was at the wheel.

Arroyo’s legacy is a legacy of sophisticated stonewalling and cunning. I have to hand it to her – Philippine politics is a den of snakes – and she put them all in their place. Gloria was always 10 steps ahead in the game. Her detractors were always left with an empty bag. For all the loud talk on ZTE-NBN – no one has produced a smoking gun directly implicating Gloria or her spouse. People can have suspicions, and that’s okay. But when the suspicions are not proven by evidence beyond reasonable doubt – the adage is “if the glove does not fit, you must acquit”.

Gloria kept her cool at the height of the Jocjoc Bolante mess. And used everything within the law to exercise her executive prerogative. When this was questioned in the SC – some parts of her various positions on executive powers were rejected and some were upheld. If anything, that showed me that democracy was working and that constitutional processes were at work. Gloria essentially showed the Senate and Congress – she’s the Chief Executive and the line needs to be drawn. I am all for that.

But, there’s legacy as an endowment, a bequest. And there’s “legacy” – stuff that just happened while you were sleeping, eating, talking. It is within this context that I read Gloria’s recent pronouncements on her legacy – bringing the Philippines on the verge of First World status. In a recent address she made to the diplomatic corps during the 112th Independence Day Celebrations, the Inquirer (which is now shaping out to be Noynoy Aquino’s door mat along with its TV mouthpiece ABiaS-Completely Basura Network reminiscent of Ferdinand Marcos) wrote:

The country has come a long way from those tumultuous years, posting 35 quarters of growth against the “headwinds of a global recession,”

She said her government had put the Philippines on the map of call centers and business process outsourcing, “changed the Manila skyline with modern skyscrapers; brought development to the provinces; connected the nation from north to south, east to west; and delivered a modern election that will change the phase of politics in this nation forever.”

“We will leave a legacy of hard work, a strong and stable economy and renewed global engagement, major investments in health care, education and physical infrastructure”


“I know much work remains to be done, but I am determined to turn over to a new government a new Philippines, one that is ready for the challenges bringing the nation to the verge of First World [status] in 20 years,”

Hold it right there. The President’s speechwriters have been really pandering to the President this time. For a couple of reasons, here they are:

1 – The “Growth Despite Headwinds of Global Recession” Myth

The Philippines’ protectionist economy has not come a long way. Rather – the Philippines neighbors, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan – have come a long way. For instance – South Korea’s economy was so shot in the 1950s, the Philippines was next to Japan – forward a few decades, South Korea IS now First World status and just yesterday Arroyo was saying – “determined to turn over to a new government a new Philippines, one that is ready for the challenges bringing the nation to the verge of First World [status] in 20 years” – yeah, right.

Fact is – the Philippine economy is a bit out-of-touch with the global economy. Thus when the global economy tanked, it wasn’t affected much because it wasn’t in the playing even. In layman’s turns, the Philippines is a wallflower in the global economy. The Philippines is an insignificant economy thereby there is not much inflows and outflows into it – BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER the recession. It’s like saying – the Philippines football athletes are superior to FIFA finalist players when it wasn’t even in the playoffs. It does not make sense – but when you repeat it long enough, you start to believe the bullshit. 😆

2 – Put the Philippines on the map of call centers and business process outsourcing

Mar Roxas will disagree with Arroyo on this. Oh wait, Mar Roxas used to be Arroyo’s DTI Secretary. Kidding aside, the Philippine government stumbled into the BPO industry by accident. It was not out of a conscious and deliberate program to develop the industry. Rather, it was at the tail-end of the trends that drive the industry.

In 1997, Malaysia was trumpetting its Malaysian IT Super Corridor as an alternative to Silicon Valley before the dotcom bubble burst. At the same time, India was already providing grants to its students to get certification in the education programs that allowed Indians to grab the best employment opportunities. India was also inviting foreign IT schools to set up and operate schools in India (note: foreigners are not allowed to own schools in the Philippines by the Aquino constitution). What this did was to create a base of professionals around which the BPO industry grew. In contrast, Philippine schools are still stuck up in that bullshit about the conflict between “liberal education” and meeting the needs of the economy. On the opposite side of the spectrum, you have the emo activists and their “nationalistic and scientific education” – I wonder where they got their model, North Korea? 😯

I was an early adopter. The dotcom bubble had burst and while American companies were laying off programmers, they still needed IT expertise. The thing is IT services were still cheaper if outsourced. There were lots of activities being outsourced. However, a lot of the projects needed certification (MCSE, CNA, A+, etc) and it was expensive to pay for certification – much less travelling from Davao to Manila to get certified. Also the computer courses being offered in the various computer schools were out of touch with the global market. The market was looking for PHP, Javascript, Java – and the computer schools were into MS Office training. What this created was a mass of clerks who can get laid off at the first chance. In contrast, the programmers have the ability to create value – Iphone apps, blueberry apps. Do you have any idea how many billions of dollars the Java apps development is creating right now? Talk about the Department of Education’s misplaced sence of priorities. 😕

On BPO Infrastructure – this means having the telecomm infrastructure, the power infrastructure vital to a knowledge-based information-centric industry. The Philippines has failed miserably on these grounds. The DSL services are lousy, the broadband services are priced ridiculously high, whaddya expect when you have a monopoly by PLDT. Look across to South Korea and its internet stats that make even the United States weep. 👿

Arroyo is not really in a position to brag. Rather she ought to be telling Noynoy that the competition is knocking at the door. And if he doesn’t shape up, the Philippines will be left in the dust again – the plans of becoming a First World country has just got pushed back to another 10 years – 2030! And just to prove my point, please view the UNCTAD presentation below:

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The Philippines has a tendency to crow about and rest on its laurels and then remain complacent. It better think again, there is competition out there and unless it has its act together – the Philippines will be blown out of the map.

3 – Changed the Manila skyline with modern skyscrapers – and created more slums as well

It’s another of those this happened on my watch therefore I must have been responsible for it thingie. Very well then, let’s take this at face value. While it is true that Manila skyline had changed – so had its landscape. The face of poverty cannot be seen in skyscrapers – it is seen in the ghettoes and slums that dot our urban centers and rural areas, Manila is not the Philippines. ❗

As you can see, this is the kind of intellectual dishonesty which turns people off. The sadder thing is that the masses wind up getting the impression that all intellectuals are dishonest – thus causing the masses to vote for the likes of an Estrada or an Aquino. Sure they are not smart – but at least when they fumble, it will make a big bang. In contrast having smart people at the helm poses significant risks because they are smart – they will know the ins and outs, the loopholes, the technicalities. The point being that sure we don’t understand the details, but the big picture is you are doing something wrong but you are just being very smart about it. That pisses people off. And when people are pissed off – they will behave irrationally. 💡

4 -“Delivered a modern election that will change the phase of politics in this nation forever” (Fact check: Didn’t Gordon author that bill?)

This gets my goat so much so that I can add Monumental Bullshit to Arroyo’s Legacy. Sure she signed it into law. But how come she didn’t think about passing a bill similar to this when she was still a Senator? She is also taking credit for a job that was done by Senator Dick Gordon. 👿

Out of the frying pan and into the grill

On June 30, 2010 – the Philippine gets to say goodbye to Arroyo’s bullshit (but not for long – remember she has re-invented herself into a Congresswoman – that’s another story) – only to have Arroyo’s bullshit replaced with Aquino’s bullshit.

At the same Aquno’s toadeys are mustering up a list of alibis on why Aquino will not be able to do the job. WTF? You guys were warned that Aquino will not be able to do the job BEFORE the election. A person of sound mind and reason would have voted for someone who can do the job. What were you guys thinking when you voted for Aquino? Suddenly, it just dawned on people that – they did vote a turd into the Presidency. The voters are relieved from Gloria’s deviousness but Noynoy’s incompetence is now coming back to bite them. 😈

Apologists lining up to provide alibis for performance failures

Noynoy most recent cop-out has been “give me time to fix the government”. Lingayen Archbishop Oscar Cruz said a mouthful:

Ligayen Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz agrees that Aquino is inheriting tough problems so he needs Cabinet members and advisers with an upright values system. “I’m sorry I have to say this but if I say otherwise I would be lying. I do not think he (Aquino) is very brilliant and therefore he really needs advisers with upright thinking whose values system is sound,” Cruz said in an interview with Bombo Radyo Dagupan.

He said Aquino has good intentions but he needs competence and character to achieve his goals.

“To me that’s a good beginning, the right intention and apparently he wants to straighten crooked ways happening in our country and I wish him well,” Cruz said. “ I’m trying to be as optimistic as possible. We have to give him the chance. Let’s hope we will go up. We cannot afford again to be business as usual.”

He was impressed, however, with Aquino’s first press conference after he was proclaimed the winner of the presidential race.

“But that’s only an interview, mere words. Let’s see in his first 100 days,” Cruz said. –

Archbishop Cruz, did you watch this video?

httpv:// –

Better yet, have a refresher, watch a Gordon interview, watch and weep – Karen Davila gets Pwned by Gordon.

To all those who were talking about winnability and the lesser evil, Who really is the loser now? Tama na naman si Gordon, si Perlas, at ang

Aquino’s list of gaffes is growing and it’s not July 1 yet. This will be a long six years. It’s not that you guys weren’t warned.

We didn’t vote for Aquino – YOU DID. And by golly, YOU, kabayan, will be remind of that – FOR THE NEXT SIX YEARS.

Unsolicited Advice Flying Left and Right

Whether it’s the business sector, the religious sector, the educational sector – agendas are flying all over town and straight to Malacañang Palace. What does that tell you – it signals that Noynoy still does not have an agenda, or if he has one, it is terribly unsuitable to the requirements of the situation on the ground.

So here’s an unsolicited advice to the Makati Business Club, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce, the Management Association of the Philippines – you knew all along that Noynoy was not fit for the job, but you rolled the dice on “hope” and wind up pushing the Philippines closer to hopeless or even increasing the degree of hopelessness in this deity-forsaken country.

You broke it, you own it. Put up or shut up… FOR THE NEXT SIX YEARS. :mrgreen:


There’s nothing about this situation that we haven’t said before.

The cycle of national karma repeats itself – the Philippine electorate is doomed to do so until it learns the lesson – pick the most competent and honest guy, and most of all – seek the truth, you will never lose. ❗



  1. The latest I hear from media is that Aquino is calling himself P-Noy. Man, it gets old real quick.

  2. P better stand for performance and not palpak.

  3. Very well written and said, BongV!

    “The Philippines is a wallflower in the global economy” – you hit the right words. Exactly the same thoughts I wanted to explain to Miriam but I could not articulate. To date, global market leaders has no intention at all to let the Philippines “play in the game”.

    Our leaders make “Bola-Bola” of the Filipinos.

    To comfort you, there are some members of Makati Business Club and in some Rotary Clubs, who quit because they disagreed on the Noynoy’s endorsement. There are some Gordons out there. Sadly, only a few.

  4. NFA rice · ·

    The question now is which people will Aquino take as his advisers? Am not going to hold my breath.

  5. NFA rice · ·

    By the way, I love this blog. You are doing a great job guys. It would be nice if I can write as good as you. I wish the quality of the posts is maintained or even improved. I hope that more people with opposing views will find this blog. It would be a disappointment if this blog only serves as an echo chamber.

  6. mel:

    in this game no one will tell you to come in – it’s the free market. feel free to dig in. there are drivers to investments – one of them happens to be the ability to own the property – or at least – the option to own the property on which an alien will establish residence and business headquarters.

    china and vietnam are often cited that its economy grew despite not allowing foreigners to own real property. that’s true – but chinese citizens don’t get to own real property either :mrgreen:

    it’s about fairness – the philippines economy is perceived as being skewed towards the philippine oligarchy.

  7. Thanks NFR – it is borne out of respect for the AP readers. Please help spread the knowledge.

  8. Got it, Bong!

    Was too much focused on raw products where the rich countries have their monopolists.

    In San Juan, La Union, the Surf Capital of the North, some foreigners found the easiest way to own real property for residence and business. That is – marry a Filipina :mrgreen:

  9. Or P could stand for Pathetic 🙂

  10. Pugot Ulo · ·

    I found this on Youtube. Kind of in your face assessment of the Filipinos. Disturbing but generally true. First world country in 20 years? I don’t think so. The protectionism of the oligarchy only benefits them. I think Gloria meant that in 20 years the Philippine oligarchy will be first world. Not for the 130 million Filipinos by 2030.

  11. famous wolf · ·

    Already, the Aquino apologists are brewing up excuses like, “When did he say he would totally eradicate corruption?”

    Pretty damn stupid if you ask me, the slogan, “Kung Walang Corrupt, Walang Mahirap” Slogan was the wagon that the band rode on to victory, they thought they would eradicate corruption and this is what happens. Ha, I could already hear the bells ringing for those I told you so moments. What completely disillusioned morons they are. 😆 This six years might be hell, but it will be hell to pay for anti-intellectuals who will soon feel like kicking themselves in the nuts.

  12. maikimai · ·

    Or Panot 😆

  13. You know, this is something that confounds me when I speak to anti-foreign nuts. heard from them that Vietnam is a case of exploitation by foreigners, which is why they prefer to keep foreigners out. On that score, it seems that Vietnam has similar policies to ours… so I can link exploitation to that cause.

    Another sample is Tibet. It’s the church missionaries who go to those countries who say that U.S. corporations and exploiting the resources from Tibet, as well as other countries. Problem is, they can’t seem to separate U.S. corporations from the U.S. itself. And for heavens, is every U.S. corporation evil?

    Yeah, what Mel said is what pro-protectionists say. Foreigners can always marry a Filipina or Filipino to set up a business here… but doesn’t that create complications? Family issues? And I remember Mel’s or someone else’s tale of an American who set up a nice office here, only to find it turned into a squatter shanty here when he returned? Then why don’t you let foreigners own land so they can set up business the right way?

    What else… that all corporations are there to exploit our resources? But we can keep then at bay with legislation. If they get around it… eh di may kakunchabang local na salamangkero.

    I really hate these anti-foreign sentiments! Kaya nga lagpak ang Pilipinas eh! Don’t they understand that the oligarchs are sabotaging economic growth? 👿

  14. Already, the Aquino apologists are brewing up excuses like, “When did he say he would totally eradicate corruption?”

    Here’s where we can turn media against him, since the media uses utterances like “he promises to eradicate corruption.” Googling it is all that’s needed.

  15. Miriam Quiamco · ·

    BongV, I think we have to be cautious about allowing foreigners ownership of land in our country. A similar situation in Mexico and other Latin American countries could ensue. This has to be studied carefully, which land and to what end should foreigners be allowed to own property here. Foreign ownership of land could drive land prices up, making it impossible for average Filipinos to buy real estate. We should study countries that have tried this, I know that in Thailand, foreigners are allowed to buy property, but I don’t know to what extent. Anyhow, the best argument for allowing foreigners to buy land is perhaps, we have too much idle land in the Philippine, under-utilized for some reason. Foreigners think idle lands should be up for sale to people with capital. I know that China wanted to buy some idle lands in our country to be planted with rice as the productive land in China is shrinking due to desertification.

    Gibo’s plan is to allow foreigners who want to invest in key industries to own property in the country. I don’t know about n/a’s plan if he has any.

  16. Gibo’s plan sounds good. I’m sure Gordon had the same idea, and was centered on bringing in droves of foreign investment. Of course, caution will be played with legislation, defining limits and certain types of land that could be owned. For me, anything better than the 60/40 rule.

    It’s not just idle land… it’s too much land in the hands of oligarchs. You know one striking example in Tarlac. But there’s sure to be much more around the country.

    Foreign ownership could drive land prices up, but with foreign investment, won’t Filipinos salaries increase to allow them to afford this? That’s still better than having a measly salary and you still can’t buy land. There’s a way to balance.

  17. Hahaha… so in your face, so true. Loved it.

  18. famous wolf · ·

    And after having a severe hangover of the alcohol that is the useless ‘change’ platform, there comes the finger pointing. We could see this a mile away.

  19. Miriam:

    Following the lead of Singapore and Taiwanese legislation – which has much smaller land than the Philippines.


    Foreign Ownership of Properties
    Since 1973, the Singapore Government has imposed restrictions on foreign ownership of private residential property in Singapore. Such ownership is governed by the Residential Property Act (the Act).

    The Act seeks to strike a balance between giving Singaporeans a stake in the country by being able to buy and own residential properties at affordable prices, while attracting foreign talent by allowing permanent residents, foreign companies and limited liability partnerships that make an economic contribution to Singapore to purchase such properties for their occupation.

    The Land Dealings (Approval) Unit administers the provisions of the Act and its rules by:
    processing applications from foreign persons for approval to acquire or retain restricted residential property;
    issuing clearance certificates to Singapore companies, limited liability partnerships and societies;
    prosecuting offences under the Act; and
    dealing with general enquiries relating to the operation of the Act.

    Under the Act, a foreign person means any person who is not any of the following:
    Singapore citizen;
    Singapore company;
    Singapore limited liability partnership; or
    Singapore society.

    If you are a foreign person and are interested in purchasing a restricted residential property, please download and complete the approved form from our web site. You are required to submit the form together with the relevant supporting documents to:

    Land Dealings (Approval) Unit
    Singapore Land Authority
    55 Newton Road
    #12-01 Revenue House
    Singapore 307987



    The Philippines can’t pass this kind of legislation because the Aquino Constitution does not allow foreigners to OWN land. Note the difference between RESTRICTION and PROHIBIT.

  20. it’s a monumental bait and switch.

    first Aquino goes – walang mahirap kung walang corrupt – which is so untrue –

    nagsisimula ang corruption pag maraming mahirap

    given limited resources – more individuals will attempt to grab the relatively limited resources (i.e. 6000 hectares, owned by HLI landowning family (say 100 households) – only 1000 hectares not owned by HLI to be split between 10000 households – the jockeying by the 10,000 households to get the remaining hectares will be intense – and corruption will occur so as to get preferential treatment.

    now, if you rewrote that into 7000 hectares to be split by 10,100 households – the pressure to commit corruption becomes less.

    its’ the same thing with protectionism, the negatives outnumber the positives – and empirical evidence is abundant to support the position.

    apparently, the philippines refuses to listen – and in the process becomes a wallflower in the global economy. as a sovereign country, it can’t be dictated upon to change its policy. it keeps the cake.
    however, investors will not prioritize the Philippines – the Philippines is just wasting money on its promotions until it address the gap.

    I have attended so many investment promotions gabs – the moment one asks can foreigners own land in the philippines – the philippines goes into spiels about its incentives. that’s just like renting an apartment – they give you one month off – but they jacked the prices for the remaining 11 months. do you think investors are that stupid not to run the numbers? sinong niloko ng pilipinas – sarili niya 😆

  21. BongV, I beg you to please read this whole article and say your comments.

  22. or Pango

  23. the thing is our youth, the large part of it – is miseducated, undereducated, uneducated – when they grow up, they will still be miseducated, undereducated, and uneducated. that doesn’t really increase our chances. which means, the task of initiating change – will come from those who “know”. after all, ignorance – the lack of enlightenment is an equal opportunity affliction and knows no race, sex, gender, nationality, age, and ethnicity.

    given, politics, “knowing” does necessarily mean being right – the “knowledge” has to be validated in practice – and from there proceed to the next steps – “do the business”.

    the task of generating support for change takes place
    * articulate (media – blogs/news/tv/radio)
    * organize and consolidate
    * roll out (elections/initiatives)
    * evaluate
    * improve

    and the process repeats itself all over again.

  24. UP nn grad · ·

    Noynoy has said that in his first month in office, he will go after people on his LIST of smugglers and tax-evaders. JAIL TIME!!! [By November2010 if not sooner, one would expect]

    Remember that Noynoy’s economic plan to balance the budget and to fund spending for schools, etcetera is to plug the leaks from these smugglers and tax-evaders.

    “No new taxes!!!”, Noynoy promised. Jail-time for smugglers and tax-evaders by November 2010.

    Walang korap, walang mahirap, Noynoyistas crowed…. so we wait for who Noynoy sends to jail come November2010.

  25. Dr. José Rizal II · ·

    Hi Miriam,

    Quite ironically, you will actually find that allowing Foreign ownership of Land may actually drive down prices.

    How is it possible? Think of this:

    The price of land in the Philippines is usually quite artificially high (and NEVER goes down) because almost Filipinos almost always hold on to the land they own waiting for a higher price to sell it at unless they really need to sell it, which is very rare. Foreigners, on the other hand, are more likely to buy land because of practical business reasons, not so much the kind of speculation that too many Filipinos buy it for, and dispose of it (sell it) quickly as the need arises.

    If Foreigners were allowed to own Land, there would be many instances where Filipinos would easily be able to sell their land to foreigners who will use the land as collateral for bank loans to start businesses that will ideally be operated on that land. Or, perhaps, such foreigners would use the land to build a home on.

    But if conditions changed whereby they would need to fold up the business (let’s say things didn’t work out), or they decide to leave the Philippines, there’s a bigger chance that they’d sell the land cheaply even if at a loss, as long as their company already made money or they feel that the land already served it’s purposes for them (and they then consider it “depreciated”).

    Foreigners who own land have a much much greater chance of letting their land go when they need to, and as such, there’s the possibility of land being sold at discounted or bargain prices.

    When land is solely in the hands of Pinoys, they never let the land go. They keep it indefinitely and that keeps the price of land going up all the time.

    This is why Foreign ownership of Land may actually create more scenarios where land can and will get sold at bargain prices. This is the irony of it, which happens a lot right now with condos.

    We can already see this happening right now. Foreigners can own condos. And many expats or foreigners who come to the Philippines buy condos. And sometimes, they need to leave the Philippines at a moment’s notice. Foreigners who sell their condos sometimes do so at 60% the original value (or even lower when in a real hurry) because of their urgency. (in other words, 40% discount from what they bought it at)

    The same can happen with land.

    Foreigners cannot take land away if they need to leave. Land stays in the Philippines no matter what.

    The Truth is, there would be a lot more “volatility” (a good thing, actually) and greater transaction activity and volume if Foreigners were allowed to join in the ownership of Philippine Real Estate.

  26. RainSantiago · ·

    Lets keep it simple folks until we break up the oligarchy, 2nd scrap the Cory Constitution down the burner, our country will be stuck in this rut for a very long time.

  27. We should do a countdown to Nov 2010…

  28. and that’s the crux of the matter. ❗

  29. ArticleRequest · ·

    😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆

  30. ArticleRequest · ·

    Please feature this on the top of ANTI PINOY banner! Sapul talaga… So true!

  31. Jon Abaca · ·

    It can also happen like this.

    1.) Many affluent foreigners buy real estate.

    2.) Real estate developers develop more land. Real estate isn’t developed in a day and supply dwindles. Prices get higher.

    3.) More developers make develop more real estate, gambling on the high prices and the constant demand. I think this is the bubble phase.

    4.) Demand isn’t constant, and less foreigners buy real estate.

    5.) With a lot of supply and less demand, prices go down, low enough for Filipinos to buy.

  32. UP nn grad · ·

    Noynoy’s “I will send people to jail” is propelled by USA’s Millenium Challenge Corporation. The engine behind the Noynoy anti-corruption themes — run after the smugglers (RATS) and run after the tax evaders(RATE) — areUSA Millenium Challenge Corporation driven and which Pilipinas customs and BIR have been busy for years already (hundreds of investigators, lawyers, prosecutors trained; thousands of investigation kits prepared; secure databases, other facilities for archiving cases, established monitoring system for tracking investigation).

    Millenium Challenge wants results for its money — not campaign slogans but bodybags –real live smugglers and tax evaders getting hauled to jail.

  33. Hey, a harsh reality especially for those educated ones who voted for the yellow and even the uneducated ones who had the choice but instead of trying to change things for once, went with the worst choice of all. For everyone else, treat it like any crisis and be prepared so you don’t end up complaining like the rest who would be playing victims or are second guessing. I mean if it didn’t make anymore sense than it did, there is a reason why very few realize that they need to respect certain values in order to make it in the kind of world the Philippines is in. Anything below and you are just asking for trouble and depravity.

  34. In Europe, there is a government body who controls the Media when it comes to programs affecting the youth. Most of the parents intensively guard and guide what their children are watching or reading. There are time slots when the children can watch TV. Governing bodies are existing in case parent’s responsibility fails.

    Youth welfare implementation in the Philippines is zero. Children are exposed to Media Programming full of crime, politics, commercialism and non-sense entertainment. Most of the Filipino parents are irresponsible, letting their children watch TV any time of the day. Other factors contribute to this attitude like the lack of youth social activities, public Child Care centers can only accomodate some, no playgrounds, no parks. What can we expect of our children when we fail to protect, guide and teach them?

    Silly enough, I can see billboards in every corner saying that “This is a child-friendly community.”, but where is the action?

  35. ulong pare · ·

    … daaaaang

    … i gave up on flipland government lonnnnngggg time ago…

    … i do not rely on them… i do not fcuk with ’em… i leave ’em alone… and, ladrones garapales, magnanakaws, y traposakals leave me the fcuk alone… :mrgreen:

    … ay hay sarap ng buhay to be independently busabos… 😳

  36. @miriam

    in thailand, foreigner’s land ownership is similarly restricted as RP:

    In short, here is a summary of the current status of foreign real estate property ownership in Thailand, as I’ve perceived from my research:

    A foreigner can own a condominum as long as less than 40% of the condos or apartments in the building are owned by foreigners. (This is an old law.)
    A company can own property such as land and a house (and hence the foreigner can buy land and a house via their company) as long as no one foreigner owns more that 39% of the company (recently amended from 33%) and total foreign ownership of the company does not exceed 49%.
    The Thai wife of a foreigner can own property (a recently changed legal status due to gender equality in the new 1997 constitution revision), in her name only. This is fine as long as you don’t have marital problems. (The same, of course, goes for a Thai husband, but the law was changed recently for Thai wives due to the new constitution guaranteeing equal rights.)
    A foreigner can lease land for 30 years, with an option for another 30 years, according to articles in the press and as confirmed by every lawyer I’ve asked. (If you live longer than 2×30 years, consider yourself lucky in another regard.) This is referred to as the 2×30 (“two times 30”) option.

  37. @Miriam

    A few days ago, I brought this topic to discussion during a German, British and Swiss Club interaction here in La Union and let me share some views:

    Our geographical location and weather condition attract a lot of pensioners from Europe. Some of them who are not married to Filipinas stay for six (6) months here and go back after 3 to 6 months. They rent houses here and are paying for long term contracts.

    Many of these foreigners (about 200 Swiss, less than 100 Germans, 60 Britons) prefer to buy real estate so as not to leave the country everytime their visa expire. If they can buy house and lot here, they are willing to spend the rest of their lives in the Philippines. It may sound macabre but these foreigners want to die here and wish their ashes be spread in the South China Sea.

    Arroyo’s Special Retirement Visa allowed some young foreigners establish their businesses here (mostly Beach Resorts and Restaurants) but some have chosen the “easiest way” that is – marrying a Filipina. The presence of foreigners here in La Union has a positive impact in our local economy and local environment (green and clean).

    If foreigners will be allowed to buy properties here in the Philippines, the tourism, health (pensioners need caregiving) and other industries will benefit from it. Inflation can be prevented with the proper legislation.

  38. Jon Abaca · ·

    My Danish boss experienced the opposite end of the spectrum. He used to work as a hotel manager catering to Danish tourists in Mindoro. The hotel was located near a fishing village.

    When the tourists came, the economy got better, but cabarets and other seedier establishments set up shop there. He noticed that the police we in on the action, and took bribes.

    He found it sad that the villagers made their lives a lot more complicated. Some of the tourists found it unsightly too.

    This means the economy and social structures in the area must be developed first.

  39. Miriam Quiamco · ·

    Thanks to all of you for your enlightening replies, I don’t have a definitive opinion about allowing foreigners to own a piece of real estate in the country. It appears from the above postings that there is merit to allowing limited or restricted ownership to our foreign guests. But as BongV has always emphasized our constitution as it is now leaves much to be desired for our country to get serious about setting development goals. We need to revise it, including of course restructuring our form of government. How do we get that citizens initiative-referendum movement rolling?

    It is clear we need to put pressure on our legislators to get their act together, we cannot continue to be the sick man in Asia, we can if we try hard enough to be move up fast in the HDI rankings. Obviously, we cannot count on our media institution to do this for us, as you can see, we don’t have many knowledgeable journalists on public policies, those who can discuss the knitty gritty of enlightened policies to move the country forward. Consider the interview above of the overpaid Karen Davila with Gordon, it was an insult to Gordon’t intelligence and the viewers got nothing substantive our of it, what a waste of air time, and yet this is our media’s idea of objective political coverage. How pathetic and so lacking of substance.

    Part of the citizens initiative should be the creation of a public service media which will take into consideration the serious education of our youth and the whole populace in general. The country is choking in too much trivialities and nonsensical TV programs. One product of this general social and spiritual malaise in our country is certainly that “sodom and gomorrha” scene in Mindoro whereby decadent ageing foreign men can be seen cavorting with our women who are barely out of puberty, I saw it firsthand and I found it quite disgusting, and this on an island that could have been paradise, a red light district in the middle of a rural tourist attraction. What is the moralizing Catholic Church doing to bring attention to such human filth.

  40. Hi Miriam,

    I share with you the sentiments of that sickening scene in Mindoro. I was there a year ago.

    We are a bit lucky here in La Union. Most of the tourists here are surfers, mostly young and rich Filipino and Korean students from Baguio, which is only an hour away from San Juan, through the Naguillian Road.

    Most of the pensioners living here are couples with the same nationality or married to Filipinas.

    In San Fernando, La Union, there are some Night Clubs with GROs, but I understand that most of the patronizers are Filipinos. We have here the Poro Point 5 Star Hotel and Casino, where the foreigners hang out, but in the city, you will not see that “disgusting scene” like in Mindoro.

    I guess, foreigners who want to stay longer here in the Philippines and do business behave well than those who only come for lust.

  41. philippine government— lame!!!

    i guess we just have to wait and see how the current government will affect Business Process Outsourcing in the country…

  42. Y’know people blame the sex tourism of Olongapo on Gordon. Things is, that’s just passing the buck. Blame the movers of that industry… my guess is they’re pretty big.

    Even if some foreigners want it, they’re not to blame. The elder Pinoys who are pimps are the ones allowing the youth to be exploited. Human trafficking is already prohibited, but there’s still a huge but hidden industry in the country. The problem is the adults who are willing to sacrifice the youth just for money.

  43. I think the problem as well is that parents are doing a great job at parenthood, being monitoring what their kids take in. Its as if they pump out children and expect someone close to them to help take care of them. I believe that if you want what is best for your child, you as a parent should take near full control.

  44. Hyden Toro · ·

    😯 😯 A nation whose financial survival depends on its Filipino OFWs is either out of its minds, or just on “kapi sa patalim” survival mode. We send our brains to develop other countries. To solve the acute unemployment.
    We are trying to attact foreign investors to utilize our cheap and slave pay labor.

    Noynoy Aquino has no good record as a leader, and a legislator. Don’t expect too much on him. It will take a Supehuman effort to solve our economic, political and social problem. And, we voted a President who has a questionable competence and capability.

    Don’t expect the fireworks, festivities and false hopes to last. They will be like an addict’s “shabu”. Once the effect of the “high” is gone. We will be back complaining because of our situations.

  45. 1 — The “Growth Despite Headwinds of Global Recession” Myth

    whats your definition of myth?? as far as i know, the phil grows during the global recession, whether it is luck, accidence or immateriality, the truth is that it did grow!!thats not a myth…

    2 — Put the Philippines on the map of call centers and business process outsourcing, BPO industry is virtually non-existent before the Arroyo gov’t. The discovery maybe just by accidence but its development was supported by the govt, it will not be in the level where it is now without any kind of support of the govt.

    3 — Changed the Manila skyline with modern skyscrapers — and created more slums as well.. many slums community here at the metro had already been relocated… GMA builds infrastructure(roro,, bridges, airports etc) in order to for those places outside the metro to have access to opportunity..

    4 -”Delivered a modern election that will change the phase of politics in this nation forever” (Fact check: Didn’t Gordon author that bill? – without any executive backing, a law will just be a scratch of paper and gordon is only 1 vote..

    If i can recall it correctly, Gordon claim he is the man behind the success of SUBIC, but come to think of it, SUBIC is a flagship project of Ramos and then GMA. now, who is claiming a job done by somebody else…

    Like it or not, GMA did a good job as far as economy is concern(and thats a fact), but again she is just a president, she is not a miracle worker who can cure all the ills of RP in just 9 years and some months(not 10yrs). It takes time to cure decades of corruption, deceit and mismanagement…

  46. 1 – growth in a special olympics kind of way isn’t exactly “growth” not with a high Gini coefficient – that growth is meaningless.

    2- not true, there was already nascent outsourcing in Ramos time – Arroyo just claimed it for herself.

    3 – many slums does not equate to substantial reduction of slums – half million families as of Q1 2010 –

    4- What’s an executive going to sign if no one authored the bill?

    5-FVR claiming Subic as his project does not make it any less Dick’s project. What makes you think that Dick didn’t come up with the plan – and allowed Ramos to take credit for it – in a quid pro quo.

    I disagree – It is not a fact that GMA did a good job – the market stumbled along just fine and when it hit a high she would claim credit for it = when it tanks she’ll come up with an alibi. 😆

  47. Even if Philippine growth incidentally happens during the recession, is it enough to cure our social ills? We may have growth but it’s in only a mere figure, and it is felt only by those in the upper echelons of society. Just look around and see if growth has really uplifted the people’s lives.

    Gordon not only claims, but he is at least the main driver behind subic. Ramos can do the flagship (i.e., think of the idea), but much of the (maybe all) execution was done by Gordon. Between thinking of the idea and execution, who should get due credit? Of course, the one who makes it happen. Thus, it is accurate to say that SBMA is mainly Gordon’s achievement.

  48. 1. a positive growth is a growth.. it is way better than a negative growth experienced by the most other countries.. Plus, if the growth provides job for 1,000 individual or avoid the loss of another 1,000 jobs. that not meaningless…

    2. yup technically it exist, but its effect with regards to overall economy can be swept under the ragged. in short non existent….GMA did provide an environment for its exponential growth.. so its just proper to take credit for it.

    3. the govt cannot substantially reduced the number of slums, for a simple reason of it has no money to spare to for such herculean task. For informal settlers to be removed, govt need to provide a relocation site with free housing and access to job opportunity, plus the fact that many local executive opposed such relocation because of the the lost of the “uneducated vote”. Furthermore, they phenomenal existing right now called urban migration further aggravate the situation..

    4. What a legislature will do if the president does not want to implement the said law?..and who support the bill in congress? its the allies of GMA.. like what i said, Gordon is only 1 vote…

    5. and what makes you think that Gordon is the one who plan it?? It was a flagship project of Ramos and then Arroyo, so they make damn sure it will succeed.. If an inventor made an invention, who should take credit? the inventor or his assistant??

    6. the market will not move upward if the govt is perceived to be weak and incompetent…

  49. GMA is only a president, she is not a miracle worker…please stop this hero mentality that a president can cure all of our social ills that wont happen….the govt is just a reflection of its people, and the cure should start from its people… afterall, those who occupy govt position are also people. Besides, you cannot expect substantial growth in the phil, for simple reason that those who are capable and competent to provide the much needed solutions, is leaving the phil for a “better opportunities”……..and i see alot of them here in AP…

    Economic growth only provides opportunities, if a person did not grab the said opportunities, then there is no way he can benefit from the economic growth…

    But ramos/gma, did not think only, he/she supported SUBIC with infrastructure, investment and marketed SUBIC globally when he/she is abroad… Gordon merely benefited from the flagship project of the past 2 administration…and its not right to claim achievement of subic all by himself….

  50. GMA is only a president, she is not a miracle worker…please stop this hero mentality that a president can cure all of our social ills that wont happen….the govt is just a reflection of its people, and the cure should start from its people…

    I think the point you are missing is that she didn’t display great leadership in a position that she could have done much more. Oh and unless the people start seeing what is good medicine for their ailments, they are never seeing that cure and will continue to vote in glorified idiots and wonderful mediocre individuals, just like what they’ve been doing for over 60 years now.

    Besides, you cannot expect substantial growth in the phil, for simple reason that those who are capable and competent to provide the much needed solutions, is leaving the phil for a “better opportunities”……..and i see alot of them here in AP…

    Well you got me. I’ll be leaving soon since there aren’t much opportunities for me here. But for ChinoF, Ilda and the many others who are still in the island fighting the good fight, you’ll have to answer to them. The reason why those people leave are because the government doesn’t want them around apparently. Gordon would easily increase their wages combined with giving his governance a purpose if given the chance (since purpose outweighs money when it comes to advanced, cognitive thinking based goals) but that would have be another reality. Besides they aren’t the only solutions as the government has to support them with new reforms and laws that benefit them and everyone else, not just the 20% of the population that controls 85% of the wealth.

    Economic growth only provides opportunities, if a person did not grab the said opportunities, then there is no way he can benefit from the economic growth…

    I think you have it backwards there.Because of a condition that can create diverse opportunities, there IS ECONOMIC GROWTH(not sure if its sustained or not). Also the growth doesn’t affect the entire economic industry, though foresight certainly helps create the opportunity to create a market or a demand.

    Speaking of foresight, Gordon HAD the foresight to turn Subic and possibly other areas of the Philippines and invest into it to have tourism as a legit growth industry, thus he was the one who authored the bill. It would be in GMA’s best interest, especially when it comes to money to BUY INTO THE FORESIGHT and support it through her means when traveling overseas and promoting it. Gordon was still responsible for promoting it on his end and in the country. Now if GMA was the one who had the foresight, she certainly gets the credit for creating it.

    In terms of growth, you are looking for something that is sustainable in the long run. The facts and figures you perceive as better are all temporary if there isn’t anything to support it down the road. And in terms of your claims on the market, it won’t move upward if there isn’t a proper structure for it to grow. And that key piece in that equation is known as the Protectionist laws.

  51. Miriam Quiamco · ·

    I will have to agree with Killem here, the Philippines experienced sustained economic growth only under the GMA administration, she must be doing something right. This sustained economic growth which peaked to 7% in 2007 is first time ever in the history of the Philippines. You could say the economy stumbled along just fine due perhaps to the economic boom in China, but it is also a fact that massive infrastructure projects have supported a stable macroeconomic environment for a sustained economic growth to take place. Neutral economists have pointed out that under GMA, macroeconomic projects have been put in place to support sustained economic growth.

    The problem as always is the inequality that is still quite glaring in our country. Investments in education and health care have not kept up with our population growth. GMA made a big mistake by bowing to the influence of the Catholic Church. I was appalled reading her policy on population reduction, or lack of it, it means, no matter how much economic growth the country produces, public services cannot keep up with population growth which is most prevalent among the poor. Can you blame the upsurge of slums in the metropolis where the concentration of wealth is most palpable, there are crumbs of economic opportunities for the poor to settle in Metro Manila. The boom in real estate in places like Makati, Ortigas etc., necessitated unskilled labor to work at construction projects and that is probably why the slums have boomed too. Still, these inequalities should not degrade the economic performance of GMA.

    The media could have analyzed the weakness of the GMA’s economic policies and where the administration should focus more. There should have been a sustained campaign to reduce our birth rate, but no, even Gordon thinks an expanding population is good for our economy. This is where Gordon lost my vote, at the debate , he cited China, India and Brazil as countries with big populations that have been able to generate economic growth. That was a little deceitful considering China has had one-child policy, India does distribute free condoms and Brazil does dispense free contraceptives to its people. Thailand has a family planning clinic in every village giving free condoms, and this population reduction policy has been in place since the 70s.

    GMA has brought economic growth to the country, this is indisputable and we should not quibble on who among the politicians who worked under her should be given more credit, I think that it was a team effort. Her economic advisers should also take credit of course, along with legislators, but her leadership in economic initiatives are commendable. I am afraid Noynoy does not have the brain power that GMA has to sort through mentally differing advice from his advisers. GMA will go down in history as a president who gave the country a fine economic performance.

  52. @Miriam

    well I certainly can’t disagree with your point there. However with what Gordon said, I believe he’s trying to say what the country can make use of its burgeoning population, specifically if taxation was fixed. Of course China and India have no problem taxing their citizens and getting the most out of their workforce from the billions. But they certainly have a system that works to do that.

  53. Let’s just say Subic was something done right… as with Marikina. So how was it done? Gordon or Bayani did not do it alone, they certainly had the compliance of their people. Things is, they were leaders in the action. So they certainly have credit for that. But there’s the question. How was it done? I’m sure foreign investments were key to the solution. It’s hard to deny that we need them.

    Hey Jay, I do plan to go abroad myself, though I haven’t found my opportunity. Still looking.

  54. Miriam Quiamco · ·

    I agree with you Jay a burgeoning population could be an asset for economic growth efforts of any government, but at a certain stage of economic development, there is a need to control population growth or the people who are being added to the increasing population will be only ignorant voters for Aquino-like candidates. They will be in need of massive funding for public services and when the government is struggling to grow the economy and in our case, we also have age-old insurgency problems, we cannot simply afford to spend more on educating and improving the quality of public services to alleviate the suffering of the poor. We don’t have the resources and with Ondoy type of disasters, more so, we need to control our birth rate for heaven sake if we want to grow our economy, or we will be making one step forward and making three steps backward, it is simply frustrating.

    China and India with efficient tax measures? I am not sure about that, all I know is that despite China’s rapid growth and the corresponding increase in their middle class, there are also incredible inequalities there. Suicide rates in China are even higher than Japan, one city alone registers 500,000 people a year, China looks pretty outside, but you wouldn’t want to be a Chinese in the bottom of the economic rung, it would not be bearable especially with harsh winters over there. India may be growing too, but the inequalities there are even worse than our country. We should really learn to appreciate what our government has accomplished so far and to find more ways to keep up the economic growth with corrective measures of the glaring inequalities. I found Gibo’s positive election campaigning very focused on building on what GMA’s economic success, somehow and concrete policies to correct the inequalities.

  55. Miriam Quiamco · ·

    Go for it Chino, don’t get bogged down by these nationalist sentiments of remaining in the country cause your country needs you. We live in a global world, everyone is free to live wherever he/she pleases. At least in your case, I am sure it is not out of necessity, but it will be to spread your wings. I think it is egotistical to think that one person can make a difference in moving the country forward. Some of my friends who went back after getting post-graduate degrees in Japan are just into money-making. It doesn’t matter where you live, so long as you contribute to humanity’s march towards progress. My cousin who is a neuro-surgeon went back to Davao after getting trained at a hospital in California because there are very few neuro-surgeons in Davao and so he can make a decent living working over there. Why would he want to relocate? It is not out of nationalistic sentiments entirely that he remains in Davao, but also out of monetary considerations.

  56. Y’know Miriam, I see why they hate you over at FV. You’re for Gibo, right? And they’ll call you a pro-Gloria traitor just because you acknowledge she has done something for the country. That’s the problem, people like to focus on the negative things the government has done and forget the positive things, or just call them “not enough.” Argh, I forgot media loves to do that. LOL

  57. Thanks for the encouragement. I’m here not because of nationalism crap, it’s just that I’m not much of a comfort zone leaver… guess I’m like our new president in that, nyahaha. I wanted to pioneer the work-at-home style in the Phils, but now it turned out to be not that lucrative as expected. Guess the situation here really forces us to go.

  58. Well one thing is for sure, I’m down for a think tank approach. The more people like miriam and others who can participate in discourse about issues, dissect the concepts without getting a hissy fit, the better.
    I’m getting corrected left and right but its better than believing in a perpetual lie. It just means I gotta do some more research.

  59. ulong pare · ·

    … daaaaang

    … eco growth of 7% under ate glo&ladrones garapales… what??? flipland’s economy is a remittance economic jaggernaut… :mrgreen:

    … flipland’s main product >>> slaves aka ofws aka sexy gurlz aka fedex babes… 😳

    … ate glo&ladrones garapales prostituted/exported ‘sang tambaks na flips (ofws) around the globe to garner the ‘sang tambaks na bilyones remittances dolyares for her shopping/tripping/photo-ops with the debonaire obama …

    … what are y’all snorting???

    … share naman namann namannnnnn!!!!

  60. Miriam Quiamco · ·

    It is a shame indeed that our skilled labor is being underutilized in unskilled jobs abroad just to be able to earn decent living. There are no equal opportunities in the Philippines, so our OFWs working as maids, cooks, drivers, caregivers are sending money back home to educate the young members of the family. I seem to think that we are developing skills in computer-related fields, and also in health industries, these industries could further make us competitive in world markets for technology-related jobs. Ireland was in the same situation many years ago, the country lived off foreign remittances from their expats, but right now, they have been able to sustain their economy without their people having to leave. I see the Philippines going in the same direction. Ireland just like the Philippines is also making progress in promoting high-tech related jobs in office automation.

    There is nothing wrong right now that we are dependent on OFWs to support the economy. In time, we will be able to build an economy that is self-reliant and with key industries to be able to absorb our excess labor. Right now, only the privileged few are able to take advantage of lucrative job opportunities as those educated in less than prestigious schools would have to settle for low-paying jobs. We live in a globalized world, the only reason why the Philippines has been able to grow its economy on the backs of OFWs is that we have had a head start in exporting human resources, without this advantage in the world economy, we would not have been able to take advantage of globalization at all. For Thailand, its tourism and agribusiness, etc. A country has to find its niche in this global economy, its cruel I know considering the family break-ups it has engendered, but that’s capitalism, it is cruel and does not make apologies for its existence. It is the same in Japan, the economic growth here has displaced many families, with companies sending the father/husband to a faraway assignment without due regard for the psychological problems this may cause. Rising divorce rates, family dysfunction and many more have been the results of a ruthless capitalist system.

    The Philippine case is no different from other countries that are desperate to grow their economies, the human costs are tremendous, we have to understand that.

  61. Or Pussy. 😈

  62. In terms of tech jobs however, the tech world moves at a blinding rate. Unless a foundation was made to be able to keep up with the global tech world, it would be very difficult to catch up. I remembered IT infrastructure was more important in countries that haven’t set theirs up yet (China) than those who already do and just outsource the menial tasks to small companies overseas. In terms of Ireland, I’ve heard of their IT boom over there since 2001 so I’m not surprised the progress they have made in the short decade.

    Surely, government intervention and investment would be needed to see these industries through for long term and to stand some form of benefit. Foresight would also be needed as so would be innovative solutions for the case of the several islands that separate the country.

  63. Its sad seeing that the country is going to be run by a staff who knows nothing about politics and uses money to entertain and distract the masses. We Filipinos should be ashamed of ourselves for patronizing and putting this stars on a pedestal and expect them to solve of all our problems.

  64. For me, reliance on OFWs is a strong symptom, since there are few good jobs in the country and many skilled are leaving just to not use their skills in the jobs they enter. As for the family dysfunction, I posit that it already existed in the Philippines and other countries, and OFWism makes it worse. It isn’t something that capitalism and the modern work setting has created by themselves, but rather have aggravated. Thing is, compared to other countries, ours does seem like a real sick man case. The only countries worse than ours I would believe are really backward and war-torn countries like Somalia and other such countries. I just hope people don’t oppose the initiative to create an environment that allows less OFWs to be sent out. Those who prefer that OFWs remain our key export are those who don’t care about our country.

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