The Myth of "Walang Mahirap Kung Walang Corrupt"

I’ve had it with listening to all this “walang mahirap kung walang corrupt” yarn. Allow me to explain in five steps with the aid of visuals why Noynoy Aquino, his team, and his supporters are wrong on corruption. I will cut to the chase and keep it simple. You be the judge as to who really, is making sense.

We begin in the proverbial ‘beginning” – when property was communal and owned by the tribe. Use of resources was through the tribal councils. There was no concept of private property.

I draw heavily from the history provided in the Dept of Agrarian Reform website and would like to thank the DAR for the material.

Pre-Spanish Period

Before the Spaniards came to the Philippines, Filipinos lived in villages or barangays ruled by chiefs or datus. The datus comprised the nobility. Then came the maharlikas (freemen), followed by the aliping mamamahay (serfs)and aliping saguiguilid (slaves).

However, despite the existence of different classes in the social structure, practically everyone had access to the fruits of the soil. Money was unknown, and rice served as the medium of exchange.

Source: DAR

Colonial Era

Spanish Period

When the Spaniards came to the Philippines, the concept of encomienda (Royal Land Grants) was introduced. This system grants that Encomienderos must defend his encomienda from external attack, maintain peace and order within, and support the missionaries. In turn, the encomiendero acquired the right to collect tribute from the indios(native).

The system, however, degenerated into abuse of power by the encomienderos The tribute soon became land rents to a few powerful landlords. And the natives who once cultivated the lands in freedom were transformed into mere share tenants.

1st Philippine Republic

When the First Philippine Republic was established in 1899, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo declared in the Malolos Constitution his intention to confiscate large estates, especially the so-called Friar lands. However, as the Republic was short-lived, Aguinaldo’s   plan was never implemented.

American Period

Significant legislation enacted during the American Period:

  • Philippine Bill of 1902 – Set the ceilings on the hectarage of private individuals and corporations may acquire: 16 has. for private individuals and 1,024 has. for corporations.
  • Land Registration Act of 1902 (Act No. 496) – Provided for a comprehensive registration of land titles under the Torrens system.
  • Public Land Act of 1903 – introduced the homestead system in the Philippines.
  • Tenancy Act of 1933 (Act No. 4054 and 4113) – regulated relationships between landowners and tenants of rice (50-50 sharing) and sugar cane lands.

The Torrens system, which the Americans instituted for the registration of lands, did not solve the problem completely. Either they were not aware of the law or if they did, they could not pay the survey cost and other fees required in applying for a Torrens title.

Commonwealth Period

“Government  for the Filipinos”

President Manuel L. Quezon espoused the “Social Justice” program to arrest the increasing social unrest in Central Luzon.

Significant legislation enacted during Commonwealth Period:

  • 1935 Constitution – “The promotion of social justice to ensure the well-being and economic security of all people should be the concern of the State”
  • Commonwealth Act No. 178 (An Amendment to Rice Tenancy Act No. 4045), Nov. 13, 1936 – Provided   for certain controls in the landlord-tenant relationships
  • National Rice and Corn Corporation (NARIC), 1936 – Established the price of rice and corn thereby help   the poor tenants as well as consumers.
  • Commonwealth Act. No. 461, 1937 – Specified reasons for the dismissal of tenants and only with the approval of the Tenancy Division of the Department of Justice.
  • Rural Program Administration, created March 2, 1939 – Provided the purchase and lease of haciendas and their sale and lease to the tenants.
  • Commonwealth Act No. 441 enacted on June 3, 1939 – Created the National Settlement Administration with a capital stock of P20,000,000.

Japanese Occupation

The Second World War II started in Europe in 1939 and in the Pacific in 1941.

Hukbalahap controlled whole areas of Central Luzon; landlords who supported the Japanese lost their lands to peasants while those who supported the Huks earned fixed rentals in favor of the tenants.

Unfortunately, the end of war also signaled the end of gains acquired by the peasants.

Upon the arrival of the Japanese in the Philippines in 1942, peasants and workers organizations grew strength. Many peasants took up arms and identified themselves with the anti-Japanese group, the HUKBALAHAP (Hukbo ng Bayan Laban sa Hapon).

Source: DAR

The rest is modern Philippine history and you can read some more in the DAR website. After the war, the redistribution of friar lands and haciendas was not undertaken. Rather laws were built on the existing inequitable distribution of wealth brought about by the Spanish occupation.

The American colonial forces didn’t bother to revert the land to the original owners as well and instead strengthened the existing social structures, akin to building a house on a foundation riddled with termites. At the onset, corruption was limited to small favors – people were relatively straightforward and upright. There was petty corruption and in general, the corrupt were ostracized by society.

“Petty corruption”, sometimes described as “administrative corruption”, involves the exchange of very small amounts of money, and the granting of small favours. These, however, can carry considerable public losses, as with the customs officer who waves through a consignment of high-duty goods having been bribed a mere $50 or so. The essential difference between grand corruption (“state capture”) and petty corruption (day-to-day administrative corruption) is that the former involves the distortion of central functions of government by senior public officials; the latter develops within the context of functioning governance and social frameworks.

However the reality of smaller resources available to the larger number of non-oligarchs was being felt in the  poorer sectors. It wasn’t felt in the middle class, yet.

By Marcos time, the Philippines population had increased, there were now more people having the same amount of VERY SCARCE resources to quibble about. The economy was dire, the import-substitution protectionist policies were not working and we have not changed it still.

By now it was no longer the marginalized peasants and laborers who felt the brunt of the pressure brought by scarce resources. In the process this increased pressure among the non-oligarchs to secure the crumbs. This jockeying leads to corruption at all levels. Thereby introducing “systemic corruption”.

Systemic corruption is not a special category of corrupt practice, but rather a situation in which the major institutions and processes of the state are routinely dominated and used by corrupt individuals and groups, and in which many people have few practical alternatives to dealing with corrupt officials. Corruption is said to be “systemic” where it has become ingrained in an administrative system. It is no longer characterised by actions of isolated rogue elements within a public service. Where minor acts of petty corruption occur it is often thought best to leave these to be dealt with by way of administrative sanction (demotion, dismissal etc.), rather than invoke the whole weight of the criminal process.

By the 21st century, we now have”Grand Corruption” the type that sent Estrada to jail. And depending how the processes work out, possibly Arroyo.

“Grand corruption” is an expression used to describe corruption that pervades the highest levels of government, engendering major abuses of power. A broad erosion of the rule of law, economic stability and confidence in good governance quickly follow. Sometimes it is referred to as “state capture”, which is where external interests illegally distort the highest levels of a political system to private ends.

Arroyo’s “grand corruption”, however is NOTHING,  compared to the “grand corruption” and charades that allowed the oligarchy to hold the Philippines hostage to a retrogressive economic agenda.

High level or “grand” corruption takes place at the policy formulation end of politics. It refers not so much to the amount of money involved as to the level in which it takes place: grand corruption is at the top levels of the public sphere, where policies and rules are formulated in the first place. Usually (but not always) synonymous to political corruption.

Political corruption is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government  power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by private persons or corporations not directly involved with the government. An illegal act by an officeholder constitutes political corruption only if the act is directly related to their official duties.

Forms of corruption vary, but include bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, patronage, graft, and embezzlement. While corruption may facilitate criminal enterprise such as drug trafficking, money laundering, and human trafficking, it is not restricted to these activities.

The activities that constitute illegal corruption differ depending on the country or jurisdiction. For instance, certain political funding practices that are legal in one place may be illegal in another. In some cases, government officials have broad or poorly defined powers, which make it difficult to distinguish between legal and illegal actions. Worldwide, bribery alone is estimated to involve over 1 trillion US dollars annually. A state of unrestrained political corruption is known as a kleptocracy, literally meaning “rule by thieves”.

“Corruption does exacerbate and promote poverty, but this pattern is complex and moderated by economic and governance factors. Based on these findings, anti-corruption programs that are crafted to address issues of economic growth, income distribution, governance capacity, government services in health and education, and public trust in government are likely to not only reduce corruption, but reduce poverty as well.”- Corruption and Poverty: A Review of Recent Literature

Major Propositions Linking Corruption and Poverty

  • Economic growth is associated with poverty reduction
  • The burden of rapid retrenchment falls most heavily on the poor.
  • Corruption is associated with low economic growth
  • Corruption reduces domestic investment and foreign direct investment
  • Corruption increases government expenditures
  • Corruption reduces public sector productivity
  • Corruption distorts the composition of government expenditure, away from services directly beneficial to the poor and the growth process, e.g., education, health, and operation and maintenance
  • Better health and education indicators are positively associated with lower corruption
  • Corruption reduces government revenues
  • Corruption lowers the quality of public infrastructure
  • Corruption lowers spending on social sectors
  • Corruption increases income inequality
  • Corruption increases inequality of factor ownership
  • Inequality slows growth
  • Corruption decreases progressivity of the tax system
  • Corruption acts as a regressive tax
  • Low income households pay more in bribes as percent of income
  • Better governance, including lower graft level, effects economic growth dramatically
  • Better governance is associated with lower corruption and lower poverty levels.
  • High state capture makes it difficult to reduce inequality, even with growth
  • Extensive, organized, well institutionalized and decisive political competition is associated withlower corruption
  • Trust is a component of social capital. Higher social capital is associated with lower poverty.
  • Corruption undermines trust (in government and other institutions) and thereby undermines social capital.

If carefully crafted, anti-corruption programs might yield important poverty reduction results. The literature suggests that programs that succeed in reducing corruption will contribute to poverty
alleviation especially if they also achieve the following:

  • Increase economic growth
  • Create more equitable income distribution
  • Strengthen governance institutions and capacity
  • Improve government services, especially in health and education

Our economic policies and our constitution ensures oligarchs keep their lands, non-oligarchs remain poor – therefore keeping the pressure to be corrupt – CONSTANT. It’s the ECONOMY, Stupid!

Aquino’s line that “Walang mahirap kung walang  corrupt” is seriously flawed. It becomes dangerous as Filipinos pin their hopes on a flawed strategy.

Sure Aquino’s Cabinet can have results. But are these the right results?

Aquino’s strategy is not a strategy of change – it is a strategy of stagnation that ensures the destiny of corruption is secure in the Philippines.

Aquino’s team has been harping too much on the better governance side of the equation. While better governance (in terms of administrative reforms) yields results,  it is still not effective in addressing poverty system-wide – the source of pressure to commit corruption.

“Walang mahirap, kung walang corrupt” is incorrect.

Rather, it should be the other way around “merong corrupt, dahil maraming naghihirap”.


1 –, accessed 7/2/2010

2-, accessed 7/2/2010



  1. … daang

    … “kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap” is a poorly written bumper sticker slogan…

    … what prez abnoy meant was WALANG MAHIRAP, KUNG CORRUPT… :mrgreen:

    … as a tangalog titser, double “walang” is gramatically incorrect… a noynoy oooopsie no-no…

    … y’all hafta excuse prez abnoy because he’s from tarlac – ilocano-‘pangan-tangalog mix dialect lair…

    … have y’all met a corrupt na mahirap???

    … all flipland’s traposakals, ladrones garapales y mistahs vie for a spot at forbes list… :mrgreen:

  2. The diagrams sums it all up even to the point where it represents what AP stands for on real woes.

    Noynoy for sure was one of the problem why poverty thrives and he blames it to his predecessor. Perhaps he may be so happy now fooling the people to believe that its GMA and no He, a symbol of oligarchy, is the real culprit.

  3. And 40% of the population are putting their hopes on what the diagram is shown. Wonderful. How do they support change when they continue to want the way of life where 80% of the land are owned by the elite few? But we can only hope they stop being greedy for once, I mean its been over 100 or so years now right? I mean, at least the rule of the Aquino-Cojuanco clan to say the least.

  4. Elegant presentation.

    I agree, “it’s the economy, stupid”.

    Corruption will exist as long as the drive to use it is pronounced, and as long as there is no remedy.

    The drive to use it is the “trade of favors” that underlies Philippine economic activity, rather than a drive for value creation. The closed courts prevent people who are harmed from getting matters corrected, and allowing people who use or abuse others to do so without punishment.

    The specific tangible acts that can be done to correct this are a Fair Employment Law that bans hiring and promoting for any other reason but competence and achievement, and a Judicial Empowerment Law that doubles the budget for judiciary and puts judges and courts under the spotlight for performance.

  5. Excellent post, excellent.

    Also my point why the Hacienda Luisita is Aquino’s mote in his eyes, his pile of garbage in his backyard. You want a moral standing to clean up the irregularities in this country, start with Hacienda Luisita. Less than that, Penoy will simply acquire a bad connotation by 2016.

  6. Obviously, PNoy camouflages his pure intentions of protecting the oligarchs. He is trying to project himself as a law-abiding citizen by setting banal examples. He cannot cure the illness of poverty by just focusing on its symptoms like corruption. Yesterday, I passed by the Tramo Road (Pasay to Paranaque), saw those slum areas floating in a sea of garbage and mud and I thought:

    “Oh don’t you worry, you will be saved from poverty soon! There will be no more wang wang and kotong! Illegal gambling (Jueteng and Sabong) continues, just keep on betting! 😦 “

  7. @bong

    “Walang mahirap kung walang corrupt” is seriously flawed. It becomes dangerous as Filipinos pin their hopes on a flawed strategy.”

    boy, are you STUPID!! you actually believe that the new administration couldn’t distinguish between cheap political sloganeering and strategy planning ?? the bloggers here are harping too much on that nonsensical slogan, this administration is not as dumb nor as gullible as you people might think! the yellow army was simply pandering to a populist sentiment to get votes. and boy, was it effective!

    poverty will always be juan dela cruz’s bedfellow. he is slothful, unreasonable, dull as a dishwasher – an absolute cornball like you bong v!! get over that stupid slogan, alam ng karamihan na gimik lang yan. the thinking individual is smart enough to solve his own problems and does not need to depend on gov’t for resolution of all his problems.

    may i just ‘politely’ ask, what sort of strategies do you think will truly address our problem on poverty? because quite frankly, given this culture, i see none.

  8. @The Judge


    “may i just ‘politely’ ask, what sort of strategies do you think will truly address our problem on poverty? because quite frankly, given this culture, i see none”

    ….and answered his own question.

  9. Good that he paid attention to the wangwangs. But what is a wangwang but a declaration that “I have more right to this road than you, stupid; get the hell out of the way”. Is not Hacienda Luisita just its equivalent if on another level? An announcement that “this family has more right to this country than any of you…”

  10. Oh boy, I was hoping you got something else up your sleeves Moron! So your post is just nothing but an absolute copy of what Benigno had earlier. DAR slides?? Kiss my dick!! You’re just dodging my question because you really have nothing. Or perhaps you just agree with me, eh?? 😉

  11. you actually believe that the new administration couldn’t distinguish between cheap political sloganeering and strategy planning ??

    duhh. moron.

  12. DAR slides? excuse me – those are originals of moi… ORIGINAL – ONLY ON AP – NOWHERE else.. nampucha kung ganyan ang judge ng pinas.. lampas lahat ng kriminal 😆

  13. ito kasi si judge natutulog sa pansitan – yung kanta niya ngayon… sa AP last season na yun… BEFORE the election.. NOT after… ayan WHO IS STUPID NOW? 😆

  14. Eh eto ang stance niya:

    “I see none.”

    Don’t do anything.


    = Irresponsbility.

    That’s how I judge this so-called Judge. 😆

  15. the thinking individual is smart enough to solve his own problems and does not need to depend on gov’t for resolution of all his problems.

    Hilariously, there in lies the problem of your statement. Two words; the thinking individual. They are pretty rare in the country I might add, compared to the rest of the idiocracy. They are also that that are counter intuitive to your purpose, being actually questioning authority based on their knowledge of the issue.

    Because if the elites were as smart as the other first country’s elites, they would actually never have the country the way it is in the first place.

  16. So how do we resolve this? Knowing that the Average Filipino prefers a socialist state, wherein the State dictates everything they do, how to avert that?

    On corruption and Noy: Noy’s idea of eliminating corruption (by having GMA burned at the stake of public wrath) is WAY too shortsighted. Why? Because corruption has become so ingrained into the political system here that I won’t be surprised if ten GMAs will take her place if she burns.

  17. Ironic, that the Pinoy would like a socialist state which at the same time doles out to them rather than give jobs. Guess that’s the sad result of a miseducated populace. The best we could educate the ones we could reach out to, like those who can access this blog.

    You got it right on GMA. Jailing GMA while letting all the other corruptees run loose, lik Customs, is hypocrisy.

  18. Very good analysis. 🙂 And to add, the rise and fall of corruption is a symptom and by-product of poverty, not the other way around.

  19. Well, you will be surprised to hear that even in countries with very high HDI in Asia like Japan, corruption is part of life. Perhaps our brand of corruption is a little different, what do you say of a political party chief here caught hording gold bars and certificates of stock to the tune of millions of dollars. He died before he could be sentenced. In our country where corrupt politicians have dummy bank accounts abroad, it might be difficult to convict a politician or anyone on corruption. Japanese prosecutors oftentimes raid the suspect’s home ferreting out and boxing documents that can be used to strengthen the prosecution’s case. The politician could anticipate this by having his personal secretary assume responsibility, by making it appear that the politician in question was not in the know of money transfers to support his party, and was kept deliberately in the dark by his personal secretary. The personal secretary then goes to jail for six years, he doesn’t seem to mind, is this a carry-over of the Japanese samurai culture of complete subservience to his lord? How could they build up a case against GMA?

    Truth commission, hmmmm., I hope the truth commission will also prioritize the corruption involving the Hacienda Luisita dispute, for how could this dispute run through different courts for decades without clear resolution in favor of the farmers, if there was no corruption involved? And mind you, the money involved here is far greater than the mansions GMA’s family has allegedly obtained through their thievery. It is damaging not only to the farmers involved but to the mockery of CARP, the source of our rice insufficiency can be seen clearly in the hacienda system, and HL is a symbol of the whole problem. Truth Commission, please investigate the corruption involving Hacienda Luisita, make it your priority.

  20. Hey, Joe America:

    Please understand the mindset and the political culture of the Filipinos. Public Office is not a public trust: It is an opportunity to make money. Public office is treated as a Cash Cow!

    We have been corrupted by Spanish Colonizers. Most of the Spanish Rulers were corrupt. Our National
    Treasury was empty most of the time, during their time. Treated as personal Bank account by the Spanish rulers.
    Did most of our Politicians do that? “What are we in power for?”Is the political mantra of every administration in power. If the President is not corrupt. His followers will be the corrupt ones. He cannot do anything about this. This is why good Presidents turn bad in the duration of their term.

  21. It is just an empty slogan, to touch the figment of your imagination…it will not work. Solving a problem with slogan, is like treating a cancer with incantations. The patient will surely die….

  22. The Judge,

    What kind of malcontent are you, demanding a constructive act? Get your mind in line, Pal; goose step your sorry ass into marching order and join the ranks of the intolerant who pretend they engage open minds.

    To end poverty, you (“The Philippines”) take a long term view, 50 years, because it is so deep. You slow birthing through state-run ads on ABS-CBN and other dealers of popular pap. You get the church out of the state’s business. You change the fundamentals of the economy and social value-creation machine by: (1) opening the country to foreign investment, (2) passing a Fair Employment Act that mandates that capability is the only basis for hiring and promotion and end the mediocrity that arises when “favors” is the main economic currency, (3) pass a Judicial Empowerment Act that opens up the courts so the people can redress harm done to them directly and go around the dysfunctional legislature; create a litigious beehive like the US, and (4) rejig national revenue and expense streams to direct money to industries that can grow, not spread concrete across the rice fields.

    May the refreshing force of independent thought be with you . . .

  23. Parallelass,

    Reference your dig on another thread that I engage in “logical fallacy, the point is not to be logical, but to inspire thinking that in some small way may lead to a constructive act. Can you grasp that? Stretch a bit, eh? As for you and your ilk, what is the point of being logical if your heart is filled with pukey green bile and the only constructive act you can imagine is to take a wrecking ball to other people’s work? Near as I can tell, you have never contributed one constructive thought that built anything. You just climb mindlessly on the train that others operate and ride free, the wind blowing through your hair and out your derrière.

  24. @Miriam:

    hi there gorgeous! 😉 your comment is a breath of fresh air. unlike all the stinky fart these like-minded faggots are spewing out of their buttholes. AP is getting more and more predictable.

    Now, why is everybody so mean! Am I that offensive? I’m just a harmless, lovable little fuzzball! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

    just between the two of us girl.

    i believe that society owes its citizen equality of opportunity but cannot and SHOULD not guarantee them equality of outcome; strong, wholesome, family values are at the very core of a productive, prosperous and peaceful society – those values cannot be instilled by government but can indeed be sucked dry and eliminated by well-intentioned but destructive governmental programs. the basic unit of the society, the family, is lost in the rubble of the argument . p.noy needs to invest in the family, value formation if he wants to have any chance of succeeding.

    one more thing, compassion should be defined not by how many people are on gov’t dole but by how many people no longer need governmental assistance. political and economic freedom are inextricably intertwined.

  25. An Idiocracy could be solved if we shift the political system into a parliamentary one, at least within a party, there will be some standard of meritocracy and excellence. And even the opposition parties within parliament could submit a non-confidence motion against the incumbent prime minister and his cabinet if they show gross incompetence. The well-being of the country then becomes the overriding focus of governance.

  26. Wait Judge, do I know you, your syntax seems familiar, we must have met in some other blogs. Hmmm, strong and wholesome family values are debatable, what are they exactly? Is it a strong, wholesome family value for children to sacrifice their dreams and ambitions of a life that best suit them just to support all members of the family lacking in imagination to advance in life? How could government policies, advance this set of values you advocate? The Catholic church has already been an effective institution in making the young feel guilty for living a life that is truly independent and one that has integrity to further their goals of self realization. In our country, the self could only be realized within the oppressive context of a family having complete control over your thought and emotional processes. Thus, there is now a growing movement on Ayn Rand type of selfishness among the intelligent youth.

    Wholesome values in general anywhere are become a lesser currency of value. I think Judge, you need to define what exactly these wholesome family values that you want government policies to address. Whereas, I think that government policies should address concrete goals set to achieve economic development. Economic empowerment for all can only be achieved by the creation of millions of economic opportunities, we should grow the economy, and this should be the be all and end all of all policies. With an expanded economy, people could start realizing this sense of empowerment in their lives, when hard work starts paying off because of the currency of economic opportunities, corruption could be curbed, feudalistic attitudes could take a back seat, voters begin to exercise their democratic rights as real citizens not as pawns of power brokers, there will be real liberation for all. This is why I support GMA’s single-minded efforts to grow the economy at all costs. Now, what is again the platform of the newly-elect other than vindictiveness and empty moralizing?

  27. Walden Bello has a short but sweet summary.

    “The complex of policies that pushed the Philippines into the economic quagmire over the last 30 years can be summed up by a formidable term: structural adjustment.”

    He situates Philippine poverty in the nexus of the global politicial economy.

    His book “Anti-developmental State” expounds on this thesis. Good read if you guys can get your hands on it.

  28. Hi BongV,

    From previous postings, I read that you have a non-profit corporation based in Davao, does it have a tax-exempt status by any chance? If so, perhaps you could be of assistance to a Kyoto-based NGO called “PCs for Peace” which has been trying to arrange shipment of donated computers here for schools in Mindanao. We currently have 60 available computers which have been sitting in the storage of one member for six months now, since the tax-exempt status that we have been trying to get has not been issued yet.

    I am now looking at various possibilities to finalize the shipment. Dole Philippines agreed to ship the computers for free.

  29. Thanks Sparks, this has exactly been my line of argument against the yellow fanatics at FV, tell this to Lila and Rosa, two women I had extensive exchanges there over corruption and economic development. I agree wholeheartedly with the analysis at that paper you referred to us here. No wonder I am for GMA, economic growth has to be sustained, ours peaked at 7% in 2007, sure, we have not surpassed China, for many structural defects in the system. Need I say that China is a unicameral form of government?

  30. “Walang Corrupt pag nakulong si Erap!”… “Akong ay mag-corrupt, para kayo ay maghihirap!”…

    “Kayo ay corrupt, kaya kayo ay naghihirap!” or in other words “Stupid is as stupid does!”

  31. “Walang corrupt kung walang mahirap” is no different from the incorrect belief that “people steal because they are poor”. The motivation to commit crimes is not solely brought about by economic status, rather it is mainly brought about by behavior or the perpetrator’s upbringing. If poverty brings about corruption, then why are those who have gained riches through corruption still continue to be corrupt?

    There is a saying about the equation of crime:

    evil intent + will to do evil + opportunity = criminal act

    And based on the equation, the only thing we can control is the “opportunity”, that we should not let those with both evil intent and will to do evil have the opportunity to commit crimes.

  32. “…it is mainly brought about by behavior or the perpetrator’s upbringing. ”

    and this answers to the mantra of small people working for the government to the whistle-blowers: “if you can’t beat them, join them!” because mayor, vice-mayor, councilor, and dear sh!tty department heads are doing it, let’s do it too. you want to be moral yet poor? ikaw na lang…

    and the vicious cycle continues… 😈

  33. Unfortunately, Bello is a dinosaur is supporting protectionism, and a conspiracy theorist in saying that China and the US have been after our resources and should be treated as enemies.

  34. “People steal because they are poor” is still true in a sense. If there is really no other option, and they are in a bind, people can be willing to throw all morality to the wind and steal all right. Upbringing certainly is a factor, but I believe it i not that hard to ditch the upbringing and go ahead and do wrong thanks to need. The saying, “if the opportunity isn’t there, then make it,” applies to crime and corruption too. It’s a really complicated issue, so “poverty causing corruption” is not absolute. Neither is “corruption causing poverty.” But there is a correlate between poverty and more corruption happening. And would you factor in culture as an aid to enforcing corruption in Filipino society? I would.

  35. “And would you factor in culture as an aid to enforcing corruption in Filipino society?”

    Definitely. Its no secret that most Filipinos feel that the culture of corruption is already part of our culture and cannot be removed. So in a way, its enforcing it.

    However, I do see a glimmer of hope in some parts of the Philippines. I’ve heard that in Subic you cannot bribe traffic enforcers when you commit an offense because they strictly uphold the law there. Whereas here in Metro Manila, its easy to bribe traffic enforcers. That small act of strictly enforcing the law, even though it is just traffic law, creates a proper culture there and somewhat creates a domino effect. Unlike here, we let traffic bribes pass through as most people consider it small and insignificant.

    IMO I think people should stop rallying against corruption in the higher parts of the government for now, and focus more on the corruption going on in the “lower” parts of society such as traffic. And from there maybe we could slowly eliminate the culture of corruption from the ground up.

  36. IMO I think people should stop rallying against corruption in the higher parts of the government for now, and focus more on the corruption going on in the “lower” parts of society such as traffic. And from there maybe we could slowly eliminate the culture of corruption from the ground up.

    From the ground up. Quite in agreement with my first article in this site.

  37. @chino

    Thank you for that article. Dear God I too am a victim of something similar to that. When my family’s house was being constructed, some of our tools were pilfered and in turn delayed construction and increased costs. We’ve also had maids who, although did not pilfer, would spread lies about us in the barangay just because we corrected them when they would make mistakes. They resort to lies and manipulation to create a “clan” where they can feel comfortable and secure in, even though they are the ones at fault. Another example of playing the “victim card”.

    I guess they act that way because they lack discipline. As most likely they were brought up in the slums by negligent parents, they are not used to be corrected and disciplined (a observation I made after a couple years of community service). And now that they’ve grown up and its a bit to late to discipline them, the resort to mechanisms to protect their pride.

    I guess the lack of discipline among the masses, young and old, is another thing that brings about corruption in the long run.

  38. imagine what perpendicular @sscheeks look like. wouldn’t want those, right? did i ruffle your colorful feathers, joe?

    where logic is the order of the day, your sad excuse in ditching logic is this irresistible urge to prance and flail about and call it “to inspire thinking.” why, if the thinking you espouse if fallacious and downright inconsistent, would you expect a constructive act to stem from it? can YOU grasp that? people don’t have to take your fickleness and drama down their throat.

    Near as I can tell, you have never contributed one constructive thought that built anything. You just climb mindlessly on the train that others operate and ride free, the wind blowing through your hair and out your derrière.

    i’m sure you view everyone who sees you as a real phoney as such. feeling’s mutual, buddy. so you can kiss my derrière, joe.

  39. bello ought to learn more about the value chain and the global supply chain his paradigms are antiquated. also he zeroes misses out on tariffs and misses out on investment policy. Bello isnt credible as far as I am concerned.

  40. you cannot use structural adjustment as an argument for the encomienda system, and the continuation of the blatant landgrabs of the oligarchy – smell the kool-aide 😆

  41. It’s not a myth because according to the WB between 30 to 50 pct of government revenues is lost to corruption. In addition, up to 40 pct of the budget is spent on foreign debt maintenance.

    Furthermore, the Philippine economy did very well after WWII until ’62, when the first of several decontrol measures were implemented. In contrast, other Asian economies did the opposite–that is, they protected their economies–and did well.

    Finally, the connection between corruption and incorrect economic policies is clear, given cooperation between multilateral institutions, local technocrats, and the local elite that want quick profits, returns on investment, or payment of loans: structural adjustment policies based on agricultural subsistence, high taxation, and the bulk of the national budget spent on debt maintenance.

  42. Call it structural adjustment or any other name. What is required is to prevent the already powerful from ‘gaming’ the system: patently legal maneuvers but anti-trust wanting, arising from weak and corruptible regulatory agencies/commissions e.g. award of franchises, communication bandwidths, power plants, etc .

    Some keen observers are not happy with the composition of President Aquino’s cabinet : sugar bloc , Makati business club, CEOs of monopolistic corporations, etc.

    A step forward to structural adjustment is charter change. . . Hmmm.

  43. The loss to systemic corruption is NOTHING compared to the grand corruption.

    The opportunity cost to administrative corruption mentioned by the IMF is NOTHING compared to the booty that companies like PLDT/BAYANTEL/MERALCO have gained from the protectionist laws that are favorable to these companies.

  44. One thing that I am clear on was that Asian countries did well because they knew how to use foreign investment wisely, and they invited a lot of it. How they protect their economies are seems to be open to question, but I think some Asian countries, like Indonesia and Vietnam, were worse than the Philippines before because of their lack of foreign investments. Now that investments are pouring in those countries once-behind countries, they’re surpassed the Phils in economic growth. We’re the ones lacking in foreign investment, and thus we’re way behind now.

    Perhaps it depends what you mean by structural adjustment. What structure… economic or political? If there’s structural adjustment needed, it’s charter change… remove protectionism. Because in our particular case, it’s discouraging foreign investments.

  45. Corruption is destructive because resources are limited. This is made worse when the resources are controlled by the few families. We need foreign investors to break this stranglehold.

  46. Also, a country undergoes structural adjustment if it applies for a loan.

    What led to the conditions necessitating a loan in the first place?

    It wasn’t structural adjustment – Bello’s bogeyman.

    it was the lack of domestic capital to upgrade the infrastructure for development purposes.

    Raising capital through FDI was very limited in the Philippines because of the protectionist constitution. The Filipinos didn’t want to open up the economy, so they had to take a loan.

    The additional imposition of structural adjustment will definitely cause an aberration because Structural adjustment policies will not work within a protectionist policy environment – structural adjustment is designed to remove and reduce protectionism not reduce it.

    As pointed out in a previous blog – while other countries like Korea also faced structural adjustment – they opened up their economy – thereby removing a road block to the inflow of FDI.

    In contrast, the Philippines put up a road block in the constitution – it was a half-assed half-baked implementation – naturally it will fail.

    Yet here, he we are still insisting in the imperialist bogeyman while China, Vietnam, ASEAN embracing the “imperialists” – and asking investors to generate jobs – guess what – the investors are from imperialist countries – in case Dr. Walden Bello forgot – Beggars can’t be choosers 😳 😆

  47. in the long-term protectionism will bring everyone down – including the rich.

    a system where only the rich make money – and the greater majority have limited disposable income will reach a point where the the rich can’t sell anything to the people because there’s the customers have nothing left for buying. so the rich lose money as well, the poor lose jobs further .

    by opening the economy – we introduce competition, thereby stimulating innovation.

    till such time the idiots in government figure this out – the Philippines oligarchs will be making less revenue in the Philippines. thereby –

    causing them to invest outward – which is what San MIguel is already doing in Vietnam or the Asia Brewery in HK.

    sinong talo ngayon? eh di ang mga GUNGGONG.

  48. structural adjustment only exacerbated a situation caused by the oligarchs having an artificially huge landholding (in contrast to
    market-driven property acquisition).

    “artificial” acquired because land acquisition was done through encomienda – and reinforced through the torrens system.

    the americans learned from this mistake and occupations after the philippine exprerience involved land reform (Taiwan, South Korea).

    while the south korea and taiwan underwent land reform, the Philippines undertook it haphazardly.

    then you throw in a protectionist constitution – it screws up an already bad situation.

    when the solution should have been to open up, we instead kept the bad situation and loaned more money to keep it afloat. since the operating model is already generating a loss – throwing good money after bad – made the worse – into the worst case scenario. look at it as an onion.

    core/layer 1: lack of genuine land reform
    layer 2: protectionism
    layer 3: SAL

    SAL exacerbated the situation – and it need not be.

    Korea also had SAL structural adjustment loans – BUT it opened up -and that enabled the valves of FDI to flow – generating revenues that can allow it to pay up the SAL.

    Philippines availed of the SAL – kept it in the Philippines – used it up (ninakaw pa ng oligarchs), and didn’t convert it to value generating activities.

    One borrowed money to run a business that will generate sustainable income that can build a house. generates income, repays the loan, builds the house.

    the other borrowed money to build a house, mansion, cars, mistresses – leaving no more money for business, has to loan again. – then complains about the “onerous loan” – ang pinoy nga naman 😆

  49. It is interesting that the the middle- and high-income classes are shrinking. There can be two explanations: Assuming nobody left the country, the rich became middle-class and some of the middle class became poor, explaining the overall decrease in both classes and the expansion of the share of the poor. Another explanation that is obvious is that a lot of the middle and high earners left the country. The poor don’t have the means to leave so they are left to increase their numbers.

    While the income gap maybe narrowing, Virola is not clear how he concludes that growth has been pro poor. It may be that the rich became less rich but the income of the poor has not increased in comparison. Tell-tale sign is that the savings of the poor has also decreased. They are spending more. Does that mean that prices went up relative to their incomes or are they just consuming more (which is better news).

  50. BngV, a country could develop on a number of economic policy options, based on its history. Take for example Japan, it became a developed country based on its protectionist policies. Although foreigners may be allowed to own land, bureaucratic impediments may be put in place to discourage foreigners from establishing businesses especially where the key industries of a country may be threatened by unfair competition. The Philippines does not allow foreign land ownership, but we are the most open market in the world. FDIs are not flowing to the country I suspect because of high labor cost compared to other countries. We have very aggressive labor unions which drive the cost of labor in the Philippines, especially outside the export economic zones. China had had no disruptive labor unionism, Indonesia I suspect also has tame labor unions and so do other countries in the region. Apart from higher labor costs due to unions, the Philippines did not have well developed infrastructures until under GMA’s term, from now, I anticipate a rise in FDIs due to the many well-placed infrastructure projects. Plus, our peace and order situation has been quite dodgy. Indonesia has been tapping private security companies to promote peace and order in the country.

    Historical accidents are also quite big factors in the development of the South Korean economy. Korea has been Japan’s vassal state since 1906, whereas we were only under Japanese occupation for four years. The Japanese developed Davao as a place for their poorest members to migrate to and start life over. South Korea had all sorts of Japanese businessmen and academics imparting knowledge in business management and Japan did build massive infrastructure projects over there during the vassalage years. Park in fact was a student in Japan during his youth, he saw the advantage for a country to have an independent industrial policy. Taiwanese too studied in Japan during the colonial years and brought back a lot of business management ideas back to their country and being a colony of Japan since 1895, the Japanese literally built Taiwan from scratch.

    I guess what I am saying is that your portrayal of South Korea as a country that has had economic development due to the land ownership right in the constitution accorded to foreigners is simplistic. It is a fact that the Americans have influenced the writing of the Korean constitution, for it was the intent of the U.S. to station troops there as part of its strategic plan to secure states threatened by communism. The U.S. underwrote the economic development of both Japan and the U.S. by giving these countries preferential trade treatment. In Japan, the Americans shared many patents with Japanese companies and poured billions of dollars every year to rehabilitate Japanese industries, thus, Japan did not have to borrow extensively from IMF and World Bank. It also spelled out clearly an independent industrial policy which the Americans supported by placing orders for supplies needed by U.S. troops during the Korean war. Japan benefited a lot from a lot of historical accidents. The U.S. would not allow South Korea and Japan to fail economically for fear North Korea and China would swallow up these two satellite U.S. states.

    Where did the Philippine figure in all this historical backdrop? Our oligarchs were assured of continued existence by the U.S., did not implement land reform as they did in Japan and South Korea because the haciendas continued to guarantee the thirst of American markets for sugar. Were we able to produce nationalistic leaders like Park and Yoshida Shigeru who united their people behind a no-nonsense path to economic development? Marcos turned out to be the biggest thief the country has ever seen. We are still reeling from Marcosian thievery and dictatorial regime. The break-up of large farm estates in both Japan and South Korea has been identified by many scholars as the single most important policy in diverting capital to start businesses leading to the creation of the middle classes in these countries. What about the Philippines?

  51. Corruption exists at all levels. Many of the idiots are saying, one level won’t change, so work on the other one instead. They said, “reform the gov’t!” Since the gov’t won’t reform, “Reform the poor!” Wala rin. All levels have to be addressed at once for a more effective change in our culture.

    Although the oligarchs are obviously bigger fish to fry…

  52. Bong V, but unchecked trade liberalization has brought many countries down already economically, one clear example is Jamaica. It followed all the prescription for economic development by IMF and World Bank which includes trade liberalization, and look where is Jamaica now. Its dairy industry is dead, its vegetable production has been undermined by cheaper imports from the U.S. its banana exports which were given preferential treatment by the Brits were jeopardized by U.S. banana corporations lobbying the U.S. government to pressure WTO to remove the preferential treatment, Jamaica is trapped in a cycle of debt unable to show any economic development. It has all the signs of a failed socio-economic system. The idea that imports could bring in economic innovation is overrated, first the economy must have the entrepreneurial spirit to be able to benefit from the inflows of imports. Trade liberalization could be truly detrimental to a developing economy, IMF/World Bank should not make it a precondition for granting development loans.

    Malaysia did the imponderable to stop capital flight from the country during the economic crisis, the president issued financial institutions to stop the sale of stocks, investors were preventing from selling their stocks in the Malaysian economy. It did seem to work. At times, a country has to put its foot down and do what is beneficial for its people.

  53. There is a nice example practicality over nationalism of the Netherlands in the Middle Ages. At that time Flanders focused on international trade and enjoyed economic wealth and peace while the rest of Europe was wracked with civil conflicts. The Dutch noblemen invited Philip the Good of Burgundy, the ruler of Flanders, to invade Holland. They wanted to integrate with the Flemish economic system. The ruler of Holland was eventually deposed and replaced with the dukes of Burgundy. The economy then developed rapidly and defeated the economic dominance of the Hanseatic league.

    I am not advocating the American or some other rich country’s invasion our country. But this period in Dutch history is a good lesson of recognizing certain types of nationalism that wouldn’t work for us. It seems that Philippine nationalism = protecting the oligarchs.

  54. I hope Manuel L. Quezon’s ghost is reading that piece of history. It seems he missed that when he was alive.

  55. opening up the economy will reduce market share of Filipino companies percentage-wise.
    BUT the increased economic activity will yield absolute revenues greater in a free market THAN the revenue in a PROTECTED environment.

    not to mention that consumers get better value for their money instead of putting up with lousy services and products of Filipino companies.

    this will also serve notice to Filipino companies – INNOVATE or DIE.

  56. I see your point about protectionism, but I think we’re doing it wrong. We can allow foreigners to own land, but with restrictions. We could always do that with legislation (We could name which lands can be open to foreigners, which ones are not). With the Constitution as it is now, it is obviously meant to protect the oligarch interests. In our particular case, protectionism as it is right now is keeping us poor. Thus, charter change must remove or tweak Article 12, secs. 2, 10 and 11 (or all of it for that matter). That’s an imperative.

  57. Suggesting Bello drop Karl Marx and read Mike Porter instead. Read Competitive Advantage instead of Das Kapital.

  58. Miriam:

    Contact Mahintana Foundation – look for Dodoy Magdolot – – mention my name – keyword is “Move On Philippines” renamed to Read Philippines

    Mahintana Foundation, Inc.
    Cannery Housing, Cannery Site, Polomolok, South Cotabato
    9504 Philippines
    Telephone No.: 083-500-8434
    Telefax No.: 083-500-2796
    E-mail address:

  59. @Miriam:

    If you want to send to ARMM – here’s the contact – look for EJ Matela or Arvin Chua:
    Davao Office
    62 Tatad St. , Dumanlas, Buhangin
    8000 Davao City , Philippines
    Telefax: +6382 2251434

    Central Mindanao Office
    Reyes Bldg., Jade St. , Saniel Subd.,
    Kidapawan City
    9400 North Cotabato, Philippines
    Telefax: +6364 2783077

    President Alex M. Rendon
    Director for Urban Services Ma. Dolly B. Pascua
    Director for Post Conflict & Rural Services EJ Matela
    Program Manager for Post Conflict & Rural Services Arvin C. Chua
    Program Manager for Urban Services Misael M. Paranial
    Finance and Administration Head Luz A. Obsinez

    Advocacy Manager Catherine C. Gordo
    CDO-Davao City Land Tenure Services Coordinator Rodolfo H. Oani
    CDO-IGaCoS Land Tenure Services Coordinator Marilyn M. Jimenez
    CDO-KTM Services Erlyn C. Salinas
    CDO-CRF Services Florencio T. Raganas
    Raul S. Barquilla
    CDO-Loan Documentor Orlando B. Padillo

    Information Officers
    Mary Ann A. Numos
    Sherwin R. Desierto

    Community Development Officers (CDOs) Alih S. Bato
    Joel D. Juarez
    Zainudin B. Mamangkas
    Ofelia Tagle-Tutol

    Bookkeeper Marivel B. Piamonte
    Cashier Evelyn B. Eusebio

    Finance & Admin Coordinators
    Teresa N. Restauro
    Tessie V. Fuertes-Soriano

  60. Miriam:

    FDI does not flow into our country because of Article 12, Secs 2,10 and 11 as Chino pointed out.

    Foreigners can own land in Jamaica but the process is so torturous that it is an effective barrier to FDI.

    One legal issue that was noted by several companies is the complexity of the land title process. Although purchasing and acquiring title to land can be done, it is often a long process than can delay project implementation. As such, most companies prefer to lease space rather than get involved in land ownership, unless the nature of the investment (e.g. resort development) would call for ownership. Concerns were also made about high transfer taxes on the assessment basis.

  61. The break-up of large farm estates in both Japan and South Korea has been identified by many scholars as the single most important policy in diverting capital to start businesses leading to the creation of the middle classes in these countries. What about the Philippines?

    Hey, that sounds like something that should happen with two words we know very well: Hacienda Luisita. Kaya nga, break up Article 12.

  62. I agree. There is no point in having only a few native families benefit from protectionism. What for. Let the competitive market get its job in driving the costs down to the advantage of everyone.

  63. Developed countries are developed because they are able maximize the utility of their resources, attaining high levels of productivity. In our country we have underdeveloped resources because there are too few capable of doing that, and they don’t have the incentive to improve further because nothing threatens to compete against them. They are safe under our protectionist laws.

  64. I presume “idiot” is a term defined to mean “those who think differently than me.”

    BongV’s excellent history of the Philippines, presented on another thread, caused me to wonder about barter as a way of conducting business when money is not available. That seems to have expanded into the “trade of favors” that is everywhere in the Philippines, sometimes simply barter, sometimes the exchange of values that would be considered illicit. But the problem is that barter does not have the same drive toward value creation that profit-making does.

    At any rate, I think it is possible, through new laws, to wean the nation from its barter mentality. Like a Fair Employment Act that ends the hiring of cousins and classmates for jobs that demand skill. Also, getting regulators out of bed with regulatees. Opening up Judiciary. Inviting Foreign ownership and the competition it would bring.

  65. El hacienda aside, I wonder as to the breakup of farms into globally non-competitive entities, versus buying tractors and getting competitive. This matter of machines vs. labor is fascinating, and I don’t know the correct stance. We are poor, and therefore, don’t bring machines in to make us efficient because people won’t have jobs. So we have poor jobs, stay poor, and no one wins.

    Agribusiness is different than farming. The Philippines could be an agribusiness giant, but near as I can tell, people are still fertilizing the bananas with their own waste. And overfishing like crazy, spoiling one of God’s greatest natural sea farms.

    I’d drive for a middle class by inviting foreigners in to fill the holes that exist in the coddled industrial economy BongV mentions. The gap between malaise and dynamic is short, I think, because the economy is broad, just thin and full of holes.

  66. Considering that TC’s a conservative-libertarian (and a practicing Catholic!), I’m not sure if it’ll settle with the rest of AP. Though I have to admit, he REALLY does the research most of the time.

  67. Land Reform his Hacienda Luisita. Next the Friar Lands of the Catholic Church. Then, the Haciendas of his politicsl cronies. Theis is the first step.

  68. To the Judge:

    Good strategy? Land Reform immedietly Noynoy Aquino’s Hacienda Luisita. Then, the Friar Lands of his supporters: the Catholic Church. Lastly, the Haciendas of his Political Cronies. Can he afford to do these things?

    We will go to the next strategies. If he can accomplish these things within a month. Wanna take the challenge to do these?

    His strategy for the Squatters: We will not remove them, unless, we can build some houses to relocate them. The Squatters will remain, until he builds houses? It may take six (6) years to build houses for them. So, this is an Idiot’s solution. Flood will come again. The river banks are polluted. The esteros and canals are clogged by squatters. And he is waiting for houses to be built?

  69. Thanks a lot BongV, will include these contacts in the list of possible people who could help expedite the

  70. A country that does not keep up with the ever widening demands of globalization for trade liberalization, friendly FDI climate, etc. is bound to lose out. But the fact is that it is not easy for any country to be always compliant with a globalization that is dominated by the interests of multinational corporations. There is only so much FDI to go around, dominated by big MNCs and countries have to continually adjust their economic policies to suit the interests of MNCs which purportedly match the interests of developing countries. The fact remains that with globalization trends, there is now “the race to the bottom” which many economists fear are turning back the rights of workers fought so hard through history by social and political activists. We cannot completely give up our sovereignty to the give way to the interests of MNCs in the name of increasing FDIs. The Philippines is influenced by the U.S. in many ways when it comes to labor rights. The race to the bottom trend has been favorable to China and that is why it is the hub of FDIs, only the crumbs are left to fall in other Asian countries.

    Economic policies have to be studied by our lawmakers, but they have to come up with a rational course of action for the economy, we cannot go along with the new administration’s wishy washy way of dealing with the economy, we need a complete vision on how to achieve concrete development goals. If it is for complete economic neo-liberal model, then, we should revise the constitution to give way for it, but we need to study the issues thoroughly, the media should tutor itself in the nitty gritty aspects of policies for development so that our people are educated. TV and radio journalists should start talking about development policies so that our people can understand what the government is doing. If there is a concrete plan, how is the government going about realizing the plan, the people have to be involved. We should not focus only on GMA as a symbol of corruption, corruption is everywhere in this country, focus on big corruption issues like HL and how the courts have been bought by the oligarchs to sabotage economic development in our land. Agrarian reform is part and parcel of development, we need to get serious with it.

    It is true property rights are not fully developed in the country which are tied to land reform execution. It is estimated that the Philippines is sitting on dead capital worth hundreds of billions of dollars due to property rights problems, if we are able to issue titles to small landowners quickly, these land titles could be used as collateral to get loans for business start-ups, we thus have less need to borrow from financial institutions that force us to pursue economic policies that may not always be beneficial for the country. There is a pressing need to rationalize our bureaucracy, how can the government do this, are people in government thinking about these things rather than focusing on revenge and vindictiveness? We are wasting time and resources on non-issues, trust in government can only be restored with empowerment of our people and when the mass media stop being gossip mongers and be truly the medium for understanding between government and the governed. It is the mass media that are responsible for undermining trust of the people on our public institutions. We need as a nation to look at the same issues and focus on solving poverty through concrete economic development policies. Once a corruption issue has been investigated and no one has been found guilty, let us move on, you guys, if there is doubt, then, there should proper venues to do this, the whole country does not have to be involved in these issues, we have other important agenda to focus on.

    Corruption for heaven sake is not the monopoly of the Philippines, we ranked low in transparency and inefficiency in government service, and this whole way of delivering public services has been the breeding ground for corruption. Do something about the bureaucracy, don’t focus on GMA, she has done a lot of good for this country, learn to appreciate the good things the leaders have done, and continue the good legacy. Why is this country of Catholics full of vindictiveness and hatred?

  71. BongV, Jamaica did allow build economic zones to accommodate MNCs mostly from the U.S., the government borrowed money from IMF/World Bank to provide all the facilities for these corporations in the special economic zones. But since the corporations exist outside of the reach of local laws within the zones, many of them hired workers who could not find in Jamaica. With low educational attainments, many Jamaicans would not get preferential treatment by the MNCs within the zones, instead, they brought in Chinese workers. Imagine a government incurring millions of dollars of debt through the financial institutions that demanded open-market economy and building infrastructure for FDIs and when NAFTA was created and it appeared cheaper to move production to Mexico, the MNCs just left and moved to Mexico. What happened then to the investments of the government from borrowed money? Meanwhile, local industries have been wiped out by unfair competition from the U.S. It is a fact that farmers in the U.S. and in many developed countries get government subsidies and so their agricultural products are a lot cheaper to produce than the struggling farmer sin developing countries who have to fork out dollar-denominated currency to buy imported chemicals and fertilizer. If food security is part of good governance, developing countries are losing their right to pursue even this with increasing trade liberalization. I am afraid, the story of Jamaican farmers will be repeated here when the China-Philippine agreement will come into full swing.

  72. It’s not that trade liberalization per se causes these countries to suffer. It’s that these countries companies were inefficient and were driving costs upward.

    when consumers have a choice between the expensive and the cheaper but same quality products – guess what they will choice.

    the solution therefore for these companies is to find the industries where they have a competitive advantage – and compete therein. if they are uncompetitive they will have to find a way to be competitive or they will die – and their market share will be served by the company that offers superior value. it does not make sense to allow inefficient companies to survive – we can’t ask for innovation and yet put up with stagnation.

  73. the question is while the US was present what were other Jamaican companies doing? why didn’t they take advantage of the opportunities? if they didn’t have manpower why didn’t they invest in manpower? it’s not trade liberalization per se – it’s the dearth of innovation that will kill companies as customers become more demanding, have more choice, and have more alternatives – innovate and compete or die.

  74. “Why is this country of Catholics full of vindictiveness and hatred?”

    because the self-righteous priests sees only the superficiality of the issues. they see only the truth that 1=0 is a mistake. they do not delve on the possibility that 1 may be equal to 0 using different systems to prove its truth. why? because they never studied and/or opened their minds to it. i work with many priests, and a lot of them have critical skills which are totally down the drain. they only inculcate to their minions the idea that the world only consist of black and white: that we are poor, they are rich, that we go to heaven, they go to hell, that we are right, they are wrong, that we are lovable in the eyes of God, and they are hated. that the government (esp. government projects) is evil, while the church of God and those who followed what they teach is good. in other words, they inculcate to the minds of the POOR 😯 hatred towards those who have, rubbing in the idea that those who are fortunate enough to have their lives elevated are all corrupt/thieves/unjust. *twisted*

    oh oh! opispos kicks priests with questionable intelligence in poor communities (result: the poor gets more poor). while the progressive/proactive priests are assigned in “rich” parishes (result: a gap between rich and poor).

    as an aside, i told many parish priests, if you want your parishes to be rich, pray that a parishioner will hit the lotto jackpot. in fact, you should write a communal prayer about it and include it in your prayer for social transformation during the mass. because the very first recipient of any winnings is always the church. even for those who haven’t won yet, the church gets a large portion of the imagined pie already. am i right or am i right? 😆

  75. I think I see where trade liberalization can be “harmful.” The companies of the country invested into are expected to innovate and keep up. But if the companies are in a backward culture that sees innovation as wrong, they’ll get swamped by advanced ideas and companies. Then they’ll blame “imperialism” and other countries for “oppressing” their culture and making them poor. But they are the ones making themselves poor by letting the bad part of culture limit them. This would be a wake-up call for cultural change.

  76. You are right palebluedot. Amen to all that you said. I think proper governmental policies could solve all these deficiencies in governance in our country. Let’s support GMA’s bill of a parliamentary system of government.

  77. i believe that society owes its citizen equality of opportunity but cannot and SHOULD not guarantee them equality of outcome; strong, wholesome, family values are at the very core of a productive, prosperous and peaceful society

    Way ahead of you there JUDGEmental.

    Democracy does not guarantee equality of conditions — it only guarantees equality of opportunity – Irving Kristol. If only we had the compassion to lend you a delorean that goes 88mph so you can catch up with some of us.

  78. Well foresight for a niche market is certainly one thing the Philippines is lacking. Japan had its monster manufacturing and electronics in the 80’s, Korea had its IT infrastructure which is on par with the best in the world, Singapore with its aggressive stance for cleanliess for the sake of tourism and China which kinda lucked back into the economics game. Its one of the factors that allowed them to propel past the Philippines manufacturing dominance in the 60’s. The Protectionist laws further killed the Philippines ability especially when the global market started penetrating more of Asia.

    Corruption still exists in these nations however they won’t let it get in the way of how their Economics are ran, since those corrupt still profit from that economic model that invites foreign investments and a competitive spirit.

  79. Unfortunately, Bello is a dinosaur is supporting protectionism, and a conspiracy theorist in saying that China and the US have been after our resources and should be treated as enemies.

    Don’t really think that’s a conspiracy. More of inevitable march of commerce.

  80. This has been bugging me for a while. I was 12 years old when typhoon Ruping devastated Cebu. The province prospered after that without (or little) help from the national government. Maybe the corruption is caused primarily by too much power concentrated in the national government. We would have efficient government if the government is decentralized, where locals know where their own money is spent. Auditing would be easier, reducing corruption.

  81. @ Judge
    “boy, are you STUPID!! you actually believe that the new administration couldn’t distinguish between cheap political sloganeering and strategy planning ??”

    Hoy pare. Ano ba uli ang sinabi ni PNOY sa inaugural speech niya?

    NOYNOY: “Sigaw natin noong kampanya: “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap.” Hindi lamang ito pang slogan o pang poster—ito ang mga prinsipyong tinatayuan at nagsisilbing batayan ng ating administrasyon.”

    So to answer your question, yes sir they are that STUPID. 😛 😆 😆 😆

  82. Also what does this socialist state contains?

    For example: Free education (duh), national health care pero walang unemployment subsides or industrial or agricultural subsides etc etc

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