P-Noy’s First SONA: More Bark than Bite

Misguided economic policy is a sure-fire way to ruin – nationally or individually. It gets worse when we are putting more efforts on wangwang, being on time for work, being present at work, pissing off our foreign donors through sheer ignorance of the parliamentary system, and witch-hunting – than addressing the heart and soul of our economic woes.

P-Noy's SONA - More Fluff Talk LIke the Inauguration Speech?

The ASEAN free trade area is looming in the horizon. The Philippines investment policy is still protectionist while its tariff policy remains liberal. This skews the market in favor of Filipino monopoly businesses – in effect subisidizing the oligarchs. Without FDI to check the oligarchs, wealth is concentrated in the oligarchs. For example – Meralco, FPIC, FirstGEn, First Philippine Holdings, ABS-CBN, Maynilad – are all owned by just one family. Amidst all the poverty, we have three Filipinos who are in the Forbes Global Fortune 500. This condition will perpetuate as long as SEc 10,11 Art 12 of the constitution are not changed.

Arroyo is a convenient target because she is visible. You can see her. Make fun if her height, her mole and all that crap. But really, are we addressing the crux of the matter here.

What’s not being said is the economic loss due to a protectionist charter that “protects” the Filipino monopoly businessman at the expense of the Filipino consumer. But just to give an indication – the Philippine is getting the crumbs in ASEAN FDI. Sure it has BPO – but India and China have the lion’s share of the pie.

Forget your high electricity rates, water rates, forget integrated resource planning – just bash Arroyo.

It’s going to be a long six years Philippines. at least the US has people like Ron Paul and the National Inflation Association and Nouriel Rubini.

What does the Philippines have? Flash the Laban sign and talk about hope?

To paraphrase the sari sari store – “Hope and promise is good but we need solutions, policy directions, economic baseline”. The original sari-sari store is “credit is good but we need cash. bawal mangutang”. Then there’s the “basta utang lipay-lipay, inig bayad likay likay”. Lastly, there’s “lista sa tubig”. For short, fluff talk is cheap.

We cannot improve and manage what we don’t measure.

If Arroyo is guilty send her to jail. We can make a show of Arroyo’s crime.

But how about the crime of of non-distribution of land? How was it able to skirt it’s commitment to distribute the land. How much revenue was generated from the non-distributed lands from 1967 to the present? All those need to be accounted for.

Fairness and social justice dictates that not only Arroyo should be investigated but you-know-what – as well. Review the declaration of land value – how much are they actually paying in taxes, based on their land declaration. Then ask whether the value of the land declared is accurate. If it’s not, there is a price to be paid for the land valuation to remain that way so that taxes don’t have to be paid.

Where’s the crime in that – in multiple layers;

1) honoring a commitment to distribute land;

2) making money out of a property that no longer belongs to you;

3) keeping that money to yourself and still keeping the land to yourself and still making money out of #2).

4) To be able to do that from the time one were supposed to distribute the land – a lot of people would have been on the take to keep their mouth shut – from DENR to DAR to BIR, to whoever – from top to bottom, turn a blind eye, or in the case of the farmers – die. That’s corruption right there – in one’s own backyard.

But depending on how the winds blow, we can easily get an absolution from Congress if it wants to – just like when it absolved the developers identified by the World Bank for collusion. The resolution was quick – mabilis pa sa alas kwatro. But when it came to passing the FOIA – basa ang black board, absent ang mga lintek.

We are asking for an accounting from Arroyo, it seems there’s more accounting that’s needed.

Let’s start with the pork barrel. All the pork barrel disbursements of all congressmen and senators need to be reviewed with a fine-toothed comb – starting from Cory to the Present. If you cannot find nor convict that not even one – oh by golly, you can just shove the Truth Commission. Naglolokohan lang tayo dito.

And that’s just for a start.

If the SONA is similar to the fluff talk of the Inauguration – I’d say it was more fun watching Estrada – he still didn’t have substance like Aquino but at least Erap was funny.

********

That was written before the SONA came out.

True enough – I read this from the Inquirer, when I woke up (July 5:45AM, US EST/5:45PM Manila Time):

MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE 2) President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III bared in his first State of the Nation Address a series of irregularities allegedly committed by the past administration.

In his speech, Aquino disclosed that millions of pesos went to the pockets of board of trustees of the Metropolitan Water and Sewerage System (MWSS) for their salaries, allowances and benefits and billions of pesos wasted by the National Food Authority.

Aquino also bared that of the P108-million calamity fund for Pampanga, the province of former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, P105 million went to only one district.

“Of the whole P108 million for the province of Pampanga, P105 million went to only one district while in the province of Pangasinan that was ravaged by Pepeng, only P5 million was given and it was even for typhoon Cosme that hit the province in 2009,” Aquino said in Filipino.

“The funds for Pampanga were given on election month, seven months after Ondoy and Pepeng. What if there is a typhoon tomorrow?” Aquino asked.

Aquino arrived at the Batasan complex at 3:46 p.m., in time for the session at 4 p.m., on board his black Mercedes Benz with plate number 1. He did not use his sirens when his convoy left his family home in Quezon City.

The President went directly to the holding area in the House upon his arrival. He was joined there by newly elected Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile and Speaker Feliciano Belmonte.

Aquino’s sisters – Viel, Pinky, and Ballsy – arrived at the House ahead of the President.

The session hall is packed with lawmakers and guests including politicians, members of the diplomatic community and friends and families of officials.

For the record and for our AP discussion, here’s a copy of PNoy’s first SONA as translated in English.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION:

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte; Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile; Vice President Jejomar Binay, Chief Justice Renato Corona, Former Presidents Fidel Valdez Ramos and Joseph Ejercito Estrada; Members of the House of Representatives and the Senate; distinguished members of the diplomatic corps;

My beloved countrymen:

Our administration is facing a forked road. On one direction, decisions are made to protect the welfare of our people; to look after the interest of the majority; to have a firm grip on principles; and to be faithful to the public servant’s sworn oath to serve the country honestly.

This is the straight path.

On the other side, personal interest is the priority, and where one becomes a slave to political considerations to the detriment of our nation.

This is the crooked path.

For a long time, our country lost its way in the crooked path. As days go by (since I became President), the massive scope of the problems we have inherited becomes much clearer. I could almost feel the weight of my responsibilities.

In the first three weeks of our administration, we discovered many things, and I will report to you some of the problems we have uncovered, and the steps we are taking to solve them.

This report is merely a glimpse of our situation. It is not the entire picture of the crises we are facing. The reality was hidden from our people, who seem to have been deliberately obfuscated on the real state of our nation.

In the first six years of this year, government expenditure exceeded our revenues. Our deficit further increased to PhP196.7 billion. Our collection targets, which lack PhP23.8 billion, were not fully met, while we went beyond our spending by PhP45.1 billion.

Our budget for 2010 is PhP1.54 trillion. Of this, only PhP100 billion – or 6.5% of the total budget – can be used for the remaining six months of the current year. Roughly 1% of the total budget is left for each of the remaining month.

Where did the funds go?

A calamity fund worth PhP2 billion was reserved in preparation for anticipated calamities. Of this already miniscule amount, at a time when the rainy season has yet to set in, PhP1.4 billion or 70% was already spent.

The entire province of Pampanga received PhP108 million. Of this, PhP105 million went to only one district. On the other hand, the province of Pangasinan, which was severely affected by Typhoon Pepeng, received a mere PhP5 million, which had to be used to fix damages inflicted not even by Pepeng, but by a previous typhoon, Cosme.

The funds were released on election month, which was seven months after the typhoon. What will happen if a typhoon arrives tomorrow? The fund has been used up to repair damage from typhoons that hit us last year. Our future will pay for the greed of yesterday.

This is also what happened to the funds of the MWSS. Just recently, people lined up for water while the leadership of the MWSS rewarded itself even though the pensions of retired employees remain unpaid.

The entire payroll of the MWSS amounts to 51.4 million pesos annually. But this isn’t the full extent of what they receive: they receive additional allowances and benefits amounting to 81.1 million pesos. In short, they receive 211.5 million pesos annually. Twenty four percent of this is for normal salaries, and sixty six percent is added on.

The average worker receives up to 13th month pay plus a cash gift. In the MWSS, they receive the equivalent of over thirty months pay if you include all their additional bonuses and allowances.

What we discovered in the case of the salaries of their board of trustees is even more shocking. Let’s take a look at the allowances they receive:

Attending board of trustees and board committee meetings, and you get fourteen thousands pesos. This totals ninety eight thousand pesos a month. They also get an annual grocery incentive of eighty thousand pesos.

And that’s not all. They get a mid-year bonus, productivity bonus, anniversary bonus, year-end bonus, and financial assistance. They not only get a Christmas bonus, but an additional Christmas package as well. Each of these amounts to eighty thousand pesos. All in all, each member of the board receives two and a half million pesos a year exclusive of car service, technical assistance, and loans. Let me repeat. They award themselves all of these while being in arrears for the pensions of their retired employees.

Even the La Mesa watershed wasn’t spared. In order to ensure an adequate supply of water, we need to protect our watersheds. In watersheds, trees are needed. Where there should be trees, they built homes for the top officials of the MWSS.

We cannot remove them from their positions quickly because they are among the midnight appointees of former president Arroyo. We are investigating all of these things. But if they have any shame left, they should voluntarily relinquish their positions.

Now let’s discuss funds for infrastructure. The DPWH identified two hundred forty six priority safety projects to be funded by the motor vehicle user’s charge. This needs a budget of 425 million pesos. What they ended up funding were only 28 projects. They disregarded 218 projects and replaced these with seventy projects that weren’t in the plans. The 425 million pesos originally asked for became 480 million pesos, increasing because of projects allocated for a favored few.

These projects make no sense: unstudied and unprepared for, sprouting like mushrooms.

The era of such projects is at an end. Under our administration, there will be no quotas, there will be no overpricing, the funds of the people will be spent for the people.

There’s more. Five days before the term of the previous administration ended, they ordered 3.5 billion pesos to be released for the rehabilitation of those affected by typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng. This was supposed to fund eighty-nine projects. But nineteen of these projects amounting to 981 million pesos didn’t go through public bidding. Special Allotment Release Orders hadn’t even been released and yet the contracts were already signed. It’s a good thing Secretary Rogelio Singson spotted and stopped them. Instead, they will all go through the proper bidding, and the funds will be used to provide relief to those who lost their homes due to typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng.

Let’s discuss what happened in Napocor. From 2001 to 2004, the government forced Napocor to sell electricity at a loss to prevent increases in electricity rates. The real motivation for this is that they were preparing for the election.

As a result, in 2004, NAPOCOR slumped deeply in debt. The government was obligated to shoulder the 200 billion pesos it owed.

What the public thought they saved from electricity, we are now paying for using public coffers. Not only are we paying for the cost of electricity; we are also paying for the interest arising from the debt.

If the money we borrowed was used properly, then there would be added assurance that constant supply of electricity is available. However, this decision was based on bad politics, not on the true needs of the people. The people, after having to sacrifice, suffered even more.

This is also what happened to the MRT. The government tried again to buy the people’s love. The operator was forced to keep the rates low.

In effect, the guarantee given to the operator that he will still be able to recoup his investment was not fulfilled. Because of this, Landbank and the Development Bank of the Philippines were ordered to purchase the MRT.

The money of the people was used in exchange for an operation that was losing money.

Let us now move on to the funds of the National Food Authority (NFA).

In 2004: 117,000 metric tons (of rice) was the shortage in the supply of the Philippines. What they (the government) bought were 900,000 metric tons. Even if you multiply for more than seven times the amount of shortage, they still bought more than what was needed.

In 2007: 589,000 metric tons was the shortage in the supply of the Philippines. What they bought were 1.827 million metric tons. Even if you multiply for more than three times the amount of shortage, they again bought more than what was needed.

What hurts is, because they keep purchasing more than what they need year after year, the excess rice that had to be stored in warehouses ended up rotting, just like what happened in 2008.

Is this not a crime, letting rice rot, despite the fact that there are 4 million Filipinos who do not eat three times a day?

The result is NFA’s current debt of 177 billion pesos.

This money that was wasted could have funded the following:

– The budget of the entire judiciary, which is at 12.7 billion pesos this year.

– The Conditional Cash Transfers for the following year, which cost 29.6 billion pesos.

– All the classrooms that our country needs, which cost 130 billion pesos.

This way of doing things is revolting. Money was there only to be wasted.

You have heard how the public coffers were squandered. This is what is clear to me now: change can only come from our determination to stamp out this extravagance and profligacy.

That is why starting now: we will stop the wasteful use of government funds. We will eradicate projects that are wrong.

This is the point of what we call the zero-based approach in our budget. What used to be the norm was every year, the budget merely gets re-enacted without plugging the holes.

Next month we will be submitting a budget that accurately identifies the problem and gives much attention on the right solution.

Those that I have mentioned were only some of the problems we have discovered. Here now are examples of the steps we are undertaking to solve them.

There is a case of one pawnshop owner. He purchased a vehicle at an estimated cost of 26 million pesos.

If he can afford to buy a Lamborghini, why can’t he pay his taxes?

A case has already been filed against him. Through the leadership of Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, BIR Commissioner Kim Henares, Customs Commissioner Lito Alvarez, and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, every week we have new cases filed against smugglers and against those who do not pay the right taxes.

We have also already identified the suspects of the cases of Francisco Baldomero, Jose Daguio and Miguel Belen, 3 of the 6 incidents of extralegal killings since we assumed the Presidency.

Fifty percent (50%) of these incidents of extralegal killings are now on their way to being resolved.

We will not stop the pursuit of the remaining half of these killings until justice has been achieved.

We will hold murderers accountable. We will also hold those who are corrupt that work in government accountable for their actions.

We have begun forming our Truth Commission, through the leadership of former Chief Justice Hilario Davide. We will search for the truth on the alleged wrongdoing committed in the last nine years.

This week, I will sign the first ever Executive Order on the formation of this Truth Commission.

If the answer to justice is accountability, the answer to the dearth in funds is a new and creative approach to our long-standing problems.

We have so many needs: from education, infrastructure, health, military, police and more. Our funds will not be enough to meet them.

No matter how massive the deficit is that may keep us from paying for this list of needs, I am heartened because many have already expressed renewed interest and confidence in the Philippines.

Our solution: public-private partnerships. Although no contract has been signed yet, I can say that ongoing talks with interested investors will yield fruitful outcomes.

There are some who have already shown interest and want to build an expressway from Manila that will pass through Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, until the end of Cagayan Valley, without the government having to spend a single peso.

On national defense:

We have 36,000 nautical miles of shoreline, but we only have 32 boats. These boats are as old as the time of (US General Douglas) MacArthur.

Some had this proposition: they will rent the Navy headquarters on Roxas Boulevard and the Naval Station in Fort Bonifacio.

They will take care of the funding necessary to transfer the Navy Headquarters to Camp Aguinaldo. Immediately, we will be given 100 million dollars. Furthermore, they will give us a portion of their profits from their businesses that would occupy the land they will rent.

In short, we will meet our needs without spending, and we will also earn.

There have already been many proposals from local to foreign investors to provide for our various needs.

From these public-private partnerships, our economy will grow and every Filipino will be the beneficiary. There are so many sectors that could benefit from this.

We will be able to construct the needed infrastructure in order to help tourism grow.

In agriculture, we will be able to have access to grains terminals, refrigeration facilities, orderly road networks and post-harvest facilities.

If we can fix out food supply chain with the help of the private sector, instead of importing, we will hopefully be able to supply for the needs of the global market.

The prices of commodities will go down if we are able to make this efficient railway system a reality. It will be cheaper and faster, and it will be easier for travelers to avoid crooked cops and rebels.

A reminder to all: creating jobs is foremost on our agenda, and the creation of jobs will come from the growth of our industries. Growth will only be possible if we streamline processes to make them predictable, reliable and efficient for those who want to invest.

We make sure that the Build-Operate-and-Transfer projects will undergo quick and efficient processes. With the help of all government agencies concerned and the people, a process that used to take as short as a year and as long as a decade will now only take six months.

The Department of Trade and Industry has already taken steps to effect this change, under the leadership of Secretary Gregory Domingo:

The never-ending horror story of registering business names, which used to take a minimum of four to eight hours depending on the day, will be cut down drastically to fifteen minutes.

What used to be a check list of thirty-six documents will be shortened to a list of six, and the old eight-page application form will be whittled down to one page.

I call on our local government units to review its own procedures. While we look for more ways to streamline our processes to make business start-ups easier, I hope the LGUs can also find ways to implement reforms that will be consistent with the ones we have already started.

All will certainly benefit from this streamlining — be it businessmen, soldiers, rebels and ordinary Filipinos. As long as the interests of Filipinos will not be jeopardized, we will explore all available avenues to make this a reality. We must start now, and we should all help achieve this and not stand in each other’s way.

The time when we will no longer be made to choose between our people’s security and the future of our children is upon us now.

Once we implement these public-private partnerships, we will be able to fund public service in accordance with our platform.

This will enable us to fund our plans for education.

We will be able to expand our basic education cycle from seven years to the global standard of twelve years.

We can build more classrooms, and we will fund service contracting under the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education Program (GASTPE).

Conditional cash transfers that aim to lessen the burden of education on parents will also be funded if this partnership becomes a reality.

Our plans for improving PhilHealth can now be within reach.

First, we will identify the correct number of Filipinos who sorely need PhilHealth coverage, as current data is conflicting on this matter. On one hand, PhilHealth says that eighty-seven percent (87%) of Filipinos are covered, then lowers the number to only fifty-three percent (53%). On the other hand, the National Statistics Office says that only thirty-eight percent (38%) of Filipinos are covered by Philhealth.

Even as we speak, Secretary Dinky Soliman and the Department of Social Welfare and Development are moving to implement the National Household Targeting System that will identify the families that most urgently need assistance. An estimated 9 billion pesos is needed in order to provide coverage for five million poor Filipinos.

Our country is beginning to see better days ahead. The private sector, the League of Provinces headed by Governor Alfonso Umali, together with Governors L-Ray Villafuerte and Icot Petilla, are now ready to do their share when it comes to shouldering the financial burden. I know that the League of Cities under the leadership of Mayor Oscar Rodriguez will not be far behind.

If the local governments share in our goals, I know that I can surely count on Congress, the institution where I began public service, to push for our agenda for change.

Our Cabinet has already showed it skill by identifying not just problems but also proposing solutions in a matter of three weeks.

In the aftermath of Typhoon Basyang, we were told by those in the power sector that we would be without electricity for four days. The quick action of Secretary Rene Almendras and the Department of Energy resulted in the restoration of power to almost all those affected within twenty-four hours.

The so-called water shortage in Metro Manila was quickly attended to by Secretary Rogelio Singson and the Department of Public Works and Highways. Secretary Singson did it without prodding, which alleviated the suffering of those affected.

We also witnessed the competence and initiative of those we appointed to be part of our Cabinet. It is but just that they not be forced to go through the eye of a needle to be confirmed by the Commission on Appointments. Should this happen, competent Filipinos will be encouraged to help our country by becoming public servants.

In the soonest possible time, we will convene the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) to discuss the important bills that need to be addressed. Rest assured that I will keep an open mind and treat you honorably.

We will push for the Fiscal Responsibility Bill, which will limit spending bills only for appropriations that have identified a source of funding. We need 104.1 billion pesos to fund those laws already passed but whose implementation remains pending because of lack of funds.

We will re-evaluate fiscal incentives given in the past. Now that we are tightening our purse strings, we need to identify those incentives that will remain and those that need to be done away with.

We will not allow another NBN-ZTE scandal to happen again. Whether from local or foreign sources, all proposed contracts must undergo the scrutiny of correct procedures. I now ask for your help with amending our Procurement Law.

According to our Constitution, it is the government’s duty to ensure that the market is fair for all. No monopolies, no cartels that kill competition. We need an Anti-Trust Law that will give life to these principles, to afford Small- and Medium-Scale Enterprises the opportunity to participate in the growth of our economy.

Let us pass into law the National Land Use Bill.

It was in 1935, during the Commonwealth, that the National Defense Act was passed. There is a need to amend for a new law that is more responsive to the current needs of national security.

I appeal to our legislators to pass the Whistleblower’s Bill to eradicate the prevalent culture of fear and silence that has hounded our system.

We will strengthen the Witness Protection Program. We must remember that from 2009 to 2010 alone, cases which involved the participation of witnesses under the program resulted in a ninety-five percent conviction.

There is a need to review our laws. I call on our lawmakers to begin a re-codification of our laws to ensure harmony in legislation and eliminate contradictions.

These laws serve as the basis of order in our land, but the foundation of all rests on the principle that we cannot grow without peace and order.

We face two obstacles on our road to peace: the situation in Mindanao and the continued revolt of the CPP-NPA-NDF.

Our view has not changed when it comes to the situation in Mindanao. We will only achieve lasting peace if all stakeholders engage in an honest dialogue: may they be Moro, Lumad, or Christian. We have asked Dean Marvic Leonen to head our efforts to talk to the MILF.

We will learn from the mistakes of the past administration, that suddenly announced an agreement reached without consultations from all concerned. We are not blind to the fact that it was done with political motivation, and that the interest behind it was not that of the people.

We recognize the efforts of the MILF to discipline those within its ranks. We are hopeful that the negotiations will begin after Ramadan.

To the CPP-NPA-NDF: are you prepared to put forth concrete solutions rather than pure criticism and finger-pointing?

If it is peace you truly desire, then we are ready for an immediate cease-fire. Let us go back to the table and begin talking again.

It is difficult to begin discussions in earnest if the smell of gun powder still hangs in the air. I call on everyone concerned not to waste a good opportunity to rally behind our common aspiration for peace.

Our foundation for growth is peace. We will continue to be shackled by poverty if the crossfire persists.

We must understand that now is a time for sacrifice. It is this sacrifice that will pave the way for a better future. With our freedom comes our responsibility to do good unto our fellows and to our country.

To our friends in media, especially those in radio and print, to the block-timers and those in our community newspapers, I trust that you will take up the cudgels to police your own ranks.

May you give new meaning to the principles of your vocation: to provide clarity to pressing issues; to be fair and truthful in your reporting, and to raise the level of public discourse.

It is every Filipino’s duty to closely watch the leaders that you have elected. I encourage everyone to take a step towards participation rather than fault-finding. The former takes part in finding a solution; from the latter, never-ending complaints.

We have always known that the key to growth is putting the interest of others beyond one’s own. One thing is clear: how do we move forward if we keep putting others down?

How will those without education secure quality jobs? How will the unemployed become consumers? How will they save money for their future needs?

If we change all this, if we prioritize enabling others, we will open a world of opportunities not just for ourselves but for those who direly need it.

We have already begun the process of change, and we are now able to dream of better things for our country. Let us not forget that there are those who wish us to fail, so that they will once again reclaim power to do as they please at the expense of our people.

My firm belief is that our fate is in the hands of God and our people. While we focus on uplifting the lives of our fellow men, I have an unshakeable faith that Almighty God will give us His blessings and support. If we remain firm in our belief that God is on our side, is there anything impossible for us to achieve?

The mandate we received last May 10 is testament to the fact that the Filipino continues to hope for true change. The situation is not what it was before; we can all dream again. Let us all become one in achieving a fulfilment of our hopes and aspirations for our country.

Maraming Salamat Po!

DARN… Am I right or am I right?

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135 comments

  1. Doesn’t it suck to be right all the time? Where’s the challenge? 😀

  2. Arroyo already released a statement early this afternoon (Philippine time) in response to the teasers on the National Budget that Noynoy tickled the Media with over the weekend.

  3. Hung Hang · ·

    For the record and for our AP discussion, here’s a copy of PNoy’s first SONA as translated in English.

    *** MOVED TO POST ABOVE .. Thanks Hunghang ****

  4. Hung Hang · ·

    OK here’s my take on the PNOY’s first SONA.

    On the PLUS side:

    – call to expand basic education cycle from seven years to the global standard of twelve years
    – call to streamline business processes such as obtaining business permits, business name registration, BOT process, etc to help foster industry growth and job creation
    – focus on public-private partnerships for infrastructure building and other social services
    – push for the Fiscal Responsibility Bill, which will limit spending bills only for appropriations that have identified a source of funding
    – call to legislators to form an Anti-Trust Law
    – call to legistlators to strengthen the Witness Protection Program and to pass Whistleblower’s Bill

    On the MINUS side:

    – too much (more than 50%) of the SONA spent on what the previous administration has done on the government funds
    – too much focus on details but lacks a coherent and all-encompassing grand vision for the country (i.e. where does he plan to take the country by the end of his 6 year term?)
    – lack of measurable goals on key performance indicators (e.g. target GDP per capita over his 6 year term, having a balanced budget from Year x and onwards, significantly better ranking in Transparency International, etc)
    – no mention of his population control policy
    – no mention about foreign ownership of businesses to boost FDI
    – no clear identification of key industries for his administration (e.g. mining, tourism, Knowledge-based BPO, agriculture, etc) and their growth drivers and what he intends to do to support these industries

  5. UP nn grad · ·

    This make sense : ➡ If Arroyo is guilty send her to jail. We can make a show of Arroyo’s crime.

    Or even simpler : Noynoy administation has to have evidence that are at least believable so when they
    file a case against GMA, Noynoy-and-crew will not be laughed at.

    File a case! 👿 !! To Noynoy — kaunti namang delikadeza, hindi puwedeng slander lang ang gagamitin ng presidente ng Pilipinas. File a case! Noynoy has the entire 😯 machinery of the Justice Department, the PNP, the NBI to file a case against GMA.

    If you can’t tackle GMA, then Noynoy should file a case against Horn or three or more cabinet undersecretaries.

    In the meanwhile, Noynoy should lend support to getting the Freedom of Information Bill to become law.
    And Noynoy should instruct Robredo to accelerate in next 6 months the building at least two hundred fifty classrooms in Mindanao.

  6. so, what do u think of ms bautista-horn’s statement?

  7. Phil Manila · ·

    BongV, ano pa nga ba ang sasabihin mo? 😯

    If P-Noy said the government charged and detained a suspected tax evader, smuggler, drug trafficker,etc., you would shout No due process! ‘All bite, no bark.’

    Sabi nga ni P.Noy huwag ka lang maki-alam (criticize), maki-lahok (participate) ka rin! 8)

  8. Abu Mishal · ·

    Lets mark the words/phrases; “sheer ignorance of the parliamentary system “, “witch-hunting”., “oligarchs” , ” constitution are not changed”…

    What “sheer ignorance of the parliamentary system “? Havent you even given thought of what might happen if the same people who occupy the seats in congress also become MPs in your “parliamentary system “? Heaven forbid but we could have GMA as PM for life for all her skills in co-opting and bribing MPs.

    The parliamentary system system isnt the heaevn that you pro-cha-cha are people want to make it appear.

    What “witch-hunting”? You yourself said; “If Arroyo is guilty send her to jail. We can make a show of Arroyo’s crime” and it seems that more are going to uncovered as we progress into the new administration.

    What “oligarchs”? Didnt you realize that the Zaibatsus and Chaebols were also oligarchs? Havent you gotten hold of data which show that local businesses hold trillions of pesos in funds which your so called “oligarchs” have earned locally but are not willing to invest back into the country?

    People who share your ideas on liberalizing the field for FDI forget that we need to strengthen local industries first and create safety nets for local companies. So what if we lag behind other Asean countries with regards to FDI’s? Shouldnt we be putting more focus on improving governance and empowering enabling local industries to enhance their competitiveness instead?

    I do believe that you arent hearing much from the present Aquino Administration about fundamental changes to our laws to accomodate FDI’s because the Aquino Administration is fully aware that our medium term growth can be financed by tapping local capital that have been accumulated this past many years.

  9. @ Phil Manila,

    In case you hadn’t noticed, that is exactly what we are doing — participating in the national “debate”. 😀

  10. miriam quiamco · ·

    Great analysis of the SONA Hung Hang, I agree. . . you put it very clearly, on the whole that was an unremarkable SONA, nothing concrete and grand for the country to look forward to. No measurable targets of economic growth and how to achieve it, no population control policy, it means N/A could spend all the money in the world for construction of classrooms and for universalizing PhilHealth, poverty figures will still not look rosy.

  11. Verdict from various Congressmen is out!

    This from Walden Bello:

    Walden Bello said the speech did not mention clear solutions to the problems.

    “The Sona was strong in condemning corruption and revealing shocking cases of graft in the previous administration, but lacking on hardheaded solutions,” he said.

    Bello noted that Aquino did not mention his programs for agrarian reform, wage increase for workers, the need to reverse trade liberalization and address foreign debt.

    “It was well-intentioned but we need teeth and the teeth were missing. Hopefully, tougher policies will emerge in the next few weeks,” Bello said.

  12. NFA rice · ·

    @Phil Manila,

    Huh? You are imagining a situation that is not happening and assume BongV reacts in a certain way to that imagined event. Are you lucky?

  13. miriam quiamco · ·

    Ah, you are a subscriber to the conspiracy theory that GMA’s interest in chacha is to perpetuate herself as the leader of the country. If people so detest GMA, then it doesn’t matter how much she bribes the members of parliament, her party will simply not get elected as the majority. Then, you will say she will bribe members of the opposition just so she would get elected prime minister, is the scenario plausible at all? If GMA is no longer a member of the legislature, would you then concede the parliamentary system is more efficient at policy-making? GMA is no longer the head of her party, plus her party is now the minority, but when can we ever move on from GMA. The only president who has given us sustained economic growth is viewed as a pest in this ungrateful country.

    Get real, oligarchs in the country are different from oligarchs in Japan and Korea. Parliamentary systems of governments in Korea and Japan have made sure bureaucracy is stronger than politicians in policy-making, and thus, the government could coerce the oligarchs to partner with government in its agenda of economic development. Yes, there is a clear agenda and the goals are achievable, have you ever heard of the double-income economic plan of the Ikeda administration in Japan after the war? The country stuck to this agenda until the economic miracle could be achieved and this would not have been possible without the determination of the prime minister and his cabinet and the whole bureaucracy in forcing cooperation with the private sector. We need this kind of vision my dear, and the current government doesn’t have one.

  14. The infant industry argument is an economic rationale for protectionism. The crux of the argument is that nascent industries often do not have the economies of scale that their older competitors from other countries may have, and thus need to be protected until they can attain similar economies of scale. The argument was first explicated by Alexander Hamilton in his 1790 Report on Manufactures, was systematically developed by Daniel Raymond,[1] and was later picked up by Friedrich List in his 1841 work The National System of Political Economy, following his exposure to the idea during his residence in the United States in the 1820s.[1]

    Many countries have successfully industrialized behind tariff barriers. For example, from 1816 through 1945, tariffs in the USA were among the highest in the world.[1] According to Ha-Joon Chang, “Almost all NDCs [Newly Developed Countries] had adopted some form of infant industry promotion strategy when they were in catching-up positions. In many countries, tariff protection was a key component of this strategy, but was neither the only nor even necessarily the most important component in the strategy.”[2]

    Despite this, infant industry protection is controversial as a policy recommendation. As with the other economic rationales for protectionism, it is often abused by rent seeking interests. Even when infant industry protection is well–intentioned, it is hard for governments to know which industries they should protect; “infant” industries may never “grow up” relative to “adult” foreign competitors. For example, during the 1980s Brazil enforced strict controls on the import of foreign computers in an effort to nurture its own “infant” computer industry. This industry never matured; the technological gap between Brazil and the rest of the world actually widened, while the protected industries merely copied low-end foreign computers and sold them at inflated prices.[3] In addition, countries that put up barriers to imports will often face retaliatory barriers to their exports, potentially hurting the same industries that infant industry protection is intended to help.

    Ernesto Zedillo, in his 2000 report to the UN Secretary-General, recommended “Legitimising limited, time-bound protection for certain industries by countries in the early stages of industrialisation,” arguing that “However misguided the old model of blanket protection intended to nurture import substitute industries, it would be a mistake to go to the other extreme and deny developing countries the opportunity of actively nurturing the development of an industrial sector.”[4]

  15. Scribbles · ·

    Obvious corrupt people? Hmm maybe he should start looking at the Marcoses. If he wants the corrupt to be jailed, he should check out the Marcoses, the estradas, FVR, Lacson(Dacer, Corbito) and his uncle (Coco Levi fund). He’s a wuss, because he doesn’t have the guts to prosecute the real criminals who has the guts to shoot his balls out of place! Man, Philippines, whats becoming of you?

  16. miriam quiamco · ·

    Good point here, if all the allegations of crime are not substantiated, meaning if GMA is not arrested soon, wouldn’t all the N/A babble of GMA crimes constitute slander?

  17. The Zaibatsus and Chaebols had to work in an environment that allowed a lot of foreign investment (foreigners were more allowed to own land and businesses than here), and they were forced to work well for their country. You don’t believe the oligarchs exist? You’d have been living under a rock if so.

    Local capital in the hands of oligarchs, right? And if you also include OFW remittances as capital for local businesses… it’s not enough. And it will fall under the chokehold of our local oligarchs, like the Lopezes, Ayalas, etc., the oligarchs who gouge prices high so that business that depend on them will be choked to death by overly high costs (take note of our electricity problem now). And the people who own such businesses will say that it’s better to work abroad and then close shop and go abroad. Any local business will depend on water and electricity by Lopez-owned businesses or similar, and have to buy land from Ayalas, et al.

    The problem is not just our lagging behind in FDI, but we lag in our general country’s condition altogether. I see better times coming for Indonesia and Malaysia because of pro-foreign economic policies. They have better food and water supplies, while we’re slowly drying up. Our country is stagnated or may even fall further down because of protectionism. Strengthening local industries… under the oligarchs? They won’t allow it. Strengthen their industries? Welcome back, monopolies.

    We cannot believe in our oligarchs and local biggies because they don’t care about the country. Asking them to invest this money back into the country is like asking a lion for its kill. That’s why getting FDI and allowing foreign businesses to set up shop is better. It gives more economic opportunities without licking local oligarch boot. And foreign competitors can also be a motivation to make them oligarchs.

    I’d like to see that local capital come into play though, let’s see if it works. But it’s likely not to happen. And let’s see how those trillions you mentioned are handled. But are you sure it’s that much? I’m a bit skeptical.

  18. I have to admire you for still having the patience to answer people having challenges with their reading comprehension.

    If it was me, I’ll just tell them to lurk moar and let them sort out the degree of shame they should feel for not having the time to read before barking their repressed naivete.

    also, Phil Manila: lurk moar.

  19. NFA rice · ·

    A good description of protectionism is the case of the Candle makers petition against their greatest competitor – the Sun. It was funny because it was just a satire but at the same time sad as it is a real thing in the Philippines.

  20. Phil Manila · ·

    Among the several I’ve encountered here, this Fauxx deserves the BIGGEST LOSER AWARD.

    Even the name says it all. Priceless!

  21. I was actually just aiming for the BIGGER LOSER AWARD. But hey~ 😀

    My name says what now?

    Cheers.

  22. Phil Manila · ·

    @ Fauxx,

    I originally thought as in Faux Pax. But since you said cheers!

    Cheers too! No hard feelings. . .

  23. “If you paint such a pessimistic situation, the people will react adversely including investors. Are we committing a national suicide?” (Edcel Lagman’s reaction to the SONA)

    Yes indeed, we are.

  24. miriam quiamco · ·

    The oligarchs are not going to invest their accumulated wealth, which is not hard earned, but earned mostly from the exploitative system, the hacienda system, they will simply spend it on conspicuous consumption. Well, the Chinese ones are another story, but they will only invest in sectors that are sure to generate profit. The oligarchs in Japan and Korea meant to advance the industrial policies of the government, and the government did help them as well obtain favorable loans, in exchange for sticking to government target industries. In this sense, the oligarchs did take risks in bringing progress to the country, they even instituted a “lifetime employment” guarantee for years until the economy reached a certain level of maturity, at least in Japan, this worked, workers gave their all to the company and made sure the company succeeds in reaching its targets. Do our oligarchs have this generosity of imagination or are they only good at sucking the government for all they can get from the country, why haven’t they invested in Mindanao up till now, and yet multinationals are prevented from exploiting the mining resources in Mindanao.

  25. I noticed that during his SONA, Noynoy was obviously reading off the teleprompter. What a pity: he can’t even remember the key parts of his speech so that his delivery would look more natural. 😕

  26. @miriam quiamco: #

    Problems: Economists have long accepted the theoretical validity of IIA. However, many questions have been raised regarding the practical application.

    It is not self-evident that an infant industry requires protection to get started. Many new enterprises are able to compete successfully with well established domestic companies. International competition is no different. If the long run outlook of an infant industry is so bright, there would be domestic entrepreneurs who would be willing to invest in that industry. If there are no domestic entrepreneurs, then the remedy is not protection, but state enterprises or foreign investment.

    # It is most difficult for the government to identify an industry that deserves infant industry protection. The search requires a careful study. In light of historical experience, the probability of a mistake is very high. One example is the US wool worsted industry. Started in the early years of the U.S. as an infant industry, it must still be protected against foreign competition. See Congressional Updates 2002 on apparel (copy). And it shows no signs of overcoming its comparative disadvantage.

    # The example also indicates that a mistake tends to become irreversible. Once a new industry is protected, the industry exerts a pressure not to remove protection even when it becomes competitive. Temporary protection almost always turns into permanent protection.

    # Remedy: If a proper choice of an infant industry is made, the best way to promote that industry is direct subsidy. It has several advantages over tariffs.

    * Subsidies are less likely to end up as permanent protection, because they require annual appropriations from government.
    * Subsidies distort only production, not consumption.

    IIA argument does not apply to most industries in a developed nation such as the US.

    # Today, tariff rates are governed by WTO. A country cannot unilaterally impose tariffs on imports from members of WTO. If it is groundless, the US is likely to be forced to rescind such tariffs, or suffer retaliation from other members.

  27. Hyden Toro · ·

    It is very easy to play the BLAME GAME. Just point on people, who you think are “responsible”. However, you have to take a good look at yourself. Because, you were part of the government, that has made these problems.

    We need soltutions to these problems. There is a very disproportionate distribution of wealth. Too many poor people. A few wealthy people. These wealthy people, or Oligarchs, are also politicians, or allied to the rulling political family dynasties. They refuse Land Reform. They are protectionist of their wealths and businesses. They don’t see the poor masses, going OFWs, or are living in the squatter areas.

    They are simply blind of this situation of the nation. The family of Noynoy Aquino, and he himself is part of this blind Oligarchy.

  28. @ Phil Manila

    It’s actually faux pas.

    Cheers!

  29. Hyden Toro · ·

    The State of the Nation Adress is a Litany of Woes and Problems of the nation. My 2 cents question is: What did the former Senator Benigno Aquino III did, when he was a Senator? Is it only now that he is aware of the problems? Like Rip Van Winkle: Did he fell asleep, in his term?

    If these problems, are staring at you now. How will you solve them? What other problems are there that need solutions? Who is part of the problem? if you are part of the problem: how will you get yourself out from being part of the problem? Instead, become a part of the solution…

    Lastly, the imbecile, Noynoy Aquino, cannot solve these problems. He just does not have the Brain Caliber to do it. So, he resorts to: gimmicks, incantations, slogans, EDSA Nostalgia, etc..as the solutions.

    Take our country out of Feudalism; and from the strangle of the Oligarchy…then, we can start from there…You are part of the problem…and, you have to accept this…

    He did not touch anything about: Land Reform; Hacienda Luisita; Political Dynasties; Political Warlords; NPA insurgency; MILF insurgencies; Rice and Sugar self sufficiencies; etc…these problems are more serious than anything else…

  30. We can dream again. Literally.

    PNoy’s malign approach on Arroyo’s government, not his ground plans, will be the “talk of the town”. 😦

    After a working President, we have now a talking President.

  31. Hyden Toro · ·

    Noynoy Aquino is just palying the Blame Game. Blame everybody else on sight for the country’s problems. Do not, I repeat, do not, blame yourself. Gloria Arroyo must be the problem. But, she is out already. So, it must be the Bloggers, because they are telling the truth:they disturb me…the Bloggers are the culprits. Hide, fellows, hide…he is there to point his finger, at you…what an imbecile President, we have…

  32. Just when they thought it would be straightforward, it turned yet into another Arroyo blame game. No wonder she DID the president a favor and went to Hong Kong so she could give the floor to the President. Apparently he had no good news to fill the rest of the speech so he decided to backtrack and hang the scapegoat that wasn’t around that time. Also by reading the English version of the speech, there were many words that have a ring of uncertainty. The inclusions of ifs, mays, coulds and other words with similar context all came before goals and actions that should have a definite structure and short term goals, which IMO would be a better indicator of how confident he is in really playing up to the changes he promised.

    Otherwise as Hung Hang said, there were some positives. However I think he should have focused much more on them than devoting 30% of the speech to the old administration. I guess it shows he really has no input and his PR commission has full handle on what he expresses.

    He certainly lived up to my expectation on what he would for the SONA. Some people just have to get off their white knight horses and DEAL WITH IT.

  33. @Phail Manila

    Actually when the mandate voted Noynoy in, everyone in the country lost. It will take quite some time, especially for certain individuals to let the reality sink in. So DEAL WITH IT.

  34. ulong pare · ·

    … daaang

    … if y’all believed in SONA, i have a billion dolyares to give away… :mrgreen:

  35. Malaysian Automobiles and the Infant Industry Argument
    Home >> Articles >> Malaysian Economy >> Malaysian Automobiles and the Infant Industry Argument
    Written by johnleemk on 5:25:44 am Mar 12, 2007.
    Categories: Malaysian Economy

    One reason often cited by protectionists to defend artificial props for local firms is that by virtue of being “infant industries”, they must be protected until they can catch up with the advantages of foreign exporters. An excellent case study of how the infant industry argument pans out would be that of the Malaysian automotive industry.

    In the 1980s, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad launched the national automobile company, Proton. Proton would be protected by massive subsidies, in order to help it attain the same economies of scale and other advantages enjoyed by established automobile exporters.

    From the very start, Proton cars were sold at a loss. The first car, the Saga, enjoyed massive market penetration, and future models of Proton cars continued to dominate the Malaysian market. With almost literally rock-bottom prices for Proton-produced cars, only the very rich could afford to buy imported models.

    The trouble, of course, is that the supposed efficiencies Proton was meant to take advantage of never materialised. The economies of scale it sought to achieve under protectionism were never attained.

    The protectionist argument for infant industries admits that competition is necessary in the long run to achieve an optimal outcome. However, it assumes that protectionism can be beneficial in the short run by keeping firms in business long enough to achieve similar advantages enjoyed by those of more established competitors.

    Unfortunately, what this creates is a cosy trap of comfortability that the infant industries are reluctant to leave. The will is never sufficiently mustered to end the protectionist policies, even if the infant industry is all grown up. Today, over 20 years after Proton’s establishment, the protectionist tariffs and subsidies are now only beginning to be dismantled, and even then, at a glacial pace.

    The artificial and insulated environment created by protectionism actually stymies efforts to introduce efficiency and competitive business practices. After all, as anyone can attest, Proton is suffering greatly today because it is now only beginning to feel the need to adapt to global economic norms.

    A competitive environment is harsh, but the Darwinist atmosphere it creates is truly egalitarian and efficient. Only the fittest survive. If your product is good enough, it will survive, even though the odds are stacked against you, because the market will recognise its benefits. If you can’t take the heat, as the saying goes, get out of the kitchen. Your comparative advantage may not be in the field you’ve been considering.

    In the mid-1990s, some modicum of real competition was introduced to the Malaysian automobile industry. A new national car company, Perodua, was incorporated. Although also protected and subsidised by government policies meant to favour local enterprises, it was not given the same breaks that Proton was.

    The result is that Perodua has come out of nowhere to become a major player on the Malaysian automobile scene. Not too long ago, it outsold Proton for the first time. By being forced to compete with Proton, and not being given any special breaks because of its “infancy”, it was forced to adapt its business practices and develop an efficient system, and the results are clear for all to see.

    The infant industry argument is well-meaning, and even logical at first glance, but the practical evidence suggests it is ill-founded. By insulating infant industries from competition, these firms never outgrow their coddled protectionist infancy, and remain childish well into adulthood. The infant industries are better off being the hatchlings pushed out of the nest by the mother bird. Either they fly, or they don’t. Survival of the fittest.

    http://www.infernalramblings.com/articles/Malaysian_Economy/195/

  36. Hyden Toro · ·

    What would you do if you are, Like Noynoy Aquino, facing these enormous problems, like ours? Tell the people, you are :

    (1) Facing the problems, left behind by the previous tenant of Malcanang Palace. Point your finger to anywhere that appears to be the cause; including the Bloggers.

    (2) Appear to be solving the problems. Bring out the ones, that will not touch your Vested Interests: like Hacienda Luisita, and Land Reform Program. Do not ruffle the feathers of your Political Cronies, who own Haciendas; and large tract of lands.

    (3) Do not mention: Political Warlords, NPA insurgencies, MILF/Al Queda insurgencies: these are difficult to solve. Yet, they are as prominent as the bunions on your feet. Do not mention: Political Dynasties, because you are a part of it.

    (4) Do not mention, what you had done, when you were a Senator; because you were part of the governing people, and the government system, that caused these problems. Especialy, if you had not done anything during your term.

    Absolve Yourself from the Responsibility. However, Blame anybody else, including the weather for causing these problems. What a good way to Divert your INCOMPETENCE…

  37. Various reactions.

    One is inclined to read those who decry the “blame game” and its negative tenor with a grain of salt given that many are nabobs of negativity themselves. By the way, whatever happened to Spiro Agnew? Two of my favorite all time quotes are “nabobs of negativity”, and “twisting, twisting slowly in the wind.”

    Thanks immensely Hung Hang for the English translation, and to Bong for putting it directly into the article. Who painted “The Scream”? Van Gogh?

    Nice analysis, Hung Hang. I like a guy who can think on both sides of the street and is not simply trying to cram his agenda down my throat. (Refer to my latest blog “The Silencing of the Lambs” for more perspective. http://thesocietyofhonor.blogspot.com/)

    The “Straight Path” vs “Crooked Path” opening is brilliant and profound. It is exactly the correct point to make.

    “The reality was hidden from our people, who seem to have been deliberately obfuscated on the real state of our nation .” The first step to recovery is awareness. This, too, is candor that is refreshing. The elaboration of examples is too detailed for my taste, and, like the Philippine Constitution, loses steam as it rambles on. The key question is, “what are you going to do about it?” His answer, after delineating the stark situation of too many needs and no money: “private/public partnerships”. I’ve gotta think about that off line.

    The “Truth Commission” name reminds me of Guantanamo. I hope it works better.

    “We must understand that now is a time for sacrifice.” He sounds like Joe America, what with his penchant for patriotism and all.

    You know, with all due respect, I did not find it to be Arroyo bashing. I found it to be a bashing of the ways and means of the Philippine government. It is amazing to me that the Anti-Pinoy crowd condemns this condemnation. I guess I am way confused. I think the tenor of the speech is exactly what he was elected for; to change the priorities and methods of government. Whether or not he can do that effectively without getting ensnarled in the ineffective ways of favor trading is out for judgment.

    It was not an “A” speech; maybe a B or B+. It was what the country needs, I think. Bark is fine if the bite follows.

    I did think his entry into the auditorium was interesting. He does not draw the focus of attention and adulation like Obama; indeed, people almost shrug him off. Some turned away. Peculiar.

    Beyond that, sign me up for Hung Hang’s assessment. Spot on, rational dude.

  38. ulong pare · ·

    … daaang

    … IF i am prez gung gong, i will:

    >>> admit that i’ve been a gung gong… confess… own it…

    >>> use the mandate (power) to change the course… redeem…

    >>> by hook or by crook, FOLLOW THE RULE OF LAW…

    >>> implement all written (biznez) proposals for good of the country…

    >>> get a very very sexy gurl to relieve my stress…

    >>> stay away from devout katolick kaksucker padre damasos…

    … hay naku buhay ng flips…

  39. CoconutRacist · ·

    Last year, we were pining in the pit of perversity.

    Every one of Arroyo’s SONAs was an exercise in adding insult to injury. Poverty and injustice were rife. Metro Manila’s residents were nearly driven to food riots at one point from rice getting scarce. The poor grew, shown by the increasing tribe of half-naked children that scavenged in the mountains of trash. Whistle-blowers were being fingerprinted in police precincts while kidnappers and crooks were being given silver mines to exploit. Not one institution of society had been left standing, or spared the putrefying effects of corruption. Not Congress, not the courts, and most assuredly not the Church.

    Yet with every SONA, Arroyo gave us to understand how fortunate we were to have her to rescue us from the tsunami of global misfortune and what ungrateful bastards we were to complain. With every SONA, Arroyo gave us to understand how lucky we were to have someone who had the stoutness of heart and clarity of vision to make unpopular decisions for our own good—what idiots we were not to see it. The sensation was not unlike being strapped on a chair unable to say anything while the dentist tells a bad joke along with drilling a perfectly healthy tooth.

    This year, we are reveling in the triumph of justice. Or forget justice, I’ll just take sweet revenge for now. I don’t know that Arroyo will be at the Batasan on Monday, though I wouldn’t put it past her to be so. Anyone who has the gall to become a representative after doing a Marcos—or after bribing the Comelec commissioners into declaring Mikey Arroyo the Manny Pacquiao of security guards—will probably have the gall to brazen it out. The public can go hang, she’ll probably think, she will sit stoically with a mocking smile on her lips while they howl in laughter at her reaction shots.

  40. Hunghang’s “positive” list will be blown away with the free market. It’s a puny solution to monumental problem.

    A National Anti-Trust law is another layer of government – another waste of taxpayer’s money.
    Open up the economy and let the market bust the monopolist.

    All those additional legislation to more legislation they cannot enforce.

    It’s an F – speech – FAILED.

    It’s has no bark, no bite.. the dog is a poodle beholden to the oligarchy. :mrgreen:

    Sablay pa rin.

    #1- call to expand basic education cycle from seven years to the global standard of twelve years – where’s he going to get the money, how will he fund it? Open up the Market – Charter Change 😉

    #2 – call to streamline business processes such as obtaining business permits, business name registration, BOT process, etc to help foster industry growth and job creation – that’s old hat – just do it.

    #3 – focus on public-private partnerships for infrastructure building and other social services – Open up the Market – Charter Change 😉 –

    #4 – push for the Fiscal Responsibility Bill, which will limit spending bills only for appropriations that have identified a source of funding – Remove the pork barrel and pass the FOIA .

    #5- call to legislators to form an Anti-Trust Law – Open up the Market – Charter Change – it will do a better job than legislation

    #6- call to legistlators to strengthen the Witness Protection Program and to pass Whistleblower’s Bill – Pass the FOIA, Remove the Pork Barrel

    Sakay kayong lahat sa bumper ni Noynoy :mrgreen:

  41. the chaebols were discontinued because they realized they made an error in protecting the market.

  42. Electing an oligarch who will continue the protectionist policies is the biggest injustice Filipinos have done to themselves. No matter they are being fried in high utility bills http://listen.grooveshark.com/songWidget.swf

  43. Open up the market. If the local Filipino monopolists don’t want to invest any further in a segment – let the foreign capitalists fill in the gap. Scrap the protectionist provisions of the Constitution.

    httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufYbEiYMXHQ 😉

    httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SW86iE-ddaI httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76frHHpoNFs

    httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zA1ioym5OYA

  44. You got confused when you meandered in the trees and lost sight of the forest. The premise of the SONA was that Arroyo is the source of corruption as those orders came from Arroyo – sila lang… (paano naman kami… ang lagay e.. ganun yun… don’t be naive). Setting up Arroyo as a fall guy for poverty is dishonest – and repugnant. Arroyo is just one little head of a hydra – you can see Arroyo’s mote and miss the oligarchy’s log – while you pay for a high electric bill while you don’t have electricity, you pay for telephone service completely, never mind the frequent outages. Penny-wise, pound foolish.

    You know, with all due respect, I did not find it to be Arroyo bashing. I found it to be a bashing of the ways and means of the Philippine government. It is amazing to me that the Anti-Pinoy crowd condemns this condemnation. I guess I am way confused. I think the tenor of the speech is exactly what he was elected for; to change the priorities and methods of government. Whether or not he can do that effectively without getting ensnarled in the ineffective ways of favor trading is out for judgment.

  45. miriam quiamco · ·

    Well, the above description of the Philippines has always been there minus the sustained economic growth the GMA administration has brought to the country. I was in the country during the administrations of Marcos, Cory and part of Ramos’, your description of the country is spot on. Back then, we had the Smokey Mountain and the red light district in Mabini to attest to our Third World status, did any of the pat administrations generate the growth the GMA brought to the country. In our barrio, roads took so long to pave, only under GMA did the whole stretch finally get paved. There is even now a national highway connecting nondescript barrios to faraway barrios in South Cotabato. As a result, agricultural estates that produce exports for the country that provide employment for the barrio folks have been thriving. I once asked a worker about life in the barrio and he said he was grateful that there was now steady and reliable source of jobs.

    If you look at poverty stats depending of course on the source, there is hardly any change from administration to administration. Considering the increase in population, you can say, that GMA did achieve something for the country. Our foreign reserves are at its highest, you know what this means, foreign investors look at the country with credit-worthiness of a country that is taking off economically. Goldman and Sachs has credited the Arroyo administration for putting in place the fundamentals of growing the economy. She has achieved something for the country but the air of poisonous politicizing through the useless media has only painted her as devil incarnate, what a grateful country. Now, don’t dramatize to me the degradation of our institutions, the courts have long been corrupt, during the time of Cory, I lost my passport, to get a new visa to come to Japan, I had to bribe the police for a police report, and the fiscal at the city hall in Cebu for expediting an issuance of affidavit of loss. Do you think this will change under N/A, bullshit!!! I went home during the time of Marcos, and at the airport some “buwaya” tried to milk me for something I could not recall now, he was a huge man, feeling entitled to ask for money from me all because I lived abroad. I must say, the airports in the country now have more orderly system.

    Get real, don’t dramatize the ills of the country and blame them all on GMA. She was not a revolutionary leader, she did not have sound population control policy, her record on education is dismal, corruption flourished because of the increase in economic transactions, but hey, her predecessors were the same, and the only difference is that, she , a woman is the only one post Marcos to have given the Philippines sustained economic growth, even in the midst of global financial crisis. Get your facts straight and stop being a blind hater. I am not buying your drama here of GMA being the devil incarnate. You have to admire her for having staved off coups , proof of our weak institutions, if I were her, I would have executed those rebellious officers, but instead our system is such that insubordination is rewarded a political opportunity, only in the Philippines, If this were China or Russia, the likes of Trillanes would never again be heard from.

    Oh, let me add it is now a fact that the World Bank has upgraded the economy of the country to that of lower middle class, instead of a poor one, now that is some clear improvement under GMA. Sure, if I were GMA, I would also use the SONA to let the people know of my achievements, why not, I work hard for them, but the idiotic media have only words of condemnation for me and the people believe them.

  46. Joe,

    The “Truth Commission” name reminds me of Guantanamo. I hope it works better.

    Didn’t Cory do a similar thing against the former administration, and that went nowhere? Ultimately its the citizens that pay for it. Ironic how you say Noynoy was anti-repetitive actions of pinoy government corruption when stuff like like that guarantees nothing as well.

    Hung Hang’s assessment is nothing more than a summary so take what you want out of it. As much as he was condemning the obvious (at least to AP, I dunno about you) and put the former admin in the hot seat with mentions of Arroyo, he himself is uncertain of how his current admin in terms of accomplishing certain projects with specific objections and timelines. And I wasn’t surprised when he said the execution of said projects depends on funds. Its easy to forget his ability at fiscalizing so why is he trumped by all this. He details the wrongdoing of the old government but for a refreshing pace, doesn’t have better details himself on how his new government projects will come to fruition.

    If you’re a fan of smoke and mirrors, I’m surprised you’d settle for a substandard performance than a Lance Burton Magic Show in Vegas.

  47. last year you were pining in the pits of perversion in the next six years you will be sinking in adversity as the oligarchs capture the market and raise the prices. then ABS-CBN will fill the screens about unfair foreign competition unknown to the public they are being screwed by unfair local competition the Filipino consumer is being shortchanged – and they have got no frakkin clue at all – how’s your tubig and koryente and telepono :mrgreen:

  48. miriam quiamco · ·

    “Pining in the pit of perversity”, “reveling in the triumph of justice”, “sweet revenge”, poetic bullshit that will not help the country face its problems of governance. Why not “pining in the molehill of perversity”, the pit is too dark and underground, how can you tell it is perversity. “Sweet revenge”, wow, no wonder you are an N/A mouthpiece, sorry, this is not a literary forum, we are hardcore realists here and your words are all empty. Have a historical perspective and dig up more facts to support your claim. I want to laugh at the “triumph of justice” part, is it justice to elect a non-performing politician, one who has not built a single bridge on Hacienda Luisita in his 12 years of being a legislator, where did his pork barrel go, no, it is none of anyone’s business to ask, the massacred on HL are still crying for justice, is this triumph of justice to elect a saintly poser, an empty, unaccomplished man, to me this is a mockery of justice. A heartless oligarch got elected into the highest post in the land, one who has not legislated a single law to improve the social injustice in the country, but a supporter of the status quo. It makes me nauseous to read this poetic extravagance which praises the delusional choice of Filipinos in the past election. Get real my dear, you cannot dazzle us with your licentious use of poetic language, it is quite obscene.

  49. miriam quiamco · ·

    Come on Joe, if you read the speech in Tagalog, too much to listen to the voice and the bankruptcy of vision at the same time, so it is better to read just the important points, and not dwell on the manipulative angle, ala soap opera. Aquino clearly put the blame on Arroyo when he said that 2/3 of the calamity fund alloted for Pampanga (Arroyo’s home province) went to only one district, obviously Arroyo’s. And he repeated the dramatic line which really got most ignorant Filipinos, “we can dream again”, it means during Arroyo’s time, we couldn’t, what an idiot. It was Gloria bashing, painting the past administration as one that was irresponsible, couldn’t he paint a much bigger picture of a third world country struggling to grow its economy. Hell, even developed countries these days are having huge budget deficits, does the surging budget deficit make Arroyo, evil? Why couldn’t he focus on the circumstances the country has been in, what was the Philippines before Arroyo, was it any better, was it better during his mother’s term, what has the administration accomplished that he can build upon, this is the problem of a vengeful politician, it makes people feel their country has not accomplished anything at all, that is dwelling in the negativity.

    An ideal SONA would have had a historic perspective, emphasizing the gains in nation-building each administration has scored, what the succeeding ones did to improve the country and what he intends to do with the current ills, a clear vision of where he is taking the country. N/A just lacks statesmanship, a consistent trait, he will surely embarrass the country again, good thing in Japan, the mass media did not make a big deal of his ignorant answer to the NHK reporter, that is because Japan could not have possibly taken such a comment from a leader of a failed state. If it were from Europe or America, it would have made headlines, as it were, nobody paid attention to such undiplomatic answer from the President of the Philippines. He made a big fool of himself.

  50. According to our Constitution, it is the government’s duty to ensure that the market is fair for all. No monopolies, no cartels that kill competition. We need an Anti-Trust Law that will give life to these principles, to afford Small- and Medium-Scale Enterprises the opportunity to participate in the growth of our economy.

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

    In the grant of rights, privileges, and concessions covering the national economy and patrimony, the State shall give preference to qualified Filipinos.

    The State shall regulate and exercise authority over foreign investments within its national jurisdiction and in accordance with its national goals and priorities.

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

    Section 12. The State shall promote the preferential use of Filipino labor, domestic materials and locally produced goods, and adopt measures that help make them competitive.

    ***

    Hate to burst your bubble – any law which is in conflict with the above constitutional provision will be unconstitutional – so, you will still have the 60/40 arrangement in the economy – same thing, different result? we know how this goes – wight? rong? :mrgreen:

  51. Inquirer.net “report” on SONA glossed over bulk of speech

    The Inquirer.net today published the salient points of the first State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Benigno “P.Noy” Aquino III. The “report” is the top headline of the site’s front page today (27th July 2010). What is most notable about this “report” is what is not in it.

    Full article!

  52. CoconutRacist · ·

    BongV,

    Why not submit your proposal to your nearest favorite congressman?
    Perhaps somebody like Mikey Arroyo who represents the marginalized sekyu will seriously consider it? 😆

  53. So the coconut racist is angry over a woman who admits to her political dirty laundry list and diplomatically played her disappearance in batasan in order to maybe, just maybe have Noynoy get some glory for himself for once. Yet you call revelry to the guy who won’t admit he slept on the job and he is to a lesser extent, a murderer of farmers?

    You sir, are what is wrong with the country. I hope you have something planned for the next 6 years yourself. Noynoy isn’t about to save every one of you sycophants from whatever hell you put yourselves in.

  54. Why don’t you continue begging to your hero about how to improve the outlook of your life and the country?

    Oh wait, he doesn’t care at all. DEAL WITH IT!

  55. Shouldnt we be putting more focus on improving governance and empowering enabling local industries to enhance their competitiveness instead?

    Here in lies the problem; There is no point in competing with the big boys since they have a foothold on key businesses and with their resources, have complete control over the market. You cannot promote the competition if there isn’t a chief motivation for it. If the protectionist laws were taken out, THEN you can really level the playing field with competition because there is another foreign corporate company with their own business models and practice planning to out-do the local ones. So either the local ones survive with them or they go away. You won’t get that kind of competition with the kind of market we have now.

  56. @CR how’s your water bill – wala ka pa ring tubig ano? at nagbabayad ka pa rin. ang mahal pa. kaso dehin goli ka pa rin 😆

    i didn’t vote for noynoy – you did

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

  57. Aye, aye, Miriam!

    To add testimony on what you said, I eyewitnessed the devastation of typhoon Ondoy here in Northern Luzon. We have personal videos on severe damages on crops, major and minor roads, bridges, schools and other establishments. Pampanga, Tarlac, Pangasinan, La Union, Benguet, Mountain Province, Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte were buried in the mud.

    If not for Arroyo’s speedy rehabilitation, Northern Luzon will still be sinking deeper in the mucks! She worked fast for the benefit of the nation. I invite everyone to travel to North Luzon and see the difference. Not only the roads were newly-paved, but also widened, so travel time to Manila is now lessened by at least 60 to 90 minutes!

    Where was PNoy during those hard times? Is he not travelling to see the progress in the countryside?

  58. Hyden Toro · ·

    Hey Joe America:

    I would not even give an “F” for it. I would give it an “S” for pure ” Shit”. My former Professor , here in America, used to tell his students, who submitted some research papers that were “pure shits”. If you are a writer, the speech would end up in “slush pile” – garbage for manuscripts that do not make a grade.

    If that is your model for excellence. I am not surprised for the mess, we are in. And the Brain Calibers of Political Leaders, we have.

  59. Arroyo camp answers PNoy’s SONA.

    http://www.gmanews.tv/index.html

    Tsk, tsk, PNoy is embarassing himself.

  60. miriam quiamco · ·

    I think BongV that we need to pinpoint key industries in the country which the government can ask private sector cooperation. The government then should help these industries obtain favorable loans and make sure these businesses generate the number of jobs the government has envisioned for this sort of cooperation. There is symbiosis here, but in the speech of Aquino, it wasn’t clear this government and private sector cooperation is going to benefit the economy. If it would only be selectively in favor of the interests of the private sector, then, it lacks the clear vision of growing the economy. He did not spell out a clear framework for this government-private sector cooperation because he spent a great of time in his speech painting the evil of the GMA regime. Had GMA done the same during her SONA upon becoming president, the country would not have experienced the economic growth we have had, given that our economy is protectionist and the private sector cooperation has not been tapped. For me, this was the only substantive part of the N/A speech, but yet he failed to articulate the merits of this policy and how it is going to be executed. What is the economic platform of his government on which the private sector could be persuaded to invest and thus making sure the economy could grow.

    Take for example the issue of high cost of electricity, how would he tap the private sector on this, ending monopolies of oligarchs on basic services so that the people can have the services and enjoy lower costs. We don’t care if it was going to be Mikey Arroyo who can push for this legislation, hell, another criminal type just got elected, and FVR even supported him publicly, the son of Singson, why is the poet above harping on the I am sure unsubstantiated claim that Mikey Arroyo got to represent the security guards because COMELEC was bribed.

    BongV, I am not entirely for opening up the economy, but I am for a rational economic policy that will open the economy to foreign competition, for example, our agriculture will certainly not be able to compete with big multinational corporations in food production. What about genetically modified food, don’t you think a country should be allowed to protect its interests in food security, without the likes of Monsanto jeopardizing the health of our countrymen. I know some say, genetically modified food could solve starvation, but in Europe, these types of food are banned, for good reasons. Not only that Monsanto style farming can damage biodiversity, there are still lots o issues associated with this agricultural method that could be harmful to our vulnerable agricultural sector. I think we should support our small farmers and disband hacienda estates to be used more for rice production and other food necessities.

  61. @miriam i understand your apprehensions – just the same – closing the industry will ensure that inefficient industries will remain inefficient and consumers wind up paying the price.

    we need to review our business models – for example, you mentioned agriculture. Why are we so insistent in large scale crops when we can also have more diverse crops. There is a market which is willing to pay a premium for organic food. That’s the market we should be tapping. It is true that our soil is rich – but it is limited in area. How can you compete against Vietnam’s deltas unless you flood nearly the entire Central Luzon? You still compete in the agricultural sector but you engage in the segments where you have a competitive advantage. 💡 In areas where you don’t then – outsource and focus on your core strength. For example langka/jackfruit – towns can just focus on certain fruits, can and export, or even sell it fresh. Food security is an opportunity to generate revenues for farmers. It doesn’t make sense to compete in crops that need vast lands when farmers can generate more revenue with organically grown crops. Boils down to the business model. We’ll be glad to assist farmers groups how to do this – send a plane ticket and accommodation 😆

    You can set-up agri-management firms for farmers – like managers of hotel chains – outsource the management.

    another opportunity – shrimp – in the US right now – there’s a market for shimps and lobsters due to the oil spill – that’s an opportunity – the problem is our farmers are looking at sectors with mature product cycles – they need to become category creators. they can’t do that – but overseas Pinoys who are project managers who may have been laid off can 💡

    don’t compete in saturated markets. look for niches and segments. you get more bang for your buck.

  62. The Judge · ·

    Hot, fast, dazzling….whew! Kuyawa jud nimo girl oi! Ma in-love man sad ta ug samot ani. Mwah!!:wink:

  63. CoconutRacist · ·

    BongV,

    Tough luck. I’m in a place where water is cheap, abundant and fresh. :mrgreen:

  64. The “crooked path” and the “straight path” is a false dilemma. There’s a third way – remove the protectionist provisions of the constitution. Let market forces deal with the oligarchs who have been protected for so long. THey have already reached the Forbes Global 500. That’s no longer an infant.

  65. @CR – Good for you – but tell that to the people of Metro Manila – tough luck :mrgreen:

  66. miriam quiamco · ·

    Thanks Mel, just checked out the GMA coverage SONA, wow, pretty balanced, they interviewed people who should know about the accusations. I can only say one thing about N/A’s SONA: a pack of lies, he should be ashamed of himself and those 32 pauses for applause, shame on those sycophants!!!

    Now, this is confirmed, the new president of the Philippines is INSANE!!!

  67. CoconutRacist · ·

    and Cebu. :mrgreen:

    and Baguio :mrgreen:

    and Iloilo :mrgreen:

    Plenty pipol, little danum. :mrgreen:

  68. CoconutRacist · ·

    What’s the “straight path”?

  69. Hung Hang · ·

    BongV, I think you are already getting poisoned by eating your own yellow vomit you are no longer thinking straight.

    You seem to think that free markets are the panacea to all the Philippines’ woes. Free markets although desirable are not always 100% efficient and perfect since large competitors with big market shares can formally merge and acquire one another or covertly form cartels thereby effectively reducing the level of competition in the market. When this happens, the consumers end up as losers with higher prices, poorer quality products and poorer services.

    That’s why an Anti-Trust legislation is needed in the Philippines to prevent unwanted monopolies to happen, and I assume this legislation will also appoint a government watchdog to police the market. The US has the Antitrust Law with the Federal Trade Commission – Bureau of Competition as the government anti-competition watchdog. Australia has a similar regulator – the ACCC (Australian Consumer & Competition Commission). Europe has the European Commission performing its anti-trust functions.

    Mind you, not all monopolies are inherently evil. There are situations where this is desired such as in the case of natural monopolies. In case you did failed to take up Economics 101 or you slept on it, a market is a natural monopoly if the average cost of production is minimised with a single supplier. Examples of natural monopolies include distribution and transmission of electricity, gas, and water, and the collection of sewage. In all these markets, the economies of scale may be large relative to the market demand. Consequently, the average cost of production is lowest when there is only one supplier. If a market is a natural monopoly, the government should prohibit competition and award an exclusive franchise to a single supplier. This will establish the conditions for production at the lowest average cost.

    Elementary my dear Watson!

    With regards to ChaCha, again that’s not a panacea as you would like to paint here. Anyway that’s another matter that will require a separate discussion thread so no need to expound here.

  70. miriam quiamco · ·

    Not all monopolies are inherently evil, but in the case of monopolies in the Phiippines on water delivery, electricity delivery and telecommunications facility delivery, the monopolies here have not been good for the consumers. They have not invested generously on how to prevent shortages with lower costs, they have proven to be very inefficient, and thus, perhaps, the monopolies should be broken up. Oh, the telecommunications industry has been opened to partnerships with foreign companies most notably with the Japanese, but only in cellphone facilities, not the construction of basic telephone grids so internet could be made available to the countryside. This is where government and private sector partnership could be really useful.

    I think we need charter change for efficient policy-making and to put an end to popularity-based politics. Let’s go for it.

  71. Yes, I agree the delineation of a future path was weak, and he may indeed be bouncing about amongst the trees in the forest. Bot the revenue and the expense side of things need to be addressed. On revenue, proper assessments and collections, and maybe an upward tweak. On expenses, he is at least started.

  72. I won’t read any comment that begins with the condescending expression “Come on Joe”.

    Just say what is on your mind about the issue and stop diminishing those with whom you disagree. Let the coherence of your arguments do the work.

    Please also view my blog “The Silencing of the Lambs” to get my full perspective on this sort of thing: http://thesocietyofhonor.blogspot.com/

  73. No matter what anyone’s opinion is, it’s clear… P.Noy’s SONA is a piece of the blame game. It’s not even a SONA… more like State of my Vendetta against Someone address. So many lament the lack of a forward plan or solution. Guess the only solution implied is… try and jail Arroyo and that’s it. Nothing on economic provision change or solutions. Major fail.

  74. […] my reckoning (on the basis of its English translation), President Benigno “P.Noy” Aquino III devoted 1,558 words out of the 4,055 words in […]

  75. That’s definitely true. The English translation, or even the Tagalog transcript, doesn’t capture the tone of the speech. The translation certainly doesn’t at all.

  76. Hung Hang · ·

    “In the case of monopolies in the Phiippines on water delivery, electricity delivery and telecommunications facility delivery, the monopolies here have not been good for the consumers.”

    The problem in the Philippines is not the natural monopoly but the way these natural monopolies were managed and regulated by the government.

    A natural monopoly can be controlled in two ways: the government itself can own and operate the business, or a monopoly franchise could be awarded to a commercial enterprise that would be subjected to government regulation. The major reason for privatisation is that government-owned enterprises tend to be relatively inefficient so a monopoly franchise is usually the preferred alternative.

    However a natural monopoly franchise (e.g. Meralco, MWSS) must be regulated properly by allowing the franchise holder to break even so it is able to stay afloat through Average Cost Pricing control or by using Rate of Return regulation, while at the same time requiring the franchise to provide a minimum level of QoS. Failure to meet these pricing and QoS regulations should eventually lead to a revocation of the monopoly franchise so other more competent companies can take over the franchise.

  77. inflame · ·

    Here’s my dissection of it.

    http://kumonoy.wordpress.com/2010/07/26/pnoys-first-sona-the-dissection-of-by-a-nobody/

    I finished that about half an hour after the actual speech.

    Summary:
    More of the same. Same ****, different day.
    A few pinpoints of light, which if exploited correctly could lead to actual reform. And maybe his eventual downfall. “Recodification of Law”? Looks like an invitation for Charter Change.

  78. Garnet Alexa · ·

    Out of everything that he said, two statements made the most impact to me. They are…

    “As days go by (since I became President), the massive scope of the problems we have inherited becomes much clearer. I could almost feel the weight of my responsibilities.”

    …and…

    “This is what is clear to me now: change can only come from our determination to stamp out this extravagance and profligacy.”

    And that is because both of these statements show me just how incompetent our president is.

    Shouldn’t he have been feeling the WHOLE weight of his responsibilities since he was elected president? If he COULD ALMOST feel the weight of his responsibilities only now, what has he been doing the past week? I believe that a great leader always feels the weight of his responsibilities on his or her shoulder as soon as they assume that position. But the president is saying that he still doesn’t even feel it. Almost but not quite.

    Also, why is it only clear to him that change comes from “determination to stamp out this extravagance and profligacy”? Wasn’t that the whole basis of his campaign? Wasn’t that the whole point of his “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap” slogan? Does that mean that all this time, he wasn’t even aware of what his slogan meant? I never believed in his slogan (considering that even the wealthier countries have corruption) but I can’t believe he just indirectly told the Philippines that he didn’t (doesn’t?) believe it either. Was that a freudian slip?

    Somehow, I’m not feeling guilty at all that I wasn’t able to watch the SONA. I figured it was going to be a hate party anyway and I’m disappointed to find out that I was right.

  79. From the Inquirer .net

    “Lost in translation

    Throughout Mr. Aquino’s 35-minute speech, all they understood were the applause.

    Members of the diplomatic corps appeared at a loss as the President spoke entirely in Filipino, in sharp departure from previous SONA’s which were delivered in a mix of English and Filipino.

    “Can you tell me what he said? I’ll be very grateful if you tell me,” Nigeria Chief of Mission Ndubisi Amaku said, when asked about the experience. “What did he say? Tell me,” he said, smiling.

    European Union Ambassador Alistair MacDonald declined to comment when asked if there’s any European interest among the future projects outlined by Mr. Arroyo in his speech.

    “I don’t know the context in which the President mentioned that. So until I see something which I can understand, I can only say that the audience obviously found it very impressive,” MacDonald said.

    Mr. Aquino had also delivered his inaugural address mostly in Filipino.

    And unlike Ms Arroyo, Mr. Aquino did not use a PowerPoint presentation in his SONA. Tarra Quismundo, Gil Cabacungan Jr.”

    Ich verstand auch nur Bahnhof. :mrgreen:

  80. miriam quiamco · ·

    Is it condescending to treat you like someone I have known for a long time. Oooops, you seem to be in surly mood today. You should really read my comment, it was written when I just woke up, and therefore with clarity of mind, it is now at the peak of a hot day in Kyoto, and my brain has just melted away without air-conditioning.

  81. Garnet Alexa · ·

    I feel for the poor ambassadors. They must have felt so lost, confused, and awkward.

    What is the point of inviting foreign dignitaries if you don’t plan to have them understand what you say anyway? I’m pretty sure that these people attended because they wanted to listen to what the president was going to be saying.

    They should’ve at least given them translators. Or reassured them that they’d receive a translated transcript of the speech.

  82. miriam quiamco · ·

    Hung Hang, MWSS is a government monopoly franchise, how about Maynilad, how come N/A pinpointed this as a wasteful government agency. So Arroyo’s spokesperson who said MWSS has its own charter meant to say, it is no longer part of the government, why then should N/A intervene in its operations. Does it mean MWSS is not a government agency, but it is a government franchise holder, why does it still get allocation from the budget. A reporter on GMA said, MWSS was broken up with 60% of its staff moving over to Maynilad and 40% remained. Is MWSS a quasi-governmental organization, in which case, it does not wholly get its budget from the government, only certain projects are funded by the government, but that it has full control over its operations. If it is quasi-private and quasi-government, then, why is N/A picking on its profligacy, when the government doesn’t have jurisdiction over its operation. It could only mean he wants to put the blame of the water crisis in Manila on this agency, whereas Maynilad is also one outfit that is responsible for the water supply in Manila. He cannot possibly criticize Maynilad because it is owned by the Lopezes, one of his big political patrons, the nerve of that man to be brazenly manipulative and he even delivered the speech in Tagalog and so the ignoramuses must have soaked up all that lie.

  83. actually, its the fault of the translation. the original speech reads: “Damang-dama ko ang bigat ng aking responsibilidad.”

    this is NOT the same as “I could almost feel the weight of my responsibilities.”

    also: “Ang malinaw po sa ngayon: ang anumang pagbabago ay magmumula sa pagsiguro natin na magwawakas na ang pagiging maluho at pagwawaldas.”

    means its clear to everyone (not addressed to himself)

    pls. read the original.

  84. It doesn’t change the meaning of what he said. It still smacks of incompetence, whatever language you put it in.

  85. I think the ambassadors were trying not to laugh. 😛

  86. I won’t read any comment that begins with the condescending expression “Come on Joe”.

    Just say what is on your mind about the issue and stop diminishing those with whom you disagree. Let the coherence of your arguments do the work.

    put a sock in it, joe. who do you think you are preaching to a nice lady how she should address you? queen victoria?

    so much for “a voluntary willingness to listen, bend occasionally, and search for ways to find new acts that work positively” huh joe?

    miriam, there was nothing wrong with what you said to joe or how you said it. it’s the joe america brand of inconsistency once again letting itself out the only way it can. don’t let him affect how freely you are able to express yourself. 😕

  87. UP nn grad · ·

    I guess the Malacanang Media People has ➡ not yet found a Pilipino-to-English translator to hire? Even for part-time basis?

  88. Who would want to work with an incompetent President?

    I am better than him and will get lesser pay, no thanks! :mrgreen:

  89. I think the foreign dignitaries were mostly at fault here. It was announced a week ago that the SONA will be mostly spoken in TAGALOG. Why did they themselves not hire their own translator? They should not expect that Filipino’s should adjust to them, they are visitors anyway. Instead, they should be adjusting to us, inside our own country.

  90. NFA rice · ·

    No translators! Yay! Maybe he planned to be a jukebox.

  91. NFA rice · ·

    Foolish visitors not bringing their own lunch to the party eh?

  92. @Hello

    “They should not expect that Filipino’s should adjust to them, they are visitors anyway. Instead, they should be adjusting to us, inside our own country.”

    Typical PNoy mentality “Dayo ka dito, makisama ka, ha!”

    Remember, they were invited. As a host, you have to communicate with them in a language that they will understand. Prior to the speech, they could have distributed the English version to the foreign dignitaries.
    Take in consideration, that the seats are limited. Even some Congressmen who travelled from Visayas and Mindanao were given only bloc chairs!

  93. oh the puny water districts who are about to hit a wall – let’s see how long that smile lasts for the next six years :mrgreen:

  94. Yep, we invited them, so we should provide the translators. That’s protocol and courtesy.

    I think the dignitaries would be given copies of the SONA later on. Or more like, they should. And once they read it, they might have the same opinions as us skeptics of the P.Noy SONA.

  95. famous wolf · ·

    Somnium Rector. 🙄

  96. a monopoly is a monopoly is a monopoly – local or foreign.

    passing more legislation will protect vested interests. open the market and let the market forces deal with the monopoly. anti-trust legislation will wind up protecting Filipino businesses – like the FINL – same bull crap 😆

  97. barbara · ·

    yeah invite a muslim to a party, and serve him pork, and if he didnt eat. tell him he should brought his own food, he should adjust.

  98. […] say it’s been “depleted” is to state an oxymoron; which is exactly the way P.Noy stated it in his SONA… Our budget for 2010 is PhP1.54 trillion. Of this, only PhP100 billion – or 6.5% of the […]

  99. ako ang simula ng pagkabobo · ·
  100. Considering P.Noy was heavily reading the teleprompter, I think the speech was already prepared days ago. Meaning it is not out of the question to create an English version and bring it to those foreign dignitaries.

    In as much as diplomacy is a two-way street, when you bring someone over your house its your responsibility to be a good host.

  101. Pesos to dollars the day before SONA: 46.48
    Pesos to dollars the day after SONA: 45.81

  102. that has got more to do with the devaluation of the dollar than an expression of investor confidence.

    nice try. but not good enough.

  103. NFA rice · ·

    On the other news the USD has been weakening compared to other currencies.

    http://www.fxstreet.com/rates-charts/usdollar-index/

    Thanks P.Noy! Obama is proud of ‘ya!

  104. @CR – go read NA3’s speech about “daang matuwid”

  105. ulong pare · ·

    … daaang

    … exactly…. now hafta hold on to my benjamins until forex is on my side…

    … no investment for now…

  106. Hung Hang · ·

    BongV says “a monopoly is a monopoly is a monopoly – local or foreign. ” — WRONG!!!

    Tsk, tsk, BongV sometimes you disappoint me when you talk out of your ass and you have no idea what you are talking about.

    There is monopoly and there is ‘natural monopoly’. The former is undesirable and can be avoided with the self-regulating forces of Adam Smith’s invisible hand in a free market. The latter (i.e. natural monopoly) is the desirable alternative since competition in certain situations will only lead to higher costs for the consumers.

    As I have said before, a natural monopoly is the preferred option where the average cost of production is reduced with a single supplier. Examples of these are utilities where the infrastructure cost is very high and economies of scale are much larger than the market demand. Having two or more companies in this case will not necessarily lead to lower costs for the consumers despite the competition since the economies of scale for such a capital intensive infrastructure is simply not there to service such a small market. In fact what will happen in such a situation with multiple players is that the service providers will pass on their higher costs to the consumers. The right move here is to award a monopoly franchise to the utility company but the government needs to closely regulate the price and quality of service of this franchisee to protect the consumers, using tools such as marginal cost pricing, rate of return pricing and industry benchmarking.

    BongV says again “passing more legislation will protect vested interests. open the market and let the market forces deal with the monopoly. anti-trust legislation will wind up protecting Filipino businesses” — WRONG AGAIN!!!

    Here you go again with your unbridled and illogical paranoia. Free markets are not always perfect as you think due to various factors such as too much market power for some players, externalities or asymmetric information. Although recent trends across the globe has been to deregulate the market and let the invisible hand take its course, there are cases where the resource allocation is economically inefficient and private action fails to resolve the inefficiency, and government action must step in to regulate the market.

    For instance, without an anti-trust regulation what’s to prevent two giant players in an oligopolistic market to merge together and kill the rest of its competition by price undercutting, and then when there is no more competition, they jack up their prices while their level of service deteriorates. Who are the losers in the long run? Consumers!

    In fact, competitors in oligopolistic industries don’t even have to formally merge or acquire one another to price-gouge the consumers. All they need to do is to form cartels and agree on price fixing so they can rig the market. Without an anti-trust legislation and a government regulator empowered by this law to police the market, what will protect poor Juan dela Cruz from such cartels or M&As which leave less instead of more competition in your so-called free market?

  107. Garnet Alexa · ·

    As a gracious host, isn’t it your responsibility to ensure that your guests are comfortable and will not feel out of place? You don’t invite people over to your house and disregard preparing for them. By not providing translators during the day of the SONA or at least ensuring that they will be given translated copies, you are making your guests uncomfortable. And that only shows that you lack common courtesy, which is of course a bad thing, especially when you have to deal with diplomats and other foreign dignitaries.

    Also, aren’t Filipinos supposed to be known for being gracious hosts? Our culture is one that makes sure that all guests will be able to eat when we invite guests over to our houses. Especially during fiestas.

  108. Tsk, tsk, BongV sometimes you disappoint me when you talk out of your ass and you have no idea what you are talking about.

    Let’s see who is after am done 😆

    There is monopoly and there is ‘natural monopoly’. The former is undesirable and can be avoided with the self-regulating forces of Adam Smith’s invisible hand in a free market. The latter (i.e. natural monopoly) is the desirable alternative since competition in certain situations will only lead to higher costs for the consumers.

    As I have said before, a natural monopoly is the preferred option where the average cost of production is reduced with a single supplier. Examples of these are utilities where the infrastructure cost is very high and economies of scale are much larger than the market demand. Having two or more companies in this case will not necessarily lead to lower costs for the consumers despite the competition since the economies of scale for such a capital intensive infrastructure is simply not there to service such a small market. In fact what will happen in such a situation with multiple players is that the service providers will pass on their higher costs to the consumers. The right move here is to award a monopoly franchise to the utility company but the government needs to closely regulate the price and quality of service of this franchisee to protect the consumers, using tools such as marginal cost pricing, rate of return pricing and industry benchmarking.

    # 1 – On Natural Monopolies – Opening up the market means not limiting the ownership to the 60/40 arrangement – let the market decide.

    #2 – Power Generation – You are still using a mainframe-type of paradigm in a PC/3G/network world. Eelctricity has multiple market segments – industrial, commercial, residential. Each of these markets have their own needs which are not being served by your existing monopoly. By staying protectionist – you keep out more efficient, small scale off-grid power generation technologies that are available from foreign sources. For instance, remote villages in Bangladesh and India were lit up, had small business running from community-scale solar power. FOR SHORT update your paradigm naman. In South America, same technologies are used. In the US, there are already homes that are generating their own electricity and selling it to the grid. THINK!!!!

    But right now – all the rules are skewed in favor of… who else… why keep these technologies from coming in? because it will eat up their market share – imagine millions of houses running off the sun instead of MERALCO….

    I am not saying remove the massive power generation facilities – I am saying let other providers of alternative energy technologies come in come in – let the market decide.

    You think mainframes – I think – mainframes+PCs+supercomputers.. it’s the free market.

    BongV says again “passing more legislation will protect vested interests. open the market and let the market forces deal with the monopoly. anti-trust legislation will wind up protecting Filipino businesses” — WRONG AGAIN!!!

    Here you go again with your unbridled and illogical paranoia. Free markets are not always perfect as you think due to various factors such as too much market power for some players, externalities or asymmetric information. Although recent trends across the globe has been to deregulate the market and let the invisible hand take its course, there are cases where the resource allocation is economically inefficient and private action fails to resolve the inefficiency, and government action must step in to regulate the market.

    If your local conditions are such that they are inefficient – why force the issue? Look for something else where you have a competitive advantage. Asymmetric information on one end can be met on another end. Supply chain versus supply chain.

    Why sell Ice to eskimos? or sell coal to newcastle? it does not make sense.

    Privatization and liberalization are two different things. You might privatize power. But you give it to a vertically integrated utility – that’s a recipe for inefficiency. The reason from the inefficiency does not stem from the market – it stems from the manner in which the value chain is crafted.

    When they jack up their prices – as long as there are no laws or regulations that stifle the market then competition can come in – provide a lower price. For example – the US used to have only AT&T and a major carriers – Verizon, Sprint.. but there are a lot more regional phone utilities – unlike the Philippines where you only have what? Bayantel and PLDT – all expensive and lousy – and you call that efficient? yeah right.

    For instance, without an anti-trust regulation what’s to prevent two giant players in an oligopolistic market to merge together and kill the rest of its competition by price undercutting, and then when there is no more competition, they jack up their prices while their level of service deteriorates. Who are the losers in the long run? Consumers!

    the fact that it is an oligopolistic market means – IT IS NOT a free market! 😀

    In fact, competitors in oligopolistic industries don’t even have to formally merge or acquire one another to price-gouge the consumers. All they need to do is to form cartels and agree on price fixing so they can rig the market. Without an anti-trust legislation and a government regulator empowered by this law to police the market, what will protect poor Juan dela Cruz from such cartels or M&As which leave less instead of more competition in your so-called free market?

    The operation of a cartel means – it is not a free market. Cartels are only able to operate with the collussion of government. For instance, the oligarch cartels are able to operate because they are protected by the constitution. But for every oligarch you protect – how many millions are suffering from inefficient methods of generating electricity? How does that really help you?

    If the people elect candidates who collude with the cartels you get a market that is any thing but free. The need therefore is not protectionism in favor of the cartel but to subsidize development of technologies that can challenge the cartels. Subsidies have been proven to be more effective than protectionism.

  109. David Newberry in his book Privatization, restructuring, and regulation of network utilities dealt with the matter.

    Network utilities, such as electricity, telephones, and gas, are public utilities that require a fixed network to deliver their services. Because consumers have no choice of network, they risk exploitation by network owners. Once invested, however, a network’s capital is sunk, and the bargaining advantage shifts from investor to consumer. The investor, fearing expropriation, may be reluctant to invest. The tension between consumer and investor can be side-stepped by state ownership. Alternatively, private ownership and consumers’ political power can be reconciled through regulation. Either way, network utilities operate under terms set by the state.

    David Newbery argues that price-setting rules comprise only part of the policy agenda. Network utilities pose special problems of ownership and regulation. He discusses the history of ownership and regulation, privatization, and theories of regulation. Examining three network utilities in detail—telecoms, electricity, and gas—he contrasts the regulatory approaches of Britain and the United States. He also looks at liberalization in a variety of other countries. History shows that the mature forms of regulatory institutions are remarkably similar under both public and private ownership. This raises obvious questions such as: Will the forces that caused convergence to regulated vertical integration in the past reassert themselves? Can the benefits of competition be protected against the pressure to reintegrate? Will different utilities differ in their form and structure? A full understanding of the forces shaping regulatory institutions is necessary to answer these important questions.

    Public ownership and traditional cost-of-service regulation of vertically integrated network utilities both run the risk of being trapped in an inefficient equilibrium that reflects the balance of power of the various interest groups. Privatization, combined with restructuring, preferably involving vertical separation of public utilities can distrub the inefficient equilibrium. Together they offer the twin attractions of enabling competion of network services and facilitating higher-powered regulatory incentive schemes such as price-cap regulation for the core network natural monopoly.

    ****
    BongV adds:

    Whether the natural monopoly is owned by locals only or by foreigners or a mixture thereof – is something that must not be restricted in the constitution.

    By restricting foreign capital and limiting it to only 40% – we are putting a cap on our national development. What if the local capitalists are not willing to finance expansion BUT someone else is BUT is not allowed by the Constitution – who really suffers – the investor who already has money by the way, or the consumer – who has to pay for higher rates due to a smaller subscriber base.

  110. next thing you know ang malakanyang naging beauty parlor 😆

  111. may typo pa nga eh. “Mr. Arroyo”

    LOL 😀

  112. UP nn grad · ·

    It is getting closer and closer. 💡 Value of land along the 85 kilometers between Clark and Makati
    will surge. Noynoy can claim the glory but it is inevitable over the next 10 years that
    many government agencies will 💡 relocate north to de-congest metro-Manila and as
    DMIA becomes more and more the gateway to Pilipinas as 🙂 land-use planners and previous
    presidents have been intending it to be.

  113. miriam quiamco · ·

    I agree with BongV in terms of market liberalization of the basic utilities sector, there are now available technologies abroad that could serve the needs of a wide range of consumers, which the current monopolies are unable to supply. Thanks for this exposition, I was enlightened. I am still against the liberalization of the agricultural sector. What will happen to our vegetable and fruit farmers when the Chinese produce start flooding the market with cheaper ones. We want self-sufficiency in food, which is why we need to convert those huge sugar plantation estates for rice production, rice is such an important part of our diet, we could be enriching our own farmers rather than enriching the farmers in Vietnam and Thailand.

  114. @miriam – consider this – organic farming for instance (allow me to draw from an FB conversation I had with a buddy who is in project development as well):

    use genetics to come up with high yield low input organic varieties. then leverage supply chain know-how to trade with commodities. then introduce off-site green energy for farms. – the main theme is food security – there will be an opportunity for those who own land – and can raise food.

    with the right strategy – it can be a win-win situation. organize a coop -which we will be run professionally – solid corporate views, cooperative in structure. from organic production of crops it can go upstream into – organic food retailing; organic food restaurants; green energies; then tie it in with lumads production – purchasing wise – we can get bigger discounts through volume purchasing as a group – then distribute the inputs to the farmers/growers. operations/wise – coop field tech will be deployed to assist farmers/growers ensure compliance with production standards – and build farmers/growers entrepreneurial capability;

    production can then be consolidated and marketed wholesale; revenue is collected and growers/farmers are paid – and the process starts all over again. it’s a business model that gives america’s farmers a lot of clout and buying power. – look up Dairy Farmers of America.

    it boils down to knowledge of the comparative and competitive advantages – and then crafting your company’s value chain to leverage an agile supply chain.

    the problem of the farmers is not the market per se. it is their lack of knowledge on how to run a business – marketing, accounting, R & D, strategic planning – this is an opportunity for pinoys who have earned their project management stripes overseas to provide the knowledge. they don’t know how to compete that’s why they tank.

    instead of closing the market – teach the farmers how to compete – and there are lots of foriegners who are willing to do that – open schools but are limited by the constituion . Filipino big business also prefer farmers not to learn how to compete – because the farmers will now compete against say RFM or San Miguel or Swifts.

    Instead of farmers being subject to RFM or San Miguel – they can organize into a farmers cooperative like the Dairy Farmers of America.

    Also, there is a need to re-evaluate the business models of our farms – are we better off with mono-cropping or have a multi-cropping approach that provides steady revenue without stressing the environment? do we go for rice all the way? what other crops can be planted? vegetables and fruits can be planted and then consolidated. the problem of the peasants and farmers is that they don’t have a cadre of professional business managers who will do the strategizing for them while they do what they do best – production. there’s an opportunity there – to serve as an R&D, consulting firm for farmers – that is also into capability building – end to end nurturing; from training the farmer; helping with growing his crops; selling it; collecting it; if they can’t do it – i suggest they get us on board… lol we can right-size their strategy, optimize their business process, calibrate their supply chain, provide the IT back end – the whole nine yards… mura bag HMO (Aetna) – instead of physicians/you have farmers as providers – and people can just go to the farmers sales channels (food retail outlets/cafe/seeds/farm inputs/entertainment/training center) –

    Food security lang sa middle east – organize the south cot lumad farmers to produce vegetables – land a supply agreement with a Dubai consortium – screw Manila, you get a better deal for the farmers. that way, our farmers have food on the table and more money in their pockets. diskarte lang yan

    You can’t be in all segments at the same time. Companies are only proficient in certain activities in their value chain. They can outsource the activities which do not give a competitive advantage. we need to figure out – what activities in company’s value chain can be done better by the company – and the rest can be outsourced – to another cooperative perhaps (coop of accountants, coop of HR, coop of R&D, coop of customer servicing) while the farmer takes on production. it’s a combination of the following: 1) niche marketing; 2) value chain; 3) supply chain management. a paradigm shift has already taken place. it’s no longer a battle between companies – it is one company’s supply chain VS another company’s supply chain – that’s how the wal-marts, nikes, P&Gs, unilevers – establish market primacy.

    it’s all about strategy – Kenichi Ohmae

    I am still against the liberalization of the agricultural sector. What will happen to our vegetable and fruit farmers when the Chinese produce start flooding the market with cheaper ones.

    We want self-sufficiency in food, which is why we need to convert those huge sugar plantation estates for rice production, rice is such an important part of our diet, we could be enriching our own farmers rather than enriching the farmers in Vietnam and Thailand.

    embrace globalization. it’s just a chess game – if you have the right pieces in place – you are going to make revenue. i’ve seen the business models of a lot of the global fortune 500 companies – because I actually work to improve their processes so they can generate more revenues – one company I worked on saved $4 million in six months after implementing a solution my team engineered.

    an essential element really is to understand Michael Porter’s “Value Chain” model – all current global outsourcing stems from this paradigm – this is the “Newton’s Law” or Einstein’s relativity theory – when it comes to doing business. just look at the vertical integration of the Lopezes in the power industry – – instead of having one company do all the functions – break up the companies so that one function is done by one company – each company is then able to provide the same function to other companies and generate more revenue. the logical next step is to break the vertical integration and move towards vertical separation and a more efficient equilibrium.

  115. Miriam Quiamco · ·

    BongV, you sound very convincing, but the problem is your idea of a change of our business model requires massive investments in education and technology. Organic farming has been tried by a well-meaning American in Davao, he failed, somehow his investments did not turn in enough returns for him to stay viable in the business. I know that the Japanese are incorporating some organic farming methods in some of the banana plantations in Davao, but not entirely how purist organic technology supporters would want. For example, certain chemicals are still used to spray budding banana flowers, but fertilizer is a mixture of chicken dung and the chemically derived ones. Now, I am talking about multinationals that have developed the expertise in producing bananas, they are still not able to practice organic farming without risking a loss in profits.

    How much for our small-time farmers, who will train them and educate them in organic farming and in finding the best market offering the best price for their produce. I am talking about our own barrio in Davao, my brother is able to live off farming because he has capital to pay for workers in his small banana farm and he can afford to buy the chemicals and fertilizer to produce best quality bananas. He does not even have to compete with the banana plantations that are mainly for export, his are just for domestic consumption in Manila. However, those who don’t have capital and knowhow on farming, and there are many of them, are pinched for cash, and at times just pawn their land to loan sharks to be able to pay for tuition of their children or pay for a big medical emergency. It is quite sad what is happening to the poor in the countryside, they are left to fend for themselves and at the mercy of the loan sharks. In Thailand, Thaksin had the foresight to make 1,000.000 baht available to the poor in every small evillage for loans without interest. A lot of their existing loans were also frozen, so that they would not be forced to give up their land to these lending institutions.

    You are offering your services for the farmers, but as you know the small farmers have no money to pay for your corporate services. Precisely, the knowledge that you have to streamline corporate operations could be useful for the poor farmers in our villages, but it is costly and while you may be willing to volunteer your services, the need for these services and the commitment to stay engaged is tremendous. To transform the business model in the country into one that resembles what is standard practice in many developed economies requires huge capital outlay from the government. Now, how could globalization help with this capital outlay. Any government of a third world country cannot compete with the funds of multinationals from rich countries, these multinationals with support from their home governments in terms of farm subsidies, which our farmers do not have will overwhelm our farmers, for sure.

    I recall meeting on my recent trip back home a former farm worker on my parents’ farm, he came back asking to work again for my family because there was drought in Bukidnon and the two hectares of land which he had intended to be planted with corn were too arid for any crop production. We could not take him in as we already had enough workers, and so he ended up working in the neighboring farm. Another old worker also came back for the same reason, this time, his family farm is in Sarangani, two hectares of land could not be planted with corn because of the drought. Where was government support for these poor farmers, cooperative is not a developed concept among our farmers, it is pretty much to each his own. Aquino should have spelled out his agricultural policy regarding the poor in the countryside, we all know that the urban poor is just a fraction of the poor population in the country. N/A’s agricultural policy and a clear vision to help our farmers would have been welcomed in SONA rather than his manipulation of government data to demonize further an already humbled leader who, though, not a revolutionary, had achieved something for the country. It grates me to think of the lack of vision of the new leadership for the country. I was right, their politics of hate is going to be a curse that will doom us further in underdevelopment, unless he reverses course in the next six years.

  116. Hung Hang · ·

    Before I respond, just a note on housekeeping since you (BongV) are the webmaster here. I noticed some of my statements are cut and pasted on your reply and it doesn’t distinguish it from the rest of your reply by having a different font size, colour, italics, bold, etc. Can you check if WordPress allows having these features in the reply text box so it will be easier to read a discussion thread and distinguish who said what.

    ————————————————————————————————————————

    OK here is my reply to your last comments.

    BongV says: “# 1 – On Natural Monopolies – Opening up the market means not limiting the ownership to the 60/40 arrangement – let the market decide.”

    HH: You are confusing yourself between natural monopolies and ownership structure. These are two totally different matters and we are not even contesting here the ownership structure. Check my replies again and see if I objected to the 60/40 arrangement. In fact, on my first posting regarding my review of the SONA, I placed the lack of any mention of foreign ownership issue on the MINUS side of my SONA review. The power industry is a highly capital intensive industry and removing the foreign ownership cap on this industry will ensure more players and competition, leading to better prices and service for the consumers. However when a market like a specific geographical area (e.g. Metro Manila) is too small a market to achieve economies of scale as in the case of power distribution services, then a natural monopoly is the preferred choice to minimise cost to consumers.

    BongV says “#2 – Power Generation – You are still using a mainframe-type of paradigm in a PC/3G/network world. Eelctricity has multiple market segments – industrial, commercial, residential. Each of these markets have their own needs which are not being served by your existing monopoly. By staying protectionist – you keep out more efficient, small scale off-grid power generation technologies that are available from foreign sources. For instance, remote villages in Bangladesh and India were lit up, had small business running from community-scale solar power. FOR SHORT update your paradigm naman. In South America, same technologies are used. In the US, there are already homes that are generating their own electricity and selling it to the grid. THINK!!!! “

    HH: You are confused again. You are talking of Power Generation and I am talking of Power Distribution which are two different matters. You can have multiple power generating companies (e.g. Napocor, Mirant, Philippine Hydropower Corp, Hedcor, etc) servicing a large geographical area (e.g. Luzon, Mindanao) and these companies can trade their output at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market just like any other commodity in a free market. Being a spot market, electricity is traded on a real time basis or on the “spot”. WESM, if you are not aware was established in the Philippines with the signing of the EPIRA law in 2001 and has been operating in Luzon since 2006. Other countries like Australia (i.e. NESM) and the US (CAISO, MISO, NYISO, etc) have similar wholesale spot electricity markets.

    Distribution companies (e.g. Meralco, Davao Light and Power Co., Visayan Electric Co., etc) can then buy electricity from this spot market at the cheapest spot price they can get and then transmit and distribute the purchased electricity to their own franchised service areas.

    By their very nature, you cannot have more than one power distribution company in a given area. Not only will you have chaos with the juggernaut of spaghetti-like overhead power lines at the street level if you have multiple electricity distribution companies servicing a particular area like Metro Manila, no power distribution company in their right mind will invest since the risk will be too high for a loss due to the huge capital investment needed to service a small market base. Hence a natural monopoly is the compromise solution for such a case. This is the common practice around the world and I seriously doubt if you can find a country where you can find multiple power distribution companies servicing exactly the same geographical area.

    BongV says “But right now – all the rules are skewed in favor of… who else… why keep these technologies from coming in? because it will eat up their market share – imagine millions of houses running off the sun instead of MERALCO….”

    HH: Again you are confusing yourself with power generation and power distribution. There is no one stopping individuals generating their own power (e.g. solar, wind, etc) so they can be energy self sufficient or at least reduce their electricity consumption. They can even put back any surplus electricity they generate back on the grid and possibly get a credit for it from their electricity distribution company.

    BongV says “You think mainframes – I think – mainframes+PCs+supercomputers.. it’s the free market.”

    HH: No I think laterally, vertically, inside and outside of the box.

    BongV says “When they jack up their prices – as long as there are no laws or regulations that stifle the market then competition can come in – provide a lower price. For example – the US used to have only AT&T and a major carriers – Verizon, Sprint.. but there are a lot more regional phone utilities – unlike the Philippines where you only have what? Bayantel and PLDT – all expensive and lousy – and you call that efficient? yeah right.”

    HH: You are confused again with the concepts I’ve discussed several time already. Who says Bayantel and PLDT are efficient? The Philippine telecom industry is already deregulated from a single player in the past (PLDT) to multiple players we have now. However what is limiting it from becoming even better and cheaper is the lack of additional players (read foreign) to spur more competition. Due to high cost of entry for this industry and the existing foreign ownership cap on any businesses in the current Constitution, we only have few local majority share players in the market.

    BongV says “ the fact that it is an oligopolistic market means – IT IS NOT a free market! “

    HH: WRONG!!! Have a look at the commercial jetliner aircraft manufacturing industry. How come there are only two players (Boeing and Airbus) in the whole world? It’s an oligopolistic market (in fact a duopoly) since this industry is very capital intensive and the size of the market is only large enough to support two players to achieve economies of scale. Airline companies around the world order only a small quantity of new commercial aircraft every year so it is not a large volume market. But each aircraft costs millions of dollars so profit and ROI is still attractive. It’s no doubt a free market since no one is stopping any company from becoming a third player in this market. However the equilibrium level for this free market can only support two major players.

    Now with only two players in the market, what’s to prevent Boeing and Airbus from merging with one another so they can become even more profitable with greater economies of scale and less (no) competition? Psst….here’s the answer. Anti-trust regulation!!!

    BongV says “The operation of a cartel means – it is not a free market. Cartels are only able to operate with the collussion of government.”

    HH: WRONG AGAIN!!! You can have cartels in a free market. Without an anti-trust regulation, then cartels are not illegal. Yes, it is immoral and despicable since they are taking advantage of the consumers but the government cannot do anything about it since without an anti-trust regulation, they are not violating any laws. That’s why an anti-trust regulation is needed in the Philippines to protect the consumers from cartels and anti-competitive behaviours of big companies.

    BongV says: “Subsidies have been proven to be more effective than protectionism.”

    HH: You claim free market is the best thing since slice bread and now you want subsidies. You cannot have both!! If government provides subsidies, it stops becoming a free market since subsidies is a form of protectionism or trade barrier by making domestic goods and services artificially competitive against imports. Subsidies protect weakling businesses and industries and are an inefficient way of using scarce government resources. In a free market, it is the survival of the fittest! If you cannot compete in a given market because you are too expensive, then find another market where you have the competitive advantage! It’s as simple as that.

  117. That’s exactly what I was telling you. That’s why I said – a monopoly is a monopoly – in this instance – its being a monopoloy becomes irrelevant because the issue boils down to ownership structure. Currently – you don’t have a flexible ownershiip structure – which restricts your ability to generate more capital. Quite simple.

    HH: You are confusing yourself between natural monopolies and ownership structure. These are two totally different matters and we are not even contesting here the ownership structure.

    Then we both agree on this.

    Check my replies again and see if I objected to the 60/40 arrangement. In fact, on my first posting regarding my review of the SONA, I placed the lack of any mention of foreign ownership issue on the MINUS side of my SONA review. The power industry is a highly capital intensive industry and removing the foreign ownership cap on this industry will ensure more players and competition, leading to better prices and service for the consumers.

    While it is true that you need economies of scale – there are gaps which are not being addressed by the market. For instance, your regular outages can be supplemented by low-cost solar-driven power generation modules similar to Bangladesh or India. These modules can be provided by another company – it does not have to be local. These off-grid generation modules can be switched to sell power to the grid. Therefore, residences not only save, but they can get refunds if they have excess capacity. However, we wouldn’t really know unless the Filipino monopolists decide to front 60% with the 40% foreign capital. Or they can just decide to do it themselves and charge consumers a higher rate.

    Not all consumers are alike. Different consumers have different needs. Surely the needs of a household in the shanties of Tondo will differ from the power needs of someone who lives in a condo in Makati. And their power needs differ from a store and a restaurant. If there is no market for the goods – the product will tank. But what if – there’s a market? Given the trend towards green technologies I doubt very much that there’s none.

    By allowing competition, these companies can provide alternative power sources to people. At least they have another option than to listen to MERALCO’s bullcrap about NAPOCOR’s high rates. The initial roll out of solar power energy can be higher than usual – but the energy savings allows recovery of the capital outlay in less than 2 years. Compare that to paying to MERALCO for life!

    HH: You are confused again. You are talking of Power Generation and I am talking of Power Distribution which are two different matters. You can have multiple power generating companies (e.g. Napocor, Mirant, Philippine Hydropower Corp, Hedcor, etc) servicing a large geographical area (e.g. Luzon, Mindanao) and these companies can trade their output at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market just like any other commodity in a free market. Being a spot market, electricity is traded on a real time basis or on the “spot”. WESM, if you are not aware was established in the Philippines with the signing of the EPIRA law in 2001 and has been operating in Luzon since 2006. Other countries like Australia (i.e. NESM) and the US (CAISO, MISO, NYISO, etc) have similar wholesale spot electricity markets.

    Distribution companies (e.g. Meralco, Davao Light and Power Co., Visayan Electric Co., etc) can then buy electricity from this spot market at the cheapest spot price they can get and then transmit and distribute the purchased electricity to their own franchised service areas.

    By their very nature, you cannot have more than one power distribution company in a given area. Not only will you have chaos with the juggernaut of spaghetti-like overhead power lines at the street level if you have multiple electricity distribution companies servicing a particular area like Metro Manila, no power distribution company in their right mind will invest since the risk will be too high for a loss due to the huge capital investment needed to service a small market base. Hence a natural monopoly is the compromise solution for such a case. This is the common practice around the world and I seriously doubt if you can find a country where you can find multiple power distribution companies servicing exactly the same geographical area.

    The old power generation methods are already being augmented with new technologies in the residential era. The US and China are already racing in these new technologies. And if a foreign investor wanted to bring these new technologies – they can’t do much till they deal with the constitution – it always go back to the constitution. 😆

    Who cares about power distribution when you are generating power from the sun right in your home. You have stacks of batteries that store based on your energy needs.

    HH: Again you are confusing yourself with power generation and power distribution. There is no one stopping individuals generating their own power (e.g. solar, wind, etc) so they can be energy self sufficient or at least reduce their electricity consumption. They can even put back any surplus electricity they generate back on the grid and possibly get a credit for it from their electricity distribution company.

    No one’s stopping them? Really? How about investors who want to sell to them – and want to have a Philippine presence, and control their own operations, and own the land on which they want to have an office – can they do that? NO they can’t – still goes back to the constitution.

    No I think laterally, vertically, inside and outside of the box.

    I haven’t seen that thus far.

    HH: You are confused again with the concepts I’ve discussed several time already. Who says Bayantel and PLDT are efficient? The Philippine telecom industry is already deregulated from a single player in the past (PLDT) to multiple players we have now. However what is limiting it from becoming even better and cheaper is the lack of additional players (read foreign) to spur more competition. Due to high cost of entry for this industry and the existing foreign ownership cap on any businesses in the current Constitution, we only have few local majority share players in the market.

    The Philippine market is a huge market – 90 million consumers. That my friend is one meaty piece of pie. I’ll tell you right now – if the market opens up – Singapore and HK will invest and compete against the Lopezes. Roll-out costs are natural – if the investor is willing to take a risk – and the market rewards him because of good service – why stop him from doing so? Let the market decide. Do not limit it to the 60/40 joint venture corporate structure. We are losing out a lot.

    Deregulation is not liberalization. Do not confuse the two. You may deregulate the market – but it doesn’t mean you liberalized it. Sure you deregulated telecomm – but you still limit ownership the 60/40 – still goes to the constitution.

    HH: WRONG!!! Have a look at the commercial jetliner aircraft manufacturing industry. How come there are only two players (Boeing and Airbus) in the whole world? It’s an oligopolistic market (in fact a duopoly) since this industry is very capital intensive and the size of the market is only large enough to support two players to achieve economies of scale. Airline companies around the world order only a small quantity of new commercial aircraft every year so it is not a large volume market. But each aircraft costs millions of dollars so profit and ROI is still attractive. It’s no doubt a free market since no one is stopping any company from becoming a third player in this market. However the equilibrium level for this free market can only support two major players.

    It is not a free market – it is an oligopolistic market. Boeing and Airbus are able to get contracts because of regulations legislated in the procurement process not to mention the political trade wars between the two. There are other manufacturers as well – the Russians and the Chinese have their own planes as well. The operational structure may be oligopolistic BUT the ownership structure is quite well spread out among a varied group of shareholders.

    Now with only two players in the market, what’s to prevent Boeing and Airbus from merging with one another so they can become even more profitable with greater economies of scale and less (no) competition? Psst….here’s the answer. Anti-trust regulation!!!

    If they merge – in a free market – it will not work to their advantage because they become inefficient. They will not be able to sustain their advantage for long. New technologies can rise that make their advantage irrelevant.

    These are not the only manufacturers in town – there are also makers of smaller commercial jets who are still in play – and who can merge and challenge the dominance of Boeing and Airbus. Virgin Galactic is under development – the first generation of space cruisers. For all you know, these guys can.

    The buzz reported recently is about a supersonic combustion ramjet, or scramjet, which uses fast-moving compressed air and burning fuel to create thrust. NASA is working on this, as is the European Space Agency, which backed a private firm’s development of a space plane called Skylon, which is designed to use a runway just like a conventional jet.

    The idea is they could be reusable and cheaper than their ballistic counterparts. Ideally, they planes could share hangers with your average commercial airliner. But space flight wannabes who can’t shell out the mega bucks for SpaceShipTwo would be happy to discover that the government has a stimulus package designed to get more people on board.

    The perfectly named Space Portal is a partnership between NASA and new space companies who are focused on making cheaper space flight feasible. It is helping one company develop high-performance heat shielding. Enough about life-saving technology, though.

    What really matters is seeing the Big Blue Planet in style and comfort, right?

    The Enterprise spaceplane made by the German-Swiss TALIS Enterprise group, which is slated to launch a suborbital flight in 2013 and carry up to six passengers, is designed to make weightlessness as comfy as possible.

    The Dexinger website reports that the cabin will have ergonomic seats, which lean downward in the weightless flight phase, glare-free materials for unobstructed views, good handgrips when micro-gravity kicks in.

    But if you are looking for a different style, the funky yellow pod-like chairs created by Qantas Airlines’ spaceplane designers are truly out of this world.

    HH: WRONG AGAIN!!! You can have cartels in a free market. Without an anti-trust regulation, then cartels are not illegal. Yes, it is immoral and despicable since they are taking advantage of the consumers but the government cannot do anything about it since without an anti-trust regulation, they are not violating any laws. That’s why an anti-trust regulation is needed in the Philippines to protect the consumers from cartels and anti-competitive behaviours of big companies.

    Price-fixing cartels are inherently unstable and that at some point they inevitably come under pressure and finally break down. There are a number of sources of potential instability for price fixing cartel arrangements.

    * Falling demand creates tension between firms e.g. during an economic downturn
    * The entry of non-cartel firms into the industry increases market supply and puts downward pressure on the cartel price
    * Exposure of illegal price fixing by the Government or other regulatory agencies causes an arrangement to end
    * Over-production and excess supply by cartel members breaks the price fixing
    * The Prisoners’ Dilemma game suggests that all collusive agreements tend to fall eventually because although price fixing is in the joint interests of all members of a cartel, it is not a profit maximising equilibrium for each individual firm

    HH: You claim free market is the best thing since slice bread and now you want subsidies. You cannot have both!! If government provides subsidies, it stops becoming a free market since subsidies is a form of protectionism or trade barrier by making domestic goods and services artificially competitive against imports. Subsidies protect weakling businesses and industries and are an inefficient way of using scarce government resources. In a free market, it is the survival of the fittest! If you cannot compete in a given market because you are too expensive, then find another market where you have the competitive advantage! It’s as simple as that.

    You confuse A-provision of subsidies (as a concession to political pressure from populist politicians) AFTER removing the protectionist provisions VERSUS B-Having protectionist provisions. See the difference between A & B?

    Ideally, there should be no subsidies. However, the political realities of government means it has to give economically unsound concessions in order to maintain the consent of the governed. The classic approach has been to go into protectionism and embed it into the constitution. These severely limits growth. What am saying is, if the government wanted to open up the economy and still satisfy its political base – it is more advantageous to A-remove protectionist provisions in the constitution and provide a subsidy to industries it wishes to develop in lieu of .. B-keeping the provisions.

  118. BongV, you sound very convincing, but the problem is your idea of a change of our business model requires massive investments in education and technology. Organic farming has been tried by a well-meaning American in Davao, he failed, somehow his investments did not turn in enough returns for him to stay viable in the business. I know that the Japanese are incorporating some organic farming methods in some of the banana plantations in Davao, but not entirely how purist organic technology supporters would want. For example, certain chemicals are still used to spray budding banana flowers, but fertilizer is a mixture of chicken dung and the chemically derived ones. Now, I am talking about multinationals that have developed the expertise in producing bananas, they are still not able to practice organic farming without risking a loss in profits.

    Why must we always stick to bananas? If the huge plantations plant banana – let them. But why would you attempt to go head on in this market when there are other markets which have a shorter gestation period and faster turnover. Increasing your turns improves your cash flow.

    How much for our small-time farmers, who will train them and educate them in organic farming and in finding the best market offering the best price for their produce. I am talking about our own barrio in Davao, my brother is able to live off farming because he has capital to pay for workers in his small banana farm and he can afford to buy the chemicals and fertilizer to produce best quality bananas. He does not even have to compete with the banana plantations that are mainly for export, his are just for domestic consumption in Manila.

    However, those who don’t have capital and knowhow on farming, and there are many of them, are pinched for cash, and at times just pawn their land to loan sharks to be able to pay for tuition of their children or pay for a big medical emergency. It is quite sad what is happening to the poor in the countryside, they are left to fend for themselves and at the mercy of the loan sharks. In Thailand, Thaksin had the foresight to make 1,000.000 baht available to the poor in every small evillage for loans without interest. A lot of their existing loans were also frozen, so that they would not be forced to give up their land to these lending institutions.

    This is clearly a market opportunity – why not set up a venture to train the farmers? have it sponsored by a company that intends to do business with farmers. Tap the free services of the DA and DOST. Also tap the Dept of Commerce/Dept of Business Ad of schools to develop a program for farmers.

    You are offering your services for the farmers, but as you know the small farmers have no money to pay for your corporate services. Precisely, the knowledge that you have to streamline corporate operations could be useful for the poor farmers in our villages, but it is costly and while you may be willing to volunteer your services, the need for these services and the commitment to stay engaged is tremendous. To transform the business model in the country into one that resembles what is standard practice in many developed economies requires huge capital outlay from the government. Now, how could globalization help with this capital outlay. Any government of a third world country cannot compete with the funds of multinationals from rich countries, these multinationals with support from their home governments in terms of farm subsidies, which our farmers do not have will overwhelm our farmers, for sure.

    The farmers already have the most important component – land. Without land – you can’t do pretty much – that’s their competitive advantage. Thus, it is to their benefit that they learn everything they can how to make the land thrive and bloom. Consider this, every farming community has an OFW somewhere = they can tap the OFW to become a marketing agent for their products in a global market. Don’t sell to Manila – babaratin ka doon. Have a value-added component – canned bamboo shoots; canned rambutan; lansones; etc. – package it well – our pastries need a lot of makeovers – they look so yagit besides a bar of Toblerone or Ferrero Rocher chocolates. Right now, most Fil-am stores buy from consolidators. If farmers groups take the time to sit down – they can consolidate themselves, brand their rice, and ship direct to filipinos overseas. from an overseas point of view – it might even cost cheaper to buy from overseas because the orders are right-sized. The farmers then generate forex – which is a lot better than what they get. It’s an opportunity your brother can consider.

    I recall meeting on my recent trip back home a former farm worker on my parents’ farm, he came back asking to work again for my family because there was drought in Bukidnon and the two hectares of land which he had intended to be planted with corn were too arid for any crop production.

    The aridness could have been addressed via cooperativized irrigation systems competing in the market. There’s another opportunity.

    We could not take him in as we already had enough workers, and so he ended up working in the neighboring farm. Another old worker also came back for the same reason, this time, his family farm is in Sarangani, two hectares of land could not be planted with corn because of the drought. Where was government support for these poor farmers, cooperative is not a developed concept among our farmers, it is pretty much to each his own.

    Well, they either cooperativize or they go bust. It’s that simple. There’s no way they will survive if they don’t cooperativize. They are just to eager to prove themselves as victims when they can decide to be thriving coop members. You can take the horse to the river, but the horse gotta do the drinking.

    umasa ka pa kay Don P-Noy. he can’t even clean up his own backyard HLI. vision for farmers pa.

    Aquino should have spelled out his agricultural policy regarding the poor in the countryside, we all know that the urban poor is just a fraction of the poor population in the country. N/A’s agricultural policy and a clear vision to help our farmers would have been welcomed in SONA rather than his manipulation of government data to demonize further an already humbled leader who, though, not a revolutionary, had achieved something for the country. It grates me to think of the lack of vision of the new leadership for the country. I was right, their politics of hate is going to be a curse that will doom us further in underdevelopment, unless he reverses course in the next six years.

  119. Miriam Quiamco · ·

    Great detailed reply to HungHang Bong. On a theoretical plane, you sound very convincing. At least on energy and basic public service issues, I now tend to go along with your free market vision. I have a question, are Bangladesh and India able to tap the green technology on energy generation through outside energy players, or through government initiatives utilizing their own companies? I teach globalization and have been made aware of its pros and cons. As this is not really my field of research, I still have to learn a lot about it. There was a paper recently published in my university of the down side, the paper is entitled “race to the bottom: brand imperialism” and a case of a Filipina worker who died from 14-hour- work days at a factory in Cavite was offered to illustrate the point that multinationals are only accountable to their consumers back home and not to the workers who directly manufacture the goods they market in their home countries. And that comparative advantage was conceived at a time by economists when capital was not as mobile as it is today, but rather domestically sourced, there is danger to allowing mncs a complete free hand in operating in lowly evolved economic environment. With the energy, water and telecommunication sectors, the consumers are in the Philippines and so the foreign investors here will have to be directly responsible to the consumers they service or they will not be able to stay in business.

    The woman above described in the paper worked for a garment manufacturing company inside an export-processing zone. It appears no one could be held responsible for her untimely death due to overwork with low pay due the fact that the company was producing garments for different multinational companies abroad. And since corporate responsibility and the international standards now in place for mncs to adhere to are not enforceable, the new regime of labor, ethical, environmental safety that corporations have to comply with to appease concerned Western consumer could not be evoked to help the family of the woman-worker.

    Can’t we have selective market liberalization, for example we can only open the market on services of goods that require intensive capital outlay. Teodoro seemed to have the correct idea of allowing 100% land ownership to key industries that the government identifies to be crucial for our economic growth. I am surprised we don’t have anti-trust laws, this is probably why oligarchs can easily establish business monopolies unchallenged, and this makes it even harder for foreign companies to enter the Philippines even with the 60/40 scheme. They will only have to partner with oligarchs who would surely work to protect their business turfs.

  120. @miriam – bangladesh solar engergy – http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/more.php?news_id=98187

    Syed Jaglul Pasha

    Energy issue has become a global concern. Like other countries, Bangladesh also may not find immediate and easy solution to the energy problem. Moreover, with the passage of time the demand for energy in Bangladesh will increase further. From the past experience it appears that there is prevalence of huge gap between demand and supply.

    Striving to remove this demand and supply gap, Bangladesh has made significant progress in the renewable energy sector by introducing solar energy systems. Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL), Grameen Bank, BRAC and few other NGOs have taken remarkable steps forward in this regard. Grameen Shakti that has installed about 125,000 Solar Home Systems at rural level has opened our eyes. This energy technology might change the life style of the poor people.

    There are many solar power driven products available in the world market. Some of these are important for us. Submersible water solar pump can collect 310 litres of water per hour from 230 feet depth. A solar hot water tank can serve for 80 gallon storage. A solar Home System can feed the national power grid with the excess electricity it produces. Houses in California have installed solar panels on their roofs. Recreational vehicles like boats could run on customised solar power systems. UK is a pioneer of this system. A portable solar power system of 1500 watt capacity is also available which is capable of running a standard refrigerator, micro-oven, computer and office equipment. Sign lighting systems lights roads, bill boards and commercial sign boards. The remote off grid system of solar power has tremendous potential. Solar garden light, ground light, post light are usable everywhere and also in rainy conditions. The system like solar area lighting is perfect for park areas, open areas, beaches, pathways, boat docks, parking lots etc. Solar power security camera provides sustainable services from a distance. Portable power generator, laptop charger, solar power oven, solar power watch, solar radio, solar power mobile and solar balloon are interesting products. Research is going with a team of companies like General Motors and Ford to improve the solar car. Pool pumps and heaters that are run by solar power, makes people feel good to be making a difference in the condition of the environment, and it will save money, too.

    Solar Home Systems have mainly targeted the rural areas of Bangladesh so the range of products is limited. These can however be expanded to include the solar lantern, solar torch light, solar thermal heater, and solar mobile charger. Small shop owners at rural growth centers, mini poultry farm owners, country boat operators, and police and ansar-VDP forces, Union Parishad Chowkidars could be potential users of solar systems. In urban areas slum people may use these solar products to improve their living condition. Rickshaw puller may have the opportunity to use products like solar lantern in their rickshaws and other products for their households.

    In Bangladesh, building and houses located in all metropolitan areas could at least use some of the solar products in lightning their garden, boundary wall, gates and furnish security lights and water heating systems. RAJUK, CDA, KDA, RUK, city corporations, which have a role in approving architectural and structural plans may have a good opportunity to recommend solar energy systems.

    There are about 3000 growth centers in the country. If growth centers are lighted with solar applications by LGED it will have a tremendous effect in our agriculture, trade and commerce and thus economic growth. The government can also bring thousands of flood shelters cum schools, 465 Upazilla Chairman’s houses, 490 Upazilla Teachers’ Resource Centres, 5000 Union Parishad Buildings, 54 Primary Training Institutes (PTI) 3150 colleges, 18700 high schools and 9300 madrashahs under the solar power system.

    Moreover, 80,000 primary schools, 2.00 lakh mosques and few thousands rural health centres may have the opportunity to use this energy. Maintenance of solar system could be another opportunity of employment. Customised Technical education courses will build local capacity and help generate rural employment.

    There are many islands in coastal areas and remote char areas in Bangladesh. At present, a few islands are using Solar Home Systems in households. The life of the people of Char areas may change dramatically change through solar power. Coastal areas will have similar opportunity.

    A lot of initiatives are taken around the world for using solar power. California’s Governor has taken a billion dollar solar roof programme to produce 3000 megawatt solar electricity by 2017. European Community and country like U.K. and Germany are taking a lot of initiatives for solar energy. China, Japan and India are not very far from its expeditious implementation. Remarkable research and development (R&D) activities are taking places in many countries. Venture capitalists are investing money in solar technology and business. Nano technologies are coming up to meet the technical needs for sustainable solar power. Scientists, researchers and development agencies are working hard to face the challenges.

    Solar energy however will not be very competitive, in the economic sense, in a market dominated by fossil fuels. Despite market factors, solar industry needs government patronage and help to create the right momentum in solar market, and government grants are needed for research in solar technology. Many countries in the world have provided incentives to encourage people to use solar power.

    Unlike others, there are, of course, limitations in expanding these solar programmes in Bangladesh. Research & development is not very significant. Initial investment in solar systems is quite high. Moreover there is no complete manufacturing plant yet of solar systems in Bangladesh. These are expensive and susceptible to frequent change of technology. The private sector in Bangladesh may not be attracted enough to establish solar manufacturing plants. Public Private Partnership might provide a solution. We may also think about accessing funds from carbon trading etc. Despite the limitations, the objective conditions are favourable and ready for expansion of solar energy in Bangladesh. All we need are appropriate policy, planning and initiatives, together with Public Private Leadership.

  121. @miriam – there’s a lot of ideas on energy here – http://www.ashdenawards.org/winners/shidhulai

  122. @miriam – you should see this – http://www.ashdenawards.org/solar – This is exactly what I am talking about.

    A solar-home-system uses a photovoltaic (solar-electric) module to provide power for lights and small appliances. The system also needs a rechargeable battery, so that power is still available at night and on cloudy days.

    Solar-home-systems bring huge benefits to homes in developing countries which aren’t connected to the mains electricity grid. They replace smoky, unsafe kerosene lamps with brighter light, allowing work, study and social activities after dark. They also power radios and cellphone chargers, enabling families to be in contact with the wider world. The smallest systems are solar lanterns, which can be moved around the home or carried outdoors.

    Solar-home-systems and solar lanterns already provide power to millions of homes in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Similar systems are also used in off-grid schools and health centres.

    Read on for more information about solar-home-systems, or go to our database for films and case studies of Ashden Award winners who use solar home systems.
    How a solar-home-system works

    Photovoltaic (PV) modules use semiconductor materials to generate d.c. electricity from sunlight. A large area is needed to collect as much sunlight as possible, so the semiconductor is either made into thin, flat, crystalline cells, or deposited as a very thin continuous layer onto a support material. The semiconductor must be sealed into a weatherproof casing, with suitable electrical connectors.

    Layout of a solar-home-system

    PV modules are specified by their ‘watt-peak’ (Wp) rating, which is the power generated under standard conditions, equivalent to bright sun in the tropics (they still work at lower light levels though). Most solar-home-systems use modules between about 10 Wp and 100 Wp rating.

    The rechargeable batteries store spare electricity on sunny days, so that it is available at night and on cloudy days. They also provide a stable voltage (usually 12 V) for the devices which use the electricity. Standard lead-acid car batteries can be used, but they don’t last long if they are heavily discharged, so specially-made solar versions are strongly recommended. Other types of rechargeable battery like nickel-cadmium and nickel-metal-hydride are increasingly used, particularly in small systems like solar lanterns. They are more expensive, but easier to make small and portable, and more tolerant of being heavily discharged.

    All equipment run directly from the PV supply must be designed for 12 V d.c. operation. Efficient lights and appliances make best use of the limited supply of electricity. Efficient d.c. fluorescent lights are available down to about 3 or 4 W power rating, in both tube and compact forms. LED lights are even more efficient, and are now sufficiently cheap and reliable to be used as well.

    In most systems, an electronic charge-controller is used to protect the battery from being overcharged (when it is very sunny) or over-discharged (when people try to get too much electricity from the system). The charge controller usually has lights or a meter to indicate the state-of-charge of the battery.

    How solar home systems are used

    A solar-home-system should be designed with sufficient PV capacity (Wp) to provide the daily electricity demand throughout the year, and typically three days storage capacity in the battery, so that the system keeps working during a cloudy period. For example, a typical solar-home-system sold by Ashden Award-winner SELCO in India has a 35 Wp PV module and a 90 Ah/12 V battery to power four 7 W d.c. fluorescent lights for about four hours per day and a socket. Recently the Solar Energy Foundation in Ethiopia has introduced a 10 Wp system which powers four small LED lamps

    The PV module is fixed to the roof of a home at the angle which collects maximum sunlight. A framed 35 Wp module made from crystalline cells has an area of about 0.3 m2, or about 0.7 m2 if made from lower-efficiency thin film materials, so is easy to handle and install.

    A Grameen Shakti solar technician in Bangladesh installs the PV module for a solar-home-system on a roof

    The battery is kept indoors, and the terminals should be covered so that they cannot accidentally be touched or short-circuited. The PV, battery, lights and socket are all wired carefully to the charge-controller, ideally by a trained technician.

    Battery and charge controller for a solar-home-system installed by SELCO in India, covered up to keep them clean and safe

    Larger systems can run a TV as well, and often include an inverter (d.c. to a.c. converter), so that standard mains-voltage equipment can be run from the solar home system.

    Solar-home-systems can be very reliable and need little maintenance. Users must be trained to check the battery, keep the PV module clean and make sure that connectors are secure. It is important not to over-discharge the battery (and very tempting to do so, to get a bit more light or TV). Even with careful use, batteries deteriorate and need to be replaced every four or five years.
    Solar lanterns

    Some small solar-home-systems are designed to be portable. Several participants of the REDP PV programme in China produce small portable PV systems for herders who move seasonally with their animals.

    Another approach is to use solar lanterns for lighting. These have a small fluorescent or LED light with a rechargeable battery, in a case which is easy to carry and can stand on the ground or a table, or else hang from the ceiling. Some include a small built-in PV module, and others are designed to be plugged into a PV module for charging then detached for use. NEST in South India makes lanterns which are charged at home their owners, while Sunlabob in Laos has developed lanterns which are rented from a central charging site.

    What are the benefits of solar home systems?

    The amount of electricity supplied by a solar-home-system is small, typically about 0.1 kWh per day for a 35 Wp system. However, the benefits can be huge

    Electric light avoids the fumes and the fire risk of kerosene lamps. They are also much brighter, and give opportunities for study, income-generating work and recreation after dark.

    Being able to listen to a radio without the expense of dry-cell batteries allows people in remote areas to keep in touch. Cellphone network coverage is expanding rapidly in many developing countries, and solar-home-systems allow people in remote areas to benefit from this.

    Solar lanterns are attractive for market stall holders as well as homes, because they give good-quality light for displaying and selling produce after dark. They are also used by midwives and traditional birth attendants, to deliver babies more safely.
    Cost

    Costs of solar-home-systems vary between countries. In Bangladesh, a 20 Wp system sold by Grameen Shakti costs about US$230, and a 50 Wp system US$230. This is a significant capital investment for a poor household, but usually no more than would be spent on kerosene for lighting and dry-cell batteries over three years. The World Bank has provided finance for micro-credit schemes in a number of countries including Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, to make solar-home-systems affordable.

    Outside Asia, costs tend to be higher. For example, 10 Wp systems provided by the Solar Energy Foundation in Ethiopia cost about US$260, and 50 Wp systems sold by ECAMI in Nicaragua cost about US$600.
    Numbers

    The number of solar-home-systems currently in use is difficult to estimate, but is likely to be several million. Several Ashden Award winners have been involved in large scale programmes. The work of the REDP led to the installation of over 400,000 systems in rural China and Grameen Shakti has installed over 200,000 systems in Bangladesh.
    The future

    Electricity is a distant dream for many families in developing countries. For example, in Tanzania less than 15% of the population are connected to the mains electric grid. Even in India where over half the population is grid-connected, many parts of the country have frequent and lengthy power cuts. Solar-home-systems have huge potential to provide access to basic electrical services. System costs will decrease as the global PV market continues to grow, and the improving efficiency of lights and appliances will also bring costs down.

  123. Miriam Quiamco · ·

    Thanks BongV, wow, you are so knowledgeable and full of optimism, if only most of the folks back home think like you do, we would have been a progressive country by now. Forget about my brother, he is so unimaginative, the environment he is in just does not encourage the kind of imagination you have, he does not even read that much and is pretty content being a gentleman-farmer. I could be that OFW to find markets for the village folks who would be able to produce something to world standard. One thing I also learn from my teaching of globalization, even with WTO liberalization scheme, the developing countries are still at a disadvantage because of the standards that First World countries have on their agricultural imports. Farmers will have to work hard to adhere to specifications that trading companies have in their acceptance of agricultural produce from the Third World, whereas, the reverse is not true.

    Developing countries could be used a dumping ground for rejects of agricultural produce in developed countries because we don’t have standards at all for size, color, appearance and even with pesticides used. Oh well, globalization still has a long way to go to make it more equitable. Yeah, DA, DOST and other government agencies, can our poor farmers rely on these government agencies to spearhead economic revolution in the countryside. In Japan, Japan Agriculture, or JA is responsible for the formation of cooperatives and on local level, JA responds to the needs of the farmers, although recently, with globalization, their farmers have suffered quite a lot from cheaper imports from China. In their case, it is okay cause they have their own mncs that can bring in money to the country and provide employment to their people. But even here, food security is a big issue, there seems to be that primordial desire to be able to feel secure in your own country’s capacity to feed your own people. Thanks again, you and Gibo would have had great discussions on the ideas you offered here, I recall reading a lot of them in his platform of governance, sayang talaga siya, naiinis na naman ako. . .

  124. it’s not that the Filipino can’t compete – it’s that at this point he does not know how to compete. the filipino business model is to go for monopoly instead of market share.
    we are stuck with zero-sum game business models because those are the only models we see in the Philippines. we need to travel more – or if not. then read some more, learn some – acquire the knowledge to learn how to compete – and compete to the best of our abilities – because we can. knowledge is an equalizer and under the right circumstances – a force multiplier.

    note that the farmer coop models I mentioned are actually based on the Dairy Farmers of America, a mega-cooperative formed from the merger of four regional cooperatives. there’s a program called “Cooperatives Working Together”. This is one area where P-Noy can push his agenda for rural empowerment – that is if he is serious.

  125. […] P-Noy’s First SONA: More Bark than Bite 124 comment(s) | 35 view(s) | by BongV | posted on 07/26/2010 […]

  126. Hung Hang · ·

    With all the talk about energy in this blog, you may want to check out this PhilStar news article.

    http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=598635&publicationSubCategoryId=63

    ———————————————————-

    A man looks at a solar panel installed by Pamatec in Masbate.

    By Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) Updated August 01, 2010 12:00 AM Comments (5)

    MANILA, Philippines – A private energy firm has put up 5,129 solar panels in impoverished barangays in Masbate province.

    Paris Manila Technology Corp. (Pamatec) has executed the Philippine Rural Electrification Service (PRES) through a French loan worth 17.5-million euro borrowed by the National Power Corp.

    The project, completed last December, provides an electricity rationing system of 200 kilowatt-hours per day for houses fitted with solar panels.

    At night, residents get their power supply from batteries, which can last for three to four years.

    “The solar panels do not cause pollution. The sun is the source of electricity that reaches the far-flung barangays. It uses renewable energy,” said Pamatec project engineer Ireneo Abua.

    The government has been promoting renewable sources of energy like solar energy to lessen the country’s dependence on fossil fuel.

    In 2008, Congress passed the Renewable Energy Act of 2008, which encourages investments in renewable sources of power. Latest figures from the Department of Energy, however, showed that renewable energy like solar energy only makes up less than a percent of the country’s energy mix.

    Environmentalists have said the use of renewable and alternative energy would reduce the use of fossil fuel, which has been blamed for global warming.

    The Philippines has been perceived as a “climate-taker,” or a country affected by the greenhouse emissions of developed countries.

    Abua said solar panels are suited to communities where houses are built far apart.

    Houses fitted with solar panels are allowed to use 200 kilowatt-hours of electricity per day. After the usage limit is reached, the electricity supply automatically switches off. Households, therefore, would have to learn to prioritize tasks that require electricity.

    Masbateños, nevertheless, appreciate the implementation of the project because it has given them sources of livelihood and amusement.

    In Barangay Jumarawon, which has had solar panels since 2008, residents were able to put up sari-sari stores, watch their favorite television shows, and sing karaoke.

    “The electricity allowed the children here to study well. Before, their parents had to spend for kerosene lamps. It was costly for them,” said barangay chairman Critito Bulandra.

    “Before, some parents had to ask their children to stop studying at around 7 p.m. because they want to save money,” he added.

    Aside from the installation of solar panels, Pamatec also installed a diesel-powered mini-grid with 11,518 connections.

    Pamatec also plans to implement a blended fuels project for the mini-grid using copra. The equipment for the extraction of biofuel is expected to arrive in September.

    The project has provided power to 665 barangay facilities and commercial establishments and 18,000 households. Pamatec plans to put up at least 1,000 more units in Masbate by the end of 2011.

    “Many people have expressed interest in the solar panels. They are asking us if we can also install solar panels in their homes,” Abua said.

    View previous ar

  127. Miriam Quiamco · ·

    Great to read this, but two years and only 18,000 households have been served. At least a legislation like this has been passed, I want to see solar panels in our own barrio too, the government should have included this in their overall electrification projects, if pork barrels are taken from the hands of congressmen and senators, we can have all households with solar panels all over the country, and thus get rid of our dependence on fossil fuel altogether.

  128. @Garnet

    Looks like P.Noy broke the stereotype of the warm and accommodating Pinoy. Pagbabago ba din ito 😳

  129. James Ken Sonoda · ·

    Much like the title of this entry, all of you are “more bark than bite”.

    It’s easy creating a sensational blog entry criticizing or licking the ass of your government, but what are you *really* doing to help your country?

    “I want this, i want that, yadda yadda yadda, boo-hoo president fails, I leave country”

    You can’t even be bothered to wake up early for your class or work or be disciplined enough to follow traffic rules or walk in pedestrian lanes. You all sound like a bunch of selfish, whiny 5 year-olds.

    Talk is cheap. Doing something aside from just talking is something else.

  130. Miriam Quiamco · ·

    Ah, so you know all of us personally to cast judgment on us, at least we have objective basis to assess the incompetent performance of N/A. Oh boy, oh boy, siya ang sabihan mo na “talk is cheap”, because so far this is all he has been doing and he has not realized the catastrophe his action/inaction has been causing, the rotting rice in the warehouses due to his inaction for the poor and plans of increasing the fare for LRT, the poor who looked to him for economic relief are screwed big time.

    And he doesn’t even have the decency to acknowledge the accomplishments of the GMA administration, like the legal victory of the government against the corrupt contractors of NAIA 3, only GMA gave it focus so that finally the airport could be utilized. PCGG under GMA recovered 70% of the ill-gotten wealth for the government, where is the thank you from this moronic president? Is this cheap talk? Get real!!! And we who send thousands of dollars a month to loved ones from abroad do have the right to tell what we think of the current government!!!!!

  131. “You can’t even be bothered to wake up early for your class or work or be disciplined enough to follow traffic rules or walk in pedestrian lanes.”

    Prove it if we’re really that way. 😀 Unless ikaw si Big brother, nyahahaha

  132. ako ang simula ng pagkabobo · ·

    mr. Sonada, stop twisting the truth.

    Sensationalism = ABSCBN

    unless you’re a Lopez-employee/yellow fanatic

  133. Normally I do not learn post on blogs, however I would like to say that this write-up very pressured me to try and do it! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thank you, very great article.

  134. P-Noy’s First SONA: More Bark than Bite Sanamagan! I’m a lengthy time watcher and I just thought I’d drop by and say howdy there for the extremely initially time.

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