Rice self-sufficiency

Still in Baguio.

A rice farmer once told me the only thing NFA rice was good for, was for feeding to his pigs. I myself went through a period when I bought NFA rice but it was of such low quality that I gave up. The real question is whether rice can only be affordable if it’s of such miserable quality, or whether the government could provide quality but affordable rice. Surely it can do both, though even as it is, the growing number of people who subsist on instant noodles (easier to prepare, etc.) shows just how relative the idea of affordability is. Which raises a question: is pouring government funds into subsidizing poor-quality rice, the best way to support farmers and enable access to cheap food?

Again, an article I’ve been wanting to point to, for some time: Rice “self-sufficiency” for whom? in Philippines Without Borders.

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

146 thoughts on “Rice self-sufficiency

  1. cvj,

    I did not say smuggling out. I meant smuggling in, cheaper rice. Cheaper because it is “exempted” from taxes and other importation fees.

    The purpose. For supply control.

    I do not agree that the rice cartel is synonymous to monosopny. In the latter, there is only one buyer for many sellers.

    Rice farmers do not sell to one buyer only.

    But rice cartel controls the FLOW of SUPPLY to the market.

    Why do some rice tastes yucky. Because they have been stored for a long time, only to be released from the warehouse at the right time and right place. The farmers can not afford to hoard. Their produce are already for payment to their advances from the 5-6 operators.

  2. Cvj,
    Copy ! 🙂

    Ms. Cat,

    I am inclined to to agree that hoarding can be the reason for the rice that tates yucky, over storage can be a logical reason,why it might be pest infested,and what ever infestation there is..


    lubog sa utang na mga farmers can also be a reason why land reform failed.

    Will check on your blog,from time to time. re:elitism.

  3. “Devilsadvc8 :
    how do u kill trolls?

    a. you stick a wand up their noses
    b. you levitate its club over its head and let it drop
    c. refuse to feed the friggin thing

    well, whatever the answer is, im sure everyone will get the hint… *wink*”

    If the host of this blog would be so strict, ilan na lang siguro ang natirang commenter dito.

    Pasalamat tayo,we were never called trolls,because any body can be one,in any given day.

  4. Rice and diabetes:

    Rice and potatoes are rich sources of insulin. Load up on these and the body will have no exercise in breaking down sugar on its own.

    As a person ages and the ability to absorb insulin from food diminishes, his system must compensate. If it was never used to the job, starting late in life might be too late.

    Some are fortunate to have bodies that are genetically wired to produce good amounts of insulin even without the practice. Others will just have to deal with diabetes, sometimes even from birth.

    The diabetes that I am zeroing in is the type that is due to insulin deficiency. Apparently, inability to use it despite having ample amounts in the body is also diabetes. Nonetheless, for both cases, the blood thickens which leads to multiple organ failure. Everything is affected. In extreme cases, sugar would crystallize like shards of glass or coats of plastic on parts of the body.

    A good advice perhaps is to lessen rice and potato consumption if one is not sure of his natural insulin producing abilities. There may also be some wisdom in not denying outright the children’s craving for sweets that they love so much. Let them enjoy it while they can in moderation. It could be an exercise in breaking down sugar.

    Of course, prior to embarking on any health program, you best have yourself checked first.

  5. “Why do some rice tastes yucky. Because they have been stored for a long time, only to be released from the warehouse at the right time and right place.”…per cat

    Sang-ayon ako sa sinabi ni Cat. May maliit din kaming tubigan at tuwing anihan ay ibinebenta ang iba at nagtitira laang si Tatay ng sapat sa amin hanggang sa susunod na anihan. Ito’y iniimbak na palay sa mga sako, ibibilad tapos ipapakiskis kada linggo o buan ayon sa aming konsumo. Habang natagal, nag-iiba ang lasa ng bigas kaya minsan ibinebenta na rin iyong masama ang lasa at nabili kami ng bagong ani sa ibang lugar.Noon iyon, palagay ko pareho pa rin ang nangyayari sa mga nakaimbak na palay o bigas.

    Gaya ng iba dito sa forum, wala pa nga akong nakitang bigas galing sa RP, madalas galing sa Thailang at ang pangalan pa nga ng iba ay “milagrosa”. Obserbasyon ko ito sa oriental stores, Sams, wal mart or Costco, west coast, midwest or east coast, walang Pilipinong bigas.

    3rdson….Relax ka laang bok, sa experience ko dito sa forum ni Manolo, may kabuluhan ang mga sinasabi nila dito. Marami rin akong natutunan kahit na karaniwan ay hindi ako sang-ayon kay Bencard, malaman ang mga posts niya dito, iba nga laang ang side niya sa amin nila MB. Kani-kanyang diskarte laang iyan igan. We still have FREE PRESS in RP. At saka bakit baga’t napakainit mo sa mga Pilipinong nagsisikap na tumulong sa ating bayan kahit man laang sa panulat, sa diskursong gaya dito? You don’t have to be on the ground to be able to help our kababayan. At tanu si Bill Gates nakatira sa Africa? At ikaw , ano na ang ginawa mo diyan? Huwag mo na laang sabihin abay, de naman namin kailangan ay! Ang sa akin ay, gumawa tayo ng kahit anong kaya natin para makatulong, hindi naman kailangang ibandilyo sa iba kung ano iyon, sapat nang makatulong tayo sa nangangailangan.

  6. “Rice and potatoes are rich sources of insulin. Load up on these and the body will have no exercise in breaking down sugar on its own.

    As a person ages and the ability to absorb insulin from food diminishes, his system must compensate. If it was never used to the job, starting late in life might be too late.” by bog…

    I am not sure about the above information. What I know based on latest papers I have read…rice and potatoes are rich sources of carbohydrates. Insulin is not absorb from food, it is an enzyme from pancreas and if you have type I DM, insulin injection would help. Insulin for a long time came from animal pancreas but the latest ones are manufactured in the laboratories. Insulin helps in sugar metabolism. Basic knowledge of this is explained by Krebs Cylce ( remember Biochemistry I?)

    “In extreme cases, sugar would crystallize like shards of glass or coats of plastic on parts of the body.” by bog…

    Not sure about this statement. Not seen any of these plastic or crystal sugars in several autopsies even in extreme case of DM, nor in morbid obesities. Whatever organ or artery you examine, marco or micro, you will not find sugar crystals. Even biochemical studies won’t prove this. What you will see are cholesterol deposits mostly in the coronaries and big arteries, aorta, carotid,femoral, popliteal.This of course is related to altered lipid, carbohydrate and protein metabolism due to DM ( lack of insulin or altered insulin metabolism).

  7. Pilipinoparin,

    That is how I remembered the doctor explained it to us when a relative passed away. Obviously, he was trying to put things within our grasps.

    To save everybody from searching through google, maybe you can share what you think he was trying to explain.

    The disease runs in my family. Your info would be much appreciated.

  8. Karl,

    You’re welcome.

    Oh one more thing the precise term is IC ( integrated circuit) not mircochips.

    Micro chip is the export of the US. Intel bring it to the Philippine in a wafer form to be asembled in to an integrated circuit (IC)

    So the top export of the Philippines is ICs. And yes this has been the case even before I left.

  9. I am a diabetic and my nutritionist recommended brown rice which tastes (sa totoo lang parang bato).

    Rice and potatoes are rich with carbohydrates which turn into sugar. Glucose. When blood glucose is high (blood sugar)the body becomes resistant to insulin or the insulin production of the body diminishes.

    For Type 1 diabetic, the only treatment available is insulin injection. For Type 2 diabetic like me, it is the gulping of pills that would give me lipids and other blood sugar regulating squares, round and sometimes elongated expensive pills the rest of your life. The medications however conflict with one another esp. if you have other illness such as heart and high blood pressure.

    So the first thing that a nutritionist would tell a diabetic is to cut on rice and starches as noodles, pastas and potatoes.

    However, not all rice-eating people get diabetic. The disease is also genetic.

    So eat healthy, eat less rice and don’t make the cartel richer.

  10. …All I know is that the beggar with an open wound at his left elbow at the stairs of UN Avenue MRT Staton is hungry right now, that not even a pack of instant noodles can be bought. I feel helpless everytime I see him; and this morning again…

  11. There are related problems to consider. For example, food prices have gone up worldwide because of increasing demand from China and other countries. Also, several months ago, the grain industry was severely affected by drought. We might also have problems with water irrigation and pollution.

    These are the general problems that we will face:

    1. peak oil (already peaked in 2005);

    2. fresh water shortage (mentioned by some international groups a decade ago);

    3. epidemics (due to antiobiotic abuse, global warming, etc.);

    4. global warming/dimming (already discussed by various international groups);

    5. war (increase in arms production, more conflicts during the twentieth century, deadlier and cheaper weapons);

    6. overpopulation (movement to urban areas, from developing to developed nations);

    7. global credit crunch and related financial problems.

    These problems will affect each other. And never mind comets or meteors; those will be remote compared to the ones listed above.

  12. Rego,

    I know, IT graduate din naman kahit papano,(Comsci) undergrad ko.

    You left Intel 2001, me nakakalse ako Eli Ferrer around that time kasi 2001 ako nag start mag MBA. At may neighbor ako before Arnold Suratos. Alam ko malaki Intel at di lahat magkakilala, baka sakali lang.

  13. Rego,
    IC vs. Microchip

    nagkulang na naman ako sa think first before you type.

    IC nga ang number one export.Yun nga lang ang daming kelangang isource na imports para makabuo tayo ng finished product bago maexport.
    Ty ulit.


    Rice as source of insulin?

    depende na yata yan sa nag experiment and sino ang nag finance ng lab study.

    Baka wholegrain rice,like wholewheat bread. Tulad ng sinabi ni Cat brown rice.

    White rice eaters tayo eh. Ako white rice pero bread whole wheat…(wala din)

    Yung aBS bitter herbs nga eh. tatlong doctor na natanong ko ok lang daw,mas madami naman ang kumontra (especially the endocrinologists and the cardio doctors).

    pati yata wellness subjective eh,kaya nauso yung second opinion hanggang me pang bayad.

    Yung sa mag nabanggit na incoming na crisis.

    Powe crisis dahil wala pa tayong bagong plant at sa mga gusot ng epira law.halo mo n adyan ang mga ibat ibang alphabet soup acronyms.

    Water crisis dahil ayaw din tanggapin ang mga offer tulad ng wawa dam sourcing(neal cruz ,PDI) sa Luzon.

    Peak oil,seventies pa me peak oil na daw. Kaya nga ang daming sine na nakimbento na sila ng paraan na gawing fuel ang tubig nung seventies.(The Formula,Marlon Brando?,et al)

    Israel has a desalination technology,mahal siguro.

    War:already happening
    abuse antibiotics:already happening
    global warming:already had an OSCAR

  14. Yes Karl, I know one Eli Ferrer, is TSOP Process Engineer during that time. ..

    Suratus? haven’t met him.

    The thing is I spent almost all my 5 years Intel Makati. It was only only in my 6th year that i was relocated to Cavite. Cavite is such a huge asembly plant and Intle Philippines is such a big company. So you’r right its impossible to know everyone…

    About the raw materials for IC manufacturing, you’re almost all of them are imported. I was a Supplier Quality engineer in Amkor for a year before joining Intel. Ang naganda dito. You got a lot of travel abroad to audit the suppliers…

  15. Rego,
    Ne enjoy mo naman pala ang perks at nasulit mo.

    Matanong ko lang,ganyan pa din ba (IC/semicon)ang pinagkakaabalahan mo dyan?pag offensive ang dating ng tanong ko,no need to answer.

  16. One of the most powerful arguments of Milton Friedman about free markets, this from the guy that helped in formulating the withholding tax on income, is this. There is nothing so permanent as a temporary government program. This program on withholding tax was done during the war years. It was supposed to be temporary

    Friedman also said that he believed that men’s needs are limitless and there should be no regulations to limit the production of goods and services as long as there is demand for it. Drugs, prostitution and even drivers licenses should not be regulated. He even was against licensing professionals. In essence the basis for markets would be “let the buyers beware.”

    Someone once wrote that the toughest thing to do is to think. However reactionary markets could be a hell of a teacher.

    In light of the utter failure of governance here, the ideology of free markets will be acceptable only if the entire division of labor including the power to print money (issue credit) be made entirely free without government intervention. Currency exchange markets would be made entirely convertible and truly free and floating.

    That means the BSP governor and his board would be looking for jobs. Like it was during the gold exchange standard. The era of free banking.

    All bankers had powers and were accountable and responsible to their depositors. When they screw up there was no central banks to bail them out. They usually ran away.

    In that vein I believe that everyone person who earns should have a choice as to the rice he wants to purchase.
    Drop all protection to importations and impose only minimal excise taxes. Abolish income taxes. Downsize government. Education should be left to the discretion of families and communities. Allow communities to organize their own citizen police. Private security guards will take over.

    Allow people the right to own firearms. In other words move to a state where government is reduced to a minimal state.

    In China, a collective runs the nations state. They have no independent judiciary, no free media and no electoral accountability.

    In the Philippines we have perceptively a corrupt (market based) judicial system, a perceptively corrupt (market based) media and a perceptively corrupt (market based) electoral process.

    China is making headway economically while we who pretend to be a democracy are spinning in our wheels. We actually have an electoral autocratic process.

    Can you imagine what would happen to landlords when they impose an unfair sharing process with farmer tenants? Guns in the hands of both sides would serve to impose a fair and equitable sharing of labor. The same with relationships between capital and labor. The CPP-NPA would become redundant and obsolete.

    Case in point was the Homestead Steel Strike and the Kansas Coal Mine Strike. It was a mini-civil war. More than anything the Homestead strike affected Andrew Carnegie and he sold out his interest to J.P. Morgan and Carnegie’s steel mills became the basis for U.S. Steel. The same thing could be said for the crisis in agriculture prices in the 30’s. Prices collapsed due to a surplus and this happened also during bouts of drought. However these events more than anything laid the foundation for Roosevelt’s New Deal in later years.

    Imagine thousands of displaced farmers marching to Manila from all points of Luzon by the thousands. Imagine them armed. The troubles in Mindanao are a microcosm of that reality.

    The entire troubles of this country lies at the roots of agrarian unrest still unresolved over asset reform. The term land reform is a misnomer. Until we free the tiller from bondage to his master there will be no sustainable economic development in this country.

    Asset reform is not a simple policy option it is meant to correct the wrongs of history.

    An English bureaucrat drew the boundaries of India and Pakistan. Overnight 10 million people became aliens in the place of their birth. That brutal imposition still has not been corrected and probably will take thousands of more deaths before it will be corrected. Ali Jinnah used the genie of Islamic fundamentalism to carve out the Muslim state of Pakistan. Churchill used it to counter the influence of Gandhi. We are paying for the sins of the British Empire and now American Empire. The BSP has to keep interest rates here high to attract foreign investors to help us pay for our import bills. Then the BSP lends this back to the U.S. government at a lower rate because of the privilege of empire.

    Rice prices tell a deep and tragic story in the Philippine context.

  17. The U.S. dollar and the price of rice and the complex world of food prices.

    “Post 1971, a currency collateralized not by gold but by the intelligence, judgment and discretion of Congress and the Federal Reserve, such as they are.” James Grant.

    What is the collateral behind the Philippine peso? Big Mike, GMA and Abalos?

    We have nominal prices, real prices and purchasing power parity prices to compare prices of rice. All presently denominated in monetary valuation. What is the basis for comparing prices of rice between countries? What is the standard? Dollar, Gold, Yen or is there such a thing as a human standard of existence?

    Moral hazard and a clear case of financial terrorism. The crisis in financial markets will cause interest rates for poor countries to rise.

    To save the mavens of financial capitalism a tidal wave of inflation is on the way for poorer countries.

    Wall Street practically blackmailed the U.S. government to save the entire economy from falling down based on their greed.

    The result will be higher prices. Glut of money printing has now moved to a bull market in food resources.

    Financial technologies have allowed future contracts of the buying and selling of future production. Financial technologies have also allowed the ‘securitization’ of future cash flows. That is at the heart of the present crisis. Future is always uncertain. No matter the power of computing power it will remain impossible to forecast future happenings with all variables included..

    The future will always be “mark to make believe.” That is the heart of the financial markets. Confidence is an intangible quantity.

    Money remains to be simply a representative idea of shared expectations. Joyce Jimenez in a black or red bikini on her “to die for body” is her capital good that she used and still uses for turning her labor into currency. Every red blooded male can attest to that who buys magazines with her on the cover. She is one hot babe.

    The entire country is being supported by the labors of Filipinos abroad. Maids, drivers, workers, professionals, entertainers and sex workers


  18. Ho-hum! There is no hope for rice sufficiency unless we change the CARP system. We can never go into the real McCoy of rice production with 5 hectares or less with even the most industrious farmer which is lacking in our midst. The alternative would be to collect all arable lands and rent it out to farmers, cooperatives or agri companies all the area they can use. That way he can plan very well and separate the lazy or pseudo farmers or missing landlords from the bone weary farmers. And additionally, everyone coming of age is given his own residential lot of his choice free co-terminus to his demise. That will eliminate land disputes, land grabbings, everything of what the land is doing to so many today.

  19. desperate situation calls for desperate solution. i’m not sure, though, if i could subscribe to hrvds’ prescription for guaranteed chaos. i don’t think we are that hopeless at this point. perhaps in the garden of eden, before adam & eve’s fall, it would work. libertarian philosophy, taken to extreme, is fraught with fatal inevitability.

    in an age of tactical, let alone thermonuclear weaponry, a ‘free-for-all’ struggle for individual supremacy will lead to self-immolation of mankind. let’s just work on improving our institutions, our systems, and our laws, and let life goes on, with all its miseries and pleasures (including – at least for the likes of hrdvs – looking at joyce jimenez in red bikini in the cover of a magazine).

  20. hala ka, pilipinoparin, you fed the troll. hahaha. gayahin mo na lang ang ibang komentarista dito. hayaan mo na lang akong tawanan sila. tutal, matalino naman sila lahat. ano ba namang merong isang taga-basa si mlq3 na hindi impressed sa kanila.

    at, pasensya na, di ko lang matiis. wala man si Gates sa Africa, nanduon naman ang pera nya. Kumbaga he put his money where his mouth is. May pagkakaiba ata yun sa sitwasyon ng mga utaw dito. At “free press?” bakit ba tuwing babatikusin ang mga komentarista e yan palagi ang reaksyon? free speech ba? free speech di yung sabihing walang kredibilidad ang mga sinasabi ng isang taong nagsasalita di ba?

  21. 3rdson,

    Wala na din lang akong makausap,at sabi mo sumasagot ka pagkinausap ka.

    Ilabas mo na ako,wala naman ako binatbat sa iyo,pero iyong iba dito.

    Pwede naman icorrect na walang halong batikos,at pagmamaliit, me napapal ka ba?

    Lumalabas kasi pikon,talo eh.

    Recruitment agency ka ba,na kailangan magsubmit pa ang mga kommenter dito ng resume sa yo.

    Malay mo ba na di nila alam ang sinasabi nila,alam mo ba ang background nila,pero meron din naman na nagsabi kung ano ang naging o trabaho nila ngayon.

    pano mo naman nalaman na mali ang hinirit nila,at kung nagkataon me pumuna sa kanila at maayos naman itong tinanggap,pataasan ba ito ng ihi.
    pero innsan meron talagang aso at pusa dito,na talo pa ng mag asawa sa di pagkaunawaan,natural lang sa buhay yan.

    Kwentong barber ay di tunay na pulso ng masa?
    Bakit sa tingin mo ba ay ang surveys di dumadaan sa mga taong di naman naiintindihan ang tanong nila pero counted pa din sa analysis nila.

    Hindi ko iniinsulto ang masa,ang masa natin madami ang di nakapagtapos kaya ang kwentong barbero maaring pulso ng masa,kaya nga masa eh.

    Malay mo sideline lang nya yung barbero pero sya pala ay isang teacher sa gabi.

    parang taxi driver,madami akong kilala na dati mga professionals na sawa ng mautusan ng amo.

  22. sir karl, yaman din lang na kinakausap mo ko ng matino, sagutin din kita ng matino.

    wala akong balak i-correct ang mga panunulat nila, at wala rin akong kakayahang sabihin kung tama sila o mali.

    natatawa ako sa tendensiya nila na magkomento sa lahat ng topik na pinupukol ni mlq3 sa ere. mapapansin mo na yung mga seryosong komentarista, nagfo-focus lang sa iilang topic kung saan meron silang lehitimong kaalaman. sa ibang topik kung saan sila nagkokomento, malinaw na personal na kuro-kuro lamang, at walang bahid ng pagpapanggap na marami silang alam.

    sa kabilang banda, yung mga tipo ng barbershop quartet na komentarista dito, walang pakundangan kung magkomento,sa halos lahat ng topic. e karamihan naman ay pina-parrot lang naman nila yung mga nabasa nila sa paggu-google nila o sa wikipedia kaya. kung tutuusin, ok lang naman ang ganyang klaseng gawain, pero nakakatawa nga lang. masyadong pa-impress ang dating. kung sa iyo, ok lang yun, e di mabuhay ka.

    at sa lahat naman ng bagay, e talo talaga ang pikon, di ba? pero ang tanong ay bakit sila napipikon? kasi sinasabi ko na nakakatawa ang pagpapapapel nila? hindi ko naman sila pinipigilan mag komento, hindi ko naman tinutuligsa ang mga “opinyon” nila.

    Nanghihinayang pa nga ako na mukhang kuntento na sila dito e. Imbes na makuntento sila na magyabang na meron silang kapirasong nalalaman sa lahat ng topic, bakit hindi sila gumawa ng mas makabuluhang mga obra, mga well-reasoned policy proposals halimbawa, na maari pang makatulong sa pinas? e ngayon, puro kwentong barbero ang ginagawa nila.

    at hindi ko sinabi na hind pulso ng bayan ang kwentong barbero. ang sinabi ko, over-rated siya. binibigyan ng sobrang importansya at kabuluhan. totoo man na kahit sino maaring pagmulan ng lehitimong kontribusyon sa isang usapin, hindi naman lahat ng tao may lehitimong maikokontribute.

    bakit ko nasabing nagpapataasan sila ng (ehem)? Masdan mo ang tendensiya ng ilang mgakomentarista dito na, kapag di na nakakasagot sa batikos ay biglang gagamitin ang kanilang credentials bilang suporta. ‘Titser ako ng 100 taon, kaya wag na natin pagusapan kung tama ako. Basta tama ako.’ Yung ganung klase ba? Anung tawag dun? E di payabangan. At anu ba ang paligsahan ng taas ng tilamsik kundi payabangan din.

    Pasensya na sa haba nito sir karl.

  23. ayan toluy ayaw na lumabas ng sagot kay karl. Bakit kaya/ I tried resending it pero nag e error na eh. duplicate comments daw sabi ng wordpress.

  24. “Supremo, thanks very much for that info. Given your numbers, looks like my initial suggestion of importing rice is not a good idea.” cvj

    Another bad idea is converting ricelands to sugarlands. Sugar production needs economy of scale to be profitable. That’s why if you will notice, sugar cane is produced by big plantations or haciendas, rather than by small farmers. The problems can be very daunting. Truck haulers that will bring the cane to the sugar centrals (which can be located miles and miles away) give priority to big plantations, especially those adhered to the sugar mills. The latter, in turn, get priority in getting their sugar cane milled. By the time the small planters’ cane get milled, the PSTC (piculs of sugar per ton of cane) would have been reduced.

    Besides, the workers who toil in the cane fields are seasonal laborers who only earn the minimum wage for agricultural workers. They don’t share in the profits of the plantations. The profits go to the hacenderos.

    Furthermore, in the whole production cycle, those who profit most are the millers and traders. The latter can profit more than even the hacenderos themselves.

    So, there’s really no place for the small farmers in the sugar industry.

  25. hvrds advocating a truly “free for all” market reminds me of an old professor in Robert Heinlein’s The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress who was a pure anarchist.
    of course, arming citizens, and then letting all hell break loose is a recipe for civilization to be thrown back to the age of the wild, wild west.
    it could work, but it would’ve to be implemented bit by bit. and then, once it gets rolling, see how men collectively build back government, bit by bit. tehee.

  26. Shaman, you’re right in that sugar needs economies of scale but issues of ownership can be separated from issues of management. What should matter in choosing between rice and sugar is the relative return on investment. Which crop will give the farmer higher earnings?

  27. 3rdson,
    salamat sa sagot mo.

    Maging sa iskwela o sa opisina kung me meeting,lalo na pag malapit na matapos ang time,pag nagtanong ng any questions,lahat ng mata nakatingin sa akin na parang tinutunaw ako. “If looks could kill” as they say.

    lalo na yung meeting wala naman OT pag me post shift.

    Sige,ingat na lang.

  28. but issues of ownership can be separated from issues of management.

    Add the types of soil planted with sugar and rice.
    I understand, sugar needs some level of acidity and presense of some soil organic to assure good production.

  29. I think that an agricultural based country must develop ways to ensure sufficiency of its people’s staple food whether it be based on rice, potato or something else.


    I hate to point to you on this particular issue but I guess you are in the best position to state if stories are true that Singapore’s faucets suffer a drastic reduction of water supply whenever Malaysia likes to saber rattle.

  30. Justice League, yeah there’s been that kind of talk, but Singapore knows how to keep things in perspective, none of that knee jerk circle the wagons mentality.

  31. Karl Garcia,

    Off topic.

    Do you know someone who works at the SSS? Maybe you can answer my question too. Can former Filipino citizens receive Philippine SSS benefits?

  32. Cvj,

    Seah Chiang Nee in an article (Nearing A Long-term
    Water Solution) written in 2001 stated that:

    “What has created a sense of urgency to its search was a recent threat by Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid to form an alliance with Malaysia to cut off water supply to Singapore to teach it a lesson.

    He said he had made the proposal to Dr Mahathir Mohamad during a breakfast meeting that the two Malay governments jointly control Singapore’s water supply.

    “If we hold the water for a moment, they will have no water to drink,” he said. “We should not be afraid. Our interests should come first before the interests of other people.”


    With the Singapore’s installation or development of NEWater, desalination plants, etc… then I do tend to agree with you on perspective.

  33. Supremo,

    Wala po ako kilala,(pero si Cunanan kilala ko nung bata pa ako dahil kapit bahay ko sya sa aguinaldo). at wala ako sa posisyon sumagot,pero hindi naman siguro bawal alamin at magsaliksik.

    Retirement benefits lang ang ifocus ko.

    ang general qualifier: 60 yearas old na 120 monthly contributions,continuous or accumulated,then if he decides to work agian, he will receive everything when he reaches 65,which ever is higher.Pero alam mo na yan eh.

    Meron yatang balak si GMA na gawing mandatory ang ss contribution o coverage ng OFW at amyendahan ang SSS charter natin,dati voluntary lang ang contribution.


    Sa US, ang pagka alam ko ,lahat ng nagtratrabaho ay obligado magkaron ng social security number,at magbayad ng buwis duon,isa pa yun ang reference id nila. Di tulad dito me sss,gsis,tin.

    Yan lang po ginoong Supremo.
    Pasensys an po,di ko nasagot tanong nyo sa former citizens.

    Paging lawyers: are former citizens allowed to avail of SSS benefits?Is the 120 cummulative monthly contributions enough to qualify them,when they want to avail of it?

  34. Supremo, I don’t think the SSS does any checking at all whether you’re still Filipino citizen or not. If you’ve put in your contributions, I think, that you should be qualified to receive the pittance of an SSS pension!

  35. hvrds, in other words, money is now more an abstract concept — a market construct if you will — on which complex instruments of trade have been built. Worse, having lost its concrete collateral, the value of money is to a greater extent propped up by collective expectation/perception — or, worse, hope — of what is still to be (but which is uncertain)!

    This highlights the precarious situation that the Philippine economy is in. It is held together by (a) consumption which in turn is kept afloat by (b) OFW remittances, the strength of which depends on (c) a weak peso which, because much of what Pinoys consume is now imported, exerts (d) inflationary pressure on consumables.

    Which in simplistic terms makes for a bizarre circular function — consumerism is made healthier by a strong peso which actually weakens the purchasing power of schmoes dependent on OFW remittances which is increasingly seen as the fuel of consumerism.

    Bozos who tout “healthy” consumption statistics (and the glossy retail infrastructure that provides the face of “progress” for Pinoys starved for “evidence” of achievement) as symbols of progress need a massive reality check. 😉

  36. Benign0, the precariousness of the consumer-driven economy that you describe above is an inherent feature of all Capitalist economies. Nothing particularly Pinoy about this phenomena. Even a ‘producer’ nation such as Japan suffered a decade-long slump in the nineties because it fell into a liquidity trap. In fact, the reason why their slump persisted for so long is that they failed to reignite consumer confidence regardless of their massive spending on infrastructure.

  37. What Benigno mentioned about the Philippines is a problem experienced by many other countries that are part of a world that may be experiencing a major credit crunch soon. Also, note the other points I raised in my earlier post.

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