The gathering storm

Yesterday afternoon I addressed a gathering under the auspices of NIPS on the current political situation. I briefly outlined what’s in my column today, Political leprosy (which makes reference to my March 13, 2006 column, Managing expectations), as well as some points raised the paper of Economist Dr. Michael Alba (which I posted, yesterday, at Inquirer Current) and the argument put forward by yesterday’s Inquirer editorial on the repercussions of the Estrada pardon (widely expected to be formalized on Friday).

My column speaks for itself, but here’s two relevant extracts from the pieces I mentioned. First, from Dr. Alba’s paper:

Is there hope for the future? Recall that, from the inference made by Jones (1997 and 2002) on the very long-run evolution of the world distribution of living standards, the Philippines is right on the demarcation line of countries headed for different futures. If it gets its act together–and this is a big if–the country may yet join the high performers that are tending toward high steady-state levels of output per worker. But to do so, it must exhibit a high growth rate (faster than that of the technological frontier) over a long period of time (as Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan have done), by persistently pushing out the steady-state level of output per worker to which it is headed, not so much by achieving a higher saving rate, a lower population growth rate, and a higher quality workforce, although these will help because of synergistic effects, but by significantly improving its total factor productivity. Growth and modern development economics tell us, however, that this is not so easily done, because it involves improving the quality of the country’s social infrastructure by taking on the vestiges of our history and culture that are growth-constraining, such as flawed leadership that values loyalty more than competence, an entrenched political and business oligarchy that unashamedly promotes and jealously protects its narrow self-interests, and an incentive structure that is nepotistic rather than meritocratic and that rewards thievery and corruption more than honest, hard work. In particular, three absolutely essential and indispensable elements for social transformation are: an effective, efficient, and high-quality education system, a vigilant civil society that demands high accountability from the government, and a competent, corruption-intolerant government administration of firm purpose committed to reform and transformation.

And next, from yesterday’s Inquirer editorial:

The lesson Filipinos have learned is that both leaders have more in common with each other and both have more that sets them apart from a public that is as angry at Arroyo’s cash bar as it was over Estrada’s karaoke governance. In other words, after two years of agonizing over who is the lesser evil, the public can breathe easy, seeing how both are two sides of the same debased coin. It is People of the Philippines now versus Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Joseph Ejercito Estrada.

Returning to Dr. Alba’s economics paper, he pointed out a dilemma facing our OFW remittance-dependent economy. First, as more people work abroad, and send money home, the more foreign currency they send home, the less it’s worth. The result is OFW income is actually declining.

Add to this another problem: the more Filipinos leave home to work abroad, the less they stand to earn, and thus, the less they can send home, and the less what they send home is worth. This is the root cause behind proposals like the proposed November 1 and 2 Remittance boycott. Besides OFW’s, Filipino exporters have also, by all accounts, been ravaged by the depreciation of the dollar.

Add to this a third factor economists like Alba have noticed: the more Filipinos work abroad, the more their remaining dependents at home are likely to give up looking for work, and the more dependent they end up on those abroad. Short-term, this benefits the government, which can (and has, if you refer to Cielito Habito’s presentation a couple of months ago) then write off Filipinos who have given up looking for work, thereby formally (but not really) reducing those officially classified as unemployed.

Put in another factor, which is unreported in the media but common currency among entrepreneurs and other businessmen: the rampant smuggling of goods, which is also hurting Filipino manufacturers and traders. Simply talk to people with businesses that depend on importation or manufacturing, and you will know the concerns are serious, and resentment has begun to run deep. And you will also know who businessmen consider the godfathers and beneficiaries of smuggling.

Add another factor, which is that the upper and middle class in particular, was willing to tolerate many things about the administration, so long as it maintained the appearance of being marginally more virtuous than the Estrada administration. The handing out of cash to congressmen and governors, however, exceeded any doling-out of patronage in the Estrada years and was even more brazen than in the Marcos years. And the President’s attention to detail and workaholic style seems to have been spent more on manipulating the bureaucracy to approve the ZTE and other deals, than on anything particularly productive.

Add to this the growing realization on the part of military officers that they have to consider their career prospects in a future administration (a reason, I’ve heard it pointed out, that with the retirement of the previous service commanders, current and next-in-line commanders have quietly but effectively put a stop to tolerating extrajudicial killings and abductions, which seem to have subsided), and the realization among the politicians that the President’s solution to party problems –throwing money at people causing problems– has made politics so expensive and so utterly transactional, that they will have to bear the price of this in campaigns to come -and it makes politics a pretty much losing proposition, financially (even with Political Viagra by way of IRAs).

Put together the infighting in the President’s ruling coalition, with the sustained efforts of the various groups opposed to the administration, with the growing dissatisfaction with the President on the part of sectors formerly content to either turn a blind eye to her shortcomings, or who preferred her government to the prospects of a new one before 2010, and you have an administration running out of wiggle room. Not least because the President can no longer trot out her claim (very Nixon-like) that she represents a “silent majority.” If you noticed, her “silent majroty” has been consistently vocal, until now. Since ZTE began, the top 500 Women of Civil Society, the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, and so forth have been very, very quiet while the usefulness of organizations such as ULAP has been severely curtailed, because of the payola scandal and clumsy handling by provincial officials (every family dealing with the depreciation of the dollar now has to consider what each congressman’s and governor’s dole out from the President could have done for them, instead, for example). The public hostility to the President over her handling of the Glorietta explosion and the handling by her pet officials hasn’t bolstered the President’s claim to public support, either.

In the same forum, Mon Casiple said that there are several confrontations that will determine whether the President recovers her strength or further dissipates it:

1. Today’s hearing at the Senate, and whether it brings to the fore new revelations (see ZTE inquiry resumes; Cabinet men not going and Joey: FG was coach; Abalos’ captain ball ). I don’t know if I’d be as sanguine as New Philippine Revolution who suggests,

1. After tomorrow’s Senate probe, expect a revival of street protests and rallies. These protests will escalate to heights never before seen in both EDSA 1 and 2. The situation, based on objective analysis of existing conditions, is tantamount to the 1986 scenario. People are raring to protests now and it is just a matter of time. Groups should serve as the trigger.

People are saying that the military should move for the kill first before the people support them. I think this is feasible under present circumstances. A repeat of EDSA 1 is in order. I concur with this observation.

2. The resumption of Congress on November 5, widely expected to be a showdown between the President and the Speaker. Tuesday and Wednesday night, apparently, had meetings of neophyte congressmen at the Palace, which suggests the administration is trying to regain the initiative.

3. The fallout from the Estrada pardon and whether, in the weeks and months to come, a quid pro quo between Arroyo and Estrada becomes obvious as a result, which means a burden for the opposition will now shift to the administration (see the letter of Estrada’s lawyers to the President).

4. The serious resumption of Charter Change will make it clear the President does not intend to step down in 2010.

5. The ability of government to convince the public that it’s solved the cause of the Glorietta explosion.

And, I’d add, the ramifications of a far less cheery citizenry going into the Christmas season, as The Unlawyer points out:

It goes without saying that Philippine retailers were the most adversely affected business sector in the wake of the blast. For example, my company suffered an 11 percent drop in business for this Friday to Sunday weekend period – prime shopping days at that – compared to revenues from previous weekends, although I must say that customer traffic rebounded somewhat on Sunday.

What about in the medium term? The explosion happened during the runup to the 2007 Christmas shopping season, which traditionally starts soon after the All Saints’ Day holidays. Indeed, at least two major Metro Manila malls started their respective pre-Christmas sales promotions on the day of the blast. Philippine consumers will definitely stay away from the malls in the next few days, and if the authorities don’t quickly restore confidence to an apprehensive populace, they may just decide to refrain from shopping for quite a while longer.

Philippine retailers are depending on Christmas season sales for a substantial portion of their 2007 revenues, and it is certainly not an appealing prospect for many of them – of us, I should say – to see our customers frightened so.

Imagine how the retailers will feel as their suddenly-slender margins are further eroded by smuggling.

Blogger Scriptorium, unlike Mon Casiple, thinks the odds are still in the President’s favor in terms of staying in power. The blogger starts off with an interesting analysis of the political scene:

The Philippine political system is best understood if we see its major players as estates divided into blocs composed of factions. An estate, following Weber’s usage, is a group distinguished by its specific social functions and conventions (rather than by mere economic standing, as in the case of a class); blocs are subgroups made cohesive by a common ideology, orientation, or interest, and which are the best Philippine equivalents of political parties; and factions are groups usually united by personal antipathy or allegiance. In the Philippines, the estates would be the Thinkers or “lords spiritual” (its Blocs being the Church, the Left, and the urban intelligentsia); the Warriors (i.e., the regular military, the armed Left, and the criminal and private armies); the Commons (the urban middle class, and the rural electorates); and the Magnates or “lords temporal” (i.e., the political elite, big business, and organized crime). There are other estates and other blocs, but they are not as politically significant.

Based on the above, the blogger breaks things down into three main groups:

(1) Since 1986, the successful removal of a sitting President through peaceful mass action has required a coalition composed of at least one bloc from each estate. Hence, the 1986 EDSA revolt was carried out by an alliance of the Church, the non-aligned intelligentsia, the urban middle class, the military, and the Opposition factions of big business and the political elite; and the 2001 EDSA revolt required the same broad alliance, with the addition of the intellectual Left, which directly participated in the protests.

(2) Of these blocs/factions, the most important have been the military, the Church, the urban middle class (as the popular base of the protests), and the opposition faction of the political elite (which provides the leadership). The absence of any one of these blocs/factions, especially the last, renders removal of a President through peaceful mass action unlikely.

(3) A successful removal through peaceful mass action requires a correlation of forces that favors removal; that is, in leadership, will, and political strength, the pro-ouster coalition must have the advantage over the administration. Thus, the 1986 coalition was marshaled against a regime weakened by economic crisis, the President’s wasting illness, and the attacks of the intellectual and armed Left; and the 2001 coalition confronted a President whose main political base was the isolated and untested urban poor, and who had neither the skill nor the machinery to counter-mobilize.

The blogger points out that the Catholic Church lacks a Cardinal Sin, and the political class either a Ninoy Aquino willing to embrace martyrdom, or a Doy Laurel willing to subordinate his ambitions; and because of these, the military is, in a sense, incapable of moving (for the same reason, the German military proved incapable of challenging Hitler; it’s interesting to me that the blogger compares the current AFP mentality to the old Prussian military mentality that equated professionalism with blind subordination to the state). Anyway, the blogger then concludes,

At present, however, the preconditions for successful removal of the President through peaceful mass action simply do not exist, as was amply demonstrated in the almost-successful ouster attempt of 2005.

To begin with, the main social blocs have been isolated, neutralized, or weakened. For one, the urban middle class, especially the all-important 18-35 age range, is sheltered from economic pressure (like that faced by the urban poor) by the existence of outsourcing and emigrant (OFW) employment, which also siphons off discontented urban intellectuals; and it is diverted from politics by the expansion of the emigrant- and outsourcing-driven consumer market. (Some writers, in fact, have noticed the discrepancy between the youth that fueled the First Quarter Storm and the young adults of contemporary Philippines: once, they say, the paradigmatic activity of college and young professionals was public protest against oppression and injustice; but today, one finds the youth in Starbucks and the ever-ubiquitous malls.)

Even if it were politically active, the urban middle class has declined in relative strength with the politicization of the rural electorate, which tends to be less pro-Opposition than the urban sectors. The presence of this new countervailing force allowed GMA to fight the 2005 ouster-movement by counter-mobilizing the provinces, somewhat as the 14th-century Valois mobilized rural France against the Jacquerie; and with the dominance of patrimonial politics in rural Philippines, which, as I explained in another essay, is under Presidential control, she can well use the provinces again to resist urban protest. Another additional factor has been the rise of urban poor as a potential force. Being less inclined to liberal-democratic ideology and oriented to bread-and-butter issues, the urban poor’s very existence as a mobilizable force serves to weaken the claim of the urban middle class to represent the public will. In a word, we are seeing in the Philippines the beginnings of the process that, in Europe, led to the displacement of middle-class Liberal power with the Conservative, Catholic and Socialist movements.

I can’t wait for Part 2 of the blogger’s essay!

See the PNP Presentation 1 and the PNP Presentation 2 on the Glorietta blast. See also the observations of Tongue In, Anew and The Journal of the Jester-in-Exile and Manuel Buencamino in his column and Inner Sanctum in his blog and Jessica Zafra in hers. Some news: PNP probes army official who found plastic bag with RDX and Ayala Land says PNP theory of methane gas blast unlikely. Whatever the case, the Inquirer editorial urges authorities not to rush it.

A very poignant reflection by Luz Rimban on journalists and their having to pry into the sorrows of individuals in times of crisis or disaster. See Rabid Pirate Tanuki on the reactions of an office mate, a survivor of the blast; I feel blest publishes a letter by a bereaved husband (her harrowing account of the husband and his ordeal is in this entry). helen’s site has harrowing rescue photos, and Life No. 2 reflects on how people coped with the tragedy.

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

271 thoughts on “The gathering storm

  1. I really admire Nelson Mandela,a great MORAL leader.He stayed in prison for 27 years in Robben Island prison because of his principles.Never asked for pardon from the despotic white apartheid government in South Africa.

    On the island, he and others performed hard labour in a lime quarry. Prison conditions were very basic. Prisoners were segregated by race, with black prisoners receiving the fewest rations.

  2. With all the speculations and theories espoused here, the gathering storm is getting weaker, weaker and weaker. You don’t have to look farther. The bishops announcement is largely misinterpreted because it doesn’t fit your notions. It just mean, there is legal and political process to change the president, or just wait until the term is over. Anything else is WASTE.

  3. Equalizer, that’s the kind of genuine MORAL yet STRONG, INTELLIGENT, and INSPIRING leader this country direly needs. I WISH our country sees someone like him in the political arena soon, before we go deeper into this quagmire we find ourselves in right now. Someone whom we can all rally behind towards deliverance, if you may, in all aspects of our national existence. But the question is: will our existing political culture or system allow someone like Mandela to rise to power?

    The late Senator Raul Roco comes into mind.

    In the present context, is wishing for someone like Mandela to emerge and save the day for Philippine politics, and the country in general, to futilely hope against hope itself? Am just being too idealistic on this matter?

  4. cvj on, “What the recent bombing has shown is that people can go to ridiculous lengths to justify their apathy just as the 18 Mindanao bishops have done. As the Ayalas are realizing right now, not even them can be spared from the consequences of their apathy.”

    You mean you are advocating change through brute mob force. It will not happen. You have better chances if you organize and support candidates to get elected that can make a difference.

    Too speculative of Ayalas. The Ayalas are business as usual whether at court at store. It is part of business process.

  5. “to win a position of power, most especially the presidency, and to sustain it during his/her term, a politician must be a little bit machiavellian. in philippine politics, good guys usually finish last or end up a loser. i doubt whether a saint could stay holy after entering politics, assuming power, and struggling to retain it. money will always be a prime factor, that’s why the ARROYOS are concentrating on accumulating it in a magnitude that REALLY boggles the mind.”

  6. ducks on, “In the present context, is wishing for someone like Mandela to emerge”

    That’s the point. You have spent force waiting for superman. You might have to advertise in the yellow pages or TV primetime.

  7. dark pitt on, “ARROYOS are concentrating on accumulating it in a magnitude”.

    If such statement is true, the congressmen and senators can use the lifecheck law for plunder charge.

  8. “if no one will issue the call, i will. EDSA shrine this weekend. saturday and sunday. be there.” V

    sorry V, everybody’s busy blogging on those days… even the equalizer.

  9. Mr. Quezon, III

    I didn’t really read much of your entry today but one thing did catch my attention. NIPS! It’s a racial epithet directed towards oriental people.

  10. V on, “if no one will issue the call, i will. EDSA shrine this weekend. saturday and sunday. be there.”

    I believed and joined the original EDSA. It was long overdue. The rest are copycats spawning dissilussionments. Gladly I did not join them. Filipinos still don’t get it. There is legal and political processes. If you want real change, start reclaiming those processes not taking shortcuts like mobsters.

  11. mlq3, this “storm” has been “gathering” since a few months after gma succeeded to the presidency. her opponents never let up. the frantic campaign to oust her intensified the moment she announced her intention to run for re-election in the 2004 election. salivating wannabees, e.g., lacson, pimentel, roco, guingona (?), the self-anointed messenger of God, villanueva, drilon, & others figured out they could have a better chance in a free-for-all sans a sitting president competing against them with all the advantage of an incumbent. she was maligned as a “liar”, no word of honor, traitor, etc., etc. apparently, they could not bear the thought of having a president for a continuous term of nine years with them on the outside looking in. they were all trashed and humiliated and for that could never “forgive” gma.

    the spate of contrived “scandals”, street protests, demand for resignation, and coup attempts since the so-called edsa 3 in 2001 has not abated. the storm that has been gathering since then has so far not materialized and could be classified as a passing rain shower. the noises will continue up to 2010 and beyond. i hope, for the good of the country, they will remain as thunder and lightning but with no flooding.

  12. To Mr. Quezon, thanks for citing my post. I’m glad it helped somewhat, and I promise to make part 2 when time allows. To Commenter Karlo, the URL of Scriptorium is

    To Commenter Bencard (sorry, but this will be long): I think the problem with most “academic prescriptions” is that they espouse either of 3 ideals: liberal democracy, Christian democracy (syndicalism/functionalism + liberal democracy), or social democracy (syndicalism/socialism + liberal democracy). However, Philippine society is mostly a “patrimonial democracy”, w/c blurs the line between public and private funds and emphasizes duties within socio-economic relations like patronage instead of abstract/formal principles like public ethics.

    So “pure” liberal democracy fails for the same reason it declined in late 19th century Europe–the middle class can’t outvote the impoverished majority w/ their bread-and-butter priorities, w/c patrimonialism answers in immediate if short-term ways. Also, Christian and social democracy can’t take patrimonialism’s place because their institutional representatives (the Church, the Left, and the unions) are excluded/discouraged by law from political action and thus can’t fully enact the programs that allowed Adenauer, for instance, to build a “social market economy” in postwar Germany.

    In the US, it wasn’t liberal politics but the rise in median incomes and New Deal welfarism that finally reduced patrimonialism in the urban political machines; and in Continental Europe, it was this and the rise of the Socialist and Catholic parties. Until these ideological groups are allowed access, or the government ceases to be the main financial base of the country (and a prime source for “rent-seekers”), or the middle class increases in number, patrimonialism will probably stay on…

  13. btw, can something be done about this dirk pitt who shamelessly uses my entire original comments as his own by substituting a few words to change its whole context? i know you don’t mind how stupid and asinine a comment is but would you tolerate this dastardly practice of misusing someone else’s work product (even in the relative anonimity of a blog post?) just wondering.

  14. If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness.
    -Nelson Mandela

  15. If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.
    -Nelson Mandela

  16. dina pinoy on, “military component will not come considering the present setup. si esperon ang ver ni gloria. sinubukan na ang military component sa oakwood, di ba?”

    This is to illustrate how bad is the mobster solution relying on military support. Such military support will only ensure continued protection of military interest in the future as it is brazenly done today getting the larger share of national budget driving the treasury to the poorhouse barely anything left for the needed basic services.

  17. bencard, i’m about to say it’s unfortunate you can’t sue the guy (mwb just beat me). i guess that’s the price for being famous. you got a stalker now. 🙂

  18. Erratum: My reference to Mon Casiple above (at October 25th, 2007, 1:26 pm) should instead be to Scriptorium. Apologies for the confusion.

  19. “Madaling magmiron.”

    It’s so easy to sit in one’s chair, type, criticize and make suggestions about what needs to be done.

    I’m not a fan of GMA but sometimes I find it off that we keep lambasting her, and only her. She may make irritating compromises (the last one being this ERAP PARDON), but I ask anyone, if you were in her shoes, in that snakepit we call our political arena, could you do any better?

    I believe it’s high time people start recognizing the other culprits. The personalities and individuals at the top layer of the power/political order. These are the same people (or their kids/grandkids/cronies) causing tribulations since the time of MARCOS.

    I choose GMA over them. The least of all evils. And that’s saying a lot.

  20. mbw & grd, i don’t think suing is feasible or cost effective. thanks, mbw, though, for your legal “advice”.

    but mlq3, as owner of this blog, can put this guy on the url minesweeper, i think.

  21. “People are saying that the military should move for the kill first before the people support them. I think this is feasible under present circumstances.”

    If such case is successful, that ensures the hold of military over any president who will succeed. The military was holding the axe over Cory, Estrada and today, Gloria. It is no different with the successor. Again the mob public is playing into the hands of the powerful military. Hehe.

  22. “the spate of corruption scandals, extra judicial killings, briberies, and cha-cha attempts since the so-called edsa 2 in 2001 has not abated. the storm that has befall this country since then has so far not abated and could be considered as a passing plague. the miseries will continue up to 2010 and beyond. i hope, for the good of the country, that the recent events will signal that the end of this plague is near.”

  23. dark pits, you “second rate, trying hard copycat”, you are worst than our pet parakeet. at least it makes sense.

  24. Dr Albas economic paper is limited only to data taken in the Philippine setting. It is obvious that earnings from Filipinos working abroad have not been captured in his calculations on living standards and growth rate.

    Therefore, his findings exclude a significant part of the workforce.

  25. Manolo on, “more people work abroad, and send money home, the more foreign currency they send home, the less it’s worth. The result is OFW income is actually declining.”

    This is false. Income earned abroad stated at foreign currency does not change its value. Remittances sent to Philippines are converted right away into pesos which does not lose value regardless of foreign exchange. The 1,000 pesos last month when kept, is still 1,000 pesos this month if my parents wanted to spend it.

  26. indignus, thanks for your response. that is exactly why i think a complete makeover of philippine society, starting from the individual, should take place before we can even begin to talk about reforming our system of governance. for as long as the average voter thinks of elections in terms of “what’s in it for me” instead of “what’s in it for the country, patrimonial democracy will endure. there will always be an expectation of personal quid pro quo for everything a politician does, and for every vote cast by a voter in an election or a legislator in approving legislative action. it’s a culture. no president is immune from charges of corruption regardless of whether or not he/she uses public funds for personal benefit.

    once an individual voter becomes financially independent and self-sufficient, with or without help from the government, he/she will have more independence to elect true and sincere leaders, and the ability and desire to weed out the worthless and undesirables.

    as one possible hope, if only the massive ofw remittances to their relatives left behind would be used to improve the latter’s social and economic status through good education and sound business investments, rather than material luxuries and pretentious living, we would have a fighting chance to create more “elites” in our society, a really strong middle class who will be in a better position to choose the kind of leaders that will govern us.

  27. “Bencard. She won’t because what she’s doing at the moment is just setting a precedent…”. vic

    and how did you know that? if you were speculating why don’t you say so? you must be reading a lot of “journalistic” hogwash. i think we should cut this habit of making conclusions out of conjectures.

  28. a really strong middle class who will be in a better position to choose the kind of leaders that will govern us.

    and may i add, a strong middle class who have self descipline, who WILL follow and respect the law.

    – comes on time
    – hindi naglalagay
    – hindi nagkakalat
    – tumatawid sa tawiran
    – at marami pang iba

  29. “and how did you know that? if you were speculating why don’t you say so? you must be reading a lot of “journalistic” hogwash. i think we should cut this habit of making conclusions out of conjectures.”

    And don’t tell me you were not.. Just thinking that yours is the hogwash as you purports to be. your two cents just worth my two cents. (actually the Canadian $ is a little higher now converted to Peso).

    So what is the purpose of pardoning Erap and not the rest of others who were convicted of the same crimes? If not for my “conclusion”? Gloria is smarter than you think, otherwise she should be commenting here instead of you and me. Also the idea of Estrada going to the Supreme Court and may be successful in his appeal and that would also go back to bite her for her “conspiracy” to oust him. Again these are just speculations as we can’t not read her minds and his advisers which I’m sure you are not privy too. So until yours is proven right, i’d say we are all speculating…

  30. “d0d0ng :
    This is false. Income earned abroad stated at foreign currency does not change its value. Remittances sent to Philippines are converted right away into pesos which does not lose value regardless of foreign exchange. The 1,000 pesos last month when kept, is still 1,000 pesos this month if my parents wanted to spend it.”

    You don’t understand.

    There is a finite number of pesos in circulation. It is free-floating. Its exchange rate is allowed to vary against that of other currencies and is determined by the market forces of supply and demand. The demand for the finite supply of pesos increases as more US dollars come in.
    If an OFW’s family needs 500 pesos a month that OFW will only send 10 dollars if the exchange rate is P50 to $1. If the exchange rate is P45 to $1 the OFW must send $11.11. The pesos will appreciate against the dollar as more OFWs adjust the dollars they send.

  31. Bencard, Manolo’s policy for banning: anything goes except for threaths to fellow posters. dirk pitt’s style may be distasteful, but it petty much still falls under Manolo’s category of free speech. so either bear with him, or give him his own medicine with a twist.

    Dina, where you and I differ is this. I call those who will follow and respect the law as the TRUE PINOYS and the lawbreakers as DI PINOY.

  32. vic, i’ll tell you right now. as things stand, there’s just no way gma would have any need to be pardoned at anytime after her term expires. and this is not just speculation. you can take it to the bank.

    btw, i don’t care if your dollar is equal to or greater than mine. i’m sure you’re dying to move here, if you can. don’t you?

  33. Devils,
    so there’s no more ‘filipino time’ i guess. and where do you find a TRUE PINOY? abroad?

  34. devils, thanks for the heads up. i just thought manolo has the discretion to discourage this “distasteful” act since he already did it on an impostor trying to use my handle in another distasteful manner.(i think i have an idea who the perp is). lol.

  35. “d0d0ng :

    Dr Albas economic paper is limited only to data taken in the Philippine setting. It is obvious that earnings from Filipinos working abroad have not been captured in his calculations on living standards and growth rate.

    Therefore, his findings exclude a significant part of the workforce.”

    You don’t understand.

    GDP is one of the way of measuring the size of an economy.
    This is one way of computing GDP.

    GDP = consumption + investment + (government spending) + (exports − imports)

    OFW earnings remitted to the Philippines falls under

  36. me dying to move to the u.s.? you must by imagining things, Bencard. Of course we can move to the U.S. anytime you know the immigration law, don’t you? , got a family condo in N.Y. city, but no thanks…not even want to do my shopping there any more, just ordered some parts from Glock and it is more expensive than buying here.

    Also there will be need to pardon GMA after her term, because she already done everything for that eventuality. smart lady that Ms Arroyo..

    Malacañang issued a faxed statement denying De Venecia lll’s claims, saying he was imagining things… From INQ 7

    Well, look at this, the Man is testifying under oath and the malacanang people invoked their executive privileges to open their mouths under oath and the guts to re-butt someone’s testimonies instead of going to the investigation themselves and take their oaths. Too many “smart” lawyers that Malacanang…

  37. This is false. Income earned abroad stated at foreign currency does not change its value. Remittances sent to Philippines are converted right away into pesos which does not lose value regardless of foreign exchange. The 1,000 pesos last month when kept, is still 1,000 pesos this month if my parents wanted to spend it.

    dOdOng, you ignorant prick. i’ll make it simple for you. $100 sent last month when exchange rate was P45 – $1 (which was converted right away into pesos as you “sagely” say) will amount to P4,500. contrast that with $100 sent today with exchange rate $43 – $1 which only amounts to P4,300.

    what you are imagining is the OFW exchanging their dollars in their host country and then sending the pesos back home. even then, your example doesn’t cut, you prick. so ok, and budget nila palagi sa pamilya nila is P1,000 pesos. so regardless of the exchange rate, palaging P1,000 pesos lang ang papadala nila.

    that is all fine IF they are earning PESOS you dumbass! but that isn’t the case now, is it? so to send P1,000 pesos last month(P45-$1), they have to earn $22.22, while to send P1,000 this month(P43-$1), they need $23.26.

    and the difference will increase as the amount increase. so please shut your mouth on things you know nothing about!

    and even your “the peso doesn’t lose value” my ass, is WRONG! devaluation of the peso is happening even as it is appreciating against the dollar. you know why? bec inflation is rising!

    please go back to school and study your economics, prick!

  38. Manolo on, “more people work abroad, and send money home, the more foreign currency they send home, the less it’s worth. The result is OFW income is actually declining.”

    This is false. Income earned abroad stated at foreign currency does not change its value. Remittances sent to Philippines are converted right away into pesos which does not lose value regardless of foreign exchange. The 1,000 pesos last month when kept, is still 1,000 pesos this month if my parents wanted to spend it.

    Uhm, not quite, Dodong. Sige I’ll illustrate in simple terms. If say, an OFW family member sends me $1000 a month, and say, last month the exchange rate was P50:$1, then the remittance is converted into P50,000, right? Say this month the exchange rate became P45:$1, then the remittance is then converted to P45,000, correct? So I lose P5,000 because of the exchange rate. So the OFW income, when remitted here, actually declined. Diba?

  39. you’re too funny, vic. btw, you can visit but you cannot reside here on a long term basis without proper visa for which you have to qualify. certainly, not anytime you want.

  40. Oops, Devils and I reacted to Dodong’s comment at the same time (time of comment post, both 9:11am.) But I was a lot nicer to Dodong with my explanation. Hehe.

  41. “All we need to know about what’s wrong with the presidential pardon for convicted plunderer Joseph Estrada, once president of the Philippines, can be found in the letter his lawyers wrote President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Oct. 22. “In the highest national interest, to which President Estrada is always willing to subordinate his own, we appeal to Your Excellency to grant him full, free and unconditional pardon,” they wrote.INQUIRER Editorial”

    Gloria should keep Erap’s letter for future reference and use!Will come handy when she needs to plead her own case one day,for SURE!

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