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Neri being naughty!
By mlq3 Posted in Daily Dose on February 1, 2008 169 Comments 11 min read
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Scuttlebutt update 4:51 PM:

Easing out of Executive Secretary Ermita moved forward to March but timeframe is still up to May. Ermita angling to be PAGCOR Chairman but remains to be seen if the President would risk easing out Genuino in exchange. More likely scenario is a face-saving but politically non-threatening ambassadorship for Ermita.

Winston Garcia said to be slated to be the next Chairman of the Commission on Audit.

The Speaker supposedly threatened a one-hour privilege speech that would get the President in hot water if he’s toppled from the Speakership. President backed off if JDV3 backs off; leaks about this apparently sourced from the Ermita and Bunye camps in the Palace. Congressmen (whether true or not or to drive up their market value) speaking of 1 billion Peso topple-the-Speaker fund at 2 million Pesos per congressman’s signature. But another view is that the President’s sons are just making noise about continuing the toppling efforts to save face.

The President is said to have to intimated that the time has come to put in place the system that ought to have been instituted in the Marcos years: a French style parliamentary system.


A likely story! I’m not hiding, says Neri who turns 58 on Friday. Of course the law-and-order types are silent in the face of Neri’s dodging a lawful warrant of arrest.

Other news: ) Corruption concerns block more US aid to Philippines. The transcript of the press briefing is available online at the US Department of Sate website. Here are the relevant portions on the Philippines:

QUESTION: My name is Jennie Ilustre from Malaya, Philippines Daily. My question is — I was reading this report — the Philippines is still under a threshold program.


QUESTION: Is there any good news when it will qualify?

AMBASSADOR DANILOVICH: We have an excellent threshold program with the Philippines. As you know, it’s a $20 million program. Frankly, it’s all the more robust because the Philippine Government upon receiving the $20 million of our MCC threshold activity, pledged and participated with an equal amount of money — $20 million — to support this program. It’s working well. It’s been successful. It’s going forward. We want to see further results. We’re continuing to look at the Philippines as a positive example of cooperation with the MCC.

I had the pleasure of meeting with President Arroyo and her cabinet in New York in September to discuss the ongoing —

QUESTION: What year, sir?



AMBASSADOR DANILOVICH: At the United Nations General Assembly when she was there for those meetings. We met for about half an hour and discussed the MCC threshold program and the continuing efforts of her government to perform well on the indicators. We will be meeting the delegation from the Philippine Government next week here in Washington. I believe it’s Mr. Teves who is coming, who we’re going to be meeting with. He and his team and the MCC team will meet together to discuss further continuation of the program. And we hope eventually that the compact eligibility will continue and that they will be rewarded a compact in due course.

QUESTION: Who will be on the U.S. side when you meet?

AMBASSADOR DANILOVICH: It will be our MCC team here in Washington.

Thank you. Yes.


QUESTION: Good morning, Mr. Ambassador. Bing Branigan from Manila Mail newspaper. When exactly next week Philippine Finance Secretary Teves is coming?

AMBASSADOR DANILOVICH: Secretary Teves — I think the meeting is scheduled for Tuesday.

QUESTION: Tuesday.

AMBASSADOR DANILOVICH: Yeah. I’m not sure about that but I think it’s Tuesday.

QUESTION: What’s keeping the Philippines from getting the – into the full MCC — what’s the requirements they have not passed yet.

AMBASSADOR DANILOVICH: Sure. We discussed this with President Arroyo and with her ministers when we were together in New York in September. And although the Philippines technically is eligible for a compact, there has been in the last assessment, indicator assessment some serious declines with regards to corruption and some other matters with their performance on the indicators. This causes us some concern because the drop in performance in fact was very dramatic. And we want to understand more clearly why that dramatic drop has occurred, understand what circumstances caused that to happen, so we can have some clarity as to whether or not this precipitous drop is going to continue or if there was some indicator irregularity or if there are further strong reforms which the Philippine Government needs to take in this regard to make sure that at the next period of assessment this summer, the indicator shows an upward trend. The drop was from the 70th percentile down to the 50th percentile. I think the figure – don’t hold me on this, but it was something like a drop from 76 down to 54 or something of that nature. So it was fairly significant. Even though they were still above the median. So that is, in fact, the very reason for the meetings next week. We’re going to discuss this and see. We are going forward. We’re continuing our dialogue. We’re open to discussion with the Philippines.

QUESTION: Mr. Ambassador, (inaudible) corruption (inaudible) is this part of it?

AMBASSADOR DANILOVICH: Well, part of it to the extent that, yes, it’s part of the democratic and – political and democratic assessments that we do in our country – do with our countries.

QUESTION: Thank you.


Yesterday, the buzz in political circles mainly concerned whether the Speaker of the House would still be Jose de Venecia, Jr. by Monday or not. Basically, the President’s husband from overseas, and his two sons as the rallying symbols of the faithful, were relentless in pursuing the destruction of the Speaker: Kampi, Arroyo sons vote to oust De Venecia. Each new news item, for example 134 sign ‘no confidence’ paper vs Speaker–Villafuerte– would create a spike in the chatter. The message was, JDV urged to step down to save face but of course, Bluffing on numbers is House game. Everyone got in on the act: De Venecia-Nograles showdown inevitable–NPC. In the end, it became a question of who could shout they had the Mandate of Heaven: De Venecia: ‘I have Arroyo’s all-out support’.

Scuttlebutt was that the Palace’s preferred “win-win” solution was to appoint de Venecia ambassador to Washington this weekend, which would remove the need for a potentially messy showdown in the House. The problem with that proposal was that it was too insulting to be accepted by de Venecia -from No. 4 in the national hierarchy to a mere presidential appointee?- and would have put Lakas-CMD in too obviously a subordinate position vis-a-vis Kampi much too soon. In the end, the President apparently told her sons to back off on condition the Speaker did the same thing with his son: De Venecia buys time: Son’s silence for Arroyo support.

Also yesterday, during the investiture ceremony for Adel Abbas Tamano as President of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, I had the opportunity to talk to Liling Briones, former Treasurer of the Philippines. She said that the unwritten story (picked up, as far as I can see, only by the Business Mirror where she writes a column) is how Congress has spent two years coming to grips with the budget process and allowing greater participation by the citizenry in its formulation. She said that Rep. Edcel Lagman in the House and Sen. Allan Peter Cayetano went above and beyond the call of duty in bringing the public into the budgeting process. After last year’s efforts to bring legislators and the public together foundered, for the present budget, members of the public got their act together as early as May, when the first call for submissions came. In that manner, they were in synch with the legislators who discovered that the public was willing to follow their process, and had done their homework.

The 1.2 trillion stated by the President remained the grand total for the budget, but members of Congress were able to realign different appropriations under the framework of the millenium development goals: for example spending on public health was increased by something like 50%. The problem now is that the President has taken a dim view when it comes to some of these realignments and has apparently threatened a veto. She also argued that the power of the president to veto is a limited one, subject to stringent criteria, but personally I tend to disagree with that assertion, in the past, anyway, presidential vetoes have been based on constitutionality and legality questions but also in the basis of presidential policy. For more on this point, see Budget ‘warriors’ warn against veto.

A further complication is the proposed stimulus package.

I asked for her views on the proposed stimulus package. She replied that the institutional stimulus package is the national budget and for that reason, she opposed a special stimulus package. A national budget mandates spending, she said, and not only that, because it specifies what is to be spent where, it assists transparency in the spending of public monies. In contrast a stimulus package still has to be debated and then won’t be channeled with as much oversight as takes place with the budget: apparently, for example, the various government departments would have to craft the systems to track such spending if approved, unlike the budget.

She also pointed out that the stimulus package and the national budget will be competing for the same resources: the government assets to be sold to fund the stimulus package, she said, are those already identified as the sources to fund the government budget. This seems to have been addressed: Stimulus plan sourced from 2008 budget.

Also, she said greater public scrutiny is required, whether of existing budgetary items or proposed stimulus programs. A case in point is the proposed 6 billion peso feeding program for school kids. She said that government policy at present is hand sacks of rice to kids, which leads to a whole set of problems: kids staggering home with big sacks of rice, or kids being told they’re receiving 5 kilos, say, but actually being sent home with less, and then of families that sell the rice gift or who then divvy it up among elder members so the kids don’t benefit from the rice. An entirely different situation is that there are appropriations for feeding school kids, but the rice is handed out during the summertime, when the kids and the teacher’s aren’t in school! The point being that enough research and practical experience exists, she says, to prove that effective feeding programs for kids involve feeding kids in school, during class hours.

Concerning Gov’t bares 7.3% 2007 GDP growth With robust 7.4% recorded in fourth quarter: Gov’t bares 7.3% 2007 GDP growth, strongest since 1976, a minor caveat.

You will see on the chart above, which comes from a presentation of Dr. Michael Alba, that the line showing the country’s GDP is broken at one point. I asked him what that meant. He said, it represents a change made in the manner GDP is computed, which makes all previous data and all subsequent data not precisely comparable to each other.

In the blogosphere, the NYT blog The Caucus liveblogs the Democratic debate.

Writer’s Block compares the Philippines to Czarist Russia.

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  1. “Cruz asked the lawmakers from the Senate and the Congress to raise the minimum legal marrying of 18 years to remedy “broken marriages.”

    This is not to defend the Catholic church but to be fair with the bishop and this is just based from what UP n student copy/pasted(12:18 p.m.). I think what Bishop Cruz wants is not to make marriage a solution to unwanted pregnancies. You know how it is especially with parents (kailangan panagutan ng lalaki ang kanyang ginawa), I think , ang gusto ni Bishop Cruz ay huwag papanagutin sa pamamagitan ng kasal ang isang “irispunsable” dahil nauuwi lang sa pag-hihiwalay. So,raising the minimum legal marrying age would prevent such ” napasubo” scenario. The proposal has nothing to do with pre-marital sex since virginity does not equate to being responsible.

  2. It really does not follow. And Cruz should really just shut up.

    …so we should also raise the voting age, the age of conscription….

  3. The Bishop could have said “ knowledge will set the children free “

    then ask GMA to hurry up with better sex education for the youth.

  4. My god, what did Gretchen Baretto see in Dody Puno? Can he afford those daily trips to Luis Vuitton?

    Hmm, I smell a rat here. Sabagay, being DPWH head makes one at par with owning PLDT shares…

  5. Cruz asked the lawmakers from the Senate and the Congress to raise the minimum legal marrying of 18 years to remedy “broken marriages.”

    qwert, age of consent in Canada is 14, but sex Education start even earlier than that, usually at age 12 and school counsellors are available for youths who may not be comfortable talking about sex with their family or parents.. for the purpose of the law, couples in common law relationship for at least 3 years continuously are considered married, be they were wed or not or opposite or same sex…

  6. aku, i fear this discussion will go back to the topic on human development index. at baka pasukin na naman ito nang isang “consultant of here, there and everywhere” proselytizing on the reliability of the cia factbook rather than relying on the comparative EMPIRICAL measures of the undp

    Grow up repository of crap. Since you have no expertise to boot but your “intelligent opinion”, you’re like a juvenile bully, mahilig lang magparinig. Gawa lang yan nang hindi makapagdebate sa harapan. Sheesh.

    Napahiya ka lang dahil makasagot tungkol sa economics, panay ka na ngawa.

  7. point to me where the ‘you-are-one-cia-agent’ allusion is made, other than a caveat issued not to rely heavily(especially if one purports to be an academician) on cia generated report because it makes for a bias reference (despite and inspite of the factbook’s accuracy, go figure out why).

    Dig more dirt from archives inidoro to live up to your name. I think that was the time when i was still totally ignoring your obnoxious handle in this

    As to my “resume building” I do not have to prove anything to you. I don’t even know your background but for sure you cannot debate with me in economics. KAya dinadaan mo sa personalan.

  8. My god, what did Gretchen Baretto see in Dody Puno? Can he afford those daily trips to Luis Vuitton?

    A promise of marriage perhaps that TC cannot give to LA GRETA. He won’t dare go against his mom, Imelda and divorce his wife Denise.

    But Dody’s promises had been long broken for the beauty queens who were linked to him romantically and bore him natural-born children.

  9. “but for sure you cannot debate with me in economics”

    PLEASE stop this already. It’s not healthy. It’s lazy debate.

  10. PLEASE stop this already. It’s not healthy. It’s lazy debate.

    Nash, you tell that “lady” na mahilig magparinig. I think ignoring him does not work. Kulang sa pansin.

  11. Anthony scalia,

    I am not on their payroll because I am not a company employee.

    “payroll |ˈpāˌrōl|
    a list of a company’s employees and the amount of money they are to be paid : there are just three employees on the payroll.
    • the total amount of wages and salaries paid by a company to its employees : small employers with a payroll of less than $45,000.”

    2. Pennies add uo but your ideas don’t. People who live on trickles end up piss-poor.

    3. Absurd examples are necessary to demonstrate the absurdity of your blind faith in measurements that do not give you an indication of what is being measured. There is a right GDP/GNP and a wrong one. Goods and services is right, pussy and services is wrong.

  12. Nash, DevilsAdvoc8,

    Back in 2006, while discussing a separate Mindanao republic; Rodrigo Duterte was supposed to have remarked that he would opt for a Muslim president (in the Mindanao republic) because of the fact that majority of firearms that are not the property of the military and police are with the Moro people and the communist rebels.

    He further stated that (obviously referring to Mindanao) “An ordinary Christian does not have a gun. There are those who have but these are small in terms of number and power and not the rifle-propelled grenades and grenade launchers that are found in Moro land,”.

    Please do note that he said “Moro people” and not Moro rebels.

    His statements implied a lot.

    Should this proposal actually go forward; hopefully there won’t be a severe selective enforcement.

  13. jl, moros value their guns. A LOT.

    i’ve heard it said they value it more than their wives. they’re a fierce bunch. mindanao never being conquered even by the americans. a testament to their fierceness.

    but you know that a proposal to tax ALL the churches would draw reprisals from the islamic sector. and im not talking abt “people power” that its christian counterpart might launch.

    so a president who’ll go through with this has to have extreme political as well as personal will. not to mention a very powerful army capable of crushing any and all resistance.

    anyway, that’s just wishful thinking on nash’s and my part.

  14. caught it in Slate, searched everywhere online, found it, watched it. didn’t vomit but was pretty much disgusted. won’t post the link. it’s Manolo’s call. it’s not on youtube. the original (that started all this) must’ve been taken down pretty fast by youtube. but too little, too late. the phenomenon had started.

    wikipedia has an article abt it, but also posts no links to it.

    what is it?

    2 girls 1 cup.

    that’s all you need to know.

  15. Mindanao story that is in UK TELEGRAPH newspaper:

    Filipina bride ‘paid hitmen to murder pastor’
    By Richard Edwards
    Last Updated: 2:23am GMT 13/12/2007

    A baptist minister who married a Filipina woman 39 years his junior has allegedly been murdered by hitmen hired by the bride.

    Pastor David Brash, 62, was apparently battered to death and his body dumped in a swamp in the Philippines only 21 days after he left the UK for a new life with his young wife.

    A police chief on the island of Mindanao said the pastor’s 23-year-old bride, Analyn Batalyer, confessed to detectives that she paid two hitmen £350 to have him murdered.

  16. thank you Pat, for writing what I can’t express fluently. serves Cruz and those crazy conservatives right. they should be prime candidates for Gallego’s forced sterilization. let not the breed of irrational people spread!

  17. I don’t even know your background but for sure you cannot debate with me in economics.

    stated like a papal bull. you should have ended your oh-so-certain claim with your signature imprimatur: “i should know you can’t debate with me in economics because i know that i don’t know your background so for sure you can’t debate with me in economics”. ah, what self-absorption can do to one’s logic–or lack of it.

  18. Anthony Scalia: “Thus, if political leaders are trying to maximize GDP and GDP is not a good measure, you are maximizing the WRONG THING and it can be counterproductive.” – Joseph Stiglitz

    “Aren’t you aware that the yardstick used by almost everybody in ascertaining good economic health is figures/GDP/GNP?”

    Well, Dr. Stiglitz is the right person to answer your query. But listening to him makes me guess how he may respond: GDP is a WRONG measure – it ascertains BAD economic health. (Of course, he was not even referring to RP, but all countries infatuated with GDP.)

  19. q3: Thanks for that link to the Abinales treatise on the Philippines 1900-1910. Both Bencard and cvj should read this. As the historian states:
    The Americans were actually responsible for giving territorial reality to Las Islas Filipinas, the basis of the future Republic., he also cited instances of American brutality during the pacification campaign, e.g. the “howling wilderness” of Samar island. The article also stated that debatable as to whether the Aguinaldo Malolos Republic and other revolts, “had they all succeeded, whether would unite under one contiguous territory. Already when the first American troops landed in Negros Island, Negrenses were threatening to create their own republic.”

    The article you provided the link to is also NOT the only article I’ve seen which cites that (except for sporadic incidents or pockets of resistance) Muslim Mindanao appreciated the arrival and presence of American military forces and the American administration.

    The article stated that
    … cooperation extended by Muslim and Cordilleran leaders to the Americans. They regarded colonial rule (under Americans) as a means of protecting themselves against Christians and “lowlanders.” American military officials reciprocated this cooperation by resisting the efforts of Filipinos to extend their power to the “special provinces.” A working relationship eventually developed between these community leaders and the Americans whereby the former were given minor posts in the provincial government (“tribal wards” in the case of the Muslims) in exchange for agreeing to recognize American sovereignty.”

    But I have a question. What was happening in the background so that as early as
    1905, the Americans proceeded to prepare the grounds for eventual self-rule.

    Four territories the US “received” from Spain after Spanish-American-War — Cuba, Guam, Puerto Rico, PHilippines. Cuba was returned to Cubans because the US Congress directed the US President return Cuba to Cubans. Of the remaining three, both Guam and Puerto Rico are under US, in fact, their citizens were granted US citizenship just as the Jones Act was getting written.

    I don’t think Guam or Puerto Ricans are any more special or less special than Filipinos, so what happened?

  20. Q3: My question may have gotten garbled, but the question is why did the US, as early as 1905 began to prepare to depart from the Philippines? The US did not do this for Guam nor Puerto Rico, in fact, the US instead chose to grant US citizenship to the other territories.

  21. mlq3, idk. i think i read it somewhere. yeah, mindanao was occupied, but the americans made some kind of an agreement with them, didn’t they? some agreement wherein they’ll be kind of left alone as long as they recognize american sovereignty or something. it’s what i remember anyway.

    i’ll read the link you posted for more info…

    much tnx for the correction.

  22. Devils, yeah, I think you are referring to the pact the Americans made with the Sultan of Sulu. They abrogated this a few years later. But then, they continued “paying” the sultan according to the treaty (it was never ratified by the US Senate). Meanwhile, some defiant datus continued to fight the American colonial govt there.

    On mainland Mindanao, many Moro elites “collaborated” with the US colonial regime, even petitioned for the complete or permanent annexation of Moroland by the US. But there were also Moro datus who fiercely resisted the occupying forces. Of course, they all lost. But they fought gallantly until the last man.

    This is perhaps what people mean by, “the Moros were not conquered.”

  23. upn, i guess it’s a matter of weighing strategic and economic costs. keeping puerto rico and guam made sense militarily; economically, they weren’t a threat. the philippines didn’t pan out as the gateway to china the americans first imagined and was a problem in terms of the sugar industry competing with beet interests in the usa and sugar interests in cuba. the anti-imperialist league had also opposed annexation of the philippines partly on racial grounds -which might suggest why, without a white-led republic asking for annexation as in texas and hawaii, puerto rico and guam remain territories and aren’t seriously being considered as future states.

  24. devils, my own research on the matter only goes asd far as:

    i think this paper by a moro lawyer is a good read:

    he answers, for example, why it was that until the 1950s the moros were pretty well integrated into the national political system, but then things started breaking down:

    Up until the 1950s, the state had adopted numerous land distribution laws and enforced resettlement policies that dramatically changed the demographics of Mindanao. But by the 1960s, the demographic reengineering program assumed a far more sinister form. Through military support for a para-military movement of settlers known as the Ilagas, land dispossession in Central, Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Mindanao was achieved through outright forcible land-grabbing.

    It was this land-grabbing that precipitated the formation of the Bangsa Moro Liberation Organization which, together with the original Moro National Liberation Front that spawned the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, launched the modern armed day struggle for re-assertion of Moro identity and right to the homeland.

  25. cvj: I was more into saying that the cited article had things you would want to hear (“howling wilderness”) and Bencard would want to hear (“threading the Islands into one”). My real question now is how come? Within three administrations, the US began to prepare to leave the Philippines to Filipinos. So it took longer, but the US did what (by the article) the US said it would — leave the Philippines. Why? Why the Philippines, not Puerto Rico nor Guam?

  26. Mlq3: thanks for the sample links. Luts of stuff, including the humor on the primer on the plebiscite. I, for now, rest with the renewed awareness that the US obtained 5 territories not contiguous to the “mainland” – Cuba, Philippines, Guam, Puerto Rico, Hawaii.
    …The Abinales treatise, though, is still interesting —that by 1905 or within 7 years after Treaty of Paris, the Americans began preparing to leave the Philippines for Filipinos. That sentence kind of makes sense if only from the perspective that the Philippines being halfway around the world is far less attractive to American adventurers of that era as compared to, say, Arizona (which, in feb 1912 was the 48th and last of the contiguous states admitted to the Union).

  27. I am sure there was racism — brown-skinned ain’t white-skinned — but racism to me is a weak explanation of differences between Philippines-USA and PuertoRico-USA relations in the early 1900’s. Saying there was a white-supremacist movement in Puerto Rico in 1917 seems a stretch, yet in 1917 the Jones-Shafroth Act provided US citizenship to Puerto Rico.

  28. A cut-and-paste from Wikipedia:

    The first bill seeking to grant the Philippine Islands autonomy and eventual independence was introduced in 1912 by William Atkinson Jones, a Democrat from Virginia, chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Insular Affairs. It planned to grant the Philippine Islands independence on July 4, 1921. The bill passed committee deliberations, but it did not progress from there.

    A second version of the bill which did not set a definite date for the granting of independence was filed in 1914 by Representative Jones. Several amendments were introduced to the bill, as the Republicans tried to defeat it. It was only passed after the preamble was revised to include a statement that: “… it has always been, the purpose of the people of the United States to withdraw their sovereignty over the Philippine Islands and to recognize their independence as soon as a stable government can be established therein; …”.

    It was signed into law by of the United States President Woodrow Wilson on August 29, 1916 .
    Then a year later, the same US congress that said “..withdraw their sovereignty over the Philippine Islands” passed the Jones-Shafroth Act which provided US citizenship to Puerto Rico.

    By the way, is there a monument in Manila to William Atkinson Jones?

  29. p, it would depend on what the hierarchy of racism was at that time, how malays figured in the pecking order, with wasps on top, then possibly today’s latinos next, etc. and where in the states, i do recall older filipinos recalling that in the east filipinos were “honorary whites” at the time california was passing anti-miscegination laws forbidding whites to marry filipinos. i seem to recall, as well, that in the south filipinos could use the whites-only bathrooms and drinking fountains.

  30. upn: yes, the jones bridge.

    also, re: above, recall opposition to the annexation of the philippines was led by the democrats, who made it part of william jennings bryan’s failed presidential bid vs. mckinley. thereafter, it remained a plank on the democratic platform. when teddy roosevelt split the taft vote and wilson won, the democrats could then fulfill their party platform re: eventual phil. independence. wilson was the guy who made national self-determination a part of american foreign policy, particularly in post ww1 europe.

  31. I have a moro acquaintance who told me that to keep power within their families, they kept education and access to education to themselves. So the Moro “elites” are highly educated (studying all over the world on US Scholarship Grants) but prefer that a large ‘mass’ of willing ‘subjects’ still exists

    Anecdotally, one of my non-‘royalty’ Moro friends tells me this joke “Scholarship for the poor Moro? Asaan? Eh sila-sila (old ruling families) rin lang naman ang nakakakuha ng mga postgrad scholarship na yan. If you are not one of those families, its rare to get those scholarships…”

  32. hawaiianguy,

    “Well, Dr. Stiglitz is the right person to answer your query. But listening to him makes me guess how he may respond: GDP is a WRONG measure – it ascertains BAD economic health. (Of course, he was not even referring to RP, but all countries infatuated with GDP.)”

    I was just stating the reality that almost everyone still clings to the use of GDP/GNP as bases for investment decisions. Right or wrong, that is still the mindset.

    Its so hard to tell investors not to base their million-dollar investment decisions on GDP/GNP alone. And I dont think a Nobel laureate can persuade them from changing their minds, at least not for now.

    After all, unlike Nobel laureates, investors have what Americans would call ‘skin in the game’ – their millions of dollars are at risk.

  33. nash,

    “Napakataas po na population growth rate ang “the population growth rate is less than 4%.” Plus factor in the ~10% unemployment. That 7.5% GDP will never catch up. (Especially since we also have the most honest bureaucracy in the world)”

    er, in computing the unemployment rate, the base figure is not the entire population, but the employable segment of the population.

    unless you’re following the formula of Ibon that all OFWs are deemed unemployed

  34. manuelbuencamino,

    “I am not on their payroll because I am not a company employee”

    nice try, giving a strict technical definition of payroll. if you are receiving a sort of payment on a regular basis, regardless of working relationship, you are on the payroll

    “Pennies add up but your ideas don’t.”

    it takes one to know one, my friend.

    and may i remind you again, that at one point in the past, you were just convinced by thinking people to change your mind on GDP/GNP (borrowing your own words)

    “People who live on trickles end up piss-poor””

    oh really? you haven’t tried the combination of saving and investing. one unsolicited advice – read the classic “The Wealthy Barber” you can get a synopsis and a review on

    “Absurd examples are necessary to demonstrate the absurdity of your blind faith in measurements that do not give you an indication of what is being measured. There is a right GDP/GNP and a wrong one. Goods and services is right, pussy and services is wrong”

    Ill say it again – at least you admitted that your own examples are absurd.

    pray tell me who put up the ‘whorehouse’ argument.

    blind faith? in what? thats what happens if a post isn’t read properly – right or wrong, GDP/GNP is used by some people who matter – the investors – in making investment decisions. Investors will no longer look at the story behind the figures, just at the figures themselves.

    do not indicate what is really measured? lets hear your alternative way of measuring the sames things GDP is supposed to measure.

    I have conversations with people who have ‘skin in the game’ – those who have actually invested here – and they point to increasing business activities the past few years.

    Admit it, you are looking at reality with ‘Hello Garci’ lens

  35. mlq3: Good point about racism. Racism is practiced in a very discerning fashion. Black-from-Alabama, Filipino, latino-from-Puerto Rico, Pole, Italian, Slav… not equal, but not equally not-equal. Like to some Filipinos, some Filipinos (Aetas) are less equal than some Filipinos (Boholanos) than some Filipinos (Cavitenos).

  36. “er, in computing the unemployment rate, the base figure is not the entire population, but the employable segment of the population.”

    Duh. Of course I know that. Eh sino pa magtratabaho to put food for those unemployable segment (oldies, children) of the population?

    Let us also not forget the ‘underemployed’. (Who, I’m told by sources in the NEDA and ADB) are still put under ’employed’ when coming up with this magic numbers.

    And remember 10% of 40 Million is 4 Million in real terms. That’s still a lot. Basically, it would be good to have nearly zero population rate for a decade.

    (Pero wishful thinking lang yan. We all know is not possible dahil basta pinoy, sweet lover)


  37. @a.scalia and ManuelB: The both of you apparently are looking at GDP from two perspectives. A.scalia is looking for something to measure business activity (GDP does that). And disregarding the “‘garci’lens'”, ManuelB is looking for something to measure the general well-being of a population (GDP does not do that).
    The very same guy, the inventor of GDP, had said in his first report to the US Congress:
    …the welfare of a nation [can] scarcely be inferred from a measure of national income…

    A good example of GDP being good for X and bad for Y is if a Typhoon Durian strikes Bicol, a Durian-strength typhoon hits Manila, another hits Cebu, another hits Baguio, and another hits GenSan city. GDP will increase since GDP counts work that results from repairing harm. But surely it would have been far better if the disaster had never occurred in the first place.

  38. @UP n

    “Like to some Filipinos, some Filipinos (Aetas) are less equal than some Filipinos (Boholanos) than some Filipinos (Cavitenos).”

    I’d like to meet these filipinos. Morbidly, I think I will have hours of entertainment. I’m gonna go meet them wearing my bahag.

  39. I was just stating the reality that almost everyone still clings to the use of GDP/GNP as bases for investment decisions. Right or wrong, that is still the mindset. – Anthony Scalia

    Sounds like lechon-manok style businessmen to me.

  40. @cvj and justice scalia

    Sino nga itong “everyone still clings to GDP as bases for investment decisions”. Please I’d like to know.

    Because I can say that the Electronics and Semiconductor industry doesn’t. When Texas Instruments decided to put up a new plant in Clark, they did not go about comparing the GDPs of Vietnam, Pelepens, and China…

  41. Nash, i agree. That’s why i said Scalia’s acquaintances sound like lechon-manok (or Shawarma or Bubble Tea)-style entrepreneurs.

  42. …and I will not accept answers like “hedge funds, investment banks, sovereign wealth funds, or currency speculators”

    These guys make money of out of our backs and our reserves without adding to the bottom line – actual jobs.

    Like him or loathe him, sabi nga ni Mahatir, these money speculators are leeches.

  43. GNP/GDP is simply a monetary measure of the division of labor between the the economic agents in an economy and their subsequent corresponding expenditure for the period.

    Owners of Capital and/or Production (Foreign- domiciled/Domestic)-
    Labor (all inclusive productive and non-productive forces domestic and abroad)
    Government (Excise and Fees added on)

    It can obviously be measured by expenditures of all three agents (consumption) or value added (production)side of the same three groups. (A large part is guesswork)Governments will always err on the side of optimism.

    Case in point: when the government or a taxi company buys vehicles it is part of capital formation. When families buy vehicles it becomes part of durables consumption.

    Source of income & consumption (specialized division of labor- micro/macro and international)- labor and future labor (debt)

    Present real growth track of the Philippine economy comes predominanttly from OFW incomes/foreign investments in mining, BPO,/disinflation in the accounts of the owners of capital since their cost of capital and imports are cheaper due to the strength of the peso. Automatically they have a greater surplus value similar to the government in the savings of foreign debt service and imports. That goes to the bottom line.

    Cost of oil is not a great part of their cost structure. A lot of the big boys have their own individual mini- power plants or buy their power direct from generators.

    The weakest link in government accounts is the agricultural sector and the trade sector. That is almost more guesswork than it is not. This is where the bulk of the informal sector lies.

    Did the economy of the Philippines grow over 7% last year? Probably not. It would cost millions to get the accurate data and take some time. Statistical discrepancies of 3-5% make it difficult to be accurate. Did the economy grow. Absolutely. The range – 5%-7%.
    Does the growth lead to more capital formation and to sustainable development. Absolutely not.

    The simple reason is the lack of a developmental state and the continued existence of political entrepreneurship in the legislature, executive and judiciary of the country. Our political establishment are entrepreneurs and indentured political servants to vested interests.

    When the military become part of the political entrepreneurship game you have the makings of low intensity facism. If we are not careful it becomes a more intense form of facism.

  44. nash: when monkeys talk, they use monkey-talk. when goats talk, they use goat-talk. when a goat and a monkey talk, the one asking for the favor uses the language of the one he is asking favors from.