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Quick rice-related readings
By mlq3 Posted in Daily Dose on April 29, 2008 62 Comments 8 min read
Cooperation in the Wake of Rice Panic Previous The Explainer: Rice-a-rama Next

Even as Farmers fleeing ancient centre of Philippine rice,government tries to look busy and at the same time give the impression it’s not lurching from one policy to another:


It seems the NFA bought some very expensive rice from bangkok last week. and a rice trader there says if we buy more, we’ll end up driving the price of rice further up. iran and indonesia too. were now the top importer of rice. how the mighty have fallen. hahahaha. for a country that was once an exporter… now buying from a country that was once an importer.
[From FROM RICE TO MEAT]

Malacañang says that yes, the president did give an interview to the asian wall street journal over the weekend. Press secretary Ignacio bunye says the president was asked if the nfa’s role will change in the rice procurement program. The president he says, gave a conditional answer, that if the prices of rice continue to rise -then they may have to boost local production and that means that yes, the nfa role will change. However bunye says that is talking in the long term. In the short term, bunye says the objective is to put food on the table and that is where NFA will play an important tole now. However pgma also quoted some analysts as saying that the price of rice will temper in the coming months of the second semester because eof talks that export restrictions will be lifted and that there is every indication that the harvest is good here. [From SAILING…]

Here’s an interesting tidbit:

And could this be true, Filipino-Americans are doing their fair share of hoarding in response to the crisis, even going so far as buying up rice in order to send to family members back in The Philippines? [From U.S. Stores Rationing Rice, Filipino Americans Hoarding?]

While the skeptics argue,

I too wonder if there really is a shortage as a friend from the north told me that rice is abundant and that if I would like, he would buy rice in the province for me. If what my friend is true, then we have all been taken for a big ride. The other scenario would to incite panic among the populace. With the prices of basic commodities reaching the stratosphere and with utilities costing more, clamor for Gloria to take extreme action could be pushed by unscrupulous allies. Talks of emergency powers are now being floated and for what reason we really cannot tell.
[From Faking And Exploiting Crises]

Examine the Rice Trading Centers Map. Why, for example, are rice prices the highest in Iloilo, when it’s in a favorable position to import its needs and the Visayas, officials have said, is self-sufficient when it comes to rice?

See Arroyo eyes cutback in gov’t rice subsidy and NFA told to keep buying price of palay at P17 until December.

Practical solutions time:

What is this holistic approach?

First, we need information. There are already discrete databases scattered across our country, which needs to find focus. PAGASA for instance is one such important point-man in this ever escalating race for Food Security, environmental cat and mouse game. While it is true that they’ve been provided with new equipment – like a new Supercomputer, this is still not enough. This country needs better climate modeling solutions. PAGASA need not only better equipment but these scientists, we need to take care of. We need to know how much and when rainfall will strike at greater accuracy and precision.

That said, we need an even strong coordination and focus from the realm of the academics. We need our environmental scientists from every university in this country to have access to all these discrete databases and be able to correlate that information to practical use. We need realtime correlation of information from our environment - from weather to soil condition to sea to everything. We need our scientists and PAGASA to be talking and working more so today. And we need this information available publicly, in easily accessible and understandable databases, wikis, etc. This information can be used by businesses, by communities, by farmers, by fishermen, by every Filipino to be able to work with the environment.
[From Of Food and Men]

Over at Global Voices, Mon Palatino provides a roundup of rice-related news, see Southeast Asia: Rice and food price crisis. Additional regional perspectives: see Cambodia Will Become A World Largest Rice Export Country and the following:

30 Years Ago Haiti Grew All the Rice It Needed. What Happened? The U.S. Role in Haiti’s Food Riots

and,

Higher food price means more income and more incentive to farmers to increase their production capacity. But its bad for the macro-economy especially inflation. Higher food price means higher inflation, and higher inflation hurt the poor by deteriorating their purchasing power. The problem is nearly 50% of Indonesia people life with 2$ a day, and also nearly 60% of the poor, around 23 million of 37 million, live in rural area.

The condition above create an anomaly in policy making. In one side the government must keep inflation and food price low enough so its does not hurt the poor. But on the other side the government must maintain a reasonable high price to give incentive to farmers to increase their production and increase rural welfare.

Is there any policy to achieve both objective above? Yes! Give high subsidy to the farmers like the Developed Countries do. But the problem is our government does not have the money to do it. Then they turn their head to the consumer, Cheap Food Politic.

The principle of Cheap Food Politic is as long as the food price cheap, the majority (poor) will keep silent. This policy is simply urban bias. Cheap food price is good for poor urban (the 40%), which main source of income is service and manufacturing sector. But bad for poor rural (the 60%), which main source of income is agriculture sector. Lower food price mean lower income and also lower welfare for rural area. The government sacrifice the rural for the sake of the urban. Why? Because poor urban is more attractive politically than poor rural.

[From Youthful Insight: Consumer or Farmer First? Anomaly and Inconsistency in Indonesia Agriculture Policy]

and,

[Asian] Rice laws and regulations are going in the wrong direction. It takes one back to the British Corn Laws,” says [Steve] Hanke.

“These mandated the virtually complete government regulation of British agriculture at the start of the nineteenth century.

“Fortunately, that yoke was removed in 1846. Thanks to the efforts of Richard Cobden, John Bright and the Anti-Corn Law League, the Corn Laws were repealed.

“This resulted in the promotion of free trade, the importation of cheap food and a major surge in British standards of living.

“What rice needs today isn’t more government meddling but a modern version of the Anti-Corn Law League.”
[From Indonesia’s Economy Blog – Sarapan Ekonomi]

and,

In yesterday’s China Daily there was an article titled “Pledge not to stop rice exports lauded.” The article states that COFCO, China’s leading grain, food oil and food import and export group — which apparently exports rice equal to 1% of the volume of internationally trade rice — will not cut rice exports. Given China’s own food supply problems, this is a commendable move if true because, as far as I understand, the supply of rice is close to crisis proportions in many Asian countries. And of course it doesn’t make China’s own food supply problems any easier, although my back-of-the-envelope calculation is that this probably affects less than one-half of one percent of total Chinese rice production. I suspect that a number of major governments along with the appropriate agencies — perhaps the World Bank and the Asian development Bank — are going to need to organize some coordinated response to the rice problems. Perhaps China can take the lead here.
[From Rice and margin]

and finally,

The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) already has a base to build from in serving as a framework for multilateral dialogue and collaboration in the management of food supplies and prices. ASEAN members include two of the world’s leading rice exporters, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as the leading rice importers, the Philippines and Indonesia. In the wake of the food crisis of the early 1970s, ASEAN has been, in fits and starts, organizing and tinkering with the ASEAN Food Security Reserve – an agreement among members to set aside and share rice stocks for situations just like this. It’s high time these discussions be accelerated and implemented.
[From In Asia » Blog Archive» Averting the Impending Food Crisis]

 

 


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  1. Maraming nasayang na palay dahil sa takot na matawag na rice hoarders ang ilang mga producers ng bigas. Pero ang masalimuot ay ngayon pa lang ay source na ng corruption ang Family Access Card ng DSWD at ang panukala ng World Bank na price regulation na inisnab ng gobyerno noon ay remedyo sana sa tahasang price inflation na bumubiktima sa ating mga minimum wage earners

  2. Jared Diamond wrote in his brilliant book Collapse using the failed colonisation of Greenland by Norwegian Vikings as a case study.

    Greenland was a challenging environment to live in. But that didn’t stop the Vikings from trying, and it certainly was home to Eskimos since ancient times.

    The trouble with the Vikings in the latter parts of their experiment with Greenland was that even with mass starvation staring them in the face, they failed to let go of their fixation on their traditional eating habits (based on dairy products and European livestock). It was their livestocks’ overgrazing of the Greenland landscape that eventually did them in.

    At some point they were relying on food imported from the European continent to survive.

    Well well well.

    Continuing the story, if I recall the book right, hardships and warfare within Europe eventually shut down this trade route as well leaving the Greenland Vikings to croak.

    All through that painful ordeal (archeological evidence paints a poignant picture of slow starvation among the colonists), eskimos were feasting on whale meat and other marine products they’v learned to harvest from the arctic circle.

    The moral of this story are

    (1) There was a whole survival paradigm right under the vikings’ noses that could have saved them from extinction;

    (2) Fixation on tradition doomed them to a slow and agonising decline; and,

    (3) Dependence on imporation (specially on food imporation) makes for a precarious and high-risk existence.

    And here’s the simple solution for Filipinos:

    Let them eat kamote.

    It’s delicious, nutrious, and maintains that busog feeling a lot longer than rice (according to the Department of Health).

    It’s simple, really.

    – 😀

  3. “The trouble with the Vikings in the latter parts of their experiment with Greenland was that even with mass starvation staring them in the face, they failed to let go of their fixation on their traditional eating habits (based on dairy products and European livestock).”

    I will never give up boobies.

    Kidding aside, there are dangers, not to mention pain, when humans suddenly shift to a different “genre” of food.

  4. Benign0,

    Here is a better solution.

    1. Let us pray and remain faithful to the Lord almighty.

    It’s that simple. 🙂

  5. It won’t come as a surprise if someone is just faking the crisis. This will allow him/her to import at a very steep price rice that may also have been pre arranged to be exported to the Philippines. It is not difficult to negotiate a “fake deal” with a scrupoulous asian exporter and subsequently make it appear that this exporter legitimately won the bid to supply rice to the Philippines . VOILA! better than the gravy from the NBN-ZTE scam.

    The number one rule in the trading game is never show your hand. Sure , you are a regular importer but you do not have to scream at the top of your lungs that there is a foreboding crisis by making the poor line up at every NFA outlet.

    Number two rule is not to push the panic button among the producers by using and manipulating your obedient law enforcers in the field.

    number three rule, if you intend to manipulate rice prices and gain by your machinations, you do it with least attention. The cavalier announcement of an impending crisis and working up the poor to effect one, is really galling!

  6. Given that Filipinos will probably breed like rats and rabbits for at least one more doubling time’s worth, to about 180 million people in 30 to 40 years, it’s a no-brainer that even if all the graft and corruption and inefficiencies are fixed, we will have to rely on technological innovation to prevent famine and riots in the long run. All that bull about “organic farming” by small farmers using “good seeds” in the Letters to Editor of the Philippine Daily Innuendo today is just so much hiding our head in the sand. Without the Green Revolution in the 1960s (which used oil-based fertilizers and pesticides) there would’ve been war and famine there, which is why Norman Borlaug got the the Nobel Peace Prize for his work at IRRI and elsewhere to bring science to bear on a major problem. Now we need the Gene Revolution.

    I suggest that as in the malaria debacle due to Rachel Carson’s ideological fight against DDT, it is again environmentalism as a religious cult that threatens us more than anything else. Oh and those stupid Bishops and their birth control inanities.

  7. Many Filipinos have been sending rice to relatives via balikbayan boxes long time ago not because they are hoarding but because of some quality rice that they like to share to their relatives back home. Some send rice in preparation for their vacation. They have been accustomed to eating rice of that variety that any other type of rice would make a difference in their taste.

    One should have observed Filipinos’ buying habits wherever they are.

    1. Some say, because it is the mentality of preparing for storm that Filipinos tend to buy in bulk.

    2. Many would agree that Fil-ams are filling up balikbayan boxes the whole year round so every chance that they could go to Costco or wholesale outlets, they buy as many that they could afford to carry.

    3. Some do not have their membership cards so they ride on to those who have one or two.

    4. Many Fil-ams are holding 24/7 16/24 jobs that they grab every opportunity that they are free to buy in bulk.

    I can attest to this when once in a blue moon, I do my buying in Costco and a foreigner friend asked me if I am going to set up a convenience store. Other Filipinos, would joke, kailan ang bagyo darating?

    Hoarding and sending rice to the Philippines in response to the crisis is a no-brainer.

    Even if the balikbayan box has no restriction as to weight, the door-to-door balikbayan would decline a box that may break because of the weight. Besides, per box fee ranged from 60 to 150 dollars a box depending on the size.

    I wonder why they did not point to other Asians who also hoard because they got restaurants which serve rice.

    When you are in a store where many Asians shop, the Caucasians see them as one. NO distinction. If they see a Filipino, they thought that all are Filipinos. Vietnamese, Thais, Indonesians and even Chinese looked like they’re Filipinos too.

  8. @benigno

    Greenland was a diversion. Even the name was a ruse to attract people there instead of the more fertile Iceland (hence the name).

  9. The rice shortage and price spike would have a quadruple wallop for the Philippines, because:

    1. overpopulation – more mouths to feed
    2. extreme poverty (where almost a third of the population is below the poverty threshold of $2 per day) – no money to buy at the inflated price.
    3. barest minimum stockpile, or none at all
    4. confused distribution system (NFA)

    The Catholic Church, part of the problem in overpopulation, could help in subsidizing the poor.

    The congressmen could use their CDF in a similar manner in their districts.

    PAGCOR could utilize part of its gambling earnings in stockpiling.

    Its really building confidence that there has been no food riots in RP, so far.

  10. “From Youthful Insight: Consumer or Farmer First?” above is among the few to mention a benefit from this rice crisis — benefit : high rice prices means higher income for rice farmers. Filipino farmers are starting to obtain at least 15% higher prices for their palay, right? Higher income for farmers gives them more incentive to make singit a crop, or at least to pay down debts they may have with rice traders.

  11. Diamond’s “Collapse” is based in geographic analysis. It’s predictions are coming true. The solution is what Diamond and the Dutch call “polder mentality”. Jeffrey Sachs calls this by another name “common wealth”.

  12. Words from Jeffrey Sachs:
    The Power of One

    Great social transformations—the end of slavery, the women’s and civil rights movements, the end of colonial rule, the birth of environmentalism—all began with public awareness and engagement. Our political leaders followed rather than led. It was church goers, young citizens, scientists and engineers who truly led the way. If as citizens we vote for war, then war it will be. If instead we support a global commitment to sustainable development, then our leaders will follow, and we will find a way to peace.

  13. “Our political leaders followed rather than led” – Jeffrey Sachs

    It may seem thay way, but political leaders try to validate public opinion on the politics/issues of the day using the dimensions of reach, direction, salience and momentum.

    Remember in any movement, ‘One Man’s Terrorist Is Another Man’s Freedom Fighter’

  14. I agree with Diego Torres. Masyado nating pinagmamalaking importer tayo ng rice. Hindi naman sa dapat magpakaplastik tayo pero pwede naman tayong mag-import na hindi ipinangangalandakang importer tayo.. lalo pat kilalang agricultural country tayo and yet we cant provide basic necesseties para sa mga sarili nating mga pangangailangan..

    http://hiraya.co.nr

  15. “government tries to look busy and at the same time gives the impression it’s not lurching from one policy to another.” mlq3.

    it’s damned if it does, damned if it doesn’t. there is no shortage of criticism whenever the government tries to do something to stave off an impending doom, for which its not particularly to blame. the usual ‘wise guys’ and monday-morning quarterbacks are always ready with their dismissive snickering and acerbic cynicism. what else would the government do but to prepare for the worst, and do everything it can to equitably distribute available resources? if it appears busy, it’s because its busy. what kind of criticism would it get if it stood idly by while the public was panicking?

    diego torres, “faking the crisis”? how so? everybody knows the “crisis” is global and our dear old philippines is not the world. what kind of parochial thinking was that? have you heard of the law (now i’m talking of law again but, this time, of a different kind) of supply and demand? there is no denying that globally speaking, food production (especially in rice-eating regions in asia) is hardly being able to keep pace with exploding population. thus, shortage induces panic-buying and panic-buying results in shortage. each is an evil that feeds on itself.

  16. @ cvj

    In the previous threads, you stated that society’s decisions should follow the ideological definition of politics, within the framework, etc. following from Mr. Randy David’s definion.

    I argued about the practical definition of politics being the ‘struggle for power.’

    Now people power will be one of the forms of struggle, di ba?

  17. the c’at, i agree with you about pinoy’s penchant for hoarding even in the u.s. i showed your comment to my wife who regularly cleans up the pantry of expired canned goods, or the ref of old vegetables, to be discarded. a pinoy kitchen without a stash of excess food is like an irish bar without beer.

  18. Jakcast, if you put it that way, yes. People Power is certainly a legitimate form of struggle for power. The same cannot be said for other forms of struggle (Hello Garci, Impeachment as purely a numbers game, handing out bags of cash in Malacanang etc.) I did mention in my comment in the previous thread that…

    http://www.quezon.ph/1765/the-great-fear/#comment-792097

    …what is supposed to distinguish a political system within civilized society is the larger role played by communicative power (i.e. where reason takes the lead) in arriving at collectively binding decisions that are then supposed to be directed towards the common good. It should no longer be a matter of who is the strongest or the most cunning.

    Nevertheless, whatever form it takes, ‘power’ is a means, and not an end in itself.

  19. Itong “Rice Crisis”, may shortage man o wala, pero ang alam natin ang presyo sa atin tuma-as nang sobra ikumpara sa ibang Bansa, na sabi max daw 83% lang retail. Sa atin halos sumobra na sa doblado sa Retail at Ilan Bansa lang sa Asia ang nagkaro-on nang Crisis? bilangin natin, Bangladesh, Pilipinas, Parang dalawa lang, ibig sabihin and Panglalakad nang Bayan ang Problema. Buong Bureaucracy, mula sa pinakata-as hanggang sa Kabinete, patungo sa LGU pababa.

    Ngayon Busing, Busy raw lahat..nakatutuwa. Pero mahirap tumawa pang Gutom..

  20. “Itong “Rice Crisis”, may shortage man o wala, pero ang alam natin ang presyo sa atin tuma-as nang sobra ikumpara sa ibang Bansa.” – Mang Kiko

    Totoo ang sinabi mo Kabayan. Nakakahiya mang sabihin, medyo pumalpak ang mga planners natin. Hindi lang and administrasyon ni PGMA pero mula pa pagkatapos ni Pres. Marcos after Masagana 99.

    Nandito sa Pilipinas ang IRRI, tinuruan natin ang Thailand, Vietnam, at Indonesia ng rice productivity, agricultural extension services, etc.’ pero ngayon tayo ang biggest importer ng bigas, galing pa sa mga tinuruan natin???

    Ano nga ba?

  21. Diego (at 3:37 pm) and Schumey (at 11:21pm), back in September when i was arguing for reliance on rice imports in this thread…

    http://www.quezon.ph/1500/rice-self-sufficiency/

    …it is the following statement from Supremo that made me change my mind:

    Only the US has a surplus among rice producing countries. It only produces 8 MMT per year and exports half or 4 MMT. That is only one third of rice consumption in the Philippines (12 MMT)…

    …There are only 26 MMT of rice traded each year in the world. Procuring 12 MMT (million metric tons) for the Philippines will be very expensive. – Supremo September 7th, 2007 at 12:03 am

    Anyone looking at the above figures, i.e. the proportion of Philippine imports to total amount of rice traded would have immediately realized the folly of relying on rice imports.

    Given the above, i think the plan to import 2.2 million metric tons which is 8% of the world market did have the potential to move the market. While it may have started as a ploy to divert attention away from NBN-ZTE, i think the Arroyo government unwittingly triggered the worldwide crisis. It’s a catalyst similar to when the Thai Baht devalued back in 1997.

  22. Bencard: hardly being able to keep pace with exploding population.

    when people are busy because they are doing work ( employment) , they will feel a sense of self worth. They will know how hard to make the money. Population is not just the cause but it is the result of failed policies to create employment and maximize our country’s human resources.

    The lack of employment has always been a problem in the past. Therefore, I expect that the current administration already have a bigger clue of what to do.

    Same thing with Rice Crisis… Risk are of two types: high probability and low probability of occurence. Rice is our basic needs. It has a high priority in terms of policies and risk management. It is not like bananas, sweet potatoes, fruits or gasoline. Rice is an obvious domestic risk. Please review manolo’s Great Fear: Who growth’s agriculture Q4 of 2006 data. That should have been given priority.

    When the balance is tipped, we are in for another long term economic problems that will require extra debt financing and more borrowing… God Bless us.

  23. UP N student:
    “Filipino farmers are starting to obtain at least 15% higher prices for their palay, right? Higher income for farmers gives them more incentive to make singit a crop, or at least to pay down debts they may have with rice traders.”

    That’s good news. Now the farmers are busy instead of making babies….
    population is a result of failed policies.
    kahit ilang condoms pa ang bilhin at i-subsides nang gobierno, hindi pa rin yan masarap.. hahaha.
    please leave the catholic church on population issue. it has a very minimal effect. It will only create walls instead of building bridges.

    Employment will keep our poeple busy.

  24. leytenean, i don’t disagree with you. economics is a very complex subject. the problems that you have cited have been with us since day one, only at magnitudes proportionate to the size of our population. every administration that i can remember, or from reading of history, had been engaged invariably in searching for a silver bullet to snuff out poverty from the face of the nation. policies were made or unmade as they appeared to be wise or ineffectual, respectively.

    no wonder we have yet to see a president in our young history who is remembered for achieving a long-lasting economic miracle that transformed the lives of the majority of our people.

    cvj, blaming the philippines for the current world “rice crisis” is the height of hyperbole. i don’t think we have reached that status yet of being a “catalyst” for global economic changes and conditions.

  25. bencard:
    “no wonder we have yet to see a president in our young history who is remembered for achieving a long-lasting economic miracle that transformed the lives of the majority of our people. ”

    very true, maybe we need new leaders with experience from abroad who have the ability to see both sides. having leaders with wordly experience who understand the actual money system , management system and long time experience overseas may help to somewhat alleviate the issue we are facing by bringing back and share their experiences. Even to just at least jump start a new policy and procedure that will continue for good in the future.

    And of course, we still have to keep and cultivate our culture . Filipinos in general are hardworking people if given opportunity. We are family oriented people. In times of trouble, family is always there to support not financially but emotionally. Our spiritual background is even stronger and our morality are far stable than any other countries.( as far as i’m concerned). Very few countries have that quality. I haven’t seen a place like Philippines with 7100 islands. It’s so naturally beautiful.

    But the question : where are the great filipinos?

  26. “very true, maybe we need new leaders with experience from abroad who have the ability to see both sides. having leaders with wordly experience who understand the actual money system ”

    We have had senators and many congressmen who have studied abroad. I find your comment somewhat naive. Marami ngang elite galing abroad eh. Didn’t you know the Philippines is obsessed with people who come from abroad and would go out of their way putting these balikbayans in very influential positions?

    Those of you here who believe that an intelligent human being has to actually touch and feel to learn as opposed to just reading about it raise his hand. Besides, people with experience abroad to know very little or pretend to know very little about the natives. And even given a few laudable virtues, their feelings of superiority towards their own people renders these virtues ineffective. Shakespeare had written this drama about such a person, very principled but clueless to the people around him… Coriolanus.

  27. Employment will keep our poeple busy. – leytenian

    That’s a real gem of a brainwave you came up with there Mr. taga-Leyte 😀

    Anyways, may i beg to differ with you as I think that we should junk our culture.

    Why?

    Well you cited for example that “We are family oriented people. In times of trouble, family is always there to support not financially but emotionally”.

    However, refer back to the comment where I posted a few of the brilliant Teddy Benigno’s observations about what makes a progressive society compared to traits of hopelessly backward societies:

    http://www.quezon.ph/1777/rectal-discombobulation/#comment-793019

    […] In progressive cultures, the radius of identification and trust extends beyond the family, to the broader society. Societies with a narrow focus of identification and trust are more prone to corruption, tax evasion, and nepotism, and they are less likely to engage in philantrophy.

    […]Merit is central to advancement in progressive cultures. Again, connections and family are what count in static cultures.
    (My boldface for emphasis)

    Furthermore you say that “Our spiritual background is even stronger and our morality are far stable than any other countries”. Again, very quaint but utterly laughable considering that most Pinoys can’t even differentiate the concepts of spirituality and religiousness.

    I’ve written about the Pinoy’s vacuous spiritual faculties way back in this brilliant article:
    http://www.geocities.com/benign0/agr-disagr/13-3-spirit.html

    Finally you cap off with your quaint platitude: “I haven’t seen a place like Philippines with 7100 islands. It’s so naturally beautiful.”.

    I agree.

    The Philippines is (or, more appropriately, was) so NATURALLY beautiful.

    Unfortunately it was the people that have made it the ugly wasteland it has become today.

    – 😀

  28. Previous post should read:
    (Sorry, I forgot to close a block quote)

    Employment will keep our poeple busy. – leytenian

    That’s a real gem of a brainwave you came up with there Mr. taga-Leyte 😀

    Anyways, may i beg to differ with you as I think that we should junk our culture.

    Why?

    Well you cited for example that “We are family oriented people. In times of trouble, family is always there to support not financially but emotionally”.

    However, refer back to the comment where I posted a few of the brilliant Teddy Benigno’s observations about what makes a progressive society compared to traits of hopelessly backward societies:

    http://www.quezon.ph/1777/rectal-discombobulation/#comment-793019

    […] In progressive cultures, the radius of identification and trust extends beyond the family, to the broader society. Societies with a narrow focus of identification and trust are more prone to corruption, tax evasion, and nepotism, and they are less likely to engage in philantrophy.

    […]Merit is central to advancement in progressive cultures. Again, connections and family are what count in static cultures.

    (My boldface for emphasis)

    Furthermore you say that “Our spiritual background is even stronger and our morality are far stable than any other countries”. Again, very quaint but utterly laughable considering that most Pinoys can’t even differentiate the concepts of spirituality and religiousness.

    I’ve written about the Pinoy’s vacuous spiritual faculties way back in this brilliant article:
    http://www.geocities.com/benign0/agr-disagr/13-3-spirit.html

    Finally you cap off with your quaint platitude: “I haven’t seen a place like Philippines with 7100 islands. It’s so naturally beautiful.”.

    I agree.

    The Philippines is (or, more appropriately, was) so NATURALLY beautiful.

    Unfortunately it was the people that have made it the ugly wasteland it has become today.

    – 😀

  29. benigno, obviously you cannot differentiate between cultures and politics. you mix it up. you have the lack of identification ability to see assets and potentials. anyway.. you do have some good points. keep doing your research , you might just be able to answer yourself without trying to convince others. what you’re doing is actually a lot of work. It’s like convincing people to become your friends. acceptance is the last stage of letting go and it must start from within yourselves. back it up with proper training, education, and experience. you will become the person who you want to be. It’s not even about filipino , white or blacks. It’s about ding somenthing way beyond yourself. Something is still lacking about you.. you are almost there.

  30. “It’s about ding somenthing way beyond yourself. Something is still lacking about you.. you are almost there.”

    typo error: It’s about doing something way beyond yourself.

  31. Brain B:
    “Those of you here who believe that an intelligent human being has to actually touch and feel to learn as opposed to just reading about it raise his hand. Besides, people with experience abroad to know very little or pretend to know very little about the natives. And even given a few laudable virtues, their feelings of superiority towards their own people renders these virtues ineffective. Shakespeare had written this drama about such a person, very principled but clueless to the people around him… Coriolanus.”

    I agree but i’m talking about filipinos born and raised in the Philippines, who had left the country for over 15 years and came back.

  32. “the c’at, i agree with you about pinoy’s penchant for hoarding even in the u.s. i showed your comment to my wife who regularly cleans up the pantry of expired canned goods, or the ref of old vegetables, to be discarded. a pinoy kitchen without a stash of excess food is like an irish bar without beer.”

    ——————————————————–
    He he he, ganyang ganya din a situation dito sa bahay..

    Actually hindi lang naman America to Pinas eh. Ganyan din ang nagyayari pag may galing sa Pinas. Kararating lang ng isa naming kasamahann dito sa bahay, sus me sangkatautak ding pagkain, de lata at tuyo ang dala. May Jollibee Chicken at Pure foods Hotdog pa….And what really surprises me is this argentina corned in a very small can. Parang tinging corned beef.

  33. “Brain Drain Issue: the Philippines has been in inflationary trend since the 60’s. She was not able to capitalize on her very strong economics in the late 50’s and very early 60’s. Back then, the Peso to Dollar exchange rate was 2:1. She was almost as strong as America, and in fact the Philippines was the number one nation in the Southeast Asia.” pundit blogger

    Everyone is entitled to his belief system no matter how idiotic and inane. Perfect example is the above quotation. At that time the Japanese yes was Y300 to $1.

    But they had already progressed to building an engine to fly the Zero. They also had progressed for over 50 years before then to build steel hulled battleships.

    The degree of economic development between the Japanese, Americans and Europeans and the Philippines was similar to the cave man chipping at stones and the pilot.

  34. Wasn’t GMA’s campaign posters when she ran for Senator, VP and later as President had her holding on to freshly harvested stalks of rice ? GMA was wearing a signature shirt and her byline in those campaign poster was rice on every filipinos table? Wasn’t she also head of DSWD when she was VP? Question is what the hell has she been doing all these years? She didn’t see what was coming after almost 20 years ? or she was very disdainful of the poor?

  35. at rickycarandang.com:why rice is so expensive.
    cut and paste
    reply 44 said: Almost all beneficiaries have not paid their loans and local land taxes.
    Local land tax at P4,000.00/ha./annum, times 5 million hectares, that is 20 billion pesos in lost local revenues, every year. How will the LGUs survive?

    The extension of the Land Reform Law should be studied thoroughly. No politics

    reply 45 said: 5 billion pesos is not really that big if we take the borrowed money from China of 8B dollars plus yearly overseas remittance of 7B dollars. that’s 40 times more.

    so now when farmers will start making money by farming, the government will impose late payment of previous tax bill and probably charge interest on debts to our farmers?

    Solution: provide incentives to agricultural land owners or farmers by non collection of taxes so that farmers will be motivated to farm for self-sufficiency.

    ———————————————————

    what do you think? focus on reply 44…

  36. Go to the rice-producing provinces like Mindoro. You will not see any hint of a rice shortage.

    Drawing further on Diamond’s collapse, we know that a food system is vulnerable when it is composed of non-local production (e.g. few producers supplying the whole country with one product) and the twin problem of monoculture (which is expensive and requires plenty and expensive inputs).

    Food security may conjure up images of vast land areas producing acre after acre of rice. But the truth is, many farmers who stick to a more diversified harvest are AT LEAST able to feed their own families with a small area of land.

    Labor specialization does not really allow for widespread production of this scale, but we can least bring it to the community or municipal level. Even in the face of sprawl (instead of planned density), Metro Manila still has areas that can be used for local food supply. This has many advantages, from lower transport costs to us being forced to see provinces as more than just “bread baskets” but places in need of holistic development.

    In fact, it already happens all over Metro Manila. The problem is, supply chains from urban farms to consumers are relatively long– you’ll be surprised how much is growing within 100km of your home.

    http://gardencore.blogspot.com/2008/03/urban-food-production-bit-serious.html
    http://gardencore.blogspot.com/2008/04/fieldtrip-urban-farming-in-paraaque.html

  37. Why will the Trade Minister of Indonesia also an equiilibrium scientist, Mari Pengatsu order the banning of the export of rice by the private sector in Indonesia. Only Bulog (their version of NFA) will be allowed to export.

    Jakarta, April 15 – “Indonesia is banning rice exports until such time as its surplus national stocks reach 3 million tons to ensure sufficient domestic supplies, Trade Minister Mari Pangestu said Tuesday.”

    “The move – a preemptive measure given that Indonesia has traditionally been a net rice importer – takes immediate effect. The decree comes at a time when worried regional governments are looking to shore up their domestic supplies as global rice prices soar.”

    “It wasn’t immediately clear what the current surplus national stock level is. The surplus at the end of this year is, however, projected at 1.2 million tons.”

    “Pangestu said that only Bulog, a national commodities trading agency, will be able to export rice. Until Tuesday’s statement, there was no decree barring private commodity traders from exporting rice.”

    http://www.flex-news-food.com/pages/15709/Indonesia/rice/indonesia-bans-rice-exports-ensure-domestic-supply-dj.html Please note that subsdies given in the form of subsidized fertilizers are given to farmers. Indonesia is a producer of urea from oil.

    Why are the Indian and Vietnamese government severely restricting the operations of their private traders by banning outright the export of rice. They want to get back in control due to the inflationary sruges in commodities.

    In more mature markets where there are already functioning futures trading in a public setting and supply chains are already well established everything is transparent.

    The hoarding by financial hedge funds are public. It is perfectly legal. The add on effects to less mature markets are often times more obscure but the same thing happens. That is why emerging market government are trying to get a handle on things. This is entirely new for them but they all signed on for it without realizing the ramifications. The call it globalization with financial capitalism leading the charge.

    You want to play with the big boys you have to have the moxy and means to dance. Sabi ni Glo na the country is well placed in the global market. Competitive daw !!!!Ayan, itong malakas na hangin at maski si Big Mike tagilid.

    Wall Street Grain Hoarding Brings Farmers, Consumers Near Ruin

    By Jeff Wilson

    “April 28 (Bloomberg) — As farmers confront mounting costs and riots erupt from Haiti to Egypt over food, Garry Niemeyer is paying the price for Wall Street’s speculation in grain markets.”

    “Commodity-index funds control a record 4.51 billion bushels of corn, wheat and soybeans through Chicago Board of Trade futures, equal to half the amount held in U.S. silos on March 1. The holdings jumped 29 percent in the past year as investors bought grain contracts seeking better returns than stocks or bonds. The buying sent crop prices and volatility to records and boosted the cost for growers and processors to manage risk.”

    “Niemeyer, who farms 2,200 acres in Auburn, Illinois, won’t use futures to protect the value of the crop he will harvest in October. With corn at $5.9075 a bushel, up from $3.88 last year, he says the contracts are too costly and risky. Investors want corn so much that last month they paid 55 cents a bushel more than grain handlers, the biggest premium since 1999.”

    “It’s the best of times for somebody speculating on grain prices, but it’s not the best of times for farmers,” said Niemeyer, 59. “The demand for futures exceeds the demand for cash grains.”

    “Commodity investors control more U.S. crops than ever before, competing with governments and consumers for dwindling food supplies. Demand is rising with population and income gains in Asia, while record energy costs boost biofuels consumption, sending grain inventories to the lowest levels in two decades.”

    Fund-Buying Gains

    “Index-fund investment in CBOT corn, soybeans and wheat has increased 66 percent to the equivalent of 902,105 futures contracts, a record, since January 2006, when the government began collecting the data. Each contract represents 5,000 bushels, about what Niemeyer reaps from every 22 acres of corn planted.”

    “Investments in grain and livestock futures have more than doubled to about $65 billion from $25 billion in November, according to consultant AgResource Co. in Chicago. The buying of crop futures alone is about half the combined value of the corn, soybeans and wheat grown in the U.S., the world’s largest exporter of all three commodities. The U.S. Department of Agriculture valued the 2007 harvest at a record $92.5 billion.”

    “Commodities are in their seventh year of gains, with oil rising to a record $119.90 a barrel on April 22. Copper and gold reached their highest prices ever this year, and rice has more than doubled in the past year to $24.18 per 100 pounds.”

    “Crops and raw materials have “become an asset class that institutions use to an increasing extent,” billionaire George Soros said April 17. “On top of that, you have specific factors that create the relative shortage of oil and, now, also food.”

    Food Riots

    Surging food costs have sparked protests and riots in countries including Haiti, Indonesia, Mexico and Egypt. Rice, corn, soybean and wheat prices have climbed to records this year, partly because of droughts in Australia, a freeze in Kansas and increased demand for livestock feed.

    The divergence between CBOT futures and the underlying commodity is so great that some grain merchants have stopped bidding for new crops, said Niemeyer, a member of the National Corn Growers Association board. Others won’t guarantee a price for more than 60 days.

    “We have a fundamental problem with the markets,” said Kevin McNew, president of researcher Cash Grain Bids Inc. in Bozeman, Montana, and a former Montana State University economist. “It is very difficult to operate a grain business when the cash prices are below the futures” by such a wide margin, he said.

    The price gap should converge when futures contracts expire and deliveries are settled. Instead, the average premium for CBOT wheat has quadrupled in two years to 40 cents a bushel, compared with 10 cents the prior five years, McNew said”

    And this piece by Jubak as it is noteworthy to remember that the rules of equilibrium is somewhat different for the physical markets from the financial markets.

    Sometimes it takes years to get to equilibrium. In the meantinme people will starve.

    http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/JubaksJournal/WhyWereStuckWithInsanePrices.aspx

  38. Soy Beans (Tofu) is major source of protein for Indonesians.

    Kung tataas pa and precio ng bigas diyan eh baka susunuging nila uli and mga Instik sa Indonesia.

    The last time there were serious food riots in Jakarta Mari Pengatsu, an ethnic Chinese Indonesian could have died. (Asian Financial crisis.)

    Most of the pundits in this blog were not around or were too young to remmeber the early 70’s. Oil went from $2-$3 to approximately $13. However that amount of goods that that barrel of oil would convert to today would cost as much as $80. Most oil companies most especially the integrated transnationals do not pay the spot price for oil. They have their own contracts with foreign governments and their own reserves. Like Shell which owns Brunei. The Sultan collects the rent for himself and his subjects.

    The people that count the most to governments – the middle class have not begun to stir as food and fuel has become less of a problem on their budgets in the past.

    Ka gaya ng mga pinoy sa States. Kayang kaya nila and precio.

    However in the low income and middle income countries that have huge populations with little or no income this price surge will have disastrous effects.

    It is perfectly OK for markets to punish mistakes for individuals for lousy decisions, but when markets will tend to punish countries, ibang bagay na iyan.

    Ang namumuno at ang kasabwat nila ay ang may sala. Mali ang mga patakaran nila.

    In plain old English. They fucked up and they fucked up royally.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/30/business/worldbusiness/30fertilizer.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/30/washington/30bush.html?hp
    Ther two most notorious guys in the hedge fund business -George Soros and Jim Rogers (former hedge fund partners) in the Quantum Fund have been writing about his for the last four or five years.

    Geroge Soros in his efforts of his Open Society movement has been warning everyone of the tendency of financial markets not to correct just like the markets in physical markets that will tend to equilibirum efficiencies.

    In financial markets the primary dogma (price equilibrium efficiencies) for neo-liberal economics do not exist. So there is no normal supply and demand equation. This now is happening on a global scale.

    Ang hina nang pagisip nang mga tao dito sa Pinas. This goes for the most powerfull and supposedly educated.

    WOW MALI!!!!!!!

  39. “Everyone is entitled to his belief system no matter how idiotic and inane. Perfect example is the above quotation. At that time the Japanese yes was Y300 to $1.”

    So what if the yen was 360:1; 1949 till 1971 , and the Philippines 2:1 from 1903 till whenever(flotation of peso).

    talk about inanities.

  40. A thoughly devalued Japanes yen that may be an inanity to some but for the Japanese a clever protectionist tool to block out imports until the U.S. forced them to revalue in 1985.

    It has made them the worlds greatst creditor nation – in foreign investments and loans.

    So much for inanities.

  41. http://oryza.com/Asia-Pacific/Indonesia-Market/2730.html

    “Indonesia’s rice imports may rise to 2.2 million metric tons in 2007 compared with 600,000 MT last year, an Indonesian government official said on Friday.

    Indonesia’s rice imports will likely rise this year, as production may fall short of demand because of El Nino weather conditions hurting the rice crop,” said Ardiansyah Tarman, director-general of the domestic trade department in Indonesia”

    This inanity is just a reinforcement to the commment of HVDRS

    “Jakarta, April 15 – “Indonesia is banning rice exports until such time as its surplus national stocks reach 3 million tons to ensure sufficient domestic supplies, Trade Minister Mari Pangestu said Tuesday.”

    “The move – a preemptive measure given that Indonesia has traditionally been a net rice importer – takes immediate effect. The decree comes at a time when worried regional governments are looking to shore up their domestic supplies as global rice prices soar.”

  42. “Ang hina nang pagisip nang mga tao dito sa Pinas. This goes for the most powerfull and supposedly educated.” – hvrds

    Hindi mahina, ayaw ng mag-isip.

    Planners, both in government and corporate planning, have been spoiled by the OFW remittances. They have relied so much on the yearly $15 billion contribution to GNP to keep RP afloat.

  43. Indonesia imported a 2.2 million metric tons of rice last year…

    didn’t anyone telegraph that? or was the Indonesian govt discreet with their order compared to the loudmouth phil govt the reason why we have this global crisis now.

  44. “A thoughly devalued Japanes yen that may be an inanity to some but for the Japanese a clever protectionist tool to block out imports until the U.S. forced them to revalue in 1985.

    It has made them the worlds greatst creditor nation – in foreign investments and loans.

    So much for inanities.”

    J_AG,

    I am actually agreeing with you.

    Your comment was a reaction to a comment narrating the 1960s situation, where the Yen was still pegged at Y360
    from 1949 to 1971 due to the so called Bretton Woods Act;
    devaluation happened after Smithsonian agreement failed, after that they were forced to go with the flow by floatation.The rest is history.Of course you know about the trade surplus issues.

    What I am talking about is people might think that comparing the historical exchange rate of Y360:1 and Php2:1 might be misinterpretted as signigicant.Which, by the way was your position in your previous comment.
    I should have just said, touche.

    Who knows, there might be someone out there ,wondering how come Japan is the second most powerful economy with that kind of exchange rate(and growh rate).

    It can happen ,just watch the “Are you smarter than a Fifth grader? “I won’t be surprised if we will have a pinoy version of that.

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