The little dolphin that could


The Wall Street Journal (which, editorially, has previously been supportive of the President) greets the President’s arrival in New York with a raspberry: see the op-ed piece, Powering Down the Philippine Economy:

Tomorrow in New York, Ms. Arroyo will woo well-heeled potential investors at a $5,000-a-table luncheon at the Waldorf-Astoria, where she is expected to give an upbeat presentation on Philippine infrastructure financing and ongoing privatization efforts.

Ms. Arroyo’s boasts ring hollow, however, given her country’s inhospitable climate for foreign investment… Even worse, Ms. Arroyo and her political allies back in Manila don’t seem to care that they are sending signals that would cause any potential investor to cringe.

Take the most recent bungle: the liberalization of the notoriously inefficient Philippine energy sector. In 2001, a newly sworn-in President Arroyo signed legislation calling for at least 70% of the government-owned National Power Corporation, known as Napocor — long one of the country’s worst symbols of inefficiency and corruption — to be privatized. Even though Ms. Arroyo’s administration has dragged its feet in following through with the reforms, the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 is working, albeit slowly.

Today, slightly more than 40% of Napocor is privately owned… By year’s end, the reform act’s goal of privatizing at least 70% of Napocor could be realized.

But will Manila allow that to happen? Last December, the Arroyo administration announced that it wanted to amend the reform act by Christmas, to ensure that the government would retain control of at least 50% of Napocor. Hardly for the first time, the government in Manila was reminding foreign investors that the economic goal posts could be moved in the late innings. In the House of Representatives, the antireform legislation’s chief sponsor is the chairman of the energy committee, Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo, the president’s son.

When the heads of the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce protested the roll-back of Napocor’s privatization in a May 27 letter to Ms. Arroyo, the president’s allies in the senate exploded in nationalistic outrage…

“My goodness, get out of this country if you can’t live with us,” Sen. Juan Ponce-Enrile told Mr. D’Aboville, who has lived in the Philippines for 31 years and is married to a Filipina. Added another presidential ally, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, “You may not continue. You do not determine what you can say or not say. I determine.”

Unembarrassed by such a display of legislative intemperance, Ms. Arroyo has brought Sen. Santiago with her to New York, where the president is lobbying the United Nations to give her a seat on the International Court of Justice. Asked by reporters right after the hearing if the senators’ June 6 bullying of the foreign businessman had been inappropriate, presidential spokesman Ignacio Bunye said he didn’t think so. A few days later, Ms. Arroyo — possibly having been informed that several European ambassadors were prepared to file a formal diplomatic protest — came out with a statement thanking foreign investors for being part of her country’s “success.”

Ms. Arroyo has argued that government control of power plants is a more efficient way of keeping electricity prices down than private competitors who will compete in the marketplace — surely a strange argument from a woman who has a doctorate in economics. Making matters worse, her administration is engaged in a separate but equally embarrassing power struggle for control of the board of directors of the Philippines’ largest private electricity distributor, the Manila Electric Co. The company is controlled by the powerful Lopez family, one of the Philippines’ most enduring oligarchies. In addition, the Philippine government holds a 30% stake and is represented on the board.

To be sure, there is a case that could be made that Meralco, which controls some 70% of electricity on the big island of Luzon, is a monopoly that should be subjected to the pressures of real market competition. But the political intensity of the Arroyo administration’s personal attacks on the Lopez family suggests — especially to watching foreigners — that an agenda is at work that goes beyond economics. Specifically, the fight between Ms. Arroyo’s family and the Lopez business empire seems to personify the latest example of feuding family clans that have long been a major source of the Philippines’s economic and political fragility. In the early 1960s, when Ms. Arroyo’s father, Diosdado Macapagal, was president, he also tried to wrest control of Meralco from the Lopez family.

Ms. Arroyo needs to understand that when Manila promises to open up major sectors of the economy to reforms that would foster real competition, those promises should not be broken.

Over at Inquirer Current, I pointed out the ratio of Filipino to American congressmen was 5:1. The Inquirer editorial for today points something out I’d observed in my column yesterday:

Is it wrong to criticize the President for not returning to the country immediately?

To answer the question, we must first respond to the image engineering campaign already underway that seeks to paint the President as taking the extra step, as going out of her way, to oversee recovery and rehabilitation efforts in the Philippines. Malacañang has highlighted the fact that she has been conducting videoconferences with the Cabinet and the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC). On June 24, the meeting was held at 3 in the morning; the following day, it was held at 1:30 a.m.

Allow us to point out the obvious, which seems to have been buried under the publicity avalanche: While it was very early in the morning here in the Philippines, it was the middle of the day in Washington, D.C. In other words, it was the Cabinet and NDCC officials who went out of their way, to meet the President’s schedule.

We have long noted the President’s extraordinary grasp of detail, and even her many political enemies acknowledge her prodigious capacity for work (in marked contrast to her predecessor), but it seems a cruel joke to force her officials to attend meetings in the wee hours, just so she can be seen to call the shots.

Her main ally in Congress, House Speaker Prospero Nograles, argues that Vice President Noli de Castro was “more than capable” to serve as “caretaker president” (gratuitously adding that this was “precisely why we have him as our vice president”). But this able-caretaker argument runs directly counter to the President’s idea of government-by-video-conference. If Vice President De Castro is in charge, why doesn’t Ms Arroyo allow him to take charge? Her intervention by “modern communication technology” undermines the vice presidency, at the exact time her allies in the administration coalition seek to build up De Castro’s reputation.

More tellingly, her use of “modern communication technology” undermines her own case for sticking to the original schedule. If there is a pressing need for the President to actively coordinate the work of the Cabinet and the NDCC at this time of shock and grief, what is she still doing in the United States?

ph5-062608.jpgLatest figures put death toll from Typhoon ‘Frank’ at 622 with 2.4 million people displaced in 14 regions. And as if things couldn’t get worse, they did: ‘Princess’ dives, retrieval stopped due to chemical shipment. And Sulpicio’s yard yields 7,000 sacks of ‘smuggled’ sugar.

Passenger shipping industry drowns while budget airlines fly high points out, though, that if it had happened in previous years, the casualty list from the capsizing of the Princess of the Stars might have been much higher:

The ill-fated Sulpicio Line ship plying the primary Manila-Cebu route had a capacity of 1,992 passengers, excluding crew members. But when it encountered rough waters during a typhoon and capsized in June 21, it was only carrying over 700 passengers and more than a hundred crew members.

It means the massive 23,824-ton ship was going ahead with an expected business-as-usual day with just about 40 percent load.

Compare that with another ship also owned by Sulpicio Line, the M/V Dona Paz, which sank in 1987 after colliding with a small oil tanker. Its weight was just 2,215-ton, a fraction of M/V Princess of the Stars’.

M/V Dona Paz had a capacity of only 1,518 passengers, but after the tragedy it was found to be carrying more than twice what it was allowed. Investigations following its sinking showed that it was overloaded and up to 4,375 people onboard died. It has gone down in history as the worst maritime disaster during peacetime.

The M/V Dona Paz tragedy, however, occurred during the Christmas holidays, a peak season in the travel industry. M/V Princess of the Stars, on the other hand, was traveling during a traditionally low season…

…Depending on the season and timing of purchase, a round trip plane fare between Manila and Cebu could go as low as P3,000. In the past, round trip boat fares on the same route hovered between P4,000 to P8,000. But even at reduced rates of up to a little over P2,000, the small difference with the cost of flying have enticed some to convert.

The airlines could afford to offer these low fares after they adopted a sophisticated pricing strategy that guided budget carriers in allocating more discounted seats during the lean months of June to October to improve their load factor, or the measure of how full the aircraft is. Thus, even on lean months, Cebu Pacific’s load factor can go as high as 80 percent.

Flying budget airlines is not only more affordable now, it is also more convenient. A Manila-Cebu boat ride, for example, takes almost a day. A plane ride, on the other hand, takes just over an hour…

…According to the Philippine Ports Authority data, in 2005, overall recorded passengers taking sea-based transport grew by only 2.55 percent. It has been downhill since.

In 2006, total sea craft passengers dropped by 8.27 percent. That’s only 42.56 million passengers for the entire year. Data for 2007 is expected to show that passenger counts plunged deeper.

The business decisions of market leader and publicly listed Aboitiz Transport Services in 2007 provided indications on where this industry is headed. The dramatic reduction in their passenger loads cut their revenues up to 30 percent in 2007.

To adapt, they have converted several of their passenger-cargo lines, under the Superferry brand, to accommodate more cargo than passengers.

This means shipping companies such as Aboitiz Transport and Sulpicio lines have joined another competitor – the government-backed roll-on-roll-off (RORO) operations, which resulted in lower operating costs not only for cargo operators but also as another substitute for passengers who still could not afford flying.

Roro is less expensive for those involved in the cargo business because of its multi-port approach. For example, a Roro boat that leaves the Batangas port can pass by various smaller islands, such as Mindoro and a few more islands, which are not traditionally serviced by other big boats because business there used to be not as brisk as, say the likes of Cebu, Iloilo, Davao and Cagayan de Oro, where there are more commercial activities.

Roro, which was launched in 2003, has since led to changes in areas and islands that used to be left behind in terms of economic development. According to Henry Basilio, a transportation export from the University of Asia and the Pacific, cargo traffic for Roro vessels in 2003 was only at 30,000 metric tons. He said this has since increased exponentially to 240,000 metric tons recently.

And the usual gruesome panic: DOH allays fears of fish poisoning. At least here’s some slightly less depressing marine-related news: people have been entranced by the heroic but tragic story of the dolphin that tried to save a fisherman: but both died. See the reactions of Pine for Pine, and view from the sugar island.

The United States gave $100,000 and sent a carrier task force (helicopters from the USS Ronald Reagan are delivering food, water, and generators to Panay; US Navy divers have been helping with efforts at the wreck of the Princess of the Stars); the People’s Republic of China gave $100,000 also, South Korea donated $300,000.

A major fundraising effort’s begun overseas with the International Red Cross and Red Crescent appealing for $8 million for typhoon aid to the Philippines

all these things that i’ve done lists the different ways (direct deposits to bank accounts, credit card and online donations, even donations through SMS) people can make donations to the Philippine National Red Cross.

Individual bloggers have taken to propagating information for those who want to make donations for specific locations. Touched by An Angel has joined an effort to help the children of San Fernando, Sibuyan Island (see Sibuyan mayor cries: We are victims, too). Clothing, books, toys, and food gathered for the kids will be sent through the Red Cross.

Phoenix Portal recounts how a group of animators got together and helped out in relief efforts in Iloilo, with the help of SM Foundation.

Much more needs to be done.

Kalibo residents going hungry, still waiting for relief:

Because of limited supply, the prices of all commodities have gone up. A ganta (2.4 kilos) of commercial rice, which sold at P65 to P70 before the typhoon, now sells at P120 to P150. Fortunately, the National Food Authority loaned the municipal government several sacks of rice. Rebaldo said these have been distributed to the poorest residents of the different barangays. But the supply will not last very long.

“These are all on loan. We don’t have money in the municipal government,” Rebaldo said.

The flashflood also killed most of the livestock of the town. “In one barangay, 200 cows drowned,” the mayor said. Many pigs, chicken and carabaos also died during the typhoon, he said. Water reached a low of 8 feet to a high of 12 feet in the entire town. The waters are gone now but mud is up to one foot high. Kalibo is the catch basin of Aklan. (Aklan means river in English.)

The individual stories are what matter, now, and here they are: Ella’s Virtual Nook has photos of the damage done to New Washington, Aklan, including the wrecking of the blogger’s own home.

In Romblon, gives a thorough account:

Typhoon Frank’s gusty winds and heavy rains where experienced in Tablas island in Romblon Saturday morning. I thought the storm lashed out through the night until I found out that it hasn’t passed by the island yet. The electricity in our shop in Odiongan, Romblon suffered low voltage problems which started last Friday night. It was difficult to acquire some updates in the Internet about Frank’s projected route since power outage is intermittent. Add to that the mobile carrier signal there drops out every time. In a nearby store, I bought some eggs for our breakfast. Mrs. Norie who man the store informed me that there had been a sea mishap happened near Sibuyan Island. Later that morning, I recieved conflicting reports that all the passengers aboard the ship died. Some said there were a handful of survivors. A tidal wave was reported also in Alcantara, Romblon which I assumed it was a storm surge that hit the area.

My companion and I decided we should close the shop for that day. Since the typhoon signal in Romblon had been raised from 2 to 3, it is better that we call it a day-off to us and for our two secretaries. Since it was pouring that time, we decided to bathe ourselves in the rain and traverse the road leading to the famous “Baywalk” in barangay Tabing-Dagat. I managed to fight the freezing temperatures while gusty winds and rain hit me. It took us 15 minutes to reach the area. Upon seeing the area, debris were scattered everywhere. Stalls and cottages were destroyed and big brown waves came rushing into the shore. This could take days to clean up when the storm’s gone. The government spent more than a million pesos to rehabilitate the baywalk area. Good thing the new light posts like that in the Roxas Boulevard in Manila survived the vicous winds. We roamed the area and went back to the shop 30 minutes later.

Around noon, the power went back and I tuned in to the radio for news about the vessel tragedy. It was confirmed, the vessel “Princess of the Stars” of Sulpicio Lines capsized near Sibuyan Island. I was a horrific tragedy and I felt bad learning that there are few passengers survived. Sibuyan Island’s surrounding waters had been always rough even without a storm based from my experiences travelling there before. With that in mind, I could not imagine how big the waves were at that time of the storm. It was unbelievable that the largest ship in the Philippines could capsize like that.

The storm arrived in Romblon around 5:30 pm and brought strong winds and pouring rain that night. I took my digital camera and recorded a video of the storm inside the shop before dark. I hope I could upload it and post it in my blog. The next morning, only a handful of GI sheets, uprooted trees and trash clutter the streets.

In Roxas City, news reaching chemical rhapsody isn’t good,

Right now, my mother has to travel to Roxas City in search of a photo processing shop so she could have the pictures developed, as well as coordinate with DepEd Capiz. She’s been working closely with concerned agencies and they’re putting together a situational report for an upcoming meeting with the President.

My in-laws, however, said the electricity in Roxas City is still too feeble and could only power lights — not enough output yet to power an establishment. I hope the more-established shops there have their own generators. Otherwise my mother would have to go for Iloilo.

…as confirmed by Bloggy Blog: A College Student in Capiz:

Some parts of roxas city, capiz have no power supply because of the damaged hits by typhoon frank last saturday. According to Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council(PDCC) in the Province of Capiz, the number of Barangay affected by the typhoon frank are 47 brgy in roxas city, 5 were died, 5 were also injured, and 6 persons are still missing. Not only roxas city was affected in this typhoon frank but the other places also in western visayas were affected.

In Iloilo, Barangay OFW reprints an email from a nun, Sister Fidelisa Portillo, who recounts the situation at Aklan and then,

But as far as storms go, this is nothing. The wind was not that strong. Iloilo has experienced typhoons far, far worse than this. Which is why it was an utter shock for me when I turned on the radio at 1 pm nga grabe na gali ang situation in the city and Pavia. By 3-4 pm, a lot of calls were coming in asking to be rescued. We were caught flat-footed and we were really not prepared for this. It was each to his own.

Even the radio reporters felt bad. There really was no way to get to those who needed to be rescued. Just listening made you also feel bad. Each town knew they’re on their own. Roads were under water, bridges had collapsed. The city was able to borrow 10 jet skis, some rubber boats and two pump boats. 7 pm pa lang, naguba na ang pump boats.

The family of Mayor Treñas was rescued out of their house at past 10:30 pm. Big boys are not supposed to cry, but several mayors were crying, their voices breaking! Out of helplessness at the overwhelming cries for help nga wala man sila mahimo.

Vivian called the Disaster Coordinating Center to help her sister in Alta Tierra but she was told that there’s nothing more they can do at the moment.

The sugar central in San Enrique had 10 feet high of water, tunaw ang sugar. The NFA warehouse, flooded ang sacks of rice nga bag-o lang na deliver. For the first time ever, would you believe, the road from SM City up to the Marina had waist-high water? A lot of people, among them, one of George’s med reps spent the night at SM City. It became an evacuation site of sorts sang mga surrounding baranggays.

SM opened their food court area and the canopy and stairs to accommodate people. And they had to close the malls yesterday and today. School will resume on Wednesday. Now, there’s cleaning up. Nagakaubos pala diri. The mud can’t be rid of by just hosing it down. Sobra 1 foot ang thickness sang mud.

Worse, some areas will take 4 to 5 days for power to be back. Ang area Jaro up wala pa water coz the water pipes from Maasin are broken. Wala ni rich or poor subong sa areas affected. All of them are buried in muck.

By way of village idiot savant, the testimony and pictures of Bored Blather: mud, mud, everywhere.

And Bits and Pieces of Roxie provides snippets from typhoon-related stories:

*Gigi and her daughter were trying to save their television, when they saw a snake slither through the water. Plok! Down goes the tv under water, and up they run to the second level of their house.

*Nora spent three days on top their roof. She lived near Jaro CPU area. Saw her yesterday, puffy eyed and dead tired. She was able to save three backpacks of belongings and the rest were stuffed in two plastic bags.

From someone, Nostalgia, on an unidentified island:

Typhoon “Frank” hits our island at around 3 p.m., at first it was just signal number 1, but eventually turned into number 3.Apprehensions flood my mind as the storm brought down heavy downpours and very strong winds. We were covering the windows with heavy blankets just to fend off splashes of water and laid out on the floor rags and old clothes to absorb the rainwater that has finally seeped in.At around 7 p.m. the wind grew stronger and trashings and poundings grew louder and louder. Our house being the tallest in the neighborhood almost had all the beatings of the storm. It lasted until the wee hours of the morning, the longest that I’ve witnessed so far. By the morning, the intensity of the damage spread before our eyes. Whew!

And from a foreign tourist, in Adventures in Asia 2008, tracing their journey from Camiguin to Manila to Taiwan:

The night before we were due to leave for the mainland all the ferries had been cancelled and the part of the beach that wasn’t already under water was constantly beaten by frothing waves. Amazingly, the wind had eased by morning and we felt lucky that we wouldn’t be missing any of our upcoming flights. At the airport, on our way from Cagayan to Manila, I made the mistake of thinking that we had a good chance of experiencing our first on-time departure with Cebu Pacific Air. 7 hours later, freezing from the powerful A/C and braindead from watching the same five horrible commercials on loop in the departure hall (literally a big room with nothing but chairs and said crappy TV) the loudspeaker announced that all passengers should go through security and get ready to board. As if we hadn’t already been ready and waiting for half the day!

The Manila that we landed in was completely different from the sunny place we had left about a month earlier. Palmtrees looked like they would snap in half from the gale force winds and it was difficult to find shelter from the downpour. During the cab ride to our hostel we were in the midst of scenes I’ve only seen on the news before – people wading in knee-deep water surrounded by cars that should have been rowed rather than driven down the street. The disappointment of our flight to Taiwan having been moved forward by a day so as to avoid Frank, who was supposed to have been wreaking havoc in Taipei around the time we were due to land, was tempered by our discovery of Manila’s shopping malls. We were luckier than many people in that the main damage caused by Frank was to our bank accounts!

And it’s inevitable paranormal concerns have been raised, see sweet n sour and the more elaborate theory of Ang Umalohokan on “The Romblon Triangle”:

A lot of folklore surrounds the story behind the Romblon Triangle, from mermaids to cursed seas. Even galleon crews plying the Sibuyan Sea as they follow the Manila-Acapulco Galleon trade route are enchanted by the waters of the area. Everytime a galleon enters the waters, special prayers and offerings are performed to appease the spirits haunting the area.

But one well-known legend behind the countless of maritime disasters in Romblon was the legend of a certain Lolo Amang. Lolo Amang is said to be the Flying Dutchman of Romblon, a local version of the famous Cape of Good Hope ghost ship. Lolo Amang is said to frequent the waters of the province aboard a huge golden boat at night. His boat is so beautiful and shiny that seafarers can see it even a mile away. Once lured by the light of his golden boat, eyewitness claim to see a huge party aboard the ship with fair-skinned women, music and food. One eyewitness of the M/V Don Juan tragedy reported seeing Lolo Amang’s ship before it collided with M/V Tacloban. The captain tried to avoid the ghost ship but ended up colliding with the ill-fated cargo vessel.

Lolo Amang is so well known in Romblon that some of his believers even collected taxes from unsuspecting residents. My great-grandfather who was the police chief of Banton Island in Romblon reportedly investigated this scheme and found out that some albularios or quack doctors are taking advantage of the Lolo Amang myth. When interviewed, these herbalists claim that Lolo Amang resides in a secret lair in a certain Barangay Cayatong in Looc or Ferrol town in Tablas Island. Up to this day, such place in Tablas is still shrouded in mystery, with reports of mysterious ships being sighted and late night parties in the middle of coconut groves were heard of.

In the end, there is not concrete evidence to prove the Lolo Amang myth. It could’ve been invited by the crews of the sunken vessels themselves to escape liabilities. It could also be a deliberate hoax to instill panic and fear among the islanders of the archipelago. It is only a matter of circumstances that made the waters of Romblon famous in the history of maritime disasters.

We keep hearing that the sinking of the Dona Paz was the “worst peacetime maritime disaster in history.” So what was the worst wartime maritime disaster? The sinking of the “Strength Through Joy” ocean liner Wilhelm Gustloff in 1945.

Also, here’s another thing to worry about: RP faces corn shortage: Official blames high prices of fertilizers for crisis.

In a consultative meeting Thursday on the commercialization of organic and microbial fertilizers, Dennis Araullo, the head of GMA (Ginintuang Masaganang Ani) Corn Program, said the high prices of inorganic fertilizers are forcing many farmers not to plant corn, or cut their planting of the crop by half. Corn in the Philippines is largely grown for animal feeds.

If the national production of corn does not meet the 7.9-million metric ton target for this year, the country may have to import the grain. This option poses problems, since corn is in short supply worldwide because it is a major biofuel crop…

…The Department of Agriculture has declared a no-corn importation policy for this year, even if about 120,000 metric tons of corn were imported in 2008.

Araullo said a corn shortage will badly hit the domestic livestock and poultry industry, possibly forcing the closure of many firms in that industry.

If that is not enough, people who eat white corn in place of rice will also be affected, and might switch back to eating rice. Based on estimates of local food experts, up to 15 million Filipinos are eating white corn instead of white rice.

Filed away for future reference department: Beyond brain drain: Human capital increasingly votes with its feet in The Economist. Link to Tourism stakeholders: No other way but to train people to replace those who go abroad and New hires in Metro Manila firms replaced those workers who exited from The Business Mirror.

Headaches for America’s allies: In South Korea, US Compromise on Beef Fails to Dent Korean Protest; in India, Nuclear Heat in India. In Japan, note Sino-Japanese oil exploration deal in Breathing Room for Japan’s Fukuda.

Manuel L. Quezon III.

247 thoughts on “The little dolphin that could

  1. I doubt very much that many investors would be interested in the up coming Muslim Juridical Entity aka Bangsamorostan, which the President wants to leave as a her “peace legacy”, much as FVR did with ARMM in 1996. Except of course for the Waziristan BOI. It was in the hopes of slipping that in under the radar last year that Jess Dureza and Rodolfo Garcia prevented the service of arrest warrants for those infamous beheadings of 14 Marines on over a hundred MILF/ASG “partners in the peace process.” If you thought 100 billion already sunk into the Nur Misuari Sultanate was grand, wait till you see the 1000-barangay homeland being prepped for Hashim bin Sultan Salamat. Even Joma the Ayatollah can’t figure out how to do this since he’s all tied up in his new Dutch homeland. Arlyn de la Cruz and Loren Legarda can be maharahnees there.

  2. back to meralco: breakdown of expenses
    87% goes to pass thru charges required by the government including the 12% EVAT.
    13% goes to meralco for distribution charges..

    why investor leave our country, just like meralco wanted to sell its meralco shares to the goverment… for this main reason… our government do not understand the benefits of short term and long term benefits from big corporation.( bg corporaton comprises of experience, skilled money making people) the government should learn from these people.

    in the US… big corporations that generate massive employment are allowed to defer their corporate income tax. ( defer for 5-10 years and pay monthly in smaller increments thus the buden of lump sum payment will not affect the financial health of the big business) this money can be used by the corporation to expand even further to create more employment.

    for intel, it’s not only their electric bill, it might be corporate income tax that our government is collecting.

    our government leaders do not understand business because most of them are lawyers. lawyers enforce the law , like ” you have to pay taxes” .wrong concept. let the business people invest their own money to our land, the government’s role is to regulate. we have nothing to lose except employing our people.

  3. Technology nationalism and espionage.

    Sabi sa Tsina raw ay hindi tumatatanggap ng paglipat ng teknolohiya. ginagamit nila ang kanilang dinivelop.

    ngayon may mga kaso sa estados unidos na nasasangkot ang mga siyentipikong galing sa Tsina na pangungulimbat ng mga sikretong tecknolohiya at pinadadala sa kanilang bansa sa loob ng mga nakaraang taon.

    kagaya rin sa Japan noong kapanahunan na pinadadala ang mgq iskolar na hapon sa ibangg bansa upang pag-aralan ang sibilasasyon sa Europa. umuwi silang dala ang mga kailangan nilang kaalaman, isinulat sa hapones upang hindi makuha ng ibang bansa.

  4. to leytenian:leytenian: On willingness to turn over large parcels of land to europeans. “Outsiders” are hoping the powers-that-be in Malacanang and the halls of Pinas congress share your sentiments and will sign the necessary paperwork.

    In fact, here is a “OFFER TO LET” advertisement that I guarantee will get lots of response. Remember : Americans want an eco-zone; the Brits will respond to this eco-zone ad; maybe even Russia; and I can practically guarantee that China will be very interested, too.

    —- land-size : very large to very very large; can accomodate 3 or 4 runways as well as 3 docks to accomodate 9,000 tonnes; two docks to accomodate 15,000 tonnes.
    — 60 years lease; 110-year leases will be considered.

    As you can imagine, there will lots of hiring for construction as well as for engineers and technicians (ship repair; electronics; aircraft maintenance).

    Basilan or even the bottom-third (or half) of Palawan will be excellent-size.

  5. the advantages of having europeans to have large factory with their own money — </blockquote.

    they re not after how big is the land. they are more interested in countries where environmental laws are very lax that they can dispose of their wastes without heavy penalty and much opposition.

  6. Ill conceived rush to Ethanol —an analysis:
    Price of corn doubles in three years as more of crop is diverted to satisfy questionable biofuels policy
    Jun 29, 2008 04:30 AM David Olive

    If you were trying to develop a less effective means of kicking the gasoline habit and coping with climate change you’d be challenged to improve on North America’s misguided biofuels policy, which is centred on corn-based ethanol and is contributing to the global food crisis.

    Every 10,000 litres of water produces as little as five litres of ethanol, or one to two litres of biodiesel. This year, the U.S. will use around 130 million tons of corn for biofuels. This corn was not available as human food, nor as fodder to animals. Is this the right strategy, for a product that won’t satisfy even a small percentage of our energy needs?”

    You may read the part one of the analysis here… Part l of 2:

  7. Karl (at 9:20 pm), i hope you did not get the impression that i’m against attracting foreign investments (which seems to be Ca T’s impression which is why she has been arguing to the wrong point since yesterday).

    On land reform, i’m not recommending we replicate Vietnam’s bloodshed, only its policy choice. Let’s try to do it more peacefully.

  8. Vic,
    I understand . Here’s not from Corn or sugarcane technology. In Philippines, we have jathropa invested by the europeans.

    Farm bill offers big boost for biomass ethanol.
    “Federal legislators aren’t the only ones expressing support for stronger biomass ethanol incentives. In a May 11 editorial, the New York Times called on Congress to rethink ethanol standards, placing more emphasis on biomass-derived ethanol, less on corn-based ethanol. As a first step, the Times urged Congress to reorder its subsidy structure to promote “good” forms of biofuels, particularly biomass ethanol.”

    I think in the long run.. the world will learn and will not depend too much on oil. everybody’s talking about hybrid and small cars.

  9. in terms of Philippines geographical location, to plant all these jathropha, corn, sugarcane ( new one malungay daw.. yung bunga- maraming ethanol)at marami pang tropical trees and plants ,
    the best place with less exposure to typhoon is Mindanao ( sa kabukiran)…
    time to use the stick strategy rather than carrots?

  10. CVJ,

    What I meant was, foreign corporations setting up shop contribute to the “lagging” OF a developing economy. The reason is that foreign corporations’ main objective is not to develop the host country but to earn money. If they could be hacenderos too during the sugar boom, they would’ve been hacienderos here. Right now, they want to go to mining and, of course, to take advantage of the cheap English-speaking people. We need their money, no doubt, but if Filipinos think foreign investment per se always positive, this to me is backward thinking.

  11. Brian, ah ok. Thanks for the correction. You are right of course and i’m saying this as someone who has spent half my life inside an MNC.

  12. addendum for precision in definitions:

    My understanding of the WorldBank item (on using eco-zone, better tax revenue, others … to reduce unemployment and poverty)… the zone is

    A Special Economic Zone (SEZ) — a geographical region that has economic laws that are more liberal than a country’s typical economic laws. The category ‘SEZ’ covers a broad range of more specific zone types, including Free Trade Zones (FTZ), Export Processing Zones (EPZ), Free Zones (FZ), Industrial Estates (IE), Free Ports, Urban Enterprise Zones and others. Usually the goal of an SEZ structure is to increase foreign investment.

    The most successful Special Economic Zone in China, Shenzhen, has developed from a small village into a city with a population over 10 million within 20 years.

  13. UPn, you’re right on the success of the Shenzen Special Economic Zone. However, as i commented before, as per economist Dani Rodrik, that is only one of the successful reforms introduced by Deng, the others being:

    – the household responsibility system
    – dual-track pricing, and
    – township-and-village enterprises

    That’s why while the Ecozones were concentrated to China’s coastal provinces, its interior provinces also experienced accelerated economic growth.

    Indeed, if each [of] China’s provinces were counted as a distinct economy, about 20 of the top 30 growth regions in the world in the past two decades would be provinces in China, many of which did not receive much foreign investment and did not depend on exports. [The GDP growth per province from 1978 to 1995] refutes the perception that growth in China is only coastal. – Yingyi Qian (Department of Economics, University of California, Berkeley) , How Reform Worked in China in In Search of Prosperity:Analytic Narratives of Economic Growth

    If we want to achieve China’s rate of economic growth, we have to consider the totality of their policy implementations.

  14. to BrianB: when you say that …. foreign corporations …contribute to the “lagging” OF a developing economy. The reason is that foreign corporations’ main objective is … to earn money.

    This is my understanding of how the process works.

    Step 1: Foreign corporation identifies a business opportunity in a developing economy which, if the corporation gets entry, then the corporation makes money.
    Step 2: Foreign corporation approaches leaders of developing economy to allow it (the foreign corporation) entry. It makes a case (which includes the benefits the developing economy gets when foreigner gets entry).
    Step 3: Leaders make counter-offer. Negotiations follow.

    The foreign corporation enters only if it can make money. The developing economy should allow entry of the foreign corporation only if there is net-positive benefits to the developing economy (hopefully to two or three or more sectors and not only to three or four clans).

    So… it is less that the foreign corporations intend to make money (“less” in that you could have rejected their entry, and “getting rejected” is the risks of being a corporation), the issue is whether you benefited, and if you did not, whether you are happy that this family or that family or this or that sector benefitted, too.

  15. it’s not about backward thinking. it’s backward thinking if we don’t understand what OPM from foreign capital flowing in versus capital from loans and borrowing : the employment advantages and disadvantages with regards to our environment and culture that OP and loans have to offer. the negatives can be calculated, risk-manage, predicted and projected ahead of time. this is management planning and forward looking strategies. I like economic zoning as explain by UP N.. There’s plenty of solution. As bush said, there’s a talented cook in his kitchen.

  16. to cvj: The process gets bastardized ala the broadband-for-Pinas project. There was a “greater-good” in the picture — broadband to be available in more communities, but there were many crooks who spoiled the broth.

  17. UPn, which is why i keep saying that we should get rid of our Oligarchs first. They are the ones who are bastardizing the process so that the benefits go to their small group instead of the ‘greater good’.

  18. “..which is why i keep saying that we should get rid of our Oligarchs first..” – cvj

    The enlightended ones are needed to push the reform agenda. Mang Pandong may not be able to do it by himself.

    The bourgeoise contributed to the success of the American and French revolutions, yes?

  19. PSImeon, the problem is that (as pointed out by our Host), many of those who claim to be ‘enlightened’ fear the masses more than the Oligarchs.

  20. cvj: First, you really have to name names as to who are the oligarchs you want to get rid of, then when you want to get rid of them, and how. There always is the chance that you will be unable to displace an oligarch you despise because he/she was able then, and will be able again to get the votes of his/her district.

    Having said that, Pinas behaves clumsy. Pinas tries to control “… the invisible hand” clumsily. Filipino bureaucrats become very brave and generous with money that they never earned — my rule-of-thumb is that if the service is provided by commercial companies in other countries, then it should be commercial companies (not the government) that should provide the business in Pinas.

    So for broadband-for-the-masses, I would prefer that it was a commercial firm that goes into negotiating with the telephony/internet equipment providers. If a Philippine company can not make a decent profit from providing broadband to Jolo, then tough beans — no broadband for Jolo. And if Saudi wants to “donate the equipment” if Pinas approves ten sites for madrassas espousing Wahhabi, I will open it up for discussions. If warnings from DJB gets ignored by the CBCP, the INC and the public, hey…. it is a democracy.

    If a Philippine company says that when it provides broadband to Camiguin, it only makes P50,000-a-year-profit [too low] but if Govt-Pilipinas gives them a P2-million-a-year subsidy for the next 30 years, they will provide the service to Camiguin plus 10 other nearby communities, the deal can be further reviewed because the downside to Pinas is well-documented. P2-million-a-year, even if it goes exclusively to Conrado deQuiros, is a tolerable risk.

  21. I would love for Conrado deQuiros to run his own business!!!! I think Conrado deQuiros, because he is a populist with a large following, deserves a P2Million-a-year-subsidy for 5 years so he gets an education in what building, then running a business is about.

  22. On land reform, i’m not recommending we replicate Vietnam’s bloodshed, only its policy choice. Let’s try to do it more peacefully.

    Very idealistic.

    You can partition the land and give them to partners but when the government needs the land for some foreigners’ development, you confiscate them.


    Because that is basically the lad reform in Vietnam, your favorite example.

    Even in a democratic country like the Philippines, land reform always bring bloodshed. What country can you cite where land problems did not bring death to thousands if not millions.

  23. and why not cvj? i’m not an oligarch, by any means, but i would rather have a one-person BENEVOLENT and wise dictator than an in-fighting junta with each member trying to be the big kahuna.

  24. Leytenian, Granting that the raw materials for Ethanol and biofuels are derived from non-edibles or non-staples, But they too have to be grown in the same Arable Farm lands where the current Foods for the World’s Fast Growing population also depends their Staples.

    Now as the Population grows, the world needs more farmlands and that could also means clearing more forested areas to be converted into farmlands and ranches and that will defeat the “climate change effect” that is one of the purposes of using the cleaner non-fossil energy.

    I think Mercedes Benz is leading the innovation in Hybrid Electric which can be charged in ordinary electric outlets with the use of the already invented Lithium ion batteries to power the electric motors. We’ll find out…

  25. Ca t, aside from Vietnam, other countries like Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and even Kerala (in India) had implemented land reform. In those countries, the implementation was more peaceful than in Vietnam because their land reforms were implemented in non-revolutionary situations. We can learn from them as well.

  26. Cat-cat, i wanted to ask him how will he implement his plan (modeled after china and vietnam) peacefully. mamadyikin niya siguro?

  27. grd, (at 2:49am), i’ve pointed out (at 2:49am) that other countries were able to implement land reform more peacefully. i don’t think they used magic.

  28. cvj, did the other countries follow china or vietnam way also? are you advocating now a different way (re we can learn from them as well)… why, you have second thoughts now after Cat-cat shot-down your peaceful land reform advocacy patterned after china or vietnam?

  29. grd, i’ve commented about land reform many times before and as you can see in my previous comment below (one among many), i did include South Korea and Taiwan:

    I’ve also written about the South Korean, Taiwan and Kerala models in my blog:

    The message that i’ve been trying to convey is that the successful attempts at economic growth (or human development in the case of Kerala) by these countries was a decisive land reform implementation. That includes both capitalist countries (like South Korea and Taiwan) and Communist states (like China and Vietnam). We can learn from all the above examples so that we can implement the good and avoid the bad (like the violence). I hope that gives you enough background behind what i told Karl that (at 11:23 pm).

  30. sorry, the first sentence in the last paragraph above (at 3:49am) should read:

    The message that i’ve been trying to convey is that behind the successful attempts at economic growth (or human development in the case of Kerala) by these countries was a decisive land reform implementation.

  31. South Korea land reform

    For four years the farmers in Pyeongtaek had been protesting against forcible eviction from their farms to when they refused expropriation of the land to give way to te expansion of the US military base.

    In MArch 6, 2006, 500 riot policemen evicted the 200 farmers. Many of them were severely injured and arrested.

    Part of land reform of SK is expropriation of lands by the government.

    Is this what we should learn from Korea? hah.

  32. CVJ,

    on fdi I fully understood that you want everything in place first, that’s is why I quoted the field of dreams. the book Social Murder was for your advocacy against the society’s illnesses .

    Non violent land reform sa pinas?
    sa mga bato lang ang armas mahirap na mag paalis pano pa kaya sa mga may private army.

    get another example other than taiwan , korea

    land reform in taiwan worked only because the japs who owned the land went home
    how could the japs want more violence kakatapos lang ng hiroshima at nagasaki

    same in korea they just threw out the japs; and the confiscation of land from the rich koreans was supervised by uncle sam.

  33. Cat-cat, i wanted to ask him how will he implement his plan (modeled after china and vietnam) peacefully. mamadyikin niya siguro?

    I think he is talking about agrarian reform and he is using land reform instead which is only redistribution of property ownership thru confiscation or expropriation.

    That’s the problem of those people who do not understand what’s the difference between the two.

    Land reform can never succeed without agrarian reform.

  34. Ako ,I love apples and oranges.
    masama pala ipagsabay yun according to Dr. Cathy

    bakit ako magmamarunong na alam ko difference ng dalawa (land and agrarian reform)
    to prevent comparing ng apples and oranges

    alamin ko nga.

    Agrarian reform can refer either, narrowly, to government-initiated or government-backed redistribution of agricultural land (see land reform) or can refer more broadly to an overall redirection of the agrarian system of the country, which often includes land reform measures. Agrarian reform can include credit measures, training, land consolidations, etc.

    Ben Cousins defines the difference between agrarian reform and land reform as follows:

    Land reform… is concerned with rights in land, and their character, strength and distribution, while… [agrarian reform] focuses not only on these but also a broader set of issues: the class character of the relations of production and distribution in farming and related enterprises, and how these connect to the wider class structure. It is thus concerned economic and political power and the relations between them…[1]

    Along similar lines, a 2003 World Bank report states,

    …A key precondition for land reform to be feasible and effective in improving beneficiaries’ livelihoods is that such programs fit into a broader policy aimed at reducing poverty and establishing a favourable environment for the development of productive smallholder agriculture by beneficiaries.[2]

    Examples of other issues include “tenure security” for “farm workers, labour tenants, … farm dwellers… [and] tenant peasants”, which makes these workers and tenants better prospects for receiving private-sector loans;[3] “infrastructure and support services”;[4] government support of “forms of rural enterprise” that are “complementary” to agriculture;[5] and increased community participation in government decisions in rural areas.[6]

    Cath pls wag ka mapikon sa apples and oranges ko ng doctor: MD vis-a-vis PHD/DBA

  35. Palagay ko alam ni CVJ ang difference.
    dahil he cited more than once Food Sovereignty coined by the members of via Campesina.

  36. Ca t (at 6:19 am), i don’t see how you can use that as an argument against land reform in South Korea since the beneficiary is the US Base. we could choose not to implement that portion. It reminds me of the time you argued against industrial policy ala-South Korea because of the 1998 Financial crisis. These ignore the fact that both land reform and industrial policy nevertheless contributed significantly to that country’s economic development..

    Karl (at 7:16am), thanks for pointing that out. yes, i do know that there’s a difference. As to the ‘other example’ that you requested (at 6:23 am), the link (at 4:12 am) mentions the example of Czeckoslovakia. Also, Taiwan had its local landlords as well (as i mentioned in my blog entry). On your concern about the Oligarchs’ private armies, shouldn’t they also be dismantled anyway? What place do private armies have in modern, civilized society?

  37. Done scrolling up and I saw the Czechoslovakia example.

    private armies should be dismantled,right but look at our elections.

    another thing added to the do list of anyone who has the political will to do it.

  38. Karl, i believe that as ordinary citizens, we can all do our part to give our leaders the courage to summon their political will. Unfortunately, as i told PSimeon above (at 1:21am), the middle class whom i believe usually embodies the values of the nation still chooses to side with the Upper Class (tacitly, if not explicitly). Manolo has repeatedly pointed this out.

  39. yes as citizens we can do our part.

    etong sampol ko ng private army. di middle class ang mga armed security,active police and active soldiers pero wala silang magawa pag oras na mag aklas sa labas ng mga gate ng mga amo nila.

    don’t forget that the lower class also has ties with the upper class like the tenants,the loyal katiwalas,their family

    sa city naman mga loyal na katulong. mga skwatter nandyan para sa elction bukod sa harsh reality na wala silang choice.I have worked in Makati and wala silang pakilalam kahit madami nakakita tuwing me rally they give money.Kahit sa ortigas nakakita din ako.

    so the blame should not be with us, the middle class. No one is to blame,everyone is a stakeholder in this society!!!!

  40. Karl, as you said of the poor, ‘wala silang choice’. The Middle Class, on the other hand, has more room to step back and reflect on these things because we are not as preocuppied with matters of survival (as compared to those in the poorer classes). The problem is that even after being given this opportunity for reflection, a lot of the Middle Class still choose to side with the Upper Class.

  41. Let’s stop putting the burden on the poor it’s crazy. I’veheard a lot of well-to-do people complaining that the poor are this and that and that is, to them, the reason why the Philippines is in such a bad state. Bullshit. It’s irrational thinking; it’s the kind of rationalization you only see on children. It’s the people who have money, people in power that are to blame.

  42. “The problem is that even after being given this opportunity for reflection, a lot of the Middle Class still choose to side with the Upper Class.: -cvj

    We’ve discussed in an earlier thread.

    So, now what happens to the proposition (contained in your model) that because of the onslaught of globalization, the “haves” have less compassion and care for the “have nots”? Didn’t your paradigm even mention this was a natural outgrowth?

  43. Brian, sad to say, blaming the poor seems to be common among the achievers in our society. A recent discussion over at Filipino Voices made me realize that this is because those with a ‘can do’ attitude who have made it, compare their own success with the failure of others and think that ‘if i can do it, why can’t they’, then conclude that the others failed because ‘they must be lazy, or dependent’.

    This shows that a ‘can do’ attitude, while good in itself, does have a dark side. What these achievers don’t realize is that their success only means that they have beaten the odds. Believing that a greater proportion can beat the odds without doing something about the odds itself is ridiculous, a bit like when UPn Student brought up the need for swimming lessons in the context of the Sulpicio disaster.

  44. as far as my province is concerned, agrarian land reform has been working well and peaceful. bloodshed is very negative. it will not help at all. positive comments are much welcome.

  45. PSImeon (at 11:50 am), i believe you are referring to this comment:

    As i mentioned in this linked comment, the mindset inherent in globalization encourages the idea that…

    “… poverty and marginality are ‘personal deficits’ [that] implies that those unable or unwilling to live up to the emergent norms of the global labor market are in some way pathologically deviant. – Cameron & Palan, The Imagined Economies of Globalization

    …which i think goes a long way in why the Middle Class tends to side with the Upper Class.

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