The National Budget as cake: the suggested algorithm of Mar Roxas

roxxas interaksyon

Mar Roxas [Photo credit: Interaksyon]

By Popoy Del R. Cartanio


Experiential rather than factual, issue-based rather than persons-oriented, dimmed-recall-based rather than a research output, these statements are my introductory take on the Philippines National Annual Budget. A blast from the past, it’s like magic. A University needed a building; has no money; nearly impossible to include a multi-million pesos capital outlay in the budget when lo and behold COA (COA then got the moniker COA ng COHA) came out with past savings of the University amounting to pesos 9 million(?) and a two story building with a swimming pool was speedily constructed. Have not been to the building for more than a decade. Last heard it is still there, a declared building hazard in the school campus, housing the Human Rights protection agency.

Come June every year, many agencies are in a whirl to clean out their MOEs (Maintenance and Operating Expenses) and preparing RIVs (requisition and issue vouchers), TEVs (traveling expense vouchers), etc. so these and whatevers can be OBLIGATED before the deadline. Unobligated funds go back to the National Treasury or to wherever. Equipment Outlay for lab and technical gadgets sometimes end up paying for electric fans and air cond units. It is also time for a few select budget and accounting heads of office to have sumptuous lunch with budget people to discuss how and where they can obligate the agency’s unexpended appropriation. June is not only for June brides, it’s also some budget middle honchos’ season to travel, visiting regional offices or far flung colleges at their cared-for agency’s expense. The fiscal year covering July 1st to June 30 is now using the Calendar Year.

The martial law years were those by-gone days of well-behaved middle and lower budget bureaucrats . . . when somebody squeals, anybody can be arrested without warrants of arrest. No questions asked. Those were the days when metaphors of quiet small hills enjoy conservation while mountains suffer massive denudation.

The fact remains, it seems, then and now, with or without the pork barrel, government agencies blame tight rules and regulations, cumbersome procedures, etc. as causal factors for the serendipitous unwanted child, este unnecessary savings.

Nowhere and at no time, even now, not even Professors dabbling in governance might hypothesize that a kickback of 15% to 20% for every bed bug size or colossal transaction (including pork barrel allocation) that goes to the pocket of the signing BOSS will surely empty the agency’s kitty on or before the month of June. Kickbacks abound from merely cleaning office dust or alikabok (only e.g. 20% from the contract, another 20% from suppliers of Ajax and 20% more from the purchase of Vacuum cleaners); percentage extorted from street signs and community street lighting (contracts for installation, contracts from electric post manufacturer, contracts for electric bulb supplies).

This is just a conjecture: no facts and no evidence unless researched. Build a skyway railway for slow bullet trains. Borrow billions of dollars, just before the projects starts, let a local bank pay the first installment and get the kickback of many lifetimes. Borrowings done solely for the purpose of increased kickbacks can contribute to annual budget deficits.

Null hypothesis: The more expensive the project the lesser the probability of spending the whole annual budget. Like a middle class housewife, why can’t government officials exhaust the budget with no or just minimal corruption?

Not Marie Antoinette but PNoy’s recent cake

2015 budget pie mbI had a look at the proposed national budget for 2015 — presented as a beautiful pie divided into functional and sectoral slices. Immediately I saw the translucent image of cluelessness being dastardly demonstrated by a dumb conspiracy against Filipino taxpayers as individuals and business entities. It is dire; something sinister implicating taxpayers’ dependant parents, espouses, children, and grandchildren. Forty per cent of the whole pie, the biggest slice are earmarked (watch that pork barrel word) to OTHERS while the tiniest slice of point nine (0.9 that’s less than 1.0) per cent are allocated to the judiciary.

It is plain “dumb and dumber” not to realize that the victimless crime of a peso misallocated, wasted or stolen from hard earned taxes leads to monstrous larceny perpetuating poverty. The colorful pie goes a long way as ultimate denial of good governance. It’s tragedy more tragic than Shakespearean plays. Really? How in purgatory’s name can that be when the national budget is the minders’ product of the top of the heap, the kreme de la kreme of Philippine bureaucracy, jack hammered into law by the stalwarts (wizards of Hogwarts?) of Congress? Well, it is not about the entire straight path. It’s only the starting and the finish lines, not so much of the struggle happening in between. Feels like an entity starts it rich and finishes poor.

The metaphoric analogy is farfetched remembering the late Pepe Wright Diokno, the lawyers’ Pope, told faculty and students in one UP Symposium: “When President Ferdinand Marcos gives you a donut, he gives you the hole, you get nothing.” Whaaat? Stretch it a little more: the national budget is a donut and the hole goes to the people. And just think if it is said when you give the judiciary not even one per cent of the hole not the tidbits, the people get the kind of justice they don’t deserve. Why so? Could be answered as this piece approaches the finish line. It seems transparent and more truthful if the cake is divided into a thousand small slices just for the people to know who gets what and how much.

The budget itself, consequences

Now for the criticism immune deficiency facts of the 2015 proposed budget (can’t find the real one), the OTHERS (bless them) got 40.31 % of the budget. That’s 1.05 trillion of the peso 2.606 Trillion total budget. That’s mind boggling to us but not to The OTHERS (not the Amenabar film of Nicole Kidman’s ghosts family) who get the equivalent of ONE THOUSAND FIFTY BILLION PESOS. Still staggers the mind how one can spend a billion which is naman, one thousand million pesos lang. Kamot ulo pa rin: even if one trillion pesos means one thousand billion pesos (one million millions). So it’s not impossible for Bill Gates and Henry Sy to become trillionaires: just make it to one thousand of their present billions.

To the ordinary farmer and fisherman and the common tao, understanding the budget is like understanding how traveling in space at the speed of light makes time stand still. Lest my numbers carelessly mislead, check the math, please.

It should console us though, the cake este the pie’s little slices may not be over priced. Kickbacks are yet to be realized. The budget’s social jugular of education and health sectors seemed to have wangled subsistence slices of the pie. Education got 16.11% (P0.42 trillion= P420 billion); while health got a lower 4.51% (P0.12 trillion = P120 billion). It is good that Public Works was allocated 13.27 % (P0.35 trillion= P350 billion). These guys can not even spend them all. What’s my beef then?

When Bill Clinton has the temerity to taunt his opponents: “It’s the economy, stupid,” and promised jobs more jobs for the common Americans (Hillary had just adopted that for the ordinary Democrats). So? Bill won his first term in the US presidency. What he did with his feet barely touching the Oval; for the economy and for jobs more jobs: he prioritized and attacked US infrastructure everywhere. Clinton was succinct and concise but not specific. He should have said: “It is the infrastructure, the livelihood in the economy, stupid.” Although to this day the LA County California freeways remain overused and dangerous; but that’s beside the point.

To digress, PNoy’s tenured long secret gem in the cabinet is his PW Sec Roger Singson. Sec Singson is only a third part of my point which is: The taxpayers money spent for Education, Health and Public works are the budget’s health food that nourishes the blood, muscles and bones of the non-elite segment of the population — the Utopian grail. Altogether their budget is only 33.89%; much less than the 40.31% of the total budget that’s been appropriated for the OTHERS. Who or which are the others? Somebody should write about that!

The National Budget as cake : the suggested algorithm of Mar Roxas

There is a need to reduce politics in the budgetary process. One can use the messy Rocket science, este scientific management, to do that. Unlike in the Bureau of Customs which can not care less to ask for an adequate budget, BOC uses the science of mismanagement to keep alive their meticulously cultured corruption. The algorithm, este the solution, could be the same. If the number of steps and required initials delay the process or the transactions, then reduce or halve the number of steps. Banish the initials by automation or computerization. DBM’s and other Department’s budget personnel are simply swimming in paperwork.

Can an ordinary computer imagine the number of sequential steps, the number of people, the number of offices, the hours and the money spent that are repeated like a signal No. 3 typhoon every year? All done before an annual budget is signed by the President amid flashing cameras? Should not in the HOR or in the Senate the steps and the participants be reduced to eliminate cajoles and follow ups on casual employment and business interests?

During the good old days of line-item balanced budgets, when the corruption DNAs were still in the vegetables and the atmosphere, when nobody has thought yet of the development (unbalanced) budget, the programmed and unprogrammed budgets, zero-based budgeting, “bottom-up” budgeting, and obligations-based spending and accounting, it was nice and decent to be a farmer, a fisherman and a public market vendor. This was also the time of scientific management before it got clobbered by organizational behavior and cybernetics.

The Department of Budget Management (DBM) has commissioned early in 2009 the OECD to make a profile of the Philippine Budget System. No matter how excellent the results, it was a “what is” study. Less prescriptive, it did not emphasize what ought to be. Rightly so because to apply the scientific management approach will be so micro, so meticulous, tedious. Laborious and IMPRACTICAL.

Imagine using, applying the techniques of time and motion studies, work simplification, flow-charting, forms design, pert-cpm, time management, etc. in producing the budget baby. But there are now computer-based techniques which are faster, more accurate and less prone to corruption. Using these advances on computer technology could reduced systems and procedures steps by 40%. Redeployment, re-employment and reassignments should cushion the collateral damage of lay offs and job losses.

THE IMPACT TO THE THREE CO-EQUAL BRANCHES. The annual budget is the direct responsibility of both the executive and the legislative branches. It is the best gauge that determines the competence and integrity of both branches. If these two are clean in their act, then its peace time for the judiciary; if not then its fiesta and celebration for the judiciary to exercise authoritative corrections and their accidental law making powers.

Is there a need to remove NEGATIVITY in the guidelines meaning every successor step should not indicate an improvement or a check on the correctness of a predecessor step. The OBLIGATIONS sub system must be looked into as a possible delaying subsystem. Do other countries still have them? Are procedures designed against mistrust because offenders go unpunished? Is the whole system iron clad to ensure under spending?

THERE IS A NEED for an interdepartmental think tank to study and remedy system deficiencies. The operations budget for this think tank will be peanuts if taken from from a 2 trillion pesos budget. Prefixes multi- and inter- are not the same. Many departments or multi-departments addressing the same problem is not same as inter-departmental algorithm. Beer-gin-coke produces a unique hang over as a mixed drink than when they are taken separately.

Some notions about the national budget should be validated by the interdepartmental think tank. For example: the budget is more prospective than retrospective; and should not repeat the lessons of history by doing year in and year out faulty systems and procedures. In budgeting time is not a resource, it is an impregnable constraint. Scarcity of resources to address policy priorities is already an out of date fiction as burgeoning deficits happen and effectively remedied in several countries. The plenitude of goals and concrete measurable targets against limited resources can be addressed and mitigated by the application of advances in science and technology. Philippines’ grassroots participation in crafting the budget against grassroots poverty is now fourth world. Bottom up budgeting is all wet. A low level approach, some third world countries have already dropped this cosmetic exercise called peoples’ participation.

I hypothesize that poverty as a government concern touches more people than issues of peace and order and national security. Poverty rankles even more than the natives’ libidinous penchant for political argumentation. Poverty reduction needs the competence of majority of the departments; rising or falling as priority the annual budget should be its unassailable barometer.

Side-step the complaints making both ends meet as passé. Instead make it making it meal to the next meal as most Juan de la Cruz’ main worry. CCT (conditional cash transfer) or Pantawid Pilipino Pamilya Program (PPPP) is a stroke of genius and justifies the pesos billions given to those on the way to getting across the waters of poverty. BUT NOT ENOUGH.

Mar Roxas Budget Algorithm: A peso earned from minimum wage as casual employee or as ghost employee is something better than extending one’s hand for alms. Or being pickpocket, bag snatcher, bus hold upper, a carnapper, a kidnapper or hit man, a grease man or homeless man. At the very top the Civil Service Commission (CSC) should show more action about the vacant and unfilled civil service positions in the government. The CSC and DBM with a stroke of the pen can vanish casual or emergency employees.

Competent management can make regular employees handle emergencies. The Department of Labor should breach static statistics about minimum wage earners and rise above the gobbledegook of industrial relations.

Pres Mar Roxas should issue an Administrative Order to all Departments, Bureaus and whatevers to indicate the number of jobs that will be created by their proposed budget. One or two jobs from each office could mean two meals daily instead of one for some children of millions poor. The country have Pesos 2.606 trillion and new jobs remain mere hallelujahs of hope for government projects taking off?

The systems and procedures involved in the budget process should be lined up against the wall. Fifty years ago Malacanang authorized budget overtime work for a select few to be paid by the hour instead of measly meal allowance. Is this injudicious practice extinct now?

To go back and finally end as promised in the beginning of this long piece: when you give the judiciary not even one per cent not of the tidbits but the donut hole, the people get the kind of justice they don’t deserve. Why so? If the judiciary get their just and fair allocation from the annual appropriations along with the concomitant just compensation for justices, judges and prosecutors, and the logistics necessary for speedy trials and meted maximum sentences for judiciary felons, it is likely to say the least, that justice in the country will not be far behind other developed countries.

King Solomon is King in possession of his every favorite things to render Solomonic judgment. No one should expect the same judgment from his court jester who could be underpaid, funny and ambitious for the trappings of a king’s life.


174 Responses to “The National Budget as cake: the suggested algorithm of Mar Roxas”
  1. karl garcia says:

    TROs ,buying judges make up for the lack of budget of judiciary.What if you remove that provision where education gets the bulk. It would only get worse.

    debt services,personnel services still get 60 percent of the budget. pwede bang pagkakitaan yan?
    ghosts? 40% to operate and some other services.

    agriculture needs modernization, and the climate change and environment laws too,need money,yet no budget good luck to us.

    • I think what Popoy is trying to address are the following issues:

      1) lack of transparency – it is finally very hard for the guys on top to find out where money has been spent. If I look at SAP in the corporate context, it allows even the CEO of a global company to see where money has been spent for what from many different angles – and if necessary even go Big Brother, drilling down to see the details at country, region and department level. Auditors both internal and external love SAP, nothing can be hidden.

      2) very complex procedures – seems to be a Filipino thing to do that, like when I was young and went to the bank to get my monthly PSHS stipend, lots of vouchers had to be typed just for a simple withdrawal, pirma dito, pirma doon for what? I remember pacing up and down the aisle and the cashier shouted “napaka-impatient talaga nang batang ito!” Or the example given by Joe of one hour you have to wait till you get your electronics because they have to test it first. To be fair, overly complex procedures are in all countries, but computers (and the stuff I do, workflow management) has streamlined them in past years.

      3) insufficient strategic prioritization – trillions sound like very much, but the 80 billion yearly Philippine defense budget is only 1 billion Euros – equals the turnover of the Oktoberfest fairgrounds in just two weeks. Somehow I admire the geeks from DOST – OK they are my folks since I am a Pisay alumnus so I am biased – for doing so much with so little money and inspite of a crazy, self-blocking system: ASTI, AGT, roadtrain, Project NOAH and more.

      The usual methodology I use to solve big problems is:

      a) define the issues (1-3 in this case)

      b) define the goals (Popoy has done partly by suggesting to prioritize job creation)

      c) define the measures to reach those goals, prioritize them, then define/monitor actions

      Since I am still very busy with the Internet stuff and have a deadline to meet for my customer (the Internet stuff partly held me up but I thank God for my healthy excuses – other customer had an urgent need, the Philippines being my pro bono customer here, but they don’t have to know that in detail) I leave it to the Society to flesh out the goal part and define possible measures, put together pro material on budgeting, google if necessary…

      • Karl, I think you know a lot in practice about the Philippine budget system, but I admit that it confuses me. Can you – or anyone else who is knowledgeable – by any chance give us a short summary of how it works? Because it sounds more than a little bit loony to me.

        But if you look at the jumble that is Philippine laws and jurisprudence, or how PLDT goes abroad first instead of having straight connections to ASTI and Globe on the Internet, it would not be surprising that it is like nearly everything in what my sister calls Absurdistan.

    • karl garcia says:

      Ok based from the figures below Personnel and debt services makes up only 46 % of the gaa. Still 30 % for paying salaries is too much. That is why modernization and automation is very encouiraged.

      What they do to mask the problem is to reduce regular employess and hire contractuals.
      That is from he lowly casual to the jet setting consultant.

      defense spending is low because of the education needs are prioritized,plus the pensioners don’t die young and they equal the active personnel.

    • Karl garcia says:

      Hoodlums in robes,illegal loggers,polluters,etc
      Are the direct result of no budget for their respective department.add to that backlog of pending cases.

      • karl garcia says:

        If the justice on wheels is funded more inmates with pending cases will be add to that the pending community service legislation.

  2. Bert says:

    Is he made of the same stuff that made King Solomon render Solomonic judgment? Let’s see.

    • Usually people – in any country – hope for a leader who is like Jesus and can miraculously multiply money like fish and bread.

      • Bert says:

        Faster internet, solving the traffic problems and eradicating graft and corruption will be good enough for me.

        • i7sharp says:

          “Faster internet, solving the traffic problems and eradicating graft and corruption will be good enough for me.”

          Irineo, Bert,

          Needless to say, we have different ways of looking at things.
          When I disagree with either one of you, I do not necessarily I am right and you are wrong.
          Joe America sees your talents or gifts and that is why he “knighted” you.

          Probably I tend to dream more than the next guy or you two.
          Also I try to keep things simple or try to understand only what my brain can handle. Probably it is probably these that enable me to do (or so I think) with what little I know.

          About three hours ago I shared a picture of the Yahoo! CEO.
          That can give you an idea of the people I admire and hope I will be able to somehow connect with someday – for the good of the home country.
          Here is a picture of two people I admire or have occupied my mind for some years because, for one, I believe in my heart they are good people.

          The older one has already retired.
          More about this two later when another opportunity arises.

          In the meantime, let us try to do with what we now have.
          Let us try to be accurate with current data.
          Bert, please see

          and let us see how we can get close to actually helping the school you named.
          I intend to pursue this earnestly – to help with whatever resources will come my way.

          btw, …
          Take the jab lightheartedly. 🙂

  3. edgar lores says:

    1. I believe the Others of 40.31% can be broken down as follows:

    o Debt Burden…………………… 14.31%
    o Internal Revenue Allotment. 14.9%
    o Other Economic Services… 11.1%

    2. The entire budget would look like this:

    E d u c a t i o n………….. ….. 16.11 P420B
    D e f e n s e……………………. 6.36 P166B
    D e b t B u r d e n………….. 14.31 P373B
    Internal Revenue Allotment. 14.90 P388B
    Other Economic Services… 11.10% P289B
    P u b l i c W o r k s………… 13.27% P346B
    Interior & Local Govt……….. 6.24% P163B
    S o c i a l W e l f a r e……. 4.81% P125B
    H e a l t h………………………. 4.51% P118B
    A g r i c u l t u r e……………. 3.92% P102B
    Transport & Communicatn. 2.63% P69B
    E n v i r o n m e n t…………. 0.94% P24B
    J u d i c i a r y………………… 0.90% P23B
    T O T A L……………………….100% 2.606T

    3. The figures for “Debt Burden” and “Internal Revenue Allotment” can be found across “Automatic Appropriations” in the following link:

    3.1. Of course, the break down of “Other Economic Services” — at a hefty 11.10% — is still unknown. I would surmise the line allocations would be in the General Appropriations Act.

    4. The Pie Chart allocations have been compared with the Bar Chart in the following link:

    4.1. It has been assumed that “Social Services” (37.1%) in the Bar Chart is comprised of the items from “Public Works” down to the “Judiciary” in the Pie Chart, which total to 37.22%. The assumption is made because they tally.

    4.2. Due to the above assumption, “Debt Burden” and “Internal Revenue Allotment” have been subsumed under “Others”. The budget amounts allocated to these two items cannot be allocated to any other item in the Pie Chart.

    4.3. Where there is a disparity in a percentage figure given between the two charts, the Pie Chart figure has been used. For example the Defense Budget is stated as 6.36% in the Pie and 4.4% in the Bar.

    5. The above analysis does not dispute the presence of “hidden” items in the budget.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Debt Burden is burried in OTHERS !!! Debt Burden is 14.31% !!! That is a lot of death !!! Filipinos sure do know cover-ups. Bet they graduated from THIS school.

      Benigno burrowed money from abroad and not spending them. It is just sitting there to artifically bump up the reserves to support the flagging currency to fool the Filipino people. This is not right. These burrowed money should be spent on infras. What is spent on Infras create economic multiplier effect.

      Wetaminit, Debt burden is 14.31% of 40%. If calculated from the whole it is only 6.15% !!!! Sorry about that Benigno for shooting from the hip. So far you are doing goot after all.

      • chempo says:

        @mrt — re the 14.31% debt burden, that needs a lot of qualification. You can’t just point at pnoy. Appropriate questions are how much is interest, how much principal repayment. How much relate to current admin borrowings how much previous admin. I bet you we are still paying of some of Marcos’ borrowings.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      420,000,000,000.00 on education which is 16.11%. How much go to higher education like University? University of Mindanao, National Science and most of all the beloved UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES !!!

      How much billions go to University of the Philippines to produce crooks?

      I see defense is only 6.0B. Defense should be broken down to external defense producrement and internal security? How much for Internal Security? If External Defense is greater than Internal Security, Philippins does have a problem.

      Internal Security should also also be subdivided for improvement against internet hacking. Budget for internet hacking should be used to import highly-logical highly-skilled non-English speaking Indians. They are very good. I mean really really very good than U.P. graduates.

      • Indians? Better attract the best graduates that go abroad or into BPO into a new cybersecurity group run by the Armed Forces, NISA and DOJ. Romania for example has its own specialized cyberwar division in the Ministry of Defence and they are really good. Get some of those guys to coach the Filipino colleagues because they have experience. Romanians used to be the hackers for the Russians, now they help defend NATO/EU.

        • Agree with bringing the AFP on board for cyber security. Does the Philippines have a Computer Science program that can go toe to toe with CalTech, MIT, Stanford, etc.? And are there Philippine national labs,

          • U.P. and Ateneo have the best Computer Science programs, not so sure how they measure up. Both cooperate with DOST ASTI which has the best chance of becoming a Philippine DARPA if they work on it – they already have a pretty good research network.

            DOST has Project NOAH which has done excellen work in shoring up disaster management – also preventive. They also have MMDA on the ASTI network, wonder what they are doing with them. AFP would be a logical next step, but it could be that the UP guys still don’t trust the military that much due to things that happened during Marcos times. NICA possibly also, I misspelled them they were NISA back then – difficult task.

            • Don’t know if the UP Research Reactor of the PAEC (Philippine Atomic Energy Commission) still exists – just next to the INC main compound. The Philippines still pays for every day the Bataan nuclear power plant that Marcos had built is not in operation – but I wonder why it is not just dismantled, nuclear is dangerous in an earthquake zone. Had it been operational in 1991 close to Pinatubo as it is, we would be in nuclear winter now.

            • Hopefully the AFP will be more open to Gen. McChrystal’s suggestion,

              Q. What could the Pentagon be doing to bring in people who maybe traditionally haven’t been as interested in military careers but who have skills we need in order to adapt?

              A. Unfortunately, in these monolithic professions, not a lot of fresh air blows in through the windows. What I would argue for the military and others is that lateral entry would make a lot of sense.

              I think nowadays the essential skills of being a military leader are not to shoot a weapon, they are not even to read a map. They’re to make tough decisions in an uncertain environment and to engage with people and build relations. It’s almost the same as what you’d find in senior leadership in any other realm.

              Lateral entry, even at a fairly senior level, into these different businesses would make them stronger. There’s a natural aversion to it, because people in the guild don’t want outsiders coming in and taking slots, but I think it would be very, very healthy for the military and others.

              Q. What would that look like?

              A. Someone could say, “We want you to come into the Army for four years. Here’s what you’d do and we’re going to make you rank X.” In three months, they could get you the right uniforms, teach you how to salute. You’d walk in and be effective right away. When you left, the Army would have produced another alumnus who would communicate out—and you would have brought different ideas and different perspectives.

              I’ve dealt with a lot of chief executive officers who could walk in and be general officers in the military tomorrow. All we’d have to do is get them a uniform and a rank. They’d step in and it would be seamless—because they solve problems and they lead people. Take Brad Smith from Intuit. He could be brought in as a three- or four-star general in the military, and he’d be value-added at the end of the first week.

              • That might be a bit difficult. The different elites in the Philippines are very inbred, even with some family “dynasties”. UP and DOST usually get along well, UP/DOST do not usually get along well with DepEd and all three have a certain distance to military elites.

                Not long ago, UP and Ateneo did not exchange too much people, but that has changed, La Salle is now slowly gaining acceptance as well. So things might change elsewhere too.

                National security is after all more than just military defense – you have the disaster relief and prevention stuff NOAH is doing, very important in the Philippines, you have food and water supply, you have anti-terrorism and civil security which includes protecting vital infrastructures and having evac plans ready in case of invasion. Munich from what I have heard has an evac plan and bunkers on the ready. Manila is a sitting duck at the moment. The richer the Philippines gets, the more it will have to protect itself – in every respect.

              • karl garcia says:

                That is the problem here The national defense act could not be amended becase they insert national security into it. THEY are vey different. HAVE a different a separate national security act.
                As for cybersecurity DOJ thru the NBI handles it. If you insert the AFP then we will have HELLO Garci upgraded and have Hillary esque emails exposed.

          • karl, Ireneo,

            More will have to join the party.

            They’ll have to deconflict whatever self interests they’re protecting– the bigger just makes mince meat out of each’s small time interests. It’s a numbers game, the Chinese have thousands of these cyber types (they partner with Russia and Eastern Europeans– good news those Romanians are now with NATO).

            Unless NBI and NICA can cover all threats, they’ll have to tap AFP and PNP, to include those top schools. Encourage also regular citizens, if they can make AlDub a phenomenon, I’m sure if the geeks at DOST ASTI can leverage the Filipino’s natural tendency to Tweet.

            karl, I don’t understand the difference between national security and national defense.

            • Opening up cyber-security to the AFP/PNP is basically a program, those that come out with computer skills, add to society at large. Filipinos already love learning Japanese (because of anime) and Korean (because of their pop crap), just get the next generation to be interested in Chinese (Mandarin).

            • Karl garcia says:

              National security =foreign affairs plus defense.

              so a national security act may encompass defense already. but in the mean time have the defense act amended.

              • National security means you must make sure de fence is secure.

              • MRP has his citizenship exam for the USA. The officer asks him to make a sentence with the following words: deduct, detail, defence, defeat.

                MRP says: de duck jump over de fence, first with de tail, then with de feet. So what do we learn from this: we must pay attention to detail so that our budget for defence will not be deducted, leading to our final defeat. But that is Joe’s article tomorrow.

              • karlgarcia says:

                National Security is a wide net,it covers just about everything from economics to other social sciences.

            • Romania and Bulgaria joined NATO mid-noughties and the EU soon after.

              Actually I think they were too poor to qualify for the EU but since NATO is basically USA and EU working together inspite of occasional business rivalries, they juked the numbers a bit because they are after all the Eastern Front against the Russians.

              Romanians like being in the EU because they are Latin people after all – their language is the living language closest to Latin. Dacia (old name of Romania) was to Rome as Australia was to England. A place where the Romans sent their convicts to work the gold mines, or exiled troublesome people like the poet Ovid, or gave retired legionaries land to secure what was also the Eastern border back then – the Scythians were just across.

              Romania also has oil in the Black Sea and on land, the two major companies are owned by an Austrian conglomerate (OMV) and a Romanian oligarch respectively. The latter is allegedly US-backed so you have US and EU interests balanced in this respect. Fuel resources are also part of security interests, the EU is pretty much courting Azerbaijan and I can imagine it is because of this – and because USA-EU-NATO are using every chance to contain Russia. Of course the Eastern front has moved from the Berlin Wall were it used to be in the 1980s to the Baltic and Black Sea areas and Putin is nervous which is why he is acting the way he is now – because he fears the “Delenda Russia” doctrine which I believe only Polish-American Brzezinski still truly espouses.

              Romanians never like the Russians so they are a secure ally, Bulgaria is shaky because of linguistic and cultural ties, they tend to like the Russians and Russia is influencing internal politics in Bulgaria. Cyprus is even shakier if you ask me, they are in the EU but not in NATO and Russia is planning to replace Tartus in Syria by a base in Cyprus. So the East-West conflict of old is not dead, the early 1990s were IMHO just a strategic retreat by the Russians to consolidate their economy and military – which they have managed to do.

              The whole point of this is that there will always be conflicting interests even among allies. The whole intra-EU discussion about the trade treaty with the US (TTIP) is an example. The EU with its incessant bickering also is. But finally you have to find a way to iron out ways to COOPERATE for something bigger. This is an art Filipinos have not yet learned, something Mabini was trying to get them to do, the Heneral Luna film shows it. This time the challenge is not the Yanks, it is the Chinese, same things happening. Smart commenters on the Heneral Luna Facebook pages wrote that Luna in todays world would have allied with the USA against the Chinese. And I say Binay would have had him killed.

              • Russia’s begun airstrikes in Syria.

                I ‘m still on the fence about Obama’s actions ( or lack thereof ) in this region, though he’s just carrying out Ron Paul’s foreign policy– and most military folk liked Ron Paul (his son not so much, who aligned with Tea Baggers), specifically for his ‘let’s get out of here’ stance on the Mid-East.

                We should’ve backed the Assad regime from the git-go. His gov’t was one made up of minorities ( Alawis, Shias, Christians, Druze, seculars, etc. ). Though his dad was ruthless, whose security apparatus served to protect his son , Basher himself was a reformer, who continually reached out to the US.

                We could’ve dumbed down our policy in that region to basically hinged everything we do according to what’s best for Christian Arabs, ie. what hurts them, hurts our interests. But oh well… too late.

                We never learned that region. When Russian diplomats and advisors go on Syrian tv, they speak with high, impeccable Arabic. When the US diplomats go on Syrian tv, they speak English with a few spatterings of bungled Arabic phrases. The most committed wins, Russia has a better pulse of that region and understands power application over there better.

                As for Russia’s current expansion in the region, NATO and the EU will have to carry their weight. Russia’s their clear and present danger, ours (these days) is China– the U.S. can’t be in two places at once.

                Thanks by the way for that run down on Romania & Bulgaria. My buddy who is Mexican-American and his family lived in an apt. with an elderly Romanian couple next door ( who spoke very little English ) and my buddy spoke Spanish to the old couple just fine.

                I didn’t know that about Bulgaria, I thought the pull aspect was Turkey and Islam, but seems on par now with Russian meddling and its Black Sea ties.

                Totally agree with you on conflicting interests, and the ability to focus and re-focus from the small picture to the big picture and adjust actions accordingly. If focus is set to close-up the whole time, then like an ostrich head in the sand everyone misses the real existential threats. Perspective.

                It’ s like the Spanish missions in California. If you just focus on what the Spanish military garrisons and Franciscan missionaries did to the Indians ( not only forced conversion, but forced economic conversion from subsistence, hunting/gathering —–> agricultural, domestication of plant/animals )– along the way indians were punished like children, caning to death.

                But what came after the Gold Rush of 1849, was a tidal wave of massacres, systematic rape, kidnapping/slavery of children, exploitation by both local militias & federal military, that what (recently Sainted) Junipero Serra did with the missions pales in comparison.

                So the ability to determine and differentiate a big problem ( that will wipe out ones lesser interests ) from a small problem ( more or less to be endured or adapted ) is key.

                And the budget should reflect that. National security and national defense should be consolidated and viewed as one, especially when it comes to Cyber threats. Which Presidential candidates has the ability to see the big picture?

              • “the U.S. can’t be in two places at once.” the Germans had that situation often, their word for it is Zweifrontenkrieg – two-front war. Did them in two times, shame on Adolf for not sticking to the deal with Stalin, but good for the world that he was such a fool not to.

                “I didn’t know that about Bulgaria” they are similar to Turks in ethnic origin and their rulers used to be called Khans, but became Slavic in culture at some point. They are very proud of the fact that THEY invented the from Greek.

                “If focus is set to close-up the whole time, then like an ostrich head in the sand everyone misses the real existential threats. Perspective.” Again, Heneral Luna. Filipinos fighting each other in the middle of a war against the USA. Fortunately the USA was on the whole a benevolent colonizer – the Spanish also were in retrospect – but the Japanese were not nice to the Philippines at all from 1942-1945 and the Chinese would be even worse.

                “So the ability to determine and differentiate a big problem ( that will wipe out ones lesser interests ) from a small problem ( more or less to be endured or adapted ) is key.” Yep.

                “Which Presidential candidates has the ability to see the big picture?” Hard to say.

              • “When Russian diplomats and advisors go on Syrian tv, they speak with high, impeccable Arabic.” They also have their people for Filipino/Tagalog in universities and their Foreign Ministry. And I am sure the Chinese have even more, for all major Filipino languages.


              • Yeah, we have Mormons for this ( LOL! ). But they don’t do too well in non-Christian places.

              • “but the Japanese were not nice to the Philippines at all from 1942-1945 and the Chinese would be even worse.”

                Exactly, man!

            • karl garcia says:

              Making sure de fence is secure only works at the Mexican border.

    • caliphman says:

      What I want to kmow is how much of that almost 400 billion peso Internal Revenue Allotment goes to Makati and other LGU’s famous for the corrupt public officials running them!

  4. karl garcia says:

    Congress and the palace has denied this,but just to remind you of the allegation

  5. i7sharp says:

    “King Solomon is King in possession of his every favorite things to render Solomonic judgment.”

    Not many would know where in the Bible this could be found.
    I myself had to google for into.

    One can go to 1 Kings 3:25 and start there – to go backward and forward.

    “And the king said, Divide the living
    child in two, and give half to
    the one, and half to the other.”
    1Ki0325 KJV

  6. Joe America says:

    Thanks to Edgar for defining the “others” category, and I hope it prevents Popoy from descending even further into his case of abject apoplexy, which is the worst kind to descend to. I’m sure readers fight through the words of Popoy, for they do wend about, and I end up laughing with uncontrolled mirth as he explains why he is explaining why he explained he would explain it all, and reach finally that promised ending. My mind starts twisting and turning along with him with the result that sense meanders amongst words so eloquent that the gods and goddesses of Wiki must be scratching their heads.

    Nevertheless, I was able to extract three key points, a little different than Irineo’s, although there is some overlap.

    1) Use computerization and process examination (via a special think tank) to clean up the government’s act and cut out the wastage and corruption.

    2) Fund the judiciary as if you really WANT to attach punishments to the breaking of laws. The measly pittance budgeted now? You get what you got.

    3) Each government office should hire 2 or more people to put some substance on top of the CCT program, where money paid is quickly spent and helps the economy. Plus people like having a real job..

    I particularly like the article because it is not just a complaint piece. It is a SOLUTIONS piece, and if Mar Roxas is reading today, maybe he’ll figure out his algorithm and do these three things.

    • My posting was more on the issues, yours is summarizing the goals and measures as solutions to them. To 2) I would add fund the police properly as well so that hulidap and kotong-kotong get to be even less – or cases like those of the mother of a British national murdered in the Philippines who had to pay the police for gasoline because they allegedly did not have enough to conduct the investigation. 1) is excellent, I think it should be a task force composed of COA, DILG and DOST/ASTI/iGov people reporting to the President.

      • Task force, not think tank, because the latter in the Philippines has often meant producing expensive studies that were not or only partly implemented. Quick wins should be the first focus, with a phased approach moving towards the ultimate goals, all measurable.

        • i7sharp says:

          “Quick wins should be the first focus, with a phased approach moving towards the ultimate goals, all measurable.”

          “all measurable” reminded me of
          “What gets measured gets done.”

          Googling the phrase, I came upon,

          I know of Six Sigma – that is, I have read about it. 🙂

          But I noticed the “i” in “isixsigma.” “i6”?

          My zany brain made me think they have heard of my “i7” – siguro.
          Pardon my “I” (ego) – instead of “i.”

          Ireneo, regarding “ultimate goal,: I still think of putting on the internet map each and every one of the 42,029 barangays.

          If DILG or Senator Roxas is interested, they can ask here at the blog site.
          I presume that would be fine with the owner; after all, the intention is for the good of the Philippines.

          With enough coordination, doing all 42,029 can be done in one day – using Yahoo!.
          How’s that for a “goal”?

          If it will be attempted, perhaps Marissa Mayer should hear about it ASAP. She will probably like it.

          Marissa Mayer???
          Yes, Marissa.
          Duh! 🙂

          • i7sharp says:

            Did I mention that doing the 42,029 sites can probably be done for (practically) free – thus there won’t be a need to do any budget algorithm?

            Baka bigyan pa nga tayo ng kalendaryo.

        • karl garcia says:

          We had lots of task forces nder the office of the president tnat just gave us TURF wars.
          Since 2005 my dad has submiited papers on national intersts,maritimesecurity,etc so has dozens of phds and mnsas.If everything is simple as sesame street and have COOPERATION.

      • As an addition to Point 1) government service should be streamlined and simplified so that small and medium-sized businesses have less hassles and can flourish. I can imagine that more OFWs and migrants would invest and create jobs in a friendlier environment. Of course 2) is also important for this – migrants and OFWs are usually not of the entitled class and are used to not expecting real rule of law or fairness from the existing system.

    • 1. Lots of foreign assistance for no 1. The delays are similar to those encountered in PPP projects.

      2. PNoy has given the judiciary the most increase of any President since Marcos.

      3. I think they have a part time program for vacationing students. Hope we can convince them to create more jobs.

      I’d also like to state that Project Noah and Project Agos were DAP projects.

  7. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    “…tiniest slice of point nine (0.9 that’s less than 1.0) per cent are allocated to the judiciary.” – POPOY

    Bummer !!! It is no wonder the Filipinos still rely on paid, biased, prejudiced witness accounts and piles and piles of affidavits instead of CIS and evidences.

    Here is your answer, folks !!! The Judiciary has no budget for Evidences. Scientific evidence. Nada! Zilch!

    OTHERS is 40%+ What is this OTHERS for? Buying State Witnesses to dance the tune when Judiciary are singing minus-one?

    What the Filipinos need is bigger chunk of budget on education. How we attain this? DE-FUND UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES where major crooks, inept and incompetent graduates are coming from appointed to cabinet position.

    Students are deserving should get scholarship in OTHER SCHOOLS. Please, no more U.P.

    Tehre was one time when U.P. graduates turns out communists. In modern day Philippines U.P. graduates are now into crookery.

  8. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Agriculture gets 3.92% !!! I do not blame farmers for flocking to Metropolitan Areas. They do not have incentives. 3.92% !!! A chunk of Agriculture is handled by Judiciary to plant evidences that grow on trees. The other chunk also go to Burau of Fisheries to fish for evidences.

    NO wonder Philippines cannot export coco water to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Market. Their coco water comes from Thailand and Vietnam and I thought Philippines is an Agricultural Country it is not after all. As simple as Sebuyas, Bigas, repollo are smuggled.

    HOW MUCH OF THE TOTAL BUDGET is set aside for corruption? They should factor in the corruption to get a real take of the whole.

  9. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Php 69,000,000,000.00 Billion for Transportation and communication. This budget is used to protect PLDT and Globe Telecom.

  10. neo canjeca says:

    Can’t help but P.S. it here the social este cultural significance of ALDUB. After a million’s admiration comes a brouhaha or two of mis-elaboration. There you go Pinay Diva Lea Salonga comments of “kababawan” and comedian Joey de Leon of the rare kind of eskol bukol humour fame adding nothing to the frame. Two celebrities of different kind can’t twist Jesus words to say : Render unto the Arts what is Art and unto science what is science. One plumbs the shallow or the depths of science to conquer ignorance, as one can also scale the heights of the Arts for renaissance and enlightenment. Arts does not go down below sea level of mediocrity: it is not art if it does. ALDUB approaching true Art ignores the pull of gravity as it enjoys the propulsion of emotion. .

  11. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Check out IQs of US Presidents as compared to IQ of Philippine Presidents:

    • karl garcia says:

      If you add threee zeroes to the budget, the debt burden which used to be 30 Percent of the budget,will become 14 percent of the budget but will remain above 300 billion,the slice for personnel services can’t be hidden it will always stay above 600 billion.
      No matter how you play the percentages game.
      The education must have the biggest slice,so what they did was remove coast guard from the afp and moves like that.

      • Are BPO and OFWs the Philippines’ main source of revenue? Both are outward facing, are there programs to improve local enterprise and entrepreneurs that stand to benefit the Philippines itself? Seems to me that’s how you bake a bigger pie– exploitation from within (BPO) and from without (OFWs), is bad policy all around.

        What’s Mar Roxas’ plan on this? What’s Duterte’s?

        • karl garcia says:

          They are all making use of their billion peso tv ads. We will see them in youtube soon enough.

        • This is one reason I am more for Duterte – if he runs. He looks like the type who will promote local enterprise, while Mar seems like the big business / multinational promoter, an elitist who will not care for the middle class much less for the poor. Just my impression.

          • Ireneo,

            I agree.

            Roxas & Poe, strike me as both Republicans (from over here).

            I’d venture still fans of Reaganomics. But definitely believers of big multi-nationals, the same companies that screwed other Michigan and Ohio, and are screwing the whole country now fracking and drilling ( not for local consumption ) but to be shipped out to Asia, since they pay more– all pipes lead to the coasts and out to China.

            Binay is pro-China and anti- U.S.

            Leaving Duterte as the most pro-Philippine candidate.

            Maybe Joe can do an article on each’s view on BPO and OFW and if they have plans to grow local enterprise for the sake of the Philippines, not just outside countries and corporations, intent on exploiting then leaving, like Detroit and other cities dependent on companies who just left for cheaper labor.

            Which Presidential candidates has the ability to see the big picture?

            • There is a joke I read on Facebook. Noynoy, Binay, Pacquiao, Duterte and a schoolchild are in a plane which is about to crash. There are only four parachutes left.

              Noynoy says “I am the President, my country needs me” and jumps. Binay says “I am the next President, the country needs me even more and jumps”. Pacquiao says “the Filipino people need me for inspiration” and jumps”. Duterte and the child are left.

              Duterte tells the child: “I am old and have lived my life, take the parachute”. The child says: “don’t worry Mayor, there are two parachutes left, Binay took my backpack”. Now this joke is older than the news that Duterte offered to take the place of the ASG hostages.

              Don’t know how well Roxas sees the big picture, or in fact Duterte who does have some astounding insights from time to time, but then again I am clearly biased. Poe I don’t think sees anything but herself – seems narcissistic – and Binay is just plain greedy and corrupt.

              So finally the comparison is between Roxas and Duterte – if the latter decides to run.

              • LOL! I hope that child gets a better shake than going out as an OFW or staying in as part of BPO, I hope he gets to be part of something meaningful for the good of his country and not just for the good of other countries and corporations.

              • caliphman says:

                Whomever wins is going to be like Pinoy in his first year, not enough bandwidth and very reliant on very bright, seasoned advisors and competent cabinet ministers. Poe may lack experience and can make mistakes but stupid, she’s not.

            • Joe America says:

              I’m done with political writings for the season.

          • caliphman says:

            Its a classic duopoly situation. They restrict service output and qualityv to whatever levels will maximize profits everything else being secondary.

        • caliphman says:

          Not sure I understand your question but both BPO and OFW which each year add $20-25 billion to the economy and dollar reserves also help significantly on the employment side, jobs that would generally be available locally. BPO got launched more than two decades ago as call center startups by the private sector including a couple of friends of mine. Its big business now and is quite competitive with India.

          • caliphman says:

            Sorry, thats $20-25 billion EACH. Thats two thirds what government budget spending adds to the economy!

            • OFWs can be sent home when the host country economy is not doing well.

              Sending people abroad is a typical sign for an underdeveloped economy – here in Europe Poland used to send a lot of people abroad to work, they have gone home and are doing well in their country where they either have put up own businesses or can find work. Now it is Romania sending people all over Europe – Spain, Italy, Germany especially – who send money home to build houses, send their kids to private schools, until they move up also.

              • caliphman says:

                Its all classic international labor economics where an excess supply of labor is willing to leave home and move to other countries where jobs and better pay is offered. Filipinos have been doing it for so long because the economy is relatively undeveloped that they are settled now in so many countries and in a wide diversity of jobs, the remittances they send home year after year are in aggregate so large and stable, the risk of the country defaulting on its overseas debt is so lessened, S&P and other credit rating agencies which used to give that debt a junk bond rating now consider it investment grade! And the OFW sector is expanding more than people know, in the space of thirty years, Filipino merchant seamen, engineers, officers, and even captains have become the standard complement of most foreign flagged cargo and passenger shipping companies. Its not anymore the chimays or narses i Hongkong, Saudi, US, and Europe or the brain drain that you and I used to represent.

          • A call center can move elsewhere in two weeks. It is good business but not a stable base for an economy. If it is more value-added then you are not as replaceable, fine. Accenture for example has its Accounting Shared Service Center in the Philippines from what I know. And unlike India, the Philippines does not have any true global software industry players comparable to Wipro for example. Seems mostly companies doing the more “menial” kind of work like made-to-order coding. This kind of stuff can also be moved to other places.

            Big business is all well and good, but it is own industries that make for a stable base, not just doing the dirty work for others by leveraging the lower cost of labor. Plus economies like Japan and Germany also have a broad base of thriving SMEs as their backbone.

            • caliphman says:

              Its actually evolved, backward and forward integrated, so its more than just call centers anymore. Most Fortune 500 backoffice processing functions are relocating to the Philippines and not to Bangalore, Mumbai, and other Indian BPO centers. Convergys is a huge third party provider and there are many local and regional companies that are booming serving that space.

              • caliphman says:

                I do not know what you are referring to as dirty work but medical, legal transcription, movie and TV subtitling and dubbing are call center transcriptions, and of course traditional tech, sales and customer support. Almost all consumer phone support in the US is now routed to Manila first. Heck even my credit card fraud alerts are handled from a Philippine xall center. The giveaway, not the fake US accent but asking my birth date then asking my age! Doh.

              • The Indians are losing business bigtime, that is clear, but it is mostly their own fault. In Europe the BPO countries are Poland and Romania, some stuff is in Hungary and Bulgaria. Similar advantages – lower cost, speak many languages and adjust very quickly.

                The more value-added you have the better, the more indispensable you become, the next step would be specialized service offerings, own products and more. Maybe one day there will be Filipino firms that beat Accenture at their own game, first in ASEAN, then elsewhere.

              • caliphman says:

                Accenture used to have a stranglehold a couple of decades ago when their US corporate clients were clueless on how to outsource backoffice functions offshore and were very risk averse. Things have changed quite a bit and as regional alternatives start to build their credibility and their clientbase, that is bound to happen.

              • There are Filipino mall developers that are present in other ASEAN countries, I heard. Jolibee is also present in other countries. This are real Filipino businesses.

                Hell if the Philippine telcos used the potential they had in terms of competent people, they could duplicate the success of Spanish Telefonica, at least on the small scale! Just selling warm bodies is the hacienda model, even if the work being done is a bit more qualified.

              • caliphman says:

                These are traditional telcos that act, think, and have a culture like utilities so thats asking too much of these dinosaurs. If they had to compete toe-to-toe against McDo to survive, then your expectations would be more realistic. As for Filipino mall developers, if you dont differentiate between Filipino’s and Chinese Filipino’s, there is Henry Sy who is building them and residential real estate subdivisions in China.

              • Re Accenture: I have experienced a number of Accenture blueprints that were useless, the pragmatic concepts created by me and colleagues were more suited to the context of the customers than the “de lata” more or less copied concepts sold as “best practices”.

                They are losing business here in Europe as well, same thing with regional and specialized players gaining ground. I live from being a freelancer for these small/medium players, I could have joined Accenture back in the days but I went for a startup instead – no regrets.

                As for Henry Sy et al, of course they are Filipinos. Culture matters more than origins. German Jews were (and those who came back are) very German, Hitler nonwithstanding.

              • caliphman says:

                Accenture has some really first rate people at its director and above levels. Like most well established consulting firms, they leverage the brand by assigning very junior people on typical engagements applying cookie cutter approaches sometimes tailored by seniors and of course reviewed and presented by the director managing the relationship, all for an exorbitant fee of course.

              • caliphman says:

                Sinophobia unfortunately has always been part of traditional Filipino culture and to accept that is the only way for our society to eventually overcome its racial biases and to accept Tsinoys as the true Filipinos they should be treated as. Of course, the reverse of that is the kind of colonial mentality that our dear friend MRP displays or professeses to have where Caucasian origin is prized and held out as a mark of racial and cultural superiority.

              • “Accenture has some really first rate people at its director and above levels.” for sure.

                Talked to one during my job interview, after the assessment center, back in 1997.

                I gave him my straight talk, he gave me his. He was an Armenian-American.

              • “Sinophobia unfortunately has always been part of traditional Filipino culture and to accept that is the only way for our society to eventually overcome its racial biases and to accept Tsinoys as the true Filipinos they should be treated as.” There is an old joke which is bitter but true: a Malay Filipino and a Chinese Filipino bump into each other on the street. The Malay Filipino says “a Intsik pala, akala ko tao”. The Chinese Filipino say “a Pilipino pala, akala ko tao”. Same kind of dynamics that split apart Singapore and Malaysia and nearly destroyed them internally, and also lead to massive genocide in Indonesia in the 1960s – most victims of it were Chinese. That is why I refered to German Jews and Hitler – anti-Chinese sentiment in Southeast Asia is similar to anti-Semitism in Europe, the causes are very similar: one group is a bit better in business than the others, also because they were underdogs who did not have access to normal jobs, the others hate(d) them for getting to the top financially because of that cleverness / striving. During math contests, the only rivals we from Philippine Science High School truly feared were those from Chiang Kai Shek High School – a Chinese school – damn they knew their math. So it does not surprise me that our Chinoy here (NHerrera) is so good in mathematics. Looking at SAP Philippines, there is an abundance of Chinese surnames – no surprise!

                “Of course, the reverse of that is the kind of colonial mentality that our dear friend MRP displays or professeses to have where Caucasian origin is prized and held out as a mark of racial and cultural superiority.” I think MRP is a Malay Filipino, a simple man who is in reality parodying that snobbish attitude. If it still exists, the bearers of that attitude do not dare show it anymore, because comparatively speaking they have lost their power. In fact I think MRP left the Philippines when that attitude was still prevalent and migrated to the US.
                Some rests of snobbish elitism may still exist towards the masa, a vestige of the prejudices both Spanish mestizo and Chinese mestizo groups had towards the “Indio” way back then. Jokes about Binay being very dark are a symptom, actually Mar Roxas is the same color. He is just more Malay in his features and comes from the poor – and plays to their feelings of not belonging, not having a chance in the system, perceived or real. I think that MRP is a Binay supporter and that his stuff about only dark-skinned Pinoys being corrupt is just sarcasm about what he perceives is prejudice. A true member of the old mestizo class writes completely differently – I know people like that, they would be much more subtle.

              • One footnote: the ius sanguinis stuff in the 1935 Constitution has reasons that have to do with Filipino Sinophobia if you ask me. The 40% ownership rule ( or is it 60% Filipino ownership) that President Garcia I think introduced may also have anti-Chinese reasons.

                There was an influx of Chinese fleeing Mao after 1949, mostly Hokkien from what I have gathered. The fact that so little is written about Chinese migration to the Philippines (Cantonese and Fukien/Fujian/Hokkien/Hakka) shows that the topic is a taboo until now.

                Well many things are taboo in the Philippines even now – “Noli Me Tangere”, or to translate it into the rap of MC Hammer “Can’t Touch This”. Rizal was ahead of his time, well he like Aguinaldo was partly Chinoy, something they did NOT teach us back then.

              • caliphman says:

                Our history books specially the ones written by Zaide edited out a lot of controversial details. The 1935 Constitution had to be reviewed in Washington and approved by the US President. At the time there was a strong antiAsian sentiment. This was still the Depression era and Chinese, Filipinis and other Asians were viewed as competition for very scarce jobs.

    • A lot of Filipinos are unfortunately zero-sum gamers. Or like Joe wrote they think transactionally instead of thinking strategically.

      An example are Globe and PLDT not peering or transiting, I have the feeling they are simply not able to find an agreement to share their lines and grow their common cake, even charging money by volume would be an option but I guess I just think too simple.

  12. james says:

    The CSC and DBM with a stroke of the pen can vanish casual or emergency employees. REALLY??????????????????? Then why the F don’t?

    • karl garcia says:

      They effing won’t because the regulars that are left are so high up there and they have the that’s not my job attitude.The numbers maybe fudged,but the people are still there

    • The secret is most of the work is done by the Casual, Emergency and the Professional Career Bureaucrat.

      If they vanish these people who will do the work??

  13. karl garcia says:

    In another life, I heard that the common complaint of the undersecretaries is the devolution of powers.So the mayors are in control and not the secretaries in the case of agrrculture,dar,denr.
    The LGUs are responsible why wase management proposals can’t be implemented,the lgus this the lgus that.SCRAP LGUS after scrapping congress then nothing is left.

  14. lanicervantes says:

    I second the suggestion, especially about unfilled items, that ought to be filled (at least to decrease the number of unemployed) Also, the agencies’ savings. We, at the low end of the bureaucracy, are aghast. Last year, we returned to the  National Treasury about 3M, we were not able to spend the money because it was downloaded in November. We have so many COA rules & regulations to think of; in the end, we just let the money go back to to the government with a lot of sighs,  because this could have solved a bit of our many woes. (DepEd’s problems:  lack of classrooms, equipments, teachers, classroom furniture, not to mention the faulty textbooks, etc.) Which led me to think. How come that our top honchos were not able to see this? I hope CSC and DBM will be able to read this. Sana… 

    • karl garcia says:

      The private sector must do something about unemployment. The bureacracy is so bloated,we spend 650 billion a year.Information technology might solve it eventually,but same problem remains,which is unemployment.So it is the economy again.

  15. Peter Penduke says:

    1. Who made that pie? What prompted him to lump the other sections of the budget into one big “OTHERS”?

    2. Judiciary generates income of its own.

    3. if you are inclined to solve the puzzle and have numbers tolerant eyes.

  16. NHerrera says:

    A simplistic academic view but difficult to implement concept is the following.

    Ideas up and down, down and up — after a considerable discussion/debate among those concerned — is likely to produce among serious participants a goal or objective function or a set of such.

    Objective function F may be expressed in terms of variables — V1, V2, …Vn. The immediate complication is that F may most likely not be a simple additive function of the variables but are non-linear — that is, strictly the variables may appear in some powers other than 1, i.e. Vi raised to say 1.5; and/or the variables may appear as multiplicative factors of each other.

    But the simplest case of an Objective Function is a linear combination of the variables,

    F = C1xV1 + C2xV2 + … + CnxVn,

    where the Ci’s are debated and agreed upon, resulting in a set of KNOWN coefficients, showing the weight with which the Goal or Objective Function is to be maximized.

    The maximization of F determines the values of Vi’s in the pie or cake subject to a combination of EQUALITY or INEQUALITY constraints among the variables.

    Now I frame the concept relative to our current budgeting topic.

    Let me use the cake slices portrayed by @karl garcia in his September 29, 2015 at 6:01 pm post above to illustrate the concept and define,:

    S = Social Services
    E = Economic Services
    P = General Public Services
    B = Debt Burden
    D = Defense

    and frame the Goal or Objective Function as

    F = C1xS + C2xE + C3xP + C4xB + C5xD,

    where the Ci’s are the KNOWN weight factors (after a debate among the concerned agencies and Administration) which when multiplied by the Sectoral cut of the total budget (say 2.0T pesos) will make F optimum. Here the S, E … D are NOT PRE-DETERMINED percentages but rather UNKNOWNS to be found in the optimization process.

    There are equality and inequality relationships among the variables (S, E, P, B, D).

    One of the equality constraint of course is the obvious:

    S + E + P + B + D = 2.0T (pesos).

    B = 16.6% of 2.0T may be pre-determined because of constraints on the external loans not subject to change; or it may be framed as B >= 14% of 2.0T, meaning it cannot go lower than 14%.

    The other constraints among the variables (equality or inequality) I will not belabor.

    The net result of such exercise is to arrive at the cake slice numbers AS A RESULT of the optimization process, rather than being pre-determined.

    This linear programming problem is simply solved using known algorithms. In fact, even non-linear expressions for the objective Function may be solved by the probabilistic method known as Monte Carlo simulation, especially with the advent of high-speed, huge memory computers.

    MY POINT HERE is that although one may not attempt the mathematical method of optimization as sketched above the concept may be applied in a DESCRIPTIVE way as an AID (without the mathematics) in viewing the budgeting process to optimize the cutting of the cake subject to the limited total resources of the budget.

    I can’t help making this political comment: this mind-aid or construct is likely to be done by a Roxas-Robredo Administration compared to the relatively in-experienced Poe-Escudero Admin. Or a Binay-Marcos Admin — who may have as its goal or sub-goal the maximization of their “takes” than the maximization of the total budgetary resources for the good of the country. Hahaha!

    • Linear optimization! My minor subject doing my Master’s was Operations Research and that is one of the classics. OR was pioneered during World War 2 by the Americans and the Germans, to some extent by the Russians, as a way of optimizing limited resources.

      The Americans continued it after the war, applying it most especially to corporate logistics. But applying it to limited budgets is also a possible application and a very good one.

      My master’s thesis (in Computer Science) was about optimizing circuit networks either for size or for speed, one could use the algorithm I then developed for capacity as well – for example in traffic networks (roads) or the Internet. But I would have to remember the math.

      BTW: P+L+D+T x G+L+O+B+E = slow Internet in the Philippines
      or: NP+LP+UNA+NPU+PDP = Chaos
      that is Filipino mathematics.

      Applying the math instinctively means: for a budget you have to set priorities. If you set only one priority, one optimization parameter you can use linear programming. If have three priorities like Joe mentioned, Monte Carlo is the way, meaning in practice you try out a few variants and are able to find a good-enough optimum. Which reminds me of a Filipino comedy where some people are about to be kidnapped – they explain to them that they have to discuss how to divide the ransom. While the stupid kidnappers are discussing among themselves how to “dibay-dibay” the ransom they escape. No cooperation… 🙂

      • NHerrera says:

        Hahaha! Optimization and the Filipino creativity. 🙂

        • i7sharp says:

          My master’s thesis (in Computer Science) was about optimizing circuit networks either for size or for speed, one could use the algorithm I then developed for capacity as well – for example in traffic networks (roads) or the Internet. But I would have to remember the math.

          BTW: P+L+D+T x G+L+O+B+E = slow Internet in the Philippines
          or: NP+LP+UNA+NPU+PDP = Chaos
          that is Filipino mathematics.


          … The Philippines seems to have a mature version of every one for himself, and to hell with the nation.



          The Philippines is not perfect, but …
          naman, naman!!!

          btw, Irineo, as Joe America’s CIO (or something),
          what information do you really know about him …. hmmmm, or her?

          • Even native son Karl basically agrees with us – and with Heneral Luna:


            If everything is simple as sesame street and have COOPERATION.

            Regarding “CIO”: I have to sign a non-disclosure agreement with heavy financial penalties at every one of my customers. Now I don’t have that with Joe but even if I knew anything material about him, I would be honor-bound not to disclose it. Whatever may happen.

            Joe and me cooperate inspite of certain differences because the common denominator is there – improving the Philippines. In fact Joe is peering with me by linking my blog on his Philippine Blog Center, so I return the favor by contributing here – that is COOPERATION. Finally our message reaches more people, or at least the common denominator spreads and we choose to live with the 10% disagreement to spread the 90% agreement we have. Filipinos act like kids and go their own way for just 2% or 5% disagreement – and both lose.

            • i7sharp says:

              Joe and me cooperate inspite of certain differences because the common denominator is there – improving the Philippines.

              Filipinos act like kids and go their own way for just 2% or 5% disagreement – and both lose.

              Losers, kung ganoon.

              Can Joe and you try to improve on this (for the good of the home country)?


              DILG!!! – – – are you reading????

              Has DILG read?
              Has PNoy read?
              I wonder.

              • I think the issues being discussed here are all about cooperating to find solutions.

                You have to go one step at at time, look at every issue for itself to analyze and propose. Budget is a vital issue because it is about the money that is there to solve the problems.

                We can all only hope that certain people are reading – but the more read and think about it the more they will make the right choices in elections, not only for the President whom they hope will walk on the water like Jesus and multiply fish and rice, sorry bread for them.

                And I hope they will make their own independent choice based on their own thinking about the issues and the priorities, inspired by us. If they just praise Noynoy because Joe does, or vote Mar because Joe is probably for him, or Duterte because I am for him it isn’t good.

                Joe’s blog is about current issues, mine is more about creating a knowledge base to help interested readers find stuff quickly and help them decide. His blog is a newspaper stand and mine is a bookstore. Pero sa bandang huli, malaya ang tao sa kanyang isip at gawa.

              • And not only inspired by us in the sense of kami ni Joe, by us in the sense of all bloggers writing about the Philippines – the Philippine blogosphere is huge by now.

                And also, more and more Filipinos are learning the lessons of history – the critical mass only has to grow to reach a Tipping Point, my first article in this blog!

                And learning has the following steps:

                1) knowing the problem (GRP)

                2) knowing what the solutions could be (Joe)

                3) being ABLE to solve the issues (that is outside of blogs)

                4) SOLVING the issues (also outside of blogs)

                now if bloggers like Joe and me plus those commenting – they are very important – are not only able to inspire people to understand 1) and 2) but also get to third base or even home run, then things can get moving. Losers continue even if they have lost a battle – winners know when they have lost a battle, dust themselves of and make sure they are better the next time. But you have to have the humility to know when you have lost.

              • Which might finally be the point of having the trilogy Heneral Luna – Heneral Del Pilar and Manuel Quezon which they are planning:

                1) Luna tried to modernize things from what he learned in Europe and tragically failed.

                2) Del Pilar tried to protect his boss Aguinaldo and finally failed in a heroic last stand.

                3) Quezon left his boss Aguinaldo (he was his young aide-de-camp Lt after all), decided to cooperate with the Americans, even was in Washington for years, learning from them, but never forgot his agenda for the country. Inspite of his known temper and arrogance – and his nationalism – he was humble and smart enough to know that the USA was light-years ahead of the Philippines. Now if he had followed 1) and 2), patay din siya na walang silbi.

                Joe is writing about Quezon on Sunday, I am awaiting what message he will bring to us. Finally i7sharp, it does not matter who Joe is – I take whatever I read with a grain of salt.

              • 3) being ABLE to solve the issues (that is outside of blogs)
                4) SOLVING the issues (also outside of blogs)

                If Joe recruits promising students and new professionals (working in BPO industry), to intern or simply work virtually to operationalize all ideas being kicked around in the blogs and comments here, you can so do 3) and 4).

                Joe can set-up meet ups via social media and he doesn’t have to show up (remain anonymous), like AlDub they can generate news ideas on their own or use ideas presented here and convert them to action in the real world.

                For example, the austerity article, start eating just 1 meal a day, with snacks of veggies and fruits interspersed thru out the day. Drink only water or juice. Buy less. Grow more veggies and fruits. Catch rain water. Walk more (like Jesus).

                Then start asking pointed question to the so called spokespersons of God. If they’re asking for money, where’s the money go? Stuff like that. Read the Bible, read the Qur’an, so you don’t get bamboozled.

                From the ACLU article, push for class action lawsuits. When punitive damages are doled out, you individually might not get a lot of money, but you ‘ve punished a company or gov’t entity– and that bodes well for the next generation.

                Every article from here on out, thanks to the popularity of Wil’s AlDub article, should have a “This is what the regular person in the Philippines can do” then maybe a #DoThis or #DoThat for Twitter. Leverage the Filipinos’ desire to Tweet and connect–

                3) and 4) can be covered by regular folks off the street.

              • 3) being able: the enabling aspect is something Joe is concentrating more and more upon lately – seeding topics like this one that generate strong discussions. caliphman, Karl, giancarloangulo and Micha have made contributions that help understand the process, while Edgar has analyzed the numbers very well. Readers can learn a lot from all of this.
                While this is the street discussion, my blog is the library or bookstore – which is why I summarized the most important points of the Metro Manila traffic discussion from the article chempo wrote and am doing the same for the topic of Philippine Internet, article is coming out in around 4-6 hours time, I am still working on it as of now. Because not everybody will be able to wade through all the discussions taking place in here.

                A strong democracy needs informed citizenry. I started with history because it was my home ground and because of discussions here that the Philippines has no coherent national narrative yet. Now the technical stuff like traffic and Internet is something that comes naturally to me because of my techie background, and those are issues that affect people on a day-to-day basis and are easier to evaluate than the political stuff which I am writing about only when I have enough information to understand the truly complex picture.

                So at this point Joe and myself are already actively enabling interested citizens, each in our own way – Joe by seeding discussions on various national issues, with the virtual citizenry here participating – and me by providing a library for looking up vital stuff.

                4) solving the issues: this is outside the scope of my blogs and Joe’s blog. Actually I think this is something Filipinos in the Philippines should take into their own hands. Net-based activism but in a positive way, with monitoring and crowdsourcing on major issues.

                There are promising signs of civic consciousness in the Philippines, but that would be the next step – not just AlDub which is a nationwide fiesta, but a nationwide form of Bayanihan. Because in fact the true Filipino culture is that of the barangay, the nationwide village.

      • Simple algorithm for the budget:

        1) slice out the major invariants like utang sa labas, forget utang na loob.

        2) for every block you have invariants as well – personnel costs, building costs, pensions

        3) after that see what remains in each block and proceed as follows:

        3a) get the barest minimum necessary to achieve the third priority on the list, and the barest minimum necessary for the other stuff you have to do anyway.

        3b) get the minimum necessary to achieve the second priority on the list

        3c) get the maximum possible to achieve the third priority on the list. If there is a little bit of surplus over the minimum left give it to the second priority para hindi kapusin.


        Test run of the algorithm using Joe’s list: – let us look at priorities:

        1st priority: fund the judiciary, so that rule of law and Daang Matuwid is solidified

        2nd priority: CCT and job creation stuff, I would add simplify procedures for SMEs

        3rd priority: streamline and computerize procedures in government, cut red tape.


        3rd priority will not be easy and needs money and political will – plus a strong judiciary to go against those who want to obstruct it.

        But get the 1st priority done, you will have more SMEs because then the law will not only favor the entitled. More SMEs means more tax revenue!

        3rd priority getting done means even more businesses set up by foreign retirees, OFWs returning and migrants investing back home – because as of now the red tape scares many from investing. So more tax revenue in the long run to fund a virtuous cycle.

    • Karl garcia says:

      Optimization of the budget. does dbm do management science in preparing the budget?

      • NHerrera says:

        I would guess there are Management Science savvy people in DBM, but the resulting optimization may be a highly political thing. If a Department’s budget is increased because the study shows it is effective in optimizing overall government effort, well and good. But if another Department’s budget is decreased thereby, there will surely be hue and cry. The poor soul doing the study will be accused of favoring the other Department

        • Joe America says:

          All things are political in democracy, I tend to think. A platform is a commitment to certain acts which have to be funded. I often wonder, without the power of politics, how would a President get anything done? President Aquino played politics to get CJ Corona removed. Impeachment is a political exercise, not judicial. I’d argue the Philippines is infinitely better off because of how it was played. The Administration is coming up short on its own poverty reduction targets, so spending on social services has been increased. Political opponents criticize the lack of “inclusiveness” of the nation’s growing riches. Was increasing social budgets a political decision in response to criticisms or an objective management decision aimed at reducing the incidence of poverty? I think we end up splitting hairs.

          Now, if Bureau of Customs staff was changed to suite a donor’s whims, that is quite a different matter, but even at that, the ethical boundaries are not clearly defined.

      • Yes. DBM have AIM, Ateneo and UP Grads. The constraints are just too strict.

    • Joe America says:

      A most rigorous discipline. I do believe this optimization is done, informally but with careful thought, in little shadings each year designed to move toward important goals. I know social services has been squeezed up incrementally to try to get more inclusive assistance to the poor. I personally think it is a reasonable budget, difficult, because anyone whose welfare is attached to the money coming into each sector (teachers or judges, for instance), will have a complaint that they are not getting enough. But they wear the blinders of self-service and do not have accountability for the nation’s total well-being. The budget is a collaborative effort between the House and Executive, and I think it represents Philippine democratic processes very well. Much better than the “American Way”, judging from the hostage taking that usually goes on there regarding funding decisions.

      The crafting will get easier as the nation gets wealthier under a steady growth plan.

      • NHerrera says:

        The last line — a comforting thought. Which brings to my mind this notion of being voted President or Vice President as Independents. One needs some working groups or parties and reasonably cohesive alliances to craft and massage the budget from a “management science” angle — a phrase used by Karl above — without much wrangling. Being elected with the sweetly-phrased 20-point program is one. Getting that done through the budget entails another set of expertise and dealings with the legislators.

  17. josephivo says:

    Justice budget in Belgium is 0.7%, the European average is 2.2%. But comparison is difficult. Who pays local prisons? How much investigation is done by police? Who pays pro-domo lawyers? Maintenance of buildings….? To assess line items and trends should to be compared rather than lump sum figures.

    Budgeting is a science, too difficult for me. Therefor in a representative democracy we should vote professionals we can trust into congress, not boxers or movie stars. To represent us we need people able to select and lead a professional staff.

    If professional outside agencies assess positively, competitive indexes increase, corruption assessment improves, I feel OK with the system. Financial management, lending, borrowing, exchange rates, inflation, perceives values…. the whole Ponzi scheme of money management is also far above my understanding. Would always spend more on education and infrastructure though.

    • Joe America says:

      A very reasonable take. Education or defense? Infrastructure or feeding the poor? Tough, tough decisions, and I think the lines have been drawn well. A lot of the education spending has been on building classrooms and hiring teachers to get the class size down to the 30’s from the 40’s. Schools hereabouts are like roads, they are all being built and improved. I would like to see the improvement come in swapping text books for tablets. But that requires internet infrastructure . . . now in private hands.

  18. How about federalizing as much as possible – or decentralizing – and leaving national matters like national security, lawmaking, police and databases like NCSO and Register of Deeds to the national government? Education, implementation of justice and social services can be handled just as well by the regions – in fact competition between regions might be very healthy for the country because well-run regions would attract business and the right kind of people to go there.

    Use the “weakness” of Filipinos – pride in their region – to the advantage of the whole by letting the “rajas” of each region show off “ganito kami rito”. Let them have their share of the taxes to administer by themselves and budget how they want to, and make national budgeting easier.

    Basically go back to what the Philippines was before colonial times – in a modernized way. The badly run “rajahnates” would clean up their act very quickly when they see how the others work. Why keep working against the culture – work with it, just harness it in the right way for results!

    • How feasible is this if Duterte becomes President? Can this be done by a President or does this have to take 10 to 20 years? Does he have the power to move the Presidential palace to Davao City if he so wished?

      “Why keep working against the culture – work with it, just harness it in the right way for results!” Now we’re talking!

  19. caliphman says:

    The budget process here is marked by huge waste and corruption, significant underspending, and severe misalignment between authorized spending and long-term national priorities. Given its basic purpose, it has to be a political process and the way politics works in the Philippines and for that matter most anything involving a bureacracy, corruption is a given that is alarming because of its increasing rapacity and profileration among legislators and agency heads. Any so-called algorithm employed by the new president must consider insuring that Congress cooperates with the administration’s political and legislative agenda which may entail tweaking or changing the budget process if necessary to provide goodies that can be used to aid in their reelection or further their own local agenda. If not for this, Aquino may not have had the support needed to oust Corona, OMB Gutierrez, and to push through with Daang Matuwid. While the Aquino administration has been continuing the significant budget deficits and collects barely half of the 2.6 trillion pesos it spent, the real problem if economic growth is a top priority, it is underspending that is the main problem. Whatever the reason for it ( hopefully not because its not due to holding out for the best kickback contract), the economic growth rate slid from 7% at the beginning of Aquino’s term down to nearly 5% and the culprit was due to unspent but budgeted funds.

    The discussions here have emphasized a systems perspective and associated solutions due to the backgrounds of our more prolific posters but which may be useful only to a limited extent, due mainly to the more fundamental and deeply embedded problems and issues facing the budget process. Systems solutions are difficult to implement when when the root problem is that the institutions controlling the process are chaotic in nature and are trying to secure or offer opportunities to further their own political or private agendas and not not using the budget to advance the public good.

  20. The latest tag line of the DBM is PIB Performance Informed Budgeting.

    This started for the 2014 budget.

    The question is where is the retrospective on the 2014 budget?

    • Joe America says:

      I didn’t know that, thanks. That is exactly the right approach, though. DILG uses the idea in funding LGU’s, thanks to a system set up by Jesse Robredo. It provides extra funding to those LGU’s that meet good governance objectives. It’s the old capitalist tradition of using greed constructively to drive toward desired goals. It works.

      • I truly wish all LGUs meet good governance objectives so that they would not depend on IRA to meet their budget, it would free up more budget funds for national developments. That would be another outcome if ever we reroute investments to poorer LGUs. They will generate their own income from taxes, licenses and other regulatory fees from business entities.

        A strict system of audit procedures should be installed and monitored so that real revenue collection will be generated on a consistent basis. I remember an instance when a client of ours based in the US had asked assistance from my boss in the payment of his real property tax on a condo unit he owns, the staff he assigned the payment forgot to follow up and coordinate things until such that simple task is completed. Nine months later, penalties amounting to almost 42K was assessed, naturally, my boss was livid and ordered the staff to shoulder the penalties, the staff pleaded to let her do something about it as she has no money to pay for it, and my boss angrily answered, I don’t care how you do it but you solve this, as the client cannot be unfairly allowed to shoulder the cost of such negligence. It turned out that one LGU staff offered to solve it by asking for 63K, 21K will be for the city while 42K will be for him. My boss exploded more and said, let’s pay the whole 126K, the gall of that LGU staff to attempt to pocket double the amount that will go to the city!! It’s cases like this that prevents LGUs to be financially independent.

        City treasurers should be subject to lifestyle checks. We had a neighbor who had just a small bungalow in our subdivision. Just a year in that position, she was able to build a 3-storey mansion in its place and had shopped for millions worth of property investments in other places. Karma hit her, she went blind for no apparent reason that doctors could not detect no matter her millions, her investments in cash deposits and properties were stolen by her husband and his mistress, now their children have taken their father to court for adultery and theft.

        • Joe America says:

          My impression is that your stories of woe and fairly common and reflect that there is not a whole lot of what I might term “business competence” in the LGUs. Rather, they are staffed with favorites and family and they don’t really have a lot of business competence or ethical conscience, and so are rather like children in a candy store. Plus they have learned to lord it over those of little power who need their services.

          • caliphman says:

            Joe, that 400 million peso Internal Revenue allocation are to LGU’s like Makati and we know how much that is a family cashcow to be milked to fatten the clan fortune. The other LGU’s may not be as rich but you are right, the greed and corruption of the families who run them would probably rival the Binays but maybe not their competence,

  21. sonny says:

    On the nose, Popoy.

    On the fly, this reminds me of prototyping projects. The obvious and initial parameters do surface in the beginning to populate initial designs. The major forks in the road are still to come, proceed with caution, alertness. Watch for feedback loops, track information flow, etc, etc.

  22. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Everyone in the Philippines from infants to those in death row (Hospice) owes international banks US$1,268 and 82 cents. That is Php59,000.13 every heads of the state.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      On the other hand the competitiveness of the Philippines rose five notches.

      What is incredible is Philippines still rank the least visited country in Asia … the least direct investment …

      Because of slow internet speed and Traffic at EDSA. Traffic is now only gridlocked, Supreme Court is gridlocked.

      Benigno is modernizing their building but Justice System is still in the days of Mary Magdalene who witnessed Jesus Christ risen from the dead no evidence just plain over-reliance of affidavits.

      Criminal Scene Investigation is still light years ahead for Filipinos to grasp. Filipinos are still affidavits away from jail.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      There has been a deluge of economic data which I am absolutely astounded.

      Here is another one …

      “HSBC’s Expat Explorer survey, now in its eighth year, showed that two-thirds of expats in the Philippines were integrating well with the local community.”

      Read more:

      TRANSLATION: Expats are so used to slow internet speed and EDSA traffic.

      Oh, by the way, here is a snippet of good news that is supported by numbers: “The national government plans to borrow less next year and slash the debt stock to a record-low of 41.8 percent of the economy from the projected 44.7 percent this year.
      A decade ago, the debt stock was at a high of 68.5 percent before being trimmed to below 50 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) since 2013.

      Read more:

      TRANSLATION: The debt now is 41.8 percent of the economy compared 68.5% ten years ago. In 2013 when Benigno took over the country in 2013 the debt-to-GDP ratio was already trimmed below 50%. It is not giving credit to Ate Gloria, instead, subtly giving credit to Benigno without mentioning him by name but it is there for all to see. The clue is 2013

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        I have to translate it because Philippine UP Journalists love mumbo jumbo to appear intelligent. Our Wall Street Journal in New YOrk is more 6-year-old-reader-friendly.

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