“Philippine Competition Act”: Will it help consumers, or just make more fat cats?

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[Photo credit: sowhatsnews] Visit satirical “So, What’s News” via the Philippine Blog Center, right column.

You will have to excuse the cynicism in the headline. I’ve concluded that lawmakers of the Philippines are a part of the good old boy network of back-patters, influence peddlers and bank account padders, and have rather weak ethical bearing. They play a huge role in shaping the Philippines, a nation where ethical principles permit an accused plunderer to stride back into the Senate acting the hero for having outfoxed the system, and they collude to refuse to pass a National Land Use Act that would prevent the indiscriminate chopping up of the Philippines. Rather, they work the CSI angle and hold sensationalized investigative hearings that put them on TV news and at the forefront of what passes for leadership.

So how in the world did Senator Bam Aquino get the “Philippine Competition Act” through Congress without being torn limb from sternum? It is a certified miracle, qualifying him for sainthood, hero worship or a Nobel prize if the actual IMPLEMENTATION pursues the ideals behind the law.

IF the Act has any teeth, that is.

So let’s look at it, eh?

Let’s figure out what it is the good Senator Bam has done here.

I’ll just take some pithy excerpts from the The Philippine Competition Act and skip the details on definitions and implementation. I’ll present a “cut to the chase” version, within which we can hunt for the bigger nuggets of meaning.

Chapter I: General Provisions

Here’s the upshot of what the Act intends to do:

  • Enhance economic efficiency and promote free and fair competition in trade, industry and all commercial economic activities;
  • Prevent economic concentration which will control the production, distribution, trade, or industry that will unduly stifle competition; and
  • Penalize all forms of anti-competitive agreements, abuse of dominant position and anti-competitive mergers and acquisitions, with the objective of protecting consumer welfare.

Note, the ultimate beneficiary is the consumer. These are excellent overall aims.

Chapter II: Philippine Competition Commission

The Act establishes the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC), a quasi-judicial body reporting directly to the President. The PCC’s charter is supportive of the goals of the Act, although the wording is detailed and a bit snooty with the occasional Latin expression used as a substitute for profound meaning (lawyers writing to lawyers rather than the people).

Here’s a bullet-point listing of the PCC’s charter:

(a) Conduct inquiry, investigate, and hear and decide on cases involving any violation of this Act . . . 

(b) Review proposed mergers and acquisitions . . . 

(c) Monitor and undertake consultation with stakeholders and affected agencies for the purpose of understanding market behavior . . . 

(d) Upon finding . . . that an entity has entered into an anti-competitive agreement or has abused its dominant position after due notice and hearing, stop or redress the same, by applying remedies . . .

(e) Conduct administrative proceedings, impose sanctions, fines or penalties for any noncompliance with or breach of this Act . . .

(f) Issue subpoena duces tecum and subpoena ad testificandum to require the production of books, records . . . 

(g) Upon order of the court, undertake inspections of business premises and other offices, land and vehicles, as used by the entity . . . 

(h) Issue adjustment or divestiture orders . . .

(i) Deputize any and all enforcement agencies of the government or enlist the aid and support of any private institution, corporation, entity or association, in the implementation of its powers and functions . . .

(j) Monitor compliance by the person or entities concerned with the cease and desist order or consent judgment . . .

(k) Issue advisory opinions and guidelines on competition matters for the effective enforcement of this Act and submit annual and special reports to Congress . . .

(l) Monitor and analyze the practice of competition in markets that affect the Philippine economy; implement and oversee measures to promote transparency and accountability; and ensure that prohibitions and requirements of competition laws are adhered to . . .

(m) Conduct, publish, and disseminate studies and reports on anti-competitive conduct and agreements to inform and guide the industry and consumers . . .

(n) Intervene or participate in administrative and regulatory proceedings requiring consideration of the provisions of this Act . . .

(o) Assist the National Economic and Development Authority, in consultation with relevant agencies and sectors, in the preparation and formulation of a national competition policy . . .

(p) Act as the official representative of the Philippine government in international competition matters . . .

(q) Promote capacity building and the sharing of best practices with other competition-related bodies . . .

(r) Advocate pro-competitive policies of the government . . .

(1) Reviewing economic and administrative regulations, motu proprio or upon request, as to whether or not they adversely affect relevant market competition, and advising the concerned agencies against such regulations . . .

(2) Advising the Executive Branch on the competitive implications of government actions, policies and programs . . .

(s) Charging reasonable fees to defray the administrative cost of the services rendered . . .

Basically, the PCC has a lot of authority to enforce the Act.  It polices, judges and levies punishments on violators. Here’s the composition of the Commission:

Sec. 6. Composition of the Commission. – The Commission shall be composed of a Chairperson and four (4) Commissioners. The Chairperson and the Commissioners shall be citizens and residents of the Philippines, of good moral character, of recognized probity and independence and must have distinguished themselves professionally in public, civic or academic service in any of the following fields: economics, law, finance, commerce or engineering. They must have been in the active practice of their professions for at least ten (10) years, and must not have been candidates for any elective national or local office in the immediately preceding elections, whether regular or special: Provided, That at least one (1) shall be a member of the Philippine Bar with at least ten (10) years of experience in the active practice of law, and at least one (1) shall be an economist. The Chairperson and the Commissioners who shall have the rank equivalent of cabinet secretary and undersecretary, respectively, shall be appointed by the President.

The term for each Commissioner is seven years with no re-appointment allowed. The composition of the PCC obviously has a lot to do with it’s energy and effectiveness. I’m thinking that commissioners appointed by Senator Bam Aquino (when he is elected President) might have a different set of allegiances than those appointed by . . . well, a President who got into office by leveraging fat-cat donations.

Another way to put this: citizens have a big say in the effectiveness of the PCC. The President will appoint the commissioners and give the marching orders.

Vote well when you choose your next President.

Chapter III: Prohibited Acts

The Act prohibits two forms of market control: (1) anti-competitive agreements, and (2) abuse of dominant position.

Sec. 14. Anti-Competitive Agreements . . .

(a) The following agreements, between or among competitors, are per se prohibited:

(1) Restricting competition as to price . . . or other terms of trade;

(2) Fixing price at an auction or in any form of bidding . . .

(b) The following agreements, between or among competitors . . . shall be prohibited:

(1) Setting, Kmiting (sic), or controlling production, markets, technical development, or investment;

(2) Dividing or sharing the market, whether by volume of sales or purchases, territory, type of goods or services, buyers or sellers or any other means;

(c) Agreements other than those specified in (a) and (b) . . . shall also be prohibited. . .

SEC. 15. Abuse of Dominant Position. . . 

(a) Selling goods or services below cost with the object of driving competition out of the relevant market . . .

(b) Imposing barriers to entry or committing acts that prevent competitors from growing within the market . . . 

(c) Making a transaction subject to acceptance by the other parties of other obligations which . . . have no connection with the transaction;

(d) Setting prices or other terms or conditions that discriminate unreasonably between customers or sellers of the same goods or services . . . Provided, That the following shall be considered permissible price differentials:

(1) Socialized pricing for the less fortunate sector of the economy;

(2) Price differential which reasonably or approximately reflect differences in the cost of manufacture, sale, or delivery resulting from differing methods, technical conditions, or quantities . . .

(3) Price differential or terms of sale offered in response to the competitive price of payments, services or changes in the facilities furnished by a competitor; and

(4) Price changes in response to changing market conditions, marketability of goods or services, or volume;

(e) Imposing restrictions on the lease or contract for sale or trade of goods or services concerning where, to whom, or in what forms goods or services may be sold or traded . . . Provided, That nothing contained in this Act shall prohibit or render unlawful:

(1) Permissible franchising, licensing, exclusive merchandising or exclusive distributorship agreements such as those which give each party the right to unilaterally terminate the agreement; or

(2) Agreements protecting intellectual property rights, confidential information, or trade secrets;

(f) Making supply of particular goods or services dependent upon the purchase of other goods or services from the supplier which have no direct connection with the main goods or services to be supplied;

(g) Directly or indirectly imposing unfairly low purchase prices for the goods or services of, among others, marginalized agricultural producers, fisherfolk, micro-, small-, medium-scale enterprises, and other marginalized service providers and producers;

(h) Directly or indirectly imposing unfair purchase or selling price on their competitors, customers, suppliers or consumers, provided that prices that develop in the market as a result of or due to a superior product or process, business acumen or legal rights or laws shall not be considered unfair prices; and

(i) Limiting production, markets or technical development to the prejudice of consumers, provided that limitations that develop in the market as a result of or due to a superior product or process, business acumen or legal rights or laws shall not be a violation of this Act:

Well, this section is where the rubber meets the proverbial road.

Are internet providers that cap or slow connections for regular users when they offer promotional programs aimed at gaining short bursts of promotional income “limiting production” as conceived in Section 15 (i)?

Are food packagers that unreasonably grind down the income of farmers and cooperatives violating Section 15 (g)?

When television advertisers pump 40 minutes of advertising into an hour-long replay of a Pacquiao fight, are they abusing their dominant position? Perhaps it could be construed as a violation either of Section 15 (f) or (i).

In the United States, a large class of lawyers has emerged to make a lot of money by suing on behalf of consumers. Will this Act encourage a similar industry in the Philippines? If the fat cats buy up the best attorneys, a consumer force is unlikely to emerge. I tend to think the effectiveness of the law will depend a lot on two factors: (1) the aggressiveness of the PCC, and (2) the aggressiveness of consumer advocates and the lawyers representing them.

Section VI of the Act permits the PCC to assess a first violation fine of 100 million pesos. The law obviously focuses on the big ticket violations.

How consumers are reimbursed for damages is unclear. Section VII on Enforcement, Section 37 (c) says that the Commission may encourage the non-adversarial “Payment of damages to any private party/parties who may have suffered injury . . .” to remedy a complaint.

If large corporations who are restraining competition never feel any pain . . . that is, if penalties do not PUNISH . . . the law will be rendered effectively useless.   It will be just another worthless pile of paper in a culture of impunity.

The PCC members will have to have considerable courage and dedication to change the Philippine commercial market to one of vibrant competition that elevates service to consumers.

Chaper IV: Mergers and Acquisitions

All large-scale mergers representing a value above one billion pesos require mandatory Commission review.

SEC. 16. Review of Mergers and Acquisitions. — The Commission shall have the power to review mergers and acquisitions based on factors deemed relevant by the Commission.

SEC. 17. Compulsory Notification. – Parties to the merger or acquisition agreement referred to in the preceding section wherein the value of the transaction exceeds one billion pesos (P1,000,000,000.00) are prohibited from consummating their agreement until thirty (30) days after providing notification to the Commission in the form and containing the information specified in the regulations issued by the Commission: Provided, That the Commission shall promulgate other criteria, such as increased market share in the relevant market in excess of minimum thresholds, that may be applied specifically to a sector, or across some or all sectors, in determining whether parties to a merger or acquisition shall notify the Commission under this Chapter.

SEC. 20. Prohibited. Mergers and Acquisitions. – Merger or acquisition agreements that substantially prevent, restrict or lessen competition in the relevant market or in the market for goods or services as may be determined by the Commission shall be prohibited.

SEC. 21. Exemptions from Prohibited. Mergers and Acquisitions. – Merger or acquisition agreement prohibited under Section 20 of this Chapter may, nonetheless, be exempt from prohibition by the Commission when the parties establish either of the following:

(a) The concentration has brought about or is likely to bring about gains in efficiencies that are greater than the effects of any limitation on competition that result or likely to result from the merger or acquisition agreement; or

(b) A party to the merger or acquisition agreement is faced with actual or imminent financial failure, and the agreement represents the least anti-competitive arrangement among the known alternative uses for the failing entity’s assets:

Although specific metrics can be developed, the assessment of what it means to “substantially prevent, restrict or lessen competition in the relevant market” is in the analytical eyes of the beholder. The PCC can be tough or lenient depending on the character of the membership and, I suppose, whether or not they are susceptible to the influences of politics and other external persuasions.

If there are no advocates for consumers, the law is worth the paper it is printed on, and not much more. It is hard to imagine the PCC being an aggressive hunter of violations in a regulator/regulated culture where impunity is the greatest moral rule. But that ought to be the charter.

It would be nice to be proven wrong.

Two ideas about moving forward

The power of the law depends on how it is implemented. I’d recommend two important steps:

  1. The newly formed Commission should be active and not passive. It should draw up a checklist of the most material likely violations that exist today, then work those cases. The PCC should focus on results that generate new competitive energies in the nation’s economy and remove consumers from the ranks of the downtrodden. PCC members must be assertive, like the Department of Justice hunting crooks.
  2. Consumers can help the Commission along if they band together to identify damaging acts and put detail and substance behind their complaints. They’ll need to collect money and hire aggressive attorneys who will get paid a generous cut of settlements as they seek compensation for damages.

 

Comments
167 Responses to ““Philippine Competition Act”: Will it help consumers, or just make more fat cats?”
  1. The power of the law depends on how it is implemented. I’d recommend two important steps:

    1. The newly formed Commission should be active and not passive. It should draw up a checklist of the most material likely violations that exist today, then work those cases. The PCC should focus on results that generate new competitive energies in the nation’s economy and remove consumers from the ranks of the downtrodden. PCC members must be assertive, like the Department of Justice hunting crooks.

    2. Consumers can help the Commission along if they band together to identify damaging acts and put detail and substance behind their complaints. They’ll need to collect money and hire aggressive attorneys who will get paid a generous cut of settlements as they seek compensation for damages.

    Bam is great… a representative of modern thinking, and I guess his Aquino name protects him. But using that name well honors him, he is one generation and one step ahead of Noynoy and half a step ahead of Mar who recently surprised me by being less elitist than I though in deeds.

    Now is the time for the Philippine middle class to form consumer protection groups and have them go after PLDT for not peering with Globe and others as one of the first causes – an obvious misuse of its market power. In such groups, people can practice direct democracy. And have fun learning, because I know how the politics of Filipinos in groups can go from direct experience with Philippine overseas associations. Don’t go apart because of 5% disagreement (Joe and me have that, we used to have 10%), stick together for the 95% common causes.

  2. Karl garcia says:

    Competition for better service,open to foreign competion,dont kill them like what happened to jc penney etc,the meralcos,the pldts,etc must face stiff competition.

    • Joe America says:

      It will be interesting to see what the PCC does in defining markets and the level of concentration that is deemed “non-competitive”. It submits reports and recommendations to Congress. Are Globe and PLDT so dominant as to be unhealthy for the Philippines, and – if so – what is the PCC going to do about it? As they build case law, it will be like a court. Precedent will be set as to what represents a dominant position that is unhealthy.

      • I will do it like Neo canjeca and repeat the important part of the message because I consider it two significant to be lost: Now is the time for the Philippine middle class to form consumer protection groups and have them go after PLDT for not peering with Globe and others as one of the first causes – an obvious misuse of its market power. Just relying on government and not being civic is a passive, not truly rooted democracy.

        In such groups, people can practice direct democracy. And have fun learning, because I know how the politics of Filipinos in groups can go from direct experience with Philippine overseas associations. Don’t go apart because of 5% disagreement (Joe and me have that, we used to have 10%), stick together for the 95% common causes. It may not be easy, I doubt that even homeowner’s associations are good at it, but it would be a further building block in forming true civic society in the Philippines.

        • Joe America says:

          I’d say that PLDT’s refusal on peering leaves them vulnerable once this Commission is set up. It needs attack-dog advocates to go after them. Sure you don’t want to come to the Philippines and make a lot of money going after these fat cats who game the system? It takes someone of technical intelligence to recognize the problem. Lay consumers have no idea about peering. I doubt that senators grasp it.

          • My article – which you peered – is enough input for a good lawyer, maybe even one of the Salazars who still took up law unlike me, and these lawyers can hire local techies of gian’s caliber to do the nitty-gritty job of gathering “technical forensic evidence”, that is putting up a map of all the Internet exchanges, the different lines and all, instead of making me fatter than I already am. I prefer to earn money from those who have more, we always have been bandits not crooks. Or practice and learn about getting less developed places up to speed among the folks I don’t care for as I do for Filipinos – Portuguese around 2000, Romanians in 2008/9, Turks since 2014 – and give advice to my folks back home about how things can be done based on those experiences.

            For a good and sincere administration or citizen group – Mar will be more than Aquino – I would volunteer for a normal wage as long as I can live decently and in safety. I’ve seen luxury, and don’t really need it anymore, maybe a house on Bert’s island would even be OK as long as Internet access is somewhat decent and I can get to Manila efficiently. And as long as I am sure that that administration or group will not just use my capabilities and then betray me like Aguinaldo did with Tony Luna – it happens often…

            • After graduating, I tried working for a dependency of a nascent Philippine BPO company abroad, and even was back home to help with projects. You easily get accused of being an arrogant smart-ass if you suggest solutions with training coming from abroad, the dynamics of Philippine Society can either make you an idealistic martry like Ibarra in the Noli or a cynical asshole like Simoun in the Fili – Rizal knew our folks too well…

              There are is however a critical mass of people, many still silent or working quietly, that have exposure to a new way of doing things and will finally bring about the Tipping Point.

              Helping that Tipping Point be reached is part of my advocacy, and I will of course join once I see that it is close. Mar Roxas is one step further to that Tipping Point than Noynoy Aquino is, Bam Aquino as President in 7 or 13 years could be that moment. Come that time there could be enough groups who think like him, and a mindset that allows cooperation even with just 90% common ground. We all need to be DOGGED.

              • And in that period of time, I hope to develop my Leadership Level to be more Level 5.

                The First Philippine Republic was “Iskul-Bukol” – elementary school kids trying to run the school with Grade 5 bullies like Aguinaldo sending Grade 4 kids to kill Grade 6 kids like Antonio Luna, and high school kids from the nascent USA laughing and taking over.

                The Second Philippine Republic of Quezon was a few Filipinos who went to American high school like Quezon etc. putting up a decent Republic, only to have the Grade 6 kids (Roxas I) and a Grade 5 bully (Marcos I) take over the school and mess it up.

                Now you have a few who have gone to the University that the US now is and even have gotten some work experience (Mar, Poe) impressing the high school kids (Junjun 🙂 ) – some have seriously gotten more work experience like Mar and enabling new a new breed of leaders like Espina in his department, some are content with being the one-eyed kings among blind like Poe and going all wet for a high school playboy (Chiz).

                Home-grown grads like Bam and Cayetano are the ones who are continuing to gain some work experience patiently like Bam, Cayetano is premature in running for VP now. Finally it is they who will have the local view to do the job properly, and tap the knowledge of timid home-grown talents and often too bold expats. Bam in fact is regularly informing himself at DOST ACTA, so he understands the peering stuff already. Mar in 2016 for progress, Leni in 2022 for inclusiveness and Bam in 2028 to wrap up…

              • Joe America says:

                I appreciate the optimism and pragmatism in your assessment.

              • It still could go Down South if a high school kid (Marcos Jr.) who is the son of a Grade 5 bully who once messed up the country becomes VP and manages to mess up a Roxas presidency even more than Binay did – Binay was cunning enough, in a gangster way, not to directly attack President Aquino who does have the superstitious bonus of his surname plus to the University-level competence he had when he became President – his mother was the widow of a high-school grad who did well for just having self-studied, but at least all Aquinos in leadership so far have shown character in their upbringing.

                Marcos Jr. as President in 2022 could lead to something like what the vision of hell I painted in 2052 in my future Philippines saga. The country could go all the way down the slope and barely have recovered in 2082, holding on to statues in fear and insecurity.

                My inspiration for thinking about all of this was your editorial note about Filipinos having to be patient, because not being patient would lead to progress taking longer – in fact it always has. Quezon built a foundation that Roxas I and Quirino did not build upon well. Magsaysay was from the school of hard knocks like Duterte, but he at least managed to stabilize things for a while, Garcia (not Karl, Carlos P.) built a bit on that foundation but introduced the 40% foreign ownership thing, Macapagal did quick fixes that enabled Marcos to tear down everything and build his own new foundation which Cory partly modified, Ramos tried to re-establish while Erap and Arroyo built additional structures around it like squatters do when new kids are born or cousins come from the provinces.

                Noynoy has tried to stabilize the foundations that are there so that the mixture of bahay kubo, Spanish colonial house, American cottage, postwar structure and squatter shanty that is the Philippine system is somewhat stable against typhoons, remove some of the garbage while locking away an ex-President in the rotting Spanish colonial part of the house and some of the Senators in the squatter part where they fit in well.

                Mar Roxas has quietly done his work on the foundations – BPO, police and local government – and will hopefully continue with the next important aspects – justice, penal system, education: building on the work of his cabinet colleagues like the justice and penal reform DOJ started with German help – no BAVARIAN help I must be regional – and education like the CCT. Marcos Jr. would just try to rebuild the rotten foundations his father tried to build and tear apart good work already done. You can’t just do that, where will the Filipino people live when the next typhoon comes? So be pragmatic.

              • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

                Bravo, Irineo! Great metaphors. You are brilliant, no other word suffices. Especially liked Mar in 2016 and Leni the next. Also, the houses. Admiration!

  3. Karl garcia says:

    If competition means survival of the fittest then i retract my statement regarding killing jc penney,as long as its fair ,let the strong survive and weak perish.no to protectionism.

  4. eric says:

    A good read

  5. Karl garcia says:

    I also retract my position on nationalizing telcos or anything.just give oligarchs competition

  6. Karl garcia says:

    The banking sector needs big time mergers and acquisitions.Time for more foreign entrants.

    • Joe America says:

      There are a lot of banks and, like US banks, they all set rates similarly. I have not examined the loan portfolios of the different banks to determine how they make money, and the risks of . . . say exposure to the real estate sector. My guess is that they would collapse like a house of cards if the RE sector collapsed. I don’t know their role in funding the fat cats. I might dig into that . . .

  7. Bert says:

    I would suggests draconian measures such as total prohibition of mergers and acquisition by removing Sec. 21. Exemptions are loop holes that allow wily businessmen to go around regulations for their own selfish vested interests making the specific law ineffective in its intended purpose, in this case the prevention of monopolies.

    • Monopoly is a nice game, especially because it has Go to Jail…

      • chempo says:

        There are also “get out of jail cards”. Easily obtainable at the right price or I’d u have connections to the warden.

        • That brings back fond memories of playing Monopoly with kids from UP Balara – the children of our gardener at UP Area I which is just above UP Balara and their group.

          They would try to make deals with one another, stack the deck of cards while I was not looking – I developed my capability to look in all directions like a Philippine jeepney driver from dealing with them – and give me a lot of “barya” (small change) when they had to pay to me, laughing when I got “pikon” (pissed off) at them. This is how Filipinos of all “colors” played the political and business game with the Spaniards, the Americans and later with each other. Kids taking over the school, at least most are high school now some university grads, some with work experience. It can only get better. Wonder what would have happened if Lee Kuan Yew would have taken over the Philippines at any of its stages of maturity and leadership level. He might have been corrupted, destroyed, neutralized, killed, made to go back or made to go insane… 🙂

    • karl garcia says:

      Mergers are fine as long as there are many players,what we dont want are the oligopolies or oligarchs. again competition from abroad is needed,so no more open secret dummies like MVP

      • karl garcia says:

        RSA,mvp is did a pacman mergers spree recently,maybe bad because they are playing the monopoly game.But if they go against each other,let them fight.

  8. neo canjeca says:

    This law , less of a law against mostly the powerful lawless
    From birds-eye view and from the lens of a microscope
    Sans temerity but with lots of partial thoughts
    Is something like this:

    The Philippines is like a dark hole in the vastness of outer space
    A certainty, space travelers won’t miss it; it smells to high heavens.
    It’s so dark and lightless, citizens go blind like bats but have a radar
    Like useless antenna, skulls don’t mind the thousand bumps.

    So Joe Am to be or not to be may be is not the question, IT IS A FACT.
    Is this PHILIPPINE COMPETITION ACT a law like COMELEC LAW
    As beautiful as its mother CONSTITUTION useless and catalyst
    To rape and plunder and plunder no end the motherland.

    Laws from a constitution that’s both sired, breast-fed
    Nortured, dextrosed, kept alive by the wisest of lawyers.
    so wise with untouchable wisdom of Law Professors and
    the honorables of an integrated bar and Philconsa

    to allow in silence COMELEC to accept applications
    from candidates afflicted with stage 4 cancer, with cases of
    massive thievery, of unknown and questionnable parentage,
    of the nationally notorious politician for shameless opportunism,
    of death wish enforcer, of sick hospitalized unbailable patients,

    of arrested escapees accused of murder, of a son of a world
    recognized dictator, of a sacked official implicated in the murder
    of so many policemen, of ex-convicts,
    of habitual absentees from office . All for noble reasons
    Aspiring to be the model of all democracies, demo crazies?

    The COMELEC list could go on and on
    Of scums, bums and dregs so the country
    Shall remain the pride of the family of nations
    As the magic wand of equality, enforcer
    of the sacred freedoms of plastic democracy
    Turning them into the darkest of darkness
    As hell on earth, where neurons of morons
    had handcrafted Laws from a constitution,
    now sit in silence, content and fulfilled.

    And now we have THE PHILIPPINE COMPETITION ACT.
    Just look at all The beautiful brands,
    the corporate icons of business, the pictures
    With the water marks of hammer and sickle,
    of rigor mortis in the status quo,
    the emblems of corrupt symbiosis with officialdom,

    the royal heraldry of mysterious doubts
    and subtle hesitancy
    to support the candidacy of Mar Roxas lest they be
    asked to trek the road less traveled by crooks
    the straight path of unFilipinized democracy.

    Joe Am the cogent debate here I think is not about
    The hen or the egg nor is it about the law or legal eagles
    Or their preys; It’s really something more.
    Perhaps one is for the Society of Honor
    To barbecue, rake this piece over their hot mental coals
    To rid it of HDL and plaque-causing cholesterol
    That in the end the readers treat for their neurons
    Should be lambanog to push down well-done sirloins.

    • I could ask some of my Romanian friends to make nice big barbecue for Filipinos…

      but then again it might be too much… a top manager of IT trying to tap me to sell old Communist sewing machines from his brother’s factory… a project manager trying to source me for BMWs from Germany… all very nice people… with many sidelines…

      my blood pressure is fortunately regulated but went high again recently, and my blood tests show that my fats are nearing a dangerous level again… and I still smoke like hell.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, if you have a lawyer who is an ethical fraud, and judges who agree with him, and clients who pay well for the agreements, and Commissioners who know on which side of their desk their bank accounts are buttered, then, absolutely this Competition Act is an exercise straight out of Kafka, absurd for our believing in its goodness.

      But still, we can at least know what the law says, and from that demand some measure of accountability from the Commission. We – being considerate and respectful and hopeful souls – ought to at least give them the room to do work that has integrity, and in the meantime, we might impress upon voters just how important this next election will be. Voters are voting on the composition of the Supreme Court, and the membership of the PCC. They are not just voting for President’s spouse.

    • Neo Canjeca says:

      To walk the talk of being nosey noisy
      In Joe Am’s blog, sure it is not easy
      Amid opinion decibels of moonless nights
      to be confronted by a stunning beauty
      writing, like riding a pinto horse of Arthur’s Knight
      Neo’s seem hard to answer prose
      of wannabe legal puwitry .

  9. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    THE PHILIPPINE COMPETITION ACT is not only about ECONOMICS. It is about COMPETITION OF INTELLIGENCE. It is about SOCIETY OF HONORS versus University of the Philippines journalism graduates and U.P. COLUMNISTS !!!

    Never can anyone find this article and in-depth analysis in UP-GRADUATE RUN PHILIPPINE PRESS. NEVER. EVER. Only Joe can have in-depth anaysis. Not UP-Graduates. UP Graduates are bunch of lazy politics-only-analytics. Because in Politics it is easy than analyzing ECONOMICS because ECONOMICS is number-based unlike politics is more about talk-talk-talk.

    Just take Michael Tan’s column. He is top honcho at U.P. I mean TOP, like up there, like, God. But his column TOTALLY SUCKS !!!! If he applied to Chicago Tribune and have him write an essay, I’D MAKE SURE HE SEES WHAT I AM GOING TO DO WITH IT. Let him eat it!!! Of course, slathered with smuggled Phiippine Catsup ! Banana Catsup ! BANANA? Yes, In the Philippines they have BANANA CATSUP !

    Here is why Michael Tan’s column sucks. Becaue ENGLISH IS HIS SECOND LANGUAGE !!! Another ESL columnist is Randy David. His column is truly scholarly. I MEAN IT. But his 1st person account of his biking sojourn from LA to SanFo with FILIPINO BIKERS GANG was a total failure in the like of Michael Tan.

    Randy David’s 1st person account of his attendance to Manny Pacquiao’s fight in Vegas was utterly kindergartnerishly boring. At first I cannot believe my eyes! I annot believe Randy David cannot write 1st person account in the manner of his usual OP-ED columns. Could it be someone writing it not David? My snoops over at Inquirer said it was his !!! Mama Mia ! Caramba !

    To compare Michael tan against Randy David is like comparing an infant with browned pampers and a high-school Suma com laude.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Oh, I forgot to mention U.P. business graduates … and UP-journalism graduate on business beat … THEY CANNOT DO A JOEAM !!!

      PCIJ cannot even touch above companies …. because they are mestizo class, ex-colonizers carrier of COLONIAL MENTALITY …. THEY ARE TRULY HONEST. PCIJ cannot see the wrongs in them. THEREFORE, SPANISH COLONIZERS WERE HONEST SELLING COLONIAL MENTALITY WHICH IS ALSO HONEST.

      SPANIARDS ARE HONEST. SO ARE CHINESE BUSINESSMEN IN THE PHILIPPINES. Only COLOREDs FILIPINOS ARE NOT. Because they never embraced COLONIAL MENTALITY.

    • It is now called Banana Sauce because only what comes from tomatoes may be called Ketchup or Catsup. Not Ketchup Eusebio who played the Captain that killed Luna.

      Imagine in the Philippines they even call their kids Ketchup, Aldub will be the names of kids being made in the next few months. But that they call it Banana Sauce now is a sign that in the the game of catch-up, not Catsup, the Philippines is catching up.

      I am still very primitive. I will have some UFC Banana Sauce with my fish right now…

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        Aha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Thank you, Ireneo. HOW LONG IT TOOK THE UP-BUSINESS MANAGEMENT GRADUATES to know that Banana Catsup is actually a SAUCE not a KETCHUP !

        It took DECADES AND DECADES for UP Regents and Professors that it is OK to have children take UPCAT REVIEWER.

        See, Ireneo? U.P. GRADUATES ARE SLOW FOLKS. THEIR BRAINS RUNS VERY SLOW.

        U.P. should be defunded and investigated why their graduates have very low intelligence after they graduate.

        • It is because UP was founded by Americans who were not smart always sorry Joe. 🙂

          They saw our bundok and called them the boondocks in the Philippine-American war. Ketchup comes from Malay ketjap which means sauce, was that from the Moro Wars?

          But unlike some nationalist teachers told us, cat does not come from our kuting… Chicks does not come from our chicas but most probably from da Mexican chicas… Vamoose is a cowboy term that comes from vamos… but those who imitate those who borrowed everything even their hamburgers came from Hamburg and even Joe’s folks come from where I was Friday… are 3rd-hand imitators… miss bagoong with kamatis. 😦

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        Let me remind you of that 15-year-old Charise Pempengco Fiasco. UP-columnists were so proud Charisse will make it to that teen-series in the U.S.

        They prep Charise from English, they way she walks and talks, dress her up like Americans and then …… THEY ALSO PREPPed HER FACE !!!! These Filipinos botoxed her face because according to Charise UP Handlers her FACE WAS TOO WIDE TO FIT IN THE CAMERA !!!!

        When parents in the US heard about this they screamed QUE HORROR ! QUE BARBARIDAD !!!! You cannot bring and star a 15-year-old botoxed and all !!!! Eventually she was dropped from that series …. she flew home … BUT STILL A STAR !

        UP-columnists never apologized. Well, they are U.P. They always have the last word in S2PDT.

      • karl garcia says:

        UFC is MMA.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      COLORED Filipinos prefer to work in the government than do Sari-Sari Store thingie because that is where the money is, IN THE GOVERNMENT.

      Philippine Government elected offices and cabinetries DO NOT REQUIRE COLONIAL MENTALITY because COLONIAL MENTALITY IS HONESTY.

      Mar Roxas has COLONIAL MENTALITY because he is honest like the tisoys tisays and the mestizo class.

      If UP graduates says Filipinos are what they are because of COLONIAL MENTALITY are deluding themselves.

      • https://joeam.com/2015/10/15/dog-love-and-how-it-impacts-on-love-of-country/#comment-141837 – I think we have all – neo, you and me – found the three “colors” of Filipinos – the major subcultures:

        1) Mar Roxas – you call them mestizos, I call them dirty white because they can never be as white as Joe… Neo calls them Merkanos. The Americans were the most highly organized country to take us over. Honesty, the state as an anonymous apparatus – ideas they adapted from the Prussian government which was their model of efficiency and the ideas of Max Weber – the state apparatus as a smoothly functioning machine.

        2) Grace Poe – you call them colored, I call them brown – my folks on the father’s side. Neo calls them Spanish Filipinos. The Spanish had on paper a functioning apparatus, in practice it was obedezco pero no cumplo – I obey on paper but do something else in reality. It is like Kafka who lived in the Austro-Hungarian empire also run by the hypocritical Habsburgs who ran Spain. There the adage was “man darf nicht, aber man kann” – it is not permitted, but you can do it if you don’t get caught. One step lower.

        3) Jejomar Binay. I call them dark, neo calls them Lumad, you call them dark-skinned. They have the original tribal attitude – my folks meaning family and extended kinship, but nobody else beyond that, the rest can go to hell. These are the spiritual descendants of the headhunters we are all descended from. Getting them even to the level of 2) is hard enough. They were at that level when Magellan came and stayed.

        The other people who colonized us were just lucky to develop the other stages earlier. But it is stupido, stupido, stupido not to learn from their lessons and advanced levels.

        • Add to that that every Filipino is like a Russian doll, with all three aspects in different degrees – me included none of us is exempted.

          So the most modern part of us has to educate the less modern parts to behave before we can really move forward.

          Especially the headhunter in all of us has to become more educated.

        • It meshes neatly with my new tripartite view of Filipino history, not based on colonial periods, but based on the development of the group living on the islands:

          1) Territory: Philippines run as a part of the Spanish East Indies from New Spain i.e. Mexico was just a territory. Whatever state existed was only there to quell rebellions and to extract forced labor from the natives, who did not feel any common identity.

          2) State: Philippines run directly from more modern Spain under the Bourbons after Mexico became independent, even getting a corrupt Habsburg as its Emperor for a while and then hanging him, keeping the Habsburg doble-kara tradition to this day like Austria still does in many ways. The Bourbons had learned a little more about modern statecraft because some of their cousins lost their heads to the French Revolution. The descendants of the more modern Spanish who came to the Philippines mostly wanted a modern state like Spain was becoming and eventually all decided to learn more from the United States. Quezon was the perfect example of this group, a Spanish mestizo. There were also opportunists like Manuel Roxas I who sucked up the Americans, then to the Japanese, then to the Americans again. These people messed up the Republic.

          3) Nation: Mabini tried to teach the more tribal and familistic Filipinos what a nation is in the form of his Decalogues – like a traditional older brother, a crippled but respected kuya. Magsaysay restabilized the ruins of the Republic in the way of a Malay datu which is what he looked like and acted like, dancing the Mambo for the entire tribe. Marcos destroyed the Republic by acting like a violent Ilocano datu and a corrupt cacique from the Mexican period, he did not understand what a nation truly meant. Cory tried to rebuild the ruins of the American-modelled state. Erap was a Spanish-shaped nationalist who tried to be a tribal leader for the entire people but had too much alcohol like some Native American chiefs. Gloria followed the Spanish-shaped corruption while pretending to be a modern American-style technocrat – her father at least was a datu from the poor, even if he was overwhelmed by trying to be a technocrat. Aquino was the first President to successfully integrate the American and Spanish aspects I described and at least try to talk to the tribal people and be in touch with that part of himself also.

          At this juncture, Mar is the most competent – coming from the old Spanish group by his ancestry but fully a modern technocrat, he can still reach the “Spanish” Filipinos in the middle but has problems reaching the tribal ones – not personally one can see that he can do that, but in public perception – because the media which is still in the hands of those in the Habsburg anything-goes mindset see the corrupt world in which they thrive finally going under. Leni is from the “Spanish” side but with a modern mindset, and being a Bikolana is in touch with the “Lumad” side of Filipinos – things are not that far apart in our native region. So Mar has Leni as a translator for the masses – good thing.

        • Neo Canjeca says:

          Nice, like, thanks. Irineo.

          Am careful now to be short and succinct. . Last time to a commenter
          my sincere wordy appreciations and thanks were taken as condescension
          didn’t know I could have such negative motives behind my eloquent praise.

          • Welcome, neo.. I realized a bit later that I overreacted. Because you are one of the generation that left before Marcos took over and destroyed the sincere meaning of nearly every word in English. We Marcos babies grew up not expecting any honesty…

            • And then Erap and Binay came, destroying the sincere meaning of every Tagalog word. The noble – dakila – language many of us started to use again in order to restore sincerity, the way it was used by Apolinario Mabini. He couldn’t walk but sure could talk.

              No wonder so many Filipinos now in the Philippines are tulala – speechless – so often. Language must find back to its sincere core, then behavior and laws will follow suit…

              • neo canjeca says:

                As-Salaam-Alaikum; et cum espiritu tuo, Irineo.

              • Salaam aleikum? Malay ko sa iyo! Well we are Malays after all. Nawalan lang nga malay. Kaya hindi malaya.

                https://joeam.com/2015/10/12/that-nasty-up-professor-harry-roque/#comment-141217

                Bits and pieces of the Philippine future saga appear to me, the prophet exiled to Babylon. Time for me again to go to the river and weep, as I remember Zion… Hope nobody starts making me into to a real prophet, with magical amulets like the Rizalistas on Banahaw.

                The INB Iglesia ng Bathala was formed by Manny Piñol Jr., son of Duterte’s Ilaga friend Manny Piñol and children of Duterte Death Squad motorcyclists, a mixture of Lumads, Muslims and Christians. Tony Laviña Jr., son of the Ateneo de Davao professor who published brilliant articles on BBL in Mindanews had given Manny Jr. ideas on the ancient forms of worship. All of them had gathered on Mount Apo to wait for the end of the world.

                It was September 29, 2052. Pinatubo had erupted and destroyed the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, releasing fallout into the atmosphere. It was not Aldub Santos’ intention to save the Philippines. He wanted to destroy the Malays and all their mixed ancestors who had hurt the native Filipino people. He remembered the legendary spiritual power of his grandfather, told to him by his father. His grandfather had gone down to the Americans to suggest to them that a pig be slaughtered to placate the irate ancestral spirit in Pinatubo. The Air Force commander had laughed him off on that fateful day in 1991, and the next day Clark Air Base and the brand new F-16s there were covered with volcanic ash. Bote nga, thought Aldub, remembering how his father made it up from beggar on EDSA to bote dyaryo man in Taguig.

                From the night of September 26 to the afternoon of September 29, Aldub had walked up Pinatubo, first improvising ancestral incantations that he did not know, then finally like in a miracle they came to him from his ancestral memories. He called upon the spirit of Marikudo, the Negrito whom they fooled in Negros, something the Ati-Atihan celebrates to this day. He called upon the unknown Negrito spirits in the haunted village of Buhi, Camarines Sur, upon his kind in Iriga who came down from the mountains every year, and to the ancestors in Taal, Batangas and Tiwi, Albay and Malinao. All Agtas, Aetas, Itas, Negritos were familiar with the spirits of the volcanoes whose slopes they had been forced to live on – and their spirits. The spirits of all mountains gave their strength to Pinatubo.

                Typhoon Benigno was scheduled to land in Leyte the morning of September 30, 2052.
                The members of the ragged desperate group prayed to Bathala, God and Allah in their desperation, to forgive them for centuries of murder among each other – and against the first Filipinos, the native Agta. Yet only one of those on Mount Apo prayed for the Agta also and was looked at strangely by the others – John Carl Angulo, son of giancarloangulo who had moved to Davao to head an SAP outfit there. He was driven down the slope of Mount Apo. He changed his surname to Magulo to avoid vindictive justice, yet his son joined the INB decades later. Pinoy amnesia again. Yet this one request for forgiveness resonated with the spirit of Mount Apo, which then caused typhoon Benigno to ignore all the scientific logic of MOSTI PAGASA, and land at General McArthur, Samar instead of at Limasawa, Leyte on 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 30.

                Benigno, locally called Ninoy, passed over Bikol, hit Manila and then passed on to China, leaving Philippine coasts on the morning of October 2, 2052. In the Sacred Revelations of Reverend Manny Piñol Jr., September 30, 2052 was the Calvary of the Philippines. October 2 was the Resurrection of the Philippines by the Divine Grace of Apo Bathala. In the English translation of the Davao dialect Holy Kitab, it is said that Bathala is the only God and Manny Piñol is his prophet. Members of the INB must recite this profession of faith three times to be considered believers. Apostasy is punishable by death from two men riding on a motorcycle. Every healthy believer must make a pilgrimage to the top of Mount Apo at least once in his life, and pray in the direction of Mount Apo wherever he is – 3 times a day. As-Salaam-Alaikum; et cum espiritu tuo kapatid is the greeting among true believers, who shave their heads bald once a year during the festival of the Prophet Digong Duterte.

              • yet in reality, most members of the ragtag group on Mount Apo did not pray for the Philippines to be saved. They prayed for Benigno not to pass from Samar to Mindanao and bring nuclear fallout to them. Some even prayed for the destruction of Imperial Manila.

                Some who know the secretive INB better say that Duterte is not a prophet but a Saint, just like Gloria Arroyo and the Ilaga killer Norberto Manero whom she once welcomed, killer of an infidel Italian priest from the colonial Catholic Church. Zaldy Ampatuan is also a Saint.

                Sounds far-fetched? Katipuneros often wore anting-anting. Members of the alleged “Rock Christ” sect and lost command on Mindanao were said to have reverted to cannibalism. Colorums in the 1920s came from “in saeculo saecolorum”. Now jeepneys can be colorum.

              • http://www.microkhan.com/2009/12/17/bulletproof-the-tadtad/

                Just to show the culture Duterte managed to tame – with similar means… 😦

        • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

          http://globalnation.inquirer.net/129703/1-3m-overseas-voters-sign-up

          1,300,000 overseas Filipinos voters signed up on top of existing overseas voters. OVERSEAS means OFWs+immigrants+dual citizens.

          If these traitors and confused citizens ARE ALLOWED TO VOTE WHY DO THEY QUESTION GRACE POE’s residential qualification ?

          If Philippine Government allowed those flip-flopping Filipinos that surrendered their Filipinoness in exchange of American citizenship then ALLOWED THEM TO HAVE ANOTHER PHILIPPINE PASSPPORT ON TOP OF AMERICAN PASSPORT therefore they should not abe allowed to vote in Philippine election !!!!!

          So, in lieu of all of the above presumptions, I hereby declare GRACE POE IS A LEGAL CITIZEN OF THE PHILIPPINES WITH QUALIFYING NUMBER OF YEARS OF SERVICE IN THE PHILIPPINES …. Constitution or no Constitution ….

  10. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Major stockholders, Board Members, CEOs, government cabinets and bureaucrats go to same country clubs. They talk about futures. Yes, their future not minority stockholders. Not local investors. That is why my parents do not invest in stocks in the Philippines. Scratch every DOSRI in each companies they are inter-linked. I stick to my Sari-Sari Store & Carenderia.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      NAIA MIAA DIRECTOR Jose Angel Honrado is another graduate from University of the PHilippines. Major in Horticulture in U.P.-Los Banos. The art and practice of garden cultivation and its management. Niiiiice !!!!

      They hired U.P. horticulturist to manage NAIA so they can plant camotes in vast expanse of the ranaway. A horticulturist will try to tackle FLIGHT DELAYS !!!! Niiiiice !

      http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/732510/airport-airline-execs-tackle-flight-delays

      Mar better not hire U.P. horticulturist the next time.

    • kuntsaba and kunsentidor are Spanish terms. They will make kuntsaba and then tell their kunsentidor Commisioners what to do. Against some tong.

      I prefer the Highlanders, which is what the Igorots call themselves. The Lowlanders go to Country Clubs. The telex of the shadow Aquino government was sent to all Philippine Embassies from Wack Wack in 1986, I was in the Philippine Embassy Bonn when it came in. The Communication Officer liked to learn about using computers from me. IBM AT with two floppy disk drives and a 10MB hard disk drive – a luxury during those times. Well, the Highlanders like Camp John Hay, Burnham Park and country music like this nice song:

      • The future government of the Philippines were mostly therefore at the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club in late February 1986, that is in Greenhills, requesting all Embassies abroad for their support, while the people were not too far away between the two camps.

        The Aguinaldo government wined and dined to celebrate their Declaration of Independence in 1898, how many courses I don’t remember, but with a menu in Spanish.

        Luna and his officers had wonderful uniforms while most soldiers did not have a rifle.

        • And today? The Fort is as modern as Singapore, former Fort Bonifacio.

          In parts of the countryside, foragers live worse than their ancestors in the Stone Age.

          • http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/englisch_gg/englisch_gg.html#p0598

            One of the most important aspects of the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Constitution taught to us in school (K-13), last three years: uniformity of living standards – Article 106, Section 3 Part 2:

            2. The financial requirements of the Federation and of the Länder shall be coordinated in such a way as to establish a fair balance, avoid excessive burdens on taxpayers, and ensure uniformity of living standards throughout the federal territory.

            Not equality, uniformity according to case law later developed. Does the 1987 Philippine Constitution have anything similar, in a state that has MAKATAO in its principles?

            Sorry to say, but maybe Korina’s dogs count more for some than squatters and Lumads.

            • Rural Bavaria, far behind Imperial Berlin in its standards of living, backward in its Catholic ignorance mixed with folk superstition, worshipping bandits like Matthias Kneißl who was executed in 1908 – made a wanted man just before he was about to migrate to the USA…

              was the place were the Nazis found followers. The “revolution” Bongbong is planning will mobilize discontent among the dispossesed. Time to wake up before it is too late for that.

              Bavaria also was shaped by Habsburg hypocrisy, with an unsuccesful revolt against the Austrians in 1705, crushed on Christmas Eve by Hungarian horsemen who massacred the peasant army that had fled to the grounds of the old St. Margarethen Church just above the present fairgrounds of the Oktoberfest. The night before, the mayors and public officials who had organized the rebellion stayed in the inn, drank beer and slept there – while the peasants who formed the core of the rebellion stayed outside, in winter cold.

              • Recommended reading: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Carlos_%28play%29 by Friedrich Schiller, one of Rizal’s favorite novelists, also the author of Wilhelm Tell which Schiller translated into Tagalog and I admit I have never read, ignoramus that I am.

                It is about the conflict between King Philipp of Habsburg, yes OUR name-giver, and his son Carlos who dared rebel against him. It shows the core of hypocrisy in one Europe’s oldest political dynasties – it’s last politician was a Member of the European Parliament…

              • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Carlos_%28play%29#cite_note-High-6

                Don Carlos inspired Luke Skywalker and King Philipp Darth Vader… but Don Carlos does not win in Schiller’s play. He rots and dies in jail, where King Philipp put him.

                High, Jeffrey L. (2011). “Introduction: Why is this Schiller [Still] in the United States?”. In High, Jeffrey L.; Martin, Nicholas; Oellers, Norbert. Who Is This Schiller Now?: Essays on His Reception and Significance. Camden House. p. 15. ISBN 978-1-57113-488-2. “Schiller experts unfamiliar with Star Wars could place most of the characters with the corresponding Don Karlos characters at a glance at the movie poster. … The reader will be hard pressed to distinguish the basic plot and character constellation of Star Wars from that of Don Karlos without reference to the specific period and galaxy in question.”

            • Joe America says:

              “Sorry to say, but maybe Korina’s dogs count more for some than squatters and Lumads.” But we can say that about those who drive big SUV’s or spend money on fine dining and wines. We ought not get selectively moral in judgments such as this, I think. If the dogs keep her sane in a pressure job or unkind world, that is better than foisting the cost on taxpayers for medical care.

              • Just letting off some steam Joe… you know what I mean.. that a large part of the population is invisible to many of those living better… and LCPL_X rightly noted that the hierarchy of people and dogs in the Philippines a tesseract… overdogs and underdogs…

                Dirty white, brown and dark people, but not necessarily by color, by social hierarchy. Basically a denied caste system, josephivo called it a form of apartheid – he is right. Finally this thing could explode in everybody’s faces, Marcos Jr. stirring them up like his father stirred up the lower middle class as his foot soldiers against the elite – whom he did not touch – and “U.P. crooks” that they tortured. And cha writes how cute naman the dogs…

              • Joe America says:

                I find it easier to work with the classification of people by income class than by color of skin because the color lines are explosive and rife with judgments, many of which are unfair. I am also sensitive to MRP’s “picking on” Korina in a way I find unkind. If you want to hold Korina up as emblematic of a social condition, that there are snooty rich Filipinos who lord it over less advantaged people, I’d say you are looking at the wrong person to hold up, and instead ought to focus on Imelda or Elenita. Loving dogs is not the same as loving taxpayer money.

              • Bam Aquino by his deeds: SME laws, anti-competition – is fulfilling what is a constitutional mandate in Germany: uniformity of living conditions. He has probably seen that his class will end like some French Bourbons ended in 1789 if nothing is done about these matters.

                Marcos pretended to be a revolutionary, but his wife was Marie Antoinette and Miss Piggy. Moi, moi, moi.. I would have loved to see her sing her final song under a guillotine in my angry young days – but we would have been China’s fifth column, we were misled youth.

              • “Loving dogs is not the same as loving taxpayer money.” Bingo! For someone like me who has experienced firsthand – in another country – what equal opportunities can mean, it is clear not to be jealous of those who have made it better. But what about those who didn’t?

                These people have seen others get by stealing for generations and when they reach the top, they do exactly the same as the others did. The worst act like Afro-American rappers.

                Equal opportunities existed for a while during American times. The University of the Philippines, modelled after an American state university, was one opportunity, the army too. Afterwards both descended into the Philippine system of families and patronage.

                Because many of those who benefitted from American-style equal opportunities did not want to give them to their own people and closed the door after they had been let in. The lessons of Thomasites were lost in translation, the tenacity of Filipino attitudes won again.

                Many told the Americans what they wanted to hear, were simply lapdogs – yes siiiiir…. 🙂

              • “and LCPL_X rightly noted that the hierarchy of people and dogs in the Philippines a tesseract… overdogs and underdogs…”

                Like you said, Ireneo, the source of all societal problems over there is in the self-imposed caste system. In having servants and of being served. A child, whether on one side or the other, of this system, will have a very peculiar view of the world and of others… dog or not.

                Our Dept of State employees are probably the only ones comfortable with having servants abroad, but as soon as they’re back stateside, they know what’s up.

                I had a bootcamp buddy who did Marine Security Guard duty, those who guard embassies. When they’re in a 3rd world nation, they automatically have cooks, laundry people and house servants. But Marines being Marines (taught to be self-reliant) they never get used to it.

                Business folk and diplomats from other countries though, posted in the US, always bring 2 or more servants with them. Many of whom end up going AWOL as soon as they understand what America’s all about.

                Though I’ve heard of stories where masters actually let their servants go, when over here knowing they’d fair better over here than back in their home countries– which is commendable on one hand, but on the other, another immigration loophole to be closed.

                But the question… and I think it relates to the corporation/consumer relationship also,

                How do you overcome this need (which I think is ego driven more than an actual need) for servants in the Philippines? And this whole notion that it’s OK to be someone else’s servant?

                Corporation=master, Consumer=slave.

              • Joe America says:

                I’ve never considered household workers, gardeners, cooks, drivers and security personnel to be “servants”, which suggests an imposed condition, but rather, consider them “employees”. I was thinking today about how hard my wife works (without household help) and how hard I worked during a lifetime to earn the splendor of retirement. Laboring is what almost all of us do. It is imposed by our social condition, to earn money and a way to eat. There is no condescension attached to the effort, and I’ve never attached it to the help we have had from time to time.

                Perhaps we need to define terms.

              • the source of all societal problems over there is in the self-imposed caste system. In having servants and of being served. A child, whether on one side or the other, of this system, will have a very peculiar view of the world and of others… dog or not.

                LCPL_X that is true… I remember how hard my first years in Germany were, coming from the entitled class in the Philippines and not having people go out of the way for me like they did – I was a U.P. professors kid and I am half-white so it was something “normal” for me.

                But being abroad and hard knocks really changed my attitude. Also observing the attitude of those “left behind” by me in my change process.

                The Philippine military attaches – Colonels – who had their Sarhentos – always a lower class than them – to drive them etc. even in Germany. Higher-ups in the Embassy who had me pick up their kids or run errands for them – but I usually asked if I could have the official Mercedes or BMW for the night so it was OK. Diplomatic plates meant I could speed like hell and slam on the brakes in front of the disco. Servant first, then master afterwards…

                Or me eating goto with some Pisay classmates when I went home in 1986. One of them nearly ran over a street vendor with his Pajero – the SUVs of back then – and nobody even looked up except me. Poor bastard jumped into a ditch to evade the Pajero backing up.

                Or the Philippine Ambassador to Belgium I think who was dark and small, and his driver tall and provincial mestizo. Who do you think the Filipino community usually mistook for the Ambassador when both came to a Filipino party? Filipinos still see color quite a lot.

                Then my experiences with Fil-Ams when I visited the USA. All my Pinoy friends in Germany had warned that they were arrogant. Got attitudes like you Pinoys in Europe are all maids, we are professionals here. Looking down and crabbing up – the Filipino condition always.

                How do you overcome this need (which I think is ego driven more than an actual need) for servants in the Philippines? And this whole notion that it’s OK to be someone else’s servant? LCPL_X, Hard to say – it is ego-driven like my examples have shown.

                I once suggested that every non-poor Filipino spend mandatory two weeks in poor areas for three years to earn their citizenship doing social work. No mobile phones, no sleeping at home, no bringing maids with them to help, socially and ethnically mixed teams. It would build humility and confidence at the same time. Like Tom Hanks in the Robinson Crusoe movie who makes fire by himself the first time. Like me successfully flipping burgers the first time without them being half-raw or burnt – I nearly quit because the Turkish boss kept shouting at me for spoiling the patties, but then again I have never been a quitter.

                It would build a sense of “kapwa”- fellow human being – toward the common people which I venture to say many in THIS VERY BLOG do not sufficiently have. Will has it I am sure, gian too, Mary and Joe a bit less but more than Karl. LCPL_X you have shown that you have dealt with them on a face-to-face basis and I truly respect that. The masa are only interesting for many when voting time comes. Well they may be uneducated, but they are not stupid – they remember who cared for them when it was not yet campaign time and who didn’t. Leni Robredo did, Mar Roxas did his work – making life better by improving peace and order via the PNP, which also is there when storms come – but did not know how to talk to them yet. That has improved.

                Now some here have asked me on FB how we can reach the masa in this election. Well, social media are all well and good. They help. But the real thing is to go to where I have been – not to Pasay City Jail please but to Balara or to other areas where they live. Brave the mud and the stench. Know what Mar and Leni have already done for the people. Speak to the barangay captains. Listen to them. Respect them goddammit even if they sometimes speak nonsense. Try to find out why they feel that way. Ask how their concerns can be addressed. Or if the slum people scare you, go to the simple folks in the provinces. Or talk to OFWs – and listen to them before preaching democracy which is not truly practiced in the Philippines anyway. Treat them as people like yourselves, with the same dreams and aspirations – and the same right to opportunities. Do what Leni Robredo does and says:

                Go to the people. Learn from them. Love them. Start with what they know. Build with what they have. But with the best leaders, when the work is done, the task accomplished, the people will say “We have done this by ourselves”

                It is on the Leni Robredo for VP Movement FB group. By her deeds – and by her statement which matches these deeds – Leni Robredo proves she is a Level 5 leader. Roxas trying to be hands-on in Tacloban led to him being laughed at – in a caste system a “Brahmin” or overdog like him does not do such things. But Roxas supporters actually taking just a week off to help in the slums – even carry garbage, hell I did when I was in McDonalds why can’t you? – might convince a lot of people, even me who still doubts they and Roxas will care after winning, or care for any of the things Leni Robredo practices once she has been used to ensure victory – or just care about their stocks, while poverty rises and makes Bongbong President in 2022.

                Noynoy Aquino said the people are his boss, but often did not act that way – there is an older blog by Joe from 2012 where this is noted. Because SERVICE in the Philippines means to be lower than someone else, it is not valued. Being a MASTER is valued. So companies do not really serve their customers well, neither do government offices unless they think you are someone special. “We treat you like ordinary person” said to the Beatles meant they were about to be beaten up – for not giving a private concert to Imelda the Queen.

                The one I remember not having a maid at home is giancarlo – and I notice it as well in his attitude. Being able to do things oneself makes a person more confident. Those with maids may lack the confidence to do things by themselves. Or they may feel that they are lower if they do so. This attitude of over- and underdogs is what the Philippines must get rid of. But that is just me, here in Germany. We don’t it that way in the Philippines, Irineo, sorry… 🙂

              • Joe America says:

                Doing it oneself does build confidence, or self-satisfaction, that is not there if someone else does everything. I agree. But I think the absence of a caste system would be some kind of social system of total equality with no bosses, a surefire way to find chaos and little achievement. We are all in a pecking order of some kind. I am in a caste system lower than my wife, for sure. There is nothing wrong, I think, in conceding authority to others. It is a way to assign roles and responsibilities. Now the more we can do to create opportunities for self-fulfillment and self advancement and self-enrichment, the better. But we all have to line up in some way if we expect to have any kind of order and peace.

              • I’ve never considered household workers, gardeners, cooks, drivers and security personnel to be “servants”, which suggests an imposed condition, but rather, consider them “employees”. I was thinking today about how hard my wife works (without household help) and how hard I worked during a lifetime to earn the splendor of retirement.

                Joe, that is because you are AMERICAN. My German mother also treated our househelp differently from most of our neighbors at U.P. – even those who called themselves for the people. I could tell you some stories about our former U.P. neighbor Randy David.

              • And Joe, don’t get mad at me if I say this: your generation tried to understand other folks better, while LCPL_Xs generation is succeeding at it. Two different experiences of defeat successively humanized an arrogant superpower – Vietnam and Dubya Bush’s wars.

                Caused the US and its people to regroup, think and change their attitudes. Spanish became nicer people only after three defeats – losing Latin America, then losing Cuba, Puerto Rico and Philippines in 1898 – and finally now where they have to do the same menial work in German and other European countries they made Latin Americans do back home. Humiliation can teach humility – if one learns the right lessons from the experience.

                Michael Douglas learned in the movie “The Game”, where he plays an entitled asshole…

              • “But I think the absence of a caste system would be some kind of social system of total equality with no bosses, a surefire way to find chaos and little achievement. We are all in a pecking order of some kind. I am in a caste system lower than my wife, for sure. There is nothing wrong, I think, in conceding authority to others. It is a way to assign roles and responsibilities. Now the more we can do to create opportunities for self-fulfillment and self advancement and self-enrichment, the better. But we all have to line up in some way if we expect to have any kind of order and peace.” Fully agree. And no place in this world has total equality – people are not equally smart and are not equally self-disciplined and not equally hard-working. But the more you make the rank people reach dependent on their own striving, the better and more efficient the society is. It is no small wonder that Nordic cultures – Germans, Dutch, English, Americans, Scandinavians – are on the top of the pile among nations. Latins second, with the French on top because they have some Nordic attitudes towards meritocracy. Northern Asians are on top as well because they have a principle of striving in their cultures – Japanese, Koreans – Chinese unfortunately as well.

                Caste system means you are locked into what your parents were no matter how hard you try to work to overcome it. That is unfair. And a source of rebellion – revolutions always came about when a critical mass of smart people knew they were robbed of opportunity. French Revolution, American Revolution, Russian Revolution to just name the biggest. China as well – modernized people struggling against Imperial Feudalism and its vestiges.

              • Joe America says:

                Ah, “locked into what your parents were . . .” I think the Philippines is well on the way to eliminating its caste system. Broad education. Broadening of opportunities. Once caste members start to “make it out”, then it will fall to parents and young people to not settle for the way things were.

              • The Nazi movement and the Marcos dictatorship were right-wing revolutions coming from the lower middle classes – lower-level cops, military people and government employees who wanted a piece of the cake they felt the entitled were keeping them, and smart enough to organize a movement that embodied their aspirations – and letting out their resentment on those they thought were keeping them down – U.P. crooks or Jews…

                I do not want to see blood flowing in the Philippines come 2020 onwards. God forbid.

                Because all revolutions, left, right or democratic were usually tragic and threw their countries back. America was lucky, the oppressors were on the other side of the sea. But then again the war against feudal people in the South sure was bloody, 87 years later.

              • Ah, “locked into what your parents were . . .” I think the Philippines is well on the way to eliminating its caste system. Broad education. Broadening of opportunities. Once caste members start to “make it out”, then it will fall to parents and young people to not settle for the way things were.

                I see that as well… CCT, Roxas making the PNP protectors of the people against crime and natural catastrophes.. but this is exactly what has to be sold to those who do not feel they have those opportunities yet – and may be right in those feelings, lacking reasoning.

                Because the groundswell of resentment among those who feel left out is what Bongbong is now tapping – and could tap if Roxas fails to deliver in 2016-2022, he will try I assure you of that, try to sell the fascist way. How do you convince people that evolution is better than revolution – this is a former revolutionary turned evolutionary talking – in the light of 30 years of perceived stagnation. Perceived, because the country has modernized in those years and is still going through the growing pains of becoming a mature nation.

                This is the point I was trying to drive home from the very beginning – other countries I have read about and observed and been through have been through (Germany and its long democratization process that failed after WW1 and was painstaking after WW2) or are still going through that process (Romania right now) also had or have hard times. Even the Swiss did not complete their democratization after Wilhelm Tell killed landlord Gessler, even the USA did not fully realize equality until after the Civil War and Civil Rights.

                The Philippines has done damn well – moving from unaware national childhood in the early 1800s, to early pre-teenage rebellion in the early 1900s, to the different stages including a stage of lunacy and recovery (Marcos and post-Marcos years) until this point in time. Mamasapano and what came after it were like the moment in early adulthood were one sees that some losses are permanent and one better watch out. Communicating this to the people so that they learn to be patient and be part of the team is a big challenge.

              • We have to translate Roxas’ “teka-teka” into “dahan-dahan”, finding a Filipino word for sustainability. We have to contrast it to Marcos’ old adage “action agad” and make it clear the quick action without a solid foundation can lead us into the same abyss as in 1983 when the country was broke because the dictatorship had over-extended itself with borrowing and people did not have the courage to acknowledge mistakes – a failure of all dictatorships because people lie for fear of getting shot. Every dictatorship finally cannibalizes its human, natural and monetary resources – Nazi Germany did. Soviet Russia did. Eventually China will – which is why Aquinos delaying tactics are SUPERB.

                Just like the Filipinos found the word “katiwalian” to grasp how bad corruption is – that word was not used in my day or did not even exist – they will have to find a word for sustainable development. Sigasig already exists for perseverance. Because finding a word for something allows a people to GRASP what a concept means. Concepts in English are like Latin for many of us – just an abstraction. Not for me, but then again part of my mind is Germanic. Learned my first English watching cowboy movies in the Philippines, when I arrived at 3 I only spoke French and German. Anglo-Saxon comes from Saxon…

                Mar Roxas – masigasig at dahan-dahan na pag-unlad, hindi palpak na puro action agad.

              • Exactly. He studies the topic and pounces. The dahan dahan part is while studying, after studying he pounces that is why the PNP showed great progress, Disaster Preparedness is top notch.

              • That is very professional.. more “German” than my approach. Mine is to rush in and improvise hardly knowing anything about a topic – and then organize it as I go.

                OK I am 50, my mindset is a bit more “primitive” than your generation I can see… but my intuition is that the poorer and/or older the Filipino, the more his mindset will not understand Mar Roxas – it will understand Duterte – or even Bongbong – better.

                That conceptual gap will have to be bridged – it is like telling people beamed from the past before airplanes were built that you don’t just walk over the runway. Quick and uneven development in the Philippines has left many people behind in their mindsets.

              • LCPL_X – in a Facebook discussion with some of the folks here I had an Eureka moment.

                The class thing is about Filipinos not loving themselves enough – the LUMAD in all of us.

                This is why the more Lumad hate the more Western, and the more Western reject the more Lumad among us. Once we learn to embrace all aspects of our diversity, we will not reject each other in these different ways anymore. This is what MRP has always meant.

              • “Will has it I am sure, gian too, Mary and Joe a bit less but more than Karl. LCPL_X you have shown that you have dealt with them on a face-to-face basis and I truly respect that. The masa are only interesting for many when voting time comes.”

                Like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_savage , I don’t want to over romanticize them either. And for the record, I think Mary, compared to many here (though I don’t want to get into a who gets it and who doesn’t compare/contrast) gets it. My first interaction with Mary here was one of profuse apology on my part because of this very issue.

                I do agree with you on the generational gap on this. Mary and Joe’s and slightly you, and others, would have a different perspective precisely because of the mental models involved re hierarchy in societies.

                I’m not saying we’re all equals. We are not.

                For example, I have friends from the South who, if tomorrow, slavery was brought back would not miss a beat in adjusting to this new tomorrow. But friends from the Left coast (Cascadia) and the West (both the “true” West, Montana, Wyo. Idaho, etc. & the south West), would have a very hard time.

                So I’m operating from that last perspective.

                Sure there are people above me, ie. my chain or command or bosses, or those I serve (customers), but it’s in the psychology in how I perceive those people I see as having a higher status or title than me. I don’t bow to them, they don’t own me.

                In the Philippines, the servants, maybe not literally (since that’s more an East Asian habit), but figuratively, and in their minds, bow to their masters.

                I love the Badjaos and Samas of the south, more than any people over there, I feel a certain level of affinity towards them– and this is the noble savage part, I mentioned above — but all (actually most) of them would up and leave for Manila or Cebu at a drop of a dime. Not fully appreciating their place in the world.

                Why these folks, and others in the “poor” province, would rather uproot themselves to cities there, instead of staying where they are,

                That is what I’m talking about when I say master/slave and corporation/consumer. Fix that and you’ll fix the Philippines.

              • Joe America says:

                The two qualities of “servanthood” that bear mention are, (1) preconception, that bigots will judge a person by false reasons of social upbringing, and remove OPPORTUNITY from that person’s mainstream; we ought to be opening doors, not closing them, and (2) precondition, that if a person accepts a lesser role in society because that is the spot of comfort or self-actualization, that is fine, and we ought not condemn him by attaching “better human or worse human” to his acceptance of a fulfilling servanthood role.

              • mental models involved re hierarchy in societies. Part of the behavioral or cultural DNA I am mentioning in the next article. There is also an institutional DNA which changes with time. The US Army that came to the Philippines in 1898 was a different creature from the US Army that liberated the Philippines – and West Berlin – in 1945, and again a different creature from the Army that invaded Iraq in 1992 – or in the noughties.

                For example, I have friends from the South who, if tomorrow, slavery was brought back would not miss a beat in adjusting to this new tomorrow. Once met a Florida woman named Roxy in Munich. Her father was from South Carolina and had 400 automatic rifles – and original Third Reich plates, like the military officer in the movie American beauty. So yes, I can imagine that there are people in the South who still have a lot of the old cultural DNA of the feudal society it was then. But then again, studies about US blacks have shown that they have many of the honor attitudes from South their folks came from.

                this is the noble savage part Noble savages can also be dangerous. Things that happen all the time in Mindanao show it. Well it is the Wild South after all down there. But not too long ago, Luzon was similar. Or the Visayas – the Durano family, Duterte’s folks.

                instead of staying where they are, perceived opportunities – and the rule of Imperial Manila. My grandfather Irineo was the first to orient himself towards Manila – and move to Legazpi when the rail lines to there were finished in the 1930s, from Tiwi. Pushed his son, my father towards Manila and Europe, and I am the final result of that push – which must have started with my great-grandfather who really was boondocks but married the only daughter of an abaca plantation owner – out in the hills of Albay. Being able to romanticize that is a luxury one must be able to afford – they had a hard life.

                That is what I’m talking about when I say master/slave and corporation/consumer. Fix that and you’ll fix the Philippines. Master/slave, corporation/consumer, Manila/provinces, rich/poor, government/citizens – all of these need to be fixed.

              • “(2) precondition, that if a person accepts a lesser role in society because that is the spot of comfort or self-actualization, that is fine, and we ought not condemn him by attaching “better human or worse human” to his acceptance of a fulfilling servanthood role.”

                If he or she does it well, no problem. The slave mentality – meaning passive-aggressivity towards those perceived as “masters” – is bad. Serving well is an honorable thing.

                In fact samurai means the one who serves in Japanese. A very honorable example.

              • Joe America says:

                Samurai, excellent example.

          • True… that is the place where I work now…let me see, from Escolta, to Binondo, Manila, then to Ayala of Makati (of my youth) then to Ortigas Complex of Pasig City, and last but not the least, The Fort or the Bonifacio Global City.

            So many construction of modern buildings still ongoing. A lot of international schools, Christian Church, International restaurants, coffee shops galore, gardens and plazas, St. Lukes – Global City, the Mind Museum, and soon to open, The Shangrila Hotel – Global City.

            Adjacent to BGC are the poor folks of Makati, those who are regularly maintaining the hold of the Binays in that prosperous city – the EMBOS – Cembo, Rembo, Pembo, Comembo (the enlisted military’s barrio). The Binays are legally in the process of annexing Global City, to Makati, trying to take it away from Taguig City. The SC should decide once and for all to stop Makati from trying to do so, they already have Ayala and suburbs, Pasig has the Ortigas Complex, Quezon City has the Araneta Complex, etc. so why not let Taguig to have Global City so the poor of this city can have a share of the economic boom that is going on here, just like the residents of Makati, Pasig, Quezon City and Mandaluyong? Leave us alone, Binays!

            • haha… St. Likes should be St. Lukes…aarrgghh!…. (this hospital is liked by GMA and other government officials)

            • O yan Mary… that puts together the story nicely – nagkataon lang na iyong Tatay ni Aldub Santos, naging mambobote sa Taguig, rising up from being a Negrito beggar on EDSA back in 2012. May barong-barong na, may asawa na – Muslim Filipina from Taguig slums.

              Let us put the story together how Aldub became your inaanak. Kumpare ng Nanay niya iyong sikyo ninyo sa trabaho, iyong nakausap mo tungkol kay Binay. Nakiusap sa iyo si sikyo na mag-Ninang sa slum area, kung tutulong ka sa mahirap boboto silang lahat kay Mar at Leni. Di payag ka siyempre para mabawasan ng bobotante si Binay, hila mo si Will, tuwang-tuwa naman dahil Aldub ang magiging pangalan ng bata. Hindi pa ipinanganak, di ba August 2016 siya scheduled, nakahanda na ang Ninong at Ninang, hila ang Taguig…

              Parang inampon ninyo ni Will iyong pamilya ni Aldub para maturuan ng mabuti, kaya lang nawalan si Aldub ng loob sa diktatura ni Bongbong mula 2022, rebolusyon daw para sa mga maliliit pero kawawa sila ni-relocate sa may Angeles. Balik-Maynila siya sa 2028…

              • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

                Hey Irineo, 🙂 What a fertile mind you have. An alternative power source?

              • I visited Kiev, Ukraine in 1988 – during the days of the Iron Curtain. I was still a believer in Communism at that time. The reality shocked me – total corruption, black market, impunity. It was like a more thorough version of the “New Society”. I lost my belief in that system.

                It was just shortly after Chernobyl and just roundabout 100 km away. Maybe I am running on nuclear power since then. 🙂 But I also had two tumors – one in 2001, one in 2005.

    • Joe America says:

      I share your level of confidence and also don’t invest in Philippine stocks. I made the mistake of looking at PLDT’s annual reports a few years ago and it became clear that it was being run as a cash machine and not an investment.

      • I have Meralco stocks, at least now, the dividends are more substantial than before. The stocks got bigger when they decided to declare stock dividends instead of cash ones. They even gave me stocks for their sister company – a developer, who gave me a dividend of around …err …P65.00 net of final tax. if i recall it right.

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        DO NOT INVEST IN THE PHILIPPINE STOCKS in Philippine Stock Exchange or Makati Stock Exchange if you want to keep your pants. If you do, ALWAYS KEEP A PAIR OF CLEAN UNDERWEAR they will scam you to your last dirty underwear.

        The Philippine economy is run off Wack-Wack Golf courses and country clubs. The CEOs, DOSRIs and “investors” are your usual suspects, intertwined, interlinked and dabble in INSIDER TRADING !!! It is your Gentlemen’s Club hookers, strippers, twerkers, pole dancers and insider trading.

        No! No! No! No! Take pre-need for example. They dropped like flies. The families that bought into pre-need got skewered big time while their CEOs still driving gleaming European.

        Benigno’s government cannotprotect you because the CEOs and DOSRIs are the MESTIZO CLASS !!! Even PCIJ, Inquirer, and all Philippine Media are afraid to touch them giving them an aura OF HONESTY !!!!

        PCIJ, Benigno and the rest of past, dead and future presidents only sue and lynch publicyly, without benefit of evidencesm, the typical traditional looking nog-nog dark skinned colored Filipinos.

        THERE IS LAW TO PROTECT THE INVESTORS but then again, IT IS NOT applied like Spitzner did to Wall Street scammers and crooks.

        The best place to park your EXCESS MONEY, Joe, is in Real estate. I get hebbie jebbies on condos because they are built by Filipinos …. a small quake these condos crumble like dominoes …

        I do not like condoes in the first place …. it is the cheapest and closest anyone can get to their place of work. It’s going to look like Hong-Kong high-rises condoes festooned with laundries flapping in the balcony which I thought at first were budhist plrayer flags. It was dirty laundries after all.

        2ndly, Metro Manila’s fire engine ladders can only rich 1st five floors. If you are above 5 levels, tyou are barb-qued. They do not even have helipads for air-evac. They do not have that.

        Condominium is a scary place to live in and considering those Filipino neighbors that have no manners because they do not have COLONIAL MENTALITY.

        A friend of mine has a condo along Makati Avenue. This friend of mine is a genius. He have zipline installed just in case if there is a fire a floor below. He just zip to the next building Mission Impossible style.

        • Joe America says:

          Hahahaha. I believe in Yamashita’s investment strategy. Grab all the gold you can and bury it somewhere secret. Then smile an inscrutable smile while everyone else deals with the headaches of condos and stock market crashes. Also, buy a lot of Ford if it gets down to 3 again.

    • Well, these are retired ambassadors, not the present DFA. I am not surprised given the mindset of many old diplomats. The foreign ambassadors – Germany’s included – are not happy about the mindless foot-dragging on the BBL or whatever is supposed to be passed.

      While the BBL has many errors in construction, there are ways to remedy them, there is an article by me on BBL risks and proposed amendments – cannibalized I think by Marcos Jr.

      Congress’ job is to mitigate risks AND see to it that the version they pass is constitutional. The work I did – helped by excellent articles of Prof. Tony La Viña in Mindanews and some personal correspondence via Facebook with him, seems in vain. Always transactional BS…

    • Joe America says:

      Tough call. I think the problem is that they banded together and registered a formal opinion on an act being debated within the Philippines, and that is different than an open expression of good wishes. I agree with the complaint.

      • The foreign diplomats accredited here urged all agencies concerned, including Congress, “to give life to the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, and to the long-term political, economic and social pillars that will bring a peace dividend to the country as a whole.”

        Among the foreign diplomats who made the call were William Tweddell of Australia, Neil Reeder of Canada, Asif Ahmad of the United Kingdom, Thomas Ossowski of Germany, Erik Furner of Norway, Stella de Araneta of Colombia, Jan Top Christensen of Denmark, Laurent Legodec of France, Marion Derckx of the Netherlands, Luis Calvo of Spain, Martinus Slabber of South Africa and Jaroslav Olsa of the Czech Republic.

        Foreign countries were called to help in the peace process, so it is not surprising that they think that they are entitled to register a formal opinion.

        The exact wording of the statement should be interesting – diplomatic language is totally different from normal language, just like legalese is.

        What is to be noted is that the US and Malaysia are obviously not part of the group.

    • Joe America says:

      Do you know whether or not there is a “Council of Trent” today? That is, big business players that dominate the political discussion, I presume, through LP? If so, who are the main players? Ongpin seems to be of that style, but of the opposition camp. This is a topic worth pursuing, I think, and I would welcome insights anyone might bring.

  11. josephivo says:

    Philippine (blog) competition act. Ireneo 34 postings, all the rest 38 postings.

    • karl garcia says:

      LOL ROFLMAO

    • Bert says:

      That figures. Irineo loves to play the game Monopoly.

      • The U.P. Balara kids whom I played Monopoly with – and whom I taught how to play by the rules but I always had to keep my eyes open – all did good in their lives.

        Our gardener was an electrician who stole electricity for U.P. Balara from the mast just in front of our house in U.P., we knew the line was there. One of his sons managed to study electronics engineering or something and was working at Intel some years ago.

    • I am now at 37 postings, total postings 108 with this one… “competition” came in while I was sleeping and doing other stuff – that’s the nature of any free market… my market share used to be almost 1/2 now it is just over 1/3, but I am not complaining…

      if the rest of the “market” has no responses to my new “products”, it is not my fault. I am following the rules after being suspended once by Commissioner JoeAm.

  12. karl garcia says:

    Even franchising doesnt have that many players,some close shop abruptly others just got money from their parents ,and failed.my sister and friends tried to run a crepery they were the master franchisee of crepes de france,but was not able to last two years. Smes and microbusinesses cant last.But why is it always the system?

    • Joe America says:

      Excellent question. Business knowledge is very weak, ideas about location and signage non-existent. Wing and a prayer business strategy, mainly. Businesses in our town have a flow to them, here today, gone tomorrow. Those with staying power are larger.

      • I lost my job 8 years ago. Went to the Unemployment Agency and was on the dole 5 months. Got some training courses because I checked that I wanted to be self-employed.

        Most participants of these courses had exactly the wing and a prayer business strategy. Got my founder’s subsidy for 9 months after I registered my business – but I had to submit a business plan first and have it approved by a counsellor. But if I had been a little more active and had used the offers of the Chamber of Commerce – inexpensive courses on the money aspect and other things – I would have avoided the school of hard knocks learning.

        Most small businesses fail within the first 2-3 years because of simple cashflow problems. Learning to have enough money on the side and not spend the first earnings like a one-day millionaire is key. I made that mistake as well and was saved in the last minute, but having to mortgage one’s Swiss watch, bought in better days, to pay the rent is not a pleasant thing. Was in a “debt spiral” for 3 years – my tax accountant told me it is normal.

        So even with a good system like we have over here in Germany – imagine I got my unemployment pay as “founder’s subsidy” for 9 months after getting dole for 5 months – actually they do that to have less unemployed in official statistics, games everywhere…

        … it is about people’s attitudes. I was NOT an enterpreneur, I just checked the box that I wanted to be self-employed because somebody told me I don’t have to go to any of the job interviews the unemployment office recommends me – without risking losing benefits.

  13. karl garcia says:

    Will the anti dynasty change the composition of congress? or even if the composition changed,will bills like NALUA which wll hurt real estate developers, will CARPER pass which will hurt many congressmen landlords. Will we have new sets if mayors and governors and baranggay chairmen who would finally solve the garbage problem and of course peace and order.

    I wish for laws that have loopholes to protect the powerful change,anti dynasty will help.

  14. Philippines No.1 in the World for 2015 Part 1 Published on Feb 21, 2014

    Hear from Philippine economic managers discussing recent macroeconomic developments and competitive advantages of the Philippines as well as testimonies of foreign investors.

  15. I join your amazement in Bam Aquino not being torn from limb to limb in getting this legislation passed.

    During the Marcos era, the “Octopus Gang” controlled the economy. The privileged few fatten themselves with Filipinos’ blood, sweat and tears.

    This 1982 academic paper from University of Hawaii- Manoa, documents the oligopoly as well as the monopoly of the Marcos’ cronies:

    https://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/bitstream/handle/10125/15252/OP-5.%20Cronies%20and%20Enemies%20-%20The%20Current%20Philippine%20Scene.pdf?sequence=3

    The Cory Aquino administration appeared to have succeeded in beheading the two headed octopus (Ferdinand and Imelda) but some of its tentacles lived on and grew their own head.

    In the Rappler article below, Joker Arroyo talked about a group called the Council of Trent, whom he blamed for economic problems during Cory Aquino’s administration. Here is an excerpt from the article:

    “Who’s to blame

    Arroyo becomes agitated when it is suggested that on the eve of the sixth and last year of the first Aquino presidency, the people continue to suffer, that they expect some economic relief, and then perhaps the growth of the insurgency which feeds largely on poverty would be stemmed.

    He goes back to the early days of the Aquino government. He singles out a bloc, a group of like-minded people, mostly from big business, often derisively referred to as “The Council of Trent,” people who, Arroyo says sarcastically, “enjoys the divine right of businessmen.”

    It is on this group of people that Arroyo pins the economic woes of the country. Through much of the interview, he dwells on this group and their bearing on the economy.

    “Let not their failure be considered the failure of the system of government,” he said.

    Here then is Joker Arroyo unleashed and unedited (excerpts):

    On the ‘Council of Trent’

    This has not ceased to astonish me. In the formation of the Cory Cabinet, a bloc emerged. This bloc cornered the economic positions in the government.

    This group opposed Sonny Belmonte’s appointment but relented if he would only be made general manager of the Government Service Insurance System. They intended to put a president over him. Cory made Sonny both president and general manager. The bloc recommended Winnie Monsod only as OIC of the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) and she would be under probation. Imagine! Of course Cory did not agree to this anomalous arrangement and gave Winnie a permanent appointment.

    On the nature of this bloc:

    This group turned out to be the proconsuls of big business and was entrusted with the economic recovery of our country. They were later referred to as “The Council of Trent.” According to one journalist, this bloc, this clique, “is composed of nearly identical numbers of the Makati Business Club. Another journalist who knows what goes on behind closed doors said it was “allied to the Makati Business Club.”

    Whenever some of the positions became vacant, the council recommended and filled them with their men. They have control of the economic, monetary and fiscal policies of the government. How many concurrent posts do the secretaries of finance and trade and industry hold? So many you cannot count them. They create problems, they create solutions and put in their own people. Then you have musical chairs.”

    http://opinion.inquirer.net/89505/joker-arroyo-unedited-on-marcos-debts-in-defense-of-trapos

    I am hoping that the Philippine Competition Act will not be shelved to gather dust like other well-meaning laws crafted in the past.

    Bam Aquino, please do not drop the ball and follow up on this legislation. If needed, carry a big stick.

    Filipinos also need to be educated on their rights as consumers and be proactive in getting their money’s worth. Voting with their pesos will make product producers and service providers more responsive to their needs.

    • Joe America says:

      The Hawaii paper criticizes the proposed Extradition Treaty proposed by the Reagan Administration, said treaty to be used to extradite from the US certain Filipinos who were said to have committed crimes in the Philippines. It is a stunning indictment, not so much of the Philippines, but of the US for coddling a known thug, sanitizing reports about it, and otherwise seeking ways to help the brutal dictator. It is a tough read, for it is legalistic, but one can certainly pick up a clear idea about what was going on. Here’s one quote: “Getting a conviction in Philippine courts is not a difficult problem. There are “robots” to inflict torture, manufacture evidence, file spurious charges, try cases, and render convictions as desired.”

      There are many others.

      The 1981 treaty was not ratified. A treaty was signed in 1994 to facilitate global efforts to curtail crime. http://www.lawphil.net/international/treaties/extrad.html

      • Yes. The first part by Father Doherty is about Martial Law (ML) economy and the major players. The second part by Senator Jovito Salonga is about ML legal system and the US mistake of giving Marcos kid-glove treatment.

        Sent you an e-mail.

    • josephivo says:

      In the economy it takes 3 to tango. Business, consumers and the government. In the Philippines business is in a uncontested lead, government only shadow dancing (sometimes boxing as Bam) and consumers just a nuisance.

      As a customer, where do I complain that meat has more water than proteins thanks to hormone injections before slaughter or just by plain injection of water in dead meat? Or that canned goods are often filled with more water then goods? Or toothpaste tubes containing 20% air? Or internet service not being as promised?…. Nowhere in the world are air, water or idle promises more expensive than in Philippine consumer goods.

      CONSUMERS OF ALL PROVINCES UNITE!

      • Josephivo, try putting up a chapter of a consumer protection association in your barrio.

        I wish you a lot of fun with the Filipino idea of what democracy is in practice.

        Filipino overseas associations – been there and know what happens.

  16. I think part of the problem in PH is the institutionalized economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution. An economic cha-cha is needed to change the dynamics of the present business climate. One that will foster real competition among businesses/sellers where consumers can benefit from lower prices, high quality and innovative products/services, and an array of choices.

  17. manuel buencamino says:

    Usually a good law gets screwed in the IRR if not in the conference committee. That’s why getting the law passed is only the first step. Those who want to see the law work as envisioned have to monitor the conference committee and, after the compromise bill is enacted, keep an eye on the IRR process. Because many who oppose a popular piece of legislation will work to undermine its intent in the closed-door conference committee and in the IRR. That’s how it’s done here, that’s how it’s done in the US.

    • karl garcia says:

      Like

    • karl garcia says:

      The implenenting agencies assist in the IRR if they screw it up,then we are all screwed.

      • karl garcia says:

        It took the NBN ZTE scandal for the IRR of the procurement act to be competed yet the procurement law is still a good law with bad reality. Biding bingan palagi.

    • Joe America says:

      The Act has been approved by both the House and Senate, and was signed by the President on July 21, 2015. IRR I presume is Implementing Rules and Regulations. Would not Bam Aquino be a driver of those rules and regulations, and might we keep in touch with him to ascertain progress? I’d propose to do it via Twitter, where his staff are quite responsive to the public.

    • Yes this is how it is done here.

      The question is how can a lawmaker influence or craft the IRR without resorting to Investigations in Aide of Legislation.

      The standard IRR section is:

      Implementing Rules and Regulations – Within ninety (90) days after the approval of this Act, the Implementing Agency, and Other affected Agencies shall prepare and promulgate the necessary rules and regulations needed to implement the provisions of this Act.

      I am curious about this. Can anyone help illuminate the process? Will the Implementing agencies be required to report to lawmakers? get their inputs?

      Implementing agencies are consulted during when a law is made. Why a separate IRR 90 day deadline?

      Why is this deadline not being followed?

      • Joe America says:

        I sent a tweet to Sen. Aquino’s staff asking for estimated completion date for IRRs. Will report back if there is a response.

        • Joe America says:

          From the senator’s staff:

          “Hi, @societyofhonor if we’re going to base it on the law, we should have the commission and the IRR by February 1 🙂 Thanks! [TeamBam]”

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        Why is the IRR developed after the approval of a Bill?

        It should be developed alongside the crafting of the Bill.

        A primary dimension in systems thinking is Scope. The initial question to be asked is: What is in scope for this piece of legislation? And what is out of scope?

        In systems thinking, Implementation is an integral part of the development cycle, and implementation steps are thought out, spelled out and detailed as solution options are considered. It is not an afterthought.

        In defining Scope, the articles of the new Bill must be mapped:

        o Against existing law – impact against other republic acts
        o Against implemented law – impact on existing agencies

        In this manner, and among other things:

        o All existing agencies are given a heads-up and, more importantly, they can contribute to and inform the development of the new law
        o It can be determined whether a new implementing agency needs to be formed and, if so, what exactly are its boundaries and how it will interact with existing agencies
        o The practicability and feasibility of the new law are known beforehand, with all foreseen snags ironed out.
        o The new law can be implemented more or less immediately after passage.

        This piecemeal and non-holistic approach to creating laws is a prime reason why we may have laws that exist mainly on paper and that are not strenuously implemented.
        *****

        • Joe America says:

          That is an interesting point, to employ the disciplines that have been developed in systems development to government processes. I’m not sure Philippine processes are any different than processes in governments elsewhere, but the idea is excellent. Firm up how we go about writing laws. That would be a much more productive project for the congress than working to second-guess every major Executive program.

          Laws in the Philippines are enough to set one off on an MRP-style rant, so detailed and filled with Latin and incomprehensible. Take the building code. It’s in a national law rather than delegated to an agency to keep it current. So new earthquake or safety or materials standards? Congress has to do it. Same with a lot of salaries. Fixed in national laws. So no wonder government employees get a dirty deal after a few years. The economy has left them behind.

          All that said, I think the reason laws are not strenuously implemented is the culture of impunity and forgiveness and lack of enforcement. Just culturally sloppy.

        • I wish I could ask people who know the process why your suggestions are not the main process.

          Is this just a case of old thinking not being changed fast enough.

          As Joe said Why isn’t everything inflation indexed? Cybercrime has higher monetary penalties than capital crimes whose laws have not been amended.

          • Joe America says:

            How great if the lawmakers developed some principles to law-writing, like to remove intolerance, rigidity and favoritism from the roster of laws, and express them so that non-lawyers know what they mean. I think the criminal penalties for libel would be removed, as well as many presumptions of guilt upon filing of a case (libel again). The Catholic religion would no longer hold a special power in the crafting of laws, as the guideline would shift to adopting modern, internationally recognized human rights guidelines as the moral foundation of the nation.

        • josephivo says:

          “Design for Assembly” was a training/workshop I gave for product designers at the start of the design cycle. Often the cost of manufacturing is highly influences by the design: number of parts, complexity of parts, ease of assembly (clipping together is easier then screwing together), accessibility…

          Developers of laws should organize a similar workshop: “Design for IRR”.

          • josephivo says:

            “Life cycle design” included the ease of using the product and the ease of disposal. So better a “life cycle design of laws” including IRR, the ease of implementing the IRRs, the effect on the users…

        • chempo says:

          No laws, however unscrupulously vetted, can ever be 100% comprehensive, especially on the implementation side. In Singapore we have what is known as the Primary Legislation and the Subsidiary Legislation. The PL are passed by Parliament, whilst SL are written law made by ministers or other administrative agencies such as government departments and statutory boards. SL are passed under the authority of, and intra vires, the parent act – the relevant PL. SL are necessary as they deal often dynamic details which cannot be enshrined into the PL, or they are matters which needed the executive to interpret within the spirit of the PL.

          SL takes the form of proclamations, notifications, rules and regulations, and by-laws. These are published in Govt Gazettes.

          Example 1.
          We have an Environmental Public Health Act passed in 2007 by Parliament.
          The Ministry of Health is the implementing agency and they pass various regulations under the Environmental Public Health (Public Cleansing) Regulations.
          Rule 16 states :
          “any person who has urinated or defecated in any sanitary convenience with a flushing system to which the public has access shall flush the sanitary convenience immediately after using it. Contravention of this regulation is an offence punishable:
          (a) for a first offence, to a fine not exceeding $1,000 and to a further fine not exceeding $100 for every day or part thereof during which the offence continues after conviction;
          (b) for a second offence, to a fine not exceeding $2,000 and to a further fine not exceeding $200 for every day or part thereof during which the offence continues after conviction; and
          (c) for a third or subsequent offence, to a fine not exceeding $5,000 and to a further fine not exceeding $500 for every day or part thereof during which the offence continues after conviction.”

          Parliament discusses the broad view of the Act and pass it. They sure as hell not going to discuss how often one flushes the damn toilet bowl !

          Example 2
          We have Income Tax Act. There are many aspects which are dynamic. Personal tax rates, for example. If the govt wants to increase or reduce the rates, the implementing agency, in this case the Ministry of Finance, will pass new Regulations. We don’t need Parliament to pass a specific legislation.
          I have a personal hand in one of these changes many years ago. Under the Parent act, Income Tax Act, only Revenue are taxable whilst Capital is not. I worked in the branch office of a Canadian bank. As a branch there is of course no such thing as a “Capital” account in the books. But the Head Office injected some seed money into the operation by way of a placement, or in ordinary parlance, a deposit, with us. To isolate and identify this placement we simply named it the “Capital” a/c. After 6 years operation, and due to an unprofessional act by a new external tax consultant (I guessed he was out to prove a point) we got hauled up by the Inland Revenue Authority who threatened to write-back 6 years interest payment on that placement (about US$6mm) because interest on capital was not tax-allowed. It took me 2 years to fight the IRA and it culminated in the Ministry of Finance passing a Regulation that recognised interest on such pseudo capital accounts as tax-allowed expense.

          • That seems really weird to me chempo that something like that reaches the courts.
            I was of the impression that SG government people are of the highest caliber

            • chempo says:

              You missed the point Gian. The Primary Acts are as comprehensive as ever but there will be implementation rules which are delegated to the executive agencies, in our case it’s mostly the individual ministries. When it comes to implementation, there always will be certain details which have never been thought out before, ocassioned by changing technologies or changed landscape and the social, economic landscape changes all the time. The devil as they say, are usually in the details. Take for example, we have specail income tax rate for offshore income. The law at the time of drafting, can define what are offshore income, but business environment changes all the time, you can never be absolutely conclusive. We don’t need the hassle of passing a new law just to incorporate a new offshore revenue type. The Finance Ministry simply issues a new ruling which gets gazetted. Another example — we have offshore tax rate and domestic income tax rate. The Income Tax indentifies the 2 tax regimes, but the rates will change from time to time as dictated by govt. The Finance Ministry then publishes the new rates accordingly.

              Our way is same as for UK, Aussi and most other British Commonwealth countries. This way of legistion makes us much more responsive to changing environment and govt policies. Having said that, all such rules and regulations etc, all always intra vires and in the spirit of the parent act.

              • No, I got the responsiveness thing. I am actually fixated by the actuation of the tax consultant. Did his actions benefit him or her ? Was it considered a failure? I constantly deal with the wrong/unprofessional decisions of people who seem to never pay for those ill decisions or misdeeds. How does a relatively advance Bureaucracy deal with such people.

              • chempo says:

                Our tax paperwork is very detailed. I could have done it myself, but corporate policy dictates using an external consultant. The consultant actually relied on schedules I provide for him. If I’m good, and humility aside I think I was, then he does just paper shuffling work. I had a new American CEO and he preferred to work with a different tax consultant from another public accounting firm where one of the partners was his friend. Where previously I could just pick up the phone and chat to the tax consultant for free, my time with the new consultant was now logged and added on to the retainer. My new CEO had a nasty shock when he got the first bill from his friend’s firm.

                When the new tax consultant took over, he pre-advised us on what he felt was the non-tax allowed interest on “capital”. We told him it’s something we had studied pre-operation so we will continue with the practice and we gave him waiver of responsibility. In that same year we got hauled up by the IRA, so the timing suggest to me he must have been the one to raise the tax authority’s attention. Of course we decided to challenge the IRA and as consultant, the guy was given the job. And here’s the greatest rub. He put on record “Well we told you so. And if you insist on challenging the IRA, you will loose. BUT IF YOU WANT US TO ACT FOR YOU, WE WILL TAKE THE CASE”. Un-professionalism at it’s height. He had no confidence, but will handle the case, for a fee of course. I was the guy who wrote all the justifications, critiqued a HongKong tax case which was quoted as a precedence by the IRA, and I roped in our central bank for support. My trump card was I angled my case such that we were in congruence with central bank’s economic objectives for the country. The consultant basically did nothing. Just cut and paste my papers. When we won the case, the IRA wrote directly to me, and I withheld the info from the tax consultant for months. My CEO had to pay a large fee to the consultant for 95% of the work done by me. But it was OK for him… he was just paying forward his friend..

                I understand your predicament. Most often are the legal advises. Bottomline is this, we are the ones to make the call. That means, although we are not experts, we need to have some sense of the issues involved to make that judgement. If it relates to something with colossal ramifications, I would firstly do due diligence on the consultant, secondly request for written opinions from the consultant, and if necessary, check out the views of other professionals. I do not know the law here, but back home, we can sue for wrong advice under certain circumstances — mis-conduct, mis-representing his/her capabilities, negligence, etc.

          • edgar lores says:

            *******
            chempo,

            Agree that laws cannot be comprehensively implemented, but still strongly insist that implementation procedures should be considered and drafted at the same time laws are crafted.

            The two examples cited prove my point… more than not.

            Example 1. I am curious how this law was supposed to be implemented. There are so many questions:

            a. Who can catch the offender? Just the police? Or citizens also? Or robots?
            b. How will the offence be established and proved? Just eyewitness accounts? Or before-and-after photos? Or sniffing robots? Or DNA?
            c. Will the gathering of evidence impinge on the right to privacy?

            Example 2. Part of the process of drafting the implementation steps is to ask “What if?” questions that attempt to establish exceptions. Not all exceptions will be foreseen, but would a professional tax specialist have been able to figure out beforehand real cases of tax-allowed exemptions including pseudo-capital accounts?
            *****

            • chempo says:

              Haha Edgar, yr questions on eg 1 makes me cringe.
              A lot of these social behaviour regulations never needs policing. There mostly to make sure you understand what to do. Serious questions need serious answers, so here goes.
              a. No citizens arrest in Spore. We simply call the cops. And I dont think it’s a seizeable offence. Meaning cops come, takes particulars, and forwards to relevant authority for action. Summons issued, pay fines that’s all.
              b. Police acts on citizen’s complaint. He will be witness. Everybody flushes so far, thus no precedent case so I can’t provide answer. Nobody ever questioned the police what they will do if respondent pleads innocent. I trust the police’s creativity if ever the situation arises.
              c. Sorry, the cleaner would have flushed away the evidence by the time the police is done.

              Eg 2 is your real question I guess.
              What could have been defined would have been done at the drafting stage. But there are some things that will change over time. Eg one of the capital expense dis-allowed for tax is depreciation. The Income Tax Act specifically spell this out. In turn the Act allows for wrtie-offs under annual Wear and Tear Allowances and a further Initial Allowance. The rates change over time and the Finance Ministry publishes those rate changes. Such changes are often instruments of govt policy. Eg to promote IT investments, they allow double tax relief, to curtail car population, they deny any tax allowance on corporate vehicles.

              As to the interest on capital, all accountants worth their 2 pesos understand that there is no such thing as paying interest on capital. Nobody in the world could have foreseen that yours truly can come along and called that deposit “Capital” a/c. I could have it names any damn thing — Special a/c, My Grandfather’s a/c — it would not have made any difference in my accounting system and financial statements and IRA would have been happy in their ignorance. I named it “Capital” because internally we viewed it that way, that’s all.

  18. chempo says:

    This piece of legislature is long overdue, but forgive me for being cynical about it.

    1. In free trade agreements with many developed countries, there is often a requirement that the participating countries have in place anti-competition legislation. I can’t help wondering if this is just a massaging exercise to enable the Philippines to pursue more FTA’s in the years ahead. In other words, it’s just a show piece.

    2. The PCC is given lots of teeth. Joe is right — to be value-adding they need to be pro-active. NO Noli Castro types please. Another point – there don’t seem be any pre-emptive dis-qualification of personalities associated with large corporations. There should also be a slot for a representative of some consumer rights entity. Lastly, let’s hope they don’t go after fat cats to fatten their own wallets.

    3. Watchdogs for anti-competitive acts should not be the sole domain of the PCC. Consumers, acting through consumer rights entities, should be deeply involved. Bam did not address this.

    4. As the late Joker Arroyo pointed out in the link provided by Gian, anti-competition acts also apply to the government where policies or initiatives (such as funding assistance) favour only certain sectors of the economy. Bam did not address this.

    5. I have not seen the details in the definition of anti-competition, but I assume some of the undermentioned would most likely be included :

    Price fixing, dumping, exclusive dealing, demarking territories, refusal to deal, binding members/ dependents/ supply chains to conform e.g. religious or special groups forcing members not to patronise certain shops, or Microsoft arm twisting PC manufacturers to us their operating platform).

    Question is how many people really understand these issues.

    6. Legislature to promote competition is called different names in other countries — Anti trust law, anti-competition law, competition law, fair trade law, etc. There is in fact an existing fair trade law in Philippines — Republic Act nbr 7394 also known as The Consumer Act. Bam’s product goes beyong 7394 for sure. Just wondering if there are redundancies or duplicity in the legalese.

    7. There are already several related institutions existing. Don’t know how active and effective they are and how PCC fits in the scheme of things.

    a. Bureau of Trade Regulation and Consumer Protection
    b Consumer protection group consisting of :
    i. Bureau of Philippine Standards
    ii. Consumer Protection and Advocacy Bureau
    iii. Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau
    iv. Philippine Accreditation Bureau
    v. Construction Industry Authority of the Philippines

    I’m inclined to believe they have not been pro-active nor have visionary leadership. Otherwise, the Anti-Competition proposal would not have waited for Bam to come along to pen it.

    8. Then there is the Nationwide Association of Consumers, Inc. I don’t know how good they have been with their advocacy, but I don’t recall hearing them mentioned in media in the past few years. Were they there in the shameful case of the lawyer double-dipping on discounts?. For anti-competition culture to prosper, a strong and omnipresent consumer rights entity is essential.

    • Joe America says:

      No other agencies are replaced. It is new, specifically to provide anti-trust powers to the President. There seem to be two worlds in the Cabinet: those agencies that are intermediaries with businesses, and those that work for the people. The intermediaries are sluggish and bogged down in conflict and some kind of whacking at trees rather than building a forest. DENR, DOTC, electricity, . . . and possibly the PCC . . . are not in charge. They are negotiators with the real powers that be: huge corporations with excellent attorneys backed by money. Agencies like DILG, TESDA, Education,DSWD and Defense are in charge of things, and can get things done. I just realized all this . . . May be worth a blog . . .

      Thanks for the insights.

  19. Bert says:

    karl, lumindol dito sa kinalalagyan ko sa Quezon City ngayon-ngayon lang. Naramdaman riyan sa inyo? Kausap ko Kumare ko sa Olongapo, malakas din daw lindol doon.

    Sorry, off topic.

    • NHerrera says:

      It is good to be reminded of the other element of the Philippines as we discuss the many blog topics, such as the current one, that seek to move the Philippine forward in step with the world to a better future.

      That element is the geographical reality of being in an earthquake belt, volcanic belt of fire; and an already undeniable coming climate change (ref — Yolanda, Lando) which will wreck more havoc to the country compared to others.

      How indeed do we grapple with all these big-ticket items. If we use these thoughts alone as the only bases, who will be the better leaders to handle these plate of problems post May 2016?

      Roxa-Robredo
      Poe-Escudero
      Binay-Honasan
      Santiago-Marcos

      (Forgive this writer, for adding to these already anxiety-inducing geographical situation and climate change, the equally anxiety-inducing matter of the election.)

    • NHerrera says:

      Location of earthquake — Occidental Mindoro. Magnitude 5.4.

    • Karl garcia says:

      sorry Bert ngayun ko Lang Nabasa Kausap ko Isi si irineo maghapon sa Facebook .naramdaman din naman Pero ang damage report ay wala sa Lindol puro sa bagyo.

      Naalala ko yung kamustahan natin nung Ondoy,hope all is well with you and yours.

  20. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    WHICH OF THE LINK BELOW SHOULD BE CORRECT?

    HEADLINE OF TODAY
    http://business.inquirer.net/200997/pump-prices-fall-on-oversupply
    VERSUS HEADLINE OF TWO MONTHS AGO
    http://business.inquirer.net/196413/oil-firms-cut-prices

    All of the above are reported by U.P. Journalism graduates and U.P. Business graduates

    The answer should be the 1st link. Why? Pump prices falls due to world market condition. herefore pump prices goes up and down and sideways ….

    The 2nd Link is soooo low IQ. Well, they are graduates from U.P. The 2nd link MADE IT APPEAR THE PHILIPPINE OIL SUPPLIERS are charitable institution because they drop oil prices on their own volition.

    Headlines like this is how they marketed The Binays that made me vote for this Crime Family. It just unfortunate majority of the Filipinos cannot make the difference between those links I pasted above.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      They are learning and they ae learning good. See how influential Society of Honors are?

      Society of Honors taught them that oil companies are not charitable isntitution. Oil Prices are because of Law of Supply and Demand

      We also taught them that UPCAT review should be allowed. Because if they fail, what they learn from Reviewer is for them to keep. Fail or Not.

      We also taught Benigno about laws. Remember Benigno admonished ignorant lawmaker Trillanes to stop DRIB-A-DRAB? Today Trillanes is meek as a kitten.

      We also made aware to columnists and Philippine Media that EDSA REvolution was not a revolution. But was simply a gaggle of usisis …. Yes! USISis … Does anyone know that USIS means United States Information Service? It is a nest of spies. These are the looky-loos. They observe. That is where the word USISI came from. USISI means gossipers.

      They were at EDSA not to revolt but to witness and observe and have fun !

  21. Sharing this from the congress website:
    08th Congress (975)
    09th Congress (536)
    10th Congress (573)
    11th Congress (415)
    12th Congress (172)
    13th Congress (162)
    14th Congress (650)
    15th Congress (482)
    16th Congress (52)

    • Karl garcia says:

      These are my pet peeves,nung una kelangan ng enabling laws ng constitution natin Kaya madamI talaga yan, habang tumagal it is padded by renaming streets,schools,hospitals.some local bills better settled at town halls,not the chambers of congress.

      • Every major appointment – even down to vice-consul level at the DFA, has to go through COA and Congress if I remember correctly. I remember from the Bonn Embassy that promotions were held back because somebody controversial was holding up Congress.

        Like I already wrote elsewhere, the Philippine system is like somebody with shoelaces tying together the left and right shoes – a funny prank in elementary school I remember…

      • Yeah. Doon sa 52 na bills nung 16th Congress 2 yata para sa establishment ng medical center tapos 2 mga amendments sa Dangerous Drugs Act. I wanted to rank the bills from 1-100 for the effect of the bill but when I started I figured out that what I ended up ranking was my biases.

  22. Karl garcia says:

    I have been scanning the fb page of RHiros group called KME it is violently against economic chacha……if they are really nationalists,why would they want the oligarchs to continue running the country, I don’t understand them,their convenor RHiro is internationally schooled and I could not picture him as a nationalist. the reason for this to is the notes from the editor of new brand of commenter,it reminded me of Rhiro aggressive,calls everyone ignorant…..sad.

    • They are most certainly leftist “nationalists” – who want the country to go to the dogs first and then take over power, the Simoun method to quote the character from Rizal’s Fili.

      The jargon used – similar to Occupy and others – betrays what side they belong to. That faction used to mouth tired old Maoist crap, until Walden Bello brought in the Occupy thinking. But Bello at least thinks, the others are just parrots with an agenda, simple.

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  1. […] or dismantling the oligarchs in any way but assuring that markets are a fair playing field (as the Competition Act proposes to do). The size and power of the Big Boys are important to lifting the Philippines into […]



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