Makati Business Club evaluation of government agencies

Ayala-Mall Cebu jpeg

Ayala Mall Cebu

The Makati Business Club (MBC) does an annual assessment of the performance of 64 government agencies and offices. It is not a statistically reliable survey, as it represents the experience, knowledge and impressions of only 67 of the Club’s 400 members, but if two heads is better than one, for sure, 67 is better than mine alone. I’m thinking these people know some of the agencies very well – especially those taking care of businesses – and are reasonably well read on the others.

I got to this subject by guessing that the agencies receiving a lot of public criticism, such as the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), have trouble in part because they have to deal with the power-mongers of the Philippine economy, that is the Big Boys, the oligarchs, the companies with the financial muscle to influence decisions. So, in the case of DOTC, we had the Ayalas moving in to impel the splitting of one MRT/LRT station into two, to benefit their mall. That created a controversy that generated litigation, delayed the project and produced a plan for an ugly camel instead of a sleek horse.

The Big Boys eventually worked it out, to their mutual benefit, and riders will forever make a nonsensical hike down a long underground tunnel.  The Big Boys were not blamed for the delay of the project, nor will they be blamed for the rider inconvenience in future years. DOTC will be blamed.

These kinds of contentious battles are everywhere within DOTC, lawsuits to the left and right, and poor Secretary Abaya is trained in naval warfare. If only he could fire a missile or two to rid himself of these powerful impediments to progress and harmony.

I needed some basis for judging if the Big Boys are, by their wranglings, interfering with the progress of the Philippines. I knew of the MBC evaluation and decided to check their findings. Poor ratings for agencies that try to regulate the Big Boys would suggest that, indeed, the oligarchs are playing a dysfunctional role in Philippine development. If so, we ought to think about what to do.

So let me share what I learned about that, along with some other points of interest.

How the ratings are done

Each MBC member looks at each agency rates each agency and considers if they are as “satisfied” with performance or “unsatisfied” with performance. The totals are converted to percentages. A single rating of each agency is calculated by subtracting the percentage of “unsatisfied” evaluations from the percentage of “dissatisfied” evaluations. Say 90% of the respondents say they are satisfied with an agency, and 10% say they are un-satisfied, the agency gets an overall score of 80%.

The Super Agencies

Five agencies all scored higher than near or above 80, suggesting business men were almost all pleased with their performance.

  • Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas 91
  • Philippine Economic Zone Authority 84
  • Department of Tourism 82
  • Department of Foreign Affairs 79
  • PAGASA 79

Another group of 10 also scored well (50 or above), including the Department of Education and Supreme Court, which I criticize regularly. The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Ombudsman (Omb) and Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) . . . which I hold as playing very valuable roles . . . are also on the strong-performing list.

I would guess that the MBC businessmen judge Education for the successes had at keeping so many kids educated, whereas my criticisms have focused on what I find troublesome, rote education that does not build critical thinking, and not enough aggressive movement to computers.  The MBC evaluation is the correct overall assessment, I think.

There are separate (and lower) assessments for courts below the Supreme Court, so criticisms about slow justice and corruption presumably get levied downstream from the Supreme Court.

I like NEDA because it is the center of the Aquino Administration’s Management by Objectives approach to development (rigorous and objective). It’s constructive work gets leveraged out to other agencies as a driving management discipline. I find this work impressive, frankly, but I doubt that many Filipinos know how much good work is going on behind the scenes.

Omb and AMLC are actively engaged in cleaning up corruption. It is good that top businessmen appreciate their engagement.

The bottom of the list

  • Energy Regulatory Commission -42
  • Department of Agriculture -47
  • Bureau of Customs -56
  • Department of Transportation and Communications -62
  • Office of the Vice President -76

These are the “basket case” agencies. The Energy Regulatory Commission is (ERC) indeed one of those agencies that is caught between powerful players because energy is so chopped up and contentious among producers and distributors, and complaints from consumers dealing with brownouts and high costs. Regulators can’t get everyone on the same path. DOTC is always wrapped up in fights between the Big Boys. But the other three agencies have their own peculiar problems. The Department of Agriculture is bound by an antiquated method of production (cooperatives), corruption and land use issues. Customs and the Office of the Vice President are likely poorly rated because of corruption.

The next group of five poor performing agencies also is not really dominated by battles between the Big Boys. They each have their special issues.

  • Philippine National Police -41
  • Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System -41
  • Lower Court System -36
  • Department of Agrarian Reform -32
  • Court of Appeals -27

Three of the next set of five weak performing agencies have issues with the Big Boys, or major business interests doing battle with other stakeholders: Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Energy, and the National Telecommunications Commission.

  • Office of the Executive Secretary -25
  • Department of Environment and Natural Resources -24
  • Department of Energy -21
  • Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process -18
  • National Telecommunications Commission -18

And among the next set of five “somewhat weak” performing agencies, we see the Public-Private Partnership Center and Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on the list. Both are agencies stuck between a host of inhospitable forces, including business interests and different LGU’s and vested interests.

  • Commission on Appointments -7
  • Public-Private Partnership Center -9
  • Department of Interior and Local Government -11
  • House of Representatives -12
  • Metro Manila Development Authority -18

Overall evaluation

I’d say the idea that Big Business is contributing to government dysfunction is not comprehensively true. Certainly there are some regulatory agencies that are “stuck in the middle with you”, where “you” is a lot of opposing vested interests. These agencies are certain to be rated poorly because of the number of issues that get public visibility. They include:

  • Department of Transportation and Communications -62
  • Energy Regulatory Commission -42
  • Department of Environment and Natural Resources -24
  • Department of Energy -21
  • National Telecommunications Commission -18
  • Metro Manila Development Authority -18
  • Public-Private Partnership Center -9
  • Metro Manila Development Authority -18

It may be next to impossible to run some of these agencies without contention because, like democracy itself, the active weighing of vested interests, one against another, is the PROCESS,  the norm, by which a healthy center line is discovered.

I would not advocate for restricting 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 the first world, and can actually ADD to competition, as we will likely soon see with a third major Telco provider emerging.

Rather, I’d say focus on developing competence in the regulatory agencies that deal with the Big Boys. I think the principles might be:

  • Appoint and hire top-flight people, well-paid for the challenges. That is why BSP prospers.
  • Establish clear rules and timetables for vested interests to abide by, and stick with them.
  • Develop effective arbitration practices that will quickly resolve disputes outside the courts.
  • Establish good public relations practices that keep vested interests informed of activities and decisions.

All Ratings

Makati Business Club Executive Outlook Survey, Second Semester 2015. Perception on the performance of government agencies for the period July 2014 to July 2015. Number of respondents: 67 or 16.6% of MBC’s corporate members. Survey Period: July 6 to August 7, 2015.

  1. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas 91
  2. Philippine Economic Zone Authority 84
  3. Department of Tourism 82
  4. Department of Foreign Affairs 79
  5. PAGASA 79
  6. Department of Finance 73
  7. Department of Trade and Industry 70
  8. Securities and Exchange Commission 69
  9. Board of Investments 68
  10. Civil Service Commission 61
  11. National Economic Development Authority 61
  12. Department of Education 59
  13. Department of Labor and Employment 59
  14. Social Security System 57
  15. Office of the Ombudsman 56
  16. Supreme Court 56
  17. Philippine Statistics Authority 52
  18. Home Development Mutual Fund 53
  19. Anti-Money Laundering Council 50
  20. Philippine Health Insurance Corporation 48
  21. National Competitiveness Council 46
  22. Commission on Audit 43
  23. Department of Science and Technology 41
  24. Commission on Higher Education 38
  25. Technical Education and Skills Development Authority 38
  26. Commission on Human Rights 31
  27. Office of the President 29
  28. Department of Health 27
  29. Governance Commission for GOCCs 26
  30. Department of Social Welfare and Development 25
  31. Armed Forces of the Philippines 22
  32. Department of Public Works and Highways 22
  33. Office of the Cabinet Secretary 19
  34. Sandiganbayan 18
  35. Department of Justice 18
  36. Senate 8
  37. Presidential Communications Group 3
  38. Commission on Elections 2
  39. Department of Budget and Management 0
  40. Department of National Defense 0
  41. Court of Tax Appeals -2
  42. Bureau of Internal Revenue -3
  43. Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council -3
  44. DOJ-Office for Competition -3
  45. Commission on Appointments -7
  46. Public-Private Partnership Center -9
  47. Department of Interior and Local Government -11
  48. House of Representatives -12
  49. Metro Manila Development Authority -18
  50. National Telecommunications Commission -18
  51. Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process -18
  52. Department of Energy -21
  53. Department of Environment and Natural Resources -24
  54. Office of the Executive Secretary -25
  55. Court of Appeals -27
  56. Department of Agrarian Reform -32
  57. Lower Court System -36
  58. Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System -41
  59. Philippine National Police -41
  60. Energy Regulatory Commission -42
  61. Department of Agriculture -47
  62. Bureau of Customs -56
  63. Department of Transportation and Communications -62
  64. Office of the Vice President -76

Link to MBC study report: MBC Executive Outlook Survey: Business gives positive marks to 43 agencies in Year 4 of PNoy’s administration


272 Responses to “Makati Business Club evaluation of government agencies”
  1. edgar lores says:

    1. Interesting.

    2. The median points are 32 and 33.

    3. The Legislature — both the Senate (8) and the House of Representatives (-12) — are in the bottom half.

    4. The whole of the Judiciary, except the Supreme Court (56), is also in the bottom half. These are the Sandiganbayan (18), the Court of Tax Appeals (-2), the Court of Appeals (-27), and the Lower Court System (-36).

    5. The Executive is bifurcated. The Office of the President (29) is in the top half but the Office of the Vice President (-76) is the tail-ender, worst than the BOC (-56) and the DOTC (-62). Hah!

    6. The Office of the Ombudsman (56) is in the first quartile. It should probably get a higher score with the performance of the Ombudswoman herself, although the competency of the staff with respect to case preparation and presentation may be found wanting.

    7. Not surprisingly, the agencies and offices dealing with economic matters can also be found in the first quartile (the top 16), except for the Department of Budget and Management (0), which is in the third quartile.

    8. Apart from Big Business, are there any other interest groups that offer regular assessments? Assessments from labor, trade unions, and community groups like the Rotary Club should be instructive and provide feedback to those in power.

    • Joe America says:

      Nice additional readings. Indeed, the evaluations inspire a great deal of thought. If there were any money in it, 🙂 I’d do a review of each agency to identify the interest groups that apply pressure. There is no doubt, I think, that the Big Boys with their legal staffs are among the more influential. I would guess that consumer groups are among the least influential. The primary consumer group seems to be Social Media, which is akin to an open-sourced source of complaint that occasionally rises to a high enough level of shrill to be effective (airline negligence during holiday periods, bullet scam, INC rally blocking traffic, etc). It surprises me that there are no class action lawsuits. Maybe lawyers here are not enterprising enough. I’d go round up all the bullet scam victims and put together a P100 million case paying me 40%, if laws here permit that kind of thing. I’m not sure why there is no consumer litigation.

      I would also observe that BSP is run by a technocrat and DOTC by a politician. I think the idea of giving good ol’ political pals the big jobs is problematic.

      • Just found out that there are now law offices over here in Germany partnering with Filipino law offices – to assist both Filipino migrants and Germans who want to do something in the Philippines – either as businessmen or with their Filipina wives…

        Hehe the phone number of these guys would be the first thing I put into my wallet when I do fly to the Philippines, just in case of laglag-bala. I can imagine that there are similar law offices catering the American-Philippine market.

        Years ago that kind of service did not exist… I remember helping some second-generation migrants find a reliable Filipino lawyer via my Pisay connections… their parents had died and their land in their home province had been grabbed.

        • Is this partnership also designed to encourage more immigration (permanent or work) to Germany? Is there an up in immigration for work (skilled or unskilled) in Germany? The whole open invitation to Syrian refugees because they have an upside down population pyramid is still really interesting.

          I wonder what other countries are promoting emigration in the Philippines.

          • Yep, there is an up in skilled immigration, unskilled as well… this is an example of a Filipino who migrated successfully to Munich to learn Bavarian cooking – and might open up a Bavarian restaurant in the Philippines, maybe even with Bavarian beer… The group Pinays in Germany from whom I posted below also puts a lot of migration and language tips into their wonderful blog… but this article is from Mabuhay Tisay, a Bavarian-Philippine mestiza from Munich who has her own blog in German:

            • caliphman says:

              Things have come a long way since that XFactor in Germany or was it Germany’s Got Talent showed a male OFW shucking coconut husks with his bare teeth, hasn’t it??

              • Among the young, around 1/3 have “migrant background”. Who knows it could be us?

                Yes, Germany is changing very rapidly. A country that constantly applies lessons learned. I wish the Philippines were like that also, pero mukhang hindi talaga nadadala ewan ko ba.

              • Joe America says:

                Ahahahahaha, I can hardly type for laughing. Irineo is the King of Anecdotes here, followed close behind by the Lance Corporal, but you get the award for best punch line in the form of anecdote. Serious tears here . . .

      • “It surprises me that there are no class action lawsuits. Maybe lawyers here are not enterprising enough. I’d go round up all the bullet scam victims and put together a P100 million case paying me 40%, if laws here permit that kind of thing. I’m not sure why there is no consumer litigation.”

        It’s the ability to be bought off by the defendants– corporations, victims usually bow out when paid (same with whats going on here with fracking).

        So the money aspect of such lawsuit should be secondary to the punishment aspect. When you round up victims, promise low and focus on “We’re gonna get these guys, and make them pay!”. Then if you do get millions in damages, it’ll be perfect icing on the cake.

        This win for Spearmint Rhino strippers (Oxnard, but proceeds were awarded to all SR owned clubs dancers), I think only the first handful got a good amount. But the significance of the win was in more employee dancers, as oppose to the old model of “independent contractors”,

        as proper employees, the dancers are a lot more friendly and dance with gusto.

        To me that’s a big win for the little guy, who just wants to enjoy some strip tease,

        • Joe America says:

          I like your approach, but I don’t think many attorneys here think in terms of the the “cause” of righting a wrong. They think about “what’s in it for me”, so my proposed approach is aimed at awakening the attorneys to the idea that about P40 million is in it for you. Then they can go wake up the victims on the basis of “cause” and collect whatever icing they can. But the goal is P100 million or more.

      • Little Prince says:

        What is not surprising but worth mentioning is the vp binay low rating in his perceived baluarte of makati, wherein his core campaign message is that he can fictitiously replicate such to the entire country. If one has 100 billion in his disposal and spend half of it for his constituents, keeping for himself the other half, he is truly worthy of the presidency…..but not in my homeland the Philippines but in a place where the sun doesn’t shine…..

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      The Judiciary, Ombudsman, Supreme Court would be laughed off in my country. If ever they were sitting in my country’s law enforcement and justice system, OBAMA WOULD BE FORCED TO RESIGN.

      But this is the Philippines a thrid world country that cannot do simple forensic evidenciarty arithmetic. They are still addicted and over-reliance on witness accounts and affidavits.

      Even lag-lag bala/Tanim Bala interrogation room has no camera. NO CAMERA. Evidence of ISANG BALA are not handled gingerly with tweezers. The BALA is so smudged with everybody’s fingerprint that they can know if it really came from the passenger.


        • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

          YEAH! LANCE! The Supreme Court, DOJ, Ombudsman, Law Enforcemtn, PMAyers should have a class reading Nancy Drew.

        • Looks like Nancy Drew found a small packet of shabu at the beach, can she solve the mysterious relationship between the drug made in China and the Philippine gov’t? Can the Hardy Boys affect a class action lawsuit against gov’t malfeasance, and the further criminalization of the poor? Read more, “Shock Waves”.

          • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

            I am good in evidenciary procedures. I came to this world, my Papa and Mama were already watching Jack Lord, potatoe nose Karl Malden, Italian Peter Falk, Ironside, Adam-12, Dr. Quincy …. I learned, FILIPINOS CANNOT.

            I learned about justice thru O.J. Simpson, To Kill a Mockingbird reading John Grisham

            Yet, Filipino U.P. lawyers read more law books than I do but I know better. They speak Latin, I do not.

          • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

            In the Philippines, criminal and fidicuary investigations turns to admission and confession in written affidavits.

            WHY? Read this:

            If I were to investigate Korina, she will surely admit and confess …

      • – MRP, you should look at THIS evidence:

        The program developed by the Second Stand-by Police Academy had the delegation exposed to various police training activities relative to the fundamentals and tactics of police operations, with the recruits being deployed to police stations with a training officer assigned to them as part of their field training. Among the subjects discussed were those related to the: composition and implementation of practical case scenarios, proportionality of police response, incorporation of human rights principles in police work, self-defence, police response and conflict de-escalation techniques, and communication and conflict resolution. II.BPA Director Hubert Müller and Police Instructor Andreas Dietl supervised and managed the training for the delegation for the duration of their stay.

        The most important element of the delegation’s visit was their exposure to the police cadets’ preparing for, and acting out practical case scenarios such as traffic checks, body search and handcuffing, responses to domestic violence situations, and high stress training involving armed assailants. In all instances, emphasis was placed on the responding police officers knowing the legal basis for their actions, having sufficient training to respond to the situation in accordance with established procedures, and for the officers at all times maintaining constant communication with the persons being accosted/arrested.

        Prior to attending the conference, the Philippine delegation visited and met with key officials from the headquarters of the Bavarian Training and Special Response Police in Bamberg, the Second Stand-by Police Academy in Eichstätt, and the Police Technical Support Unit in Nürnberg. These information exchange visits had the delegation exposed to the: philosophy of the Bavarian State Police; basic and further training within the Bavarian State Police; theoretical and modular education; development of practical case scenarios for the training of cadets; integration of practical case scenarios in the curricula; training of social competencies for officers and leadership training; and de-escalation strategies during rallies and/or protection of rallyists.

        “Based on what we learned from the conference, comparatively, the PPSC’s training and education philosophy may be considered at par with its international counterparts,” said PPSC President De Leon, but he then adds that “what needs to be strengthened though is on the aspect of practical skills, social competence and ethics.” Upon his return, Dr. De Leon gave instructions: to the National Police Training Institute (NPTI) to revisit the Police Operational Procedures and how it is incorporated in its program of instructions; to the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) to review its training curriculum to see how to improve the police cadets from the outlook of a civilian way of life rather than a military-oriented system; and to all of the PPSC’s constitutive units to draw from the “PNP Guidebook on Human Rights-Based Policing” and the “PNP Code of Professional Conduct and Ethical Standards” towards enhancing police training programs on inculcating ethical values, instilling discipline and promoting accountability.

        I also posted a source elsewhere as a comment about a retired Munich policeman now helping PNPA, especially in teaching police officers HOW TO SECURE EVIDENCE.

        But I cannot find the link now, so you have to believe my witness account for now.

        • All that’s great, Ireneo. The FBI and other big city departments, via the DoS, also has these training in the US.

          But at the end of the day, it’s what happens on the ground. If cops and soldiers (usually high level, but the small guys also follow their higher ups examples) can go to a restaurant, KTV or bikini bar, get free pulotan and drinks– there’s a disconnect. All they have to say is I’m a Cop or I’m this and that.

          The public must also exercise their rights. Joe was talking about class action lawsuits, do you guys have this,

          In the end, I think the policing situation (corruption and abuse of color notwithstanding) is still way better than over here. Policing is all about the balance of letter and spirit of the law– and saw more letter of the law being applied over there, and the arrest ’em all model used over here.

          Investigations may still be Nancy Drew, instead of Sherlock Holmes, the beat cop in the Philippines is far superior than over here– that is if he’s not dabbling in corruption.

          • I just posted a link to the “Freedom of Information” FB group downstairs.

            Citizen groups seem to be a growing movement among ALL Filipinos.

            Here in Germany I know how they helped improved Consular Service.

          • * sorry, I meant I saw more spirit of the law being applied over here, compared to the mechanical impersonal letter of the law application over here– more in prison, equals more problems over all, and they ‘re just wising up to this problem now.

        • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

          I believe you Ireneo like I beleive Society of Honorable men and women link or no link. PMA Superintendent were also sent to Quantico for training. To this day, despite their “intensive training” by FBI, they still rely on witness accounts no evidence necessary.

          When they “inivite” perps for “questioning” to my surprise they “confess” “admit” and sign “affidavits” without the presence of their lawyers.

          To this day, I have not heard, you may have, suspects are found guilty without evidences. Well, this is a 3rdworld country that wanted to remain 3rdworld. They cannot even know how to handle laglag bala/tanim bala to avoid contaminated evidence.

          The obvious ignorance was the Ampatuan massacre. They used the same backhoe that buried the dead to excavate the dead. Yes, Filipinos can be educated like those Filipinos at University of the Philippines. Yes, Filipinos can memorize latin law books. Yes, Filipinos can utter Bible verses. No, Filipinos cannot seem to know what those words meant and what they are used for.

          That is the mystery of Filipinos. They have Learning Disabilities.

          • “That is the mystery of Filipinos. They have Learning Disabilities.” Yes they do..

            But they seem to be applying SOME lessons, gradually, from what I am seeing.

            To learn you need persistence. It is like kicking alcoholism. Ask me about that.

        • chempo says:

          We have a Civil Service College in Spore. The main objective is to share Spore’s software — what made us tick. We take in thousands of top level civil servants from many countries, lost from Asean. Thousands of Filipino civil servants from various depts have attended. Even judges have attended. But I don’t know how good it is and how much can be exported. I have read of returning Filipino attendees who sang in praise of what they learnt there.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      The Legislature and SEnate are bunch of hooligans. Trillanes and American Cayetano are extremely ignorant.

      Could they practice IGNORANCE because they know that Filipinos are ignorant?

      1. Binays
      2. Tius

      What is also Funny is Binays and Tius succombed to proving themselves guilty instead of the prosecutors. They provided evidences. Funny further still, their evidences to prove themselves guilty fell flat on their face. Because Tiu’s TCT were ORIGINAL, AUTHENTICATED, NOTARIZED, SIGNED SEALED AND DELIVERED just like Manny Pacquiao’s Incoem Tax Return and to think Henares was Harvard Graduate ! DIOS MIO !!!! CARAMBA !!!!

      Now that LagLagBala/TanimBala is exposed, They do not tanimBala. The Bala is waiting outside of NAIA.

  2. i7sharp says:

    @Joe America
    “I like NEDA because it is the center of the Aquino Administration’s Management by Objectives approach to development (rigorous and objective). ”

    Has anyone here found yet a copy of the 8,000-page CRRP?
    How about a few pages of it?

    – One of 448 comments, thus far, in
    “The Philippines is in great shape. It’s in the numbers.”

    – The latest news on NEDA CRRP?



      For the Keynote Address, former Secretary of Socio-Economic Planning and Director General of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Dr. Cayetano Paderanga, Jr. was invited to share his ideas on the topic “Achieving Inclusive Growth: Opportunities for Private Sector and CSO Participation”. Like a breath of fresh air, he declared the good news that the Philippines has reached another milestone for achieving a record 7.8% Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the 1st Quarter of 2013, exceeding projections of both government and international pundits. He attributed this piece of good news to the responsive “growth plan” (Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016) of the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III.

      There is a Philippine Development Plan by Aquino for 2011-2016, only it is obviously hardly communicated – I found this on a website of the Munich NGO Hanns-Seidel Stiftung.

      • i7sharp says:

        “There is a Philippine Development Plan by Aquino for 2011-2016, only it is obviously hardly communicated – I found this on a website of the Munich NGO Hanns-Seidel Stiftung.”


        You probably won’t find much useful information here

        but I hope you can at least try it.


        • karl garcia says:

          Joe has repetedly requested that you describe what is inside the link.You seem to have forgotten time and again.

          • i7sharp says:


            Hold your horses.


            Now Joe will probably call me “argumentative” – again.
            (I realize he might be asleep – so let us see in a few hours.)

            The PDP and the CRRP have practically the same timeline.
            Perhaps much can be learned from comparing them.


            Karl, please give me another response.
            This time, try to make it less condescending, please.

            • I agree w/ karl. Context aside you are still posting a mysterious link (and if history serves us well, they always lead to some KJV related site or that German or Hungarian born-again you love so much or your own yahoo groups).

              If you’re not going to explain the links at least post the original links, so we can see what the link is all about. Why do you feel the need to personalized these links? It takes more hassle to shorten and personalize these links, than just posting them.

              That’s what’s weird, IMHO. Just post the links as is, i7sharp.

              • i7sharp says:


                You have a way of doing things.
                And I have my own way – such as now ignoring some (if not most) of your comments – on “giants,” etc.

                Why do you feel the need to personalized these links? It takes more hassle to shorten and personalize these links, than just posting them.

                It takes me seconds to – as you say – “personalize” links.
                Actually, I “shorten” them in a way by which I can almost recall them by heart.

                Take for example this comment:
                “No need to fill my house with envy of the crab type.”

                Try doing better than this:
                (How would YOU do it? What link would you use and why would it be better and easier to remember than the above?)

                This is seconds old,
                so don’t expect to see much.
                Visit it, if you wish, in a few hours to get a better idea.

              • You’re not posting links for yourself, you’ve already (hopefully) read those links. You’re providing the link are further info, you’re suppose to want people to click on those links, to help your point (that’s if you have one). You’ll not entice anyone, if you make it mysterious and cryptic.

                Explain the links, it’s a simple request.

                I like giants too. And aliens. And the Yeti.

              • i7sharp says:


                Do you want to see this in simpler and plainer English?:

                Take for example this comment:
                “No need to fill my house with envy of the crab type.”

                Try doing better than this:
                (How would YOU do it? What link would you use and why would it be better and easier to remember than the above?)

                Had you clicked on the link (you probably actually did but just want to argue), you would have seen Joe’s reasons to suspend me.

                That one sentence I quoted above speaks volumes (in my viewpoint) about Joe.
                Such as what had made him think that I envy him?
                Or why he even would say that?
                (Does he have a BIG EGO or is he just plain insecure?)

                Oh, btw, the crabs … I hope they did not feel insulted by Joe.

                As for YOU, …
                deal with this:


              • Joe America says:

                I’d suggest you rethink your line of commentary, i7sharp. You are once again heading down the path of personal commentary wholly unrelated to the topic of the blog. Kindly do not get argumentative about that. Read the blog article. Comment about that. Keep your resentments to yourself.

              • Man, you took that to a totally different place, i7sharp. Take it up Joe.

                But as for the yahoo groups, that’s more like it, now I know not to click on it, instead of going the false advertisement route to get people to click, lay it out there. The truth will set you FREE.

              • Joe America says:

                No need to take it up. I was angry. He was off topic. We would be better served discussing Agency service and how big business affects Philippine development.

              • i7sharp says:

                @Joe America
                ” Keep your resentments to yourself.”

                At the moment, my resentments are, frankly, on YOU and LCpl_X.
                (But I assure you, they won’t stop me from enjoying my breakfast just now.) 🙂

                I did not like what you implied here:

                Pray tell, what made you think I envy you – or anybody else you might have had in mind?

                Let me get “on-topic”: “evaluation”
                What do you think of the e-SLGPRs of Makati.

              • Joe America says:

                You know, i7sharp, I hate this stuff that you keep dragging me into. It is totally irrelevant. It is demeaning to both of us. I explained to LCpl_X that I was angry (that you accused me of taking readers for a ride). Your return to this subject IS argumentative, and it violates the terms of participating in the site. You are back into suspension. Oh, I think 90 days should be about right.

            • karl garcia says:

              i apologize i just want you to at least heed joe’s request. me i dont mind i click on your links if i want to

              can t find the voluminous document

              here is a neda report about crrp

              Click to access ray_ver2_final.pdf

              you already read the summary ppt slide

              Click to access Revised-DraftYolanda-Rehab-Briefer-as-of-1-Aug-2014-w-status-report.pdf

              peace sharp one

              time for me to sleep

              • There you go. See the difference between a regular (not so long) url compared to your cryptic, self-named ones, i7sharp? I feel more comfortable clicking on those above because I can see the url clearly, but more importantly I know what I’m clicking on– they’re gov’t site, so I also know they’ll take 30 minutes to load, so I generally don’t click, that’s useful info.

                Alice is just sick and tired of these rabbit holes now.

              • sonny says:

                I have used exactly the same word, LC, “cryptic” referring to i7 linking. Maybe Joe can make it mandatory to have “friendly” i.e. meaningful bullets or excerpts to preface links.

              • Joe America says:

                I can’t make it mandatory, as I would not want to bounce anyone for an omission. All I can do is ask and explain why. Most understand.

              • A suggestion to i7sharp would be to give an “executive summary” of what is in the links in one or two sentences, those who wish to read can go deeper if they are interested.

                For example: LGPMS, what is the relevance, what do we get out of it in this discussion.

              • Joe America says:

                A number of people have tried. He is not listening and has re-entered suspension for failing to abide by the terms of participation at the blog.

              • I apologize if I encouraged him to go too far one way (Alice in Wonderland and rabbit holes)– my intent was for more substantive contribution. Instead of taking all these posts as constructive criticisms, i7sharp, seems to have doubled down into the Dark Side.

                Hope he can comment more on airport procedures and security, overall transportation stuff in the Philippines. He does possess a beautiful mind, but not too keen in understanding (or empathizing) others’ minds, definition of autism.

                Like the above, i7sharp can’t get past the word “envy” and understand that Joe’s position is one of personal security, ie. privacy. I guess I’ll follow everyone else’s lead and place him in the ignore corner, unless improvements are made. End of trans on this.

              • i7sharp says:


                In the time I could give an executive summary, you should get an idea of what this is about after you click here:

                btw, the “P” in LGPMS and e-SLGPR is for “Performance.”
                This article is about “evaluation” (of performance), ‘di ba?

                I have tried to get your attention (and Joe’s) on “land cases” in Mauban, Quezon.
                The point was: Would people really walk their talk about “opportunity” – or just keep talking?
                You can find it in the article titled … what else? …
                “Opportunity, the energy untapped in the Philippines.”

                In due time, I will post about Mauban (hoping I will be able to show what opportunity, of whatever size, I found in the municipality) – at the Mauban site and at the RP- 4ALL site I have asked Joe to visit.

                I have a feeling that he will see the glass half-full – that is, presuming he will expend energy to click the mouse.

              • i7sharp says:

                LCpl_X to Irineo,
                “I apologize if I encouraged him to go too far one way (Alice in Wonderland and rabbit holes)– my intent was for more substantive contribution.”

                Guys, guys, you are almost spoiling my day.

                “Lance” (this is much easier to type than your handle), please give us an idea of your “substantive contribution.”

                As for me I simply continue (whether you can see that or not) to do what is best for the Philippines.
                I will share this link
                to give Joe an opportunity to change his mind – such as perhaps getting rid of all the three exclamation points he has used (in unguarded moments?).

                oh, btw, “Lance” (who is he, really?) had commented about “that German or Hungarian born-again I love so much” and Irineo earlier today talked about his familiarity with Romania.

                I guess this is worth sharing:

                Richard Wurmbrand is the 5th in the list


                Guys, do you know anything yet about LGPMS, e-SLGPR?
                Trying to get more “on-topic.” 🙂

              • LOL! “Richard Wurmbrand is the 5th in the list” That’s who I meant, he’s Romanian, go figure– I never bothered to read about him, but his last name sounds German.

                Back to ignore mode…

              • There are Romanians of German descent – in fact the present Romanian President and anti-corruption fighter Klaus Iohannis is one, he even was a dual citizen for a while…

                My references to Romania always pertain to their parallel experiences with dictatorship, and with the difficult road to normalcy after that. It seems to take 30+/- years, always. Germany also had its crisis around 1968 to mid-1970s, Nazi rule had ended in 1945.

                Wurmbrand has nothing to do with our discussions here, even if he is a Romanian.

              • As for Mauban, Quezon, that is not too important for the opportunity discussion.

                The issue I was looking at was extreme legal difficulties in all land-related matters as an obstacle to doing business efficiently. And wondering what has been improved there.

              • i7sharp says:

                “Wurmbrand has nothing to do with our discussions here, even if he is a Romanian.”

                That goes without saying.
                But in the context, you should have seen a justification for the input – if only to help Lance be more precise in his snarky remarks.

                You already know a lot about Romania, so I am sure you don’t need this:
                Ten years old.

                Irineo, why not take the *opportunity* to bring up “land cases” in Makati to be more “on-topic”?

              • sonny says:

                Nephew, thanks for the link on NEDA & CRRP. Very interesting and informative. Can you add links to cases that have implemented the CRRP plan into completion or are works-in-progress.

              • sonny says:

                Much obliged, Karl & Gian. Will enjoy reading those links.

  3. karl garcia says:

    budget has nothing to do with performance so it seems.

    • karl garcia says:

      in the blog post of popoy we noticed that some deserve more budget like the judiciary so they can perform well.dotc is well budgeted,but not good enough in the eyes of mbc

  4. The main topic is the nation here, so this is not off-topic:

    —-Scroll down for English version——

    Sa ika-25 ng Abril, 1974, itinanggal ng taongbayan at militar ang diktadurang Salazar sa Portugal. Sa ika-25 ng Pebrero, 1986, tinanggal din ng taongbayan at militar ang diktadurang Marcos. May kahulugan din para sa Pilipino itong kantang “fado novo” na galing sa Portugal. Tungkol ito sa mga hangarin ng taongbayan. At pagbuo ng isang sambayanan.

    Theme song ito ng pelikulang Capitaes de Abril na tungkol sa rebolusyon ng 1974.

    Oo, ganyan lumabas ang kamay ko
    sa isang katahimikang madilim
    at maingat na naglaan ng isang lugar
    para sa bulaklak ng tagsibol at lahat

    Isang umaga sa Abril
    Tumbas sa hangarin ng maraming umaasa
    ang isang dakilang pagkilos
    saka nang natuklasang unti-unti lang nabubuo
    ang kahulugang namamatnubay sa buong sambayanan

    At diyan tayo naiwang
    kung may katatagan ang pagkilos na iyon

    At diyan tayo naiwan
    nag-aalinlangang pumasok
    sa isang hindi tiyak na kinabukasan

    Paano ipababatid ang susunod na maingat na pagkilos
    sa ating kalungkutang nakakahina ng loob
    sa gabing tahimik at malamig
    ng isang bansang tila walang pag-asa?

    Kaya ako’y natulog
    na may pakiramdam
    na nabago natin ang mundo
    at magdamagang isinisigaw ng mga tao
    ang mas malalim nating pangarap

    Sa bandang huli
    may isa pang bagong pagsimula
    na nag-iwan ng matuwid na patakaran
    sa mga pader ng ating mga bayan
    nawasak ang mga batas ng kasindakan
    at unti-unting naipakita ang daang pupuntahan
    naipabatid sa bawat isa ang tinig ng lahat
    at ipinikita na ang tinig ng lahat ay tinig din ng bawat isa.

    —————————————————————-PARA SA KANO—————– 🙂

    On April 25, 1974, the people and the military removed the Salazar dictatorship in Portugal.

    On February 25, 1986, the people and the military did the same to the Marcos dictatorship

    This “fado novo” song from Portugal also has relevance to Filipinos.

    It is about the aspirations of the people. It is about forming a nation.

    It is the theme song of a movie about the Portuguese people power in 1974.

    Yes, that’s how my hand
    emerged from a deep obscure silence
    and carefully saved a place on Earth
    for a Spring flower and everything

    An April morning
    A pure gesture matched
    The expectations of a multitude,
    Which was placing all their hopes on it,
    So as to later find out that the meaning
    That leads a whole nation
    Takes time to be built

    And there we were left
    Deeply thinking about whether
    That gesture was something secure

    And there we were left
    With our hesitations
    To enter the mists of the future

    With what word would
    the next prudent gesture call
    the loneliness in us
    Which was driving us to despair
    In the middle of the night, cold and still,
    In a land without any consolation?

    And so I fell alseep
    Believing that
    We had changed the world.
    And late in the night
    We could hear the crowd
    Screaming our deepest dreams

    But furthermore
    One more gesture,
    Opening doors to a new beginning
    Left words of order
    Written in the walls of the city
    The laws of fear were broken
    Bit a bit, It showed to us the way to go
    and showed to each one the voice of the whole
    And showed that the whole’s voice is the voice of each one

    ————————————- Original lyrics ———————————————–

    Sim, foi assim que a minha mao
    surgiu de entre o silencio obscuro
    e com cuidado, guardou lugar
    a flor da primavera e a tudo

    Manha de Abril
    e um gesto puro
    coincidiu com a multidao
    que tudo esperava e descobriu
    que a razao de um povo inteiro
    leva tempo a construir

    Ficamos nos
    so a pensar
    se o gesto fora bem seguro

    Ficamos nos
    a hesitar
    por entre as brumas do futuro

    A outra accao prudente
    que termo dava
    a solidao da gente
    que desesperava
    na calada e fria noite
    de uma terra inconsolavel

    com a sensacao
    que tinhamos mudado o mundo
    na madrugada
    a multidao
    gritava os sonhos mais profundos

    Mas alem disso
    um outro breve inicio
    deixou palavras de ordem
    nos muros da cidade
    quebrando as leis do medo
    foi mostrando os caminhos
    e a cada um a voz
    que a voz de cada era
    a sua voz
    a sua voz

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        Rappler should apologize to all BROWNED SKIN COLORED FILIPINOS for promoting mestizo class as beautiful and honest.

        Can’t Rappler know that all crooks are browned skin punk’d nose? Therefore, the colonizing conquistadores should not have been kicked out of this country.

        • Hey, MRP.

          If you’ve already seen “Heneral Luna” can you do a review blog on it? Don’t break character.

        • It is true they quoted Mar Roxas out of context. Gian posted the full video of the interview in the Marcos article, Part II of chempo.

          FUCK that racial stuff Mariano. Mar Roxas’ great-grandfather was Spanish, but Mar’s home is the Philippines now. Everybody who feels it is his home should be included.

          Pagdating sa Rappler, naalala ko ang sinabi sa akin ni Mang Jimmy Cueto na Tagalog, isang migranteng Pilipino sa Bonn noong umamin ako ng isang pagkakamali:

          Ang taong marunong umamin ng pagkakamali, iyon ang tunay na tao

          Ngayon sino ang makakapagsabi na wala sa kultura natin ang kagandahang-asal? Siguro natubunan lang gawa ng hirap ng buhay. Hindi tayo mga asong ulol na walang landas.

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        Rappler need not apologize … Mar is right … “Kung naka-upo na sila sa elected officde, SALN hindi na problema sa mga tao atsaka gobyerno …. problema na yan sa COMELEC”


      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:


        “They kept on attacking us, so I signed it.” Who said it?

        “Kung nagpasok ka ng contraband sa airport, paano naging problema ng gobyerno ‘yun?” Who said it?

        1st quote, COMELEC BRILLIANTES . He is right! He was accused without evidences. Since he is already guilty under the eyes of UP journalism graduate Philippine Media, why not?

        2nd quote, MAR ROXAS. He is right! NAIA is not government. NAIA is run by a different government. I totally agree with Mar.

      • Joe America says:

        Rappler received a ton of criticism for that apology for “caving in”. It reminded me of why it is wise never to apologize for anything here. An apology is a hyena magnet.

  5. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Department of Tourism 82 ?
    Department of Foreign Affairs 79 ?
    PAGASA 79 ?


    Tourists still prefer Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam over Philippines ! That is a fact ! My stats are based on my feelings and my emotions. No numbers necessary. When I blew into town 6 months ago Sofitel was pleading for me to book with them with FREE BUFFET. I told them I do not care about their wagyu, I am a seafood addict. They trow that on my room, too! But they never budge on their $225.00 room. I booked because their Oysters according to the maitre ‘d came from France! These peeps do not trust Philippine Oysters! Buffet time came. Hey, these peeps were not tourists! They were expense-paid local Filipinos !!!

    There is a glut of hotel rooms . M<ore rooms less tourists. They never budge $225.00. Of course I got a free upgrade!!! That was why I booked!

    Here, happy reading about the glut and philippine lackaidaiscal tourism. This is pre-laglag bala/tanim bala

    Who these people are serving? I bashed them in Yelp. Yelp asent me an email. They have to delete my comment. Because Philippine Foreign Affairs did not like what I have to said. They even have the gall to check Los Angeles Consular Office.

    From New York I jet to Los Angeles to check their consular Office out! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! They got a new office. Nice and dandy. Hispanic security guard in the front desk. Same 'ol cacophony of feel Good telebroadcast of TFC Channel with sing song "…. I am a Filipino … tell the world I am a Filipino … "

    I left snickering …. he!he!he! At least from LOLing to snicker not bad.

    This outfit should be under Disaster Mitigation Bureau. PAGASA's weather report comes from CNN, Black Panther Weather Underground, NOAA and Chinese weather stations. Does a score of "79" means goot copycat from other weather sources?

    UNBELIEVABLE! TOTALLY UNBELIEVABLE! MAKATI BUSINESS CLUB are graduates from University of the Philippines school of Business Mismanagement reporting to HONEST MESTIZO CLASS !!! These people cannot even export ketchup and bagoong !!!

    Why big deal out of MBC's report cards? Because the U.P.-run Philippine Media are aggrandizing to these Mestizo Class and promote them as THE ONLY HONEST RACE IN THE PHILIPPINES. On top of that, These Philippine Media are also promoting browned-skin filipinos are INFERIOR UGLY RACE because they have to import half-bred half-white englischtzes-snob American Beauty queens to represent Philippines in international beauty contests.

    And these DISCRIMINATED COLORED BROWNED SKIN FILIPINOS use the same old mantra that PHILIPPINES IS A MELTING POT !!!! BWA HA HA HA HA !!!! Just another day of crookery. Melting Pot!!!!! Get over it!!!! 6 months ago, all hotel staff at Sofitel are not the melted pot they were promoting.


    • Bullshit, MRP… yours is only a witness account… this is EVIDENCE that the DFA is now serving the people correctly, that they were not good to taongbayan was BEFORE:

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        The outreach did not reached me. My “witness account” was my experienced account when I arranged for import documents for my Filipina wife. The people behind the glass was shocked to learn that I knew a bit of talagog. They turned from nice to grouchy cranky.

        And what these consular officers done to Filipinos in the middle east? bend backwards to the Arabs?

        • Well, MRP I agree there are many construction sites that the government is working on.

          Bad attitudes among many cannot be changed overnight – but due to citizens becoming more vocal (not bokal that is only General Espina) there are many hopeful signs.

          Why don’t you write an e-mail to the Embassy and tell them about your concerns? Be a citizen like you are with American authorities. If they don’t react contact your nearest Philippine association(s) and see if they can push your cause, then report on results.

          • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

            I did in Yelp. The Consular Offices did not like what I have to say.

            • Juana Pilipinas says:

              Why do they have to like it? Take pictures and provide evidence of what you perceived is incompetent behavior. For all your bluster here, I would think you would be more assertive and evidence based. Is that why you are heaping your ridicule on Filipinos? The classic case of being chewed by the boss and coming home to kick the dog? Is it transference, MRP? Or are you the Wizard of Oz?

              • sonny says:

                Ay apo, JP! natadem!

              • @sonny

                Dispensaren, Manong.

                MRP is very funny but he does not need to be hateful to ALL Filipinos. Satire should show one’s sharp wit and it could be done without denigrating others. I actually laughed my head off when I read about his parody of Filipinos in an airplane and their hand carried Hereford carne norte a while back. It was real, suave and hilarious.

              • sonny says:

                No apologies needed, JP. I’m also looking for the Ilocano for “natadem ken subtle pay” 🙂

              • karl garcia says:

                Affiant MRP what sayeth thou… see you need an affidavit.

              • karl garcia says:

                since you are new to affidavits,you can consult with the master of annecdotal evidence,Irineo.

              • karl garcia says:

                For video evidence hire lance corporal x,who moonlights as a videographer.

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        You know why Consular office of Filipios never ever improved? Because they do not take criticism kindly. They should look at criticism as data point to improve not do remain the same or disimprove.

        Like What COMELEC BRILLIANTES SAID, ” They keep attacking us so I signed it”.

        In other words, “Bahala na kayo ‘dyan”

        • Maybe your citizen groups are not pushing the Consulates enough…

          Here in Germany the Filipinos have adopted the German-style attitude – like Martin Luther, we know we are right and march through to prove it, so the Consulates have REFORMED.

          It is also up to citizens to have the obstinacy and determination to push the government until it gives the CITIZEN SERVICE that the citizens like customers truly deserve. If you do not push as a front and that has been happening for 30 years here, nothing will happen!

          • The thing about customer service, is that it’s customer generated– otherwise you get the China town experience, you git out, you no buy, you git out! (me: I just wanted to know if I can use the restroom!)

    • “They got a new office. Nice and dandy. Hispanic security guard in the front desk. “

      If I know Filipinos, they’ll not have a Hispanic security guard, they’ll have a white one. Sure enough,

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        Aha! Ha! Ha! You are quick to a draw, Lance! Yes! Yes! Yes! That is the one I sawed at the front desk. A HISPANIC SECURITY GUARD not a FILIPINO SECURITY GUARD !!!

        Total Discrimination of Filipinos even in America !!! The PhilippineConsular Office in America prefers Mestizo looking because they are more honest than the browned skin colored Filipinos.

        • He’s White, MRP! But the most important point is his uniform, no badges or insignias, which means he was sought after personally, maybe a husband or relative of someone related to the consulate. There’s always a hustle.

          • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

            Good observation. He is not employed by Securitas or anty security military paratroopers. He is directly employed ! He is employed because he got that Filipino attitude. Needs heavy dose of anger management.

            • Juana Pilipinas says:

              And so are you, MRP. Based on your hateful rants about Filipinos, you should hire a shrink and get that noggin looked at.

              • MRP,

                We had a Senior Chief corpsman (SNCO Navy medic) who was Filipino. Funny as hell. Everytime we went up to him to ask him for something, he used to say “Abroob wetout Tinking!!!”. He reminds me a lot of you.

                Man, that guy was a character.

                Yelled at our Colonel once, because he saw Marines painting the inside of Bn HQ w/ spray gun w/out masks– he went off on him about lung cancer and stuff. I don’t think the Col. understood a word the Senior said, but he knew he was dinged for some public health infraction, and that it must ‘ve been serious.

              • I’m reminiscing now…

                When we did our pre-deployment pow-wow, the Colonel (months since he got yelled at by the Senior), say, “Now, the Senior Chief will talk about third health issues and what to expect…”

                The Senior goes on about malaria, rabies, etc. etc. then his third world sex spiel,

                “If you pee blood, don’t worry, you come see me and other docs, we have anti-biotics for that, but if your nose bleed, then you have tumor in your head, we cannot help you.” Laughter all around.

                “Marines, make sure you use condoms, and don’t eat pussy– you will get sore throat or virus that cause cancer for you” Everyone laughs.

                Rumor had it that he was actually a doctor in the Philippines, but since it was easier to join the Navy as a nurse, he down graded.

                When I read that news about Michael Douglas, I was all like, Thank God for that warning, Senior!

              • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

                Why the rant:
                1. Filipinos attacks my wife’s spoken and written english
                2. Filipinos perceived my wife is a prostitute because she’s with a white man
                3. When my wife brought my tisoy and tisay children to the mall, she is branded as Yaya. “Hoy, Yaya, yung alaga mo lumubog sa sahig” and my children are her bosses.
                4. My wife speaks English by ear not by consonants and vowels. She pronounces Pontiac as Ponyak bcause tht is how I pronounced it. Bill Cli’ton. “Lookit” instead of “look at”.
                5. One Filipina commented, my wife doesn’t look becoming driving our Volvo DL240 wagon. Can’t they know Volvo and SAAB are the sexiest car in Hollywood? Volvo? SAAB? Sexy? I know it is had for them to figure this out because they do not watch Hollywood Movies.
                6. In one Filipino party, my wife mistakenly exclaimed watching the ticker on the TV, “HONEY THE DOW CRASHED”. One Filipina muckingly said, “How many injured?”. Sure, my wife knows how to read the Bloomberg ticker.

              • @MRP

                Then take that issue to those Filipinos where you are, not the Filipinos here. I apologize for their stupidity but ALL Filipinos are not like them. I know you know better than the generalizations and stereotypes you are spewing here. This is a blog for raising Filipinos and Philippines up. Your wife seems to be a voice of reason from what you have related about her. Tell them that and her other great qualities. Set them straight and stand your ground, MRP. Another thought is: Maybe it is time to change your circle of friends? Seems like you may be going around with superficial people. Tell your wife to join us here, she will be welcomed warmly and respectfully.

                Totoo ba ito o balatkayo lang? I am willing to give you the benefit of a doubt though I suspect another underlying agenda in your pronouncements.

              • 6. In one Filipino party, my wife mistakenly exclaimed watching the ticker on the TV, “HONEY THE DOW CRASHED”. One Filipina muckingly said, “How many injured?”. Sure, my wife knows how to read the Bloomberg ticker.


              • sonny says:

                Taking, you (JP), Mary G, my wife, MRP’s esposa and many other Filipinas I know, I understand why … 🙂 🙂

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        The Philippine Consulat General got TWO STARS !!!!

        The last time I gave them no stars at all. Then it got zapped! Those employees there sucks just like stewardesses at Philippine Airlines International flights !

        These foreign affairs employees are groucy and cranky. They thought assignments to America is Heaven. NOPE! They got it wrong.

        Now, they have an idea to be working in Philippine foreign affairs with America assignments is not goot at all compared to Filipinos flipping tilapia. Filipinos flipping tilapia has cars foreign consular officers do not have any.

        That is why they are cranky and groucy. They wear suits and have no cars and living in military style barracks with no privacy.

        • Joe America says:

          They are cranky, and particular. I had to drive all the way from Wilshire to San Bernardino to get my official Police Clearance, which is basically San Bernardino saying I had no problems with them. I never knew there was such a thing as a police clearance at that time, and still wonder what would have happened if I had a record a mile long in Los Angeles County. But like a proper minion, I did the task. By way of perspective, the San Bernardino police people were also cranky.

      • Joe America says:

        How in the world did you find that photo?? Are you Mr. Wiki hisself?

  6. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Why is COMELEC not MBC rated?
    I rate COMELEC “0” Nada! Zilch! Nien! Nyet!

    COMELEC do not ask for police and NBI clearance from Mar to Grace candidacy.
    COMELEC also did not ask for COA clearance of their SALNs.

    Everybody seems to be quiet about SALNs of the candidators. What is up people? SALN is very important. Because SALN is legalized form of blackmail in the Philippines.

    Once they sit, those sore losers will start looking into their SALNs.

    They should sit out a UPCAT Review Center.

  7. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:


    How can they have garnered a negative rating? MMDA has nothing to do with development. It has something to do with wanton supply of Business and Building Permits. No more Business and Building Permits in Metro Manila, please.

    Issue Business and Building Permits to outlying provinces to spread out miseries of traffic and pollution.

  8. How are the Big Businesses in PH seen in terms of “influencing” the government? The US has lobbyists and campaign donors. Campaign donors, I see in PH but I have not read about lobbyists. My hunch is: the multi-parties take care of the lobbying for various vested interests but which specific parties advocate for the corporations in PH? (Yeah, I know. Google is my friend but I’d like someone’s homegrown take on this. There is something that I know is missing in my logical sequence but I do not know what it is).

    I also see that a sixth estate had been brewing for a while with the entry of showbiz people in politics but they will be a force to reckon in 2016. US had Reagan and PH, Estrada. FPJ could had been a PH president too. Grace Poe is showbiz related, so is Chiz. Their senatorial slate is peppered with silver screen luminaries too. Nothing wrong with that. Hollywood became the sixth estate in the US by the late 50’s:

    Did I get the scenario wrong? Are big businesses in PH the sixth estate and showbiz the seventh? I stand to be corrected.

    • Joe America says:

      That seems about right, Juana. “Sixth Estate”, connected by mutual interest at a personal level, doing deals. Everyone knows everyone. Not connected are the people, the public, the consumers. They are pawns.

    • karl garcia says:

      part of your concern was asked here, the real estate people are blocking Nalua…Cigarette people and liquor people had to be pleased before passing the sin tax…(lucio tan and frenemies) Enrique Razon has to be pleased even if he is the buddy of Mike Arroyo.His Casinos and hotels must be where APEC leaders stay.

      we have discussed here tycoons as wedding sponsors of chiz,chinese community supporters of Grace….

      btw what is the fifth estate…social media?

      business is more influential so I think they should be ffth.

      showbiz people’s fortune in local poltics has mixed results…Ate Vi won numerous times,but ate Guy has not won in any attempt. And they both have a huge fan base.

      showbiz – seventh

  9. More infos – about the good amok run of the Ombudsman, from a citizen watchdog group:

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      I do not understand why they were fired for receiving bonuses. If they were doing their job right, they should get bonuses. If Ombudsman fired them because of conflict of itnerests receiving bonuses from audited agencies without written regulation of such, therefore, in the Philippines anyone can be fired based on PERCEPTION. WoW!

      • If you don’t understand, maybe you should try to research why… I think the Ombudsman is doing good work and the bonuses were not justified. You always doubt things, but maybe you should try to look at things in a more balanced way, weigh the pros and cons first?

  10. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Executive Office headed by Benigno Aquino exiles homeless children and cleaned up favelas for upcoming APEC Meeting.

    This time it is not DSWD. It is coming from Malacanang. Therefore, DSWD head was acting what she perceived and pre-empt Malacanang’s order to hide dirty, homeless, hungry children and family during Papal visit. She got axed for it.

    This time whose head going to roll in Malacanang’s clean-up APEC project?

  11. NHerrera says:

    It would have been nice if about half of the 400 members of the MBC made the effort that resulted in the ranking of the government agencies instead of only 67 who did. In the last list, we have the government agencies listed from the those highly rated to the least rated. While some of us may differ with MBC on the ranking of some in the list, I try to extract the BIG DATA essence of the listing. I agree with

    – the general direction of the sequencing in the list (for one, the Office of the VP being last seems apt);

    – that the reason the country has not moved faster than it could have is because some important agencies are in the bottom half when it should be in the upper half, or at least in the middle of the list;

    – that the agencies associated with the justice and peace and order systems, which give rise to the mistrust on government and other countries’ poor view toward us, is compatible with MBC rating them much lower.

    (Lastly, a side comment — Binay’s much touted Makati who he supposedly made the Philippine’s best on his and his family’s lonesome efforts is home to MBC who rated Binay’s Office of the VP a “basket case” — more appropriately from the rating number, a basket case of the “basket cases.”)

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, I thought the ratings made good sense, too, from what I’ve observed. Good point about those bottom-dwellers. Get them up to speed and the nation will look a lot better.

      I think agencies should be headed by technocrats rather than politicians. That was an after-thought that developed. Politicians just don’t have the skills or knowledge to manage these huge, intricate agencies. Can you imagine Pacquiao running DOTC? Thought cracks me up . . .

      • NHerrera says:

        Oh, my goodness. Not at DOTC. A government agency handling sports may stand a chance if Pacquiao — true to his word — retires from boxing and devotes serious, sincere time to that effort. But I have my doubts.

  12. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    EXPERTS? REAL EXPERTS? REALLY, EXPERTS? Bwa ha ha ha h a!!!! They are not experts at all. Did they use teletransportation psychologists? Because in New York Ports Authority, we used driver psychology.

    Hereis psychology works and this works in Rio de Janiero, too !!! Used also by Caiporenas and Mexico.

    Here goes: If people ride mass transport …
    roads that are freed up by mass transport ….
    more people drive cars …. to fill up freed streets

    That is the psychology.

    So, rapid transit cannot solve traffic woes ….

    What Filipinos need is tax-to-the-hilt private cars Singapore-style.

  13. The Super Agencies
    Five agencies all scored higher than near or above 80, suggesting business men were almost all pleased with their performance.

    Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas 91
    Philippine Economic Zone Authority 84
    Department of Tourism 82
    Department of Foreign Affairs 79
    PAGASA 79

    The Philippine Economic Zone Authority are the ones tasked to watch over the foreign owned factories, over there right? Wonder if the factory workers would rate this agency the same.

    • Joe America says:

      My guess is, yes, because they have jobs. But for sure, the dog driving this bus is Big Business and not consumers or laborers.

    • karl garcia says:

      a few years ago, Pag asa was way down because of lack of dopler radars snd other equipment.So budget does matter in this case.Add to that access to Cnn and communication to foreign weather bureaus helped.

  14. caliphman says:

    Whatever performance criteria the Makati Business Club uses it coming up with these rankings, it is very unlikely that the lack of corruption has always been part of it. Its good that the Office of the VP and the Bureau of Customs now rank way at the bottom but the former is probably due with the expulsion of JunJun Binay from City Hall and the legal problems his father is facing. This following FB anecdote from former DILG Secretary Rafael Alunan recounts his experience in approaching the members of this august body and query them about reports of corruption by Mayor Jojo Binay during Fidel Ramos’s administration. For most if not all of them, corruption is just a cost of doing business and is not an issue if it can be priced in and passed to the consuming public.

    • NHerrera says:

      Thanks for that interesting bit of info about FVR and Alunan. Comment — I have no reason to doubt what Alunan said. Why will he lie, knowing that FVR, Alunan’s patron, is not now that enraged about Binay? If I recall correctly, FVR has not been supportive of the President concerning lies that Binay peddled about Aquino.

      • caliphman says:

        Raffy is very strongly anti-Binay even if he and his former boss may be critical of Pinoy at times particularly in relation to the SAF fiasco.

        • Joe America says:

          I’ll never understand how a former President, knowing the challenges of the job, would ever criticize a sitting President. It doesn’t matter if he would have done it differently. He needs to empower the office not degrade it. I guess the Philippines runs differently than the US because some Philippine presidents have been so self-serving and un-trustworthy, so everyone attacks everyone. The office is seen as not worth building. But such criticism and weakening of the duly elected leader does not build a strong, unified nation, and rather leads one to conclude that only a dictator can really unify the Philippines.

          • caliphman says:

            Happens here in the US, the prime example of course is Jimmy Carter whose advocacy of human rights and outspoken criticism of Republican foreign policy was a thorn those administrations. The tradition of collegiality among former US presidents is a fairly recent one I think.

            • Joe America says:

              That’s true, Carter violated the unwritten rule. I think actually the collegiality is “old school”, and the current poisoned politics are putting it to the test . . . like the letter of 47 congressmen to the Ayatollah of Iran, a blatant insertion of politics into the Executive arena. Carter is just unbearably frank, a regular curmudgeon with a brain and conscience, and different principles. He has sold his soul to no one.

          • caliphman says:

            Its also not easy to build respect for the office of the president when half of the last 6 pillaged the country and two were overthrown by an enraged citizenry. Criticism of the president from any sector including by former presidents is the hallmark of a free and democratic society. Suppressing such criticism and controlling what news and views the public has access to is what Apo Ferdie, the North Korean Kims, Putin, and other dictators are all about.

            • Joe America says:

              To an extent, yes, I agree, but there are the trees, the criticisms, and the forest, the sum of all the criticisms, and when the complaints are so intense, it is like a child who gets nothing but criticism during his youth. He grows up with poor self esteem and a lot of anger. The Philippines is an adolescent state. It’s top people, such as ex-presidents, ought to consider how to build, uplift and unify the nation rather than beat on it. There is a quality of personal sacrifice for the good of the national community that I think is very weak here. It evolved from tribal origins, perhaps, or the culture of impunity. At any rate, I think that makes for a lot of unhappiness and not a lot of teamwork in solving problems.

              • sonny says:

                I like this, Joe.
                Horacio de la Costa, SJ called the American colonial period over Filipinos as our period of tutelage. I feel America was not wanting on balance because after the cessation of the Fil-American War, the country sent good minds to administer the colony. If changing the names of Philippine streets is a symbol of both independence and nationalism, I would strongly oppose taking down the name TAFT AVE in favor of any Filipino name. This is just me.

              • Joe America says:

                Fascinating. And I’m going to do a blog on Taft. Thanks for the inspiration.

              • sonny says:

                Daniel Burnham was one of the jems Taft brought to the islands. He had giveaway and takeaway when he (Burnham) came.

              • Joe America says:

                Thanks. I’ve made a note to look up Burnham when I do the research.

              • Mary Grace P. Gonzales shared Aleth EurAsia Cuisine Stucki’s photo.
                6 November at 16:11 · Taguig ·

                one to sawa sa makati, one to sawa sa BSP, sa pagka Presidente, one to sawa din daw…. …………sabi ni Binay!


                I hope photo sharing will not fail

            • NHerrera says:

              “Its also not easy to build respect for the office of the president when half of the last 6 pillaged the country and two were overthrown by an enraged citizenry” — right on the money!

              • Joe America says:

                That is all true, but I would hope that, as the Aquino term comes to a close, Filipinos far and wide will drop their mistrusts and bitternesses and angers over this event or that (Mamasapano) and praise a president who did, in a tabulation of all the pluses and minuses . . . who did right by them.

              • NHerrera says:

                I agree. A break in the customary mistrust or a turn-around has to start somewhere. And President Aquino did that. 🙂

              • @Joe

                I think the tide is turning and the Filipino attitude is changing. Binay filleted the administration (again) in Leyte recently. He called what was done there “management disaster” instead of “disaster management.” Few sites carried the news. Netizens were not kind to Binay. Aside from the usual ad hominem, some voiced that they do not believe him. Others reminded him that he was part of the administration during Yolanda and was the housing czar so he has no room to talk. Comments from the Rappler article reflect the new attitude:


              • Joe America says:

                This one is ripping across social media today.

              • edgar lores says:

                What’s with the Binays and white monobloc plastic chairs? Either the Binays are throwing the chairs at the police or the Binays are stepping on them!

                As shoes are to Imelda, monobloc chairs are to the Binays — the symbol of the abuse of power.

              • That says it all about Binay, Joe.

                The caption says: I don’t care if the visitors’ chairs are muddied as long as my shoes remain clean.

                I am just glad that more and more Filipinos are not buying his anti-administration tirades. I hope they do not vote for him,and for Abigail and her husband. I hope the Ombudsman look into Nancy’s involvement in the Makati City Hall cafeteria and cake brouhaha too.

              • Joe America says:

                I got this from Jim Paredes tweet. He adds the caption: “Shoes Maryosep”, which I’m sure Mary Grace will appreciate. She can use that when she does a typo and we can all recall Binay looking very un-presidential.

              • Every feeble leader in the Philippines should just opt for this, it’s a hundred times cooler (not to mention more respectable):

              • Joe America says:

                Ah, thanks, saved me the trouble of looking up that photo. The advantage of being entitled. And Binay says he is running against “the elite”.

              • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

                From Wiki:

                “Tank photograph[edit]

                The photograph of Dukakis in an M1 Abrams tank from the US presidential election of 1988.
                Dukakis was criticized during the campaign for a perceived softness on defense issues, particularly the controversial “Star Wars” program, which he promised to weaken. In response to this, Dukakis orchestrated what would become the key image of his campaign, although it turned out quite differently from what he intended. On September 13, 1988 Dukakis visited the General Dynamics Land Systems plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan to take part in a photo op in an M1 Abrams tank. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Margaret Thatcher, had been photographed in a similar situation in 1986, riding in a Challenger tank while wearing a scarf.[25] Compared with Dukakis’ results, Thatcher’s picture was very successful and helped her reelection prospects.[26] Footage of Dukakis was used in television ads by the Bush campaign, as evidence that Dukakis would not make a good commander-in-chief, and “Dukakis in the tank” remains shorthand for backfired public relations outings.[27]”

                Going by Takuza and Tagay mentalities, anti-Binay operatives can go to town with the row of white chairs pic. Pansy is the word.

              • Trillanes needs to investigate if an alleged Binay dummy owns the plastic monobloc chair manufacturing company.


                Welcome to Makati! Here, have a seat.

              • Joe America says:

                You know, I have to laugh. For a number of years now, good people have sat back and watched good people get ridiculed by trollish political opponents, leftists and crooks. Now the good guys are learning to use those tools. I imagine an army of Mary Graces on the attack with meme writers and photos of Binay and Marcos. They (Binay and Marcos) deserve what is coming down the pike at them. I think the teflon has shifted to Roxas because people have figured out the game. On a level playing field, there is a lot more to ridicule about Binay and Marcos. Poe is developing a portfolio, too. And others.

              • Joe America says:

                I think I’ll host a “meme festival” here.

              • Joe America says:

                Latest iteration:

              • I once posted here a meme I generated, now it’s the reverse…I posted at my FB page a meme provided by JP…strike anywhere, anyhow…

                We need more army of meme providers for the attention-span-challenged youth! I particularly like this, JP. I still can’t lick the problem of too small memes I generate so I resort to searching for those provided by you and NCAB – they are against Binay but sadly for Duterte so I just skip those that promotes the vigilante, NPA friend “I-will-definitely-not-run / I-might-run-after-all-man.

    • Vicara says:

      “For most if not all of them, corruption is just a cost of doing business and is not an issue if it can be priced in and passed to the consuming public.” I agree, Caliphman. Having had to deal with the BIR this year, I remarked to a friend of mine that while there were many more requirements under Henares, it seemed that everything would actually get done without my having to pay under the table to get from them any of the documents I needed (for which I had submitted all the proper documentation, following set procedure).

      My friend is not with the MBC himself, but his family counts among its associates many of the MBC members, and he’s in the corporate swim. He candidly admitted that many firms preferred the corruption of the good old days, when you could just pay a bribe (which had already been factored beforehand into cost projections), and everything would get done quickly and efficiently. Now, the aspirational Daang Matuwid culture of transparency and ironclad documentation is clashing with the old culture in which government records and procedures had gaps and loopholes that were exploited by government officers who are eager for extra income. Bribes are still being paid (although perhaps not as openly solicited)–and this plus the new documentation and other requirements have slowed things down considerably. And may even have driven up the total of the bribes requested.

      I pointed out to my friend that under a corrupt system, his large firm with deep pockets has the upper hand: its corporate officers and lawyers understand how to work the setup through long practice, using middlemen who know exactly the mechanics of these under-the-table transactions. Whereas a simple middle-class citizen/ startup entrepreneur is given an eternal runaround in a maze of bureaucracy. Until an amount is mysteriously communicated, and an illicit payment is made. So there isn’t a level playing field.

      Now a govt agency is ranked low by the MBC: Is that because some of its entrenched, syndicate-backed personnel ask for bribes–or because maybe they’re now asking for much more (wala sa dating usapan); or are inconsistent in their “pricing”; or they don’t honor (Ha! What’s “honor” these days?) a deal that’s been struck? Or is simply because the agency is inefficient and slow?

      • Joe America says:

        Fascinating. The negative repercussions of being honest in a culture built on impunity and cheating. The waves knock things over.

        My sense of things is that the MBC survey respondents have maybe just a little bit more knowledge of some agencies than we “interested observers” have, and it is mainly a survey of their impressions of the other agencies, gleaned as we glean it, through tabloid media and an occasional reading here or there.

        Thanks for this “inside view”.

        • Vicara says:

          Really more the view of a hapless outsider looking into Kafka’s world, Joe. [Sad grin.]

        • Joe, that reminds me of something… because bribes were the norm for migrants and OFWs before also. Just that starting in 1986, some migrants got bolder and complained, causing this thing here to happen, but it is just the tip of the iceberg I can tell you…

          I was hired as a casual by the Consular Section because the casual who was the alleged bagman of “the aforementioned” in the document – the case went on in the Philippines – was fired and they needed someone to replace him. At the front desk – I often had the work of checking papers for completeness – I always looked for money in between passports and papers and returned it to the applicants as instructed by the new bosses. But some applicants got mad when I asked for complete papers, saying “you’re too strict!”

        • I am very impressed at the BIR eFPS (electronic Filing and Payment System) system which we implement at the office. We just email the eBIR forms and the banks (where we enrolled for BIR tax payments) will do the rest. We just submit to the bank the BIR emailed validation and proceed-to-payment advice and that’s it. We also resorted to the 40% OSD (optional standard deduction) and presto, no questions asked. We also follow their bench marked rates of VAT and Income Tax for smooth filing / no more audit (hopefully) tax system.

          I just love BIR Commissioner Kim Henares.

          • Joe America says:

            Yes, she is one of the “technocrats”, a tax lawyer by background who became deputy under Arroyo and took charge of the top position with an eye to exercising her mandate, increase tax revenues with no new taxes. She has been active at chasing down tax dodgers. Automation is a part of her method. She ought to be the prototype of more cabinet appointments, rather than politician friends. Experts in the field of regulation, good managers, good business practices, honest. I’m glad she has made your life easier.

  15. cha says:

    While there might be some issues on methodology used and actual capability of respondents to assess based on actual experience with each of the agencies rated, I see the value of the annual survey in terms of making the the government offices and agencies accountabe to the people.(Although these top brass businessmen are hardly common people at all.)

    I hope the good business people of Makati are looking at partnering with other groups to make the survey more representative of the sentiments of the actual day-to-day recipents of the services of the different agencies, in the same way that they are supporting in assessing and monitoring lical government units (LGUs) performance.

    It’s a garguantuan task, I know, so maybe just start with some of the more critical areas or those in the low satisfaction rankings, with the end in view of helping improve and. Bringing the perormance up to satisfactory levels.

    • i7sharp says:

      “It’s a garguantuan task, I know, so maybe just start with some of the more critical areas or those in the low satisfaction rankings, with the end in view of helping improve and. Bringing the performance up to satisfactory levels.”

      Thus far, there have been 11 occurrences of “performance” (including the one I had just corrected – clearly a typo).

      There is another way, IMO, to get an idea of how the government is doing:
      (Local Governance Performance Management System).

      You can go to the LGPMS homepage or you can try this:
      where I think I have tried enough to make it easier and faster for everyone to get an idea.
      If you see in it news or reports dated beyond 2012, please let me know.
      I probably did not look at the right places?


    • Joe America says:

      Excellent point. I think the survey is a wake-up call. For sure, it gave VP Binay’s camp apoplexy. And, of course a huge case of public denial and excuse-mongering.

      • i7sharp says:

        Let me first share this image:

        There is a lot I like about it (the image, I mean.

        Let me go back to it later – as I gather more info.
        About LGPMS, e-SLGPR

        • Joe America says:

          You didn’t close your parentheses “(the image . . .

          I like the image as well. It is active, attractive, and incites curiosity. The one yellow bar is too short though. I look forward to your further on-topic comments.

          • i7sharp says:

            You are 100% right – that I did not close my parentheses.
            I realized that as soon as I had clicked on the “Post Comment” button.

            Let me share this link,
            so you can comment on it:
            “on-topic,” useless, self-promoting, …?
            You should see in it the LGPMS (as one of the links) and the 2012 e-SLGPRs of Makati.

            • Joe America says:

              I find the linked site mostly empty, confusing and meaningless. Frankly. If there is a potential to it, I’d have to see more info there, something that would be useful “takeway”. Right now, I can’t see why I would visit.

  16. My new blog article is dedicated to:

    – the Filipino people
    – the Filipino nation

    it contains:

    – movie scenes
    – a song
    – drama
    – emotions
    – poetry
    – surprises

  17. Big business aside, is there an uptick in entrepreneurship over there? I understand every small business ultimately wants to grow, either that or get left behind– or diversify. I’m no business guy, but

    Are there entrepreneur groups, or partnerships among entrepreneurs or even cooperatives, that also gather to evaluate gov’t agencies? On another note,

    I found this while Googling— how often do these trainings happen over there and are they increasing, are there more Filipino entrepreneurs and how’s the gov’t helping them out, is there a specific agency in charge?

    “British Council and Nesta offer training workshops for creative entrepreneurs on November 9-13, 2015.

    The British Council, in partnership with Nesta, an organization from the United Kingdom that helps individuals and groups design and grow better ideas, is offering a five-day training program for creative entrepreneurs on November 9-13, 2015 in Manila. The program takes creative entrepreneurs through the daunting task of planning their business, setting it up, and sustaining it.

    Filipino artists have long held a strong position in the market among the ever-growing number of local micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The emerging creative industry currently accounts for 7.34% of the workforce and contributes more than Php661 billion annually to the Philippine economy.

    Designed by Nesta ( ) , the Creative Enterprise Training will provide participants with the practical tools and techniques in building and running a viable creative enterprise.”

    • Joe America says:

      The nation’s foremost advocate for small business is Senator Bam Aquino, who led passage of the Competition Act, is pushing for tax exemptions for small businesses, and works relentlessly to get “Negosyo Centers” opened: His next initiative seems to be to promote the Philippines as the go-to place for technology development and production based on skills available in-country:

    • I’m starting to really like this Bam Aquino guy, Joe:

      • Joe,

        Can we get a blog going on these Negosyo Centers (a map of where these centers are located, etc.), and get an on the ground feel for how these centers operate– conversely, how these centers can be coopted by forces of corruption (list the blind spots). Also, how they can be improved, ie. faster and more robust internet to buy and sell world-wide, etc.

        Let’s help Sen. Aquino’s pet project– it looks promising. “Inclusive growth, money, mentorship and market”

        • My experience with accounting SSC (Shared Service Center) projects tells me that you can only get things running in a new way if you set things up with 80% totally new staff.

          The old ways I experienced, work-wise, were not corruption but inefficient work routines.

          OK it is also possible to start with old staff and slowly edge them out by getting new people in slowly, but that is a more painful process and very risky. Now if the negosyo centers are staffed with mainly new people – which is the impression Bam’s speech gave, then it’s OK.

          • Ireneo (what does PiE mean? per apo lakay sonny’s usage),

            Just browsing thru pictures of ribbon-cutting or opening ceremonies of these new Negosyo Centers, it seems a lot of old people (50-70s yrs of age) are the ones posing for photo ops (cutting ribbons, unveiling signs, etc.).

            But my understanding of these centers is that it’s more or less like a library for resources, so these old folks, I’m thinking are just the care takers of the centers, and that more young, fresh-minded entrepreneurs will be on hand, as mentors, investors, etc.

            Good point on corruption not the likeliest issue, I was also thinking about ideas (for business or inventions, or design) that’ll get stolen or copied. So I hope patent laws will also be focused on in these centers.

            And back to the makerspace/tools library idea, they’d be perfect inside or located in another site, of these Negosyo Centers. The more I think about these Negosyo Centers, the more I’m liking it. it’s genius.

            • PiE means PinoyInEurope – I used to post under that alias. Then I went for my real name.

              Yep, Negosyo Centers bypass the old structures, which is a good thing because in old structures, it is hard for newcomers with a modern mindset to hold out against the old ways. Experienced that firsthand working at the Embassy during the early Cory days, where the new democratic crowd kept getting obstructed by the still strong loyalists while most were neutral meaning passive. Now in places where corruption is apparently a way of life like in Customs, a clean person does not stand a chance. What is decreed from above may not always be implemented on the ground, and what is reported upwards is filtered. What keeps amazing me is how so much was done in 6 years inspite of the apparatus…

            • sonny says:

              LC, I use PiE as a familial monicker for the Society’s eidetic savant and European cultural guide. That’s my first impression of Irineo.

              On Sen Bam. I sincerely hope he gets to be where the country needs him: youth & energy, intelligence, goodness in oligarchy & family. I’m biased, I know his parents.

              I, too, am interested his program of IG & MMM will propagate countrywide. Succinct and with great promise.

          • I’ve gone full circle from my view that lawyers are the future of the Philippines to entrepreneurs– and since my very 1st post (after my month-long vacation from the blog),

            captured this interest in all things MSMEs , didn’t even know there was an acronym for it, so in keeping with military habit of making words/phrases out of acronym, here on out pronounced Miss Me’s.

            I hope gian and Mami, or even bauwow, can chime in on their thoughts about these Negosyo Centers.

            • Bam was into Social Entrepreneurship before the term was even in widespread use. He used to be president of MicroVentures, Inc and I was able to attend some of his seminars about Micro Finance, Entrepreneurship.

              The Philippines already has a Philippine Business Registry. It was launched during GMA’s time and was envisioned to function like a one stop shop for business registration. It was a simple yet powerful idea that was done too early. This was because each department during that time was protecting it’s turf, and nobody wanted to change their process to accommodate the other agencies requirement. That it was done albeit not done well is a testament to how much GMA supported it,

              The Philippines also has a concept of the Magnacarta for Small Medium Enterprise (RA 9501 ) which defines the boundaries of each business size and the help they can receive from the government.

              The Philippines also has Barangay Micro Business Enterprises Act of 2002 which gives brgy micro businesses:
              1. Income tax exemption from income arising from the operations of the enterprise
              2. Exemption from the coverage of the Minimum Wage Law (BMBE employees will still receive the same social security and health care benefits as other employees)
              3. Priority to a special credit window set up specifically for the financing requirements of BMBEs
              4. Technology transfer, production and management training, and marketing assistance programs for BMBE beneficiaries.

              The Negosyo Centers if done in the shorthand description would be

              PBR+MagnaCarta +BMBE+Business Mentoring(TESDA) + Skills Mentoring (TESDA)

              targeted at the Micro Small and Medium businesses.

              It was the natural evolution of efforts started by Mar Roxas, Specially GMA , PNoy and the Lawmakers that made the bills.

              One issue I have with most laws with the Philippines and I believe it is an issue karl also has is that because the amounts in our laws are seldom inflation indexed what was once considered a medium enterprise may now fall in the Small , etc etc.

              Another is that multi agency laws have a tendency to not be implemented well. Blame is shifted effortlessly between the agencies and only a competent leader with political capital can navigate the bureaucracy to make the law useful.

              The active stance of Bam Aquino with respect to the implementation of the Negosyo Centers makes the law work. I fear that a change to an unfriendly President will hinder this.

              As a personal note I’ve seen good projects not implemented because one agency is adamant with how it believe something should be implemented. This gave me the belief that agency heads really should have executive experience in running a business before being made agency heads, otherwise what we get are people who has no idea how to make something work.

              • sonny says:

                Beautiful, Gian.

              • “I fear that a change to an unfriendly President will hinder this.”

                Hopefully, it does well and the idea takes root– ensuring continuity. This is more of a movement than policy implementation, hopefully it takes people from thinking simply in terms of BPO & OFW, or factory crap, and seeing themselves as designers of their own lives– than subjecting their lives to the whim of others.

                Thanks, gian. Do you plan on visiting a Negosyo Center any time soon, any chance you can do a blog on the experience. If you don’t have a micro-business proposal to test the process, I’m sure we can brain storm one out– then you can walk it thru the Negosyo process.

                Then we can cover best practices and improvements. Good stuff, thanks again, man.

              • that’s a nice idea. I will try to think of how to go about doing this.

            • karl garcia says:

              we don’t need more lawyers.We need scientists,engineers and innovators and yes entrepreneurs.

              • what is interesting – and surprises me to no end… is that the Filipino scientist who won the award in Germany is going viral on my page…

                So there is a silent majority(?) that admires and respects excellent people! 🙂

              • Joe America says:

                And I would add strong managers of people and projects, skilled technocrats.

        • Joe America says:

          Good idea. Let me put it on the list for future blogs. Thanks. You, too, are due for another blog, I think, when you have the time and inclination. 🙂

          • I know, Joe– I’ll get something going.

            I was thinking about the idea of expanding the Church/State relationship (from the Austerity article), but geared more on State/Islam side of that issue, basically the ideas kicked around here:

            I’m hesitant, because it’ll be construed as anti-Islamic, and might put you in a bind. What do you think?

            As for Negosyo Centers, this video answered some of my questions re partnerships with actual entrepreneurs and investors,

            What’s “the Big Boys” role in all this (Negosyo Centers, and movement)?

            • Joe America says:

              Based on that comment thread, I don’t see it developing as anti-islamic, but if people take it that way, they are free to provide a different view. I’ve had on my blog topic bulletin board this idea of Mindanao being the Philippine’s gateway into the huge, first world Islamic world, from the standpoint of positive economic potential and cultural enrichment, if it can get separated from the scourge of terrorism. I’m sure that scares a lot of the Catholic population, but is a natural outcome if we really take Mindanao off the “disenfranchised” list and put it into the inclusive list.

              I don’t know if there is a connection to what you are thinking about or not, but I’d welcome an article from you, no matter.

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:


  18. chempo says:

    Joe it’s a very good approach to analysing effectiveness of govt agencies. But I think the sampling is too small, and it’s only MPC, margin errors probably too high. Would really be a great tool if there are similar surveys accross a border spectrum of population. But I like you idea, it’s really interesting.

    • NHerrera says:

      If the 67 respondents were randomly chosen in the survey, the statistical error is already around 12 percent — more for I believe only those who wanted to respond got inputted into the result. So the numbers are notional and we have to add our own sense or feel for the numbers. (As I said above directionally they may be alright. It does give a notion where efforts may be expended to yield some optimal result.)

    • Joe America says:

      I think most people have absolutely no idea of what goes on within agencies and a broader survey would be a tabulation of ignorances. I agree the survey is anecdotal and not statistically valid, yet it does inspire thinking. I’m glad you also found it interesting.

  19. Click to access 11-3-2015-Committee-Hearing-on-TSA-Roth-DHS-OIG-Testimony.pdf

    “An internal investigation of the Transportation Security Administration revealed security failures at dozens of the nation’s busiest airports, where undercover investigators were able to smuggle mock explosives or banned weapons through checkpoints in 95 percent of trials, ABC News has learned.

    The series of tests were conducted by Homeland Security Red Teams who pose as passengers, setting out to beat the system.

    According to officials briefed on the results of a recent Homeland Security Inspector General’s report, TSA agents failed 67 out of 70 tests, with Red Team members repeatedly able to get potential weapons through checkpoints.

    In one test an undercover agent was stopped after setting off an alarm at a magnetometer, but TSA screeners failed to detect a fake explosive device that was taped to his back during a follow-on pat down.

    Officials would not divulge the exact time period of the testing other than to say it concluded recently.”

    In light of the smuggling/contraband bullet issue over there and the Russian plane that went down in the Sinai , reminiscent of , which gov’t agencies over there are in charge of transportation security and how are they ranked? Is there a Homeland Security or TSA equivalent?

    But more importantly, and my point, is this concept of Red Teaming used over there, not just in security but in every sector to ascertain quality of service and work being done– to include cyber and physical penetrations.

  20. i7sharp says:

    @Joe America
    “Big Boys”


    All occurrences 11 of “Big Boys” were from you.

    How would you define “Big Boys”?
    The Big Boys include who?


  21. Micha says:

    Why were MBC honchos extremely satisfied with the Central Bank?

    • Joe America says:

      The survey does not get into the reasons for the rankings. My guess is they are pleased with the investment grade debt ratings and attribute that to BSP and Finance. Why do you think they rated BSP at the top?

      • Micha says:

        Not sure either Joe. The MBC link at the bottom of your article did not also qualify the ratings they gave to BSP.

        Interestingly even The Asian Banker, a private consultancy, named our Central Bank as the Best Macroeconomic Regulator in the Asia Pacific Region.

  22. Micha says:

    I assume that Manny Pangilinan is an MBC inner circle member. His Metro Pacific conglomerate has just acquired the license to collect toll fees in Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway.

    Now that is classic highway robbery.

    • Juana Pilipinas says:


    • Micha says:

      Private entities do not have the right to collect toll fees on public infrastructures. Why we’re not enraged by this scam is a mystery to me.

    • Micha says:

      For improvement and/or maintenance of our highway system, the gov’t could just simply employ the services of private contractors and pay them accordingly. To turn over the whole stretch of highway to them as if they own it and extract fees from motorists is a scandal that we have largely ignored. That is appropriating the country’s crown jewel to Manny Pangilinan and we are not the better for it.

  23. josephivo says:

    Was the survey to entertain or to provoke action? For the first everything goes, for the second it might be missing accuracy, statistically and because of the very narrow question.

    Daniel Kahneman (Nobel price winner 2002) taught us that we have two brains, two personalities, the fast one in the “now”, “I experienced” and the slow one “I remember after separating important and dumping unimportant”

    In many surveys it is not clear witch brain is challenged, very often people answer based on the most recent experience, soften on a guess what is most fitting for a specific intention as praise, blame…, seldom the answer is based on a thorough analysis.

    Interesting figures, but what to do?

    • Joe America says:


      The Makati Business Club is a private non-stock, non-profit business association organized as a Forum for Constructive Ideas.

      The main thrust of the MBC is to foster and promote the role of the business sector in national development efforts, both in the planning and the implementation of policies. It is committed to addressing national economic and social issues that affect the development of the Philippines.

      Founded in 1981, the MBC is composed of the largest and most dynamic corporations in the Philippines represented by their senior executives. It has become the leading private forum for meetings that bring together business, government, and community leaders in the country.

      The MBC carries out its objectives through four main lines of activity: policy advocacy, information services and publishing, investment promotion, and corporate citizenship.

      That is directly from the MBC web site, which I would encourage you to visit. They do a lot of projects. As for “What to do?”, I wrote a blog. I would expect President Aquino would do something else, but I have no idea what. You have many options yourself, and ignoring the survey is one.

      • Micha says:

        The business/corporate sector has only one objective : maximize profits. Their foray into rating gov’t agencies is to make sure that the gov’t enact policies that will protect their bottom line. They are not concerned about the health or well being of those outside their circle.

        That explains why while we trumpet about impressive economic growth, the rest of the country, the masa if you will, hardly felt the difference.

        Corporate abuse of power was sounded by Adam Smith himself when he referred to it as “vile maxim” – all for ourselves and nothing for other people.

        • Joe America says:

          Right, and so the question becomes how to balance that drive, which is also the drive that creates wealth, with caretaking of people outside the circle. The initiatives of Bam Aquino are largely focused on this, and we’ve discussed here the need for stronger consumer advocacy initiatives. There are certain mandates and pressures in some sectors. The larger mining companies, for instance, are under considerable pressure to include environmental protection and rehabilitation in their initiatives. When forces outside the circle start to influence their bottom line, they will adjust accordingly.

          • Micha says:

            When forces outside their circle start to influence their bottom line, they will wage a class war.

            • Joe America says:

              Well, you are a pessimist as to the beauty of capitalistic democracies, and I retain optimism that balancing forces eventually find a middle line, and it is good.

              • Micha says:

                I do not know if pessimist is the right word Joe. I’m just wary of corporate abuse of power, wealth, and privileges. Left unchecked, these bloodsuckers do not know when to stop or to recognize that they have more than enough.

              • Joe America says:

                Maybe look for the good things they do, like build world class malls and the third telco coming in and high rises and infrastructure work. It falls to the “system” to make sure they are not abusing other sectors of the economy or society. The balance now is in their favor, so the challenge becomes to tip it back. No one promised us Eden.

              • Micha says:

                Btw, capitalism and democracy do not necessarily go hand in hand. In fact, they are incompatible. Corporate structure is authoritarian. Capitalism in the US was saved by socialist policy of Ben Bernanke and Hank Paulson.

                Capitalism thrives in Communist China.

              • Joe America says:

                All governments are unique, but the system of wealth building in the Philippines (and US and China) is capitalism, but that capitalism is governed differently. You might be right, they are incompatible, but no other form seems better to me. The weakness is the lesser drives of the human condition, greed, ignorance, and lack of compassion. The rest is just forms and formats and rules.

              • The present controversy regarding TTIP – the planned EU-US trade agreement – is an example of how many different kinds of capitalism and democracy exist in this world.

                Many in Europe fear a trade agreement that could favor large American multinationals over middle-class enterpreneurs. Uber was not able to truly set foot in Germany, because established taxi enterpreneurs who have worked their whole life to buy their taxis and have a service standard and professionalism that is mandated by law went against it. Some fear the trade agreement might sweep aside laws meant to protect consumers, workers and even the environment in the name of “free trade” – meaning fat cat profits.

              • Micha says:


                It falls to the “system” to make sure they are not abusing other sectors of the economy or society.

                By system you meant the capitalist system?

              • Joe America says:

                The intertwining of economic and government and social institutions.

              • Micha says:


                Both the TTIP in the Atlantic and the TPP in the Pacific is a corporate welfare giveaway. The devil is in the detail.

              • The TTIP almost passed unnoticed, drafted quietly between EU people in Brussels and their US counterparts, but it was citizen groups that sounded the alarm over here in Germany and called for changes. The now-famous Telepolis blog which has its origins in the hacktivist community was one of the first voices in the wilderness though, until the rest of the people caught on. Now TTIP has become a hard sell to wary citizenry, very much like the BBL in the Philippines. A middle class that has the time and the education to deal with complex matters is very important so that fat cats in conjunction with politicians to not manage the show. Of course the fat cats prefer countries where the citizenry is dumbed down by extreme consumerism and don’t care about politics, or protest without knowledge because stupid NO TO WHATEVER movements are easy to defuse. Groups that can pay for experts and lawyers are another thing, well-versed amateurs another balancing force.

                Civic society is a major balancing force to ensure real democracy. The ideal of course is Swiss civic society with its highly informed and involved citizenry and direct democracy, or Sweden with its highly developed Freedom of Information laws to go against skullduggery. Joe mentions economic, government and social institutions, if the last part includes a strong civic society component I fully agree. That component is growing in the Philippines.

              • Micha says:


                The intertwining of economic and government and social institutions is a nebulous concept of a self-correcting system because businesses and corporations are, by nature, hostile to gov’t intervention and regulations.

                That could only work if we assume the good naturedness of the men and women in businesses and corporations. But if you have, like Gordon Gekko, men and women who thinks that greed is good and operates on a vile maxim mode, that will spell trouble to the democratic project.

              • Joe America says:

                Yes, I doubt there is any system that does not have hostile forces, and that is what a constitution and laws are for, to define the playing field and rules by which hostility is waged by attorneys rather than military troops. The social system ought to prize good will and good faith, or it deserves to be a failure. The Philippines has things to work on in all three arenas, economic, government and social (civic), but a good framework is in place. We can curse the problems or build the framework better, it’s a choice. You seem idealistic to me, assuring always a good measure of cynicism and skepticism. You are one of the forces that help find a balance.

              • Micha says:

                Yes, finding the balance is crucial. US corporations, especially the Wall Street variety, are literally running amok now, devouring everything in its path. Many are fearful that their greed will re-create a more potent financial collapse unless corrections and/or regulations are put in place.

                Philippine corporations are not that much different in culture so forgive my cynicism on business-civic-gov’t partnership to right the economic injustice Filipinos had been subjected for so long.

                Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.

              • Joe America says:

                That’s a reasonable position, actually. Mine may be slightly atilt toward pollyanna.

          • Micha says:

            As they already did, and we already have.

          • which is why every democracy needs two things:

            – a strong middle class and

            – a dedicated, impartial civil service.

            Joe, it might even be that the erosion of the old American middle class starting with Reaganomics is partly at fault for the present erosion of American political culture.

            Germany also has had its middle class partly eroded in the past years, which is why there is a lot of fear towards the planned TTIP (EU-US) trade agreement, people fear big US firms will destroy middle-class enterpreneurs – taxi firms vs. Uber at the moment… what is also interesting is a book by a German author who wrote that the rich and the poor are both antisocial in their attitudes – the rich evade taxes while the poor milk the system.. As a tendency this might even be true everywhere, so the middle class is always the key.

            • Joe America says:

              Yes, good observation. I think that’s true.

            • Micha says:

              “… it might even be that the erosion of the old American middle class starting with Reaganomics is partly at fault for the present erosion of American political culture.”

              Absolutely right. Reagan poisoned the concept of democratic gov’t. And while he bemoaned that gov’t is the problem, he did not hesitate to use gov’t power to favor the wealthy class.

              The Reagan administration is a criminal administration admired by the right wing Republican SOB’s

  24. The article below is on topic and an interesting read. It delves into the MBC’s perceived silence about Binay Senior and Junior:

    • Joe America says:

      I’d wish the article were from a different publication, for Politico, from what I understand, is a pro-Poe mouthpiece in disguise. So all people with a vested interest have their little secrets and hidings. I can imagine that MBC would be as delicate as the Senate or Executive branch, and tolerate Binay, for whatever associations may exist within its leadership and membership. So it does not surprise me, although I wish all of those institutions spoke out about high ethical values being what underpins good governance. So there are lots of culprits other than MBC. The Ayalas are culprits, aren’t they? And all the other fat cats who just want to do business and make money.

      • Ah, I learn something about PH everyday.

        The message that the MBC survey sends is clear: The VP Office is the most incompetent among government agencies.

        Is there a separation of business and government in PH similar to the universal separation of state and religion? Why did MBC, the 1 percenters among its ranks, tolerated the Binays for two decades? This reminds me of how during the Marcos’ heyday, some did business as usual and others were robbed blind.

        It is good that some businesses remained in PH even during its darkest hours. For we all know what happened when the “makers” fled in the fictional Randian dystopia.

        • Joe America says:

          “Is there a separation of business and government in PH similar to the universal separation of state and religion?” Interesting question. The churches do not contribute to the campaigns. They do control votes, however, and the Catholic Church holds considerable moral suasion. The businesses lobby and contribute and engage government to receive contracts which produce profits. There is no separation at all. Business supports the economy which government manages and government regulates the businesses and influences profits. You pat my back and I’ll pat yours is the central theme in the culture of impunity and entitlement. The general public gets their backs patted if it is in the interests of the Politicians (the minions of government) or the businesses. The more noise the general public makes, the more back patting it is likely to receive.

  25. karl garcia says:

    Was PPP a failure? Do we need to nationalize the telcos? definitely they(public-private) should be mixed . We need a chemist or an alchemist or a chef.

    • Joe America says:

      I think we need not nationalize the telcos with a third major player coming on scene. We need to upgrade consumer influence on regulation.

      • karl garcia says:

        social media is becoming more than a suggestion box.But I am interested in josephivo’s direct democracy,how can we citizens be involved in crafting legislations and its irr and how can citizens be involved in regulation.

  26. DFA guy says:

    Some government employees are cranky in general, and DFA is not an exception. But this is being addressed. People at our consular office work hard trying to improve service. It’s a challenge but I think they are doing well. Many of DFA services have been simplified. My aunt applied for passport at Aseana, and she noticed everyone was polite and efficient even though she didn’t tell anyone there that she had a DFA officer nephew.

    Having said that, I still can’t believe DFA ranks only 4th. Then again, BSP, PEZA, DOT all hard to beat. They’re really good.

    • Joe America says:

      DFA guy, you have high aspirations for your agency, and that’s good. By the way, who wrote the President’s speech in Tokyo, the one that earned him a standing ovation? Did you have inputs? I think DFA is one of those agencies that people for sure do not know about and appreciate enough. Keep up the good work.

      • DFA guy says:

        One of the mantras cadets in the Department’s institute learn is, “You are not your draft.” Whoever helped write the President’s speech has learn to quietly do his work– coordinate and collate information, write notes, brief the Secretary and the President on wide-ranging issues, assist nationals abroad (and that includes sometimes hosting the distressed in his own home), you name it– without expecting credit. He would stay up until the wee hours to write relevant transcripts that he would hand to the Secretary at 2 a.m., and when it’s the first thing that is raised in the Secretary’s 7 a.m. meeting, he finds satisfaction– he did not lose his sleep in vain. When the President gets standing ovation, he feels fulfilled.

        • Joe America says:

          @DFA guy, It was a brilliant speech. Best I’ve ever read with the nuances of history and culture worked into it. My personal “well done, very well done!” to the person(s) who crafted it.

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