The Philippines: the path to world leadership

Philippine-Flag-Fireworks-Canberra MB

[Photo credit: Manila Bulletin]

Consider this an extension of Josephivo’s recent think piece about “The Age of a New Enlightenment”. Think of our work here as an application of the mind to the idea that the Philippines is not the scruffy, third-world wasteland portrayed by political opportunists who seek to raise themselves up by putting our nation down.

The world is changing. Values, powers, thought processes, technology. We do not stay the same.

If we look back, we can see that the fates and timelines of history play their unpredictable little games. Quantum shifts in leadership and momentum do occur.

  • The US was drawn into a war Americans never wanted, World War II, and emerged the strongest industrial nation on the planet, burdened with being the World’s policeman, ardent advocate for human rights and democracy, and the World’s kicking can, criticized for every ill faced by other nations at any time for any reason.
  • The Philippines has been too poor to install land telephone lines across the nation and, whilst languishing indolently in the sunshine, was greeted with cellular technology that leapfrogged the nation past plugged-in phones and into the lead as one of the most socially connected nations in the world.

My contention is that the Philippines can become a predominant world leader within in 10 to 25 years. The tea leaves say so.

But you have to open your mind. You can’t just laugh.

It seems that whenever I mention that the Philippines is on the move toward First World stature, I draws snickers from those critical of the Aquino Administration. Well, they are mostly grousing complainers, are they not? They are not builders, not idea-men and women, not problem-solvers. Their political well-being rests on their ability to throw mud on Filipino accomplishment. Citing a positive achievement isn’t in their lexicon.

The thought of the Philippines as a global leader draws raging gales of laughter from the antis who are critical off all things Filipino and have backed themselves back into a wee little box of snarling condescension and racism from which they cannot see beyond the drips from their Pinocchioan noses.

Then we have the extreme conservatives and extreme nationalists, the people with their feet and way of life stuck in cement or even the 1950’s. They like things the way they were, the way they are, and change brings on anxieties and hives and a lot of complaint. The Philippines, to them, will always remain tribal and divided and tainted by colonizers, confusion, congestion and corruption. It’s an earthy, chaotic place, and they are comfortable in it.

I tell you, being a pioneer in thinking invites all kinds of ridicule and harassment.

But it is true . . . it is true . . . that there are no guarantees that Philippine world leadership will happen, because to happen, the nation has to remain on the straight path, driving toward honesty and broad productivity over personal gain, dynasties, oligarchs and other gremlins whose narrow self-interest drags national unity and productivity down.

If you are not busy right now, I invite you to join me up here in the conceptual stratosphere, and consider these premises:

  • Being a leader does not require economic wealth; it requires the ability to show others the way ahead.
  • Leadership is a function of time and circumstance, a convergence of the fates. Nothing is pre-ordained. Even God has granted us free will.
  • There are four primary global forces at work today:
    • Climate change and its dramatic, sometimes violent, impact on communities and food productivity
    • Aggression: terrorism in support of religious beliefs; domination sought by China and Iran
    • Instant electronic communication reshaping commerce, social values and behaviors
    • Diminishing natural resources imposing the need for austerity and self-sufficiency

So think about all this for a moment.

The Philippines’ ramshackle economy, poverty and free-living lifestyle have no bearing on leadership. What the Philippines is and represents has a great deal of bearing on the nation’s global leadership.

This is the Philippines that offers us promise:

  • The nation is a place where two of the world’s great religion are striving to coexist in peace, and allow other faiths to thrive.
  • It is a place where austerity is the way of life for 90 million people because they cannot afford to join the rat race of acquisition, consumption and waste. People’s needs are simple. The Philippines does not have to go through economic chaos like Greece or Spain to find the simplicity of austerity. It’s here, now.
  • The nation is a place where diversity is mainstream, where there are over 100 languages spoken, 7,000 isles, a stew-pot of racial intermarriage, of rich and poor, intellectuals and ignorant, artists and iron workers. There is no typical Filipino. Resilient, happy, intelligent, beautiful. That is the character of this nation, forged by the stresses and strains of dealing with hardship and neglect, of brutality, subjugation and sacrifice.
  • It is a nation of barangays, of neighborhoods, where people use that old-fashioned way of communicating, the mouth. Yet it is also one of the most active social media nations in the world.
  • It is a place of great natural riches. Yes, these resources have been exploited and poorly managed, but the nation is just a hare’s breath . . .  or hair’s breadth . . . from being totally self-sustaining.

So here we are: tribal, Spanish Asia, highly Americanized, deep roots in China with rich Muslim and Catholic history, that history so rich with plot twists that even Richard Ludlum couldn’t unravel it. Modern and yet deeply traditional. The Philippines is a dynamic, peaceful, young, totally unique nation working earnestly to deal with all four of the primary global forces shaping the world today:

  • Climate change
  • Aggression
  • Instant communication
  • Limited resources: austerity and self sufficiency

To become a world leader, the nation only has to demonstrate the ability to master each of these four forces. That is, the nation needs to work thoughtfully and purposefully on goals other than simple economic expansion.

Climate Change

The Philippines is already receiving international recognition for the work done to prepare and recover from large storms. Yolanda was a wake-up call. National agencies how have routines in place to track storms, get warnings up and brief people on what they mean, get aid staged before storms hit, designate or build storm shelters, conduct evacuations of high-vulnerability areas, get aid quickly into storm-wracked areas (helicopters, ships) and gain international assistance (US re donated ships, EDCA; Australia re flood mapping).

Four initiatives would raise the Philippines to world leadership, naturally:

  • Preserve and improve upon the steps already taken. Learn from each storm. Stronger buildings. Bigger, better, quicker relief.
  • Build capacities for defense and self-recovery in the provinces, cities and municipalities. Make sure local governments feel a deep sense of accountability for what happens.  Or does not.
  • Upgrade construction standards and budget generously for the building of sea-walls and urban river banks. Put together a menu of major, targeted initiatives, as is currently done with highways. Get aggressive and master the water.
  • Laws: (a) Pass a National land use law that standardizes zoning, preserves open spaces, and bars construction of residences and businesses in vulnerable areas. (b) Upgrade the building code and separate it from national law, assigning it to an agency for more responsive monitoring and updates.

Aggression

The Philippines is dealing with aggression on four fronts: (1) Chinese territorial expansion, (2) Moro/Muslim initiatives to achieve self-governance, backed by threats of rebel uprising, (3) international terrorism from Muslim extremists, and (4) continuing communist insurgency with the main combatants being the New People’s Army (NPA).

The nation has employed a formula consisting of four attributes in just about all of these conflicts:

  1. Law-based solutions,
  2. Firm resistance to violence,
  3. Open willingness to negotiate without pre-conditions, and
  4. Partnership with international allies.

The weight of the attributes varies from one battle-front to another, but the Philippines is already gaining a reputation for leadership in Asia as she pursues a peaceful, law-based arbitration case against China. President Aquino has worked diligently to build partnerships abroad, wrapping the nation in a security blanket of alliances stretching from Europe to North America to Asia . . . while building the nation’s own military capabilities. These steps have firmed up . . . BUILT . . . Philippine sovereignty, not undermined them as the nationalists would suggest.

The effort to end years of disenfranchisement of the Moro/Muslim communities on Mindanao is also receiving international acclaim, and it is a shame that progress has been politicized by those who place their own ambitions above the nation’s well-being.

These two initiatives need to be continued.

The third important initiative needed to bring three of the four conflicts to a close is to bring prosperity and jobs to Mindanao. This ought to be one of the highest priorities for future governments, to realize the promise and potential of what is today a wild land shunned by international travelers and businesses. Bring Mindanao in out of the cold. Invest. Build.

Instant communication

Filipinos are connected. Make no doubt about it. Cell phones, internet, WiFi. But these connections are vulnerable to storms or malicious hacking. The nation or huge regions can go dark in an instant, leaving everyone desperate and in chaos. The connectivity is also seldom used in an organized way, for national good. Information is pull driven, by the citizen, rather than push driven, by the government. Imagine storm warnings texted out to every Filipino, real time.

  • The nation can become a global leader by thinking of and building ways to apply broad connectivity to unify as a nation, and to move as one. If telemarketers can find a way onto our cell phones, certainly, national need demands similar access.
  • The nation can also become a leader by building its communications networks as shared, interlocking grids both regionally and locally, much like electricity, so that if one sector goes out, the remaining sectors stay connected.
  • The cities and municipalities need a satellite based, generator powered communication network that can keep population centers plugged in no matter what happens. Communication can be quick: National to local crisis center, crisis center to barangays. The barangays represent a world-class, world-leading governmental system of communication and leadership. Here, today. Right now.

Limited resources: austerity and self-sufficiency

Imagine poverty being recast as simplicity of living. Where efficient mass transportation, the primary means of travel today, becomes the norm and private cars become the exception.

Imagine the small farms of the Philippines being the way of the future with shared equipment and shared knowledge. With highly skilled young people . . . . trained up at TESDA, a world class, world-leading pragmatic educational system  . . . moving back to manage the farms, forests, seas and minerals properly, efficiently, productively. Assuring food for themselves and neighbors and local markets. Assuring a self-sustaining care-taking of the seas and forests. Assuring that ores are used to the benefit of all Filipinos, and not just the entitled, or the thieves.

Imagine the rivers and waves and air and sunshine and volcanic heat tapped for more electricity than the nation can possibly use. With the excesses sent by underground cables to Taiwan and Malaysia for sale into world markets.

Imagine the Philippines thriving, standing alone, independent, peaceful, and strong . . . .

And working with other nations to share her riches of knowledge and ways forward, in a fast-changing, connected world . . . led by nations that develop the means to survive, and thrive.

 

Comments
146 Responses to “The Philippines: the path to world leadership”
  1. Joe, many thanks. Just to show some aspects of growing leadership amidst the proofs of still being “kulelat” that the negativists like to focus on exclusively:

    1) DOST: with just around 1% of the national budget of around 3 trillion pesos, i.e. around 3 billion pesos which is just a little bit less than 40 million Euro, it has done stupendous things:

    1a) Project NOAH under Dr. Mahar Lagmay to make sure storm surges, potential landslides and more can be forecast accurately, linked to LGUs so they know what is bound to happen on time. This BTW is a project under the much-criticized, technically “unconstitutional” DAP program.

    1b) the Diwata microsatellite which shall mainly take photos of the archipelago and help find out where forests need to be replanted, help with managing natural disasters – and according to some unconfirmed sources even take photos of the Chinese reclamations on Philippine islands.

    1c) the DOST Roadtrain which has already done its maiden trip in Clark. It is a cheap and easily maintainable alternative to an MRT and works well on the straight roads of Clark, it is a very long bus that has similar capacity to an MRT coach. It is fully locally made and therefore maintanable.

    1d) the DOST AGT (Automated Guideway Transit) which is a train, but runs on rubber wheels and concrete tracks. Its body is fully locally made, the same metalworks research people who enabled the DOST Roadtrain are involved. It may soon be implemented in Baguio, having a small footprint.

    1e) DOST ASTI which among others is pioneering peering in the Internet, something Bam Aquino supports a lot. Since he is a bit of a geek, he is often to be seen there. Let us see where it goes.

    2) China: the Philippines has proven to be a smart David against Goliath in this big crisis.

    2a) EDCA: approved. Alliance but not dependence is the right way to go.

    2b) Vietnam alliance: ongoing. Hedge your bets, get neighbors to work together against bullies.

    2c) AFP modernization: finally got off the ground. New fighters there. Boats also on the way.

    3) Democracy: the Philippines is a vibrant social media democracy with some growing pains.

    3a) The understanding of basic issues among interested Filipinos is higher than among sated Western Europeans. It can still improve to reach the level of participation evidenced in Romania, which also has had to recover from dictatorship, poverty, corruption and has similar challenges in its ethnic mix: ethnic Germans, ethnic Hungarians, Latin Romanians, gypsies, Serbs, Bulgarians, plus workers in many parts of the world sending money – and knowledge – home to the country.

    3b) Social media and Internet have moved in to fill the gap that traditional media – even Internet versions of newspapers – have left open because they are too partisan, too short-term, too lacking in terms of context and big picture. Pioneers like GRP have stayed stuck where they were, AntiPinoy is hardly relevant anymore, Raissa Robles is a wild marketplace of ideas, Joe America a structured marketplace of ideas. Some Internet media like Rappler and Interaksyon are the new wave, the Internet allows access to good places like Mindanew, Cebu Daily News or ECCP weekly.

    3c) Grassroots democracy is growing as well. Groups like CANA (Citizen Action Network for Accountability) are examples. But also the Robredo approach which Leni continues. Also the Salceda approach to governing his province of Albay as a modern community with social media. One could even mention the participative aspects of Duterte’s Davao, but alas there are also the violent aspects we cannot ignore. Mar’s Bottom-up-Budgeting shall also tap the grassroots.

    Nations in crisis that managed to grow out of it became great. The Netherlands grew out of nearly impossible odds: a revolution against Spain and a hostile sea. They forged a community out of it. Now the Philippines may soon build its first expressway/dike, the LLED. Will it be the only one? In my blog I suggested something even bolder – and expressway/train line/dike from Bataan to Cavite. Flood control, and better link Calabarzon to Clark/Subic while sparing Manila extra traffic. Maybe even pave the way to reclaim land and create a new city in the Northern part of Manila Bay.

  2. mcgll says:

    Thank you Joe. Somehow every idea you present builds up the desire to be part of the great(er) Philippines of tomorrow, leading all other nations towards peace and harmony among all people on earth. Come to think of it – we inspired many nations to follow the Filipino example of a bloodless revolution in rejecting dictatorship and restoring democracy.

  3. karl garcia says:

    Yes we took jewish refugees,vietnamese refugees,boat people.That makes us a leader in compassion and caring.

    • white/pro monarchy russians

      • Hospitality is an old Filipino tradition, even pre-Hispanic. After all the Visayans were very welcoming to the Spanish, did not suspect any ill intentions. Some nationalist historians of course say the Spanish must have smelled very bad after such a long Pacific voyage…

        The Greeks, another island people, have an ancient tradition of hospitality, which is why their tourism industry is still standing. Go to Crete, especially the remote mountain villages, and one will be treated the way a stranger – a xenos was always treated in Greek tradition, with warm-hearted hospitality. Feta cheese and wine to excellent Greek bread, and they will try to talk to you with their hands and their feet.

    • That is actually one good aspect of having been a Spanish colony. The Latin Americans (Uruguay, Ecuador, Cuba) are also among the practicing world leaders in compasíon y amabilidad as well as in “simple living” a la campesino.

      Josephivo asked what is the special thing about Bikol in the last article, I think it is the special blend with a strong Latin (Mexican via galleons, Spanish via the Paracale garrison and the Franciscan order running the place, Francis is a common name among Bikolanos and it is unfortunate the best-known Bikolano Francis nowadays doesn’t have a soul) mix. Compassion and caring is Leni Robredo, Joey Salceda (his politics are called Daang Mabait) and Will Villanueva – mabait, makabayan, makadiyos, makatao at maka-aso. 🙂

      • It might be owed to having suffered the same bastard colonizers… the Spanish can still be very arrogant up to this day… real work was not really respected over there, being boss in a nice “americana” (suit) and letting others do real work the order of the day… Latin Americans in Germany commented serves the Spanish right even their engineers are now working as cleaners in Germany, they looked down on us in their country just years ago… the niceness to perceived fellowmen, but also the getting by attitude of opportunism plus cheating and crab mentality are the same among Latin Americans, same cake, same oven. Romanians too have a similar combination of traits, can also be fun-loving, nice to those who are considered nice and not arrogant, but to those they consider arrogant there is a saying: “a Romanian knows neither gratitude nor mercy”… food for thought.

        • sonny says:

          Spanish egalitarianism, IMO, can be summarized by: “Viva yo!” This is evident in Hispanic culture. When parsed: if one belongs to the bottom class, there is no way but up – viva yo! If one belongs to the royal class – Cuidao, there is no way but down – viva yo! This is so Visigothic, also – the ethnic DNA of the Spaniard.

      • sonny says:

        One must not forget, Bicol is most Christian of all Filipinos.

        • And the upper class there was never as arrogant as in Tagalog or Ilokano regions.

          Possibly because they could not afford to be – the hills of Bikol always provided refuge for stragglers and rebels – Agta (Negritos) who avoided Spanish taxation and forced labor, remontados (natives and even some mestizos) who did the same, possibly even some fleeing the galleons when they stopped at Legazpi City when the weather in the San Bernardino Strait forced them to, mixtures of Agtas and remontados (cimarrones), all of them called “gentil” (Gentiles = non-Christians, barbarians) by lowland Bikolanos, in modern days the NPA rebels. Plus natural disasters were always a great equalizer. In ancient times Mount Mayon was considered to be the abode of God, and his BROTHER the devil was said to have lived in Mount Malinao. Well, God for the ancient natives I guess, because both fertile soil and destruction came from him. Christianity on top of that. Nature and history forged a people both rugged and compassionate. Leni Robredo is an example of that friendly strength – so is Bill from Oz’s wife from what I have gathered… Just some thoughts, I will definitely write a Bikol blog which organizes them better… because that mixture of strength and kindness has its reasons… Bert is also an example of this. My grandfather Irineo emphasized kindness and humility as virtues… I guess from experience.

          • Bill in Oz says:

            Courtesy of working on the SS blog I have not been able to participate in this one..So just dropping in quickly here I read about Bicol and the people there….And as you said Irineo, it’s true, my lady, ‘agom ko’, is Bicolano and so strong & compassionate without any arrogance to her at all… I know I am biased but also I am amazed…

          • sonny says:

            “… And the upper class there was never as arrogant as in Tagalog or Ilokano regions. ”

            PiE, I need names with Tagalog and Ilocano provenances I can look up. The Marcoses and Enrile don’t count anymore. They belong to a time warp already. I need at least three each to satisfy a straight line. Arrogant is quite a strong negative adjective to impute on any region.

            • You are right, arrogant is the wrong word… let us say the power distance was greater, using the terms of Gerd Hofsteede, from his book Riding the Waves of Culture. One can’t really say it is the region, but the entitled in some regions had more impunity than others.

              Albay for sure had the Imperial family, but no warlords as powerful as the Crisologos of Ilocos for example, or the Montanos of Cavite. As for plantation owners, there were the Molls of Camarines Sur and Albay, never nearly as powerful as the Osmenas of Cebu…

              Ilocos Sur was known for its extreme political violence, Anarchy of Families by McCoy proves it: https://books.google.de/books?id=fawaNZu-yqUC&pg=PA14&lpg=PA14&dq=ilocos+anarchy+families&source=bl&ots=Doy0xhTcA2&sig=V6uvAZ3ZrnNXfJ9OWHLeIOXfDwI&hl=de&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjms5LTvLHKAhUGIA8KHVSgCigQ6AEIJDAA#v=onepage&q=ilocos%20anarchy%20families&f=false – now I have also heard but can’t find the source of how the Spanish tobacco monopoly worked in Ilocos, with mestizo clans running things. Crisologos definitely belonged to that, don’t know about Ponce Enrile – the older ones. As for Cavite, I also have heard of their old reputation for had politicians cum smuggling lords. Not that Bicol was free of banditry, on the contrary, but it was more spread out, plenty of small- and medium-scale bandits, so intimidation was not so easy to carry out.

              • http://nlpdl.nlp.gov.ph:81/CC01/NLP00VM052mcd/v1/v19.pdf – economic background:

                The political rivalries today which become volatile during election periods are still driven by this customary leadership based on clan loyalty and on vested interest, centering on the control of the government resources and the yearly tobacco trade. The rise of the Ilocano bloc in Congress from the 1950s to the 1960s was propelled by the tobacco subsidy which was part of the business strategy of deported American tycoon Harry Stonehill. From this corporate base, using the big earnings from the tobacco trade, Stonehill succeeded in manipulating Philippine politics and industry with the help of Ilocano politicians. When Stonehill was ousted from power in the mid-1960s after the investigations of Jose Diokno, then top state prosecutor, the profitable tobacco trade became a source of rivalry among Ilocano politicians.

                The gunslaying of the once-powerful congressman Floro Crisologo inside the Vigan Cathedral is believed by many Ilocano to have been linked with the rivalry for the control of the tobacco industry, the major cash crop of Ilocos and the prime factor behind the rise and fall of many Ilocano politicians. Several social scientists have studied the links of the tobacco industry and Ilocos pohtics, and have shown that, apart from being the most emotional issue among Ilocano voters, trade in this cash crop has provided the financial resources and overzealous supporters during poll campaigns.

                Historical background, which is the same for nearly all the Philippines, except that topographic and geographic factors prevented a too strong power concentration in Bikol:

                The political structure was the same for all the pueblos. The principalia elected from among themselves the gobernadorcillo, the municipal mayor who was dependent on the support of the cabezas de barangay who, in turn, were responsible for collecting taxes
                and extracting labor services from the citizens. The provincial governor or alcalde
                mayor was most of the time a ceremonial figure, acting more as an overseer for projects
                originating in Manila. The self-perpetuating principalia carried out civil governance under the guidance of the friars. Because these native rulers were the power brokers of the clans, it was also from their ranks, ironically, that rebel leaders or warlords emerged time and again.

                These leaders enjoyed ready support from among their tenants and workers, as well as their extended families composed of blood and affinal relations among other families of the landed gentry. Moreover, they enjoyed the loyalty of the people who were traditionally in awe of the maingel (brave and just), the way their highland neighbors and kin followed the minger or mingel, the brave ones.

              • karl garcia says:

                Cavite-Where cigarette smuggling of Blue seals began.

                http://news.abs-cbn.com/special-report/05/25/09/philippines-haven-cigarette-smugglers

                Lino Bocalan was reated to the Montanos.
                He had Jun Abaya’s father sent to Malaysia to stop his investigation of the blue seal smuggling trade.

                http://opinion.inquirer.net/38280/abaya-father-and-son

              • Jake says:

                How many of the Ilocos clans are genuinely Ilocanos? The two Ilocoses can be really messed up but La Union and Pangasinan Ilocanos seem to be just doing fine. The present generation of Marcoses in Ilocos are kind of like half “Castillian Waray” from their mother.The Romualdez clan isdoing a worse job in Leyte.

                In retrospect, the Ortegas of La Union (I read they are originally Basque mestizos from Cebu) seem to be doing fine. It’s been years since I have been to San Fernando, LU and while I was there, the place didn’t seem elitist and people were helpful and honest.

                Nothing beats the Cordilleras though, especially Benguet. Unlike Manila politicians who like to surround themselves with armed guards whereever they go, you see Benguet politicians among the crowd, going to places where the crowd goes. I guess, it’s because political violence is rare in the province.

              • Joe America says:

                Don’t advertise that too loudly. It will get crowded as people who want more civility and sanity in their lives move in.

            • You are of course right… the warlord stuff is truly history… but it is interesting that Leni Robredo challenged a political family in her hometown area and won… I still cannot imagine that happening in Ilocos against the Marcoses… and just last year a journalist who was my Pisay classmate in Batch 1982 was gunned down… he already had survived a hand grenade assassination attempt years ago… batchmates say he was a fearless reporter… http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/719513/ilocos-norte-columnist-shot-dead

            • sonny says:

              Like, wow, PiE! The instances you cite I can’t deny. The killings & violence over petty power at various places in the Ilocos I heard about but was shielded from by living in Manila. I never associated them with an “upper class” but as violence associated with tobacco money and escalated into vendetta reminiscent of Sicilian justice and struggle. As far as the Tagalog region, the brigandage in Cavite (abetted by the geography of the province) and the unchecked isolated killings in Batangas symbolized by the balisong comes to mind. And I don’t associate, again, with an “upper class … arrogance.” The absence of an institutional police presence and action is more endemic, even to this day I would venture to say.

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        Hahaha! Irineo, come to think of it, Filipino love and care for each other could be the silver bullet against climate change, religious intolerance, equitable distribution of goods. JoeAm paints with broad brushes, with pencil precision. Thanks, JoeAm, thanks, Irineo!

        • karl garcia says:

          If Edgar is the guru,then Irineo is the vice guru?

          • Guru of Vices. Just like Erap was VICE President before he became President.

            So better be careful what kind of ranks you give me, remember who Cory made OIC mayors of Davao and Makati respectively – I prefer to be just Chief of Wildlife.

            • Joe America says:

              It’s interesting, I no longer see you as the Wild One, but more akin to a nicely aging wine that went through a process of fermentation that tempered the acidic bite and emerged rich and complex. But you are still Chief of Wildlife, for the riches . . . which were, on occasion, gained rather wildly.

            • karl garcia says:

              ok! mr. national geographic.

    • Joe America says:

      True on that, and independent of thinking, willing to do what is right, not what everyone else is doing.

  4. karl garcia says:

    There are many things we just do not read about but are being observed and studied by foreign observers.I just can’t name one.Tip of my tongue.

  5. Off topic…

    Binay is blaming LP for the boos he got in Sinulog festival. LP is the favorite whipping boy of Poe, and now, Binay.

    With the strong evidences unearthed in the SBRSC hearing, the AMLC report, the freeze done on the accounts of his dummies as well as his family’s accounts, why do most of the respondents in the SWS’ latest survey still prefer him? Poe lost some, Duterte too, Mar’s number was stable, and Binay gained! Are those surveys done in a truly scientific manner?

    Or are they really that susceptible to the lies of Binay that all those charges are politically motivated since Cayetano and Pimentel, members of the SBRSC have sided with the dark forces of Duterte, as Will has posted in his FB wall…. Duterte who in turn sides with Binay? How truly ironic.!!

    Are we Filipinos not blessed with this enlightenment that we are talking about?

    How will the Philippines continue to resume the journey to the path of world leadership with this kind of mentality?

    I wonder what the rest of the world will think about us if and when Binay wins the Presidency.

    • sonny says:

      “… Are those surveys done in a truly scientific manner?”

      My question exactly also, Mary Grace. We rely a lot on those polls. So maybe we should be more circumspect about drawing strong conclusions from them. Yes?

      • http://www.britishpollingcouncil.org/questions.html

        How does a poll choose a sample that is truly representative?

        There two main methods. The first is “random” sampling, the second “quota sampling”. With random sampling, a polling company either uses a list of randomly-drawn telephone numbers or email addresses (for telephone or some Internet polls); or visits randomly-drawn addresses or names from a list such as an electoral register (for some face-to-face surveys). The polling company then contacts people on those telephone numbers or at those addresses, and asks them to take part in the survey.

        “Quota” sampling involves setting quotas — for example, age and gender — and seeking out different people in each location who, together, match those characteristics. Quota polls are often used in face-to-face surveys. In addition, some Internet polls employ quota samples to select representative samples from a database of people who have already provided such information about themselves.

        Do polling companies do anything else to achieve representative samples?

        Usually they do. While well-conducted random and quota samples provide a broad approximation to the public, there are all kinds of reasons why they might contain slightly too many of some groups and slightly too few of others. What normally happens is that polling companies ask respondents not only about their views but about themselves. This information is then used to compare the sample with, for example, census statistics. The raw numbers from the poll are then adjusted slightly, up or down, to match the profile of the population being surveyed. If, for example, a poll finds that, when its survey-work is complete, that it has 100 members of a particular demographic group, but should have 110 of them (in a poll of, say, 1,000 or 2,000), then it will “weight” the answers of that group so that each of those 100 respondents counts as 1.1 people. This way, the published percentages should reflect the population as a whole.

        Now in 1998, opinion polls before the German elections did not predict Schröder winning. It was found out later that German society had changed so much since 1990 – reunification – that the quota groups selected were no longer truly predictive. Private television, allowed since only a few years, mobile phones and the new lifestyle of the young generation that voted for the first time played a major factor in changing society. Probably the old quotas ABCDE social groups in the Philippines are also very outdated… How about the millenials who will vote for the first time, those born between 1993-1997? They are numerous and I suspect their attitudes not yet researched enough sociologically.

        • Caliphman says:

          The reliabiliability, cosistency and accuracy of the two leading and long established Philippine is polling firms were throughly reviewed last year and confirmed in a 20 year study publicized midyear in Rappler. Two of the key conclusions in the study is that these surveys indicate who would be the winners and losers in the presidential and VP elections if held the next day or week. Secondly, these survey results will fluctuate over time reflecting the success of the candidates campaigns and significant good and bad news, but while point in time results may not be too meaningful, the emerging trends and the analysis thereof does yield significant predictive value.

          There is a tendency to dismiss surveys just because they carry unfavorable results. The same can be said of accusations of bias or incompetence of messengers who bear unwanted news.

          Having said all that, here is a columnist whose conclusions are supported by a mathematical analysis of results presented in recent sureys.

          http://newsmobile.abs-cbn.com/opinions/01/17/16/binay-biggest-gainer-in-destroy-grace-poe-crusade/

          • caliphman says:

            the second part of her piece is even more dsconcerting. Ellen relates
            Ex-Customs Commissiioner John Sevilla’s dismay in the mass firing of the ex-generals he had recruited as part of his effort to clean up that besotted den of corruption.

            How can the Philippines aspire to be a world leader when its very leaders fail to stand by those who they have hired to fight organized corruption when the odds and powerful oppoents are stacked against them?

            • chempo says:

              Looks like BOC cannot be tamed. Even Generals and Colonels do not stand a chance.

              I like to see any presidential candidate stand on the stage and say “I will tame the BOC devil and increase govt revenue from custom duties to fund all those things I promised to give you”

      • Yes, sonny, we definitely should be.

        I wonder why certain voters are hesitant to vote for a candidate with a poor showing in the surveys.

        If ever a voter feels and believes that a candidate is the best qualified, with widest range of experience, with the best character than the rest of his/her opponents, with no record of corruption to boot, why wouldn’t that voter vote for such candidate – for fear that his vote will not be among the votes for the one who is perceived to win based on the surveys?

        Band wagon mentality. A strong motive to use any means to influence the results of surveys.

    • NHerrera says:

      Mary, sonny: I read and share the complementary thoughts (treating of aspects of survey) of Irineo and caliphman. I wish to add this: if the survey was done on the average height of Filipino male and female above 20 years perhaps questions will be less contentious since height is less contentious than Presidential preference. Mind you the survey outfit will also have to be careful in their height survey, since major cities like those in Metro Manila, Cebu may differ on height characteristics because of nutrition difference with the poor areas. Thus, appropriate weighing of area demographics is needed too as in political surveys. (Just adding my one-centavo to what is already written on the topic.)

      • sonny says:

        NH, i can relate to the reasonableness of the statistical/mathematical models of polls. Even so, polls leave a feeling like what they show on marine documentaries. The view of a predator (shark, dolphins) as they approach their targeted school of fish (their prey). They seem to form a huge and continuous form ready for the kill. But at the last second they elude their predator without breaking formation. I don’t know if the analogy makes sense. Translated, the complex behavior of the electorate defies the model.

        • NHerrera says:

          I have explicit trust in the note you gave about the marine predator-school of fish behaviors; and share with you the possible electorate behavior on survey versus actual voting even if done on the same day. But that is something the survey cannot capture or even dare to explain even if the survey is done well.

          • http://verafiles.org/manuel-roxas-ii/ – who knows, it might be the reverse of 2010 this time, this old source shows that Roxas led against Binay in all surveys, and that Aquino tailed Villar… it is not only Gian and Google trends that show how fickle Filipinos can be…

            In 2009, backed up by his name and his achievements, Roxas declared his intention to seek the country’s presidency under the Liberal Party, the political organization that his grandfather founded. His plan was not to be. Late that year, former President Corazon Aquino died, stirring up a storm of affection for the democracy icon that people seemed to have forgotten after EDSA 1. The outpouring of grief ignited a longing for a leadership that, compared to the others that followed it, kept itself away from scandal and corruption.

            But such memories of a bygone administration could only be harnessed by the LP if it tapped someone who could serve as a constant reminder of the revered president. That person was Noynoy Aquino.

            Not long after the burial of Mrs. Aquino, a disappointed Roxas announced his decision to give up his quest for the presidency and support the candidacy of Aquino instead. Roxas later admitted that pragmatism played a role in his move to step down. But the gesture also spoke of grace and even leadership as he said that only a party that was united behind a strong candidate could hope for victory over the present administration. He, the weaker candidate, waited for an offer from Aquino to be his vice presidential running mate. When the latter did so, Roxas accepted.

            That was about half a year ago. Today, Aquino—whose popularity rating used to be double that of his nearest rival—finds himself facing an increasingly strong challenge from arch-opponent Sen. Manuel Villar. Six months are proving too long even for the luster of a departed beloved president to continue casting its spell.

            But for Roxas, who had seen his initial plan of seeking the nation’s highest office go awry, the reverse is happening. In various surveys among vice presidential candidates, he has been consistently leading. This early, there is something in the air for this previous laggard of a candidate, something that no other contender in both the presidential and vice presidential contests can lay a claim to: the unmistakable scent of victory.

    • Bert says:

      “I wonder what the rest of the world will think about us if and when Binay wins the Presidency.”—Mary

      I know the answer to that, Mary. The rest of the world will be snickering at those at Raissa’s Blog for bashing Grace Poe so much the Filipino voters in their dismay and frustrations gravitated from Grace Poe to Binay instead of to Mar Roxas, :), :), hehehehe.

      • Bert, I have responded that perceived bashing in another thread.

        They insist that Poe is being bullied when in fact, they are just reacting to the inconsistencies of Poe’s own records. Caught being dishonest, reacting to such dishonesty, is that bashing, or bullying? Choosing a dishonest person over one that is clean is bullying, or bashing? If she can be dishonest and manipulative now, in how many other ways will that trait be manifested when she gets elected?

        Escudero has influenced Poe’s thinking and we know that Escudero has a record of being a traitor back in 2010 election when he favored Binay over Mar. Now it seems he wants Binay to win this election, with him as VP. Running true to form, isn’t he? No amount of him denying that can erase that perception.

        Why would we wish the voters to favor Poe over Binay when Mar is more credible, more experienced and clean than those 2? With Poe’s dishonesty and record manipulations, with the crowd of people that she chose to associate herself with, is there any difference between her and Binay? Hence the discussion in raissa’s and sometimes here, which you call bashing and bullying. And working doubly hard to help the truly qualified one to be elected. This is a fight between right and wrong, no compromise.

        Some citizens have totally bought Poe and Escudero’s media blitz that it is Mar and his supporters who are the source of his legal woes, when it is herself to blame, and the ones who exposed that and filed the cases are the Binay camp, and Binay is the one that they will turn to? Incredible line of thinking!!!

        • Joe America says:

          I think Poe’s statements that deny any accountability for mistakes or problems, and the accusations that Roxas or LP are behind DQ efforts, just infuriates LP supporters. So they respond in kind.

      • And Bert, it is not the supporters of Mar who will determine if Poe can run or not, we just want to understand the issues, if a few are actually bashing her, it’s not the majority. The DQ cases filed by Binay’s camp will be decided with finality by the SC, will that be tomorrow? If ever she is disqualified, it is the SC and not the supporters of Mar who prevented her from running. So out of spite, Poe’s supporters will vote for Binay? Hagupit sa kabayo, sa kalabaw ang latay? They took the revenge on Mar’s supporters and the country and the whole citizens including themselves will bear the brunt of that decision!

        Whoa!

        • karl garcia says:

          I do not know if Bert is advocating the devil or playing devil’s advocate,but who knows?we answer what is written.
          I do not see this as an underdog victim issue.They want the FPJ situation,where he allows himself to absorb punches then counters with a barage of punches until the bad guy is knocked out.
          As to Carpio being the most authoritative in our arbitration case, may not be that authoritative in the Poe case,but again,who knows?

          • Bert says:

            karl, no advocacy here, just being amused watching/reading all those political rhetoric and antics by the supporters of candidates which at most times can be so hilarious, too.

            Also, I would like to assure everybody, most of all Mary and NHerrera, that me and my family will be voting for Mar Roxas. I think Joe knows the reason why, I don’t know about you, karl, :).

            • karl garcia says:

              Bert,I know the reason why.I questioned the daang matuwid commercials,but the comment of Joe about Cocoy made me think that we should not second guess or undermine Roxas’ campaign.Continuance of good governance is a must.

              • Bert says:

                Hmmn, ‘undermined Roxas’ campaign’, hmmn. Am I doing that, karl?

                On the contrary, those bashers of Grace Poe were doing so much damage to our chances of ever attaining the objective of a continuing good governance because by their actions they’re abetting the worst scenario of a Binay win which definitely will not be the continuation of President Noynoy’s kind of governance if Binay wins, I think.

              • Joe America says:

                The concept is that Mar Roxas needs momentum, but it is hard to get it when even his supporters are complaining or giving him guidance. So supporters are putting on the brakes while asking him to go faster. Better for supporters to step on the gas and have confidence in their pick.

                By the way, he nailed a good endorsement today, San Juan Mayor, and I suspect many more will be coming his way.

              • Joe America says:

                The natural response would be, “yes, but I am only pointing out that he needs to do more”. And the answer would be, then you are an analyst, and have not yet decided to back Mar Roxas. Then you have to ask yourself if that is the best position to take, for the Philippines.

              • Joe America says:

                What is happening is this sequence of events:

                Mar Roxas is running a non-confrontational campaign, just talking to issues.

                Poe and Poe backers, Binay and Binay backers, Duterte and Duterte backers are pointing fingers at LP and by extension, Roxas.

                Roxas backers defend their candidate, some by bashing.

                The debates will be very, very interesting.

                Popcorn city.

              • karl garcia says:

                No,Bert! I don’t think you are underrmining the Roxas campaignyou just think that the approach of Poe bashing is wrong,.I also think that it is not a campaign strategy of Roxas

              • Joe, what I think Bert is doing is pointing out that those among Roxas supporters who concentrate too much on Poe’s DQ – instead of pointing out what Roxas can do well – are the ones actually putting on the brakes on Roxas’ campaign, instead of speeding it up.

              • Joe America says:

                Ah, good point. Thanks.

              • NHerrera says:

                So supporters are putting on the brakes while asking him to go faster.

                That is called braking speed. Sorry, corny today. For lack of popcorn.

                Re San Juan Mayor’s move — calibrated, some say the first move of a series and relates to a looming invalidation of Poe’s COC.

              • Bert says:

                Mabuti na lang magaling ang abogado ko, :).

                Thanks, Irineo. For that I owe you two days of splurge in and around my Namanday Island paradise, food, boats, lodging (tent) on me, when you happen to be here this coming summertime.

              • Yes, Joe, I for one am not bashing Poe, just asking why she and Escudero are blaming LP and Mar, why are they making their pitch to the people thru the various media that Mar is the culprit in the DQ cases (thereby making their supporters hate Mar) instead of the real culprit – Binay. They (Poe, Escudero and their supporters) are doing their utmost best to blacken Mar in the eyes of the general public and expect us to just stand by, say and do nothing to defend the right candidate. .And I don’t know why trying to understand the issue, or trying to find out the truth and nothing but, on Poe’s circumstances, (since they are already discussed in the SET, Comelec and now the SC) is labeled bashing or bullying.

                It seems some sympathizers are making excuses for Poe, it seems they are making her a victim when it it appears that the truth is the victim here. They have been buying her paawa effect, too. It seems her rabid fans, those who are already decided will stick to idolizing her no matter what Mar supporters say or do, and if Poe will not be able to win, they will not let Mar win, too even at the expense of the continuity, even at the risk of the country going back to the dark days of the Marcos, Estrada and Arroyo regime.

                It appears that they are treating voters like they are delicate things instead of supposedly mature people capable of choosing between the good or the bad.

                Well, if the majority of voters will prefer Binay, like the masa voters preferred Estrada as their mayor, then we deserve whatever will happen to the country.

                But then, as long as there is still a month or a day of campaign period left, we will not tire of trying to make the masa change their mind, that in the event Poe and Duterte are DQ’d, the only choice left is not Binay but Mar. that in the event that Poe and Duterte are allowed to run, the wise choice among the 4 is still Mar.

                For continuity of progress and development, for changing whatever was wrong in the current admin for the better. For the country.

              • chempo says:

                Joe, the San Juan Mayor Guia Gomez’s endorsement is interesting. She has been known to say that they support Estrada and his recommendations. Does a San Juan endorsement meant Estrada is secretly endorsing Mar?

              • Chempo, your political acumen is impeccable – Erap is OPENLY endorsing Mar:

                http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/715211/estrada-roxas-is-most-qualified-for-presidency

                This is good for Mar, because Erap has enormous credibility with the common people.

                Mar played an important role in pushing for Erap to be pardoned, if I am not mistaken.

              • Joe America says:

                I don’t think it is yet a formal endorsement. Just conversational. There are things to discuss, like a pardon for Junior.

              • https://www.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2007/0917_roxas1.asp

                In order to finally and sincerely put a just closure to national divisiveness, Senator Mar Roxas filed Senate Resolution No. 135 calling on President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to issue a pardon to former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada at the appropriate time.

                “Our people have been divided due to the politics of the last 20 years. But while our people are fragmented, they share one thing: they remain poor, and it is because our politics has failed to pay attention to them.” he said.

                “I urge the President to initiate the difficult process of uniting our people and finally focusing on the real problems that our people experience. Pardoning Erap at the appropriate time would be a step towards unity,” he stressed.

                “The grant of pardon to Erap on humanitarian grounds should not in any way be construed as condoning corruption, or as diminishing the legal weight of the ruling of the Sandiganbayan, but serves solely as an embodiment of the people’s will for closure on one of the most divisive chapters of our national life,” he added.

                Roxas said the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan (2004-2010) itself recognizes the need to heal the wounds caused by three EDSA uprisings and focus on the real reasons behind these revolts: social inequality, deprivation, poverty and social exclusion. Pardon, he said, would be an imperative to achieving national unity and reconciliation with justice.

          • The social divisions of the Philippines make it easy to bait people with underdog tactics.

            When I ran for Public Relations Officer in Pisay Student Council, my rival was a Consunji. Now that name smells rich, so it was easy for me to play the underdog, populist mestizo.

            Now our group of candidates was just 16-year old boys having fun “hacking” the system. Two of us who were lifelong friends sometimes had a favorite saying “Filipinos are stupid”. When we got into trouble for some of our wilder stuff, we then said, “we’re stupid Filipinos”.

          • Another black spot on voter’s way of thinking. They idolize the man on the silver screen, not knowing that he is just acting the part and that in reality he was a rabid supporter of Marcos and his dictatorship government.

            Star struck voting…

            which gave rise to Sotto, Lapid, Revilla, Estrada, Lani Mercado, etc. And possibly Pacquiao, Alma Moreno, and FPJ adopted daughter…

            When will they ever learn?

            • Bert says:

              Mary, the Filipino voters learnt it the hard, hard way, way, way back before they even start idolizing the men and women on the silver screen. They voted and put in place in government lawyers, bar and board topnotchers, economics experts, military generals, etc., hoping the best would serve the people and country best. What have they gotten out of those elite cream of the crop politicians? Nothing but the best screwed up ever happened to the country, The people has no other choice but to look for an alternative because they’ve been had.

              • That is exactly this THEM and US thinking many Filipino voters have, you have explained the reasons for it very well – it comes out of disappointment. I remember it from the time when Erap ran for President, an Erap supporter told me: they have cheated us so many times, the educated and the rich people, one of us might do more for us, and hire good people, he does not have to be too smart just care for our interests and not theirs. Many Erap supporters saw EDSA II as an elitist thing, and Arroyo proved how it went even worse, I can imagine that many of the old Erap crowd are pro-Binay and/or pro-Poe…

              • But, Bert, now a really good President comes their way, and since he is not allowed by the constitution to go for another term, why will they not opt for continuity? Pnoy has turned the country around after the disastrous regimes of Estrada and Arroyo, were they cheated, were they that disappointed? The 2010 presidential election is over and done with, and it seems they still could not move on. It all goes back to looking at a glass half full or half empty. Are they not reading the raves of other countries relative to our country’s economic performance, the positive result in the fight against corruption (if it really was selective justice, let Mar change it for the better) the military upgrade, the good image our country has among the community of nation. our David-like style of fighting the giant Goliath, the bully that is China by inviting our Asian neighbors to stand up by legal and peaceful means against this UNCLOS violator, and strengthening and giving teeth to our Mutual Defense Treaty by the executive agreement, EDCA. So he is not perfect, but finding perfection in a human president is truly impossible.

                I, too, was disappointed by the bar topnotcher Marcos, the economic expert Arroyo, the military general Ramos, but what has the actor Estrada done – drive the SSS to the brink of bankruptcy and enriched himself with billions of pesos in the process. I have posted the record of plunder and how he did it as researched by PCIJ, I also posted the chronology of Marcos plunder, these two were convicted by the respective courts that accorded them a fair trial. Arroyo is still waiting for her day in court, but it seems her lawyers are the one delaying the court proceedings.

                My point is – here is a good president – the economy student of Arroyo – PNOY- and they fail to realize it, and still insist on the adopted daughter of an action star who was a rabid supporter of the fallen dictator, and who will, if Poe’s sympathizers are to be believed, will encourage her supporters to vote for another alleged plunderer or a self confessed murderer and would be dictator if she is disqualified.

                Give our country a break, please, my countrymen.

              • Bert says:

                Mary, I can only speak for myself. The people have their own opinions, too. As to continuity, the people, too, have their own opinion on that. We the Roxas supporters can shout to our heart’s content about Roxas capacity to follow and continue what President Noynoy’s has done to the people and to the country, but the people, basing from various polling results has other ideas about what Roxas can do or not do. And there lies our own frustrations because we and Roxas himself can’t convince the people.

              • “Many Erap supporters saw EDSA II as an elitist thing, and Arroyo proved how it went even worse, I can imagine that many of the old Erap crowd are pro-Binay and/or pro-Poe…” – Irineo

                The Book of Guinness Records lists Estrada as one of the World’s Top Ten Most Corrupt Leaders. Consider the fact that he did his plundering in less than a third of his term. If he was not stopped then and there, how much more can he plunder? He was successful in muzzling the media criticism during his admin, it was not done by outright dictatorial method, but in an underhand way, getting his friends in the silver screen world and other business friends which are so many, to pull out ads from a major newspaper, it almost folded up, changed ownership by people friendlier to his presidency, manipulated stock prices (insider trading), forced the SSS and GSIS administrators to bend to his will thereby amassing billions of commissions for himself, what is his relation to a certain a contractor that cornered constructions of his paramour mansions and government housing projects, and BOC transactions, is there a reason why he has consistently gotten the nod of the INC votes to perpetuate his and his dynastic family’s hold on political power in San Juan, Manila and Laguna? An elitist thing, that EDSA II? He was convicted by a credible court, for heaven’s sake! Arroyo through Garci stole the election of 2004. The court let the case prescribe, she got away with that.

                World’s Ten Most Corrupt Leaders

                Name Position Years in Power Funds embezzled
                1. Mohamed Suharto President of Indonesia (1967–1998) $15–35 billion
                2. Ferdinand Marcos President of the Philippines (1972–1986) $5–10 billion
                3. Mobutu Sese Seko President of Zaire (1965–1997) 5 billion
                4. Sani Abacha President of Nigeria (1993–1998) $2–5 billion
                5. Slobodan Milosevic President of Serbia/Yugoslavia (1989–2000) $1 billion
                6. Jean-Claude Duvalier President of Haiti (1971–1986) $300–800 million
                7. Alberto Fujimori President of Peru (1990–2000) $600 million
                8. Pavlo Lazarenko Prime Minister of Ukraine (1996–1997) $114–200 million
                9. Arnoldo Alemán President of Nicaragua (1997–2002) $100 million
                10. Joseph Estrada President of the Philippines (1998–2001) $78–80 million

                Up to 1997, Marcos had the “honor” of being number 1. He was in power from 1965 to 1986.

                http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0921295.html

              • “Mar played an important role in pushing for Erap to be pardoned, if I am not mistaken.” – Irineo

                I must confess, I have mixed feelings regarding this pardon.

                In my humble layman’s opinion, (here I go again” Mar is sincere in his resolution. “The grant of pardon to Erap on humanitarian grounds should not in any way be construed as condoning corruption, or as diminishing the legal weight of the ruling of the Sandiganbayan, but serves solely as an embodiment of the people’s will for closure on one of the most divisive chapters of our national life,” he added.

                Arroyo’s legal staff, or the presidential legal advisers, erred in the wording of the pardon, an error the SC justices (at least those who are so into the words and not the spirit of the law) are quick to pounce on, placing the “whereas… followed by the promise of Erap not to seek elective position in the future” – (to maintain or preserve “the perpetual disqualification for government office” part of his sentence as laid down by the Sandigangbayan, a normal and common consequence for those removed from office due to impeachment and/or actual court trial) before the actual wordings of the Presidential pardon. That loophole made possible his being elected Mayor of Manila, that and the SC ruling on the Estrada DQ case in the 2010 Presidential election. dismissed for mootness because he lost the election anyway.

                I must concede that Erap is still very popular to the masa crowd but….Politics is simply “Shades of Gray”… Am I making sense? A politician has to dance this dance of endless compromise just to attain a certain goal for the benefit of the nation.

                “Shades Of Gray” by the Monkees

                When the world and I were young,
                Just yesterday.
                Life was such a simple game,
                A child could play.
                It was easy then to tell right from wrong.
                Easy then to tell weak from strong.
                When a man should stand and fight,
                Or just go along.

                But today there is no day or night
                Today there is no dark or light.
                Today there is no black or white,
                Only shades of gray.

                I remember when the answers seemed so clear
                We had never lived with doubt or tasted fear.
                It was easy then to tell truth from lies
                Selling out from compromise
                Who to love and who to hate,
                The foolish from the wise.

                But today there is no day or night
                Today there is no dark or light.
                Today there is no black or white,
                Only shades of gray.

                It was easy then to know what was fair
                When to keep and when to share.
                How much to protect your heart
                And how much to care.

                But today there is no day or night
                Today there is no dark or light.
                Today there is no black or white,
                Only shades of gray.
                Only shades of gray.

  6. NHerrera says:

    A DIVERGENT THOUGHT. On the four primary global forces (Climate change, Aggression, Instant communication, Limited resources) and their negative effects, with positive effect on the third factor, perhaps the Filipino specie may be likened to a highly resistant virus, toughened and evolved by circumstance — and perhaps some day emerge as a world leader of sorts?

    I must admit discomfort and thus ask the indulgence of Filipinos with delicate taste — the analogy is not good neither is it palatable, comparing the Filipino specie as a highly resistant virus?

    • sonny says:

      Hoping I read you right, NH, I rather like your ‘resistant Filipino specie-virus’ image and extend the specie up to a functioning organ that instantaneously recognizes an alien body and automatically generates antibodies to deal with the intruders. (And I think my addition is over-extending and morphing away 🙂 So sorry. )

  7. karl garcia says:

    Some really hate any GRPesque, anti- pinoyish blogs or posts,but life is what you make of it.

    Turn negative into positive.We are lowest in academic tests in academic evaluation of the country as a whole.
    It can be turned around quickly.
    Will’s relative- political will is needed to implement all programs in place.K12, CCT.
    Partnerships with Israel,Germany…the more the merrier.We will become scientists and mathematecians and engineers.

    ——-
    Off topic
    The government is the top employer but why are there only 1 million GSIS members, that is because of casual employees or endos.
    Not only the private sector has endos, there are 30 million SSS members but only a few million retirees,not because retireees are fewer than the active labor force.
    Many who got early attrition has to find contractual jobs. Teachers settle as contractuals.Former regular employees or workers accept endo jobs.
    Many are envious of the and military because the higher ranked retirees have high pensions.

    We can turn things to positive, by continuing to notice and discussing how to turn things around.
    We might not have all the answers,now,but soon enough an Edgar or an Irineo type of thinker may have one.

    • Joe America says:

      You know, that is exactly right. The trick is how to find solutions that are practical, that can be done. There are a lot of good ideas floating around, but they often are absolutely impossible to fit into a society that is what it is, poor and tending toward emotions as a way to solve problems, over reason. And when we, ourselves, lack a lot of the information needed to articulate a solution. That’s the genius of people like Edgar and Irineo. They can organize the concepts (Edgar strength) and hatch the pragmatic solutions (Irineo strength).

    • Bill in Oz says:

      Karl your comment about Endo’s and contractuals is something I was wondering about this morning for the SSS blog…Many of the 32,000,000 members are no longer in permanent employment and contributing to the SSS…And may not even have been in permanent employment for the 110 months needed to retire with a monthly pension…

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        Should that be 120, not 110, months?
        *****

        • Bill in Oz says:

          I stand to be corrected Edgar..But 110 month is what I read ‘somewhere’ one of the wider reading items..Not in this blog or I could check it…

          • karl garcia says:

            I would not go far and use myself as an example.
            you have to contribute for a minimum of ten years,I have to check,but that was what I was told.i have only contributed for 8 years,if I plan to receive at least 1200 I must contribute two more years.
            I have not done that for so long. I just settled my salary loan,have to pay 50 plus K after borrowing 20 plus k. because of the interest.Good thing they have amnesty programs once in a blue moon.
            I still have to decide if I shall continue contributing to complete the ten years.

            • you have to, karl or they will defer processing (from what I’ve heard from others). I don’t know if it was revised already, but before, it was ruled that those who contributed less than 120 will only get the lump sum and that’s it, no monthly pension.

              • And your monthly pension will depend on the MSC, (monthly salary credit) and the number of contributions made. The more you pay beyond the 10 year period, and the bigger the MSC, the higher the monthly pension.

              • karl garcia says:

                Thanks Mary,If they do not move the retirement age,If I did nothing with in fifteen years,I might just get the lumpsum, if they do give lumpsums.

              • Karl, they do give lump sum, 18 months worth of monthly pension if you have contributed 120 or more, on the 19th month, or one and a half year after you received the lump sum amount, the monthly pension starts. That monthly pension is being adjusted, they adjusted it for 5% more last July, 2014, and if only the Senate enacted the sister bill that would have funded the 2K accross the board pension hike, the SSS said they will have no problem implementing the pension hike.

                They also said that if the Legislative bodies will decide to over run? the Presidential veto, they don’t have a choice but to implement it, but with the stated caveat that the SSS will be bankrupt in another 11 years, if I understood it correctly yesterday noon.

              • Override the veto, not over run…aaarrrgggh, its 11:00 o’clock pm, the lights are out, I need to sleep…..sorry

              • karl garcia says:

                Mary,help on the question of Bill On the dictator thread 9:33 pm today.

              • ok, karl…. I have responded to that, thanks.

              • karl garcia says:

                Thanks as well. We have made a career out of that topic. Kinareer natin. Wala pa nga yung blog.

              • True, its kinda hot, hot topic today, kasi.

  8. Bert says:

    “MANILA, Philippines – The decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague, Netherlands on the arbitration case against the Philippines and China would be critical with the elections coming, according to analysts.

    Southeast Asia expert Ernest Bower and research associate Conor Cronin said that a decision delivered before the May elections would allow President Benigno Aquino III to respond strategically, whatever the outcome is.

    However, if the decision is delivered after the elections, the new administration will be in charge of managing the tribunal’s decision.

    “If the court decides China’s claims are not legal, then the Philippines, ASEAN and countries across the world who believe that rule of law should govern the seas will need to carefully and constructively encourage Beijing to recognize and embrace this core tenet of international governance and security,” Bower and Cronin said in an article published on the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative.

    Bower and Cronin pointed out the different stands of the presidential candidates on the West Philippine Sea dispute.

    Vice President Jejomar Binay has publicly affirmed that he would continue the arbitration process but also called for a bilateral resolution to the maritime dispites. In an earlier radio interview, he also suggested joint ventures with China to explore energy resources in the disputed sea.”—-Headline, PhilStar-Global, Jan. 18, 2016

    *************************

    Off topic, but that analysis above if given weight by the group of Supreme Court Justice Carpio might give them the idea that disqualifying Grace Poe that would result to a Binay presidency would jeopardize the gains of a favorable decision by the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague. Grace Poe might just survive these disqualification cases against her in the Supreme Court for this reason. My one-centavo worth of opinion.

    • karl garcia says:

      A part of me wants dialogue,but DFA said been there and done that.
      Trillanes tried the back channel approach,but the reason for doing so is only between him and the president.
      Now here is EDCA.The US is not declaring war with China,it is preventing war with China.
      Iran issues are almost resolved, China issues may soon be resolved,as well.

      • Joe America says:

        The next flash points: (1) when China tries to control sea and air traffic across the South China Sea, or keeps flying planes through zones now covered by civil aviation authorities (as they did recently, in Vietnamese air space). What will happen when China sends military aircraft across Palawan? (2) When China puts up an oil derrick on Scarborough or near Pagasa.

      • Bert says:

        These South China Sea and the East Sea issues will be resolved either way…peace or war.

        In the West Philippine Sea or in the whole South China Sea, the only way to avert a war is for China to insure and guarantee freedom of navigation in both areas and China can only do that by stopping reclamation in the areas and/or abandoning already reclaimed areas. Failing that, these China/US/Philippine issues will never be resolved.

    • Joe America says:

      I think SC justices might have political biases, but I don’t think they would decide on a case to game the election.

    • “…the idea that disqualifying Grace Poe that would result to a Binay presidency would jeopardize the gains of a favorable decision by the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague. Grace Poe might just survive these disqualification cases against her in the Supreme Court for this reason” – Bert

      I have complete faith in the wisdom of the Supreme Court justices. They have manifested that in the EDCA ruling.

      Ruling against DQ of Poe on the basis of a potential adverse executive decision if ever Binay wins as compared with adherence to the constitution, the rule of law, rules and procedures? They will set a precedent just because of fear of a potential error in judgement by a candidate NOW leading in the latest survey that MIGHT ACTUALLY LOSE? Nah, I hope they are better than that.

    • Bert says:

      That is, taking into consideration the fact that Justice Carpio is one of the most active and aggressive members of the Philippine delegation defending the Philippine side in the Hague Arbitration Court.

    • NHerrera says:

      Mary, Joe:

      Count me in — I have confidence in the wisdom of the Supreme Court Justices in their eventual ruling on Poe’s cases before them.

    • Bill in Oz says:

      My lady commented this morning that if Poe is not on the ballot, she will not be voting for Binay or Iron fist Duterte..Ummmm
      Has anyone done an analyis of who prefers Poe..That could give someidea of who they could vote for if she is DQ’d

      • Bert says:

        Bill, that’s because your wife is not a rabid fan of Grace Poe or Duterte, and there are millions of rabid fans out there who’re willing to do what rabid fans should/would do.

        • Bill in Oz says:

          Sorry Bert she is very strong in her support of Poe..Because Poe is a ‘strong woman’..The same logic applies with the VP..Leni Robrido a strong woman & from Bicol..S for her it is Leni all the way !

          I stand by and have no voice on the matter….And I do not know how she will vote if Poe is not on the ballot….

          So it may be that Poe’s supporters will surprise everybody come the election

  9. bong valencia says:

    The writer imagines the Philippines becoming a global leader. And most of his sentences start with the word ‘imagine”. Because all of these is wishful thininking. And with Binay soon to become the next President, all the more reason that all this writer could do is imagine. Because Binay will reverse all the country’s progressiveness. Corruption, enrichment of those in power, poverty will soon become the reality, not the writer’s wishful imaginings of a country becomong a world leader.I’d like him to revisit this subject 4 years from now with Binay the President. Let’s see if he would still have the same positive imaginings.

  10. NHerrera says:

    Since the Supreme Court was touched, this note is not exactly off topic.

    The JBC has short-listed five of 16 it interviewed to replace Justice Villarama who retired January 16. The five are Justice Secretary Benjamin Caguioa, Court of Appeals (CA) Presiding Justice Andres Reyes, CA Justices Jose Reyes and Apolinario Bruselas and former Commission on Audit Chair Maria Garcia Pulido-Tan. Caguioa was a grade school to college classmate of the President and former chief presidential legal counsel.

    Whoever the President’s choice is, I believe the SC will be back to having 15 members soon.

  11. edgar lores says:

    *******
    1. I have conflicting visions of the Philippines as a world leader.

    2. The country has performed impressively in ASEAN summits, the Arbitration Tribunal, and in the conferences on global warming.

    2.1. Economic progress has touched all islands and regions, with SM and SM-like malls distributed all around, and many SMEs catering to the tourism industry.

    3. At the same time, I can see that the path is not straight and narrow. It is highly possible that the country will slip into stasis, or worst retrogress, in the coming years.

    4. Choices. I think it is all about choices in this election year.

    4.1. A Binay win will most likely result in stasis. There will be economic progress but the moral climate will see most of the economic gains going into private hands.

    4.2. A Duterte win will most likely result in retrogression. The shutdown of the free institutions of Congress and the Judiciary, the drafting of a new Constitution, will cause some confusion which will erode internal and external confidence in the country.

    4.3. The quality of political leadership in both houses of Congress is abysmal — and may get worse.

    4.4. As noted in the post: terrorism. The Islamic State has won some converts to their cause in the South. These converts may produce Parisian and Jakartan mayhem.

    4.5. Low-level conflict instigated by NPAs in various parts of the country continue to be a concern.

    4.6. Criminality is rampant in the metropolitan areas… in the post offices and in customs.

    4.7. Also as noted in the post: instant electronic communication. This may be a plus or a minus. It may spread ignorance faster as much as it may enlightenment.

    4.8. There are other imponderables such as Acts of God.

    5. It is still January. Let us hope we have a happy new year.

    P.S. It would be good at year end to review what has been said here, whether our hopes or our fears were realized.
    *****

    • Joe America says:

      It is my guess that a primary achievement of the next administration, no matter who is president, will be to bring Mindanao in out of the cold with policies for inclusion and investment. I think with American forces in the Philippines, the intensity of the effort to keep ISIS out will be raised, an agreement with the NPA will be struck, a BBL style law will be implemented, and Mindanao will become the land of opportunity for foreign and domestic investors.

      If a President gets too friendly with China or throws the US out, he . . . or she . . . is likely to be impeached.

      Any president would be remiss not to continue to build storm readiness and recovery. The need to move masses of people will necessitate mass transport over private car. The barangay system is in place and functioning. So there are certain forces . . . the fates . . . that suggest the scenario I have outlined is not too farfetched.

      As with any grand vision, it requires the will to be bold and purposeful.

      • sonny says:

        Love the tandem! Many ponderables expressed. My concerns – all of the above! Emphasis, acts of God. We know at least 20 typhoons per year come. At least the country is on the international disaster map.

        Sleeper is terrorism.

    • NHerrera says:

      We are on a ship. Joe sees a glimmer of the sought for island in the horizon; edgar with his powerful magnifying glass sees its outline. For the rest of us we will get to see it finally when we set foot by year-end. What do we see?

  12. Caliphman says:

    I have always believed and said that it is a mere quibble between Grace Poe and Mar Roxas to carry the Daang Matuwid torch lit by Aquino during his regime. I also woud not be wrong in saying that this president shared this belief and the assessment that Poe has a much better chance with the masa against the perenial poll leader Binay or the likes of Duterte . That there are Roxas supporters who still believe even now that being anti-Poe and assasinating her character and ruining her candidacy is the key to his winning chances. This belief may have been viable when Aquino was vacillating between the duo as to who to anoint and when the polls had Poe seizing the lead from Binay, who was written off due to accusations and evidence of corruption. But to continue focusing on an anti-Poe strategy is absolutely insane when she is virtually disquaified, her masa supporters deserting her in favor of Binay and not Roxas, his anointment boost and campaign dead in the water. As it stands, these rabid Roxas fans are on the verge of getting their wish. With Poe gone, it Is unclear how they intend to help Roxas stop the Binay juggernaut with his ballooning masa from turning the nation into a kleptocracy. Hint: maybe if your opponent is already down for the count and your side is not winning, maybe you were hitting the wrong enemy??

  13. Recommended viewing: “The Wire” series…

    it is about the city of Baltimore in crisis:

    First Season: crime

    Second Season: labor

    Third Season: elections

    Fourth Season: schools

    Fifth Season: media

    a lot of stuff will seem very familiar.

  14. NHerrera says:

    BINAY/BACKERS, DUTERTE/BACKERS AND POE/BACKERS GANGING UP ON ROXAS. THE QUESTION IS WHY?

    The question becomes even more significant when one considers that surveys including the latest one of SWS shows that Roxas IS NOT in the LEAD.

    The opposition all point to the “palpak” Roxas and yet here they are saying that he is so influential he can influence all those legally arguing that Poe should be DQed in both her Senate Seat and her COC — that is the three SET SC Justice-Members and practically all the Comelec Commissioners. I am not buying this. In fact, the one candidate whose minions first fired the salvoes on Poe’s DQ was Binay’s Tiangco and Bautista. And Duterte used the “American Candidate” as his reason (kuno) for entering the Presidential fray.)

    So there must be other plausible reasons. One I entertain is that Roxas is considered by them in fact as a very strong candidate, not at this time but at the important end of the three-month period known as Official Campaign Period for National Office: February 9 to May 6. (Interesting that today the “slip” has already been seen — Mayor Guia of San Juan, mother of Senator Ejercito already offered her support for Roxas in no uncertain terms. Also recall that Miriam, in answer to the hypothetical question of her withdrawal due to health reason, said she will support Roxas.)

    The other reason is that Binay/Backers and Duterte/Backers, in view of a looming Poe COC invalidation, do not want to antagonize Poe/voters-supporters and so train their noise on Roxas — in effect, saying to Poe’s voters: look we love your idol Poe; it is all Roxas fault; so give us your votes.

    But is it just as simple as that. Can this noise by Binay/Backers and Duiterte/Backers and even Poe “commanding” or telling her backers to go Binay or Duterte be enough to entirely dibay-dibay the 25 or so percentage points of Poe between the two of them. In this I give weight to Joe’s view that the majority of Poe’s voters are of the more discerning or enlightened ones. Besides a three-month more period of “enlightening” can help the other un-enlightened ones see the “light.”

    (Again, a one-centavo worth of note.)

    • karl garcia says:

      it is a million dollar worth of note.

    • caliphman says:

      In my opinion, whomever steered the Comelec to their legally flawed DQ decisions be it Roxas is of little import. The facts on the ground are Poe’s impending departure has favored neither Roxas nor Duterte and has triggered the defection of her masa followers to Binay’s camp. The sad truth about the masa is they have never been swayed by the supposedly enlightened view that Roxas is the best qualified candidate. The reality is the masa do not identify with him and what he brings to their table. To say now that the masa will undergo a transformation from their long established preferences once Poe departs from the scene and support Roxas is delusional or to mince words, wishful thinking.

      I myself am no fan of Binay and I do believe in Roxas’s integrity to think it unlikely that he would manipulate the justice system even if he could. But I cannot say the same for his rabid supporters or those in the LP whose party loyalties know no ethical bounds. If indeed it was Roxas’s camp who was behind Poe’s legal misfortunes, why not focus on Binay who should be vulnerable on some constitutional issue. Maybe if not his indictment on criminal charges then maybe the ban on political dynasties which is clearly prohibited by the Constitution even if Congress or the executive branch is reluctant to enforce it.

    • Sir, NH, now I have an idea why they are all ganging up on “the perrenial tail ender” on surveys. I agree with all your points. And I also agree with karl, its more than a million dollar worth of note.

      Thanks for that valuable note.

    • Juan dela Cruz says:

      NHerrera, very interesting analysis. I also wondered why Poe/Binay/Duterte camps and supporters always blame Mar for every perceived evil plot that happens in this Presidential campaign. They are all very active in the traditional press and in social media in ganging up on Mar. I can hardly remember an issue where Poe, Binay and Duterte camps and supporters bashed one another with unceasing fervor.

      A flood of endorsements for Mar from influential personalities may be coming soon. Mayor Guia’s endorsement may just be the tip of the iceberg.

  15. karl garcia says:

    If we think Poe was playing underdog,look at what Binay is doing with his self depracating commercials of nog nog and pandak.

    • And effective, too. Just look at the survey results. It seems our people are suckers for tearful anecdotes and martyrdom stories.

      So how about giving the people what they want? Gawin kaya ni Mar yang paawa (martyr) effect – motorcycle slip, ridiculed when he is on his way to be of help to typhoon victims; his Wharton school credentials doubted and made fun of, the favorite whipping boy in Poe’s legal woes, pictured as the monster in Yolanda tragedy (using a spliced video tape) when he was actually there, and the mayor was not, the day before, during and long after the super typhoon struck, ganged up by the opposition when he is the tail ender in polls, when he is just doing his job, minding his own business…endless nitpicking on the simple matters just because there is no corruption issues that can be thrown at him, no DQ issues, dishonesty or manipulation, all baseless accusations..

      ….how about it PR guys of Mar’s campaign HQ? This is not character assassination, just realistic fact as enumerated by sir NH.

      A dialogue by perplexed observers, huh?

      • karl garcia says:

        first of all,aaargh,it is deprecating,not depracating.ngayon pa ba ako magbilang ng libu-libung mali.
        Yeah right,let them all be victims,why not?
        Seriously Binay is making it appear that he is champion of the poor.Erap para sa mahirap version 2.0 tapos madami na daw nagawa.
        Many people believe him.

      • Tsinoy says:

        Yes, I think that would be a great strategy. I see the FB pages of Mar are making fun of his rival’s controversy which trigger their fans to become more enraged of him. Somebody has to tell Mar to stop that. Filipinos are sympathetic and it showed how they rallied behind people like Erap, Binay and FPJ.

        Joe, am a supporter of Mar and if you have the time please tell him to make friends with his enemies if he wants to win because I can’t see his chances for now. Thanks.

  16. I have read all. Thanks, intelligent people, now I am happy to prepare coming home. There is hope, after all, despite GRP and Adobo Chronicles gloomy paintings.

  17. caliphman says:

    For those who are interested, oral arguments begin in one hour and the audio feed can be listened to in the above youtube link.

  18. VSB says:

    No individual no latter how misplaced their ambition or megalomania is above the constitution- SC should vote solely on the basis of the law and the facts..

    • Bill in Oz says:

      Time leads to change; in peoples, nations, morals and laws. The role of the Supreme courts in all law abiding countries is to interpret ‘written law’ so it is just and feasible now.

      It is a huge responsibility. Which is why the position of supreme court judge should only be awarded to the most clear thinking, honest and sensitive of men or women

  19. While he voted for a P2,000 across-the-board raise for Social Security System (SSS) pensioners, Senator Serge Osmeña III backed its veto by President Benigno Aquino III, saying it would be “financial suicide” if the SSS would have no income to support the increase.

    Osmeña was among the 15 senators who approved the bill in the Senate last November. Only Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile voted against it. It was later vetoed by the President.

    “Alam mo, tama ang ginawa ni President PNoy na huwag tayong gumastos pag wala tayong income. Lahat naman tayo, ganun naman tayo sa bahay. Yung household budget natin, gagastos ba tayo ng P1,000 kung ang income natin ay P500 lamang? You’re committing financial suicide,” the senator told reporters on Tuesday.

    Asked if he thought the President abused his veto power, Osmeña said: “No, he did the right thing.”

    “Basta yung sinabi nya, wala tayong source of income, tama ang ginawa nya and even if I’m not a member of the Liberal Party, if he’s correct, I will always defend it,” he said.

    Asked again why Congress would approve a bill that is not doable like the SSS pension hike, Osmeña said: “Yun na nga hindi ko maintindihan, you know it’s election session, it’s popular to do and what I’m saying now is not popular, maraming magagalit sa akin but we have to teach them that you now it’s nice to be popular but it’s better to be right.

    Osmeña explained that when he voted in favor of the bill, he thought the President would simply direct the SSS directors to raise contributions to support the proposed pension hike.

    “Let’s say P100 a month times 30 million members, we’ll get an additional P3 billion or P36 billion a year. Makakatulong na yun. Pero kung walang ganun, mahirap namang batikusin ang ating Presidente kung tama naman ang ginawa nya,” he said.

    “So alam ko, very unpopular ang sinabi ko pero I’m sorry but for us to keep our fiscal house in order, we must be able to exercise financial discipline.”

    “But this is not the end of it, talagang itutulak ko na ipataas ng P2,000 ang pension but we have to increase the income of the SSS kung hindi in 11 years, SSS is bankrupt at kawawa naman lahat kayo…” the senator added.

    In fact, Osmeña said, he signed a resolution in the Senate asking the President to reconsider his veto on the bill while cautioning his colleagues that they would be committing financial suicide if the SSS could not raise its income to support the pension hike.

    He said he was also studying the possibility of merging the SSS and the Government Service Insurance System since the latter had a steady income and it was easier to collect contributiosn from its members.

    The merger, he said, could be done through legislation but it would need the approval of the county’s financial managers like the Department of Finance, Governance Commission for GOCCs, and the Insurance Commission, among others.

    http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/756806/osmena-p2000-sss-hike-financial-suicide-if

    NOTE form MG:

    I would like to chant:

    SSS, GSIS MERGER…!!! MERGER…!, MERGER…! MERGER…!

    • karl garcia says:

      Adb study to make MG’s chant louder.

      http://www.rappler.com/business/13049-merge-sss,-gsis-to-better-protect-pinoy-seniors-adb

      “MANILA, Philippines – Even if the Philippines still enjoys a relatively young population, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said the government could better prepare for the future of aging Filipinos by merging the state-run pension funds Social Security System (SSS) and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).

      In a study titled Pension Systems in East and Southeast Asia: Promoting Fairness and Sustainability released on Tuesday, September 25, the ADB said merging the two government-owned-and-controlled corporations (GOCC) can help improve the pension system in the country.

      “To preserve the pension system, the government should consider raising the retirement age, increasing contributions, combining the two programs, gradually shifting to a defined-contribution system, and expanding the economy although the current population growth rate of 2%, one of the highest in Asia, will make sustained economic growth a challenge,” the study stated.

      Inequities in coverage

      The ADB report said combining the SSS and the GSIS will remove inequities between the two programs. The report stated that there is a large discrepancy between the contribution rate of the GSIS at 21% and the SSS at 10.4%.

      The report said this reflects the “significant imbalance” between contributions and benefits in the SSS. This, the ADB study said, explains the SSS’ shorter fund life compared to GSIS since the GSIS has a fund life of until 2055 while the SSS only has until 2031.

      The ADB publication, however, acknowledged that there are constraints to this recommendation such as the “natural bias” toward keeping the two programs separate and maintaining the “superiority” of the GSIS.

      “The significant disparities between the SSS and GSIS test the fairness and sustainability of the entire system for present and future retirees,” the ADB said. “The gap is quite wide; it will take some time to narrow it.”

      Pension systems in the region

      The ADB said that pension systems need to be fair in coverage, net benefits and retirement age. These systems need to be financially sustainable to assure that the benefits promised at the end of people’s working lives are delivered.

      The increase in Asia’s working population significantly contributed to the expansion of the labor force, widespread growth and greater savings. The ADB said Asia’s demographic dividend is tailing off and falling fertility. This means Asia’s median age is rapidly becoming older.

      “Across Asia, great divides exist in pensions available in rural and urban areas, between retirees from the public and private sectors, and those leaving the informal and formal job sectors,” ADB Principal Economist Donghyun Park said. “Without far-reaching reforms, the financial burden of these schemes on future workers may become more than they can bear.” – Rappler.com”

      • karl garcia says:

        This is a tough sell and a long shot…..we need a philippine version.

        “What Is the Fair Tax Plan?

        The Fair Tax Act (HR 25, S 13) legislation proposes that the federal government stop collecting many different types of income tax, including:

        Personal income tax
        Social Security tax
        Medicare tax
        Capital gains tax
        Self-employment tax
        Estate tax
        Alternative minimum tax
        Instead, the government would generate tax revenue by instituting a national sales tax on most purchased items. Businesses would collect the tax at the point of sale and send the revenue to the federal government. The IRS would become obsolete, and your net income would no longer have anything to do with how many exemptions you can claim. Instead, your paycheck would simply be exactly how much money you make: tax-free.

        Moreover, related legislation would repeal the Sixteenth Amendment, which means the federal government would no longer have the right to levy income taxes. States and local governments, however, would still be able to collect revenue via income and sales taxes at their discretion.”

        http://www.moneycrashers.com/fair-tax-act-explained-pros-cons/

      • Thanks, karl…and thank you ADB and rappler.

        MERGER..! MERGER..! MERGER….! MERGER …!

    • VSB says:

      Osmena is another double talking weasel who never loses an opportunity to make Epal- He is the epitome of the double crossing politico and is the idol of Chiz – Recto is another weasel who last month openly admitted to an “error” in declaring he had not one but 2 masters degrees when he did not ven finish college.. again these guys faked it until they made it. All this while having access to over Php 300M a year in Senatorial pork- I’m beginning to see Duterte as an option especially if he will cleanse us of these jokers

      • Tsinoy says:

        But Duterte is saying almost anything just to win… can’t really trust this guy. http://www.rappler.com/nation/politics/elections/2016/119816-duterte-bong-revilla-bail

        • Even if his conclusions are wrong and politically biased, his statement that cases take too long is correct. But he has the operational blindness of many of those who have gotten used to the overly complex and confusing Kafka laws of the Philippines. The solution IMHO is not more courts, it is to simplify the laws and streamline how the system operates – De Lima / DOJ’s Criminal Code Draft of 2014 was a step in the right direction.

          “The courts are overloaded. I know that they would want to finish the case, but simply the dockets everywhere in the Philippines are overloaded. You have to create more courts. If I had my way, I’d like to establish more courts to meet the challenges of crime and criminality,” he said.

          • karl garcia says:

            The president talked about recodification of laws, the criminal code draft is a major part of that.
            But it is still the legislators who will do the recodifying.

            “I have always believed that the job of an effective legislator goes beyond merely proposing laws, for what are laws but written agreements entered into by members of society on how to harmonize their mutual relations? In fact, I do not believe that we suffer from the problem of too few laws. One of my proposed measures was the recodification of laws, in response to an appeal from the legal community to put some order into our laws, their amendments and those that have been repealed, because even our lawyers are at times confused.
            Consider the recent controversy over who gets to appoint the next Chief Justice. We maintain that there are no ifs and buts in Article 7 Section 15 of the Constitution where it states that the current President cannot appoint anybody within two months prior to a presidential election up to the end of her term. An exemption exists, but it applies only for positions in the Executive Department. Yet you have two retired justices arguing exactly the opposite. How can former justices of the Supreme Court be so seemingly confused, when the fact is that the provision regarding presidential appointments is stated clearly in the law?
            Our problem is the lack of political will to faithfully implement the many world-class laws that our legislature has passed. A preference for ambiguity even when times call for clarity, leads to artificial controversies. Insecure or overly ambitious leaders need to create a climate of doubt, because it’s in the grey areas that its ambitions thrive.
            It is in addressing this problem that I focused on the fiscalizing aspect of a legislator’s job – on Congress’ oversight and investigative functions.”

            • It seems that Congress has passed quite a number of laws in the past 6 years – the ECCP weekly report shows it quite clearly. I wonder what still could be streamlined there.

              Too much petty politicking everywhere, instead of focusing on getting things running.

              • Joe America says:

                A part of the reason there are so many laws, I think, is because the Legislature insists on keeping control of every little detail, rather than delegating details of implementation out to agencies. I mean, the whole building code is in a national law, fer cryin’ out loud.

        • karl garcia says:

          Enrile already went out, Bong Revilla is healthy,unless he keeps on eating lechon inside.
          What would be the humanitarian reason.Justice delayed is justice denied, so his solution is street justice.
          A TV show about a judge who dismisses cases,then kills them outside.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Street_Justice

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