Making pesos and sense of land in the Philippines

Controversial villar subdivision in agri zone focusweb dot org

Controversial Villar housing subdivision on agricultural property [Photo credit: focusweb.org]

The Project

A prior blog put forth the idea of getting rid of the current land use and titling laws and replacing them with new laws properly attuned to the digital age. The idea is to free up the economic value of land that is properly zoned and titled:

  • Make land easy to buy and sell
    • Get rid of informal titles
    • End family squabbles
  • Get the proper taxes levied and collected (add revenue)
  • Perfect land as security for loans
    • Economic benefits of credit to leverage income forward
  • Reduce inefficiency of title processing (cut costs)
  • End corruption

After discussion, the project seems to have three major initiatives that fit together to assure a quality program:

  1. National Land Use Act to provide the “strategic” or policy framework
  2. Digital titling and record keeping to commoditize land
  3. National ID to anchor record-keeping and reduce corruption

The following follow-up information has been gathered on each of the component parts.

National Land Use Act

A National Land Use bill was completed in late 2011 and certified as urgent by President Aquino in early 2013 [Aquino certifies National Land Use Act as urgentRappler]. However, objections to the bill killed it, the opposition mainly coming from real estate developers who object to declaring lands (agricultural) off limits for residential and commercial development. These objections were registered in Senate action to amend the bill which was approved on second reading. The form of the objections was a request “for further study” put forth by  senators Enrile and Marcos. The bill was dropped from any further consideration.

It is clear that real estate developers oppose this bill. They are a powerful force in Philippine politics, funding campaigns and advocating for their cause. Their primary objection seems to be the blocking of further development in agricultural  zones.

Land use today is managed by The Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB). Here are some instructional pages from HLURB’s web site:

  1. Laws and Issuances on Policies (assorted regulations and guidelines.) It is a collection of rules covering everything from condominiums to cemeteries. The page mainly stands as a reference source for LGUs and developers who are working on specific land uses.
  2. Laws and Issuances on Land Use Planning. Three documents are referenced here, orders or memoranda issued by President Ramos. That was a long time ago when global warming was but an idea and the population was considerably less than today.
  3. Seven booklets for Local Government Units (LGUs) are available at the web page for LGUs. Here is the planning publication: Guidebook Volume I: The Planning Process. The document is very orderly and thorough. Exhausting, actually, and the main flaw is that all initiatives are left to the LGUs with no direct oversight or audit or quality control on follow-through work. So land use and preservation across the nation is very undisciplined.

I have two different reactions to the HLURB materials: (1) land use is impossibly complex and unmanageable; walk away, and (2) a fully integrated national law is needed, and a part of that law ought to be the power to fine, sanction or remove LGU officials who do not follow regulations. That suggests an audit function is needed. Proposed SB3091 does this (Sec 61ff).

Digital Titling

The Philippines is now embarked on a digital titling program under the Land Registration Authority (LRA). The LRA is subordinate to the Department of Justice, an alignment that suggests its origination had to do with protecting people’s interests and not generating economic value from land. It would be better to assign the function to the Office of the President, where it can reside, like the Securities and Exchange Commission, a body active in developing Philippine financial infrastructure, resources and well-being.

The first initiative to move to electronic titling began in 2009 as an adjunct to the nation’s E-Commerce Law passed in 2004.

National ID

The advantage of a National ID is ease of linking data to an authoritative person, thus speeding transactions, allowing systems to talk to one another, and protecting against fraud.

The main fear is that government would become “Big Brother”, possessing so much information that individuals would become faceless pawns without rights of privacy.

Contributor Karl Garcia has observed that the voters ID database would be an excellent starting point, as that database contains bio-metrics that permit authoritative identification (electronic fingerprinting, for example).

This is an aspect of the project that I would defer to another interested party to define the bones and put some meat on the issues surrounding a National ID. Two questions that arise:

  1. Does the Voters Registration data set match that ordinarily found in established National ID programs?
  2. If not, does it contain the flexibility to add descriptors?

Going Forward

I leave the National ID issue to others to wrestle with.

Digital titling is perplexing. Clearly there is an understanding of the value of digital titling, but that titling is being carried out within the framework of the existing rats nest of laws and cultural mores (informal titles), with no great push to bring order to land ownership. The implementation of the project to transfer to digital titling seems to be struggling and haphazard. Not comprehensive. I’d put this on the table of the incoming administration to do a “policy and quality audit” of the digital land titling project and determine how better to move forward to put some order, discipline and efficiency to land ownership.

The most likely area where we could do more work here is in the land use arena. It would be helpful if interested Society of Honor members reviewed SB3091 to assess its value, much as we did with the BBL. What are the strengths and vulnerabilities? Where does it seem make good strides toward order and preservation, and where does it fall short?

It appears the House is able to pass legislation, but not the Senate. The challenge therefore is how to resolve the concerns of real estate developers. Furthermore, following are the Senate committees that would seem to have an interest in Land Use legislation. The chairpersons would have to see the proposed legislation as forward-looking and protective of their interests.

  1. Agrarian Reform: Sen. Gregorio B. Honasan II
  2. Agriculture and Food: Sen. Cynthia Villar
  3. Climate Change: Sen. Loren B. Legarda
  4. Economic Affairs: Sen. Joseph Victor G. Ejercito
  5. Environment and Natural Resources: Sen. Francis “Chiz” G. Escudero
  6. Local Government: Sen. Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.
  7. Science and Technology: Sen. Ralph G. Recto
  8. Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement: Sen. Joseph Victor G. Ejercito

What we would want to do, I think, is figure out how to speak to senators so that they can speak with their constituents who have objection to the National Land Use Act. This involves two steps:

  1. Finding out what, exactly, the objections are.
  2. Providing senators with a “value formula” that would be built into laws to help assure there are no penalties paid by businesses when the National Land Use Law is implemented.

Value Formula

This concept is very rough in my head and I don’t know if something similar has been articulated or employed elsewhere. That investigation is yet to come.

I assume the main sticking point on the NLUA is the drawing of lines that preserve agricultural (or forestry lands) lands.

  • Fixing agriculture lands penalizes farmers who might want to sell land for higher valued use, like commercial or residential properties. If they are forced into agricultural values forever, they lose big.
  • Fixing agricultural lands penalizes developers because they are forced to buy high-priced urban properties. So their cost/revenue equation gets dinged. And, potentially, their profits.

The solution I think would be found in identifying a way to calculate “social rights” that attach to property. Social rights are like air rights, a value other than the property itself. In our case, they would be a calculation of the difference between fixed and unfixed valuations. For example, in agricultural zones, they would be the difference between agricultural use value and residential or commercial use value. Within urban zones, they would be the difference between “old use” and “new use” values. The National Government would agree to subsidize the difference so that specific persons or businesses don’t have to carry the weight of the Nation’s social well-being. Only one upgrade would be allowed for any property. Thereafter, the property would be valued at the higher (agricultural) or lower (urban) rate, and this would be reflected in the title history.

Citizens would pick up the subsidy, paid for in taxes. The benefit they receive is preservation of their food source (agricultural land) or upgrading or higher valued use of properties (urban).

This requires a lot more thinking, and I will pursue that as the next step of this project. But somehow, the discussion with land developers has to get down to valuations. That is, money.

All and any inputs are welcome in this open-sourced exploration.

 

Comments
150 Responses to “Making pesos and sense of land in the Philippines”
  1. The idea of compensation is excellent… it makes people MOVE ON with the business of today instead of fighting the battles of yesterday. The German Federal Government gave economic compensation (not full land value but somehow computed by what the land could have earned) to those affected by the Soviet land reform in occupied areas from 1945-1948 which was the period when all of Germany was under 4-zone Allied military government and major territories where simply given to Poland and Russia by Stalin. There is a somewhat weird nobleman who still wanted to get back his castle in present-day Poland, and claimed the Poles shot first in 1939, but I guess it is also thanks to compensations paid and the next generation moving on to other opportunities in business and government in postwar West Germany that made him a curiosity…

    Some ideas for this discussion: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_George (September 2, 1839 – October 29, 1897) was an American political economist, journalist, and philosopher. George is famous for popularizing the idea that land/resource rents be captured for public use or shared, in lieu of harmful taxes on labor and productive investment. The philosophy and reform movement were known in George’s time as ‘Single-Tax’. His immensely popular writing is credited with sparking several reform movements of the Progressive Era and ultimately inspiring the broad economic philosophy that is today often referred to as Georgism, the main tenet of which is that people legitimately own value they fairly create, but that natural resources and common opportunities, most importantly the value of land or location, are rightfully owned in common by individuals in a community, rather than titleholders. His most famous work, Progress and Poverty (1879), sold millions of copies worldwide, probably more than any other American book before that time. The treatise investigates the paradox of increasing inequality and poverty amid economic and technological progress, the cyclic nature of industrialized economies, and the use of extensive land value tax as a remedy for these and other social problems. That Lincoln Republican who became a Democrat was highly influential on an international scale…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_value_tax is an interesting idea as well… I don’t own land but I do know that landowners pay something similar over here in Germany… taxes on land are a useful mechanism to prevent landowners from just keeping land unused for speculative reasons, because they are forced to earn money to pay that tax. A land/location value tax (LVT),[1] also called a site valuation tax, split rate tax, or site-value rating, is a levy on the unimproved value of land. It is an Ad valorem tax that, unlike property taxes, disregards the value of buildings, personal property and other improvements.[2] The economic efficiency of a land value tax has been known since the eighteenth century.[3] Many economists since Adam Smith and David Ricardo advocated for this tax, but it is most famously associated with Henry George, who argues that because the supply of land is fixed and the values of land’s locations is created by communities and public works, the economic rent of land is the most logical source of public revenue.[4]

    A land value tax is a progressive tax, in that the heaviest tax burden would fall on the wealthiest.[5][6] Land value taxation is currently implemented throughout Denmark,[7] Estonia, Lithuania,[8] Russia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan; it has also been applied in subregions of Australia (New South Wales), Mexico (Mexicali), and the United States (Pennsylvania).

    Now I don’t know how land is taxed in the Philippines… I just know that nowadays if you want to do something with the (relatively new) TCTs you have to prove having paid taxes over the past years. What I suspect is that the Philippines still has many holdovers from the reactionary mindset of Spanish times with regards to land… Spain was the most backward country in Europe even when it was modernizing in the 19th century, which is why some ilustrados went elsewhere… most notably Antonio Luna (France and Belgium) and Jose Rizal (Germany).. rat’s nest is a very good description of the present legal mess… from the tribal laws of old to the titling which was mostly in the 19th century (no coordinates at all, land area in solares only later) and then the titling during the American period with coordinates, during which certain groups won – there is an old article in the Philippines Free Press in which Quezon mentions three major groups who were lucky then, according to him even Tuasons who went to court to get their claim secured… it is not easy at all.

    • https://philippinesfreepress.wordpress.com/tag/friar-lands/

      But as early as June, 1936, President Quezon stated: “After a careful study of this question, I have reached the conclusion that such a step would not remedy the situation, nor could it be carried out without exposing the country to great financial losses…. It is now my earnest conviction that the purchase of these haciendas by the government will not solve the agrarian and social problems existing therein, but will only transfer to the government the difficulties which the tenants now have with the present land owners….

      “The investment, therefore, of several millions of pesos by the government in the purchase of the friar lands has only been, with a few exceptions, for the benefit of people not contemplated by the government…I, for one, despite the commitment in the Coalition platform do not wish to impose upon our people the burden of a national debt which our children will have to bear merely to give a few individuals the opportunity to acquire these particular areas at the expense of the people when there is so much available fertile and untouched public lands in many regions of the country, particularly in Mindanao.”

      In connection with this message Mr. Quezon concluded by recommending the purchase of those portions of the estates which are urban in character and occupied by the tenants’ homes. A few months ago he signed a bill appropriating P2,000,000 for the purchase of barrios within Church lands. Another million was appropriated in 1937 for this same purpose.

      The developments in recent years raise the question of why President Quezon, who had favored the plan to purchase Church estates, never did anything to carry it out when able to do so. He has already given the Assembly quoted above.

      Long-range game

      But to keen observes here a pertinent reason is that Mr. Quezon does not want to see the Church receive a large cash payment—not at this time anyway. The President of the Philippines is currently in an excellent position to tell the Roman Catholic Church a few things. And he will need all this advantage when the Church in its relentless fight for compulsory religious instruction in the public schools, attempts to apply punitive measures upon Mr. Quezon for his courageous and democratic veto of a bill which is a throwback to the time when church and state were one in the Philippines.

      https://philippinesfreepress.wordpress.com/1970/08/29/the-ruling-money-august-29-1970/

      Correction… it was not Quezon it was Ninoy Aquino who identified…

      THREE LAYERS of wealth have accumulated since the turn of the century and Senator Aquino identifies these layers with lands, politics and banks.

      “When the Americans came, a group of young lawyers started titling lands: this was the beginning of the big estates. Gregorio Araneta, for example, became the lawyer of the Tuason family that claimed this tremendous tract of land from Sampaloc to the Marikina Valley. The original source of the Philippine fortunes was, therefore, land—either Spanish grants, like the Ayala estate, or the acquisitions titled during the 1900s.

      “The second generation of Filipino wealth came from government connections. In the 1920s when Quezon was financing his independence missions, certain people got choice contracts from the government, like the Teodoros of Ang Tibay, the Madrigals of the shipping line.

      “Then we have a third generation of millionaires: those who got concessions from government financing institutions, like the sugar barons. The Philippine National Bank was set up and it financed practically the entire sugar-mill construction of the period. The movement was from Negros Occidental to Iloilo and the sugar barons—the Lopezes, the Javellanas, the Aranetas—started taking over virgin forest.”

      The PNB marked an important development: Filipinos—or, at least, some Filipinos—began to have access to capital. Previously, all banks in the country were foreign-owned. Not until 1938 was the first Filipino private commercial bank founded: the Philippine Bank of Commerce. And only after the war, during the Garcia era, did the native entrepreneur really understand why he should have his own bank.

      “This cue was Garcia’s Filipino First. The Americans in the Philippines, the British, the Chinese—they had their own banks. But Filipinos had only the PNB to rely on and even there they were not, so to speak, getting the lion’s share, because the Chinese were more adept in the lagay system. So, we began putting up our own banks. The Rufinos set up the Securities Bank, the Santos family, their Prudential Bank; a group of sugar planters (Sarmiento, Antonino), their PCI Bank; and young professionals, graduates of foreign schools, came back and put to use what they had learned by establishing a bank of their own : the Far East.

      “There was this proliferation of banks because the Filipino had suddenly realized that money begets money and that he who holds capital can control the economy. The development of native banking system spurred activity in all directions. Now, for the first time, the Filipino had his own capital. On it, he could borrow foreign funds to use for his own development. So, you had the opening of subdivisions, another source of funds, of capital, and you had the rise of local manufacturing industries, all financed by local banks. This is a healthy sign: the Filipino is becoming the master in his own house.”

      But Senator Aquino sees one great danger: the Filipino who becomes master in Juan’s house may not be Juan de la Cruz himself. Juan may find that the foreign exploiter he kicked out has been replaced by a native one. “The Spanish exile, Salvador de Madariaga, warned that a country can become the colony of its own people.” And the hurt is that it’s Juan’s money that will be used to make him poorer and his master richer. As the taxes that Juan pays to the government too often are used merely to enrich a few politicians, so, in the banking system, the money of the depositors, of the people, may be used merely to capitalize the owners of the banks.

      • Joe America says:

        Ah, nice background, that three steps to enrichment. Also, Senator Aquino’s observation that property taxes are a bit of a game correspond with my observation, just posted, which I wrote before reading this.

    • Joe America says:

      Taxation is very loose and poorly applied, it seems to me. Valuations are screwed up from the get-go because people declare a lower valuation for taxes than they actually pay. Then some residential properties are kept as agriculture to treat the powerful landowners nicely so the mayor gets re-elected. Shenanigans are more the rule than the exception, I suspect. Plus the tax rate is really low for those of us who are used to the American system where property taxes fund schools and roads and are substantial. So my proposal is perhaps impractical until the taxation system is normalized. Otherwise no one knows who’s on first and what’s on third.

  2. karlgarcia says:

    Many thanks Joe.
    NBI too has biometrics,but there is no permanent system yet,I could be wrong though.
    Another excellent article Joe.

  3. karlgarcia says:

    MRP mentioned that we keep on importing and smuggling,that is why he can not call the Philippines as agricultural. He may have a point.A lot actually.
    But is it possible to reclaim some land for agricultural purposes.Maybe land fillsand garbage dumps that are near agricultural land,quite a long shot,but this can be done,why not reconvert the converted agricultural land one day when online shopping and parks render malls useless and obsolete.

    • What about land monopoly? Farmers are paying dues to the landlords & therefore could not even eat properly themselves, the Irish people were in the same situation under British rule & the first thing they did is dismantle land monopolies she they broke out from the Brits, Cuba did the same thing so quick, why making so much law in the Philippine when the implementation is the problem.

      • karlgarcia says:

        I agree implementation is the problem.That happens due to lack of poltical will and lack of funds and some other reasons.Pnoy himself said the we have too many laws,but some laws really need to be legislated,and I belive NALUA and National ID are among them.FOI can be skipped if we have all the other alternatives to open access of information.
        I believe the growing of the landbank of the realtors is also a form of land monopoly.The realtors are the new land lords.
        Land reform should be reviewed.Not that it has not been reviewed,maybe an anti-dynasty law will diminish the landlords in congress.

    • chempo says:

      Landfills and garbage dumps are toxic. It requires substantial investment and decades to rehabilitate such land for agricultural use.

      • chemp,

        How does Singapore do it? Are they using this over there,

        • chempo says:

          From a layman’s point of view, hot plasma technology is the way to go for waste disposal. Those who object lijek senator Legarda, knows nuts about the technology.

          Hot plasma technology is incineration that does no pollution. It’s clean, foulness, consume less energy, it incerates at a very fast speed so turn-arround time is very short, leaves a tiny volume of non-toxic physical waste and most important of all, it generates substantial energy that can meet the electrical needs of large communities depending on plant size. Recent advances have made it possible to scale down plant size to very small footprints like 3 or 4 x 40 ft technolog and even smaller. This means lower capital outlay and possibilities for small cities or even private estates. It also means no constraints on site determination because there is no pollution. The revenue from the energy created makes it a self- sustaining project.

          In Spore we have a big plasma incinerator on one of the small islands. We use the waste to build an artificial island nearby. Of cos the pace is slow because the waste volume is low. This artificial island project is more a solution to take care if the waste rather than really for reclamation. Non toxidity is evidenced by the fish that thrives there.

          I am close to some friends who had the rights to advanced plasma technolog with very small footprints. We tried to introduce this in Phils. Went to stage of local private sector cooperation and discussions with a few mayors. Everybody had initial gung ho receptions and then pettered out. This sort of projects SMEs have no chance and unlikely to prosper with LGU initiatives. It can only go through the likes of Ayala’s or SMs, Lopezes or, Pangilinans. There is great LGU resistance because waste disposal is big business for the mayors. In Phils, scavengers pay you to hail away away your trash.

          I had another experience that makes you scratch your head. My associates had a new technology for composting. Organic waste can be converted to compost, fertiliser, or other stuff with 24 hours. It requires low capital, just a small factory space and no pollution. We had a perfect idea. Use the janitor fish and water hyacints of Laguna lake as raw materials. In one swoop we help solve janitor fish and plant overgroeth problems of Laguna, creative livelihood for fisherfolks who can sell the worthless fish to us, improve the water environment so other fishes can thrive, and give Phils a new product – organic fertilisers. Or we can have fish food as end products which would be great cos it’s got highest protest content. Alas once again after initial exitement, it pettered out. LGUs were not interested.

          • chempo says:

            Oops typos –
            Hot plasma plant size is 3 or 4 x 40 ft containers.
            Lasa para – fish food has high protein contents.

          • Joe America says:

            Thank you for adding to my rough estimation that Senator Legarda is a few candles short of a chandelier but is not lacking for air.

            The LGU’s are not known for “inventive”, I think. They can’t so easily see the “what’s in it for me”. Perhaps you should have expressed the value formula in terms they can relate to.

            • chempo says:

              Your value formula …. Hahaha I get your hint. I don’t believe in grease money, I believe in angpows. One is for gratification the other is for gratitude.

              • maru0907 says:

                I don’t think they’ll differentiate. Hahaha
                Cebu needs something like this, Cebu need to solve its waste problem.

                Cebu problems waste disposal and water.I remember some politicians were talking about waste to power before. If this thing can be used to power a plant like in Taiwan and then use that power for desal plant (heck the power plant itself have the desal units) during night time when power is cheap. win-win-win. Back to the value proposition.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Yes I agree Chempo,

        Sooner or later it has to be done.a study also on how to detoxify the soil mudt be done.

        The way we recycle ewaste like tvs are also dangerous, when you drive buy a misplaced garbage dump full of unusable tvs you see people just breaking the screen and getting the parts by hand,that is dangerous too,you see scavengers risking tetsnus and other disesases while looking for salvageable materials in the creeks and just everywhere.
        China has the buggest e waste recycling,because we and other countries send our ewaste their.

        Plasma gasification has been rejected by ecowaste coalition and Senator Loren Legarda,because they see it as a form of incineration.What to they plan to do with the landfills?Sooner or later we will run out of real estate.

    • Great idea, karl, but I also agree with chempo,

      so how-about using Mr. Jack Ng’s system, just make it modular and mobile, ie. plop it on top of former land-fill, and grow plants,

      • karlgarcia says:

        Excellent per usual.
        Those food waste that is used for pagpag(recycled food from the garbage) can be used for composte instead.There is a video that this is done in Brazila and they did foodwaste composting and vegetable farming rooftop. maybe we will see restos with flat roofs,in the future.or our building roofs will be friendly for rooftop farming.

      • chempo says:

        Lance this vertical farming is only cost effective for situation of extreme land scarce like Singapore. In Phil’s you need to contend with storms which will wipe the structures off. One economic use I think is orchids which are potted and off the ground. I always wonder why Phils never go into this. It’s huge international market. Land scarce Spore on the other hand is a pretty substantial player. How come. Perhaps MRP is right, Phils prefer just to import.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Maybe they do in places like Tagaytay and Silang.They just can’t sell them because of many importers and smugglers,like the problem with veggies and onions in Northern Luzon.Chicken and egg,

          We need to reinvent our logistics/supply chain and of course lower the prices without being shortchanged.If they just lower their markups,maybe they can compete with China.

          Just don’t ask me how.

  4. NHerrera says:

    Off Topic

    ONE UNCERTAINTY OUT

    SC Justices vote 9-6 to uphold Senator Poe’s COC for the Presidency

    For Qualification (9)

    Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno*
    Presbitero Velasco Jr
    Diosdado Peralta
    Lucas Bersamin
    Jose Perez
    Jose Mendoza
    Marvic Leonen*
    Francis Jardeleza*
    Benjamin Caguioa*

    For Disqualification (6)

    Antonio Carpio
    Arturo Brion
    Teresita Leonardo de Castro
    Mariano del Castillo
    Estela Perlas-Bernabe*
    Bienvenido Reyes*

    * SC Justices appointed by President Aquino.

    The link:

    http://www.rappler.com/nation/politics/elections/2016/124191-supreme-court-decision-grace-poe

    • Joe America says:

      Thanks for the news flash.

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      Interesting. This case has shown schisms in the old alliances of Progressives and Retrogressives.

      Perlas-Bernabe usually votes with Sereno and Leonen.

      But the real turncoats from the Retrogressives are Velasco Jr., Peralta, Bersamin, Perez and Mendoza. These 5 belong to the infamous eight who freed Enrile, who is allied with Binay, who will now probably fail in his drive to the palace.

      The reasons for the the majority decision should be worthy of study.
      *****

      • Joe America says:

        I suspect it will be one of the most well-read set of opinions in the legal history of the Philippines. Raissa’s blog may suffer a meltdown from over-heating.

        • caliphman says:

          Raissa and her blogs should just be fine. Its her misguided blogsite regulars and pseudo legal experts who have been on an anti-Poe crusade instead of fighting the Marcos resurgence. They might end up a bit bent out of shape.

          • Vicara says:

            Poe’s ascendance is tied to Marcos’ resurgence. Poe, along with Duterte and Binay, are now friendly with the Marcoses, and all have indicated publicly that the late Marcos Sr should be buried in Libingan ng mga Bayani–with Poe stammering and waffling, saying Marcos’ mummy should be given a “proper burial,” and adding a vague non sequitur remark about the law on martial victims’ compensation.

            What is NOT vague is her being surrounded by photographers while praying alongside Imee Marcos in church, when Poe visited her up in Ilocos a couple of weeks ago to seek political support. Marcos crony Danding Cojuangco is Poe’s major backer.

            Something’s definitely bent, and was so before the anti-Poe crusaders started agitating.

            • caliphman says:

              Everyone who can legally vote should be free to campaign and pick the candidate of their cholce, whatever solid basis or lack of it supports that choice. Feel free not to vote for Poe but it probably makes more sense to explain the case for Roxas as any voters swayed by your gossip will switch to Binay.

              • Vicara says:

                Not gossip. Her public remarks re the Libingan ng mga Bayani issue have been circulated in full. The Marcoses publicly supported her father’s campaign in 2004. There are readily available photos of her with Imee Marcos praying in the church last month, and she uses Danding’s planes, although some of the other members of his party, the NPC, are confused over which candidate they’re actually endorsing.

                http://www.rappler.com/nation/politics/elections/2016/124170-npc-endorsement-grace-poe-confusion

                As for Roxas: He’s the only one (so far, last man standing), who hasn’t made the trek up north to seek Marcos support. He’s the only one the Marcoses haven’t made gracious remarks about (unlike Binay, Poe and Duterte). He’s the only one who hasn’t made a statement opening the way for Marcos Sr’s burial in the Libingan. (Which the other three seem compelled to bring up, for reasons we can only guess at, despite the fact that the Libingan issue is hardly a pressing national concern; they could just keep mum about it.)

                As it happens, in 2010 I voted for the candidate backed by Danding Cojuangco–his nephew Gilbert Teodoro. At least then there was full disclosure. Which is my issue with Poe. For someone running on a platform that reads pretty much like Daang Matuwid (only with a bit more icing on it), and portrayed as a fresh, non-corrupt schoolmarm ingenue, her organization and its mechanics is more opaque than, say, Duterte’s.

                Binay, at least, is a known quantity.

              • caliphman says:

                So you have an intense dislike for Poe and think she’s sold her soul to the Marcoses and Danding Cojuangco. If you ask me, campaigning in Ilocandia and greeting its governor or accepting plane rides from the party thats supporting her candidacy are molehills that you are turning into Everests. You sound like one of those zombies at CPM who instead of touting Roxas’s achievements would rather conjure up unsupported accusations against Poe and pave Binay’ s path to the presidency. If its all the same to you, i would rather end this discussion as I have heard my fill of baseless anti-Poe smears and innuendos over at Raissa’s blogsite. Thanks for your comments.

              • Vicara says:

                In response to your referring to my earlier post as “gossip,” I merely recounted items that I observed or are recounted by fairly reputable media organizations, or are easily found online.

                Joe Am and company, sorry for going off-topic. Although burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani could be considered a land use issue. 🙂

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                🙂
                *****

              • Joe America says:

                Thanks for bringing it back on topic. ahahahaha That’s highly funny.

                Wandering off track is what happens when I release a blog about land use into the storm of a milestone SC decision about politics.

                It’s all good . . .

            • Madlanglupa says:

              Poe is the least of my worries.

              This is far more disturbing.

              • Madlanglupa says:

                The twitter link got removed. Here’s the link to the Star article: Ramos endorsing The War Machine.

                http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/03/09/1561035/fvr-endorsing-duterte#st_refDomain=t.co&st_refQuery=/WOskP9Izyq

              • That IS disturbing… because that COULD mean that in case Duterte wins and does NOT have the support of the House and the Supreme Court, he has parts of the security apparatus… I would not underestimate Ramos’ remaining influence – renewed Martial Law?

              • Madlanglupa says:

                I doubt FVR now being able to influence the general staff, seriously — the AFP is currently happy with the windfall brought by the Aquino administration in the form of hurricane-tested ships and fighter planes, so why follow orders from a man who thought otherwise during his time — when Chinese claimed the Spratlys unopposed? Why repeat history when mutinies of the 80s have caused damage to reconstruction? Why the need to destabilize further?

                It is open knowledge that the supreme LKY, admiring FVR for being “practical”, offered advice to then-president FVR on how to better manage the country, insisting that discipline is superior over democracy, that Filipinos should be asked to change their ways wholesale.

                So now FVR, by the merit of that picture, has made it clear who would be the one to “discipline” the nation with the great thick leather belt of Old-Testament God, despite that our culture is more Latin American than Chinese-influenced, and thus we are a pig-headed nation who cannot ever be able to adapt Singaporean or Japanese self-discipline.

              • chempo says:

                This Old soldier never die nor fade away.

                Bigger personalities than FVR have passed thru Spore and sang praises of their discussion with LKY. I say this not in boast but as factual Incidence. One exception was FVR when he visited the Lion city. He was not happy with LKY’s outright comments on Phils. During his visit we had a rare blackout in downtown Orchard Rd area and he famously told his host “Oh you have blackouts here too” not in jest but obvious tinge of sarcasm.

        • NHerrera says:

          I believe Raissa’s commenters have their own advocacies, just as Joe’s here have their own. I value both Blogsites, and after some catharsis or release of some pent-up feelings, new facts or realities will be factored in — without totally erasing some advocacies. A modified advocacy will most probably evolve.

          I agree with caliphman. I, for one, do not want to move on if that means accepting Binay/ Duterte/ Marcos.

          • caliphman says:

            Manong Herrera, advocacy means promoting someone or something, In this blogsite, by and large, the Roxas supporters more often than not explain why Mar is their choiice. I left CPM because the emphasis was on smearing Poe not because she was corrupt or megalomanic like Binay or Duterte, the two who deserve to be stopped. If I will be part of a lynch mob, I am kind of particular as to who to string up and prefer it not be someone who Aquino feels is supportive of Daang Matuwid.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      There will be battle royale of celebrities. After Supreme Court decision, Kris Aquino left ABS-CBN for “health reason” which I surmise she will go all out campaigning for Mar Roxas.

      Kris should like Korina did when Mar accepted Benigno’s nomination as Presidential ring bearer to Malacanang.

      I think Kris Aquino will be more effective to campaign for Mar. She got the appeal. The beauty. Paki-tao.

      Go Kris! Go! Go! Go! Help Mar clench Malacanang away from OJT inexperienced, thief and murderers!

      Wait-a-minute, If Grace Poe was inexperienced why did Mar was begging and walking on his knees for Grace to be his running mate? If VP need not have experience necessary why bother to have VP position at all?

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Renato Corona have the last laugh !!!
      Impeach Supreme Court !!!
      Recall Supreme Court !!!
      If the new reconstituted Supreme Court votes in Favor of Grace Poe still …
      Impeach again …
      Recall again … and again …
      Until we get what we wanted !!!

      • karlgarcia says:

        Any chances impeachment from now til June is slim to none,From June onwards,let us see what will Oliver Lozano do.What ever happened to Oliver “Mr. Impeachment” Lozano?

        • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

          Lozano is not filing impeachment anymore … he is tired of it because nothing happens. Because it is frivolous impeachments.

  5. caliphman says:

    Now can we all focus on going negative on Binay/Duterte/Marcos instead of undercutting the only two options that offers a chance for averting a national calamity?

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      Expect a Motion for Reconsideration?
      *****

      • caliphman says:

        Of course and Rizalito’s SET appeal is a separate case. The prospects for either will not be very good if the SC threw out the Comelec rulings by deciding that Poe qualifies on the citizenship and residency issues. As I posted at CPM last week, Comelec can be overturned if it is decided that Poe did not lie because what she said was true, or because she mistakenly believed in good faith they were true and Comelec was unable to prove that it was a deliberate lie. If the concurring justice opinions was based on the former, then its very hard to see how an MR can prosper and the SET case is de facto resolved. If it was the latter, those prospects are still dim but a PET case can be filed against Poe if she wins.

  6. josephivo says:

    In land use I see three different problems. Defining A, where we are today, defining B, where we want to be and define how to move from A to B. These problems are very complex but not unique for the Philippines, all nations struggle with it. My fear is that (again) the Philippines will try to combine the different philosophies from the US (land use), Europe (spatial planning) and Japan (MILT) to achieve a complexity that will only benefit lawyers.

    If one wants to see the difference between having and not having a working spatial planning system, one should visit the Netherlands and adjacent Belgium. To manage water the Dutch had to work together and plan, the Belgians always praised their individuality and their capacity to cheat the occupiers. (Since the late nineties, Belgium is playing catch-up but still with their skill to “compromise”)

    Some initial thoughts in bullet points:

    Defining A
    – Surveying, physical properties, occupancy, ownership…
    – Different levels: occupancy level, network level (drainages, accesses, visual…), underground level
    – Methodology (MILT seems to have the best “software”, also used in France, Germany, Holland).
    – Identifying current conflicts.

    Defining B
    – Goals and objectives for individuals and for society
    – Hard: Economic for individuals and for society, natural restrictions…
    – Soft: Environmental, esthetics, historical…
    – Future: demographic, climate change, economy…

    From A to B
    – Solving conflicts of interest
    – Instant decisions, fading away options.
    – Consensus, arbitration, courts…

    • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_board_%28Netherlands%29 – since the Philippine situation with regards to the ever-present danger of disasters is comparable to the Dutch and LGUs are getting more and more roles in disaster preparedness (including archipelago-wide risk maps and sensors as well as early warning courtesy of Project NOAH: http://noah.dost.gov.ph/) it might make sense to look at enhancing LGUs similarly:

      This method of controlling water emerged as the unpredictable water was tamed and the land drained for agriculture. The first dikes and water control structures were built and maintained by those directly benefiting from them, mostly farmers. As the structures got more extensive and complex, councils were formed from people with a common interest in control of water levels of their land. The first water boards were formed in the 13th century. These often controlled only a small area, a single polder or dike.

      As these boards became better organised, the counts of Holland began granting charters to the boards. They were also granted the right to make their own bylaws. The ever-present threat of loss of life and land required short lines of communication between authorities and residents who maintained the infrastructure. The threat of flooding in a heerlijkheid was best dealt with by local authorities, so water boards were originally chaired by the local nobility.

      Local water boards were set up to maintain integrity of water defences around local polders, to maintain waterways inside polders and to control various water levels in and outside local polders. The mandate of these water boards (which remains largely unchanged) was maintenance of dikes, dunes and waterways (and roads too, in several municipalities), control of water level and quality of all surface water (including punishing polluters). The original water boards varied much in organisation, power and area they managed. The differences were often dictated by different circumstances, whether they had to defend a sea dike against a storm surge or keep water level in a polder within bounds. Hoogheemraadschappen were responsible for protecting the land against the sea and for regulating water levels of various canals and lakes into which water was pumped from polders and waterschappen.

      Dikes were maintained by individuals who benefited from their existence, every farmer was designated a part of a dike to maintain, with a review every three years by the water board directors. The old rule was “Whom the water harms stops the water” (Dutch: Wie het water deert, die het water keert). This meant that those living at the dike had to pay and care for it. Those people could go bankrupt from having to repair a breached dike. Those living further inland often refused to pay for or assist upkeep of dikes, even though they were just as much affected by floods. This system led to haphazard maintenance and it is believed that many floods would be prevented or mitigated if dikes had been in better condition.[4]

      Punishments meted out by water boards were fines for misdemeanors such as emptying waste in the nearest canal; however, according to various historical documents, the death penalty was used more than once for serious offenders who threatened dike safety or water quality.[ – death penalties for people who dirty rivers? A bit drastic for today’s standards but some degree of penalty might make sense considering today’s situation. Also penalties for those who destroy forests that hold back water from flooding plains, or dam operators who release water too late instead of being proactive like what is normal in most of Europe – the Sylvenstein dam upstream from Munich releases its water BEFORE the storms come and is therefore able to keep water from damaging low-lying city districts. Used to be that low-lying districts of Munich like Au and Isarvorstadt where the poorer (and more crime-ridden) areas because of regular flooding… now they are rapidly gentrifying.

    • Joe America says:

      Excellent ordering of the proper way to go forward. I’m still defining A, and want to examine the proposed National Land Use Act. It should establish a “B”.

    • maru0907 says:

      Excellent.. Now if A can be implemented asap, makes things a lot easier and faster even if only for the lands at first.. I remember tracing those cadastral maps from the Municipals assessors office getting then lot nos. then getting the tax declaration for the coordinates then drawing them in cad. Man those coordinates don’t tally as nicely as drawn on the cadastral maps. Thats was a pain. We were planning a road. This should be a priority done per municipality/city then later merged with LRA/DENR data. And survey can be digital now with GPS with sub-meter accuracy and software too available just for this purpose.

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        I was wondering how accurate GPS readings are.

        1. It seems that readings can be affected by “atmospheric effects, sky blockage, and receiver quality.” The worst case scenario is that a real-time reading can be out by 7.8 meters. A high-quality GPS SPS receiver — SPS means civilian as opposed to the military PPS — is accurate within 3.5 meters. This obviously is not good enough for cadastral mapping. Imagine the number of neighborhood disputes arising from such inaccuracy.

        2. Military GPS PPS service has the same quality as the civilian receiver but uses broadcasts from two frequencies instead of just one. This enables “ionospheric correction” which counters “radio degradation caused by the Earth’s atmosphere.”

        3. However, higher accuracy can be achieved by GPS “augmentation systems.” These systems enable real-time positioning to the centimeter level… and down to millimeter level with post-processing if necessary.
        *****

        • josephivo says:

          Military accuracy is 300mm. The planned European Galileo accuracy even higher, 1 meter standard error. Think surveyors only use GPS for “absolute” coordinates, think that for detailed coordinates local fixed point transmitters with known position are used to reduce the error as farmers with automatic GPS driven equipment do, they install an additional transmitter in a corner of their property to achieve cm precision of there ploughing. Is there a surveyor in the room to confirm?

  7. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Watch out! Kris Aquino left ABS-CBN for “healtheir lifestyole” Actually, she leaves ABS-CBN to compaign all out for Mar Roxas. My prediction is spot on. Like what I told you folks, Korina is now out in the open. She helped Department of Agriculture distribute cheques and farm equipment when she is not even an employee of DofA. It may appear to the recepient it is coming from Mar.

    http://entertainment.inquirer.net/191759/kris-aquino-to-leave-abs-cbn-for-healthier-lifestyle

    • mercedes santos says:

      It’s international woman’s year, Mariano. It’s time to acknowledge women’s role in society march to sense-dom !!!!

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        Go Hilary! Go Grace Poe! Go Kris! Go Korina!

        Philippines has the most number of women senators, cabinet members and presidents in the world. Philippines is way ahead of the curve while the rest are celebrating International woman’s year.

        Philippines also has 100% women contestants in Miss Universe. Take that World!

      • karlgarcia says:

        Kudos to you Mercedes and all the Women!

  8. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    I am all out for National ID system with all the regalia of color biometric ID. I am also in favor of digitizing land titles but this will not mitigate land-grabbing squatters and family feuds over inheretance.

    • maru0907 says:

      Agree on the national ID. It can be implemented by the executive. I think, they just have to use one to be required for any transaction and linked that database to the various agencies. All done in the background. Also, I prefer that ID is needed when buying sim cards.

  9. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    HAS ANYBODY NOTICED? Grace Poe is never seen on Philippine Media as angry and vindictive. She is being characterized by Philippine Media as “whatever” “come-what-may” “it is up to god” while the rest of the contenders are projected as demagogue and scandalous.

    Inquirer is definitely for Grace Poe and the rest of Philippine Media. That is why, folks, do not blame me for voting for Binay in last election. Whom I vote and whom Filipinos vote is because of Philippine Media’s mind conditioning.

    PHILIPPINE MEDIA SHOULD BE OPEN TO FOREIGNERS NOT TO FILIPINOS.

  10. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    As what I told you people, Law of the land is nada. Even lawyers do not care what Supreme Court says on Grace Poe.

    http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/771827/lawyers-group-accepts-sc-ruling-on-poe-but-says-senator-still-not-qualified-to-run

    My parents honeymooned in Europe. I was conceived in Europe. Born in the Philippines. Live in the U.S.

    Who am I? Am I a European? Am I a Filipino? Am I an American?

    Tigmo-tigmo agokoy bukas lang tayo mag-asoy anong sagot n’yo para libre spicy chickenjoy.

  11. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Vote buying has gone electronic …. from eBAY vote bidding to Electronic Receipt !

    Show receipt to Binay in exchange for sardines … kilo of rice … and spicy chickenjoy !!! No more daya. It is now receipted.

    For more Information on modern electronic vote buying please follow the link:
    http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/771867/sc-ruling-on-ballot-receipts-surprises-poll-execs

    Please do not lose your ballot receipt. Bring it to your nearest Binay Camp for exchange. Doncha love Philippines?

    • chempo says:

      In manual polling you just throw the slip into the ballot box, how do you know your vote will be properly counted.

      In computerised system you audit the system and do test runs. In most. Countries that’s good enough for us. In countries used to poll cheating, they don’t trust the manual and computerised system.

      MRP your concern for taking the receipt to collect cash is unnecessary. I shared this concern and I’m glad they took my advice. Receipts will be printed but they will not leave the room. Please check receipt and then throw them into the shredder. Or slip 20 peso to the guard if you wish to bring it out.

  12. Joe,

    I understand the lands in the cities or urban area over there have quicker turn-over rates, compared to lands in the boonies, which can lay fallow for years on end, ie. either because of family issues, being out of the country, or both, OR criminal activities…

    For the urban side of this problem,

    Are vertical farms being promoted as possible answers to land issues, un-used lands (much like the urban gardening set-ups in cities, where if land isn’t in use, the city allows folks to parcel said empty land for personal gardening, also similar to lands under high-tension wires).

    And to chempo and NHerrera, I’m curious about their patented pulley system to rotate the beds up and down, but I’m a lot more interested in their water pump system, that uses the water being pulled down by gravity to power the generator to pump the water up (is this really at cost? or is a lot of power needed?) Can this be done in the Philippines, at cost?

    I’m envisioning a bigger pool under the generator to accommodate a fish pond or catfish or tilapia,

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nFQOkzEjxQ (Jack Ng, chempo do you know this guy?)

      • And instead of pig and chicken all the time, why not develop a taste for these? They’re not only cute, but also tasty!

        • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

          Oh, puhleeze !!! Not those cuddly harmless rabbits. They are so cute to eat.

          • karlgarcia says:

            Not those cute rodents.What they are rodents? I don’t eat rats.

            • edgar lores says:

              *******
              The cuddly one on the left is a guinea pig. It is neither a pig nor from Guinea. And, yes, it is a rodent. It looks adorable — and is a delicacy in parts of South America.
              *****

              • I guess Manila esteros will breed more of this type of rodents:

                Someone from Mindanao (Pagadian) once told me that field rats over there can indeed be roasted over the fire and are occasionally eaten, and they are clean enough to eat.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Maybe if the menu is Spanish or portuguese and not giiving a clue that it is a guinea pig,maybe I could be tricked to eating it.

    • Joe America says:

      Vertical farms are, to my knowledge, not being promoted. However, work on plant nutrition and genetics is being done to raise yields. Much of the farming is still done with carabao, so there are ways to improve efficiency. For me, I like open spaces. building on rice terraces seems somehow to be less than we should be. I think residences should be vertical.

    • chempo says:

      Lance I don’t know Jack personally. His venture is commercially viable in Spore because of land scarcity and the produce is close to market. The prices are slightly above market but customers don’t mind because its cleaner and organic. I think over time he may gain more economies of scale and bring prices down further.For Spore, pricing is not the sole issue. Food security is more important, so Jack has tremendous potential going forward.

  13. DAgimas says:

    for those who came from the boondocks, we have no problem with the titles of our land. whoever was there tilling the land after the war, when the surveyors came, it was ours. just pay the fee. so most of the titles in our province were OCTs.

    we have no problem also of land redistribution or agrarian reform. our grandfathers could only clear the most 10 hectares (exception, he must have so many children to help clear the land if he got 10 ha.s) so thats what was titled. no hacienderos

    that was when your neighbor was one kilometer away

  14. NHerrera says:

    Off topic

    A MEA CULPA TO THE SOCIETY FOR A BUM ANALYSIS

    Some months ago, I made a probability analysis which indicated a probability of 63% on the disqualification of Poe (or translated into SC Justices votes, 9-6, rounded). Well, that was a bum analysis. I got the numbers right but in the WRONG direction. Definitely no consolation there.

    A LESSON FOR ME

    I was reading the Philippine Constitution text and some Jurisprudence as if they are Physics or Math texts and evaluating pieces of evidence based on that reading. The lesson — stick to non-lawyer stuff. Leave legal items to lawyers or Court Magistrates. Stick to arithmetic, algebra or calculus. It is a lot safer for my sanity and reputation (?). Hahaha.

    I have to do this mea culpa otherwise there may be a spam filter installed which operates whenever one such NHerrera gives vent to his arithmetic and probabilities posts again in the Society’s blogs.

    😦

    • edgar lores says:

      *******
      Not sure if the bum analysis was done by you or the SC. We don’t know the reasons yet for the non-DQ… but on my part, on the basis of what I have read so far, it would not be difficult to conjecture that the SC has amended the Constitution under the pretense of interpreting it.
      *****

      • chempo says:

        Why constitution amendment by SC is allowed in this instance but not the Aguinaldo Doctrine?

        • edgar lores says:

          *******
          I am not sure a comparison can be made between the two in terms of constitutional law? The Aguinaldo Doctrine was just bad law that was adopted to excuse malfeasant politicos, and it became established precedent. It’s adoption and rejection was not grounded on any constitutional provision.

          Unless the parallel you see is the “silence” of the Constitution on both issues?
          *****

        • caliphman says:

          The SC contrary to the position of the Comelec believes that the constitution is silent on the citizenship status of foundlings. Hence the issue is subject to SC interpretation. As I pointed out in a comment earlier, the Court did not have to make an interpretation in order to overrule the Comelec. It would suffice to rule that Poe acted in good faith and did not intend to deceive or deliberately misrepresent her eligibiity to run for president because the Constitution is silent and the issues unresolved by prior SC rulings.

          • caliphman says:

            Similarly, the Aguinaldo doctrine was introduced because the constitution was also silent on the legal theory of condonation. The constitution specifically allows using international legal principles when it is silent on a particular issue. In the case of Aguinaldo, condonation was a theory practiced in US state courts and in the case of Poe, their argument was that UN treaties considered foundlings as citizens from birth in the coutries where they were found.

            Where the Constitution is silent, an amendment is not necessary as long a SC ruling does not clearly violate other provisions or principles of the Constitution.

          • chempo says:

            If the constitution is silent on the citizenship status of foundlings, then your explanation is crystal clear to me. In my country, where statutes contain clauses which required interpretation, it’s usually the executive that did the interpretation and release regulations that established that interpretation. The executive’s interpretation are of course always in conformity with govt objectives.

            On the Aguilnado doctrine I understand its not written law but established by precedent. I do not understand why a precedent ccannot be override by a new precedent in a new case. The English courts have done this in their thousand over years legal practice.

            • caliphman says:

              It can and it was. Sereno”s court reversed around 50 years of stare decisis in deciding in the recent Binay vs Ombudsman case that henceforth, the doctrine can no longer be used as a defense by corrupt public officials.

              • chempo says:

                I applaud that reversal decision. At last on justice with guts to do the absolutely right thing. And I love it that she more or less told the defence lawyer to sit down.

                But I thought the ruling is only effective for future cases. Jun jun slipped through?

              • caliphman says:

                General law principle. If a new or change in law benefits those affected by it, then the law is usually retroactive. If its detrimental, then its applicable going forward. Its but fair as reliance on past SC decisions is a bedrock courtroom priniple to avoid legal chaos

              • chempo says:

                Ah OK, retroactive principle, something I also mentioned elsewhere. No more objections your honor.

          • DAgimas says:

            I like the opinion of San Beda Law Dean. he said that if Poe had features like an African, there is no doubt she would not be considered a natural born. and that should have been the basis of any decision

            unfortunately, they didn’t consider such a probable case

      • maru0907 says:

        The decision was a political one by the SC. Personally, as long as Filipino and passes the residency requirement is good. In the hearing Sereno and Hilbay was harping about discriminatory, it sounds to me that they are saying that the constitution is discriminatory in including the natural born requirement. In any case is your being born in a certain place makes you more loyal to that place or is it the growing up that in place? Loyalty, is the reason for the natural born requirement. Isn’t it?

    • Joe America says:

      Don’t sweat the small stuff unless you put money on it. Sal keeps asking me, “can you delete blogs?” I keep giving him my cold, hard James Bond stare.

    • NHerrera says:

      Well good of you guys for making me feel good. I will stand up now from my knees.

      With that, here comes another off topic.

      THOUGHTS ON POE’S SURVEY NUMBERS AFTER THE SC DECISION

      1. There is little question that there will be some increase or “surge” in Poe’s survey numbers in the next survey. The question is by how much. Poe’s camp says it will range from 10 to 15. If we take Poe’s numbers at the present level as 25, this would mean a range from 35 to 40 in the next survey.

      2. If one examines the chart of survey numbers from Pulse Asia from September 2015 to February 2016, one finds that the numbers of Binay and Duterte are in-phase as well as those of Poe and Roxas. The numbers for Poe and Binay are dramatically out-of-phase.

      3. One may attribute from this survey chart that the in-phase nature of Binay and Duterte numbers may be attributable to one kind of constituency of these two candidates — the instant satisfaction kind of constituency, be it the eradication of drug crimes, criminals; or the satisfaction that comes from free-cakes, free-hospitalization, free-this, free-that, less or no taxes for the poor.

      4. Poe and Roxas numbers, being in-phase, may mean that their constituencies are different from those of Binay-Duterte, that is the more reasonable kind but Poe portraying the sweeter picture to her immediate constituencies — will continue the good in the daang matuwid, correct or stay away from the bad ones, and a lot more, verging on the Binay promises.

      5. Now for my piece de resistance. Because of my observation of phasing of the numbers of the candidates, especially, the remarkable out of phasing of Poe and Binay numbers, I did some correlation and Poe surge to 35 may give rise to the following:

      Poe——- 35
      Binay—– 20
      Duterte— 18
      Roxas—- 22
      Santiago–5

      6. The above is correlation algebra without regard to reasons why Poe’s number results in the migration of numbers from the others as shown.

      • NHerrera says:

        By the way, I will be very happy to be wrong in the above correlation calculation — that the Roxas number come May 9 turns out to be much understated in the above number. I will be very happy indeed to be DEAD WRONG.

        • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

          NHerrera, you must also factor in Filipinos penchant for theunderdogs. Marcos numbers went up after Marcos father got a beating by Philippine Media during EDSA Week if we are to believe their numbers. Click here: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/771940/poe-leads-marcos-rises-in-people-power-week-poll

          As you already know, NHerrera, even Philippine Center for INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM is palpak ! I mean failure and they do not know it. Here is a phrase from their article in this link: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/771922/net-worth-vs-p6-7-b-pol-ads-bill-top-bets-in-debt-deficit-spending

          QUOTE: “ So who paid for the billions they had all together spent on pre-campaign ads? To these candidates, the answer to that seems to be something they would not grant voters the right to know. — PCIJ

          Even PCIJ cannot do SIMPLE INVESTIGATION, they are still addicted to asking people around and when people answers PCIJ call it INVESTIGATION. Wheeeew !!!!

          When can they ever learn? Where have all the investigators gone, long time passing?

          PCIJ do investigation by asking questions not digging up boxes of evidences.

      • caliphman says:

        I would so love to believe the 3rd and 4th place you have for Binay and Duterte so I am hoping you are not too far off. My wanting Roxas to be a clear second is because if Poe is disqualified by a quo warranto petition after she comes in first, I believe but am not absolutely sure that the second placers takes over instead of the VP.

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        Hmm. If the voters who go for Binay/Duterte are “marshmallow-eaters” and those for Poe/Roxas are “marshmallow-dawdlers,” should not Poe’s surge come from the ranks of Roxas?

        That is, there is a negative correlation between marshmallow dawdlers? And there is no correlation between eaters and dawdlers?

        On the other hand, another perspective is to see Poe, Binay and Duterte as “strong” leaders whilst Roxas is not.

        It is from this perspective perhaps that your pièce de résistance would indeed be viable.

        Some considerations:

        o As a Binay supporter, my neediness would be instant gratification in terms of material security. Overall, my expectation of good governance would be one of LOW success with HIGH risks.

        o As a Duterte supporter, my neediness would be instant gratification in terms of psychological security. Overall, my expectation of good governance would be one of HIGH success with HIGH risks.

        o As a Poe supporter, my neediness would NOT be instant gratification in terms of personal needs and good governance, accompanied by an expectation of HIGH success with HIGH risks. (In this, Poe is similar to Duterte.)

        o As a Roxas supporter, my neediness would NOT be instant gratification in terms of personal needs and good governance, accompanied by an expectation of MODERATE success with LOW risks. (Note that Roxas is not “instant” or “high” in anything.)

        Finally, is there the possibility of a backlash factor in Poe’s numbers due to the SC decision?
        *****

        • One of my favorite foods in the Philippines…

        • NHerrera says:

          edgar, my post below (March 9, 2016 at 3:32 pm) gives a link to the new PA survey conducted Feb 16-27 before the SC decision. You have hit the nail on its head. When asked if their first choice is taken out, who will they vote — in the case of Poe, here are the allocation from the other candidates percentage wise: from Poe, Binay, Duterte, Roxas and Santiago are 12%, 37%, 31%, 41%, 21%, respectively. My note:

          – Some of Poe’s first choice supporters insisted on making her also their second choice, at 12%

          – Note the 41% from Roxas — which answers your query: it is the largest of the numbers I listed above!

          Re-backlash effect, that can be a possibility.

      • NHerrera says:

        MRP:

        Thanks for a lot of useful thoughts/ideas in your posts related to this thread.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      The Supreme Court were mulling the consequences asking “what ifs”:
      1. The ballot has been printed … it will take 6 months to print another set
      2. The electronic ballot system has to be reconfigured, reconstituted and reprogrammed that will take another 6 montsh
      3. If Grace Poe is DQed, people will vote for Duterte or Binay which Binay will be the winner hands down
      4. If Grace Poe is DQed, the pro-Poe will be marching down EDSA and evict SC Justices
      5. Renato Corona will hve the last laugh

      Herrera you forgot to factor in all of the above. Most of all, The Justices are Filipinos. Predictably unpredictable.

      The Supreme Court also deliberated the following:
      1. If Grace Poe was not a Filipino, why did the US Embassy gave her papers to immigrate the the U.S.?
      2. Therefore, US Embassy knows better
      3. If she was not a Filipino where was she borned?
      4. Was she delivered by FedEx?
      5. Was she dropped by a storck?
      6. Grace Poe’s English totally sucks, therfore, she is not an American
      7. If she is not a Filipino citizen nor an American citizen she must have been born from outer space

      So, they handed down their verdict: Grace Poe is a Filipino Citizen

    • caliphman says:

      Manong, its not as if there are no other non-lawyers in this and the other blogsite who come across rendering their opinions on complex legal issues like they were Supreme Court justices. If its any comfort you, I know a lot about these issues and I too was convinced that the SC would uphold the Comelec even though I believed it had erred in its rulings. When all 3 justices at the SET and the Comelec en banc unanimously believe Poe should not be running for president, its quite understandable to think the SC will decide the same way.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Poe’s Rising !

      NHerrera, you should also be asking why SC waited and waited before handing down the verdict?

      SC is checking Poe’s poll rising. And Binays and Duterte. All three are rising. If they DQ Poe, Poe’s voters might go to Binay and Duterte. That is scary. Thief&Demagogue.

      SC is aware that Mar’s voters are of the intelligent kind. SC knows there are only few intelligent Filipinos in the Philippines. So, Mar just cannot hack it unless Kris Aquino comes to the rescue which she will. On the other hand, who’d Kris supports? Binay or Mar? That is the question.

      • Your explanation makes more sense than some can imagine…

        Poe as an option in case Mar is not popular enough, and also more neutral towards the Marcoses just in case they are too popular and a truce with them might be necessary.

        Of course this is speculation, but in Philippine politics one has seen elephants fly so often, just like in money things one has indeed seen elephants balancing on balls on the beach.

  15. NHerrera says:

    Had lunch outside with friends and came back to see this item —

    Pulse Asia 16-27 Survey for First and Second Choice for Presidential Preference is most interesting.

    The respondents were asked to choose who among the remaining candidates would they vote if their chosen candidate decides not to pursue his/her candidacy.

    The survey was conducted before the Supreme Court issued its decision to allow Poe to run for president in the upcoming general elections.

    The inner matrices of the tables in the link show the percentage re-allocation of a first choice preference to the respective other candidates for Pres and VP. Indeed — in the case of Presidential Preference — the migration of the numbers is in relatively big chunks to Poe.

    The results:

    First Choice for President:

    Poe 26
    Binay 24
    Duterte 22
    Roxas 19
    Santiago 3

    Second Choice for President:

    Poe 29
    Binay 22
    Roxas 15
    Duterte 12
    Santiago 8

    (Arithmetical observation: totals for first choice is 94, whereas totals for second choice is 86. Oh well, Pulse Asia was probably in relative hurry for the hot news item.)

    The link:

    http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/03/09/1561150/poe-binay-statistically-tied-bongbong-chiz-share-top-spot-pulse-survey

    • http://www.businessinsider.com/afp-human-vs-machine-go-showdown-kicks-off-in-seoul-2016-3 – NHerrera, OT but the outcome of this match should be quite interesting as I remember you once told me that computers have had difficulty beating go grandmasters…

      Seoul (AFP) – A 3,000-year old Chinese board game was the focus of a very 21st century showdown Wednesday as South Korean Go grandmaster Lee Se-Dol kicked off his highly anticipated clash with the Google-developed supercomputer, AlphaGo.

      Experts were reluctant to tip a winner between Lee, one of the greatest Go players of the modern era who has topped the world ranking for most of the past decade, and the computer, which has already crushed European champion Fan Hui in a 5-0 whitewash.

      • http://www.theverge.com/2016/3/9/11184362/google-alphago-go-deepmind-result

        A huge milestone has just been reached in the field of artificial intelligence: AlphaGo, the program developed by Google’s DeepMind unit, has defeated legendary Go player Lee Se-dol in the first of five historic matches being held in Seoul, South Korea. Lee resigned after about three and a half hours, with 28 minutes and 28 seconds remaining on his clock. The series is the first time a professional 9-dan Go player has taken on a computer, and Lee is competing for a $1 million prize.

        • NHerrera says:

          Thanks for that note. I have forgotten that in beating the European Go champion, the next target was the Asian or Korean Lee Se-dol. The poor fellow. A human he can observe like in a poker game, but how does Lee observe an un-emotional computer. Well 4 more games to go in the 5 game match. I hope he gets a win. Down with AI, hooray for humans!

    • NHerrera says:

      Sorry guys, because of the information it provides, I wish to belabor the latest results of the PA survey undertaken Feb 16-27 and reported only today, particularly the Presidential Preference with a First and Second Pres Preference described as:

      The respondents were asked to choose who among the remaining candidates would they vote if their chosen candidate decides not to pursue his/her candidacy.

      Because the comment box does not align the items correctly if not adjusted, I have decided to put a zero or “0” in front of a one-digit number to align with the two digit numbers and in the first line of the table I clipped the names of the Pres candidates to two letters. Other than these adjustments for purpose of alignment, the table is a faithful reproduction of the table in the link below.

      Other notes on the table for the analysts of the Society:

      – the first row numbers which are the FIRST CHOICE ranking are really in % (that is 26%, …, 03%)

      – the first column numbers in parenthesis (29%), …, (8%) are the SECOND CHOICE as described in the report

      – note that the numbers 26, 24, …, 03 totals 94

      – the rectangular number matrix starting at upper left 12 to lower right 15 is the percentage allocation of Po’s number for the first column to the others including Po herself (because some fraction of voters 12% in case of Po persists in putting her also as Second Choice, the rest are below 12; and so on.

      – note for analyst: the totals of the allocation column under Po, Bi, Du, Ro, Sa are 87, 84, 86, 85, 88, respectively instead of being close to 100

      —————————————-Po Bi Du Ro Sa
      First Pres Pref >>>————– 26 24 22 19 03

      2nd Pres Pref below left
      Poe (29%)————————- 12 37 31 41 21
      Binay (22%)———————- 32 12 23 18 17
      Roxas (15%)——————— 24 15 12 09 13
      Duterte (12%)——————– 12 14 08 11 22
      Santiago (8%)——————– 07 06 12 06 15

      I now wish to squeeze the most juice out of this allocation matrix:

      1. Poe’s 26 if re-allocated by her supporters is made as follows: 12% of her 26 % first choice supporters persist on making her also the second choice, the rest are allocated as shown 32% to Binay, 24% to Roxas, 12% to Duterte and 7% to Santiago.

      2. Compare that with Roxas’ 19 re-allocation: 41% to Poe, 18% to Binay, 9% of Roxas’ first choice supporters persisting on choosing him as second choice, 11% to Duterte, and 6% to Santiago.

      3. I will stop here; the analysts among us can analyze the rest. But I just wish to point out this. While Poe’s supporters re-allocate only 24% to Roxas (more to Binay with 32% and less to Duterte with 12%), Roxas supporters are more generous to Poe — allocating 41% of Roxas’ 19 to her; and less to Binay at 18% and even lesser to Duterte with 11%. All these observations jibing with our concept of the supporters of the candidates. That is, among others the more critical thinking Roxas’ supporters finds Poe as a better second choice than does Poe’s supporters who allocates more to Binay (with 32%) than to Roxas (with 24%). It is thus reasonable to infer from this result that Roxas’ supporters are in the main more critical thinkers than Poe’s supporter.

      4. One may make similar comments on the way Binay’s and Duterte’s supporters allocate their numbers to their second choice; and infer the nature of these supporters.

      5. I will stop here. I took efforts to post this because this recent PA survey with 5,200 respondents — not the usual 1,800 — have conceptual information not present in previous surveys and has forward implications. This puts this on record and reference in Joe’s Blogsite.

      Again, here is the link:

      http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/03/09/1561150/poe-binay-statistically-tied-bongbong-chiz-share-top-spot-pulse-survey

        • caliphman says:

          Great job explaining how to read the table. Not sure about the juice that was squeezed out however. Its a logic leap and selfserving to deduce that the number reallocations hare because Roxas supporters are more critical than Poe’s. The less feel good but much more likely observation as the succeeding “by income class” chart in that link shows is that Roxas does not appeal to masa voters while Poe does. If she drrops out, these would go to Binay and vice versa and not to Roxas. Moreover, Poe is considered the second choice Daang Matuwid candidate and it must be recalled that the huge jump in Roxas’s survey numbers resulted from Aquino anointing him as his candidate. It is but obvious these would switch to Poe if Roxas left. So clearly these tables just confirm what is already common knowledgd, n’est ces pas?

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        Item 3 is brilliant. Pity most Filipinos fail the marshmallow test.

        If we ignore Santiago, Duterte is almost always the last choice except for Santiago supporters… for whom he is the second choice!

        And weren’t Duterte and Santiago lovey-dovey in the first debate?
        *****

  16. edgar lores says:

    *******
    ON TOPIC

    Don’t you find it a bit strange that the online tracking system of the Land Registration Authority was developed in India?

    Filipino analysts and programmers are employed worldwide and known for their programming skills. Perhaps it is in analysis and design that Filipinos fail?

    That is, we cannot see all the details of a huge undertaking and cannot re-arrange the details in such a way as to be adaptable to computer (or other) processing.

    Or is because the best analysts/designers have gone abroad?

    If it is not the latter, then might this not point to a problem in Filipino cognizance, in the lack of the ability to see the “big picture?” Isn’t this the problem with voters?
    *****

    • chempo says:

      It’s very obvious Edgar, some fixer got the job and just farms it to the cheapest, Indians.

      I think the job started end 1990s, hence MRP’s sharp observation — why the hell are they using microfilms. Since it’s 1990s technology I worry on the kind of backbone transmission they use for consolidating to a central database. Security is also an issue.

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        Thanks, chempo. That sort of answers my question but at the same time it doesn’t.

        IT skills and technology is a national resource that should be developed “in-house”.
        *****

        • chempo says:

          Philippines landscape is littered with many such incidence of lost opportunities. Another that comes to mind easily is the importation of licence plates.

          The land registration system is not that complex. There is no doubt you have local talent for that. When it comes to these sort of national projects, it should be approached as opportunity for value adding local expertise with the objective of allowing some SME to move up the services offerings, perhaps expand on the system and secure overseas projects. That’s the way to build reputation

        • maru0907 says:

          So true.. Lots and Lots of projects get sourced out when it should have been locally. Is it a problem with procurement system that locals is losing. Shouldn’t government itself drive the economy also by patronizing local products and services and also as a tool to develop industries locally.

    • thirdy says:

      isnt it a tie up between a local businessman and the indian firm?

      for most contracts like these with the government, what usually happens is that a friend or a relative of someone within the governments gets a whiff of the project/contract, sets up a company but without the expertise. they then tie up with whomever gets them the best deal to make the most money who has the legitimate experience.

      it happened with ph trams (who tied up with a company with adequate experience). same with other contracts out there. just check out the companies who get big ticket projects. most of the owners/incorporators know somebody from the government.

      sometimes the project specs gets tailor fitted so only a certain bidder can pass all the technical qualifications.

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        Thirdy, thanks. Yes, I believe that’s how it usually works. But this means that the Filipino partners are just a front that provide the political connection, and the real expertise is provided by the foreign partners. Most of the honeypot would still go to the foreign partners for their services… and the locals get to have their hands dipped into the pot.
        *****

    • josephivo says:

      Why to develop by yourself when there are “of the shelf” solutions. Why do the French and the Germans use the Japanese solution and is the Philippines developing something alone. Just think at the maintenance cost when new technologies or better philosophies become available.

      E.g. In Belgium after a major gas explosion as the result of roadworks and a badly marked gas pipeline, the “underground” is being included in the national charts, before one had to consult all different owners of underground lines to get underground information. If I understand correctly, Japan has the underground as a standard layer.

      E.g. Strategic information and confidentiality. There are strategic military pipelines crisscrossing the country. Bio-diversity. a lot of species die out because of splintered habitats, certain connections of ecosystems are needed to keep certain species alive.

      Why not surf on international accepted solutions?

  17. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    There was so much fanfare on Philippine Center of “INVESTIGATIVE” Journalism’s piece in 4 parts in Inquirer. They were so froud of it. And in the end, they asked WHO WERE THE DONORS? I thought they were investigating. They were not at all. It was “investigation by questions and answers thru witness accounts and affidavits”

    Even Henares graduate from HARVARD UNIVERSITY cannot know who the donors are so is “INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM” of PCIJ.

    I suggest PCIJ should take out “INVESTIGATIVE” from their name because it is embarassing. They cannot investigate after all !!!!!

    http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/772154/henares-urges-poll-bets-to-bare-donors

    PCIJ and Henares wanted pol-bets to bare donors because they have been pulling their hairs who are the donors. This kind of law is called anti-5th Amendment. PROVE THEMSELVES THAT THEY ARE THE DONORS AND INCRIMINATE THEMSELVES !

    If these Harvard Graduates cannot know …. SO ARE THE REST OF THE FILIPINOS.

    If they graduated from Harvard and cannot know, therefore, the rest of 99,999,999 Filipinos have issues with learning.

  18. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    COMELEC Law and the Philippine Constitution prohibits JOEAM from meddling in Philippine Election Affairs … because he is a foreigner.

    Lookit who is meddling in American election affairs? INQUIRER ! With this editorial:
    “How did this happen? What is America—or at least the Republican side of it—thinking by vaulting this man that many have called a clown and a buffoon to within striking distance of the White House? As Trump’s march to the nomination transformed from raucous side show to startling main event, his rhetoric has become more outrageous and bilious at each step”

    Read more: http://opinion.inquirer.net/93578/dont-laugh#ixzz42Q5pvUp6
    Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

    Philippine Center of ” ” Journalism should ask Inquirer not Investigate !!!

    How dare they call Donald as “clown and a buffoon” they should look at themselves in the mirror who are the clowns and bufoon.

    WHAT DO YOU SAY PC” “J ? Shouldn’t you be investigating instead doing anti-5th ?

  19. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    NEVER TRUST A FILIPINO POLITICIANS. NEVER. EVER. FOREVER!

    Mar Roxas allies jumped to On-the-Job-Presidential-Trainee and Presidential Intern Grace Poe after she was declared as FILIPINO CITIZEN by no less SUPREME COURT OF THE PHILIPPINES.

    Mar Roxas is abandoned by HIS FILIPINO POLITICAL ALLIES. There is NO LOYALTY in Filipinos. They go to whom is the sure winner.

    Not voting for Mar Roxas is a slap on Benigno who gave Philippines 6 years of piece and unfettered economic progress.

    WHAT DO FILIPINOS REALLY WANT? IS IT THE FAULT OF THE FILIINOS? Or their mind is fried by Philippine Media? Are they Marcoschist? For richer or Poe-rer?

    http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/772170/roxas-not-worried-by-prospect-of-losing-allies-to-poe#ixzz42PZbERKL

    The election is ehating up!!! This election should be monitored by United Nations. This is too important to be handled by kindergartnerish Filipinos.

  20. DAgimas says:

    A national ID is a must. if we want ecommerce to flourish and avoid those long lines whether at the LRT or at government offices or at the banks.

    this is the thing that I like about America. you don’t have to deal with government bureaucrats. you can do all your transactions from the comforts of your home. and the govt office most visited is the DMV and not the city hall. but once your photo and prints are taken, you can be as “anonymous” as you want to be

    bought and sold house without visiting a govt office. just mail it or fax it.

    don’t know what these politicians are afraid of national ID. maybe they don’t want their ill gotten wealth discovered. a national ID would not allow JOSE VELARDE to open an account.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      YEAH! YEAH! YEAH! I am for national ID with biometrics and blings! including Organ Donor red dot!

      In my country, I cannot open a bank account without SSN and Driver’s License. Cannot transact business without Driver’s License. Cannot vote without Government issued ID.

      When can Filipinos ever learn?

    • josephivo says:

      In most of Europe the Germans introduced national ID numbers and ID cards during WWII. Most countries kept it as they thought it was a good idea. The Dutch refused it because it was a German idea and ID cards would remind there citizens on the German occupation, they have their social security number as national ID number and due to European rules a voluntary ID card that can be used as travel document. In Belgium one is obliged to carry his ID in all public places. European ID cards have a chip with bio-data. In the Philippines an affidavit of a fake second floor notary in Tondo is a more trustworthy proof of identity.

    • Madlanglupa says:

      > don’t know what these politicians are afraid of national ID. maybe they don’t want their ill gotten wealth discovered. a national ID would not allow JOSE VELARDE to open an account.

      Not to mention some radicals who fear of an Orwellian surveillance machinery for which to defeat their (ironic) Maoist aspirations.

      Ah! The other party who would also balk at a unified system are the fixer syndicates who usually take advantage of the red tape, trying to scalp those who want to beat the system. Nothing is infuriating for a fresh graduate than to find himself/herself waiting in line to get their SSS cards, police and NBI clearances, postal IDs, tax info numbers, birth certificates, drivers licenses, etc.

      • I have seen on the Efren Nolasco website that many services are now available online.

        But at Raissa’s I saw that online BIR filing still involves hassles including getting an affidavit to confirm everything as usual and then submitting something at the BIR office.

        • DAgimas says:

          once we are in ecommerce mode, our tax returns, just like our pictures, will just be filed in the cloud. too much hassles printing, put it in envelope and mailing it.. the downside? I paid $70.00 for federal and state tax online tax filing.

          I read that in Europe, this service is free but we live in the most capitalistic society where the businessmen don’t want the govt to provide free service

  21. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/772270/qc-squatters-to-leave-after-2-day-clashes

    To evict land-grabbing squatters in the Philippines I have to pay a battalion of Armies to evict squatters. After all is done, they are bankrupt.

    • DAgimas says:

      It was your fault,you didn’t build a squatter-proof fence around your property. didn’t you notice in Aremica, all private lots, even those nobody would want to settle like those in the desert are fenced-off?

      im just kidding but our laws allow physical force to defend our properties but once the squatters are settled, your are screwed..

      so its prevention..prevention…prevention

  22. The Indians seem to have background in digitizing land records, which could be the reason why an Indian company was hired to do it in the Philippines. From Communications of the ACM 03/16:

    In the 1990s, the government of India began a program to digitize and open land records…

    Digitizing the Record of Rights, Tenants and Crops (RTC) along with demographic and spatial data was intended to empower citizens against state bureaucracies and corrupt officials through transparency and accountability… in fact, what happened was anything but democratic. The claims of the lowest classes of Indian society were completely excluded from the records, leading to a loss of their historic land tenancies to groups better able to support their land claims…

    Sounds a bit similar to what allegedly happened during every titling wave in the Philippines, from Spanish times to the American period titling… how do you include the less literate in the process?

    I saw a posting on the website of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation Philippines today… about how two Moro clans had a look at the borders of their respective lands after settling a “rido” or feud… now in parts of rural Germany similar practices of border stones and inspections were long used. Another interesting IT project…the Map Kibera project used crowdsourced data to identify public services available to residents of slums in Nairobi, Kenya that officials regarded as illegal and thus non-existent. BTW Africans I have heard pay a lot using mobile phones.

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