Why VP Binay can’t make the rest of the Philippines like Makati

Makati_ayala_avenue wikimedia dot org

Makati. When will YOUR town look like this? [Photo credit: wikimedia.org]

This blog continues my dialogue with foreigners to explain why it is that the Philippines may elect a president who has poor character, values, or qualifications even as the nation is rising dramatically after decades of occupation and abuse.

Why do the nation’s voters not see the progress and the promise and insist on “change”?

Legalese: Filipino voters who read the article acknowledge they do so of their own choice and hold the writer harmless from “meddling” in their independent thought process.

One of the common campaign techniques we see in politics anywhere is that candidates will promise the moon but not discuss how it will be paid for, or when exactly the landing will happen. That certainly also happens in the Philippines. Here, the promises are generally couched in terms of how the Aquino Administration has not done enough, not done it right, or done everything wrong.

Candidate Mar Roxas is considered an extension of the Aquino Administration, so he receives a lot of brickbats from the other three main candidates. Arguments are postured very much as if Roxas has actually been President for the past six years, and, for some, you might think he even caused Typhoon Yolanda. The sensationalist media love the conflict and hype the criticisms. They seldom explain the facts of Philippine progress. So you outsiders who are insulated from all the carping, and who read objective analyses, generally see Philippine progress better than the nation’s own citizens.

As an example, one of the common arguments we hear from followers of Vice President Binay, who was mayor of Makati for for two lengthy terms, is that he is a good manager because Makati is wealthy and modern.

Let’s look at the facts of Makati.

Makati is a business center. A financial hub, an office hub. A vibrant, clean retail shopping district. It is the “New Manila”. Jejomar Binay took charge of the city as a huge political payoff for his loyalty to President Cory Aquino during the nation’s uprising against President Marcos. She gifted the mayorship to Binay by appointment in 1987. Now he is running for President on the promise of making the entire Philippines as wealthy and generous as Makati.

Makati gives free birthday cakes to seniors, free health care, free education . . . a lot of free stuff. VP Binay promotes this “rich” idea when he gives away goodies in his visits to the provinces, everything from candy to rosaries, properly tagged with the Binay name.

The facts show that Makati is indeed rich. The Makati city tax base is huge. Yet the population is modest. Here are the statistics for Makati along with a few selected greater Manila cities, for comparison purposes:


City Data

2016 budget, pesos in millions, except for revenue per person, which is actual pesos, annually.


Makati will generate total revenue of about P13 billion this year. The city will spend just about the same amount, with the excess revenue or loss going to the cash account, which today is around P12 billion. The revenue (or expense) per person in Makati is P24,700 per year.

Caloocan, with three times the population, has a tax base of P5 billion. The revenue (or expense) per person is P3,428.

The promise of the Binay advocates is that he will make the Philippines in the same likeness as Makati.

So what would it take to get poor, over-crowded, rundown Caloocan to rise to the majestic stature of Makati? Good jobs. Clean streets and sidewalks. Cakes for the elderly and free health care. Modern schools and parking garages.

It would require increasing the expense per person from P3,428 to P24,700, or P22,127 per person per year.

Multiply that figure by 1,489,040 residents (which is highly conservative, given that the population figures are from 2010), and we can see that the city must raise and spend P32.9 billion annually to match Makati.

Assuming quick work and no more births.

P32.9 billion

Remember, it is Caloocan that has to raise this money. It can’t come from outside, except the internal revenue allotment. Other cities are busy doing the same thing. Indeed, they are competing for investments from a limited pool of all the rich people who can afford such huge projects.

To make each Caloocan resident as well off as the residents of Makati, the city of Caloocan would have to generate 2 1/2 times as much revenue as Makati does today. The office buildings, condos, hotels and banks would have to sprout like mushrooms. Malls on ever corner.

The other cities would have to do the same thing. Greater Manila would become the new Dubai . . .  without any oil to pay for things.

And a whole lot of very empty office buildings, condos and malls.

“Oh, Joe, get real! Give us a break. We foreigners aren’t stupid. We know it will take time to get there. It can’t be done in a year.”

Right I agree.

Indeed, I’ll give you that it will not be done in six years.

Or 12.

Or 24.

And therein lies the deceit of the Binay advocates.

The numbers prove the lie. Makati is one of a kind, with huge tax base and modest population. To suggest to the residents of Caloocan or any other town in the Philippines that they can have what Makati residents have is simply not true. It does not matter how capable a manager VP Binay might be. And given the lack of transparency, one might conclude . . . not such a good manager.

Other candidates are also making lavish promises.

“A seat for every rider!” (my paraphrase) says Senator Poe commenting on today’s overcrowded trains, without saying when . . . or how much she will spend to give all of Manila seats. Or how she will get the money when 30% of her budget is promised to Mindanao.

“Crime and drugs gone in 3 to 6 months!” (my paraphrase) claims Mayor Duterte.

The promises candidates are setting before the public are almost lunatic in their dimensions. They are wholly impractical. They can’t be done during the next six years. Not even close.

Only one candidate argues for a continuation of the progress being made that is recognized in most global rating indicators from anti-corruption to climate change. Only one candidate says that the Philippines is doing well . . . the view that most foreign experts seem to hold.

The work being done today includes prudent fiscal policies, building a stable, robust economy, improving tax collections, and the careful, balanced allotment of money to schools, roads, airports, local governments, defense and social services.

So if the nation’s voters choose badly, it is because the noise, the complaints, the dreams, and the promises peddled by those who can’t deliver are louder than the truth, or even common sense. And the nation’s media vendors fail to sort out fact from fiction.

Here’s my personal editorial judgment:

The ONLY PATH to a modern, progressive Philippines is continuity of recent good works.

The ONLY CHANGE should be to improve on what has been built. And to PAY FOR IT with steady, earnest economic growth and prudent tax policies.

And most certainly, the absolute worst path would be to seek the kind of change that rips the economic foundations from the nation’s future.

“Why don’t local media make clear that the promises are absurd?”, you the foreigner might ask. And I would say that it is because Philippine journalists are reactive, not contemplative. That is, they do not “think forward” because there is no profit to it. And, therefore, the Philippine population is largely reactive. And . . . without facts . . . highly gullible.


194 Responses to “Why VP Binay can’t make the rest of the Philippines like Makati”
  1. Gemino H. Abad says:

    The coming national election will be our acid test — as in America today!

  2. josephivo says:

    You talked about income and expenses, that is one side of the coin. But what about wealth? All you see is built with private/Ayala capital except for the slums and the municipal buildings. The wealth of the slump dwellers is close to zero as in the rest of the country. The safety, good roads, parks…. all maintained and paid for by Ayala and co.

    It was Ayala who attracted the businesses, the jobs and the taxes despite Binay, not thanks to Binay.

    For Duterte, moving criminals from one place to another, from one city to a neighboring one is easy, eliminating supply and demand for criminal acts on a national scale is very difficult and it requires a long term approach.

    Can Poe quote one place on earth where during rush hour every passenger in public transport has a seat?

    • “It was Ayala who attracted the businesses,” my brother’s doctorate – I only know what he has told me haven’t read it – is about Filipinos of German origin especially businessmen, as it is about the history of German involvement in the Philippine boom of the late 1800s…

      Two family names I remember: Zobel and Zuellig – the latter Mary has mentioned it is still a company in the Philippines, even if nobody understood it when my brother pronounced it the German way… “aaah… Zwelig!” was what people told him…

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zobel_de_Ayala_familyThe Zóbel de Ayala clan is a Spanish Filipino business family of German-Spanish ancestry, founders of Ayala y Compañía (now Ayala Corporation) and patrons of the Premio Zóbel literary awards. The clan is directly descended from Jacobo Zóbel y Zangroniz (1842-1896) and Trinidad de Ayala (1856-1918). Ayala y Compañía (established in 1876) traces its origins to Casa Róxas, a business partnership established in 1834 between Domingo Róxas (1792-1843) and Antonio de Ayala (1803-1876).

      Jacobo Zóbel y Zangroniz was the son of Jakob Hinsch Zóbel and Ana Maria Zangroniz (daughter of a justice at the Real Audiencia of Manila, who had come from an old family in Navarra, Spain). He was born on October 12, 1842 and was the first Zóbel born in the Philippines. His grandfather, Johannes Andreas Zóbel, arrived in the Philippines from Hamburg, Germany in 1832, together with his wife, Cornelia Hinsch, and their son, Jakob. Johannes Andreas Zóbel came from a long line of German pharmacists and established the Botica Zóbel pharmacy in 1834, located in 28 Calle Real in Intramuros.

      The nice thing about the Ayalas is that they have stayed true to their German roots… reinvesting and developing both land and people… their investment in the Technohub near UP is an example of how they not only take but give back in order to have win-win.

      • Joe America says:

        It is strange having both the white knight and dark knight thriving side by side.

      • R.Hiro says:

        Is Zobel a play on the Jewish name of Sobel?

        • That is possible… but my brother told me (he researched on them and other Germans who set up shop in the Philippines in the 19th century) they were German Protestants.

          Many Northern German Jews converted to Protestantism centuries ago and their families are just as German as the Ongpins and Tuazons are Filipinos. Besides Hamburg where they came from is a very mercantile city, Jews or Gentiles or even the Filipino seamen who hang out at the “Ilongga Bar” in the Reeperbahn red-light district… that place has existed for ages and I think will remain an institution… I mean both the bar and the red-light district.

      • caliphman says:

        I find the the arrival of Andreas Zobel from Germany in 1832 very intriguing as it marks the the development of Manila as a major international trade center. It should be recalled that hundreds of years prior, the Spanish used it primarily if not exclusively for supporting the galleon trade. By the time Andreas set up his pharmacy, the port had been open to global trade for over a decade and I am almost certain the first wave of German commercial firms and their families had already established a beachhead offering a market for his drug supplies and services from back home. If your brother or you have more info on this very crucial era when the Manila was truly opened up to the influx western world trade and immigrants, it would fill in the gaps to our knowledge of the key points of our nation’s history.

        • Bill in Oz says:

          Califman, the 1930’s was the beginning of a great German disapora..Germans migrated to the USA, Canada, the UK, and even remote South Australia. Why ? The region which we now call Germany was not a united prosperous nation then..It was a region of kingdoms and principalities with competing religious conflicts..Unification cam elater in the 1860’s under the leadership of Prussia…

          Why Manila & the Spanish East Indies ?

          Well the galleon trade was stopped. And that left the merchants of Manila without an income..And the government without taxes. Why was it stopped ? Well Mexico declared itself independent from Spain along with a whole swag of Spanish American countries. The spanish in Manila did not want to support of help the traitars in Mexico ! Or perhaps encourage revolutionary ideas in Manila imported from Mexico…

          Sp Manila is opened to trade by other countries.. And the ships & merchants of America, the UK , the Dutch etc started coming here…And the abaca trade starts…And the Zobels come also.

          I wonder if there are any Ayala family members reading this blog..They probably still have family memories of their arrival in Manila and documents in the archives..certainly the Ayalas seem to have been good citizens here like German migrants to South Australia..And worked hard and become prosperous.

          • Bill in Oz says:

            Mistake ::: I meant the 1830’s..

            • Caliphman says:

              Ahh that explains your mention of the first Mexican independence Bill. You are absolutely correct that it was that event in 1810 which led to the halt of the Galleon trade plying the Manila Acapulco route. Let me explain that the Spanish gallon treasure fleet consisted of two routes, Manila to Acapulco and back , and Vera Cruz In the Gulf Coast of Mexico to Havana to Sevilla and back. The Manila galleons sailed mostly twice a year carrying precious Chinese goods from trade with Fujian province either for consumption in the Americas or in Spain or Europe. Ever wonder why Fookienese as a language and as a people is prevalent in the Philippines? The trade was so profitable that the Spanish commercial company managing it was able to secure a royal decree granting it a monopoly by restricting the shipments to twice a year. On the return voyage from Acapulco, the galleon hulls were heavily laden with silver from Mexico and South America which was the preferred payment form of the Chinese merchants. Almost all the galleons which were then among the biggest ships then displacing 2,000 tons and could carry 1,000 people were built in Cavite. Thats why our best shipwrights and shipyards are located there.

              When the Spanish lost Acapulco, that was the end of the Manila galleon trade. It should also be noted that the discovery of the Philippines by Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese captain, was due to a oceanic treaty between Spain and Portugal..kind of like an UNCLOS between the two major colonizers. It was the Portuguese who were given the exclusive route to sail continuoslly east from Europe around the Americas and around the bottom of Africa on the way back to Europe. It is presumed that appointing a Portuguese captain who had the experience and authority to ply these routes was a factor in the Spanish monarchy choosing him in this epic journey leading to the discovery of the Philippines.

              This is the historical backdrop behind the end of the Manila galleon trade and opening up Manila to direct international commerce.

              • Caliphman says:

                It should also be noted that the Spanish decision to conquer the Philippines in the 1570’s was only made possible by the discovery of eastward trade winds allowing the Spanish Armada and galleons to sail back to Mexico instead of having to circumnavigate the world. Otherwise, we would probably not have been subject to nearly 400 years of Spanish rule as a colony.

              • Jake says:

                How was the galleon generally profitable when during the time the Philippine economy was dependent on it, the islands have to be subsidized by New Spain?

                Profit only came to the colony when the tabako monopoly was established.

              • Bill in Oz says:

                @Jake at 8.37 am
                That is a very good question….The Galleon trade took Chinese exports ( silk, porcelain, tea, etc from Southern China to Manila in exchange for silver..Manila was the port where the exchange took place.
                The silver came from Mexico where Spanish colonists wanted the high value Chinese goods. But this trade was very restricted by the Spanish crown.They wanted all the silver from Mexico to go to Europe to fund Spain’s wars in Europe. And the merchants of Seville wanted monopoly access to the Spanish American market with no Chinese goods being sold.

                The crown however was spending money to maintain & expand the Spanish East Indies..It had been charged with converting the Filipino Indios to Catholicism and took this task seriously. But it did not want to spend there. So the crown organised a compromise : limited licensed galleon trade. Thus the trade financed the Manila colony. But of course some people in Manila attempted to secretly maximise the trade to maximise the money to be made…

                It was a nutty system but the crown made the rules ! And often the kings were more interested in Europe that the Spanish empire – except how it could supply funds for wars and luxuries in Spain.

                There are other examples of this happening. Eg :The development of the colony of Rio Plata (Argentina ) was completely stopped by Spanish crown ban on trade out of Buenas Aires. So that colony survived on ‘smuggling’ until the colonists declared independence in 1806. That declaration was recognized & supported by Great Britain. The British were in favor of free trade. And then Argentina started to boom.

            • Jake says:


              I always thought that the Philippines was the backwater Spanish colony, even up to the SpanAm War. Even as most of LatAm became independent, the crown jewel then was Cuba.

              Which is why the Philippines is mostly native descent. The gold and silver deposits were held by tribes hostile to Europeans, so no silver nor gold to exploit, hence no European were interested in immigrating the the far flung territory

              If we were to base the Spanish population in the Philippines, they almost never exceeded 4,000. It reached 20,000 at some point, but that was during the revolution.

              You’d really wonder why the Spanish took pains of subsidizing its colony that don’t make profit for about 200 years.

              • Bill in Oz says:

                At first spices & gold..Then when that fell over the need to fullfil the duty that the popes gave them of converting all the Indios…So in most of the Philippines the Church was the Spanish government…Combined with Spanish pride…Ummmm

              • What I have read is that the galleon trade was very lucrative, and the book “1493” by Charles Mann mentions that the discovery of silver mines in Potosi, Bolivia pushed the Spanish to conquer Manila as a trading hub with the Chinese. What is also mentioned is that the Chinese economy had a crash due to too much silver (too much currency) 1750. Then you had the British coming in trying to capture the Philippines for two years.

                The Spanish then were not sure whether they wanted to keep the Philippines, then they decided to remain, with the tobacco monopoly as an attempt to make things profitable from 1782 onwards. Then the gradual opening of ports to international trade until 1834. From 1860 onwards it is documented that a lot of Europeans came to the Philippines. The sleepy colony awakened, but the original way of life was changed more than ever before. What I think is that the expectations of many Filipinos are still shaped by the old ways, except that the old times will never come back, going forward is the only way possible.

              • Bill in Oz says:

                Irineo,It was definitely profitable for the Spanish community in Manila. That is why so many Manilenos took shares in the galleon trade..But this wealth was often ‘off the official books’. The Spanish admin taxed the trade. So under declaring the value of Chinese imports and the amount of Mexican silver dollars was part of the process. This was the Manila community’s main source f income.

                But with the Galleon trade banned they needed a new source of income. So they tried a tobacco monopoly. But the Napoleonic wars ended that. So opening up to free-er trade took place :: sugar & abaca were the major crops exported.

          • Thanks Bill and caliphman… this is great.

            About the period of change in the early 1800s I have this article: http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/philippine-history-part-ii-state-section-1/

            One can see that Filipino creoles were the first to have nationalistic ambitions, much like the creoles in Latin America. Count Varela, the only Filipino to be a Spanish Count and witness France in its revolutionary period, or the Trillanes predecessor Andres Novales…

            What I didn’t know yet when I wrote the article was that before the big opening of Manila to international trade in 1834, there was a smaller partial opening in the late 1700s, and also that after Manila in 1834 Cebu, Iloilo and Zamboanga were also opened to world trade.

            As for Germany you are right – in addition to the divisions it was a reactionary period after 1815, with local rulers clamping down on freedom… the attempted revolution in 1848 was a failure and caused people like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Schurz to leave:

            Carl Christian Schurz (German: [ˈkaʁl ˈʃʊʁts]; March 2, 1829 – May 14, 1906) was a German revolutionary, American statesman and reformer, U.S. Minister to Spain, Union Army General in the American Civil War, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of the Interior. He was also an accomplished journalist, newspaper editor and orator, who in 1869 became the first German-born American elected to the United States Senate.[1]

            Carl not Karl… I am also intrigued by where the Zobels may REALLY have come from, because many LEFT from Hamburg, the port city. Which is why a German meat dish got to be called “hamburger” in the USA. I will ask my brother if he knows more about the Zobels – he got to talk with quite a lot of Filipinos of German origin during his Ph.D. research, don’t know if he got to talk to the big boss Zobel de Ayala himself – it is possible. Next time I am in Berlin I will ask him, maybe even borrow a copy of his Ph.D. done at London SOAS. No, my brother did not study at Oxford… it is possible that he visited the city though… 🙂

            • caliphman says:

              I wonder if hamburger sandwiches when introduced here were eaten as they were or are in Germany. My first trip to Frankfurt was my first curious sight of natives munching a frankfurter in one hand interspersed with bites on a bun in the other hand. Its been a while since then but I cannot imagine a Big Mac being consumed there today in similar fashion.

            • Bill in Oz says:

              For about 6 months I have been wondering why the Philippines did not become independent when the Spanish colonies in Latin America did in the period from 1806 to 1820… Spain at this time was occupied by the French under Napoleon.It was unable to defend itself never mind control the colonies.And Great Britain adopted a policy of supporting the independence movements in order to weaken Spain as France’s ‘ally’ ( actually under French occupation ) . The Netherlands was also a french ( occupied ) ally at this time and Britain proceeded to seize Cape Town Malacca, and Java as part of the same process of weakening France..

              So why didn’t the Philippines become independent then ? I think I now know the answer. In Latin America the ruling elite were ‘peninsulares’..And the locally born spanish settlers were excluded. The independence movement was lead by the excluded Spanish locally born families.

              In the Philippines there were so few ‘peninsulares’ that the locally born Spanish were also part of the ruling elite, even if they were also part indio. So there was no local disenchanted settler elite… And from their perspective no need to seek independence. And there was no need during the 19th century, for this elite to ensure that Spanish was the ‘national’ language as in Mexico or Argentina or Peru or Chile. So when the yanks arrived in 1898, the Spanish language was easily displaced by English….

              • Caliphman says:

                Its quite a complicated story and at the time the Philippines was not subject to direct rule by the Spanish monarchy. Also a large part of Latin American indepence was inspired if not directly won by a Venezuelan soldier and statesman named Somon Bolivar. Its true the situation in Mexico was brought to a head earlier by a power struggle between the peninsulares and insulares but bear in mind the Philippines was more than four months sail from Seville and this was only significantly alleviated when the narrow route by land or estuary through the isthmus of Panama was discovered. But that story probably belongs to another blog.

          • caliphman says:

            Bill, dial back another 100 years please. The Spanish opened up Manila as an international port city on the 1820 ‘s. My great great great great grandather was a chinese filipino who worked with Smith Bell an American trading firm in Manila which started doing business about then.

            The great German outmigration of of the 1920’s and 30’s followed the severe economic difficulties and depression brought by the Kaiser’s defeat in the Great War. This was fertile ground for Adolf Schickelgruber aka Hitler to emerge and perform an economic miracle ala Binay and the entire German nation supporting him. The rest is history. But among my childhood friends was a German Filipino family who settled in Paranaque who fled the growing persecution of the National Socialist party. This was the second wave of German immigrants to the Philippines. The Deutsche Haus in Pasay used to be a font of German Filipino history and culture in the Philippines and it had a treaure trove of archives for members to research.

      • Jake says:

        The Ayalas, I believe, are distantly related to Mar Roxas. The Ayalas are the descendant of Domingo Roxas, while Mar comes from the brother. I forgot the name, was it Fransisco?

        But physically, you would not know they are related… The Ayalas remained European looking, while the line of Mar Roxas has become native. Hehe

    • Madlanglupa says:

      > Can Poe quote one place on earth where during rush hour every passenger in public transport has a seat?

      The Marcos apologists claim that their patron’s Love Buses disallow passengers from standing. Yet Japan, seen as an zenith exemplar of Asian discipline, has their main elevated train line in Tokyo where during rush hour everyone will have to stand up, packed like sardines! Same thing with other subways in, say, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Seoul.

      • It is true that there were certain Love Buses – I lived in the Philippines during those days – “Pasahe Piso-Piso, Walang Tindigan” where you paid MORE for the privilege of seating. Just like the airconditioned Love Buses that went straight to Makati also were expensive.

      • Ong-Lo says:

        If my memory serves me right, that elevated railway you are referring to is the Yellow line that forms a loop in Tokyo’s business district. It is always jam-packed during rush hours and I guess they intentionally use train coaches without seats during peak periods to maximize capacity. I’ve never seen anyone getting into a fist fight even when the crowd of train riders are sometimes thicker that what I see in the MRT, although on several occasions I’ve seen ladies dragging a male train rider to the station master to complain about his hand she caught in places they weren’t suppose to be.

        I’ve made a similar comment on social media re the situations of mass trains outside Ph having condition similar to the MRT then someone replied that I should be looking at the situation in Dubai rails where train ride is comfortable even during rush hours. I suggested that he try to see outside the window of the Dubai rails and JR lines in Tokyo and tell me which of those 2 views closely resembles the view outside the MRT window.

        • Ma Ru says:

          Ha! I have ridden Dubai’s MRT, worked as part of team for a year during construction too, and it is also packed during rush hour especially on busier segments but not as jampacked as MRT. But I’ll tell you why its not as jampacked as with MRT. It’s the SMELL!Ang baho! After that, I took a taxi thank you. Traffic is ok, mind you only more expensive. Its also worth worth mentioning that Transport system in Dubai is very good, freeways, public buses plying route all over the city regulary together with the Train and their taxi fleet.

          • Joe America says:

            Thanks for the real world comment, Ma Ru. Economically robust cities around the world struggle to keep up with infrastructure. Why Manila residents object to being economically robust, I don’t know. That is Thursday’s blog, actually.

      • Jonathan says:

        Even the Singapore MRT – which is as well-designed a system as any in the world – has people standing. If anything, the system is designed with it in mind: the carriages are wide (like LRT2, unlike MRT3), and there are train sections without any seats.

  3. Maria Socorro Reyes says:

    President Cory Aquino did not appoint Binay as a “gift.” Senator Aquilino Pimentel has repeatedly said that he, himself, recommended Binay for the post. The President did not know Binay at all and relied on Pimentel’s judgment. She wasn’t paying political favors.

    • Joe America says:

      Thanks for the correction on President Cory. I suspect Jojo Binay RECEIVED the mayorship with considerable pleasure.

      • Buddy Gomez says:

        Thank you, too, Ms. Maria Socorro Reyes. I can attest without fear of contradiction to the veracity of your ‘correction’ / clarification. I am personally and intimately connected to all participants in the episode spoken of. And also, with the historical role that the Roxas/Zobel/Ayala/McMicking clan(s) have played in the nationalist and commercial development of our country.
        btw, Irineo, please—how might I acquire or earn access to your brother’s doctoral research. Kindly find the time to let me klnow—–tgomeziii@aol.com. salamat po.

  4. NHerrera says:

    That is the kind of business arithmetic I can understand, no highfalutin algebra or calculus. Duturte can understand that. Even Poe can, I believe. But Binay?

    • Sup says:

      Sir NHerrera, just went to 7/11 for a soft ice…Loaded with highschool kids…they have the 7/11 voting weekly…slurpee voting…..last week Duterte n1, this week Duterte nr1….it is just some highschool boy’s doing the voting to impress the girls voting ”macho” Duterte…with a lot of ”he will kill all criminals” etc etc…
      That 7/11 poll is rubbish !!!
      For the kids it is voting between metallica (Duterte badboy) or the Beatles (Roxas)

      • Madlanglupa says:

        > For the kids it is voting between metallica (Duterte badboy) or the Beatles (Roxas)

        The average millennial kid I observed (me while working as a PC technician) is more likely listening to underground rap music, and the (in)famous Fliptop dissing showdown series on Youtube; they’ll go for the anti-authoritarian “gangsta” character types in the mold of Jason Ivler.

        No, actually, the Duterte cult is a bandwagon phenomenon, where people would go for the majority regardless of the man’s behavior, as long as they (naively) believe that he would perform a Quiboloy-channeled miracle of crimson in six months.

        • Bill in Oz says:

          A question : what is the voting age here in the Philippines ? I am not sure if it is 18 or 21 or maybe 15 years….. And a second question : what % of each age cohort is registered on the electoral rolls ?
          These questions come to mind because if the 7-11 fruit drink poll is for teenagers who are do have the vote or are not enrolled, we can safely dismiss the whole thing as advertising.

          • I think it is 18 now… during the Marcos period it was 15, guess he relied a lot on youngsters in the slum areas for his sham referenda… “YES NA YES!!!” I still remember the posters then… the Kabataang Barangay brainwashed a whole lot of them… I still remember how I got to meet a former KB leader in Germany… me a former KM recruit… funny how similar in mindset he was to the KM leaders… totalitarian and hardheaded.

  5. karlgarcia says:

    How can he do that if he already promised no income tax for almost everyone?
    Let’s see him not rely on revenues and borrow for all the expenses.
    I know Micha says it can work.

    • Micha says:

      You’re a slow learner karl. Makati, like other towns and cities across the country, needs taxes and other forms of revenue to satisfy its spending. The Philippine national gov’t, being monetarily sovereign, does not.

      Please know the difference.

      • karlgarcia says:

        I hope slow but sure can help me.hehe.
        I am still learning.

        • wala ka nang maikukuwento sa pagong kung ikaw mismo iyong pagong. 😀
          Mabuti sa pag-google mabilis ka pa sa a las kwatro. 🙂

          BTW nasa Filipinoknow iyong origin ng term na iyon kasama ang walastik.

          • karlgarcia says:

            bakit di ba pwede magkwentuhan ang mga pagong?
            matingnan nga yang filipiknow baka walastik yang article na yan.
            ikaw naman mabilis din sa google at pati mag type.

        • caliphman says:

          Karl, Binay was referring to his tax programs if and when he becomes president and not while mayor of Makati. So your comment was relevant. But the theory and policy prescription is still utter hogwash.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        Micha, no you are wrong ! The Philippines Central Bank & government, can control the amount of pesos in circulation.However issuing lots of pesos beyond what is gained through taxes has 2 important affects.
        1 : It can be very inflationary – a la the Marcos times

        2 It makes local & foreign investors very nervous about investing in the Philippines because of exchange rate uncertainties. Ie the pesos will fall vis a vis other currencies..

        And please do not reply that the government can fix the exchange rate. That is utter bull….! That simply guarantees a black market in foreign currencies…

        If you want to see how a left leaning well meaning government can stuff things up check out Argentina under Christina De Kirchener.2005-15.

        • “a black market in foreign currencies…”

          existed in Marcos times when the exchange rates were fixed and the first OFWs had “forced remittances” through official channels… don’t remember the details on that though even if I know that nearly everybody got pesos on the black market if they could…

          What I do remember is that in those times, the Philippines like the US had overseas taxation and that migrants and OFWs were NOT issued their passports unless they could produce BIR receipts or paid back taxes based on the official income on their foreign tax returns… there was a tax officer in every Embassy that took care of that… forced remittances I think were stopped in the late 1970s overseas taxation much much later.

        • Micha says:

          Billy Boy,

          Honestly, I am bored and tired explaining the concept of modern monetary theory to a classical dinosaur like you.

          • Bill in Oz says:

            “Classical dinasaur” ? Are Insults your way of ‘winning’ here Micha ? If so you will not win..I can be far better at insulting. We Australian get PH D’s in that academic discipline
            : -) ))

            But if you want to discuss economics in a civilised way.. Respond to my information and queries..

            That way you will gain respect from me & others here.

            As for my training..My professors were all Keynesian not classical..Remember Maynard Keynes ? He was the one who correctly suggested how to end the Great Depression in 1932..But was ignored until the 1940’s & 50’s…But when listened to by governments, instigated the long prosperous boom from 1946 to 1974. Not a bad record…

            • Micha says:

              Billy Boy,

              MMT and the concept of monetary sovereignty is post-Keynesian heterodox approach to macroeconomics. Key proponents include Randall Wray, Bill Mitchell, Steve Keen, Warren Mosler, James Galbraith, Rodger Malcolm Mitchell, Yves Smith, and Stephanie Kelton, currently the Senate Committee Adviser on Economic Affairs of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. There are of course numerous others who heroically disseminate the knowledge and push back against the old orthodox approach. Key institutions/organizations include the Levy Institute, UMKC Econ Department, Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET), and Stephanie Kelton’s New Economic Perspective.

              • Bill in Oz says:

                Ahhhh Michie ! How interesting. I guess we could call it them the Post Millenium American school of Economics. And in so far as they talk about the USA ‘monetary sovereignty’ it has some relevance. After all the rest of the world has the habit of accepting US dollars as payment for their goods & services…But ( as I said above,) the USA while having a ‘sovereign dollar’ has lost control of it’s real economy.
                Foreigners wanting US dollars bid up the value of the dollar compared to the currencies of other countries..That makes imports cheap and more important, exports US jobs and THOTTLES exports, further guaranteeing US foreign account deficits.
                So the Obama government has been busy printing US dollars the past 8 years to try and ‘devalue’ the dollar and thus constrain imports, advance exports and reduce US unemployment. To some extent this has worked. But the current account deficit is growing every year as across the world want US dollars..

                Now think abut the EU and the Euro which is the biggest example of a bunch of nations each surrendering their monetary sovereignty in exchange for a joint monetary sovereignty’. A new & interesting hybrid concept that has been driven by political idealists wanting to create a united Europe. After 15 years we have now had major economic crisies in Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Cypress & France. And the UK and Poland & Switzerland are saying ‘Thank Christ we did not join : we dodged that bullet !’

                What is the lesson, the relevance for the Philippines ? Well the Philippines has monetary sovereignty and has had since independence. About 65 years. In that time the Philippines has had some good times and some not so good times and some really awfull times ( think Marcos !! ) And the value of the pesos has always depended on the current account deficit. Nobody except Filipinos use pesos as a unit of value. Marcos was the idiot ( ironically ) who used the idea of monetary sovereignty in his economic program. And he totally ‘f****ed’ the nation while stealing as much Filipino foreign currency as possible. Not a great example Michie..
                So what to make of Monetary sovereignty for Philippines : “Interesting idea but dangerous” for the Philippines people. And if you are advising Binay to do it, and he pays any attention, then watch out Filipinos.It will be a rough ride economically.

          • Madlanglupa says:

            However, I appreciate a very good debate when I see one. Both of you have your own merits, and differing viewpoints. Understanding that every economic system has its own rewards and risks, and how all that goes down to a single pot of steaming rice every evening.

            • Bill in Oz says:

              I do too Madlunglupa..But no insults..please…

              Macro economics is interesting..The concepts used in all the various schools are the same.But each gives emphasis to it’s own favorite core concepts..and diminishes the importance of others….Here are the various schools named : Merchantilist ( 1600-1770’s ) Adam Smith’ist ( 1760’s – 1850”s ) Marxist (1860 -1900 ) Classical (1900’s – 1930’s ) Keynesian ( 1930’s to 1970’s ) and finally the deregulatory USA school of Friedman late 1970’s more or less 2008 when it’s flaws were exposed for all to see in the GFC.

              The Spanish in the Philippines were merchantiliist till 1830 until the galleon trade was stopped..

            • Bill in Oz says:

              Hi Madlanglupa, is this debate still comprehensible to you ? Or has all got tooo technical ? I hope not. Understanding is power. Ignorance means powerlessness. And definitely less rice or bread or potatoes or meat……the Hobbesian dark short brutish life.

              • Madlanglupa says:

                I’m all right with some of the technicalities. It’s just that most people in my country have problems at managing their budget.

    • Micha says:

      The core concepts:

      Why do we have a national currency? When nations and governments are formed, they need a way for the government to obtain the resources it needs to fulfill its role, whatever that may be. In most developed nations, this is typically done using a national currency.

      What and whose money do governments use? Governments actually create their own currency. There is a basic formula most countries use to create a national currency: (i) decide on a national money unit (e.g. Japan called theirs the “Yen”; the United States the “Dollar”, etc.); (ii) the government issues various forms of money “things” denominated in that unit (Yen or Dollar bills, coins, or electronic bank credits); (iii) impose a broad-based tax that can only be paid using the government’s newly created money. And now the government can issue and spend its own currency to obtain resources.

      Why is government currency accepted and how does it have any value? The tax obligation causes the government’s currency to become in demand and have value. Since businesses and households must obtain the government currency in order to pay their taxes, it becomes universally adopted in that economy.

      Does the government need to collect taxes before it can spend? Note above how taxes simply return to the government the money it first created. The spending has to happen first since the only way we can pay taxes in government currency is by first obtaining government currency. The government never needs our taxes in order to spend since it creates the money that it spends.

      If the government doesn’t need our taxes to spend, what are taxes for? Taxes cause demand for the government’s currency so we accept it in payment for goods and services. Taxes also reduce spending power in the economy so that when the government spends to obtain necessary resources, it doesn’t create excessive inflation. Taxes are also useful as incentives and disincentives to influence behavior in the rest of the economy for public policy.

      If national governments can just create money, are there any limits to what they can spend? Yes, there are definitely limits. A big constraint on government spending is the political process. It is usually difficult to get spending approved and funded, and the public generally require their government to act responsibly and to avoid excessive inflation. The availability of the real resources that can be obtained with the state currency is a firm constraint. So governments can’t use their currency to buy what is not for sale in their currency, but they are never limited by the availability of their own currency.

      Can sovereign governments go bankrupt? A nation that issues its own currency can never go bankrupt or be unable to pay its bills, as long as those bills are due in the money they create. Governments that owe debt in a currency or commodity they don’t create can certainly become insolvent and default. So too can governments who promise to exchange their currency for another currency they don’t control. However, fully sovereign nations are the monopoly issuer of their currency, and they can always issue their money to make any payment due in their currency.

      Do governments borrow to fund their spending? Since currency-issuing governments create money when they spend, they do not need to – and in fact can’t – borrow their own self-issued currency. Government bonds can only be purchased with government currency that is already spent into the economy. This means that government bonds are serving some other role in the economy aside from funding the government. It is easiest to say that bonds simply provide a safe interest-earning way to save government-created money. A more complicated reason is that bonds help the central bank manage interest rates, but bonds are never needed to finance government spending.

      Does understanding modern money provide policy guidance? The knowledge that sovereign nations issue their own currency means that they are not constrained in the same way that currency-using governments are constrained. This has a profound impact on the range of policy options available to such governments that are not available to those with less monetary sovereignty. The debate over public policy is important and differences of opinion will remain: however, the debate should not place artificial constraints on the monetary system, but rather look at the effects of each policy on the economy and the general welfare of the people. An important example is unemployment: we now know that governments can afford to employ everyone who is willing to work for the government’s money, and that the effects of doing so can stabilize and grow the economy while enhancing the general welfare of the nation.

      • Jean says:

        Wow, thanks for this!

        • Bill in Oz says:

          Woa !!!! Micha left out some key facts Jake

          There is only one nation on Earth which has ‘monetary sovereignty’ as Micha defines it – the USA. ( And maybe China in the last 2-3 years ? )
          The USA issues all it’s borrowing in US dollars. And lots of people and nations are keen to buy US bonds..Because this currency is the de facto global currency…Currently the USA owes the rest f the world 13 Trillion dollars ore than they owe the USA….That is a massive deficit…

          But demand for US currency by people, corporations and other nations, means that the US dollar has steadily up-valued since the 1970’s… And that makes goods imported by the USA cheaper..And that leads to exporting jobs…And lower wages and conditions…

          Effectively the USA has lost control of it’s own economic well being courtesy of being the de facto global currency

          The Chinese understand this issue very clearly. That’s why the Chinese government has tried to devalue the yuan in the past year…It does not want to export jobs and lose control of it’s economy….

          As for the Philippines, well small beer, just like Australia.

          • Bill in Oz says:

            And now a question to you Micha : his blog is about Binay and his suitability or unsuitability to be President of the Philippines. Was it by intent of just by accident that ypu took us all down this diversionary path ?

            • Micha says:

              This thread was started by karl in reference to Binay’s plan about taxes and fiscal policies. The topic about monetary sovereignty had been extensively discussed in this forum even before you started posting comments here so this is not in any way a diversion.

              • caliphman says:

                See my post upstairs. Karl did reference Micha although as Bill points out it was in relation to Binay’s national tax policy where MMT and its detractors would argue for and against it. But Micha is right, MMT has been discussed ad nauseam before and lets spare this blog on Binay’s drivel with more of the same…hehehe.

          • Australian beer comes in bigger bottles than San Miguel, that I remember…

      • chempo says:

        So does it mean one simple way out for Philippines is to refinance all their foreign national debts into pesos debts? Then viola, no more stress for Abad.

        • Bill in Oz says:

          Chempo..How much does the Philippines government in foreign denominated bonds ? Currently the Central Bank has $80 Billion in US foreign exchange. And the current account is $8 billion in surplus this past year. If the Central Bank has enough foreign exchange to do as you suggest and still pay for imports, then it is possible. But I suspect that the Central bank does not have enough.
          And then there is the issue of what would happen if the government refinanced all that debt with loans denominated in pesos. I think the sudden withdrawal of this much pesos from the economy would cause a contraction in the Philippines economy ….But you Chempo are the expert on all these aspects not me..banking is not my strong suit..

          • chempo says:

            Bill I was only trying to pull Micha’s legs. Her MMT says a country with monetary sovereignty does not have to worry about loans or deficits if it’s in its own currency. She does not believe the Central Bank needs to keep foreign reserves for 3 or 4 months worth of imports and that basically the reserves support the exchange rate in a fiat currency regime. Her MMT says demand for a country’s currency is driven by the need to pay tax in that currency.

            • Micha says:

              After all the explaining and the use of plain language so that lay people like you and me could understand, you’re still spectacularly clueless what monetary sovereignty is all about. It could not possibly be dumbness that’s at the root of your inability to understand since even Warren Mosler’s 5 year old daughter could readily grasp the concept. I suspect it’s the ingrained saturated adherence to the old incoherent orthodoxy in much the same way that creationist retards are uncomfortable to acknowledge and accept the theory of evolution by natural selection.

              • Joe America says:

                First warning. Personal aspersions using language best relegated to teenagers visiting chat rooms, not this blog. You have been advised before about this tendency toward name-calling. And, yes, you have been sly about it, not calling names directly. The intent is clear, and unwarranted.

              • Joe America says:

                First warning. Personal aspersions using language best relegated to teenagers visiting chat rooms, not this blog. You have been advised before about this tendency toward name-calling. And, yes, you have been sly about it, not calling names directly. The intent is clear, and unwarranted.

              • Jake says:

                Why are you always angry? Para kang si Sanders, Trump, or Miriam. Are you menopausal?

              • Joe America says:

                Let me deal with the matter, Jake. It’s my job, helped by our Tanod, Karl, to keep the conversation on issues. Thanks.

              • Micha says:

                Hahahaha…let me repeat that for you Manong Joe. The guy is spectacularly clueless.

                Now, if calling somebody clueless is enough ground for you to ban/block/censor or otherwise exile a commenter, hey, it’s your kingdom and I have no choice on the matter but to comply. So, by all means, exercise your God-given right to restore order in your fiefdom. Lawless elements are not in the position to complain. That’s commandment #1 in the Duterte bible.

              • Joe America says:

                30 day suspension to reflect on civility, or just go your merry way. This “spectacularly clueless guy” has written articles here that are well researched and meaningful. His Bangladesh Central Bank Heist article is THE briefer on the subject. The second is in the pipeline. He has earned respect. If you can’t grant it, that’s on you.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Call me clueless,fine with me,but call Chempo clueless,Excuse me!!!

              • “Excuse me” Karl hindi bagay sa tanod, magpakamacho ka naman ng konti! Hehe…

                Micha has NO political and mental asylum in my blog, unlike MRP. She was not nice to me. So she will have to wander alone in the desert for thirty days and look for water elsewhere.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Di ba bagay? sorry ha. hahahaha

            • Bill in Oz says:

              Ahhh Chempo..I wonder if there we could make a musical ” Clueless in Manila”…I would join you in the duets..With Micha in exile, off staigntyge doing a love lorn solo about Monetary Sovereignty 🙂

  6. Micha says:

    Oh dear. In 1851, Don José Bonifacio Roxas (an ancestor of the Zobel de Ayala family) purchased the Jesuit estate of “Hacienda de San Pedro de Macati” for 52,800 pesos. Since then, the development of Makati has remained linked with the Zóbel de Ayala family and their company, Ayala Corporation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Makati

    The financial and business hub of Makati was essentially built and developed by the Ayalas. Jejomar Binay is blowing hot air if he did in fact claimed credit for Makati’s relative prosperity.

    • Madlanglupa says:

      Hence the “two Makatis” as Mar said, a striking contrast.

      In an ideal world, Makati would’ve decent mass housing for the ne’er-to-do to bridge the wealth gap, instead of the “model” housing that is actually used by Jojo’s friends.

      • Micha says:

        Residents of Pembo, Cembo, East Rembo and all those living in the periphery of the Makati business district could enjoy the handouts of Mayor Binay because business firms in Paseo de Roxas and Ayala Avenue pay substantial taxes and fees to the city gov’t.

        • Madlanglupa says:

          I prefer long-term solutions to economic inequality, in as much in the same way Jesus would rather teach men to catch fish.

          • The combination of:

            – 4Ps (forcing parents to send their kids to school)
            – BUB (forcing barangays and LGUs to use money responsibly, for development)
            – K-12 (more than just two years added, it makes people able to use their knowledge!)
            – Go Negosyo Act (paving the ground for SMEs to thrive, even by OFWs founding them)
            – Philippine Competition Act (protecting the small against the big fish by having rules)

            are the long-term solutions to make the Philippines a prosperous country.

            Add to that these things:

            – justice reform started by De Lima including the modern Criminal Code still in Congress
            – removing bank secrecy which President Aquino wanted but was blocked by Congress
            – PNP modernization which is only partly finished but can signal the END OF IMPUNITY

            then you have my reasons for trusting Roxas’ approach – some things still need more pushing and improvement, but Roxas I think is more sensitive than President Aquino and will listen, especially with Leni at his side. This are the reasons I am fully for Ro-Ro! 🙂

            • caliphman says:

              Its one thing to claim credit for performing a financial miracle in Makati, as ludicrous as that is. But to promise he will do the same for the entire Philippines if elected resident is the lie of all lies. I find it incomprehensible that such a barefaced lie is allowed to remain unchallenged publicly and torn apart by our more distingushed and credible economists for the impossibility that it is. Joe, the illustration using Caloocan is a good start but we need to hear more from the likes of Solita Monsod, Bernie Villegas, and others on how Binay is promising to square the economic circle.

              • karlgarcia says:

                If I ever submit a blog,it would not be about MMT,and that is a threat not a promise.hehehe

              • karlgarcia says:

                Wrong comment box caliphman.Supposed to be for upstairs.

                I hope we hear more from Monsod and Villegas.

                Villegas and Monsod have their series on the candidates.
                More on poverty alleviation,and agriculture when it comes to the economy.
                Villegas mentioned Binay’s government spending,which I question because of his tax programs and other revenue measures.

              • karlgarcia says:


                Is politics,com legit or gag?
                This is what caliphman is looking for from mareng Winnie.

              • karlgarcia says:

                As for Villegas….

                Mar 9, 2016 – Economist Bernardo Villegas, aka “the Prophet of Boom,” has some people in mind and … that he has the ears of at least one key presidential candidate, Vice President Jejomar Binay.

                inquirer biz buzz

    • Bill in Oz says:

      Agree totally..But what he did with the resource base allowed him to create a new political family in the oligarchy

  7. Yeah sure, Binay can just print money like Marcos did, causing enormous inflation which was what plagued the Philippines in the final years of his rule.

    Any country can print money as it likes, but the question is whether that funny money will be accepted at a proper rate of exchange for the $ and € it takes to buy for example the kind of medical equipment or pharmaceutical products needed for “world-class medical care”.

    I really mean world-class, the world-class kickbacks are another issue altogether.

    • Micha says:

      The Philippine national gov’t cannot exercise its monetary sovereignty over the acquisition of goods and services payable in foreign currencies. Ideally, a healthy balance between imports and exports should be maintained but since we are a net importer we have to earn the deficits and for that we depend, in large measure, to the remittances of overseas Filipino workers.

      • Both the ECB and the Fed are de facto printing money like crazy nowadays.

        Why can they afford to? Because the EU and the USA produce nearly everything themselves, meaning the balance of goods/services to money which is essential to keeping inflation from getting too high is easier to control. The economies which just export raw materials (natural resources, LABOR) and import finished goods are not as sovereign as the big players, because they depend on what these big players produce.

  8. andrewlim8 says:

    What is nebulous is the response of the Binay camp re how it will make up for the revenue shortfall because simultaneous to these astounding promises and claims will be the tax cuts for those earning less than P30T.

    According to them, the govt will sell non performing assets, cut down on smuggling. Someone ought to challenge them on the firmness of their numbers. Or they are just blowing smoke?

    Are there fact checkers out there who can do this?

    • Joe America says:

      The fact checkers should also give a run through the Poe books, and the Duterte bo . . . oh, never mind. There are no proposals of any detail at all. “On a wing and a prayer” should be the slogan for his backers.

    • Micha says:


      Apparently, the Binay camp does not also understand modern sovereign money. Deficits are necessary to grow the economy. A monetarily sovereign country does not have to worry about revenue shortfall.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Requesting immunity from correction from Micha.

      Bir 2015 target is 1.6 trillion
      they missed 14 % or 224 billion

      add another projected 30 billion loss revenues from the tax cuts that is 254 billion lost

      boc’s target was 450 billion missing it by 70 billion.

      if based on 2015 figures
      they plan to compensate on revenue losses and leakages by zero smuggling,which even Duterte can not fix and selling assets.
      which a pcgg and asset privatization or bases conversion could not fully optimize in decades.

      He can not fund a 3 trillion peso budget without massive deficit spending.
      Or borrowing.

      Peace Micha.

      • karlgarcia says:

        RHiro used to talk about the steam engine a lot.

        To me this is just because of all the kamote he planted in hacienda Binay,he kept on eating them so he keeps on tooting steam.

        He needs Turmeric for flatulence.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Asset privatization
        he will sell Luneta,North and South Harbor make thst all ports,which includes BOC,PPA,the coast guard.If he is anti Edca, he will sell all the bases snd leave nothing even for us.
        He will sell pnr, so more car imports to booost customs collections.

        • R.Hiro says:

          I think one must humor Micha for saying that budget deficits do not matter for a country that can print its own currency or create its own. There are NO CONSTRAINTS to this act of monetary sovereignty. If Micha were his monetary adviser:



          In the real world however we do have real constraints. Capacity utilization, inflation rate, unemployment rate, exchange rate and external balances. The Philippines is an economy approximately P15 trillion in output/input in nominal terms or today’s peso terms. Binay’s first year budget will approximately have a deficit spending ration of about 20% of GDP. That is about P3 trillion. Budget size will be about over 40% of the total annual nominal GDP.

          Just imagine the push this will give……My goodness the business confidence this will generate.

          Please note that we have $80 billion in foreign reserves plus could have another CA surplus this time of about $10 billion for 2017.


          • karlgarcia says:

            All the candidates’ economic teams not only Binay’s should be taking notes.This is the winning Formula.

  9. Ron Angelo says:

    That’s how our politics work. Every candidate has done their share of hollow promising. Except for Miriam maybe. But that’s because she physically can’t spread the word. From being crime-less in 6 months to providing more jobs through call centers or whatever that Mar commercial says. These are things that nobody would. Who doesn’t want to be crime-less? Who doesn’t want more jobs? Who doesn’t want better management? The part when we talk about how to achieve them is the part we lose interest. Maybe it’s because the media is owned by profit-driven entities who would rather tug on the heartstrings of the electorate than give detailed information. Maybe it’s something else. A democracy as juvenile as ours doesn’t really give incentives for deep political discussions on mass media. But I maybe wrong. I am part of what I just called a juvenile democracy after all.

  10. Bill in Oz says:

    Joe, I have been posting bout Macro economics so far..But I want to say thank you for this post of yours about Makati and Binay. It explains a lot about what I see here in Manila… Presented facts !! Good work.

  11. Just-Allan says:

    Hi Joe. May I ask why he can’t use the national coffers to fund the social service programs?

    • Joe America says:

      I’m not sure I understand the question? As VP? Or if he is elected President?

      National budgets already dedicate huge amounts to social service programs. The CCT (PPPP) program helps millions, plus the other work done mainly by DSWD.

    • karlgarcia says:

      let me guess.
      Binay had free hospitalizations and he claims he helpled a lot of makati residents.
      Same with free education.
      Where did he get all the funding?
      If he plans to promise to do it nationwide, he is pulling our legs.
      if he plans to promise the magna carta for the poor, again not enough funds.

  12. Binay can’t make the rest of the country like Makati because he did not make Makati in the first place.
    I must say I miss this blog, I am on last week of holiday in the Philippines, it’s been a long time. It is my first time in Panglao Island it’s beautiful, but I think Philippines is more expensive than the rest of the SE Asian countries.
    Thanks Joe!

    • Joe America says:

      Good point, James. Thanks for writing on the run.

    • Madlanglupa says:

      > I think Philippines is more expensive than the rest of the SE Asian countries.

      Tourists, of course, are charged higher for goods and services than what is actually being sold; for example, a bottle of Red Horse bought at a local grocery goes for Php 27 a bottle, but in a resort the same bottle goes up to around Php40-60.

      That’s what I call “tourist pricing”.

  13. Madlanglupa says:


    The gallows-humor dark funny thing about this is, he’s like a chicken who’s on a one-way trip to the market.

  14. Waray-waray says:

    Overseas Absentee Voting will be starting tomorrow the 9th of May. May we vote rightly and conscientiously. I am because for me personally the stakes are high: This is the only country that I have.

    “May pag-i big pa bang higit na dakila sa pag-i big sa tinubuang bayan”?

  15. Sup says:

    Dear Binay…………………………………………….

    If you want to keep your promise to give everything for free and no taxes you better start printing your own currency…from Peso to Piso and now BISO?

  16. NHerrera says:


    In a manner similar to what @Joe demonstrates in the blog article that Binay’s statement about making the whole Philippines like Makati is not consistent with the numbers, the following infographic from @baycas of Raissa’s Blogsite demonstrates the diminished value of Poe’s repeated statement that being INDEPENDENT, she will not be beholden to anyone.

    The infographic connects Poe to Danding Cojuangco:

    • Madlanglupa says:

      Too many puppeteers, I’m afraid.

    • caliphman says:


      So long as the thinking pinoy website was brought up, it is good to point out that the thoroughness and neutrality of the writers extends to research blasting Roxas and the Liberal Party for their callousness and incompetence.

      Above is a link on the dispersal and slaying of two starving farmers and the clumsy attempt by the Roxas camp and the LP admininistration who the governor belongs to on the NPA and the writers themselves. There are other similar unfavorable articles showing the veracity of claims that his campaign is underhanded and trains supporters to be deceptive. Good and honest fact checking should spare no one. There are good reasons why Roxas’s campaign is struggling, here perhaps are a few of them.

      I do not usually comment or relish making remarks against Roxas’s candidacy but I do cringe how unevenhanded the attacks on Poe have been here and on other websites. My main concern and most I believe many others here is a Binay or Duterte presidency. I find it utterly stupid as a campaign strategy to attack Roxas or Poe when all that does is have voters mainly switch their support to a future kleptocracy or dictatorship.

      • Caliphman says:


        Oh heck…since I rarely do this, might as well post another link on Roxas’s contrived crowds at some of his speeches. Since Joe’s blogsite rules do not permit posting of more than one link per comment, I will leave it to those interested in facts and not just propaganda favoring their candidate to look up the veracity of whether Roxas has a secret cyberarmy to manipulate online polls in his favor. Peace and to a democratic, less corrupt and prosperous Philippines.

        • They all have cyber armies, even duterte and MDS.

        • Joe America says:

          There is no doubt that Roxas has people advocating on his behalf on line. As far as I know, they (Cocoy et al) are volunteers. There is also no doubt that the photos presented by his backers are trimmed to show large groups of people tightly packed. The fringe crowd is trimmed off. There is also no doubt he has been doing two or three rallies per day attracting huge crowds, in some level of thousands. The Binay rally in HK was an entertainment show. The Roxas rally was a political show. The “dejected” Roxas shot is as misused by opponents as the spliced Tacloban tape to misrepresent him. He is not throwing a funk. He is listening to the lady in blue. There is no doubt (based on my personal meeting with him) that Roxas listens to people better than most, and is genuinely interested in them. Even if he were tired, given his incredibly demanding schedule, it would take pretty uncaring people to not give him a moment to unwind. The penchant hereabouts for beating up on a good man is wearing thin with me.

          • Joe America says:

            Here are Google Trend lines for the past 30 days showing general web searches for the top 4 candidates. There is no question that Duterte currently has, and has had for some time, the strongest internet presence.

            • Jake says:

              It should not be a surprise. From what I noticed in my personal FB feed, a lot of his fans are either working in the BPO/Call center or doing some sort of IT job or bunch of lazy-ass gamers.

              I think a lot of his followers are the “new middle class” who thinks, just because life has been better than before and can afford Starbucks (the most overrated coffee crafters – Philz in the Bay Area is WAY WAY better), they are suddenly part of “alta sociedad”. But nope – alta sociedad will vote for Mar.

              • Jake says:

                Theoretically, he has a lot of supporters from the “Counter strike” / MMRPG generation.

                Desensitized to violence. Thinking that “pew” “pew”, no due process needed

              • Joe America says:

                Any person on a career track who votes for Duterte over Roxas did not get on that career track for critical thinking skills, for sure. Duterte is likely to drop the economy in the tank (rash acts tend to cause loss of confidence, which means investors can get up-tight overnight), and the best bet for a robust career is with steady economic growth, for sure most likely under Roxas.

            • NHerrera says:

              That google trend is confirmatory to my hunch about Duterte, but am surprised about Roxas, Poe and Binay’s trend charts.

              That said, we each have to ask why. I believe the google search is prompted by positive or negative incentives towards increasing or decreasing a candidate’s chance of winning — for example: searching for the good news about Roxas; or searching for items to use against him. Similar statements about the others.

              • Joe America says:

                It might make sense, though, if you concoct a reality to fit the trends. For example . . . Binay has been hiding out, really, and fading. The trendline suggests, no matter how much the Inquirer and other media like to prop her up, Poe may be fading. She keeps making remarks that bother people, such as her defense of Cojuangco over the farmers. Roxas has been pounding the local venues hard. Maybe its adding up the way Google shows it.

              • NHerrera says:

                With the proliferation of pre-election surveys sprouting it is probably best not to give any attention to them, ruined for one — as far as I am concerned — by the much criticized Bilang Pilipino-SWS series of “instant” surveys drawn from a panel of initially random 1200 respondents provided with free smartphones.

                But here is one from Laylo-Standard survey reported April 6 (with survey undertaken Mar 26 – Apr 1) using 3000 respondents with a statistical margin of 1.8%:


                27% Poe
                30% Duterte
                21% Roxas
                18% Binay
                02% Santiago
                02% Undecided
                100 Total

                The result compares well with my post in JoeAm’s (March 22):

                “In order of qualitative descending confidence: Santiago in the NEIGHBORHOOD of 5; Binay in the NEIGHBORHOOD of 15; and Poe in the NEIGHBORHOOD of 30. The residual of 50 (= 100 – 5- 15 – 30) goes to Roxas and Duterte. I have a lot less confidence in the numbers of Duterte and Roxas.”

                Note that in the above Laylo survey the sum of the numbers of Duterte and Roxas is 51.

                (Hahaha. The reader may laugh too and say — Ok NHerrera, you just searched for a survey that confirms your previous numerology. I will not dispute that. 🙂 )

      • Joe America says:

        Linking Roxas to the dispersal is an act of desperation by those who are very, very worried.

        • caliphman says:

          None the less Roxas is identified with the administration, the Liberal Party, and as much as he shares the accomplishments of Daang Matuwid so must he share in the bungling and brutality perpetrated on the starving peasants. The attempted coverup and blame shifting is just as inexcusable and to dismiss the whole incident as desperate political machinations of his rivals when they are leading the polls after having been fact checked is illogical.

          • Jake says:

            Given that Duterte’s “headquarters” was the assembly area before the protest. In, theory, he shares a lot of it too

            One injured policeman was confirmed to have suffered a gone shot. One of the “hakot” protesters said that some “protesters” were armed with guns.

            Per reports and interviews, many of the hakots were told that they will go to a place where they will be given rice. None of the “hakots” know they will be protesting with the NPA. Basically, the NPA made these hakots human shields. It is possible that the NPA actually fired first

            • caliphman says:

              Jake, do us a favor and read the Think Pinoy report on the incident. Those reports and interviews are precisely the source of issues and facts that they sought to verify. Most if not all the wounded by bullets were farmers from North Cotabato. The rest is in the link and I guarantee its going to be more productive to discuss the article after its been read.

              • Waray-waray says:

                I’ve read Think Pinoy blogs and just realised that it is pro Duterte.

              • Madlanglupa says:

                *sighs* So much for all that brain power… for short-term band-aid solutions, not the long-term. Now how Rajah Rody would solve the economy? Not by simply paying the anarchists and ask them to step aside.

              • Rajah Rody is very fitting… he has aspects of the murderous Rajah Mangubat from the Amaya teleserye… the woman screaming at the top of her lungs to the drums of Agtas of Mangubat’s exploits in killing a typical Duterte supporter… Mangubat’s men are like DDS…

        • caliphman says:

          I am no huge fan of Duterte but may I ask how you arrived at the conclusion this was a proDuterte blog. The implication is that the research,logic, and conclusions are biased, flawed, and not credible. This might be shown if you have countervailing evidence that his fact checking is in fact wrong. But if its a presumption based on whether there any conclusion unfavorable to Duterte or not, thats really pretty pathetic.

          Has anyone bothered readiing the self-info about the writer and his affiliation with any candidate or party? If anyone has proof this is a lie, please post or link it here. Otherwise please give the excellent and thorough research and analysis the credibility it deserves until then. Thank you.


          • Joe America says:

            My people will get back to your people on that.

            • My impression having read some articles from ThinkingPinoy for a while is that while he does find a lot of critical points on Roxas and Poe I have seen NO criticism of Duterte.

              There is a certain preference for sure and a bit of a blind spot which all of us have if we are honest with ourselves. What I do find extreme in ThinkingPinoy is how the Roxas – Gutierrez stuff is blown out of proportion – I see just conjecture no proof in that regard.

              • Joe America says:

                Yes, nice characterization. I didn’t find the site enriching, actually, but more wrapped up in the wrapping paper of populisms and politics without the complete story being presented. It is not direct and objective. It’s like reading Inquirer headlines incessantly.

              • caliphman says:

                Well that sounds like a judgement based on being overly critical of other candidates including ones favorite but sparing Duterte. Assessments not based on evidence and reasoning but on whether one likes or agrees with the conclusions only measures ones bias and not the quality of the arguments.

                The link below is to an article whose conclusion I vehemently disagree with and definitely reflects a pro-Duterte bias. Among the pieces he has written, its the weakest and most unconvincing of the lot. The writer conveniently uses a yardstick to evaluate the presidential candidates which so happens to minimize the basic problem with Duterte, as president he is a loose cannon liable to make nation changing decision by following his nose and without regard for legalities. This aside, his writeup of Poe’s indebtedness or utang na loob to Danding Cojuangco was excellent and should really be a key concern if she becomes president. For me, that is still a lesser evil compared to the other candidates except Roxas.


              • caliphman says:

                The Thinking Pinoy writer is spot on in seeing the North Cotabato fiasco not as one of police brutality but more of govermenment incompetence and callousness with regards to the desperate situation faced by starving farmers and their families. Its the repeated refusal of top administration and LP officials to take action against erring members of ‘friends and family’ like Abaya, Gov. Mendoza, etc. that the masa will remember when they go to the ballot box. Roxas has become the symbol of an uncaring and do nothing government to these more unfortunate members of our society.

              • Joe America says:

                Yep, Roxas did it. Yes, indeed. The guy is everywhere, stirring up trouble. He’s awesome. There was a traffic jam up at United Nations and Roxas the other day and everyone was shaking their fists at Mar Roxas. Some are saying he actually lit the torch that burned the UP faculty center.

              • Joe America says:

                I’m going to have a bumper sticker printed up to cover all eventualities: “Roxas did it!!!”

                He’ll sponsor the new Murphy’s Roxas’ Law of the Philippines: “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”

              • chempo says:

                “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong………at the worst possible time”

            • caliphman says:


              Rina David who is one of Roxas’s campaign advisors is just as flabbergasted as to why he is so unpopular either. Robredo whose candidacy I do support is doing well at the polls while he does get a bum rap for many things. A lot of this I ascribe to him being a lightning rod even if he is not directly responsible for these misfortunes. Even Aquino, where the buck is supposed to stop, is enjoying high trust and job satisfaction ratings while Mar receives most of the flak. Sad because he does deserve better.

              • Joe America says:

                Sadness for Roxas is misplaced, and continues the general theme that he is weak, and needs our pity. He doesn’t. He is campaigning hard and forthrightly, along with Leni Robredo. His approach is soooo refreshing, next to the dirt and complaint of the others. His main focus is on his platform. The sadness should be reserved for the nation if voters choose badly.

              • caliphman says:

                I would be sad if Roxas loses because so many had false hopes he had a chance for winning but it was clear to he was going to likely lose from the beginning. If B or D wins. its not sadness but tragedy.

              • Joe America says:

                Ah, so you are sad for the nation. Okay.

                The ballots will be cast May 9, and if Roxas wins, it will not have been with your assistance. But with your headwind, along with that from Jean and Monty and all the others who would back Mar only if he had a better public reputation. That is, only if others said he was the guy to back. Heh heh. How do you spell “conviction” or “dedication” or “principle”?

              • caliphman says:

                If Roxas loses, there is no one to blame but himself, a bad campaign strategy, and misguided supporters whose idea of helping him is tearing down Poe. I myself seldom engage in negative attacks specially against Roxa so ro not talk to me about creating a headwind for Mar. If his supporters like to declare him and themselves as being uniquely dedicated, committed and principled as compared to others, thats not my business. All I know is the point of entering a race is winning it and not finding excuses or badmouthing the competition when one losiing.

              • Joe America says:

                “Roxas has become the symbol of an uncaring and do nothing government to these more unfortunate members of our society.” That is true, because you and others promote the idea in the place of looking at platforms, something the other three main candidates do not have. The piling onto Roxas is pure political ploy, leveraging complaints into policy, as if they can be cured in 3 to 6 months. Your statement linking him by association to LP, and LP to North Cotabato, totally neglects the point that the protest was illegal and staged for political gain by ultra-leftists aided by Duterte. It is that kind of warped promotion of emotionalized arguments, rather than a discussion of issues, character and accomplishment that is making this election a battleground of trolls and disingenuous players. If Roxas loses, it is because he is not inclined to muck in the mud, although his backers may be inclined to, as they see him skewered relentlessly by the crooks, liars, murderers and opportunists. The campaign is one of insult and aspersion. That is the headwind, and you promote it when you consign Roxas with every flaw of the Aquino Administration or LP. You walk no particular high ground here, I think.

              • caliphman says:

                That is independently research ched by the writer

              • caliphman says:

                Rather than making those kind of accusations against me for linking articless by a fact checking blogsite, maybe you sjould be presenting facts and arguments rebutting his findings. It seems its okay if the articles presented are unfavorable to Poe but the moment its presents research and views unfavorable to Roxas, you are ready to brand it as insults and warped arguments promoted not only by the writer but by me? What happened to the supposed practice of discussing views and issues and not attacking the messenger or bearer of news and views?

              • Joe America says:

                What issue are we discussing? The inclination of voters to need a villain to transfer their frustrations to, as if that would really help anything? North Cotabato protest? The fact that Poe gets her share of dings, as does Roxas? You casting aspersions and me doing the same? We are both a lot alike in that way. So name the issue and let’s discuss it.

              • caliphman says:

                Well why dont we both cool down, take a break, and start a new thread since this one is out of reply prompts? You just listed a ton of issues there and lets agree to focus on one when we are both ready to resume..its midnight here 🙂

              • Joe America says:

                Sounds good. Sleep well. I’ve got a series of blogs coming out this week that discuss issues related to the election. I refer to candidates in general, but don’t deal in the particulars of one versus another. I do argue consistently that continuing to build is preferable to disruptive change.

          • Waray-waray says:

            “Pagpili Ng Pangulo? Parang Pigsa lang Iyan”. The blog appeared on March 22.

            This was not the original article I read though. Still searching the link.

  17. Bill in Oz says:

    Nherera, although the total population of the Philippines is well over 100 million, the size of the rich cohort in the Philippines is probably just a small fraction. Rich folks tend to have networks that include other rich folk…So as the saying goes ” It’s a small world”.
    The diagram shows just this.
    But it does not show any evidence that Poe is beholden to Cojuangco.. That she is in his pocket and will act in his interests if elected president..

    But you have have additional information.

    • chempo says:

      Bill…free helicopter rides for election campaign for starters.

    • NHerrera says:

      You may not be familiar with all the names there and their associations. But I will leave the item as it is for others in The Society to see.

      One can take an information and interpret it in different ways — that is the amazing thing about the human brain. I do appreciate your comment. Let the others see the information and judge if I AM ALL WET. May be I am.

      Cheers. 🙂

      • Bill in Oz says:

        Ahhh Nherrera..I would never suggest you are all wet _ unless you went swimming 🙂
        I was seeking more info.. And Chempo has provided some ..

        • NHerrera says:

          Swimming — that is really the thing to do this hot-humid summer in Metro Manila. Or take a shower several times during the day.


  18. Jake says:

    OT: Lacking diplomacy and his braindead followers try to defend this


    Looks like he is trying very hard to be a violent version of Trump

    • Waray-waray says:

      “What an idiot” (sorry Joeam). Those are not my words. Those are my daughter’s when I told her about this incident. “How embarrassing, is he racist? Imagine if we are in their country and you heard something like that?” Before anyone accuse me of not teaching my daughter good manners and right conduct I can assure you that she is well mannered, as a school prefect she was well liked not only in school by her schoolmates and teachers but also in her part time job (she is on a gap year and we are sending her to the UK for university in September). And she doesn’t know Duterte.

      • Joe America says:

        Waray-waray, I had to laugh. My son, who is much younger than your daughter, has a large vocabulary in two languages, including some of his father’s more descriptive utterances. He also has discernment, as to when to use them and when not. Congratulations on raising an open minded, forthright, discerning daughter. I am guessing she will really enjoy the UK. Good sense of humor, those Brits. Mostly discerning. 🙂

        • Waray-waray says:

          Thanks Joeam. She is indeed forthright, doesn’t want to sugarcoat that I sometimes am pikon (onion skinned). Yes she loves all those British jokes and her best friend is British who feels more like Asian than British.

          I have to tell you an anecdote when she was about 9. We were on a train to Central and across where we sat was a boy wearing a small round thing on his head (not a turban but I don’t know what it’s called). I commented to my daughter half-jokingly that it looked like poo. I was surprised and embarrassed with myself with her short, direct answer: “It is their culture, you have to respect that”.

          Well the joke was on me but I couldn’t be more prouder.

          P.S. We are just thankful she grew up in a multi-cultural (expat) community. A lot of her classmates are called ” third culture kids”, those whose parents are of two different culture and nationalities and with the child growing up in a country very different from the parents. I read that third culture kids (they are mostly well travelled and well exposed) are best suited for a diplomatic career. As for my daughter this is the first time that she will vote. She just asked me who are the presidential candidates and who is the most suited. I told her to check out the internet and study their platforms/qualifications and we can discuss/argue. I might be in for a surprise again, she really has strong opinions. Btw her undergraduate course is law.

          • “I read that third culture kids (they are mostly well travelled and well exposed) are best suited for a diplomatic career.” true…

            But I do wonder if the DFA is still as suspicious of third culture people as it used to be.

            • Joe America says:

              I can vouch that the DFA is very modern and non-suspicious, if they are like the one person I know who works there. Immigration . . . that I am not so sure of.

          • Joe America says:

            Aieee! A lawyer! I shall have to reduce my acidic comments toward attorneys then, lest she decide to set me straight. 🙂 Secretly, I hope my kid angles toward law, too, but today it is NBA. hahaha

            Nothing beats travel and cross-cultural experiences to broaden a person’s thinking and foster a joy of learning. I definitely agree with you on that.

            • NHerrera says:

              Travel, cross-cultural experiences, and if I may add vicarious experience and knowledge from books — non-fiction and fiction, past and present.

              Speaking of books, last night I started reading the 1908 edition of the “Bushido the Soul of Japan” by Inazo Nitobe.

              The Japanese, especially the feudal Japenese and the samurai, are really one of a kind. I change that to: somewhat like its European counterpart, the Germans? In concepts like order and discipline. But the concept of honor and self-control in the Japanese — especially in the samurai — is probably of a different kind or degree.

              • Bill in Oz says:

                Not German Nherrera.But Prussian certainly.

              • Joe America says:

                Good points. The disciplines of the Japanese are so far beyond what we mere mortals can attain. I worked directly for the Japanese owners of our bank, and the young executives seem to me to be the modern samurai. Incredible dedication to the job. Those I worked with were upward bound within the organization . . . unless, of course, they made a mistake. One President of the bank (they rotated through every two or three years) was unfortunate enough to be boss during a financial downturn, and they assigned him to manage some client’s hotel off on some remote island of Japan. Like a “window office” reserved for CEOs.

                Enjoy your reading. I expect to observe a certain determined calculated toughness from your postings going forward. 🙂

              • Waray-waray says:

                The power of books and reading, yes I absolutely agree.

                Joeam you have lived in Singapore for a long time. Are all bookstores there open shelf? We were amazed when we visited one particular weekend, that bookstore was full from toddlers with their yayas, children both pre-schoolers and not, adults. Books and readers down on the carpeted floor. The scene was truly amazing. No wonder that Singapore literacy rate is one of the highest in the world.

                When in MNL one of our to go bookstore, also open shelve, is PowerBooks at Greenbelt. There is a cafe inside which makes reading a relaxing time.

                Sorry for going out of topic as this one I think should be under education topic, books, reading, information , etc. Perhaps in the near future there would be an article about education, the Philippine education system in particular vis a vis the education system in the world.

              • Joe America says:

                I’ve visited Singapore on several occasions (my first ex-wive was Singaporean). Chempo is from Singapore. A lot of Filipinos in the rote system of education practiced here never gain the habit or appreciation of books, I think. Books are trouble, as they must be mastered to pass the exam. Not to enjoy and gain inspiration. There are a lot of exceptions to that observation. I wish there were a lot more. My son right now plopped on the floor with a book in hand. He is about 8th grade reading comprehension already, although he is nowhere near that grade level in school.

                As I think about it, most education here seems functional, an accomplishment, rather than fulfilling or inspired. No one quite knows where they are going, or why, but since everyone else is doing IT or HRM, why not?

  19. DAgimas says:

    as Mitt Romney said to Rick Perry in one of their debates in 2012: You can not say you are a good poker player if you have 4 aces.

    that sums up the reign of the Binays in Makati. anybody who rules Makati will have the same result, maybe even better, if only the residents will open their eyes

    so its BS for Binay to brag that he can transform the rest of the Philippines like Makati. take away the IRA and I bet Makati can not fund all those welfare like benefits he dispenses to the residents.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, indeed. I actually think he is a skilled conniver. His true managerial capacity is so deeply buried under a layer of bluster and accusation that I have no idea what he is capable of in the fair market of ideas and production.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, indeed. I actually think he is a skilled conniver. His true managerial capacity is so deeply buried under a layer of bluster and accusation that I have no idea what he is capable of in the fair market of ideas and production.

      • DAgimas says:

        the problem of Makati is how to allocate the funds they have. they don’t have that squatter problem like most cities in Metro Manila. even the “depressed areas” are not squatter colonies because they are originally families of soldiers and cops so “poor” is not the right word. low income probably but that’s even debatable now.

        • DAgimas says:

          and the lots given to these soldiers/cops are not courtesy of Makati. they were given by the National government. even the low cost housing were project of Imelda Marcos in the 70s

          Mar and the other candidates and their spin masters should be pointing these out

  20. Bill in Oz says:

    @Waray Waray & Joe..It is not just books..What about magazines & newspapers..I am amazed at the problems in buying a magazine or newspaper here..

    In Oz even small towns have a ‘Newsagent’ that stocks the daily newspapers, a good range of magazines, novels, cards, stationary items ans sells lotto tickets.People go there to brouse and buy..Kids go to them with their parents..And so is born the habit of reading.

    • Joe America says:

      It seems to me that in Manila it is very easy to get a newspaper, whether “journalistic” like the Inquirer or tabloid, of which there are several. People are hawking them on main streets or busy shopping areas. They are very thin on content.. Magazines are available at supermarkets. The price is high for most Filipinos, and readership seems mainly to be women (entertainment, fashion), and the magazines are actively shared. Books are available at malls (National Bookstore the main vendor), but the selection is far below what you would find at a first line book vendor in the US (all of whom are struggling to remain profitable, I might note).

  21. Bill in Oz says:

    @Joe & Califman, I have jsut finished reading a long article in the Enquirer ( A18 ) by Francisco Lara headlined : Bloodshed in Kidapawan : Climate Change, Conflict, Politics of Famine”,

    It seems balanced well informed major article..It presents & discusses the 2 competing narratives shouted loudly by either side.And then moves on to step back to look at the big picture.

    El Nino droughts are persistent eratic recurrent feature of the Philippines and especially Mindanao ( though Bohol is drought declared also !!! ) El Nino’s will not stop being a part of the climate here. I knew an El Nino was coming back in June 2015..The weather bureau’s were all predicting it.

    So government has an obligation to develop & implement policies that mitigate the consequences of these droughts. ( And that is not just stockpiling rice around the country )

    In this respect the Aquino government has not been a success.

    Droughts happen due to El Nino in Australia also. And woe will betide any government which does not help farmers when they happen. Such pollies will have their backsides fried in the media and in the social media. Electoral disaster awaits such idiots in Oz..

    An so the media coverage of the past week here in the Philippines seems very familiar to me. So does the way that the media have fried the government. I suggest who ever Aquino appointed to set the priorities in the Philippines Dpt. of Agriculture, has been asleep at the wheel. And Roxas is caught up in that as Aquino’s designated heir.

    • Joe America says:

      Actually, I can’t find much information to rebut your assessment, as the Dept of Agriculture web site on el nino comes up blank on one of my browsers and sends a virus warning flag on another. http://www.da.gov.ph/index.php/el-nino-updates

      There are some programs in place according to this Official Gazette brief from a few days ago, written likely as an outcome from the Cotabato confrontation. Mostly it entails seeds and water programs. http://www.gov.ph/2016/04/05/govt-intensifies-efforts-combat-el-nino/

      The one thing I would caution on is being able to determine what is a local responsibility and what is national. Regarding storm preparations, the onus of responsibility rests with local areas. I know the provincial governor spoke to the programs that were in place. Her problem with the protesters was that they came from outside the area and their demands were unreasonable and impossible to fulfill.

      All that said, yes, I agree, preparing for climate change should be a top priority. I would note that it has not been addressed, to my knowledge, in either of the two presidential debates or the VP debate earlier today.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        Joe I think we should all know now that an El Nino is a Western Pacific rim climate phenomena. There is drought Now in New Zealand, Austrlai, Papua New Guinea, ( highland tribal peoples there are literally starving ) the Solomons, Timor L’Estere, Eastern Indonesia, & Malaysia ( eg Borneo & Sumatra which is why these is so much smoke haze in Singapore from out of control fires, ) the Philippines, Southern China, Viet Nam, Thailand & Laos.

        Such an issue that crosses international boundaries cannot realistically be dealt with on a ‘provincial’ basis in the Philippines. So what to do ?

        Weather forecasting has now advanced sufficiently to give warning. That’s how I knew last June from the Weather Bureau is Oz – though the rains were very low in my home area then as well and all us farmers were taking about it then.

        So I suggest that the government has a responsibility to warn Filipino farmers that a drought is coming…The big corporate farm companies can probably look after themselves.But the small rice subsistence farmers should definitely been warned at the barangay level. Growing paddy rice without some ‘standing’ water is guaranteed to fail. So the message should go out : forget paddy rice this time.Grow quick growing drought hardy crops.Don’t waste hundreds of hours of grinding hard work preparing pallay fields, buying fertiliser, buying seedlings, and weeding the arly crop because it will fail !!

        The warning needs to start early when the long range weather forecasts first emerge from the Cray computer based weather models…

        Another suggestion : Immediately start paid employment programs for drought risk farmers at the local level. Improvements to roads and drains & irrigation channels should come first. paying these farmers for their work on these programs will bring them into the monetary economy. More important it will put money into the local economy as these farmer/workers spend it, just at the time when the local economy would otherwise fall in a hole badly.

        These things are not hard to do. But they do need folks in government D’pts. who are not asleep at the wheel.

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