Quo Vadis Presdu30’s Philippines

quo vadis 02w
By Andy Ibay

Caveat: More for info and less as warning, this piece and subsequent ones like all the others written either published or unpublished or posted here or elsewhere, are never current and original thoughts in any given moment. They are more like water in flowing rivers as water goes in circles in the hydrologic cycle of ideas, except those cited and acknowledged, accountably oxygen from my brain, all mine prayerfully and hopefully, not ACCIDENTALLY plagiarized.


It seems invisible what’s beyond the earth’s horizon. So also a country’s imminent future. On a raft in the rough open sea, one wonders why ships become small then disappear into a probable abyss. To the naked or bespectacled eyes, all ships must fall into an unseen void, vanish into an unknown, into disaster that’s less probable than a desirable destination. Scientists have measured and say it’s only 14 kilometers between you or Presdu30 and the horizon. After that, not so much is known. The President is every country’s ship captain, so Walt Whitman’s poem asserts, who holds the rudder and steers the ship of state as it bucks or rides the waves beyond the horizon.

It is a new game ball (joystick or cordless mouse) to learn and master the new ball game of building an e-nation from a c-nation named Philippines. So it is not much to grant Presdu30 an invictus chant:

“Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.”

Building a new nation may start from scratch but NEVER on a clean slate. It is polidiotic (my term for idiocy in politics) to believe otherwise. Pre-conditions abound to thwart many REM dreams or desired endings. To be world class is not peanuts or a walk with the dog to shit in the park. To be world class is to crawl inch by inch to the hill top. That’s after knowing where you are; if not you might just be crawling foot by foot round and round the foot of the hill.

I wish and hope to have time to write in subsequent pieces the pre-conditions and potential obstacles to crafting a new nation. Perhaps like thinking how to help the poor with the biggest Powerball cash prize, it is easy to design and blue print new structures and functions for an ideal governance. Albeit without wrestling with the mastery of starting points in the political, social (includes cultural), economic and administrative dimensions of national development. It’s been long known that these dimensions are so interlocked like a seamless web because all are both causes and effects, by one to all the others and in turn all the others to just one of the dimensions. Only a cave man’s country can achieved economic development (food for the day) without implicating all the rest of the dimensions.


Because a or the Constitution is the fundamental law, the actionable bible that compels obedience from the governed, changing it is a good starting point for the new Presdu30 administration who has promised draconian change.

To Use Not Of Others but my own words for a new 2016 or 2017 Philippine Constitution, three complicated things must happen. First, the Congress must pass the enabling law; second, delegates will determine and agree on its content; and third, qualified Filipino voters must ratify it.

In crafting the fundamental provisions for and in the interest of the present and FUTURE generations, it should be dominantly prospective rather than retrospective. It is RETROSPECTIVE only in the sense it respects history in the life of nations. Learn its lessons by not repeating them in terms of principles which had governed mistakes and problems that dictated unfortunate and tragic events in the past. It is PROSPECTIVE in the sense that it secures in the long term the stable and progressive future of the country and its people.

It is therefore best for the delegates to ensure that inimical factors and principles that influenced old provisions be stood down. For example, among the delegates, new expertise and young blood should have majority representation, rather than old ones. There should be less of law and more of common sense for the public interest. To avoid repetition and continuation of past mistakes and festering public issues, the issues to be eliminated must be listed and stricken down ONLY AFTER the prospective issues have been mapped, deliberated on and agreed upon.

In other more simple words, PROSPECTS must be tackled first and firmly decided on in order to have bases or premises to exclude aspects deemed problematic among past constitutions. Drafting or mind crafting a new constitution is not like prosecuting or defending a civil or whatever case; it is not like determining or writing a decision on appealed cases based on precedents, but represents the exigency of the present and the future. Delegates SHOULD NOT BE behaving like lawyers in a court room weighted down by RETROSPECTS. Delegates should behave more like positive planners than cautious sages and prudes.

Would it not be better for the delegates to decide first WHERE they want the country and the people TO GO before they spend time and saliva on HOW TO GET THERE? Will it not be useful to have a look at the top 20 countries in the UN human development index. And ask why the Philippines is ranked 115 (lowered by P Noy from 117)? How many of these top 20 countries practice the separate and equal tripartite powers of the executive, legislative and judicial branches? HOW MANY? Not even two from the top ten countries, which readers can Google to verify. Take a look: 1) Norway, 2) Australia, 3)Switzerland, 4)Netherlands, 5)United States, 6) Germany, 7) New Zealand, 8) Canada, 9) Singapore , and 10) Denmark.

The UN HDI for 2014, among the ASEAN countries, had the Philippines at number 115, ranked deep down below Singapore 11, Brunei 31, Malaysia 62, Thailand 93 and closer to Indonesia at 110. Among the ASEAN countries, only the Philippines has separate and equal powers for three branches of government.

It is possible, even probable, that the majority of the top 20 countries for a few decades now have been practicing what may be called an E-Democracy type of governance. Not mainly culture and legalese-based but rather common sense where the Preamble and the Bill of rights form the country’s vision and become the foundation of all subsequent articles.

Do articles on the separate and equal powers of the executive, the legislative and executive branches emanate from and support the Preamble and the Bill of Rights? Was this really the vision of the Constitution? How to get there, to this vision, should make up the content of subsequent articles like CITIZENSHIP, ELECTIONS, or whatever. In framing or mind crafting a constitution, it might be better to ask university students and barangay chairmen to have a constitution that’s not to be mistaken and misunderstood than a constitution promulgated by lawyers, for lawyers and of lawyers.

There should be a paradigm shift in the drafting of a constitution. Where before a constitution was deemed the fundamental law, as the basis for all enacted laws, that may not hold true anymore for modern e-democracies. Because the classic legal paradigm assumes that law is the paramount discipline pulling others in various directions like medicine, economics. politics, etc., when the law in many cases should be set aside in cases of conflict with other disciplines that cater to the public interest and common weal.

What matters is not the design of separation and possession of equal powers but the character and conduct of rulers (read greedy elite). Any such design for three institutions entrusted into the hands of few rulers could be a convenient vehicle of division and equalization of spoils by the rulers. Five billion bucks loot for one becomes fifteen billion bucks of King Solomon’s mine.

Three hundred fifty years before the birth of Christ, Aristotle had advanced that the best design of a constitution is a “mixed system, including monarchic, aristocratic, and democratic elements.” Fast Forward to 2,049 years after the crucifixion of Christ, research can easily establish the best form of government –by its constitution—by looking closely at the UN top 20 countries listed in the human development index.

WHERE THEN WILL THE CONSTITUTION DELEGATES WANT TO GO? The VISION for the NEW 2016 CONSTITUTION shall provide paramount mandates for the following need of the Philippines’ future from date of ratification and beyond:

  • A preamble for e-democracy
  • Defining rights and responsibilities of citizens
  • Parliamentary form of government; limit to three political parties
  • Abolition of political dynasties
  • Alliance with foreign countries
  • Protection of the environment
  • Conservation of natural resources
  • Death penalty for plunder and other heinous crimes
  • Divorce and abortion
  • Taxes for the religious organizations
  • e-based elections

It may be doubtful, but the United Kingdom, with a population of 65 million (240 persons per sq. km.), does not have a written constitution while the United States of America, with 324 million people (32 per sq. km.), has the shortest constitution. The Philippines, as the 12th largest in the world population-wise, has 111 million (3,333 per sq. km) . Because of massive hemorrhages and erosion mainly due to corruption in its social and political foundations during the last five decades, the Philippines really does need a new constitution to avert lingering and lurking civil strife.

The NEW 2017 CONSTITUTION is nothing but pieces of paper that will seek to discard the rotten past by explicitly saying “all provisions of past constitutions and all laws and decrees emanating there from which are inconsistent, contrary to, or irrelevant to the letter and spirit of this constitution are deemed null and void, and illegal. AND NOT stipulating the lazy legal bull s..t : ”all laws and presidential decrees not repealed or amended by this constitution are deemed in force and effect”.

Filipinos afloat in a banca (at home), or kayak or canoe (overseas), watching the Philippine ship disappear over the horizon, if they are able, should think of off-shore names like Joseph Stalin, Adolph Hitler, Il Duce and Clara Petacci, Robespierre and Marie Antoinette for their whatever in history. Paper Constitutions are not found or interred but names of leaders are, in the despised tombs of history.


116 Responses to “Quo Vadis Presdu30’s Philippines”
  1. karlgarcia says:

    The limit to three parties maybe nice,but the pattern here is defect to the ruling party,something has to change first.
    An anti-turncoatism law?
    A limit to three parties may result to a majority vote,no need for runoffs.

    • andy ibay says:

      just calling attention that turncoatism is really shameful opportunism.

      • karlgarcia says:

        I agree,sir.

        • bill in oz says:

          If turn-coatism is the problem deal with it directly. I suggest simply stating in the new model constitution, that members of congress / parliament lose their seat if they leave the party that they won their seat with.The original party has the right to nominate the replacement member….This would protect democracy.. rather than restricting it with a rule that there are only ‘3 parties’

          • Party funding is also an important matter – you mentioned that in Oz parties get funding from the government based on the number of seats I think – that is how Germany does it.

            Prevents dependency on campaign sponsors – who want all sorts of favors in return…

            • bill in oz says:

              Yes Irineo… It reduces the ‘need’ for corrupt buying of candidates and parties by the wealthy…But there is also the need for publishing where all parties got other money from.. tansparancy is a real blessing.

          • Rank says:

            This is a very good idea.

  2. karlgarcia says:

    E governance is nice,first solve the internet speed, do we need a national broadband? Cybersecurity and other issues,how can we prevent a Bangladeshi heist incident,and the Comelec Hacking?
    Good thing is interconnectivity of databases,a national id maybe easier to happen,but first solve the cybersecurity issues.

    • I find that the population of almost any country speciallly an under educated one like the Philippines is given to emotional outbursts that goes against good governance.

      The recent fires in Canada put the Canadian PM in a shit storm similar to what PNoy encountered in Mamasapano. No country is exempt from mass hysteria.

    • andy ibay says:

      it’s a long way, even unseen beyond the horizon when seemingly petty illegal act will result into incarceration of big and small perpetrator.

      • karlgarcia says:

        The big guys who gets encarcerated gets in and out of jail and holds rock concerts inside,add to that has an industrial mixed use complex.(drugs,weapons)

        • andy ibay says:

          There was a cartoon I like to watch of a pilot and his pet mutt (dog) with smirky laugh. The guy was always towards the end shouting: DO SOMETHING, DO SOMETHING, and his dog just keeps on laughing at him. I see and read lots of non-comical situation and the yelling comes to mind DO SOMETHING, DO SOMETHING; I did for a while in the academe to no avail.

    • andy ibay says:

      In some countries, there is less probability of those crimes happening because those that attended the investigations of thievery should have been jailed long ago. Hackers and smooth operators if they break the law for snacks and leisure are on the outside which is teeming with their increasing respectable tribes. In one or two countries I know people know what and when they will be sick about. In a rare one, public offices and places are the hang outs of sick people. Once upon a time in the big apple NYPD are in the subway cars where the muggings will happen at what hours of the day to catch the muggers. Citizens know lots and lots these people who should be behind bars long ago not for jay walking but for something felonious.

      • karlgarcia says:

        There is pending legislation (waiting to be refiled)on community service instead of jail time.The minor and petty criminals should not fill the city jails.
        I am for settling everything in the baranggay before prison.Btw,The Bilibid is to be transferred to Nueva Ecija,I hope the whole system in the bilibid will change,not just the address.
        There is also legislation about the Criminal Code,that will hopefully update our penal code.

        • Two things have cause stop-gap remedies like death squads or the recent actions by the Mayor-elect of Cebu (money for capture or killing) or Mayor of Tanauan (shame walks):

          1) slow dispensation of justice. Courts need to be speeded up. It also would make sense to have several official languages so local people have greater acceptance of the law.

          2) bad penal system. Luxury for big shot criminals and animal cages for the small fry if what I have gathered so far is true. Both aspects do NOT make for a truly just system.

        • chempo says:

          Delima’s project in Senate — revising the dated Penal Code. She has mentioned it might take more than 6 years to do it. It is for reasons like this that people should vet who to vote for senators. Thank goodness Delima got in. Still wondering what the heck Pacman is going to do in Senate.

  3. Joe America says:

    The one thing I particularly liked about this treatise is the idea that before starting a constitutional revision, we ought to know in some detail why we are going to do it, and what the outcome is going to be. Trust is thin and the somewhat autocratic threats used by PE Duterte during the campaign do not exactly inspire confidence that what we come out with was what we set out to do. In other words, the constitutional gathering should be held to certify what we already know, the language and the outcomes.

    If they veer from that, there should be a shut-down provision.

    I think the list of mandates is excellent. I very much like the recognition that we are an e-society, and that should be the form that government takes, for transparency, for dialogue and for voting.

  4. A constitution is an agreement by people of a country on how they want to work together…

    I have looked at how the Swiss constitution developed from an original alliance of three communities – three tribes basically in the European Middle Ages – into a modern state: http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/taongbayan-at-gobyerno/

    The Philippines was less lucky because the state was created by the Spanish on top of a tribal culture, then the republic was created by the elite during American times, even if Quezon as the father of the 1935 Constitution meant well, he underestimated how his works including his institutions would be rejected like a foreign transplant by his own people, whose tribal culture still remained underneath. Duterte is a manifestation of that tribal culture resurfacing after centuries.

    So one must start with very basic questions if one is to draft a new constitution:

    1) define the WE. Who the Filipinos are could be seen very well in the Rappler interactive maps of the elections – similar but disparate groups on an archipelago. What is the common ground?

    2) define what the common beliefs are. The 1987 Constitution made many assumptions about the beliefs of Filipinos. Jessica Zafra was recently shocked at how different they are from what she assumed. Because without some common beliefs and values, no common commitment is possible.

    3) define how the different groups within the WE can best find their common rules and synergies.

    That discussion will be very interesting. The divergence in common beliefs already starts with “to kill or not to kill”. Duterte said that most Filipinos are just Catholic by habit. In fact I think he may be right – it could be just memorized and mindlessly recited prayers for 80%. I don’t really know…

    • andy ibay says:

      on the numbered comments, pretty good. should be considered by the stipulated qualifications of voters in every election. Are those not ephemeral or concrete? Will those points hasten action or result into delayed rationalization? Really difficult subject, values of Filipinos known less perhaps more for the bad they have done for the country like PAKIKISAMA, UTANG NA LOOB, KUMPADRE SYSTEM, HIYA, use of go-between, tribalism, etc In UK there could be gelling or amalgamation of good values by the Irish, the English, the Welsh people, the Scots. For a NORMATIVE constitution for the present and the future, should values be even discussed? What are the bases of what OUGHT TO BE now and the future? When culture was trampled down by the counter culture of impunity, lawlessness, poverty, etc.?

      • Our comments have just intersected…. one must remember that the English constitution which is not written but lived based on Magna Carta and other established practices developed over centuries… used to be they had more of a Game of Thrones.

        In fact the York and Lancaster dynasties which fought each other in the English Wars of the Roses could be the base of one of the family names in Game of Thrones, the Highlanders the Wild People of the North in the series… how to move from the good part of Filipino values to common rules while minimizing the negative effects of the values that are there – a balance that took all the advanced countries you mentioned CENTURIES?

        • bill in oz says:

          Irineo, the beginnings of English/ British parliamentary government are in the growth of the trading & manufacturing middle class towns and then cities where the aristocracy had a lot less power…When working class people in the cities & towns gained the right to vote, democracy started to emerge as well..

          The Philippines NOW becoming an urban nation. It is obvious with the growth of Manila , Cebu and the others cities all across the archipelago. The mass middle class is emerging. I suspect that a self aware working class is also emerging..Dutete’s victory is in part a reflection of these major social and economic changes happening here.

          And I suggest there is the potential for real transformation in the polittical processes as well.

          • bill in oz says:

            Meanwhile the rural based traditional families ( the oligarchies ) will continue to try and retain power & wealth via their patronage links with the peasantry and village folks…

            Big picture : politics will be about the emerging city versus rural divide

            • The city/rural divide is significant in Germany as well. Christian Democrats usually rule the small towns, at times you will find political dynasties, usually the well-situated oldtimers in small towns, in the more rural places the richer peasant families, with tractors not tenants.

              Social Democrats (similar to Labor Party) will be strong in the industrial areas where there are significant number of unionized laborers. Greens tend to be among the city people – they are an offshoot of the 1968ers, the anti-Nazi cum Hippie movement of that year… but you will find some more progressive farmers who vote Green. Younger hipsters were fascinated by the Pirate Party (founded in Sweden and maybe inspired by the “Pirate Bay” illegal download site) but they foundered into chaos in Germany. They are strong in Iceland though – they are the only political party in Europe I know of that uses online tools like “Liquid Democracy” to help in decision making. Even though the Swedes have the best Freedom of Information Act in Europe, Nordics are a very progressive lot in general.

              • neo canjeca says:

                I know very little about Australia and Germany. For example I don’t know whether if both countries in their early history had been colonized by a foreign power. I knew in the early eighties when Australia had only 15 million population was 75 per cent urban, the rural population seemed non-existent. I spent a month studying in Kunyung road in Melbourne, and learned that the Sheila nameplate outside a door isn’t the office of a lady employee.

                About Germany it is SAYANG got nominated for an Operations Research PG Studies in U of Freiburgh but NEDA said I was over qualified. NEDA denied they are sending their own people. . These two countries offer some great things for our country to experiment on though we don’t have the same cavemen as ancestors. Many of our OFWs given the chance can introduced the good things they learned from overseas. The thieving junketing politicians and members of their families should at least noticed good things from abroad which they can introduced to benefit their country and people.

              • bill in oz says:

                @neo .How other countries have solved problems just gives ideas for what might work in the Philippines to make the country better.But some ideas may also not work here.. .
                BTW .I know Melbourne well. Maybe you mean Kooyong rd. It is a very busy rd in Kew…And yes, there is an old custom of naming houses in parts of Australia…My parents home used to be called “Jo’s” after my mum..

              • mercedes santos says:

                Mr Canjeca : that nameplate on the door almost always indicate a washroom for Women 😃

              • karlgarcia says:

                So Neo and Andy has the same avatar or my eyes are playing tricks on me?

    • This for example is how divergent the law in theory and the law in practice is today: http://news.abs-cbn.com/nation/regions/05/18/16/mayor-orders-drug-suspects-to-do-walk-of-shame or this http://m.philstar.com/314191/show/efe6df639aec123aef3fbd45b3eabec4/

      The reality I have seen often is that persons of authority decide what the rules are ad hoc. There is a certain tone of voice I know well from traditional Filipino bossmen saying “these are my rules in my territory”. Sabi ni Mayor eto ang gagawin, sabi ng amo ganito…

      How many Filipinos do NOT want real rule of law, but just naked power justified by “laws”? The acceptance of such practices as the ones above by mayors is indeed worrying…

    • Ben Zayb says:

      Amen. There should be a full article on the points you described in your comment. This is exactly the big view that should be taken before tackling the details like political parties and parliaments. Though, if I may add a few points:

      Writing constitution is forming the basic system that underpins all other systems in and comprising the nation. The problem is that people approach it from what they think it “ought/should be” which ignores the fact that they—as unique individuals and as members of a specific group/class within the nation they seek to build—have values and beliefs which may not reflect that of fellow citizens from other groups. Simply—the drafters are just as part of the system. As the article notes correctly—no more to constitutions by lawyers and yes to constitutions by barangay captains. Because does the current post-EDSA constitution—long and overly detailed—truly represent the spirit of the Filipino people? Or of a particular class with its own possibly minority values—a sub-class of an already small Westernized middle class (professional lawyers).

      As such—maybe two suggestions in my opinion:

      1. Treat constitution writing not as “ought” but “what’s possible” problem. The best constitutions are sometimes none—no plan or values set but the result of compromise between the various contending groups along with their contrasting values. Like the British “constitution”.

      Who knows—maybe the best constitution is not one that leaves some jumping for joy (possible) and some depressed or one that leaves everyone sky-high happy (doubtful) but one that leaves everyone “bah, good enough” with each group jostling to democratically compete in influencing society afterwards to their values…within the rules of what they see as a so-so “half-step” constitution…

      2. In designing a constitution—assume that all individual and group actors—including ourselves—operating within the “constitution-system” as self-interested actors. This is due to two things. One—morality cannot be legislated. Two—people might have different moralities arising from different lifestyles and groups/classes. For instance—approaching turncoatism…maybe the approach is not to “ban” it but to either construct a set of incentives and disincentives to mitigate it or to somehow structure the system in such a way to make turncoatism yield positive results.

      Not meaning to offend anyone though, just my two centavos on it.

      • Ben Zayb says:

        Oops wrong comment replied to. To clarify this is a reply to the comment which offered three questions in drafting a constitution.

      • “Because does the current post-EDSA constitution—long and overly detailed—truly represent the spirit of the Filipino people?” No. It is an ideal condition described.

        The 1935 Constitution had more realism, Quezon was an educated man but also a former revolutionary officer who grew up with a relative simple life – his father was Spanish but they worked in the fields. But it’s ideas got lost in translation I think after World War 2.

        The 1973 Constitution became an instrument to legitimize power by a certain group.

        http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/power-versus-rules/ is my article out of this discussion. What it describes is how the Swiss created their first simple Constitution as a measure to contain a lot of trouble happening back in 1291 – the rules show what they were facing…

        The leaders of the the original three Swiss cantons were basically like barangay captains. Of course the Federal Charter was upgraded several times, to adapt to changing needs. But the state founded on a simple basis more than 700 years ago is stable to this very day.

    • uht says:

      As per 1), is there any examples of a “we” or a common ground you could think of? I try hard to think of one, but…there aren’t many I know of. In that case it might be tempting to just start with the common ground of happening to live under the same state….It is probably a common ground people will not rally for though.

      • andy ibay says:

        This “WE” word in the constitution prick my questioning mind. How many of constitutions of countries of the world have that “we” word because since adolescence I have been hearing these questions : Kasama ba kami diyan? Paano naman kami? Meron ba ako diyan? Paano yung iba, hindi kasali? Bakit sila hindi yata kasama diyan? Not sure but in Greece, does not being a citizen enough to be granted full priveleges, rights and responsibilities ? Is being US (kami at tayo) need also to be in the constitution?

        • The first article of the original Swiss Constitution (Federal Charter of 1291) clearly states the WE: “In view of the troubled circumstances of this time, the people and communities of Uri, Schwyz and Nidwalden promise to assist each other by every means possible against one and all who may inflict on them violence or injustice within their valleys and without.” The people and the communities of three valleys in the mountains – three TRIBES.

          There is no tayo and kami in the original Latin of the Charter, but it is implied there…

  5. It’s always the people the best assets of all successful companies in the world, these companies invested heavily in employees benefits, training & innovation and so on…
    Running a country & nation building is exactly the same if you don’t get it right in human capital you will never get it right forever.
    “To be a world class you have to crawl inch by inch” – that is exactly spot on, if you do it by shortcut it won’t last very long, “BARA BARA” as my father used to say – ” mabilis pero madaling masira”.

    We can only build a very strong institution of the nation when the citizens are right not broken.

    Very nice article, thank you! Andy Ibay.

  6. Bert says:

    “QUO VADIS PRESDU30’S PHILIPPINES”—Title of this article

    PE Duterte can take this country where ever he wants it to go to…up, or down, or sideways… without (or within) changing the constitution. .

    Anyone can propose anything to the new president including changing the constitution but doing so cannot guarantee the best result for the country every citizen is dreaming about.

    Just thinking aloud.

    • andy ibay says:

      Bert I agree with the points you raised but I like to share additional thoughts like the President elect can surely start to take the country wherever he wants to go but there is no assurance he will get there. He should keep that in mind. Abe Lincoln wanted to preserve the Union it took a civil war to free the slaves to get there. Stalin tried to go make a classless society he failed so were all his successors to the days of Gorbachev.

      I agree there seems absolutely no guarantee at all. Any one even experts like Professor Bernas and Senator Defensor-Santiago can propose a new constitution to Pres Duterte, but they need to write in the concrete the structure and content of a complete proposal, otherwise it is just cha cha saliva. The constitution is broader than a mere law like laws on Divorce and Health of Mothers and tax exemption, there is no guarantee the purpose will be achieved, how much more of a constitution designed to achieve the bases of a thousand purposes. If something needs to be done it is okay if someone will do it.

      • What is the purpose of a new Constitution and Federalism – let us dissect some possibilities:

        1) more direct control of money earned locally is one

        2) more regional representation in national affairs is another

        Let us look at the history of the Philippine state and its component parts:

        a) Spaniards relied on the barangay from the very beginning and its principalia

        b) Provinces were also formed in Spanish times – usually they were Spanish-controlled while municipalities were also a matter for the native principalia – at least after a while

        c) Mestizos became economically powerful starting with the 19th century – sugar trade. They achieved power in the American-sponsored democracy, became the first elite

        d) Quezon’s Commonwealth gave the President enormous powers – he could suspend Governors, Mayors and even school principals, could declare Martial Law ALONE. Quezon was a veteran of Aguinaldo’s army and achieved revolutionary goals peacefully.

        e) A new more “native” elite grew via public education and through automatic scholarships for the valedictorian and salutatorian of every public high school to the University of the Philippines, founded in 1908 and patterned after an American state university…

        f) A UP graduate – Marcos, the son of a mayor, became President and had the Constitution changed – Con-Con started in the early 1970s with both ex-Presidents Garcia and Macapagal involved. The 1973 Constitution was Parliamentary with a French-style President. The powers of the Philippine President were strengthened by a rubber stamp referendum during Martial Law, making the Prime Minister a better clerk of Marcos.

        g) Marcos created the Regions including Metro Manila. This was a good thing because Regional offices were created in the Ministries (formerly Departments) which is until now. So an additional level was created to simplify administering an entire archipelago.

        h) Marcos created the Integrated National Police, removing the control of police from mayors who had often made them de facto private militia. They became HIS troops also.

        i) Cory with the Local Government Code created substantial autonomy for LGUs, it could be that the IRA was also during her time. Don’t know when the responsibility for creating schools was removed from LGUs, could be the centralization of that was during Marcos

        j) PC and INP were merged to become PC-INP and later PNP. I think Cory and Ramos time

        k) Jesse Robredo created LGPMS to monitor LGU performance, tying IRA payout to their following certain minimum requirements. BUB was also created in those days to help weaker areas progress. PNP professionalization started in 2009 and was continued…

        So there you have it, a history of centralization and decentralization in the Philippines. My humble proposal based on experiences of the past and what is doable might be this one, this is just a basis for further discussion, feel free to consider more possibilities/variants:

        A) Give a certain percentage of BIR collections to the LGUs automatically based on revenue generated there. If it is from chains like SM consider locally based revenue also. Same for provinces.

        B) Increase democratic control of money by having FOI for LGUs up to provincial levels and referenda as well, including the possibility to impeach governors and mayors.

        C) At some point, create regional parliaments – do not make the regions federal states yet. Devolve the implementation of education and economic growth polices to regions.

      • andy ibay says:

        After eleven years of a career in the natural sciences, I shifted to the social sciences. In my first semester of a course on administration I encountered this example which I failed to comprehend how it is relevant in real life. It was the story of six blind men and an elephant. Perhaps all of us in this Joe Am’s blog know it. I was all smiles as read them just now. How fitting and appropriate it is in many blog discussion situations. I am sure you will not be angry with me if you finish reading the whole story. Here’s the link.
        cheers everyone because any propose constitution is an elephant, A BIG WHOLE of an animal..

        • It is an elephant of course – which is why most countries change them only slowly. Even the German Federal Constitution makes references to old articles of the Weimar Constitution that are still valid to this day by being included. It has an entire section on transitory rules that are no longer valid today, they were for the initial period. Sometimes I go around the elephant, sometimes I look at all of it like here: https://joeam.com/2015/10/23/reconstitute-the-philippines/

          But you are right, it is not something you do from scratch. As an IT professional I have constructed huge systems – but migrating a huge system to another one is an even bigger job which I have never tackled. You have to keep things running in the meantime so that the company, the airport or whatever relies on that system does not go IBM – it’s better manually. Which is why my suggestion of gentle rebuilding is there. You have to consider government offices which are working and have to continue working while transitioning…

          • A significant aspect of the German Federal Constitution, similar to BUB, that I must mention is this: https://www.bundestag.de/blob/284870/ce0d03414872b427e57fccb703634dcd/basic_law-data.pdf

            Article 72 (2) The Federation shall have the right to legislate on matters falling within clauses 4, 7, 11, 13, 15, 19a, 20, 22, 25 and 26 of paragraph (1) of Article 74, if and to the extent that the establishment of equivalent living conditions throughout the federal territory or the maintenance of legal or economic unity renders federal regulation necessary in the national interest.

            in layman’s terms, it refers to Federal control of budgeting for the purpose of “equivalent living conditions” – in practical terms it means richer Federal states pay into a fund which is distributed to the poorer ones, to avoid unnecessary internal migration / social tensions.

  7. Bert says:

    What are in my mind, for whatever they’re worth:

    a. The best government is if/when the politicians holding positions of power in that government are clean, honest, and forthright and solely the interest of the nation in mind. But the electorates has no superpower to see through the minds and hearts of the candidates running for positions.

    b. Thus given that fact, choosing what kind of government has not much relevance.

    c. What to do?

    d. I propose a Charter Change.

    e. No, no, not to change the form of government but to have a provision in the Constitution that would allow former presidents to run again for the position after a hiatus of one year..

    f. Let the people decide based on personal character, track records and accomplishments (bad and worst), and what happened to the country during his/her past administration.

    g. Bow!

  8. NHerrera says:

    There are pieces of ideas from the previous blog articles here at The Society, but the current one and the associated comments seem to put the matter of Constitutional Change in the right perspective — that indeed it is not a walk in the park and requires important elements for effectiveness.

    To my mind, whether it is the concept of the PE’s Federalism that emerges as the center piece or another, for sure it requires the continuous attention and some hand-holding of the group re-writing the Constitution so that it remains inspired and focused. It will not do at all to just issue a set of instructions or guides and off he goes to other matters. More than drug-crime and other crime reduction, the new constitution will define the PE’s contribution to Philippine history.

  9. NHerrera says:

    Now great expectation demands from the PE comes and will surely come in deluge. An example:


    MANILA, Philippines – Overseas Filipino worker (OFW) groups are urging incoming President Rodrigo Duterte and Foreign Affairs chief Perfecto Yasay to help thousands of undocumented and irregular Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia, including women with children, mostly suffering from “distress and deplorable conditions.”

    John Leonard Monterona, convenor of the United OFW Worldwide (U-OFW) urged Duterte and Yasay to prioritize the repatriation of the Filipinos in the kingdom once they assume office, claiming “previous administrations have neglected thousands of irregular or ‘TNT’ OFWs in Saudi Arabia.”

    I note that these are irregular or ‘TNT’ OFWs, not that they do not deserve help as citizens. The analogy is not good but it is like petty thieves in Quiapo asking the PE to help them for they are not well provided with delicious food at the city jail.

  10. uht says:

    Off-topic: This awfully sounds like one of those Arroyo-era infrastructure projects that never really pulled through, while good in vision. And the claim of this guy seems completely off, unless he worked in Brazil in the seventies. Any thoughts?


  11. bill in oz says:

    Duterte is reported as really challenging one of the most powerful & basic institutions of the country : the catholic church. And /I for one agree with him. Here is the Enquirer’s report.

    DAVAO CITY—Incoming President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte has blasted the country’s dominant Roman Catholic Church as “the most hypocritical institution” and accused some of its bishops of corruption for allegedly asking favors from politicians, including him.

    In a late-night news conference that dragged on to early Sunday morning, Duterte questioned the relevance of Catholic bishops, citing his overwhelming victory in the May 9 presidential election based on an unofficial count despite efforts by them to persuade Filipinos not to vote him.

    Duterte cursed the bishops, calling them “sons of bitches” and accusing them of benefiting from public money while the poor could not even afford to eat and buy medicine.

    The condemnation of the Church was made after Duterte learned that a woman who lived in a squatter community just across his favorite watering hole, After Dark, had given birth to her 10th child.

    He said defying the Church stand against family planning “will do us good.”

    “I’m a Christian, but I’m a realist so we have to do something with our overpopulation,” he said. “The religious sector, I’m sorry, your fundamental beliefs do not solve the problems of the country.”

    Duterte said the government’s population control program was “not moving because every President has deferred to the stand of the Catholic Church.”

    He slammed politicians for not challenging Catholic doctrine. “I will defy the opinion or the belief of the Church,” he vowed.

    Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/787033/duterte-slams-church-as-hypocritical-institution#ixzz49SbCl09h

    • neo canjeca says:

      Bill the Aussie blokes and sheilas were lucky got to know their own Paul Keating, their kanto boy band member PM, the Brits have world’s best perhaps First Gentleman from PM Marge Thatcher who angrily said to the clueless pundits there is no such thing as society, we have had a Monching the mechanic Defense sec who rounded up key red leaders as they were meeting in a Manila safe house. Presdu30 couldn’t be any of his predecessors. If he asked you for help to join him you say I will think about it. That means NO to him and he tells the press about it. You try to explain and he whack you more. No wishy-washy bullshit for him. If he appoints you as PNP director, he expects you not to cut down or uproot the tree of knowledge but to vaporize the towers of illegal drugs; If he says no more corruption in the customs, who is the president who will listen to the wailings of janitors who are on the take; in the BIR who will sympathize with the clerks and casuals who fleeces businessmen and ordinary workers who can’t file correct income tax. If supervisors met real accidents high and mighty crooks might mistake it to be samples of what to come. Now, which past presidents is like Digong Duterte? Who is the president who will go so low and can stop petty and cosmic corruption? I did write something positive about Presdu30, not for him but to any winner the likes of Mar Roxas, Grace Poe, or Mirriam voted by the people; for anyone voted by the people, I owe no candidate nothing so I can write honestly only for the voters and the country. What I wrote JoeAm had it lined up, hope it get posted. I started it with There is Love Everywhere and will end it on a fifth piece on Why Presdu30 will fail. But like the song really: IT IS NOT FOR ME TO SAY.

    • bill in oz says:

      Duterte has got into the Australian headlines as well this time with a promise to institute a 3 child family policy.

      That’s a start I guess. But even if fully implemented by 2040 the total Filipino population will still be around 160 million…Far more crowded than now with way more very poor and homeless …( that’s why Chna went for a one child policy back in 1982 .)

      I think Nherrera can double check my calculations.


      • karlgarcia says:

        even with two children we will go to 140 million mark so better not fight it.
        Thank The gods for diaspora.
        I heard someone say more urbanization,in more areas so not to concenrate in one mega city.
        Look what they are doing to Cavite,Laguna and Batangas,they are just transferring the traffic,the roads from Sta.Rosa Laguna to Nasugbu, is just two lanes,with all the development going on,it is a nightmare waiting to happen.

        not just vehicular traffic,add water supply to that.

        • karlgarcia says:

          So Cavite Laguna Hiway,good luck to that.
          Right of way,Nimby all issues will follow.The LRT extension did not move,not just because of incompetent people.

          In the US,Renewables was a flop,because there are no new transmission lines,and the land owners would not budge,and there is no such thing as eminent domain.

          • http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-05-16/germany-just-got-almost-all-of-its-power-from-renewable-energy – this was two Sundays ago… the main issue with energy IS transmission, and energy Autobahns are part of Merkels renewable energy program… wind power is in the north while hydroelectric and solar happen to be more in the sunny and mountainous south… I also think that the main thing that makes Philippine energy so expensive is not enough transmission lines between islands, so you cannot compensate…

            Clean power supplied almost all of Germany’s power demand for the first time on Sunday, marking a milestone for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s “Energiewende” policy to boost renewables while phasing out nuclear and fossil fuels.

            Solar and wind power peaked at 2 p.m. local time on Sunday, allowing renewables to supply 45.5 gigawatts as demand was 45.8 gigawatts, according to provisional data by Agora Energiewende, a research institute in Berlin. Power prices turned negative during several 15-minute periods yesterday, dropping as low as minus 50 euros ($57) a megawatt-hour, according to data from Epex Spot.

            • The spot market for energy is a bit like peering on the Internet BTW…

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spot_market#Energy_Spot – the thing with electricity is that it has to be consumed immediately, so excess capacity is usually sold off – French nuclear power plants to German grids… Danish wind energy fields in the North Sea to Poland… now obviously for this to work you need highly sophisticated spot markets and grids… major connections breaking down even lead to temporary blackouts here in Europe.

              Now if the peering issue between Globe and PLDT is any indication… go figure.

        • bill in oz says:

          I want to stick withe issue of freely available contraception = reproductive health & catholic dogma as it affects the Philippines

          The priests, the men, demanding that contraception be banned are all sworn CELIBATE, by sacred oath.They have personal real experience of sex, pregnancy & child rearing. I will say it again, zip actual personal intimate knowledge & experience.

          Yet these same men demand the right to right to be ‘authorities and make pronouncements about sin, mortal sin, on this most intimate and personal area of human life.

          Frankly Duterte is right and just being honest about it. The catholic priests and bishops are like emperor’s with no clothes.

          So IMHO they should told to bugger off, out of all our bedrooms !! ( pardon my Aussie here )

  12. neo canjeca says:

    karl, bill, and Mercedes

    am surprised too I wrote a comment was to post it and saw I was neo instead of andy. too late already had pressed the key; bill, it’s Kunyung road, the Australian Admin College (later Aust Mgt College of Monash U) might have closed shop or relocated by now. That’s the school where the Brits trained their exclusive Administrative Class in their Commonweath dominions. Mercedes I guess even in the US, the Aussie Outbacks for burgers they label the bathrooms for women as Sheila. Now before I press the key I see I am neo. What’s the difference both are talkative, satirical and could be a bore. I know what to do next time.

    • uht says:

      You are kind of cool with that name, though.

      //giphy.com/embed/fXm3axbRDLBIIvia GIPHY

      • andy ibay says:

        whatever it means, Keanu is my kind of actor, no prince William in no royal blood heritage perhaps only like our Leopoldo, or Fernando poe jr. no crook at all. fpj can conceptualize a scene and a film from beginning to end like no other actor or better than a PhD in economics. Keanu was good as a devil’s advocate. blah, blah, blah.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Ok Neo.

    • bill in oz says:

      Ahhhh Neo, you were down on the Mornington peninsula, South East of Melbourne.. it used to be run by the Australian army originally back in the 1950’s and was then opened to people from a wider range of non military occupations..If you went in the ‘Sheila’s’ bathroom you could have stirred up trouble from the women….: -)

      • andy ibay says:

        hah, hah, hah, to be young then. from the AAC campus a short walk make us look down on a beach where nudist colony people (before the scare of skin cancer) used to swim and sunbath. Mornington is where on sidewalk stalls one can buy Australian wine at $2.99 a bottle. Must be $5.99 now.

        • bill in oz says:

          A good red wine ( from SA ) is now about $15…Yes I remember the nudist beach..Swam once or twice way back in the late 1970’s..I don’t know if it still exists.. But Mornington is now a suburb of Melbourne with a freeway/tollway from Sorrento all the way to Melbourne

    • andy ibay says:

      don’t like to be sarcastic but must ask: will that department and foi stop endemic corruption from above and below? Is that not like Manny Pacquiao using the moon as his punching bag? In Manny’s occupation shadow boxing isn’t bad at all. Will Presdu30 use that department to put down (slaughter is too cruel a word) sacred cows into brisket and sirloin steaks? Organization theory says organizations come into being because of a need, or in haste because of emergencies. Some start as ad hocs to become enduring institutions like what was done by three communities in Switzerland?

      • andy ibay says:

        humbly I must say THANKS to PNoy, a gift not cash or bread to us and Presdu30; how we will use it, PNoy had assumed we and Presdu30 know how to fish.

      • uht says:

        A department is just what it is, really. It won’t stop corruption unless the people in charge know how to use it and run it well (to paraphrase you, knowing how to fish). But it does send a signal, that communications is to be taken seriously enough to not simply be some department’s backdoor project. That is, for now, the best PNoy can do; he isn’t running this show for the next six years, after all.

        But AT LEAST Duterte has some ideas, even if he is probably speaking the ideas of someone else—he has already given PLDT and Globe warnings to step up their game or else he will allow foreigners to compete with them. Something I wish Aquino had told them all these years ago, but with all the bigger fish around then that was probably a lesser worry for him.

        • andy ibay says:

          I vividly remember I was an automatic member of one or all the Rice action teams in the provinces (Romblon, Antique and Rizal) where I was assigned as green horn agriculturist working as the lone Provincial Soil Technologist when Barangays were still sitios and barrios. It is not about me but about an inspiration of all government FIELDMEN, Doctor sa barrio Dr Juan Flavier was so full of anecdotes that make even a city boy like me learned to like and love the people we served- the magsasaka and the mangingisda. Dr. Flavier served well in the Senare, left it honorable without being bitten by rats and vermin to infect the society.

          What now? Well it seems a crude medicine man, an arbolario sa barrio is just out of his chrysalis. Barrio Arbolario Digong Duterte is getting out there to help the Pinoy HAVE NOTS, the have almost nothing: have nothing in law, have no money, no good health, no house and lot, no job, no say in the barangays, no vacation, no recognition, no sleep, no pahinga, no etcetera.

          How come? From the barrio arbolario’s mouth himself comes the litany of sakit and illnesses sickening the common masa. Too many sickening issues that somebody here should list them down. The viruses and bacteria, virulent and merciless they are, should be afraid. The arbolario looks ready to amputate legs with bakukang, decapitate incorrigible sick heads of halimaos. But the arbolario can not do it alone, he needs help. Lots of help from alalays. If his chosen arbulario alalays rot themselves or rat on him, the arbolario will fail. And the result will be GUTOM at GULO sa sangkatutak na barrio.

          • uht says:

            Ah yes. I agree with that. He needs all the help he can, regardless of what we think of him. I remember him visiting his mother’s grave after the elections. I am one of those who don’t agree with him on certain things, but his motives I do not doubt. We the people just need him and vice versa. A relationship between people, especially in government, has to be two ways.

            Where would you want the arbolario to start, though? I just find that interesting. The Philippines has many problems caught up in themselves. It is hard to tell where to start untying the knot.

          • uht says:

            I meant knot, not know. Sorry about that 🙂

            • andy ibay says:

              What Alexander of Macedon did was to cut the Gordian knot with his sword and not waste time fidgeting on how to untie the knot. For light weaponry Presdu30 can use the M16 or the AK47, or two 45s of die-hard Bruce for heavier arm he can use Stallone’s 50 caliber MG or an RPG. For starter he can begin with due process for the boss and members of the laglag bala syndicate, order the arrest of of kotong cops nation wide, increase the budget and hastened releases of funds for the MCH wards in all government hospitals, order the review of all pending cases involving corruption, start the construction of penitentiaries in every region, stop the annual fashion shows in Congress, stopped the numbering of cars from Numbers 1 to 16; stop government funding and contribution to charities of religious groups; he should do these few things in addition to all the things he promised which was recorded by media.

  13. bill in oz says:

    Is this off topic ? I read New Scientist regularly.This week there is a major article about the impacts of climate change and increased droughts, in India . the forecast is a bit grim especially with increased water use by cities. The Philippines is similar to India. A rapidly developing country dependent on the monsoon from June… So below is the text of the article. Maybe there is some learning for the Philippines from the similarities and differences ….A different way of looking at the question “Quo Vadis ?”

    All is not well with India’s water supply
    By T. V. Padma
    India is in the grip of a severe drought as a result of two successive weak monsoons and a searing heatwave. Its reservoirs dipped to less than a fifth of their total capacity in May, and a quarter of the country’s 1.1 billion people are estimated to be affected in some way.
    Reports of parched, cracked soils, farmers’ suicides and desperate migration from Marathwada in the west of the country – one of the worst-hit regions – are at odds with the country’s image as an emerging economic and technological power, aspiring towards a trillion-dollar economy “with no poverty” by 2032.
    The hope is that this year’s monsoon, due to arrive in the first week of June, will turn things around. But many see the drought as a wake-up call for India, and a sign of things to come for the region as global warming takes hold.
    India’s economy still depends largely on monsoon rains, with two-thirds of its agricultural land fed by rain. Other parts of the country are irrigated but this is costing the country dearly, leading to rapidly depleting groundwater and declining water tables.
    The droughts of the 1980s and 1990s were those of poor India, says Sunita Narain, director general of the Centre for Science and Environment in Delhi. “The 2016 drought is of a richer, water-guzzling India.”
    An analysis carried out for the World Bank in 2013 found that India is already feeling the effects of a warming climate. If global average temperatures rise by 2 oC, it predicts that unprecedented spells of hot weather will occur far more frequently and cover much larger areas. The monsoon will become highly unpredictable and droughts are expected to be more frequent. “Crop yields are expected to fall significantly because of extreme heat by the 2040s,” it says.
    Not so drought-proof
    India’s attempts to get its agriculture into a state where drought has no negative impact on the economy – are, at best, patchy. In 2013, the country signed up to policy recommendations thrashed out at a United Nations meeting of the World Meteorological Organization. The aim was to develop strategies for drought mitigation and management.
    India has national crop insurance schemes for drought-hit farmers but there has been little take-up as many are too poor to pay the premium, and even if they do, the process required to verify crop losses can be too cumbersome to complete. Similarly, rainwater harvesting schemes are neglected despite policies to make them mandatory.
    And while experts recommend that the government should encourage farmers to grow crops that need little water such as hardy millets, water-guzzling crops like sugarcane continue to be subsidised to keep the politically powerful sugar barons on side.
    There have been no serious attempts to utilise local crop diversity, conserve water or recharge depleted aquifers, says Rajeswari Raina at the National Institute for Science, Technology and Development Studies in New Delhi. “There is just no political will to move away from an [intensive irrigation-driven] agriculture system.”
    Like its people, the Indian government, which has been criticised by the country’s Supreme Court for its “ostrich-like attitude”, is praying that this year’s monsoon will set things right. The rains are predicted to be bolstered by the weakening El Niño. But this won’t give impoverished farmers the money they need to buy seeds or livestock, and it may not do much for the water table – if the soils are so damaged that their ability to absorb the heavy rains is hampered.
    Either way, if a rising economic power like India can’t manage its crops and water, it doesn’t bode well for the region in a future, warmer world.”
    T. V. Padma is a science journalist based in New Delhi

    • karlgarcia says:

      How is Oz dealing with waste water recycling and desalination?
      Maybe India has nochoice but to go there,and If everyone is doing it we will follow.

      • bill in oz says:

        Karl, all the Australian capital cities, except Canberra, now have desalination plants. Also most cities now re-use water after treatment, for watering horticulture crops, parks, golf clubs etc. Treated water is also used to water wet lands for the benefit of wildlife and local flora.

        • karlgarcia says:

          What about drinking treated sewage water,not there yet?

          • andy ibay says:

            When England as a social remedy enforced “transportation” as verdict and punishment to their undesirables, the English had transported European techno savvy to down under. Connect the industrial revolution to urban and rural maladies of merry olde England and see the fruits of resilience and progress of the slim population of down under.

            In Canberra, look at the Parliament House, its unusual architecture. It’s chief architect said in an urban planning seminar it is supposed to be nuclear bomb proof, to be entirely covered, a mountain underground structure. It may not look nice but it should be the safest place in Australia should there be a nuclear holocaust.

            Go up to Cooma and see empty drab-looking high towers built by the Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation design to store if not absorb turbulence from rampaging floods from the Snowy Mountains watershed and catch basin. The tall towers are open at the top to spill over potential excess flood waters. Check it out this 35 year old info.

            Over in Silsoe, Bedford in 1967, a water engineer professor told his students those Aussies down there are building an opera house in Sydney Harbor without a finished design, changing, improvising here and there without an idea of how it will look when completed. Hah, hah, it is a landmark now like the great barrier reef near surfers’ paradise. Do check out this 49 year old info. The professor said the English should stop building lasting structure because they become unsightly. A hundred year old house in London and Edinburgh isn’t really old , like the ghosts haunting it.

            About water? I read (or did I write it?) that the entire Quezon Blvd and Espana st should be dug and renamed Quezon and Espana Canals to store, conserve and preserve water that typhoons bring without fail every year. UST Campus should be an island served by speed boats or gondolas. The old McArthur Highway up to Nueva Ecija should be excavated to become a river. Luzon’s Central Plain relatively flat used to be under water part of the sea. The non engineers built an engineering marvel of the Banawe Rice Terraces. Jeepney and tricycle drivers and colorum taxi owners go to Banawe (in Q.C.) for their spare parts. Ergo, Water is no problem for Pinoys. For decades they survived without water in their faucets, still smelling good wrongly compared to rabbits for their pro creation prowess.

            • andy ibay says:

              The key dear bloggers as hydro engineers and hydrologists are likely to suggest is MASTERY OF THE HYDROLOGIC CYCLE. It begins with the most numerous chemical element that needs two molecules of oxygen to comprise more than 75% of the human and animal body. It is not really dust to dust but hydrogen to hydrogen which begins and ends just to continue the human and animal life cycle. Worry about climate change? Worry more of the Jupiter effect caused by the Earth’s pole shift.

              • andy ibay says:

                Sa Canada they call the electric company not Meralco but HYDRO, Hindi tubig ang problema kundi singil sa kuryente.

              • I love biking along the Isar river of Munich – a torrential river from the mountains.

                Dams and canals for flood control, to keep the river level constant – shipping is no longer relevant but that was one of the original reasons for canals – and vintage hydroelectric plants. Water for the city does NOT come from that river – it comes from another river in the close countryside and is purer than some bottled mineral water. Resistance against privatization of water was enormous over here – because Berlin for example, whose water is managed by a French company, has bad water. I wonder if the stockholders of some French water firms and some French bottled water firms are the same. The James Bond movie “Quantum of Solace” features a Frenchman in the water trade… coincidence?

            • http://motherboard.vice.com/read/why-romanias-internet-is-so-much-faster-than-americas – this is an example for how another resilient people made their Internet fast. They were originally also the Australia of the Roman Empire which sent “undesirables” to the East…

              When the demand for high speed internet started to grow in Romania, Romtelecom (Romania’s AT&T) hadn’t yet launched. To meet the need, savvy entrepreneurs started to launch neighborhood networks: small, localized operations that only serve a customer base of a few blocks.

              At first, these were just local area networks so neighbors could share music they’d downloaded or play games together. The local network operators started to make more money as more people joined the network, so they decided to use the LANs as a convenient way to sell inexpensive high-speed internet to a specific area, installing overhead internet cables.

              • andy ibay says:

                wait because Presdu30 is about to say: All and Every public school teacher will have a laptop. Kahit hulugan, kaya ng gobierno yan. Sa Metro Manila yun state of the art Apple Ipad na lang. Yung mga cellphone and Ipad snatchers IPALULUNOK sa kanila ang ini snatch nila.

            • karlgarcia says:

              Popoy wrote about something similar,something about a new Venice.

          • bill in oz says:

            Officially no Karl. But one river system, the Murray Darling, in Australia, provides water to about 40 towns and 2 big cities. Treated water is put back into the river by all the upstream towns..The water travels then maybe 90-100 ks. to the next town.and is use again.

      • bill in oz says:

        Ahhhh, yes…he was very influenced by some yoga beliefs and this was one back in the 1970’s….Lived till about 97 though

  14. Caliphman says:

    Is it just me or are there others who think that PE has no fricking clue of what exactly he means when he talks of federalism? It sounds more like a vague notion he picked up from his advisors aimed appealing to regional support for his campaign and now rather than explain any specifics to flrsh out the idea, he lays out a general plan for a process that includes a task force and a convention to replace the constitution in order to carryout what he promised himself into. Its may be good to dwell on what other countries constitutions have in place to implement their flavor of federalism which may have little to do with whats applicable and good for the country. My two cent takeaway from all this fuss is its another case of the Duterte policy pre- and post-election which we all need to get used to: Ready, Fire, Aim.

    • Of course he does not have much of a clue himself, except maybe the vague Pimentel plan.

      Looking at other flavors – and WHY certain solutions are chosen – may help channel the existing discussion towards what mix of flavors MIGHT be useful for Philippine conditions.

      • sonny says:

        Am an avid student of US federalism and its transferability to the Philippine case. Will look forward to a fruitful study of this possibility under a Duterte “stewardship.” For starters, the creation of the American federal union was faced with a gigantic land patrimony while the Philippines is faced with a gigantic population-to-land index.

        • Ranhilio Aquino-Callangan has written on FB: WHY I SUPPORT FEDERALISM!

          1. It erodes considerably the imperialism of Manila.

          2. It leaves each region (state, canton, etc.) to respond to the exigencies of circumstances in a more integral and comprehensive manner.

          3. It is subsidiarity in the very political structure of the country.

          4. It promises a more comprehensive solution to such problems as those that have arisen in Muslim Mindanao as well as in the Cordilleras.

          5. It keeps government closer to people and to the grassroots.

          6. It allows for government to be more transparent to locals.

          HOWEVER, a conditio sine qua non is the dismantling of dynasties, and this can be done only if the Constitution itself defines dynasties. Otherwise, each subdivision (region, state, canton, etc.) becomes the stronghold of one feudal lord or other.

          • sonny says:

            I’m taking all of the above and digesting as much as I can, Irineo. Thank you. I made the point somewhere about American & Philippine federalism: the American object of federalism is hardware so to speak, the huge American territories from east to west whereas the Philippine analog to this is the great population-to-land ratio in the Philippines. I’m just beginning to parse this, dunno where it will go. 🙂 Software will be the socio-cultural implications.

      • caliphman says:

        Okay, so it on-the-job training for Duterte and his crew. Nothing wrong with that except more important than finding answers and fixes for assorted problems is identifying and prioritizing a list of the most significant crises and opportunities the country must deal with. I am not too sure federalism is very high on that list.

    • andy ibay says:

      I myself cannot profess sufficient knowledge and experience on federalism and parliamentarism but I am not ciueless enough as not to be able to hazard an essay or a blog to trigger a wide ranging discussion here in Joe Am’s Society of Honor. It is scheduled to come out this coming Sunday. I have little doubt that the piece will be raked over coals as never been done before here. I will not deny benefit of the doubt on clues on knowledge of federalism to Grace Poe, Mar Roxas and Mirriam D-Santiago if any of them won the election as convincingly as Duterte did.

      Federalism theory may not be so clear but one thing to speculate on is on how Duterte can make mince meat of federalism in practice. The multitudes who voted for Duterte I have no doubt have some inkling not so much on the federal way, but were confident and knew what the likely benefits they can anticipate from federalism. In one smart alecky analysis there is really no such thing as federalism, democracy, totalitarianism or whatever, ONLY THE KIND OF GOVERNANCE THE PEOPLE ALLOWS AND CHOOSE TO DESERVE.

      • karlgarcia says:

        When you say you don’t know much,you still know much more than the ordinary mortal like what you said about Oz and Germany.

        • bill in oz says:

          In the anglophone world there are quite a few examples of federations : the USA, Canada, India, Malaysia,South Africa, Australia and even the UK itself – which is a sort of federation now of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. And Germany is a big example of a federation since 1945…So there are lots of examples of functioning federal nations.

          • One further reason for Federalism that has occured to me is (sub-)cultural diversity.

            While Leni’s Bikol is deeply and truly Catholic – Spanish influence was extremely strong – the aversion to everything somehow seen as colonial or postcolonial is huge in Mindanao.

            Similar to the “limes” in Germany (the old Roman wall) which still roughly defines the areas which are Catholic (mostly those which were occupied by Rome) and Protestant – areas strongly shaped by Latin influence were Bavaria and the Rhineland for example.

            Federalism in Germany means that Bavaria has the most holidays – all Catholic – while Berlin where most people belong to no church at all has the least, and Saxony has Reformation Day as a holiday. But it goes further than that.

            In Bavaria no loud music at all allowed on “still days” like November 1 or Good Friday. Catholic traditionalism and conservatism (some say hypocrisy) bans houses of prostitution into industrial parks outside town, while in Berlin prostitution is allowed everywhere. Many Bavarians would say bad for kids who see it, many Berliners might say let them see reality. Zoning is a municipal matter while noise protection is a state responsibility – subsidiarity means exactly this division of responsibility. How to define it properly is not that easy…

        • andy ibay says:

          when I say I don’t have enough, others pitch in to add more. isn’t that nice? we should do that to our farmers and fishermen.Pitch In. I feel like a farmer who are the same everywhere. ours from Aparri to Jolo, from Cambridgeshire, Derbyshire to Scotland, from Papua New Guinea to East Timor, we are all curious ready to learn from those who know more than us and I am talking only from experience.

          • Hi from the “Midwest” of Germany which happens to be in the South… but is like the American Midwest both in being the agricultural heartland of Germany and in the build and attitude of the local people… the old agricultural heartland of Silesia, which King Frederick conquered to have food security for Prussia, is gone forever to Poland… the soil of Brandenburg, old Prussia, is sandy and hard to till, which is why Old Fritz became a “landgrabber” (my great-grandfather’s words, he was a Prussian civil servant but had his own opinion, maybe his slight walking disability which did not allow him to become a soldier shaped him as in that region and that time only soldiers meant much) yet in the rules for military service always pulled in only the first and second sons to keep the other sons tilling the soil – after all his armies and those of all other rulers after him had to EAT… water supply and agriculture are the backbone of every healthy country in the end.

            The first wars of civilization along the Tigris and Euphrates were caused by their shifting courses in the desert of what is now Iraq. The pharaohs of Upper and Lower Egypt were the ones who controlled the distribution of water between upper and lower Nile and for keeping order demanded their due in terms of agricultural produce. The European Agricultural Policy subsidizes farmers and has kept the Continent from over-urbanizing which is a good thing – I like the relatively fresh air I breathe here in Munich, and the farms along the suburban train where I can see the seasons of farming from sowing to harvest. Landing near Munich airport last Friday I looked at the fields and their geometric accuracy in fascination. It is a very rainy spring and the crops are doing well. By mid-August they will be harvested, and at the feast of the Ascension of Mary on August 15, people will bring in PLANTS to have them blessed. I wonder how old this ritual could be – stone age? Only Austria and Bavaria have this holiday. People there come from the same cavemen…

            • andy ibay says:

              well, whaddaya know where there is loving everywhere there is also farming. quo vadiz? that’s where everybody is going. It’s about bread man, from real dough not cash from thieving rotten politicians. Thanks guys and any doll? for spending hours, I mean hours in total spent here cutting the panicles, threshing and winnowing the grains.

              • In this movie, an old Chinese cook tells his colleague, master cook and father of three girls – eat, drink, man, woman, is that all there is to life? Excellent movie from 1994…

          • karlgarcia says:

            They say the miracle of the fish and loaves,was actually about sharing.

  15. Ma Ru says:

    Nice read, though I would say it won’t still work. The country’s problem cannot be solved by a new constitution or new laws. The country has more than enough laws. What the country needs is a fair application of the laws to everyone. Case in point, why is Enrile out and about and yet Revilla and Estrada are not. They are facing the same case right? The problem I see is that, Filipino’s have a multiple standards when it comes to values and morals, hence some punishments are applicable to certain people but not to others and some jails are not appropriate to some criminals. And the surprising part is that a lot of people including the “educated people” subscribe to this multiple values/moral standard.

    To truly move forward, first is the need to fix the people (me included). What the country needs is major re-education and value formation. Education (learn to think not the learn to do kind), Food Security and Health should be the top priorities as this are the needs that drive people to compromise on their values.

    • Food Security is truly first… which is why the European Community which later became the European Union gave it enormous priority in the Common Agricultural Policy. If that had not been done, farmlands would have been sold and made into subdivisions much quicker.

      If I look at the area around Munich, there are already many subdivisions (not gated, but still housing developments for the many wage earners in the “Mega Munich” area) that have been built on former farmlands and grazing lands – without agricultural subsidies and strict zoning laws which makes it hard to convert agricultural to residential land the “Los Angeles” type sprawl of Mega Munich (columnist Claudius Seidl described the freeway + housing sprawl in the mega area that way) would have been much worse… air less fresh.

      Health is definitely a priority. The dismantling of public healthcare in Romania in the 1990s – they were too ambitiously neoliberal after communism – led to enormous social problems. Including things done out of desperation to pay for parent’s hospital bills – many stories…

    • Joe America says:

      Enrile has an age/health exemption from the dungeon. But you are right, inconsistency in application of laws, impunity, and HOW the nation works is more important than structure because bad dealing will ruin any structure.

      • andy ibay says:

        That’s good for enumeration exercise of positive things to render it into a song all my positive things in the consistency of application of the law:

        1. There will be more rich people in jail than poor ones,
        2. No reason for Presdu30 for running for President
        3. Newspapers revenues will be only 20% of what they are earning now
        4. There will be no envelope journalism
        5. Members of political dynasties will be behind bars
        So go on and on for the diaspora, the immigrants and the OFWs just look around and mention what you see and experienced which should but the Philippines do not have because of the INCONSISTENCY AND INCONSTANCY in the application of the law. This is My last comment on this, BUT KEEP ON LISTING, the list might reach the eyes of Presdu30.

  16. dAVID says:

    quo vadis translation: where are you going?

    Have you read the news paper Inquirer article dated 5-24-2016?

    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has personally disclosed that he suffers from Buerger’s disease.


    Thromboangiitis obliterans (also known as Buerger’s disease, Buerger disease [English /bʌrɡər/; German /byrgər/], or presenile gangrene[1] ) is a recurring progressive inflammation and thrombosis (clotting) of small and medium arteries and veins of the hands and feet. It is strongly associated with use of tobacco products,[2] primarily from smoking, but is also associated with smokeless tobacco

    • Bert says:

      That means presdu30 is going to the doctor to have his small and medium arteries and veins check, lololololol.

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  1. […] Source: Quo Vadis Presdu30’s Philippines […]

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