Davao Economic Forum

[Photo source: Rappler]

[Photo source: Rappler]

I post the following information here because it is such a relief to see constructive ideas coming out attached to the incoming Duterte Administration. There has been too much posturing and emotionalism, too many wild and irresponsible statements . . . from a lot of people. The PH ought not do a National Trump, I think, knee-jerk and irresponsible, but ought to focus on getting important things done.

When people do this kind of thoughtful work, I feel included again, rather than cast aside in favor of words and initiatives (killing) that are way too foreign for me.


Facebook posting courtesy of Guillermo Prat

Hundreds of big businessmen are expected to attend the economic forum called for by President-elect Rodrigo Duterte which would start on Monday, June 20, here in Davao City.

Dubbed as “Sulong: Hakbang Tungo sa Kaunlaran”, the consultation workshop with the business community on promoting inclusive growth aims to generate recommendations from the business community for the incoming Duterte administration regarding its proposed 10-Point Socioeconomic Agenda namely:

1. Continue and maintain current macroeconomic policies, including fiscal, monetary, and trade policies.

2. Institute progressive tax reform and more effective tax collection, indexing taxes to inflation. A tax reform package will be submitted to Congress by September 2016.

3. Increase competitiveness and the ease of doing business. This effort will draw upon successful models used to attract business to local cities (e.g., Davao), and pursue the relaxation of the Constitutional restrictions on foreign ownership, except as regards land ownership, in order to attract foreign direct investment.

4. Accelerate annual infrastructure spending to account for 5% of GDP, with Public-Private Partnerships playing a key role.

5. Promote rural and value chain development toward increasing agricultural and rural enterprise productivity and rural tourism.

6. Ensure security of land tenure to encourage investments, and address bottlenecks in land management and titling agencies.

7. Invest in human capital development, including health and education systems, and match skills and training to meet the demand of businesses and the private sector.

8. Promote science, technology, and the creative arts to enhance innovation and creative capacity towards self-sustaining, inclusive development.

9. Improve social protection programs, including the government’s Conditional Cash Transfer program, to protect the poor against instability and economic shocks.

10. Strengthen implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law to enable especially poor couples to make informed choices on financial and family planning.

The 2-day economic forum is in strategic partnership with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as the Mindanao Business Council.

Duterte is expected to attend the event and give his response on the business community’s recommendations on Tuesday.

Among the tycoons seen boarding a plane for Davao was Lance Gokongwei of Cebu Pacific who surprisingly boarded a Philippine Air Lines economy flight Sunday.


96 Responses to “Davao Economic Forum”
  1. Edgar Lores says:

    1. Sane counterbalance to the insane swings of the pendulum.

    2. This should be added to the benchmarks post and reviewed annually (?) to mark milestones in progressive implementation.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Since big business approach the executive and legislative offices to lobby,LEDAC could do the trick.Have more if them.To the credit of the Aquino admin,even with just two ledacs more or less 400 bills were passed,but how many of them are just to count nails in a building,or to name a street or a hospital.


    • andrewlim8 says:

      In addition to that annual review or benchmarking I thought of this project which the members of this Society can undertake individually:

      Amongst your circle of friends or acquaintances, seek out one who voted for Duterte and ask him to explain specifically why he did so – his expectations, his frustrations, etc. That will form the baseline.

      Then annually, ask him what he thinks or feels about the progress under this administration, or lack of it. Ask him again what his expectations are, if they have changed. Probe if he keeps up to date on news developments.

      The goal of this exercise is to assess the maturity of our citizenry in understanding the nature and gravity of our nation’s problems, and why it will take decades to accomplish significant change, and that relying on messiahs for quick solutions often lead to more despair.

      • LG says:

        Commendable idea as long as the respondent uses the same criteria for voting as the evaluation criteria one, three and five years after the election. Prober might also add pre-election information (not basis for voting by the respondent) to be included in the evaluation. Got 5 names to do the exercise with.

  2. NHerrera says:

    In keeping with the tenor of this fresh-from-the-oven blog topic, I post here what I posted in the earlier blog a few minutes ago:


    Here is good news on a Monday morning.

    According to Jesus Melchor Quitain who is crafting PE Duterte’s inaugural speech, the inaugural speech will be straight to the point. Without spilling any further details, he said Duterte’s message will be a call to each and every Filipino to help him uplift the country. The inaugural speech, however, will be devoid of swear words the tough-talking Duterte is fond of using.


    • madlanglupa says:

      These will be the fateful Five Minutes. In that, he’ll decide where we’re going.

      • LG says:

        Yes, indeed FATEFUL, within five minutes, he will just repeat what he had told without the usual expletives, and just add quotable quotes for zing. Is this FYI about the speech significant to print? Media has run out of news to awe or depress us?

  3. bill in oz says:

    Reported today in Oz..Duterte’s meeting with muslim leaders in Mindanao

    • Vicara says:

      He met with them as well before the election, as did Mar Roxas (both groups together). Some of those who helped the Aquino administration’s Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) are also being engaged by the Duterte administration. Jesus Dureza, who will now head OPAPP, was involved in the peace process under another administration. All old acquaintances, with a shared vocabulary that evolved over several years, and a pragmatic approach towards the peace process. Which could have been brought to a successful conclusion during Aquino’s term. But there were those who prevented that from happening.

  4. karlgarcia says:

    Nice,but MVP wants the government to get out of the way when it comes to his plans for telco.


  5. NHerrera says:


    Ramon Farolan of Inquirer writes:

    IN A recent article on US-Philippine relations, Ernest Bower, a senior adviser for the Southeast Asia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, was quoted as saying that President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s “seemingly warming up to China” is not a cause for any concern (“US closely ‘watching’ Duterte, says expert,” Front Page, 6/8/16). “What we are watching is who he selects to be in his Cabinet.” The article concludes by saying that “retired General Delfin Lorenzana’s designation as the next defense chief is considered to be a silver lining in what is apparently a shallow bench in the security cluster of the Duterte Cabinet.”

    General Lorenzana has a golden opportunity to set things right. From what I see, the President-elect tends to allow his appointees the widest leeway in running their respective departments. With his military background, his negotiating skills and experience, plus graduate work in operations research at Ateneo, strategic studies at Australian National University in Canberra, and in business economics at the University of Asia and the Pacific, Lorenzana should be able to provide new directions and encourage fresh ideas and initiatives that would enable the department to better confront the challenges we now face as a nation.


    • karlgarcia says:

      He was also attache to Washington, so Duterte is not that anti US so it seems.
      On a related note on defense and other matters, former senator and cong Biazon was offered a consultancy position on defense,maritime, insurgency and others,still do not know what office,but that means something to do for my dad and me,if he accepts.

    • Joe America says:

      It was also published today that both former DFA Sec Del Rosario and Justice Carpio have said that Duterte has agreed to a two year wait before direct talks with China are undertaken, to see what happens after the arbitration court ruling. It is also interesting to hear Sen. Enrile calling for the Philippines to beef up its defenses in anticipation of what might transpire after the arbitration hearing. Just a couple of other notes that suggest the PH will not do a roll-over for China.

      • Bert says:

        Wise moves for a starter. I see that as the one step backward. What could be interesting to see is the two step forward after the consolidation of forces when he starts wielding the power of the presidency.

      • karlgarcia says:

        I hope he wont cancel the Frigate deals which SKorea won by the way,and Korea also promised more to come,that is why I was worried when news that he made the Korean ambassador sit outside the door of his office for three hours.

        The reason why India lost or got dqd despite bidding lower ,way way lower is because it already had many pending projects lined up and they have no where to build the ships promised to us,and add to that their financial capacity.

      • karlgarcia says:

        If Indonesia can fight back,soon we can also.They are starting to build their own,We are getting a ship from them.Soon if we have the money,the tech and the shipyard and that is needed,we can build our own too.


      • NHerrera says:

        The link I posted above shows that Gen Lorenzana has the right combination of education, career and professional skills and at an age in the mid 60’s to be effective as Sec of DND. That and the note of Joe about ex-Sec Del Rosario and SC Justice Carpio seems a good starting point by the incoming Administration on the WPS issue.

  6. LG says:

    Noble way to go, Joe.

  7. andrewlim8 says:

    Short notes on the 10 pt Agenda:

    No. 1 validates the Aquino administration since why should you continue something if it has been a failure. It shuts up all the trolls and one-liner commenters. It also confirms that the expectations of our people have become much higher because they have tasted what progress is , so the pressure is on.

    Nos. 2 (tax reform) , 4 (infra spending) and 10 (RH law) are significant, specific steps which are hopefully well-executed because they will bring about meaningful impact.

    The rest are platitudes, motherhood statements that you can expect from anybody.

    May these programs succeed.

  8. Vicara says:

    These economic policy points that will be the focus of the Davao forum are coherent and pragmatic, and expect to build on successes of the previous administration. This is an encouraging sign. The event format would appear to follow a Mindanao model for consultation I’ve witnessed before, which, like the peace process, was developed over time and has been effective in bringing policy recommendations (consolidated from the private sector, with inputs from local government and civil society) to the attention of national government.

    Thing is, various administration would often simply choose to ignore whatever Mindanao was recommending, however sensible. (The notion of “Imperial Manila” has basis in reality.) I remember one policy conference organized by Mindanao but held in the NCR—a case of having to bring the mountain to Mahomet–at which the acting head of NEDA stammered and simply was unable to respond—was almost in tears–to some clearly-articulated points from the Mindanao political and business leaders present. But in the end, Manila has always held the cards, and the purse-strings.

    The Makati Business Club and tycoons like Pangilinan, ruffled perhaps by now having to fly down to Mindanao, will have to come to terms with the new normal and the shifting of the centers of power. There will likely be tough, even abrasive, talk from both the private sector and the incoming administration at this Davao “consultation workshop.” But it’s best that they have that discussion as soon as possible, and put cards on the table. However grimly, everybody wants to get this national experiment to work.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Don’t tell Gian that Imperial Manila has basis.One of his pet peeves.

      • andrewlim8 says:

        That’s one topic I wish would get discussed here. I passed up on it and gave it to Joe, because I felt I didn’t have a good grasp of it.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Vicara might want to.Having lived both in Manila and in Mindanao.What say you Vicara?

        • bill in oz says:

          Months ago when I was a complete naieve newbie,I offered to do a blog on Imperial Manila.. But remember Jo you said it was too divisive..Now I know enough to know I don’t know enough. 🙂

          • andrewlim8 says:

            My worry is that the shallowest amongst us prevail, and the talk drifts into ethnic/racial divides instead of economics.

            Sometimes I get that feeling from some of the incoming officials, and it is racism in reverse – because of their perceived discrimination in the past, they are overcompensating by concentrating all the favors amongst their tribe, worsening the same problem with reversed roles.

            • Vicara says:

              It is indeed all about perception. Also–as one can see from the speed with which this Davao forum was organized–even before the Inaugural–Team Duterte can work fast. The Mindanao private sector has long had to figure out how to operate despite obstacles that Luzon, for example, doesn’t have to deal with–peace and order issues (including intermittent armed conflict), for example, or the limited supply of electricity.

              The tuna industry of GenSan, which made southern Mindanao an economic powerhouse starting in the late 90s was developed by local guys who couldn’t get financing from commercial banks’ head offices in Manila. Some of the most fertile and currently most productive farmland in the country, in southern Cotabato for example, would not be accepted as collateral by the banks because of the perception that Mindanao was “too messy.” So the local guys went and directly got investors abroad themselves. These are self-made people, not plantation owners. They made friends with the president of Palau and Indonesian governors and dealt with them directly on fisheries permits, they didn’t rely on the DFA and DTI to move things. Now these same people are known and respected in global fisheries.

              Young Moro professionals could not get corporate jobs simply because they carried names like “Abdullah.” Even young non-Muslims from the region told me felt like they were looked down upon, or set apart, simply because they came from Mindanao villages and schools. So, yes, resentment in the region, because of a multitude of small cuts such as those I’ve described combined with the classic insecurity of people from the margins, built up a regional chip on the shoulder that’s grown more massive over the years, despite increased private and public investment. It’s not so much racial as regional. Now, the situation has certainly changed; Mindanao is the place where the Ayalas are building malls and so on. But something of the old resentment remains.

              • Vicara says:

                And, my friends, expect this regional resentment to be exploited by the incoming administration. Wouldn’t you do the same? There are many in Mindanao who have misgivings about the more unsavory aspects of Duterte; but they closed ranks to back him in the election. Because he’s one of their own.

            • Doc' & CJ says:

              A very keen observation Andrew. I must point out that this scenario is not without precedence, the exact same thing has and is happening in the US as a direct result of the election of our current President. In fairness, I must admit that the groundwork for this phenomenon was laid in advance of his term in office, but his administration has taken it to new and extreme heights. “Racism in reverse” is the most accurate description, based on current conditions in the US I would have to say your fears will soon be realized in PH.

      • Vicara says:

        🙂 Well, one way of proving whether Imperial Manila (supposedly consisting of Malacanang, Congress, and head offices of the line agencies–as well as big business) actually exists and causes trouble would be the state of Mindanao itself, six years after this polar shift to south. At which time it can be assessed whether Mindanao development really had been held back by the NCR imperium, or whether Mindanao had only itself to blame. It’s not just a matter of throwing money at the region. How inclusive is its economic growth going to be? Who will profit from it? What kind of jobs will be generated? To what extent will the black economy of gun running, smuggling, and kidnap-for-ransom be eradicated? Will the peace deals expected under the Duterte administration be implemented in good faith? What kind of industries will be opened up? And opened up to foreign investors?

        But for now, how I’d love to be a fly on the wall when the Makati crowd locks horns with the Duterte team this week. Those southern boys don’t take prisoners.

        • karlgarcia says:

          If you have access, do share.

          • Vicara says:

            Karl, let’s just assume I’m on some pariah list because of all my anti-Duterte posts under my real name these past months. So any access will likely be severely limited. 🙂

        • andrewlim8 says:


          I’m still a skeptic about the use of the term “imperial” as it pertains to the underdevelopment of a region due to the activities of another region.

          Does the mere existence of a poor region prove that imperialism exists? I need more evidence.

          Is the poverty of Arkansas and West Virginia (two of the poorest US states) proof of imperialism in Washington?

          • Vicara says:

            “Davao” perhaps would say that these two states’ poverty is their own fault, because they have all the advantages of a federal system, and failed to make use of them. Whereas the poverty in Mindanao is due in part to the absence of a federal system. (Just playing the devil’s advocate here; please don’t shoot the messenger.) But seriously, for some Mindanaoans, it’s not just poverty that’s the issue; there is the perception that Mindanao has never gotten its fair share of national government spending for development, e.g. a proportionately larger slice of the infrastructure budget pie.

            • bill in oz says:

              Having seen a little of West Virginia and the Blue Ridge Mountains, I would say underdeveloped and so beautiful..And then there is the old coal mining area of WV which is now an area of high unemployment and poverty like so many coal mining areas all over the world.even in Oz

          • chempo says:

            Vicara, Mindanao got 22.2% of the 3.1Trillion pesos budget for 2016.

          • Doc' & CJ says:


            In my limited experience, I would have to assert that there is indeed a fairly strong tendency towards prejudice between Luzon (primarily Manila) and Mindanao (primarily Davao) on both a cultural and economic level. Neither region is shy about admitting it in most cases and I suspect the election of Duterte will likely inflame the situation. Points of contention that might best exemplify economic contrasts would include; reliable electric service, agricultural production and taxation. On a cultural level, there is a long-standing animosity between Manila and Davao based on perceptions of superiority and inferiority from both parties. Each views the other as rude and unacceptable. I personally believe both factors result in socioeconomic disparities that create barriers and inhibit growth and prosperity in both regions, with Mindanao (Davao) being more adversely affected.

            Although not as extreme, I suppose it could be likened to the socioeconomic relationship between Texas and California for example. While there is an exchange of goods and services, not much love is lost between the two.

            As an aside; Coal mining in both Arkansas and West Virginia has been seriously impacted by recent new government regulations imposed by the Obama administration in Washington.

            In my estimation, in both cases the real problem is not related to economic or cultural factors as much as it is to the form of government imposed. The disparities between “rich” and “poor” are directly attributable to the socioeconomic policies enacted by the government in control.

  9. Vicara says:

    Latest news on today’s Davao forum:


    Personally, I’m weirded out when big businessmen like Dominguez refer to “entrenched oligarchies.” The Leftist palaver does not suit.

  10. bill in oz says:

    Off topic but about the bil vetoed by Aquino last week
    From Phil Star today page 17

    “Ang Nars party-list Rep. Leah Paquiz said the proposed Comprehensive Nursing Law vetoed by Aquino last week could have curbed abuses committed on nurses, who are often underpaid and overworked.

    “This is not just about the salary increase. This is also about the general welfare of nurses, this about the career path of nurses who want to specialize and this is about improving the ratio of one nurse for every 12 patients,” Paquiz told radio station dzBB.

    She said the measure would have also penalized institutions who hire nurses on job orders or contractualization as well as taking them in as “false trainee” and “false volunteers.”

    Under the present scheme many nurses have no employee-employer relationship, no basic salary and security of tenure, the lawmaker said.

    She said the bill was supposed to upgrade the nurses’ salary in government to around P25,000 a month.

    “If our nurses’ children can’t go to school, or eat proper meals, that’s pitiful. We have nurses who live in slum areas and they’re professionals,” Paquiz said.

    She said the loss to corruption in government is so much greater than the feared increase budgetary allocation for the salaries of government nurses under the measure.

    She warned the country will experience a shortage of nurses because of the failure to enact the law. – Paolo Romero

    • karlgarcia says:

      Duterte may sign it as early as a few months from now.What’s the rush?

      • bill in oz says:

        No rush as such for me in a personal sense Karl..But I do firmly believe in putting out the information … That makes for transparency..

        By the way I have met a number of nursing colleagues of my lady, who rent a bed space in a dormitory.. Their partners live in the provinces ( Pangasinan, Batangas, Quezon, Bicol etc. ) caring for the kids while also trying to work Why ?..Because on their current salaries, renting or buying a home in Manila is utterly impossible.. And of course such stresses wreck relationships & families.

        So for them the need is great..I think

        • karlgarcia says:

          I understand,Sorry for the insensitivity.I was trying to be funny and I sucked.

          • bill in oz says:

            Thank you Karl

            • bill in oz says:

              It is interesting Karl, that some of us here have less respect, & value less, people who are good skilled professionals with good caring hearts as well, simply because they are women seeking employment as nurses.

              No wonder so many of them seek employment overseas, in Canada, the UK, the USA, Ireland etc.

              • LG says:

                Bill, because you are insistent…

                In the Phil. there simply are not enough healthcare facilities to employ nurses. Additionally, where they can, they hire registered midwives, instead. It has nothing to do with respect or compassion. It’s all about cost and making better money.

                Highschool graduates eyeing employment as professional nurses after college, anywhere, must be informed well before deciding to enroll in nursing. Information on need for nurses varies from country to country depending on the number of professional nursing schools (PNS) and annual graduates to the general population, among other factors. Where there are no or few PNS, why of course, the need could be more.

                In the Phil. there are too many PNS, therefore too many graduates for its need. Thus, many will end up unemployed, if not underemployed in the Phil.

                Did you know that there could be as many PNS in the Phil. as there are in the more populated, developed countries like the US, among others in the West? In the Philippnes, schools can easily mushroom, not so in the noted western countries, for a variety of factors, getting fully accredited being the toughest one.

                Such noted countries need to import because their PNS enrollment is limited, generally constant every year, strictly enforced, to comply with their state and accreditation board required student-qualified faculty ratio, resources, and training facilities. Not an easy feat, school nursing licensure pass rate must be at least 90% (on first take) to stay fully accredited, among other strictly enforced requirements, to avoid getting in the watch list and/or frequent accreditation visits.

                Finally, nurse job seekers abroad must be aware that there are other countries, beside the Philippines that export nurses. You must be aware that it can take several years before a Philippine RN can leave to work abroad and via an employment agency, at that. Those who can leave sooner so do on a dependent visa. For the latter, no guarantee that RN work of their wish awaits them.

    • LG says:

      The country is unlikely to have a shortage of nurses. Ever. If and when that happens, the law of supply and demand will kick in automatically.

  11. Tulume says:

    Re nurses’ salary increase, it’s not that easy to approve such a proposal without resulting to salary distortion involving other government employees. Once it is approved, can the government cope with similar proposals from other agencies which will likely follow? If PNoy was childish or vindictive, he could have just signed it and leave it to the next administration to deal with the complications. I really admire him for his long-term perspective on this matter.

    • Joe America says:

      That is an excellent point, Tulume. As is often the case, he did not take the easy way out, but the way he thought best. He has nothing to gain from the decision, and nothing personal to lose. In his informed judgment, however, the nation would have not been served well. Thanks for making that very important point.

      • bill in oz says:

        I do not admire perverse logic..And here is an excellent example not to admire.

        ‘Do not do good ( President Aquino) because others will be annoyed you
        Ohhhh no, better to have nurses be over worked & in poverty,, living in slums, so that others are happy”

        Bizarre !

        But it seems Duterte is not a follower of such perverse logic and wil do the job when he assumes office…Excellent

        • Joe America says:

          You miss the point entirely, Bill. It is hardly perverse to think of the nation above vested interests. I find it somewhat humorous that I have spent years here trying to knock down the crab and crabby culture of the Philippines, where a common occurrence is that Filipinos who don’t like a particular decision use that one decision to define the entire character of their leader. It creates a very negative environment and makes it hard to have a unified, uplifted nation for all the critics who want it THEIR WAY. Then here comes the worldly Aussie doing the same thing . . .

          So I will put a check by your name as a Duterte supporter . . . for all that he brings . . . and anti-Aquino . . . for all that he has done.

          • bill in oz says:

            “I will put a check by your name as a Duterte supporter . . . for all that he brings . . . and anti-Aquino . . . for all that he has done.’

            That is not a balanced conclusion Joe…My thinking reflects the “squeaky wheel gets the grease ” principal.
            There are clearly areas where President Aquino’s government has done well.. But these areas do not ‘squeak’. On the other hand there are areas where his government has done poorly in my opinion SSS, the Nurses Bill, Mamasapano, and Manila’s traffic gridlock come to mind.. And of course he has relied on subordinates while in government.. He is not a one man band. So the quality of policies & decisions reflects the quality of the various individuals on his team

            As for Duterte, I want to see what he actually does as president. Promises do not get elephant stamps !

            • Joe America says:

              Your official nickname for the Society henceforth is “Squeaky”, ahahaha. I’m also trying to figure out a position for you. Rabble rouser is already spoken for, even though MRP is hanging out at Irineo’s these days, and Karl is doing a superb job holding down Tanod, Librarian and Military Liaison positions. He is a multi-tasker.

        • chempo says:

          Yeah Bill, you missed the point.
          However much we emphatise the lot of the nurses, salary adjustment of civil servants should not be made on adhoc basis — increase salaries for policemen, nurses, err firemen, er car park attendants etc. It must be on a broadbased approach of civil service pay scales, which of course need to take in whole hosts of factors — responsibilities, inflation, comparison to public workers pay levels, etc etc and then not to forget the demand and supply issues. In other words, it needs to be established on a professional and equitable basis, taking into consideration the economic implications. Now let’s just wait and see what happens when the 50,000 peso salary for policemen is implemented – what do you think the morale of the AFP will be.

          If there are issues of nurses being over-worked, then of course certain compensation can be implemented — such as overtime (I’m sure they have that already), meal allowance, transport fare claims, day-off in lieu, etc, etc.

          • LG says:

            Nurses typically get a benefits package other than the standard pension plan, pagibig, n Philhealth, paid vacation, paid sick leave. Such package usually includes but not limited to a uniform and meal allowance, differential pay for pm or night assignment, paid break time, double pay for overtime and holiday worked, n paid unused sick leave.

            • chempo says:

              Yes thank u LG, I’m not surprised all these are in place.

              • bill in oz says:

                LG & Chempo, I have personal knowledge of this OK.. So listen up..
                Uniforms are provided free
                Trainees don’t get paid but do get free meals.Employed nurses don’t get free meals.
                Pag Ibig is deducted from salary not an extra from the employer
                SSS is deducted from salary with employer also contributing
                Break times are theoretically there.. & often non existent
                Nurses are paid ‘double time’ if they work a double shift..But it is paid in very late errears.. months afterwards.. as in work a double shift of 18 hours in November & get paid in March…
                However more often my lady did 10-12 hour shifts and the extra time was never paid.
                (Question, why the extra hours ? Because the nurses are required to stay until the ‘endorsements’ are completed..a couple of hours later
                Paid annual leave is theoretically there but my lady with annual leave due was ordered to report back after 2 weeks And that fucked our holiday plans up mightily.
                Paid Sick leave is part of the deal but surely that’s normal ?

                And as some of you may know I spent a week in Chinese general Hospital recently ..I have no complaint about the standard of medical care by the nursing or medical staff .If anything they were too caring.such as waking me up at 2.00 am for regular checks.. But that is SOP in Oz as well as here..

              • LG says:

                Sounds like your “personal knowledge” is purely anecdotal, based on your very own personal experiences, at best,perhaps true only where your lady works as a nurse. Any opportunity she can quit such miserable working conditions and seek a better employer?

                If zilts, blame supply and demand.

              • LG says:

                My pleasure Chempo. Nurses, public or private, are quite a favored group compared to other professional groups.

                Cops, I heard, do get a reasonable package perks, including a hazard pay, which psychiatric nurses in some US states do get as well. Not sure if the nurses at the National Mental Health Center here in the Phil get it. They should if assigned in units where violent patients are kept.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Bill and her lady is just on vacation here and they live in Oz.

              • LG says:

                Glad you told. He writes as if they live here.

              • chempo says:

                Bill, thanks for the details.

                “Trainees don’t get paid but do get free meals.”
                Trainees, internships, apprenticeships, OJTs, attachments, etc etc — These are often areas where exploitation exists in many countries. Many sponsors take advantage of this source of ‘free labour’. Binay actually spoke a lot on this issue and asked for further studies to be taken up. Sorry, there is no hero in Congress or Senate persuing this.

                “Employed nurses don’t get free meals” —
                Hey Bill, even employees of Hotels and Restaurants don’t get free meals. For those that do, it’s often worked into their salary or there is a salary deduction.

                “Pag Ibig is deducted from salary not an extra from the employer”
                Pag-Ibig is employee contribution. Personally, I don’t agree with this scheme. There is no equity. Everybody gives (it’s a tithe) to a state fund, and only those who borrows to buy a house benefits. The very poor who cannot buy a house are supporting the richer ones who can afford to buy a house.

                “But (overtime) … is paid in very late errears.. months afterwards.. as in work a double shift of 18 hours in November & get paid in March…”
                Get redress through the Philippines Nurses Association.

                “Paid annual leave is theoretically there but my lady with annual leave due was ordered to report back after 2 weeks…”
                That’s the problem of owning mobile phones and emails.

              • bill in oz says:

                Hi Chempo, I hear your comments..

                I think in general that Filipina women are patient & caring by nature. Hence the attraction of nursing. And their nature is taken advantage of by employers.Nursing is just one example. By contrast if these employers tried some of this stuff on Australian women, there would be 24 / 7 women union pickets at the doors. Not good for business. in Oz. But I doubt it will ever happen here.

                The one comment of yours I think is interesting is this
                “Pag-Ibig is employee contribution. Personally, I don’t agree with this scheme. There is no equity. Everybody gives (it’s a tithe) to a state fund, and only those who borrows to buy a house benefits. The very poor who cannot buy a house are supporting the richer ones who can afford to buy a house.”

                That is well said. You seem to know a bit about this.. Have you thought of writing a blog on Pag Ibig ?I have thought about it a lot but am far too ignorant.

              • LG says:

                Pagibig is supposed to be shared as is SSS or GSIS pass a certain monthly salary.

              • bill in oz says:

                LG I do not understand you. Would you please explain your last short remark?

              • LG says:

                Hi Bill. If asking about Pagibig, I googled Pagibig, no website appeared.

                So I called my brother who employs quite a number of employees. He told more than I asked for, though he may not be 100% accurate but close. With an annual contract of a monthly salary of at least >Php5K, the first Php5K’s premium is on the employer alone:

                SSS , shared premium, 33% (employee), 67% (employer), mandatory;

                PhilHealth, 50-50, mandatory;

                Pagibig, for sure, shared, but how much unsure, will get back to you on this to be accurate. Sounds like this is optional for employee if no need to have, but not for employer, if employee wants it.

              • LG says:

                Hi Bill in Oz again. As promised…

                Pagibig premium is 4% of salary, shared 50-50 by employer n employee.

              • @ bill in oz

                What I know of Pag-ibig Fund is this:

                For a fixed amount of P100 a month premium which is equally matched by the employer, the employee gets to maintain a fund which in turn gets to earn dividend. Unless revised lately, membership ends: (whichever comes first)
                1) if she reach the age of 60,
                2) in case of permanent departure from the Philippines,
                3) permanent departure from the earth (err – death);
                4) or after 20 years

                In which case she can get the the maturity value of her and her employer’s total premium contribution plus dividend. Your lady friend can request for ESAV – Employees’ Statement of Accumulated Values from the Pag-IBIG office handling the area where she works.

                The ESAV will indicate her number of Pag-IBIG contributions and the total contribution amount ( employee + employer + dividends ).

                With her ESAV on hand, inquire from the Pag-IBIG loan officer the loan amount that she is entitled to.

              • LG says:

                Thanks Mary Grace. Your info sounds more like it, than the info I gave ealier to Bill. My info was privided by my brother’s assistant who is in charge of remitting the total premiums to Pagibig. Too much if true that the premium is 4% of salary.

              • bill in oz says:

                Thanks Mary Grace, I will tell my lady what you have said. She does have membership card already( got in May ) but has no idea what her balance is.
                When she went there in April to make a payment. I tagged along to see. Very interesting. A huge crowd of people in ( from memory ) 5-6 different queues. And no air con. I wandered off to have a coffee & read the paper. She was stuck there three hours just to pay 1000 into her account.
                I think in Australia any government organisation that was so slow would risk/ warrant an on the spot riot. We are no where near as patient as Filippinos. Much more demanding of our ‘public servants’. That is what they are. And so they are more efficient.

    • Ong-Lo says:

      Indeed. For the nurses and groups pushing for the approval of the bill, the decision is easy. But for the president of nurses, doctors, dentists, engineers, meteorologists, teachers, among other professions and the unemployed, there are a lot of factors to consider. The effect of the approval of that bill transcends beyond nurses’ profession.

  12. NHerrera says:

    The news is that the forthcoming appointment of environment activist Gina Lopez has spooked mining stocks.

    My view is that

    – An educated person like Lopez will soon see that the view is somewhat different when at the helm of DENR. Lopez, 61, chair of ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, studied at Assumption College and Newton College of the Sacred Heart in Boston. She has a master’s degree in development management from the Asian Institute of Management and a doctorate degree in humanities from Ateneo de Naga University.
    – The mining act without my going through it must carry provisions on environment protection and whether these are being complied with through approval of DENR — with the malicious saying such approval is tainted with corruption — is a matter Lopez will probably focus her eyes on. She may of course try amendments on the Mining Act?
    – The other members of the Cabinet may do the balancing act if Lopez go overboard. After all the Duterte Admin would like to grow the economy, etc.

  13. karlgarcia says:

    Vicara,how true is it that he let Lucio Tan wait for nine hours and when he went out, all he could do is shake his hand and say nice of you to come then he left?
    Rumors also have it that Lucio Tan was bad mouthing Duterte and Duterte found out because some of his staff can speak Chinese..

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