Member’s Forum Page 1

Conference roomThis is the Society of Honor’s open forum where members may take up such issues as they put on the table. It is self-hosted as JoeAm is likely at the beach, napping, eating or drunk busy thinking. I would request that issues regarding the Duterte government be taken up in a different forum than here. I sponsor the blog and am under an obligation not to fall into the role of being a non-citizen using his forum to disrupt the duly elected government.

Reports on government agencies and their programs and results are allowed, and conclusions can be drawn based on the information presented.

A “member” is anyone who contributes to the discussion in the positive, enriching method of teaching and learning that is the hallmark of the blog. A requirement for membership is the ability to recognize the distinction between issue and person arguing the issue.

You have the floor . . .



431 Responses to “Member’s Forum Page 1”
  1. bauwow says:

    Hey Manong Joe! Enjoy the beach! Soak in the sun, feel the sand beneath your feet. Great to read your blog back!😄

  2. LG says:

    Duly noted Joe. This FYI answers a personal concern. Ingat lagi kami as you would.

  3. Be happy.

    For others:

    Don’t wait until you are rich to be happy. Happy is free. Whatever your status in life, learn to be content with what you have. Be happy,

  4. Lee says:

    I wish you and your family a good and well deserved rest. See you, soon.

  5. FYI only… Take note of this suggestion “You should go wherever they go and keep your eyes on them, otherwise, they can plant drugs”

    Carolyn Macgregor Esposo
    1 hr ·


    “Hi, everyone. There is news that the PNP has been knocking on the doors and entering homes in Ayala Albang, BF and Paranaque in pursuit of the anti-drug campaign. They are targeting all subdivisions. Please warn your household. You can refuse entry if there is no search warrant, but you might be harassed and labeled for refusing.You should not let anyone in if they are not in uniform with ID, accompanied by barangay if they are not in uniform with ID, accompanied by barangay officials you know, and accompanied by you when they go from room to room.You should go wherever they go and keep your eyes on them, otherwise, they can plant drugs.Take care and God bless us all!

    Accordingly, Ayala Alabang refused entry initially but the village association finally consented and left it to each homeowner to decide whether to allow the PNP to enter.

  6. Marie Bartolome says:

    This is really nice, thank you for this, Joe!☺The tokhang operations have been going on in BF Parañaque where I live. So far we haven’t seen them in our neighborhood. Maybe because the DOJ secretary is our neighbor😉

  7. Grasya says:

    Thank you for speaking up on Duterte’s attack against De Lima. Your statement is spot on. I won’t miss your blog so much if you comment elsewhere now and then. Daghang salamat. Pag-amping.

  8. Bill In Oz says:

    Joe, like me, you are a baby boomer with memories of the Vietnam war…So here is an offering to the blog which is completely unrelated to Philippines politics.on how to slow down aging
    I hope it is a link which may be of use to you so you can see and spend lots of time with your grand kids there in the Philippines…And maybe a few others of the Society of Honor wli also be interested as many of us are getting on in years.

  9. maria rowena mendoza sanchez says:

    thank you!

  10. Cris Tee Em says:

    Apparently we are already living under Martial Law even without official declaration.

  11. Sup says:

    Buy same nacho;s make your own saus


    4 tomatoes, moderately ripe

    ½ an onion

    2 green chillies

    a few sprigs of coriander

    Lemon, salt and black pepper for seasoning (Can also add a pinch of oregano to experiment)


    – Firstly, char the onion on the gas flame. Turn them around on the flame till all of its skin is blistered and black (but not burnt). Remove it from the gas flame and let it cool for 10-15 minutes. Then peel it. This process gives a lovely smoky flavour to the onion juice.

    – Finely chop the onion, tomatoes and coriander.

    – Mix the onions, tomatoes, chillies and coriander together. Mash it slightly to make it a semi-paste.

    – Add lemon, salt and black pepper to taste.

    – Let the salsa rest for 10 minutes before serving.

    Good for the beach….. 🙂

    • mmmm…yummy, thanks sup. Charring the onion might help remove some of the smell, in case you have a beautiful date on the beach.

      The rains have stopped now? am Inside a building the whole day.

    • Nate says:

      It doesn’t make a semi paste. I had to add some mayo, else it wont make like a dip. A little ketchup Heinz or Del Monte, the tomato kind not the banana is also good.

  12. I kinda like this news item. – MG

    “A dispassionate examination of the data, combined with a cold-blooded look at the candidates, the campaigns and presidential elections, produces only one possible conclusion: Hillary Clinton will defeat Donald Trump in November, and the margin isn’t likely to be as close as Barack Obama’s victory over Mitt Romney.

    First, the polling numbers are stunning.

    Pre-convention polls showed the race competitive but with Clinton ahead by at least a few points in most cases. Post-convention polls show Clinton leading the race much more comfortably. The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll puts Clinton’s margin at 9 points, while Fox News shows it at 10 and the Washington Post/ABC News survey finds the margin at 8 points.

    These numbers could close a few points or jump around depending on the individual survey, but the race is already well-defined.”

    • Title of the article is:

      Analysis: Donald Trump needs a miracle to win

      • Fedelynn says:

        Just saw this on UP Manila’s Twitter: “TRUMP DOES NOT WANT TO BE U.S. PRESIDENT, MICHAEL MOORE SAYS”

        To quote: “The U.S. director claims Trump only ran for office to leverage a better TV deal…[until] Trump fell in love with himself all over again, and he soon forgot his mission to get a good deal for a TV show.”

        A very indirect way of “helping mango trees to flower”. *solemn face*

        • Nate says:

          I have some mangoes, the seedlings I bought from University of Southern Philippines in Kabacan, don’t know if they still sell seedlings along with Rambutan, the Maharlika variety, this was in the 80’s. We really do smoke our mango trees to make them flower and fruit, with Bayabas leaves at that. Incidentally, we also use Bayabas leaves to smoke bacon, it smells great.

          • Nate, I saw this first hand in Mindanao and thought the idea of scaring a plant into producing more flowers, was just awesome!

            Fedelynn, I tend to agree with Mike Moore, but I hope Trump stays in the race, if he becomes president (Hillary’s still having a hard time with her emails and perjury, though she’s bumping in the polls) , he’ll be the most watched president, thus decreasing the power of the Executive branch, but more importantly, both politicians on both sides will have to do a whole lot of soul searching come mid-terms and 2020… and that IMHO is the purpose of Donald Trump—- he’s not an aberration , he’s the logical end.

            • chempo says:

              Americans are threading between the devil and the deep blue sea. Clinton is a better choice over Bernie. All the other GOP candidates are choices better than Trump. Between Clinton and Trump it’s heads-you-loose- tails-I-win scenario. Clinton will kill the US slowly, Trump will kill the US double quick time, that’s the way I see it.

            • My cousin who is an officer in a Naval Hospital is for Trump, I ask her why, she says just because. I say Hilary is smart and kinda like Britain’s iron butterfly Thatcher, she says I don’t care. Persisting, I say, the Philippines will fare better with Hilary at the helm unlike Trump who thinks the Filipinos are like animals, she again retorted, I don’t care.

              My cousin is a woman of few words and I am much too much politicized.

              • Mary, chemp,

                I think the main take away here is that the US is able to keep on going with Trump or with Hillary. We have this luxury to play logical ends, then maybe reset or continue on electing crazy or corrupt (corrupt here isn’t as obvious as over there 😉 ) politicians. If Trump then people will be jarred out of their lethargy, if Hillary then more of the same ho-hum bs from DC.

                Mary I think your cousin is a Republican, right? I’d imagine if one were Republican it’ll be hard to justify your vote; I’m not Republican, so my rationale is simply sabotage. I think if Trump really wanted to win, he’d be able to, simply move to the center, so the fact that he’s continuing to double down on right-wing FOXtard stuff, means he really doesn’t wanna get elected,

                so there’s some truth in what Michael Moore wrote.

              • Waray-waray says:

                Hi Mary I think your cousin now is more American than she was a Filipino if she is not dual. “I don’t care” cause she is already a US citizen and thd Trump proposed new immigration law would not affect her. If her immed family’s papers are in process I think she would be worried and be concerned. She must hv been an American for a long time now the reason for her attitude. Trumps parents if am not mistaken are Scottish. But look at his attitude now. America we should remember is melting pot bec. most of its citizens are immigrants. That is why there is the historic Elle island in NYC just near the iconic Statueof Liberty. This is the first stop for immigrants around the earliest century and where immigrants papers are processed before their entry.

              • Waray Waray

                Every member of her family – from grandmother to parents, uncles, aunts and cousins are now American citizens. She became a citizen when she was still in teens. Her children are now about to enter college schools, each with their own cars to drive to school.

                They’re not very aware of what is really happening here and since they’re quite busy in their chosen careers, they have not been quite updated. One daughter of a male cousin is quite aghast when her grandma planned to visit here, saying what for, it’s a quite uncivilized and dirty place!

                So there.

              • Rico Audencial says:

                please read and educate yourself on Hillary. She seem to be good on the outside but what she hides is really scary. I do not trust her and I will not vote for her. Enjoy the sun Joe while enjoying an ice cold cerveza…in moderation of course.

              • karlgarcia says:

                I think they have nit list love for the Philippines,I maybe wrong but maybe just a bad impression only.
                Among us here we can ask uncle Sonny how he teaches his children about the Philippines,he has been there since the late 60s yet he is still active in forums like these.

                I remember unc regretting not teaching them Tagalog or Ilocano if I am not mistaken,I am not sure if he is getting any negative feed back about the Philippines from his kids.

              • sonny says:

                Nephew my unrealized wish that my two sons ‘shoulda’ learned Tagalog and/or Ilocano is part of a greater desire that Filipinos whoever and wherever they are, carry on that “islands-heritage” and keep it alive for survival and transmission. Our Filipino languages are bound to that heritage. Language is both centripetal and centrifugal; it is our essential medium for solidarity among ourselves and subsidiarity platform in our dealings with other cultures and circumstances. That Filipinos are de facto polyglots and have that inclination to religiosity says something of our inherent destiny as a people, IMO.

                To illustrate, the ethno-linguistic group that I admire most is the Jewish people. Their socio-cultural values and economic institutions are strong and dynamic are portable and have served them well for hundreds of generations across foreign soils and cultures. Filipinos have some of the elements similar to them because of our Judaeo-Christian heritage albeit through colonization. This dynamism is evident in the way Jews thrive in American democracy and individualism. The Jews possess the cultural tools that are available in the face of diversity and aggression. It will serve us well to be as ethnocentric as Jews are and as resilient as they are. And the good news is that like the Jews we have the “raw materials” as a people to survive and even to thrive and prevail. We are not near to that state-of-affairs by a long shot. We must search for and apply the necessary interventions. This is the background that I refer to when reflecting about Filipino values and systems: family solidarity and a strong religious sense welded to a Malay cultural DNA.

                I agree with Karl that Mary’s relatives have not necessarily lost their ‘Filipino bearings.’ (other related subjects: cultural language, secularism & religiosity, historical tracks, diaspora and the island government, personal choices)

              • Hi everyone,

                Some of my cousins have not forgotten the motherland. They still come back for vacations, and send balikbayan boxes to relatives here. As mentioned before, their careers and time limitations could have been factors why their children do not have the same love for their second motherland… said children were born there and are now adults themselves, and not once have they come for a visit here, that is, most of them. They were all busy finishing their studies and pursuing PH degrees, very intellectuals, they all are and they are lucky in the sense that their parents (my cousins who are licensed professionals) have supported their quest for further studies, so no student loans to think of.

                The one in the Naval Hospital usually brings all her children here to introduce them to my 96-year old grandma (their great grandma), sometimes more than once in a year, with a few instances thru hitching a ride with cargo planes landing in Clark, they so love the adventure. Unfortunately, their young second cousins here could not converse with them very well, they can understand Tagalog, but could not speak it, but still they had fun bonding with each other. Not so with the children of my other cousins.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Thanks Unc and MG

              • you’re always welcome, karl

              • sonny says:

                Neph, back in Xmas 2003 our paternal clan had a homecoming including visits to Manila and the Luzon countryside en route to the Ilocos. At the time, my son who was your age and a younger cousin said, “I’m glad you immigrated, dad.” I felt sad and hurt to hear them say it. Neither of them say mean things about their ancestry. Neither of them had the chance to experience deeper relationships, they were only in that clan reunion for 3 days to see things for themselves. Also, it pointed to some failure on my part. It hurt nonetheless even if they knew no better than the visual impressions of general material privations they encountered.

              • karlgarcia says:


      • LG says:

        A Lex Luthor miracle if he can do one.

  13. DAgimaz says:

    and I thought the days when you have to look at your back or on your sides before you could express your opinion against the government was already over on February 25, 1986?

    it should be a lesson to always be careful of what you wish may really come true..and its scary

  14. “MT [Mother Teresa] was not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of poverty. She said that suffering was a gift from God. She spent her life opposing the only known cure for poverty, which is the empowerment of women and the emancipation of them from a livestock version of compulsory reproduction.”

    ― Christopher Hitchens

    We are all very interested in poverty alleviation in PH so let us explore possible avenues that will be beneficial to PH and all Filipinos.

    What do you think of Hitchens’ “cure?”

    Do you agree with what he had said about Mother Theresa? I know a lot of religious readers will be offended by it, but let us keep an open mind and explore all possibilities including deeply held beliefs that may be impeding our progress.

    Do you have a suggestion on how poverty could be reduced or alleviated in PH?

    • JP,

      I can see that perspective with Mother Teresa, I don’t know how she personally viewed the poor, but I do see this fetishizing of the poor by Christians in general, ie. it either psychologically completes them, gives them purpose or they just feel good preaching, etc.

      In downtown LA skidrow, there are enough beds for the homeless, enough food in the homeless kitchens and enough support for those that avail. But since many of the homeless are crazy they prefer both being outside and away from people, or at least not be in enclosed environments. There’s enough food and there’s enough clothing (via donation),

      that’s the brick and mortars operation that’s present in downtown, but for some reason

      Christian groups (the bigger Churches give thru the established homeless organizations) , who tend to be small time evangelical types, drive their food vans and blast their Joel Osteens (or whatever CDs they have),

      established homeless shelters consistently tell these evangelicals to either use the kitchen facilities, where they can ensure quality and safety, but more importantly to get the homeless to see health care, mental health professionals, to keep tabs on them,

      but Evangelicals, seem more drunk on the notion of reenacting Biblical NT narratives that they purposely go blind to the fact that a system is already in place, and that giving away food a block or 2 away from homeless kitchens, simply create more trash in the streets, and hamper professionals from truly helping the homeless.

      they are adding to the problem.

      • As for Hitchen’s “cure”, I agree empowering women means freeing them from 3rd world role as baby factories… hence my recommendation that they (women) ensure that semen doesn’t end up in the wrong place (the oven 😉 ), and there’s only one way they can ensure this. 😉

        Bam’s Negosyo Centers is one of ’em, but think micro-manufacturing and artisan boutique stuff they can sell online, use the internet. Also co-ops,

        But more importantly, I think it’s also diet, ie. eating pigs usually means more parasites in the brain;

        did you catch todays news that researchers are now saying Zika also eats up adult brain cells? You got a bunch of infected people from all over the world direct from Brazil now coming home,

        I’m starting to think the Zombie Apocalypse wasn’t just a metaphor, JP 😦 and you’re in Walking Dead territory full of mosquitoes!

        • Juana Pilipinas says:

          Yup. Plenty of mosquitos in them swamps hereabouts.

          You made me laugh out loud with your last paragraph. It is a theory that is logically sound though.

          PH already has the Reproductive Health law and Bam is working hard about the comprehensive approach in empowering women through entrepreneurship. What else can be done for women?

          How about empowering of Filipino men? There are as many men, as women, who need to be assisted in breaking the cycle of poverty.

          • LG says:

            RH education to Filipino men who can’t manage their urges.

            • Juana Pilipinas says:

              LOL. Is vasectomy popular in PH?

              • edgar lores says:

                Vasectomy is not education; it’s extirpation.

              • Juana Pilipinas says:

                LOL. Never heard of vasectomy as extirpation before. Women have accepted tubal ligation as a permanent contraception so what is wrong with vasectomy?

              • edgar lores says:

                In the interest of equality, nothing wrong. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

                Source: have been extirpated. TMI?

              • LG says:


                To JP, have not heard of a Filipino man underwent vasectomy. Those balls are too symbolic of their manhood. Has anyone?

              • edgar lores says:


              • LG says:

                Nice start. Very nice, in fact.

                Those vasectomised men should give testimonies and use their testimonies in RH education projects on the barangay level.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Your balls are safe in vascectomy,the process is reversible.pag kinapon ka, wala na ang balls mo.

              • LG says:

                I agree☺️. My mistake, it’s the vas deferens that is removed. But some, if not most Filipino men, think it’s their balls that’s being removed. Reversibility is unthinkable for most.

                You would know more than me about vasectomies, Karl. Lol.

              • karlgarcia says:


              • I know in the Navy while underway on ship, medical staff offer vasectomies just so they can practice, and a bunch of sailors and Marines volunteer (karl’s right the promise is that it’s reversible, there’s even cases where vasectomies reverse on their own, untangle 😉 )

                But realistically though not too many men or women won’t volunteer to go under the knife for this (maybe if there were some monetary gain), but knowing lust and human instinct I think women being responsible for their menfolk’s semen is still the most realistic solution—- but w/out re-education, or enticement (ie., good for your health), they’ll just think it’s gross.

                The re-education requires some cultural pivot, but it can be done, ie. the Cross-fit movement here and this one is kinda gross, but I’m talking about cultural fabric so, simply adjust it to men/women , just wrap this practice with meaning, IMHO.

              • chempo says:

                99.9 % of men will go for vasectomies if God made men carry the babies in our tummies for 9 months.

              • LOL! so true, chemp. LOL!

              • karlgarcia says:

                castration is the word i was looking for.

              • LG says:

                Lol. I think that’s why some Filipino men are afraid of vasectomy. They think they are being neutered like dogs.

          • “How about empowering of Filipino men?”

            If Filipinos in general were patrilineal and/or patriarchal then yeah I would prioritize this, but since most of SE Asia is bilineal, don’t differentiate between your dad’s side of the family and your mom’s, then focus on women first, then whichever men want to rise up.

            But as far as special priority for men over there. IMHO, since this machismo phenomena, it’s probably better to consciously focus on the women.

            As for other ways that can be done, well…

            I just saw “To Kill a Mockingbird” again on cable the other day, and while watching the court scene, I realized that much of our (Americans’) respect for the Rule of Law, comes from school, but the bulk of it I think actually comes from literature and movies. I don’t think Filipinos in school watch “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Twelve Angry Men” and all sorts of other good legal stories,

            so maybe start either showing these movies as is in schools or just regular channels there, or re-making them as Filipino works (I actually mentioned this in the ACLU article), so how about we get a list going of books and movies (TV series) on the Rule of Law and Due Process,

            Since Robert Duval was Boo in “To Kill a Mockingbird”, I’ll add his recent movie “the Judge” and also “Colors” , classic 😉 (Chief “Bato” should make that one mandatory watching, LOL! )

            • Oh yeah, I forgot to explain further, but “To Kill a Mockingbird” is relevant to empowering men in the Philippines, because I think this whole notion of winning and fighting a good fight, w/out fighting is not too popular in the Philippines.

            • chempo says:

              Lance, I agree reading good stuff is very very important. I enjoy reading more than watching a show on TV. But Filipinos don’t have reading habits. I think partly it’s pretty costly to buy your books, and libraries are not to be found. These past 2 weeks i had to commute a lot in jeepneys and vans. I spent hours in the Ayala Centre terminal. There is always a crowd of 500 in the evenings and I’m the only guy reading a book to kill time. Everyone else were on their facebooks. Such a waste of time by so many.

              One needs to walk in a funny way to move in the jeepneys. My veterbraes are now curved somewhat.

      • DAgimaz says:

        food is not the problem in the US. even affluent cities have food banks where you can get what you need, free.

        housing..expecially if you are middle class. the “poor” can have section 8 but not the working middle class

    • DAgimaz says:

      open up the economy and invite investors and tax appropriately. how about taxing up to 50 % inheritance? the rate now is 20% and the Sec of Finance want it even reduced to 6%. how could you reduce inequality if you have those rates? Japan’s highest rate is 65% on inheritance and the US is 55% max.

      • Juana Pilipinas says:

        Your inheritance tax suggestion sounds promising. That will help in funding projects for poverty alleviation.

        Do you have a link about the proposed inheritance tax reduction by DOF? That is nuts.

          • karlgarcia says:

            I think estate taxes are the most avoided among taxes.

          • LG says:

            Useful Karl. TY.

          • Thank you, karl.

            ““A lot of people don’t pay [estate taxes] because they don’t like to pay for the transfer of the land,” he said. “A lot of land is still in the name of their grandfathers, so its [value is] locked up. If you are encouraging them to just pay lower taxes—lets say 6 percent—then there’s a potential for [the properties] to be developed quickly.”

            The finance chief also explained that the high estate tax rate discouraged heirs from declaring the correct value of the properties they inherited. The resulting lower property values also contribute to these becoming idle land, he said—something he hopes to change if the lower rate is approved by Congress.”

            Please explain to me why inheritors have the option of not transferring the property in their names in order to evade tax? Is there a probate court in PH?

            What is probate?

            Probate is a legal process that takes place after someone dies. It includes:

            *proving in court that a deceased person’s will is valid (usually a routine matter)
            *identifying and inventorying the deceased person’s property
            *having the property appraised
            *paying debts and taxes, and
            *distributing the remaining property as the will (or state law, if there’s no will) directs.

            Typically, probate involves paperwork and court appearances by lawyers. The lawyers and court fees are paid from estate property, which would otherwise go to the people who inherit the deceased person’s property.

            • LG says:

              Some families I know, have their real estate properties named after their heirs before they die. Or donate them to them.There are legal papers involved in such ‘donation’.

              • Juana Pilipinas says:

                So, in effect, there are a lot of loopholes surrounding PH inheritance tax law. The rich could afford lawyers to draft legal papers but how do the poor people with a piece of lot go around it? Mostly by inaction, I guess. For the poor with a hectare or less, I could see the lower tax making sense but for the fat dynasties with multiple properties and other taxable tangibles, it looks tailor-made.

              • LG says:

                Yes, circumventing the man made law is not illegal or amoral. Completely justified. 6% estate or inheritance tax is even uncalled for. What if the heir/recipients are poor or as not as wealthy as their parents? The OZ way is the way.

                My first hand observation… the donation paper was a simple sort of affidavit type of legal paper. No sweat, cheap. Any average lawyer can do it.

            • karlgarcia says:

              All I see is a note in the bank slip reminding them to report deaths or risk being sued for perjury.

        • Edgar Lores says:

          Oz has zero inheritance tax.

          • Juana Pilipinas says:

            Could you tell us Oz’s justification for it?

            • edgar lores says:

              Excerpt from “The Abolition of Death Duties in Australia: A Comparative Perspective”

              1. “The only substantial study of abolition – by William Pedrick, a US Professor of Law – made uniqueness its point of departure. Pedrick identified three main objections to estate taxes in Australia. First, the taxes “weighed heavily on even very modest estates, with inflation exacerbating the problem of low exemptions‟ (Pedrick 1981: 119). Second, high land values and “assertedly low return on farming property‟ caused particular agitation among farmers. Finally, estate taxes (in the words of a government inquiry) were “avoided by well-advised persons with ease‟, and “paid
              principally from the estates of those who died unexpectedly or who had failed to attend to their affairs with proper skill‟ (Pedrick 1981: 122).”

              2. The major justifications can be categorized as legal, fiscal, political, economic and familial.

              o Legal – state imposts; law not carefully considered; excessive compared with elsewhere
              o Fiscal – not needed; was wartime revenue
              o Political – ideological hostility to landowners; wartime revenue
              o Economic – disincentive to investment; effect on capital flows

              3. Other countries have followed: Israel, New Zealand, Sweden, Austria, and Singapore.

              • edgar lores says:


                o Political – ideological hostility to landowners; class taxation

              • LG says:

                Instructive EL. Keep giving the lectures.

              • It makes sense for Oz not to collect any but PH needs more revenue streams to fund its progress.

              • LG says:

                Increase revenues? Why not:

                1. Stiff, very stiff penalty for misdeclared SALNs and income tax returns. Review tax code.
                2. Very, very, very, very stiff bail money;
                3. Tax plunder, questionable wealth – before ceasing it;
                4. Tax casino winnings;
                5. Higher tax for luxury goods like cars, designer anything, counterfeit or not.
                6. Higher sin tax.
                7. Stiff4 penalty for bribers and bribe recipients.

                Am serious😉

              • Sup says:

                Stiff penalty? Stiff like dead? 🙂

              • chempo says:

                In Spore estate duties apply for assessed values above S$6mm. The tax threads a balance between the need for wealth redistribution and the crippling effect of disincentive to savings. 6 mm was simply a figure that was felt a person could live pretty well without worrying about a burdensome tax. Actually that means easily 90% of the population never need to worry at all.

              • Edgar Lores says:

                There has been a proposal to reinstitute the inheritance tax in Oz. The thresholds are either $5M or $10M and the proposed rate is 35%. (Currently, the Oz and Singapore dollars are at parity.) At $5M, less than 1% will be affected.

                “If just 4 per cent of those households paid 35 per cent in estate duties, it would equate to about $5 billion a year in annual revenue.” This is considered a better alternative than raising the GST which would be regressive.

        • Thea says:

          Government income earned from inheritance tax does not go directly for funds to alleviate poverty. We know that. Charging 50% inheritance tax without classification is not good for everyone. What if the land is not highly productive? There is assessed value and the present zoning market value which is parallel to the growth of the country or town. The assessed value is where yearly property tax is based,whereas the zoning is declared market value by the BIR where the inheritance tax is computed and sometimes it is higher than the real value of the land. Example is my father’s small land. When he died, the siblings attempted to divide it among them,approached the notary public and BIR. Shocking it was, the inheritance tax was so high that the siblings (poor) had decided not to pursue.
          I think Sen. Defensor’s suggestion of no inheritance tax is good anyway there are other incomes in documentations like the estate stamps, titling and the like. Sabi nga, patay na may ari, may utang pa sa gobyerno at kumo patay na sya, ipinapasa nya sa mga anak.

          • Edgar Lores says:


            I think you hit the nail on the head. I believe this is the main basis for the abolition of inheritance tax in Oz at least with respect to land.

            There are ways of going around the problem. For inheritance tax purposes, a piece of land could be assessed partly based on its value at acquisition time, not at the current time. Or partly based on the differential between the value at acquisition time and the value at the current time. Or partly based on the usage/productivity of the land. Or, as you suggest, various conveyance fees.

            • DAgimaz says:

              the inheritance or estate to be taxed the maximum possible rate are those in the hundreds of millions..not those houses and lots its spouse or descendants live.

              as Anderson Cooper of CNN said, inheriting wealth doesnt give you the motivation to succeed.

              ever wonder why Latin America and more so in the Philippines is such a mess? because the rich don’t have to work anymore. they can just collect rent, run for public office and steal more. see? no incentive to improve their country

      • chempo says:

        On inheritance tax, here’s my input off my head:
        1. It’s called estate duties.
        2. All the properties of the deceased (real estate, cars, cash, bonds, shares in companies, art, etc, together called the estate) are assessed by the BIR based on fair market value.
        3. The tax is paid before distribution of the estate.
        4. If beneficiaries can’t pay the tax, some of the property is sold and the proceeds used to pay the BIR.
        5. BIR and estate Administrator’s fees are paid first before distribution to beneficiaries.
        6. The Administrator handles the affairs of the estate.
        7. If the deceased did not name an Administrator in the will, the courts will appoint one.
        8. Your own Admin is preferred because of trust and fees. Court Admin will prolong the process to milk more fees
        9. Estate duties is a good mechanism for wealth redistribution.
        10. Tax rate should not be too high (not because it prevents land development – silly reason, see below), because it becomes a disincentive to the pursuit of wealth which is the engine of progress.
        11. Can you donate property to kins to escape duties ? Nope. The right word is ‘gift’. If a property is gifted, there is a gift tax payable by the party giving. BIR will assess it on fair market value.
        13. The rationale that lowering estate duties will encourage land titles to be transferred to beneficiaries n promote debt is astounding. It betrays a broken system. Dead people are holding on to properties. Estate duties are never collected. No legal process of estate administration. Registry of Death do not communicate with BIR and probate courts.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Re: Open up the economy.
        Soon,we have no choice due to the ASEAN integration,which is delayed,I think.
        We will be in survival mode,more mergers of banks and other corporations.

    • Bill In Oz says:

      In guinea, in West Africa, women are learning about about reproductive health and contraception from women, in the women’s hairdressers !! What a wonderful idea for the Philippines.

    • Thea says:

      Though poor and poverty connotes having less, in missionary works, living in poverty is a choice or a bow. This is different from being poor. It is understandable that Mother Theresa encourages women to denounce the material/earthly living and to live with less and feel blessed with it. I have encountered a Jesuit missionary whom I know was born in richness but is living a basic life. Few clothing, one pair of shoes, simple bed…
      IMO, Mother Theresa’s unfriending the poor thus not refer to the economic definition of poor but more of spiritual. The phrase “Blessed are the poor…” mean nothing about our economic situation, it is the poorness in one’s spirit. The less in belief.
      But who are the poor? Us,perhaps. Because even we have more than enough,we feel we have less. That now is more material. The people living with less (not feeling less)of the material requisites to live a descent life are those whose poverty is not a choice or a bow. Pity that sometimes I misjudged them as victims of their own choices because why should they choose to drink and become drunkards. Leave their kids roaming around undisciplined. Seemed not to have long term vision in life. They can keep surroundings clean but never do. Get married early and begets more children. These are the stagnating scenario if one lives with the real poor.
      Being poor is the “ultimate” stress. Just think how stressful it is to think of when are you going to eat the next meal (not what is the next meal). Will they earn enough to give the next meal to their children? This stress interferes the ability to think critically and make good decisions. There is no long-term planning of a good future because the short term needs are so enormous that eclipse their wanting to elevate the future which is faint.
      But being poor in the Philippines does not mean giving up though. In every corner one will see small carinderia, sari-sari stores and street food vendors side by side. Go ride a provincial bus, there are more vendors going up the bus than passengers. Wait for your children’s taho vendor/s in the morning, miryenda vendor in the afternoon. These are the hardworking poor Filipinos.
      To help the Filipinos is to lower the price of food. Price of rice and basic commodities must be studied based on the earning of the low income Filipinos. We have seen how the prices of goods skyrocketed. (Gee, we have NFA, yes. Guess what, in my place, it is true that they sell cheap rice 2kg/day yet even the hardworking poor will never cook it.) Make the prime commodities affordable to poor Filipinos. Government must subsidize,of course. And implement it forever not ningas kugon.
      Given the fact that Filipinos think of their stomach first make sense that health is secondary concern. But when sickness struck,they will sell everything or borrow to loan sharks( ah there are soooo many which are not seen or shall we say ignored by the government. What about those “bombay”? Are they taxed? Are they legal?). We have Philhealth,yes. But it is for those who can afford to contribute and for the senior citizens. Do we have Rural Health care? Those are for family planning,simple vaccinations and the like. Never seen a doctor visiting our place. I mean, regularly not the “doctors in mission” before the election. And I mean it for free for all Filipinos all over the country. And of course, these doctors are not volunteers and must be paid by the government. Rather than electing brgy. councils that sucks the folks fees for ordinary certificates and give them salaries for attending meetings and seminars to built basketball courts and useless gatherings,why not assign more doctors? Well then on the other hand, barangay councils must work as volunteers,no salaries.
      These two “proposals” will ease the daily stress of poverty. Perhaps, the real poor can now think long term when a government takes it away from them. Less drunkards and addicts,clean surroundings, less children, kids in school.

      • edgar lores says:


        Very fine proposals. I like the distinction between the poor in possessions and the poor in spirit. The latter will always be poor because they have no gumption.

        (Just to be clear: when Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” he really meant blessed are the “humble.”)

  15. Nate says:

    She spent her life OPPOSING the only known cure for poverty? I don’t get it. Can you clarify?

    • My interpretation of Hitchens’ line about Mother Theresa’s opposition of what he envisioned to be the “cure” for poverty is that she did not empower the poor women she encountered by teaching them ways on how to break away from poverty. She seemed to have enabled their poverty by telling them that they are blessed and God loves them for their sufferings so the poor did not have any incentive to do something about their predicament.

      Sa ating mga Pilipino, meron din tayong paniniwala sa tadhana, guhit ng palad, kapalaran at iba pa na nagsasaad na kung tayo ay mahirap dapat nating itong tangapin dahil wala tayong magagawa para maiba ang ating kinabukasan. Marami sa atin, lalo na and mga Katoliko na naniniwala na ang kahirapan ay parusa, pagsubok o kagustuhan ng Panginoon. (Filipinos also have this belief that fate, palmistry, destiny and other constructs states that poverty is to be accepted since there is nothing one can do to change his/her future. For many, especially the Catholics believe that poverty is either a punishment, a trial or God’s will. )

      Please correct me if I am wrong. This discussion board needs everyone’s opinion.

      • Bill In Oz says:

        “Mother Teresa’ came from a poor catholic family in very poor 1900’s peasant based Albania. What she taught was what you would expect from such a background. By contrast Hitchens came from a reasonable well off English military family of the 1940’s.And he lived most of his life as a well paid ‘leftish’ journalist in the USA. He did not spend much time trying to help poor illiterate women in 3rd world countries.

        • Thank you for the info on MT and Hitchen’s background. Yes. Most of us see the world in different shades based on our life experiences.

          In your stay in the Philippines, what have you observed is missing in the lives of the poor? Is there something in particular that you thought could make a difference in their lives? How can it be implemented in the Filipino context?

          • LG says:

            What’s missing?

            First, proper values orientation.

            Second, misinformation due to a variety of reasons.

            Not only among the poor and uneducated in schools.

            • Juana Pilipinas says:

              Proper values orientation. How can that be taught to Filipinos? A lot of their role models are behaving badly.

              Misinformation. Any idea in combatting this plague?

              • Istambay sa kanto says:

                Mahilig ang mga Pinoy sa telenovela at marami tayong magagaling na manunulat. Pwedeng gamitin ang radyo, tv at pelikula for a wholesome entertainment. I am not promoting a tv program but this ” Be My Lady”, ang kwento ay larawan ng pamilya sa rural setting.

              • LG says:

                Many Filipino telenovelas convey proper values orientation (discipline, faith, hope, kindness, compassion, patience, perseverance, sacrifice, civility, strength of character, gratitude, courage, loyalty, honesty, respect, love, sound judgment, justice, and the list goes on) but alas, most are watched not for the morals and lessons of the telenovela but for entertainment and to feel up time of the lazy n out of work.

                There is actually no shortage of role models among our government officials, past and present (sadly, they don’t get coverage for their sound character, never mind incorruptible, but only for their sometimes, inevitable governance mistakes which comes with the job) but sadly, again, many Filipinos choose to idolize those who should not be, mimicking what should not be, in denial of their obvious character flaws.

                To me, values orientation is generational, socially enhanced or impeded. Role models must originate in the family where basic, proper values orientation start, developed and sustained. Maybe there are not enough decent role models in the family to emulate and learn from, thus, not enough appropriate values to impart the next generation in the family lineage at least. Hooking with like minded/charactered friends strengthen one’s values as do the work people environment.

          • Bill In Oz says:

            Half decent jobs are what is missing.

            The poor ( with rare exceptions ) do not want to be poor. They aspire to have a better life and work is how it is done in richer more prosperous countries….It’s how China has done it since the 1980’s. It’s what OFW’s have done since the 1970’s…

            Why are the jobs missing ? Well the Philippines does little to encourage foreign investment. And quite a lot to discourage it : corruption and the ban on any foreigners owning land are 2 that come to mind. Investment is a major source of jobs.

  16. karlgarcia says:

    They plan to convert lrt2 to brt. If they can do that to mrt 3,i salute them.

    now ad to higher tax for second cars,have them enforce the law on no street parking,or no garage,no car.

    • LG says:


      Agree 1000%. Or copy Singapore’s regs on car ownership.

    • chempo says:

      No garage no car ruling is fine, it’s also what I suggested in the MRT blog. But any action to reduce private car ownership cannot be done in isolation. Public transportation need to be improved concurrently. Similarly the ruling to ban EV vans on Edsa is so myopic.

      • josephivo says:

        1- The problem is much greater than what you see. For every car you can take of the road by better public transport or by any regulation, 3 others cars are waiting to replace it.

        2- The root causes, population density. Metro Manila has the highest population density in the world. Unlimited building by profit driven by private companies and corrupt mayors (e.g. huge new hotel in the last little park of Makati). Once build, the consequent problems are left to the state to solve, and us taxpayers to suffer the inconvenience and eventually to pay. Solution? Include all consequent infrastructure and environmental costs into the building permit costs.

        • chempo says:

          Re 1 – who can argue with that. It’s reality. By all means, restrict private car ownership. But u need efficient public transport as alternatives. In fact, if there is decent public transport, many may willing keep their cars at home n commute to work.

          Re 2 – population density is major cause, not the root cause. There are other densely populated places on earth and they manage satisfactions. The underlying cause is lousy leadership. The root cause is the people who continually vote in the lousy leaders.

          • josephivo says:

            In Manila the density is double that of comparable cities. On the few square meters left they rather build another high rise tower than a road or a rapid bus lane. And the few square centimeters in between are occupied by voters/squatters.

            All the same, by lack of minimal urbanization people have to travel long distances to work, school… (read “by lack of…” as “by overruling the existing urbanization rules for a few corrupt pesos…”)

            Relationships and rent is the name of the game, not an efficient livable city. F*ck the commuters, give me a few 100 million extra profit.

            • You go too far with that, and you have the reverse effect in the long run. But since the thinking in the Philippines is mostly short-term and fast-buck who cares anyway?

            • karlgarcia says:

              We see conflicting plans some retired pnr people suggests a netwrk of rails.Some other expert say trains are expensive and BRT is the way to go.
              i say all are useless if Pedicabs and tricycles still lord it over. Let us not forget the jeepneys.

              For population, I once asked chempo and Joseph of going vertical,because of the Singapore situation.
              I forgot the exact reply,but I know it will always involve water.

              Tagaytay and Calabarzon development may end up nightmarish if they do not have answer the water situation.
              Maybe desalination again.Who will solve this Maynilad and Manila water. Pangilinan and Ayala again.

              If it will be always PangilinanAyala and Ramon Ang…what about the rest?

              So ecozones to decongest Metro Manila.
              Anakpawis says industrialization,and not ecozones.

              They have not yet solved what happens when you relocate squatters problem yet.

              Agriculture,Agritourism,a separate Fisheries department…..

              • Well, with regards to transportation and given the two options, why not both?

                BRT is good as a short-medium term solution and trains are of course a long term solution. But still, even if the trains are built after BRT, the BRT could still function as feeder lines and these two could then actually work in conjunction. But the plan to convert LRT2 to BRT? I find it completely stupid as the line suggested for replacement is already working and removing it without introducing any alternatives will be a nightmare for everybody. And just like all suggestions to remove/ban things without offering any alternatives, I’ll say it again, it is really stupid and it shows no concern for the people given the current situation that they are in.

                But as for a suggestion which has been a low-hanging fruit for a long time already: Another corridor for mass transportation would probably be C5? The following is heavily based on my reply at another post, with some allusions to the attitude towards short-term and long-term solutions:

                I don’t know if you’re familiar with C5, but just in case: C5 is a major thoroughfare like EDSA, passing through QC, Pasig, Makati and Taguig, providing convenient routes to the major business districts of Ortigas, Makati, and BGC for many vehicles. Well, mostly private vehicles as there are no inter-city public transport except for some UV expresses.

                But during the time of Bayani Fernando and his stint at MMDA, plans for a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system were already underway for the said stretch of road to reduce private vehicle volume. And other than reducing vehicle volume in C5, it can actually also help in decongesting EDSA by offering another route as it does also pass through some common major city centers. Basically, this is really something that’ll actually help a lot. But for reasons that I have yet to know, it was not approved by DOTC during the time. Then came the next administration and it seems that this was again suggested but they had found that a train line would be a better solution than the former. Given this, they still scrapped and shelved the suggested BRT project. As was said by the said admin: “Trains are better” and BRTs are “merely theoretical, unproven and has limited systems capacity.”

                Pfft. Tell that to the other countries that use it.

                Though yes, I really can’t deny that a train line is indeed one of the best long-term plans. However, do you think that a leaning towards rail is enough reason to scrap the plans for BRT during the time and given the situation then (and now)? The thing is, there is a problem [now], and they can actually do something about it [now]. Is alleviating the slow bleeding of the people because of the said problem really not worth the shit because: “We have better plans for you. You just have to wait.”

                It seems that short-term actions are being seen as shallow and long-term actions are usually the only way to go. But is it really not possible to diversify?

              • karlgarcia says:

                Hi intutuitive perceiving!
                I am Parañaque based and very familiar with C5.
                DM Consuji made it a launch pad for his condo projects,FVR had plans for C5.

                Thanks for your intuitive and perceptive comments.
                And yes we can have a mix of public transportation.

  17. karlgarcia says:

    AFP modernization is needed also for alliance building,and as a sign of goodwill and willingness to assust our neighbors.It is not all about war.

    • LG says:

      I trust you Karl to keep the Forum alive with your Duterte-free posts. So useful.

    • I think there is something wrong with a government program that is used as a crutch or a disincentive. A lot of US states implemented “Welfare to Work” programs to reduce the number of welfare recipients. Recipients were assessed for employability, were given skills to successfully hold an employment and then given a time limit to be off the welfare rolls. Does PH has a similar program?

    • LG says:

      Such type of projects sre must do’s.

      • karlgarcia says:

        There are things that you can not recycle,so better convert them to energy.For now plasma gasification is expensive,but once it cuts costs to half, hazardous wastes can be addressed.

    • Thea says:

      Where do our hospitals throw their garbage is of great concern too since these wastes could transmit diseases. If government will impose a bill requiring our big hospitals to have this kind of converter, that’s a leap to a clean environment. Accordingly this converter output can be used as either fuel or fertilizer.

      • karlgarcia says:

        was for Thea.

        Scroll down to irresponsible haulers.
        Most trash do not reach its destination,meaning hazardous wastes can end up in the ocean.So if they do not have to leave the hospital,much the better.

      • chempo says:

        Goodness gracious me, do we need a Bill for something like this? Can’t the DOH simply have their own standards and regulations?
        Maybe we need a Bill to state at what time we take breakfast, lunch, diners and anything in between?

        • Thea says:

          I think Metro Manila had once an industrial waste incinerator but was banned because it was polluting the air. Kuno. Like,kill because there is no place for rehabilitation. Till now, it is either landfill or an improvised incinerator (aka four corner cemented kiln),specially in the province. Killing us softly,right?

          • As for recycling, this is a typical electronics recycling plant… they employ people who would otherwise be jobless or on dole, their salaries subsidized by the government – in fact I know one alcoholic jobless electrician who works in a place like this the whole week – drinks only on weekends now… it is the more advanced form of Smokey Mountain one could say, but much less harmful and keeping certain kinds of people out of trouble…

            • karlgarcia says:

              We must maximize ewaste recycling and landfill mining.

              • Thea says:

                Was once in Switzerland and amazed how citizens observe the segregation of wastes and how strict (huge huge fine)the implementation is. Recycling is done on canton level, no mamumulot ng basura. Garbage bags are never free and is expensive than ordinary plastic bags that way people are discouraged to have many wastes. Bottles are classified too according to its colors. Well, it is too taxing for those who are not afraid of fines.:)


                Accordingly,it took may years for the people of Switzerland to understand the long term benefit of waste management.

                Landfill on the other hand has more risk and harm than good. It is always subjected to combustion causing pollution of the air and pollutes the land and water too. If we are to maximize the use of landfills, we have to treat the wastes first and dispose it properly classified. If we are to imagine the 35,000 tons of garbage generated in Metro Manila daily (, landfill is not the best solution.

                Our government know this but they are much absorbed by their interests, I guess. In my town, we segregated wastes and started the production of hollow blocks from plastic wastes. But that was only for show. After ,1-2 years the project was gone. Ironically, our seashore is twinkling when the morning sun appears from the buried plastics and broken glasses.

              • karlgarcia says:

                They say to be like Singapore and Japan in terms of no littering and all aspects of discipline,we need a cultural revolution,some say just eliminate poverty.Both are easier written than done.

              • chempo says:

                Regarding the plastic brick walls — I think that needs further studies on the health effects. Over time, the plastics, heated by the sun emits toxic substances which get trapped in the rooms. For that matter, using plastics as the base pots for green culture is equally hazardous. The toxidity gets into the plant system.

                Re anti-littering — you need firstly education (at every level — schools, homes, offices, commerce, public places), secondly you need promotion — as a national, city, barrangay campaigns, thirdly you need penalties — fines and shamimg. But nothing can happen unless and until the govt supports in with the essentials — the damn trashcans. There are hardly any in sight.

              • karlgarcia says:

                all must to dos

          • chempo says:

            @ Thea
            Incinerators need to be far away from built-up areas. But technologies have improved a lot. There are now cheaper and better ways. Hot plasma plants with small footprints are not economically viable. Now it’s not just waste disposal, but the auto conversion to energy. This makes such plants sustainable without too much drain on the budget.

            Unfortunately, waste disposal is a huge huge business for all mayors in all the cities. Philippines is probably the only place in the world where people picking up the city’s trash pays for the authorities for the privilege of clearing your rubbish, instead of the other way around. This is yet another broken system that needs to be fixed.

            • Thea says:

              I never heard that there is already authorized Pulot Basura. Naluma ako run. Anyway, trash is big business in the Philippines. Buy and Sell. On to Recycling plants.
              There are more harm than good on this business though. I understand that this is source of income for the needy but if we see the health hazard that this imposes among us, it is a no no for me. Moreover, the places where they accumulate the trash/garbage (now segregated and selected) are fire hazards. Let me mention too that this business encourages small time thievery. Leave a piece of plastic,aluminum,steel,etc. outside the house, it will vanish in minutes. Small kids usually do the picking.

            • karlgarcia says:

              Jakarta contemplated on paying scavengers big bucks that will make office workers cry.

  18. Juana Pilipinas says:

    PH posted a 7% GDP growth in Q2:

    Are Filipinos confident that those who are currently handling the PH economic reins are capable of effecting inclusive growth? Why or why not?

    • karlgarcia says:

      If they can battle nature and beat el niño and la niña,they can make the agriculture sector boom.
      There must be a balance with industrialization and stewardship for the environment.

    • karlgarcia says:

      I think if they just figure out on what to do with the 2040 road map of NEDA,the everything is doable.

  19. Grasya says:

    The new government should definitely continue to support and improve Project NOAH, as its data if used correctly can help farmers as well as industries.

  20. karlgarcia says:

    This might be a silly question,but are you the same Juana Pilipinas in FB?

    • karlgarcia says:

      Sorry for my question,I can see that your last activity in fb was when you shared a post last November 2015.So you are not that active.We added you in our FB group,just in case yiu want to check it out.Thanks.

  21. Joe Am:
    With the enthroning of a loose canon, I had a very strong gut feeling that this noble spot will sadly and abruptly end to only 2 choices: cut balls or some kind of martyrdom.

    Wiser to choose the former. There’s nothing like enjoying priceless happy times with one’s family! God bless!

  22. chempo says:

    DOT plans to integrate terminal fee to airplane tickets.
    I’m not making any opinion on whether it’s good or bad. I just can’t help laughing at the irony. In 2014 the previous admin’s attempt to do the same integration got TRO by OFW organisations. OFWs felt it dis-advantaged them. OFWs voted strongly in favour of Pres Du30. Now this admin is going ahead with the integration. And it’s OK with the OFWs now. I no understanding.

    • Thea says:

      We must ask ourselves, who are these OFW organizations’ leaders and where their support belongs. For the last few years, OFWs are bombarded with negativity. Let’s put the Laglag Bala and Balikbayan Box issue. What OFW do not know and not feed on their screens is the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act of 2016 which was at that time being heard in the Senate to become Law. What OFWs received mostly are news from Even deMata and Mocha Uson(?). Say, it is mind conditioning.

    • LG says:

      Yes, I agree. Rare is a Filipino man who reads as a hobby. They read newspapers, as well as business and professional literature.

  23. karlgarcia says:

    We need a national broadband network for our internet speed improvement and our cloud readiness.

    At least we are improving in our cloud readiness ranking.

  24. karlgarcia says:

    on housing and community development,what happened to Gawad Kalinga?

  25. karlgarcia says:

    Too good to be true or too bad to be true.

    It is a long delayed project of the biggest owned or grabbed private land in the country.

    • LG says:

      Who knows for now?

      • karlgarcia says:

        An unknown tycoon Romy Roxas bought land in Aurora to Quezon I think, some say hevgrabbed the land,but he made a deal with FVR and Erap.
        Now environmentslist and peasants are protesting non stop for this ambitious project.

        • LG says:

          Under the range deal!

        • Thea says:

          Karl,is this the Romy Roxas you are referring?

          Aurora-Quezon coastline promises international tourist destination. Developing said area will benefit the people of the two provinces. IMO, an ambitious investor like him will turn the table. We know for a fact that there are rampant forest rapes in our area. Behold, the DENR lifting of the total log ban and the PNP kutong gang! Even without the said investor, Aurora-Quezon will suffer in the hands of illicit ill-interest people.

          80,000 hectares is HUGE. I do believe that this is not land grabbing. One can call it land grabbing when the said subject is titled and declared to a particular holder. Public lands can’t be sold too,but rights to develop and profit from it can be granted.

          If Romy Roxas is true to his words to bring Eco-tourism development in the place, I go for it. However, people must share the benefit from incomes generated from it and that environment and the living creatures thriving on this paradise must be respected. Implementation of strict guidelines for environmental protection must be adhered.

          Anyway, development and intact environment can be harmonious.

  26. Istambay sa kanto says:

    Future Warfare in the Western Pacific:

    Click to access Future%20Warfare%20in%20the%20Western%20Pacific%20-%20IS%202016.pdf

    What do you think?

    • karlgarcia says:

      Whether it is East Asia or West Pacific,we are strategically located. We are blocking the way.
      Nothing we can do,but participate by cooperation with neighbors without looking pitiful.
      Continue with AFP modernization,reasearch and development and growing of the economy.

    • karlgarcia says:

      with three thrillion reserves and off shored manufacturing of us companies,The US needs a tight rope act in dealing with China.

  27. chempo says:

    177 Indonesians using fake PHL passports nabbed at NAIA

    These guys came to Phils the legit way as tourists. They exit as Phils to go on the haj to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The reason is the quota for Indonesians to go Mecca was full, so they had to use Phils quota facilitated by some Phils fixer.

    The moral of the story? — The BBL, ARMM story and most things Islamic, all portray the Muslims on their high horses. It’s BS, they are as human as everyone. People cannot just simply go on the haj on their own. Visitations are very much controlled. It is organised by religious organisation in Phils with the Saudi counterparts. So obviously some clerics in Mindanao monetised the passes. Religious corruption, shame shame I say.

    • And I thought that NCSO is computerized – since the 1990s is what I know.

      The entire Philippines is full of holes if you ask me, no national ID, probably no real overview of who lives where… Europe except UK has mandatory residency registration.

      • Thea says:

        Filipinos use postal ID. 🙂 🙂

      • karlgarcia says:

        If people still can not register new borns because the civil registry is inefficient and ineffective,miles away,red tape etc. Computerization of NSO will be garbage in,garbage out.

        All chicken egg scenarios must be outlined by edgaresque outliners.

    • chempo says:

      More important and down-to-earth questions are :
      – Will the organisers be charged under Shariah or laws of Philippines
      – Will the passport forgers be arrested and charged?

  28. For Edgar and LCPL_X especially, but not only:

    knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit

    wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad

    philosophy is wondering if that means ketchup is a smoothie

    common sense is knowing that ketchup isn’t a smoothie

    -> I eagerly await the next Vulcan-Klingon discussion… 😀

    • NHerrera says:

      Where else does one get nuggets like those. Copied that for my reference, Irineo.

      This is not the same level statement as that nugget:

      Avocado is for guacamole and salad; Filipinos make avocado ice cream.
      Cheese is for pizza among others; Filipinos make cheese ice cream.

      Bits of wisdom and common sense in Filipinos?

      • karlgarcia says:

        Manong NH and Uncle Sonny,do you have FB accounts?

        • NHerrera says:



          Let me explain. Before I even got into Raissa’s and JoeAm’s I knew about the pluses and minuses of having an fb account and being active in it. I decided not to open an account. It is just a personal decision, one factor being the use of my time as a septuagenarian (just about two years to being an octogenarian).

          JoeAm’s and Raissa’s blogsites and my participation there are about the only social media participation I have.

          What, you don’t do Facebook? This is the 21st century man. It does seem strange. I answer with a smile and a statement such as “different strokes for different folks.”


          • karlgarcia says:

            Thank you manong NH. ok lang walang nawala,me photo album naman kayo. ganito na lang,I invite you to Irineo’s blog para me third choice.

            • NHerrera says:

              Yes, I will certainly. Forgot to state — senior citizen moment — that I have visited Irineo’s place several times but not as often as JoeAm’s. That means it is the third blogsite I visit. Each time, needless to say, I have found my visit to Irineo’s place very useful — food for thought, that is.

              Thanks for the note, karl.

    • sonny says:

      Am doing as NH is doing. PiE is always PiE.

    • For Edgar and LCPL_X especially, but not only:

      -> I eagerly await the next Vulcan-Klingon discussion… 🙂

      LOL! I actually do eat tomatoes like fruits (the tiny ones , not the big ones). I would add that

      common sense is knowing that ketchup isn’t a smoothie, but made out of high-fructose corn syrup, colored red, thanks to US gov’t subsidizing corn. 😉 so philosophy is not wondering if that means ketchup is a smoothie, but why the US gov’t is funding the rise of obesity and diabetes.

      here’s our first Vulcan-Klingon discussion (though I prefer Romulon, since me and edgar have actually agreed more than disagreed):

  29. madlanglupa says:

    Sir, I think I have to go out and buy more facepalms, stock ’em up for the next 50 days. You know what I mean.

    No, scratch that. Make that, sir, a year’s worth of facepalms.

  30. karlgarcia says:

    For LG and the other new guys.

    We had an opem forum last year,when Joe had a vacation.Here is the link.

    • LG says:

      Bookmark it. Thanks KG.

      Do you suggest that THSers detour post Joe’s hibernation notice to the “Our Philippines”
      April 2015 article? With due respect to Joe’s request to refrain from commenting on the current administrations comings and goings especially personal opinions about such?

      • LG says:

        I mean detour ‘discussions’ post Joe’s hibernation notice….

        • karlgarcia says:

          No, just an FYI, a rich FYI.

          ps notice that the problem or person of interest last year was Binay and Duterte only came to the picture a few months later.

  31. karlgarcia says:

    Neda will start consultation on what policies to be done to be sort of first world status by 2040.

    I say nothing will happen if the congressmen continue to block land reform,anti dynasty,national id,National land use,etc.

    all self interest or interet of principals, defining national interest is key.

    Also the left is needed not as a stumbling block for everything,they are needed to check what needs to be checked.

    Right now they seem to question everything.

    We do not need cultural revolution or any revolution,we just need to evolve.

    We always question oligarchs,I say open up economy and give the oligarchs a run for their money.

    Seems that we are headed for charter change,then we must make the most out of it.

    • Micha says:


      The link is devoid of any details. The link within the link is also devoid of any details. It’s a pie in the sky motherhood statements that will essentially exculpate the geniuses from NEDA in case that so-called “vision” will remain just a vision even after 2040.

      And what is that thing about consultation? The NEDA is tasked and mandated to carve out an economic plan. Why does it need consultation? Consultation with whom?

      • karlgarcia says:

        Micha you maybe right.They are like starting from scratch. About thise consultations and surveys.

        • Micha says:

          Anak ng pating na walang buntot. The NEDA, as I underatand it, is supposed to be a quasi-autonomous gov’t agency staffed by economic technocrats armed with technical knowledge that will guide the country’s economic development.

          Why then would it issue motherhood statements such as :

          “In 2040, all Filipinos will enjoy a stable and comfortable lifestyle, secure in the knowledge that we have enough for our daily needs and unexpected expenses, that we can plan and prepare for our own and our children’s futures. Our families live together in a place of our own, yet we have the freedom to go where we desire, protected and enabled by a clean, efficient, and fair government,” is the vision of Filipinos for themselves according to Ambisyon Natin 2040.

          “The Philippines shall be a country where all citizens are free from hunger and poverty, have equal opportunities, enabled by fair and just society that is governed with order and unity. A nation where families live together, thriving in vibrant, culturally diverse, and resilient communities,” is the vision of Filipinos for the Philippines.

          Alleluia, praise the lord, who can possibly not agree with that? But how will the NEDA go about realizing that vision? Nothing, no details, no workable data. Perhaps they’re keeping it to themselves because they have neither the competence nor the confidence to actually deliver on those ambisyons.

          Instead, it offers caveats and guaranteed safety from responsibility like :

          1. it requires support and commitment from the next 4 administrations (so if a barumbado president comes along, sorry na lang)

          2. not all achievable simultaneously (oo nga naman, masyado kayong ambisyoso)

          3. need to sustain the momentum (whatever)

          4. strategic flexibility under changing conditions (mag tyaga na lang muna kayo kung paiksi pa rin ng paiksi ang kumot)

          • karlgarcia says:

            I like that anak ng pating na walang buntot.
            I always hear that NEDA always lacks budget etc. excuses you hate.

          • NHerrera says:

            Micha, karl:

            Anak ng pating na walang buntot.

            Instead of NEDA 2040 Vision, it is better stated as NEDA 2040 Dream.

            I know an “out” when it does not happen — darn that Climate Change thingy.

            • Micha says:

              Those NEDA folks are getting paid but they are not doing their job. Or maybe their definition of job is to make power point presentation on a ridiculous data-free 25 year Am-vision.

              • Thea says:

                We have 5-year development plan and 25-year development plan. Bata pa si Sabel,meron na nyan pero pareho pa rin ang pakiramdam ng maraming pinoy. Lalo na kung isasama nila ang commitment ng 4 administrations,tapos na agad ang vision, may cataract na agad.

                Sabi nga, hold on with hope in heart. Charot.

      • sonny says:

        Taking a cue from the model of a Paul Volcker in combination with a democratic government spanning presidencies of Carter, Reagan, Bush & Obama, does the Philippines have a chance to follow? (Hope I’m making sense)

    • chempo says:

      @ Karl
      I have been following neda webasite for a while
      Have seen this in GMA years through Pnoy’s. It’s a grand website with great economics and statistics, charts, historical info and projections. Great great stuff out of academia. Brought together no doubt by good minds. Whether the vision and road maps are doable is another question. Whether they may be proven right — it’s a matter of ‘what if”.

      Neda’s website does not seem to be a govt vision, just a vision of academia to put on show. Executive policies never seem to be guided by the Neda vision. What’s the point in all this?

      It’s good to have long term plans and plans for the near horizon. It’s good to plot your real destination, but its very important to plan your various stops. But for a country with no political continuity, long term plans are unachievable, it’s a pipe dream, face it. The success of Singapore was due primarily to political continuity. We had a long term vision of Swiss standards of living by 2010 and by all accounts it’s been achieved. All the short term plans we hand along the way were in consonance the 2010 vision. It was not just economics, but in the arts, in humanities, in entertainment etc. Malaysia has a same grand vision by 2020. They too have political continuity and made considerable progress, but corruption got in their way..

      Long term plans are just visionary, a compass leading the way. It’s just a motherhood statement if it’s just for show to score political points. But it’s a great mission statement for the dedicated and those with strong commitment. It’s the pathway guiding those making the plans for the various stops along the way. The next stop is 2022. Here’s hoping the new 6 year plan is good and achievable. But 50 days have passed already.

      • karlgarcia says:

        As per usual Chempo,well put. Many thanks for yor comprehensive take.

      • NHerrera says:

        My note above, date-time-stamped August 21, 2016 at 10:33 pm, was rather unfair. I have not read the reports of NEDA, for one. I was prompted by the bold-italicized paragraphs in Micha’s comment on NEDA’s Vision. It just sounded too sweet. The bright minds at NEDA must have some notes on the essentials for that Vision to come to some reasonable reality–may be in the form of side notes or memoranda–if not in the report itself that incorporates the NEDA Vision. Without these supplemental notes, it sounded like a student’s paper in response to a teacher’s assignment.

        My apologies to NEDA whose staff may be reading the blog.

      • Micha says:


        Singapore is just about the size of Guimaras. You could fit 6 Singapores in the island of Bohol alone. The Philippines, in contrast, is about the size of Italy and bigger than Great Britain with nearly double their population. By these metrics, it will be apparent that the socio-cultural complexities present in the Philippines which will and does influence the business of governance is significantly different from that of Singapore.

        Here, the concept of a nation is largely a myth because of internal divisions. National interest is what is defined by the ruling privileged class, namely, that which will advance their own. The eradication of mass poverty for example, only gets passive attention from our leaders even if feasible solution is available, for the obvious reason that the entrenched oligarchy who also happen to control the political and propaganda machine does not consider it a national business priority. The preamble of NEDA’s Ambisyon2040 seems to have been crafted by naive graduates of UP who seek to deploy a utopian resolution to the country’s alienated and suffering class. Not that utopianism is taboo or misplaced per se. It’s just that they have to be grounded on reality. And you can’t be grounded on reality if you do not confront the problem of class division.

        If Guimaras will decide to secede from the rest of the country for nativist reason that their magoes taste much sweeter than anywhere else, and then install a dictator for life, then maybe you could reasonably justify the prescription of Singapore formula for its collective prosperity.

        • chempo says:

          @ Micha

          You are obviously correct in that we can’t naively prescribe Spore’s success formula to Philippines. That was’nt my intent. Size is just one issue, there are many many other factors that set the 2 countries apart. However, the gist of myy comment is on only one single factor which is political continuity. If Philippines has the stability from political continuity, it would have helped tremendously. The eg of Guimaras is in vain. If they had failed, one could quote in it’s defense oh Guimaras does’nt have the deep harbours, or it’s not along trade routes etc.

          We are in agreement on NEDA. However, academicians may be correct, theoretically, it’s just that their inputs need to be tempered with inputs of the Executive to make the plans more realistic. Overall, we need a visionary and the key decision maker who will push the agenda. That would be the president — but he has said in the fields of economics, he will leave it to experts. Philippines is running rudderless as far as economics is concerned.

          • sonny says:

            Continuity, indeed. Therein lies the collective discipline and wisdom of a people. Alas, a closer examination of the history of the Philippines from the nascent autonomy we desired from American times and forward will show how elusive that continuity has been.

          • Micha says:

            How do you suppose Guimaras is going to fail if it seeks its independence and pursue an economic strategy uniquely suited to its strength and advantages? It’s all hypothetical at this point so stop trying to make a hypothetical independent Guimaras in Singapore’s image. That’s condescendingly arrogant as has been the case of your dictator LKY prescribing Singaporean solution to Philippine problem. Do you really think a dictator for life to ensure “political continuity” will be the magic solution for this country?

            • chempo says:

              I’ll quote Du30. “Please STOP it”. It’s impossible to hold any meaningful conversation with you without an outpouring of #$@&!!# from you. I’ll give you a pass from now on. My advice to you is the same as Wil’s.

              • Micha says:

                And stop prescribing Singaporean solution to Philippine problem, intiendes?

              • chempo says:

                I never prescribed. I’m not that presumptious as you are in your neo-ldeologue diatribes. I’m merely sharing and I’m dead sure many other readers here are richer for it. Your pride is too way high up Micha. I suggest you come back down to Earth. We all learn from each other. No one is too small or too big to learn from each other. Deng Xiaoping visited Singapore because he was enthralled with our success formulae and they copied some stuff from us in their initial years of opening up and he took in some advise (including abandoning support for communist insurgents in SE Asia. I’m sure China is by far a bigger country than Philippines, with all due respects to Filipinos here.

                For your info, Singapore started off learning from all over the world. We owe a lot to one Dr Albert Winsemius, a Dutch economist who was our adviser in the initial years. We learnt from the CEOs of MNCs that set up business in Singapore. We owe a lot to big banking corporates and their chairmen who taught us a lot. And in all these years, Singapore has always been humble to explain our formulae for success was simply to learn from the best and fine tune ideas to localise them. Better still if one can improve on those ideas, which thankfully, has happened in many fields. But I’m not presumptious to assume that we will be always top notchers. You are only as good as the effort, the sacrifice, the commitment that the nation puts in. Success brings complacency and we are already seeing problems surfacing with a new generation fed on instant gratification and with soft backbones having grown up in comfort and plenty created by the earlier generation. We are seeing SIA overtaken by Qatar Airlines, we see creeping problems with our once shining MRT system etc. If Philippines or you, have anything to teach, hey you can bet our ears will be open. But spare us your neo-idoelogues.

              • Micha says:

                1. Neo-ideologue? What on earth does that mean?

                2. So let’s see, you said you did not prescribe but merely suggested the need for political continuity. One can readily see the semantics here being played for disingenuous effect. Political continuity is how Lee Kuan Yew held on to power for three decades, right? And there’s also political continuity in Syria, Iraq, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, North Korea, etc. We had political continuity for 20 years under Marcos too. How did that turn out?

                3. If I need an advice from you, I’ll ask for it. As of this moment, it’s the last thing that I want so just keep it to yourself, okay?

                4. Deng Xiaoping came to Singapore to admire your success? No wonder he perverted both socialism and capitalism.

                5. It’s a revelation that global bankers played a major role in Singapore’s success. Thanks for sharing that info. Maybe the Philippines should consider getting advice from no less than the Rothschilds too.

                6. Spare us the triumphalism chempo, we got this and we’ll figure it out. On our terms, not yours.

                7. By the way, what on earth are you doing in the Philippines anyway? Do you still work for Henry Sy’s Banco de Oro?

              • 1. whether neo or old, ideologue means you have blinders on, Micha. obviously, chempo’s not here to colonize the Philippines on behalf of Singapore— he’s simply (like everyone here) responding to the call for ideas. collect collect then select 😉 .

                2. “also political continuity in Syria, Iraq, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, North Korea, etc.” youre missing the point that Singapore is clean and safe, and progressing, I’ve been on record here as saying between LKY/Marcos, only difference was that Singaporeans were less obstinate—- whether that’s a cultural thing or because of size, who knows, but Singapore is Asia’s Switzerland for a reason, give credit where credit is due.

                3. I for one (and am sure everyone else here) want chempo’s input, his examples from Singapore is worth its weight in gold.

                4. Whether old Deng got his light bulb moment in Singapore or not, is immaterial, again old Deng is the reason why China is now where it is—– albeit Chinese are all wearing gas masks. He didn’t pervert anything, he pivoted to capitalism while ensuring his party stays in power, that’s a feat in and of itself… Russia wasn’t able to do it 😉 . Respect Deng.

                5. IMF, World Bank, coupled with the Marshall plan model of “helping” third world countries maybe the most dangerous thing since Atlantic (and Arab) slavery, but if you can be on top of this system (the Swiss, like Singapore did, like what the UAE/Qatar seem to be doing) then being on top of the pyramid scheme is better than below, if Philippines can work its way up, the better… to me thats following the Singaporean model. 😉

                6. Again, we need more anecdotes, info & figures from chempo, not less. If getting on top of the pyramid scheme, scam is the point then Singapore has done so, they’ve set the line to follow, though the Philippines doesn’t have to follow it lock stepped, just see the line.

                7. chempo watched a TV ad one day while enjoying all his clean air, clean water and working gov’t service, that it was More Fun in the Philippines (probably around the same time Joe saw the same TV ad), now he’s there,

                but more importantly, chempo’s given all of us insights beyond measure, not only about Singapore, but also about Buddhism and business… so

                as Chief Troll, I’m promoting chempo as this blog’s Chief Bad-Ass, what he says is law and the Truth, all bow to chempo! all hail, the Chief Bad-Ass.

                keep it your insights coming, chemp! LOL! 😉

              • And speaking as Chief Troll,

                knock it off, Micha! if you’re gonna troll , as a regular, at least make it fun for all parties involved (even the audience),

                like I always tell my doctor in my yearly physicals when he cups my nuts and tells me to cough… “Look me in the eye, when you do that , doc!” These days he’s trying to convince me that I need yearly prostate check-up. I’m like , “Doc, the only way I’m letting you do it is, if you take me on proper date!” Awkward laughter, but I win all the time—- I’m still a virgin, LOL!

                So Micha, take us on a proper date if you insist on sticking your finger where the sun don’t shine. Make it fun for everyone involved. Elevate the art of disagreement. LOL!

              • Micha says:

                Knock it off lance cpl, you are an intruder in this conversation. I’m not interested in having fun in an argument. The subject matter of whether it is good to have a dictator for life in the country has real life consequences. If I want fun, I’d go snow boarding or watch a comedy show.

              • Machiavelli already covered that question, Micha… so long as there’s results that benefit the whole, then having a long time dictator (or king, or prince, etc.) is a non-issue—- results is the name of the game, Micha, and that’s what chempo’s trying to tell you, LKY backed his long term in office with results, not high heels, LOL!

              • Therein lies the balance, Micha.

              • Micha says:

                Who says that a Machiavellian solution for the country’s ills is a non-issue? On the contrary, it’s an issue that needs to be seriously debated. It does not become a non-issue by your say so.

              • So make your point already, Micha. chemp’s already stated how great Singapore is, and I’ve been to Singapore, and I can confirm that Singapore is great. What’s your point? That Singapore is a third world?

              • Joe America says:

                @LCpl_X, I’ve deleted two of Micha’s posts for language I find offensive. He is also blocked from further participation. I know you don’t agree with blocking people, but it is the only control point I have when someone goes beyond civility and denies the integrity of the forum, as a civil forum.

              • Micha, visit Singapore then you’ll know why chemp’s so pro-LKY.

                I don’t know LKY aside from chemp’s commentary on him on here, but I’ve been to Thailand and seen first hand how Thais adore their royal family (I’m also a fan of “the King and I” 😉 ) , so everytime i eat Thai food over here, I know (having been to Thailand) why they have the the King’s (and sometimes family) picture.

                Again , Micha, it’s all about results whether you are loved or fear or a little of both, you have to keep people happy (mostly by leaving them alone, but also by providing amenities & infrastructure to prosper). You’re focusing on the length of rule, when you should be focused on results—- which is what chempo’s been trying to point out.

                Results. 😉 that should be your word for the day 😉 .

              • karlgarcia says:

                Micha’s brains could have been an asset in this blog,but she is scary,she does not even want a third party in a conversation,not even the blog owner.
                I thought she would know what is civil because she got shabby treatment from RHiro and she or he keeps on reminding him to keep it civil.
                Another great mind put to waste is RHiro and Primer.

              • I for one (and am sure everyone else here) want chempo’s input, his examples from Singapore is worth its weight in gold – LCpl_X (@LCpl_X)

                Count me as one of those who want chempo’s input. His guest articles on MRT, Marcos plunder, Bangladesh heist, etc., not to mention his various comments here are truly worth their weight in gold, so informative and obviously well researched.

                Again, thanks chempo. We appreciate your every input and LBH, if only we can adopt what Singapore has done, we would be comparable with the first world countries as well as the other developed community of nations. We need to be more focused, disciplined, and genuinely patriotic, walking the talk and all that.

              • chempo says:

                Thank you Lance, for addressing Micha’s 7 points.You stated basically what’s in my mind, but of course I could not have put it so eloquently the way you do.

                Lance got the flak from Micha for intereferring and I searched in for any note pertaining to exclusivity in discussions.

                Since Lance has laid out the counter views, I’ll restrain and refrain except to add a bit part.

                In a recent FB posting, Irineo asked why does the president hate drug pushers so much and is it because he used drugs when young? That got me thinking — Irineo might have uttered the real cause-and-effect. People who are traumatised, whether slightly or severely, whether physically or emotionally, often times end up with some negative outward manifestations. As for Micha, I’ll trace the animosity to her blog on monetary sovereignty where I was rather robust in countering her views. Is that the cause I wonder. I’ll prefer the cause is not racism although she has made it very clear her hatred for 1/3 of the world’s population.

                There is nothing to apologise for those discussions. It was issued-based. We put up blogs or comments to share or to put our views across, prepared to be cut-down and to defend our views. Of course, to have the humility to accept the other’s point of view if it’s more convincing, or simply to accept we have different views, period. There are no winners or loosers. For this reason, I have no objection to most of Micha’s 7 points except her propensity to resort to questioning personal motives and name-slamming (in this case, some oligarchs). So I like to address these points.

                – Henry Sy —- he is not the money-grobbling monster that you infer. Mr Sy is the single biggest philanthropist in Philippines. Uno numero. Most contributions you don’t see, some are in the open if you have eyes — there is a Henry Sy Hall in UP Manila. Outside of the govt, he is probably the one who provides the most jobs in Philippines.
                – Rothschilds — the number of foundations and charities they support all over the world is bewildering. In the city of London alone, they support 30 foundations.

                Nothing is black and white, so let’s be fair.

                As to why I am here in Philippines, it’s personal but I’ll share with folks here since it’s been called into question, without at the same time asking why are you there? (In US I assume? In the land of pure capitalism, of Rothschildses?).

                I am semi-retired. Singapore is a great place for retirees if you have a good nest egg and creature comforts are your priority. I don’t have much $ having given almost all away to my ex in our amicable parting of ways. Plus I’m an outdoors guy and Singapore just don’t have the space and open skies for me. A job opportunity in Philippines came along and I took it. Socially, Philippines is more welcoming of foreigners than the other Asean countries, other than Singapore and Thailand. None of my friends or relatives understood — all expressed the same remark ‘why Philippines’. The country’s reputation of corruption and poor law and order status is far and wide. Where they see fear, I see opportunities. Where they see a wild wild west, I see coconut trees swaying on the white sandy beaches. Not to forget I have lived with 500,000 Filipinos in our midst for years. I’m influenced by Taoism culturally, Buddhism philosophically, Confucianism morally, and going for late Baptism soon. I have no problems blending in.

                Where is the opportunity? Philippines is not a matured economy and slowly opening up. Opportunities abound if one has the resources and a good nose to seek it out. I took the job with the view of using it as a springboard to set up a small biz eventually. And I am looking into the Philippine retirement program seriously. In the meantime, I’m contributing to the economy each day I step out of my condo. And I’m imparting my knowledge to office colleagues. 5 years ago something wonderful happened. I met a wonder Filipina and we have great plans. Through here I have gained so much more insights in Filipino way of life, and surprise — it’s not much different from Singaporeans. Everybody wants a decent job, a decent home, a good family and friends.

                I’m sorry for dumping so much personal trivialities here. It’s just so that Micha can see a humble human being with no ulterior motives to milk Philippines dry and clean.

              • Joe America says:

                I have explicitly said before that anyone may comment at any time to a posting of interest. There is no “reserved” discussion. Micha’s bout of swearing, on the other hand, violates the clearly stated ban on personal aspersion. Micha has never bought into civility as a goal of any merit, and even a couple of suspensions could not get through to him on the point. When he/she runs his/her own blog, then he/she can curse and spit, I don’t care. You won’t find me there.

              • NHerrera says:

                For those in hiatus because of the Joe’s change of pace, you are missing something if you prolong your break.

                Never a dull place in this Blog. No blood spilled as in action films, but my-my, the written word fencing is there but in well-crafted prose — some. Right for the Joe to intervene before it gets messy.


              • chemp,

                No problem, man! I may have gone over board with the law and Truth part, and I don’t really know if being Chief Troll I can issue titles, LOL! Joe didn’t really describe the duties & responsibilities that come with this title, so I figured I’d jump in when I recognized unoriginal, uninteresting spite for spite’s sake— honestly, who attacks people for simply throwing in their 2 cents in the bowl? It wasn’t even an argument, just pure spite. But Chief Bad-Ass stands, LOL!

            • Micha says:

              Lance Cpl,

              1. I do not intrude in a conversation between two people even in this forum. It’s better to allow them to pursue and settle whatever differences of views they may have without being interrupted by a third party. I hope you would have done the same.

              2. We all have our views and beliefs. We bring it out and discuss it coherently with the other and see if it could stand the test of exposition. In this case, the argument has not yet been fully settled.

              3. Somewhere in the exchange, chempo had actually signified his disinterest to pursue the discussion but apparently changed his mind so I posted a reply to him and not for you to answer.

              4. You are free to hold your biases and partiality but you don’t have to interrupt the flow of exchanges between the two discussants. If you like, we could start a new thread below on the subject of Singapore’s success or whatever it is that you want and we’ll take it from there, okay?

              5. I’m trying my best to restrain and be civil in this response to you when I could have very easily just said fuck off.

              • “6. Spare us the triumphalism chempo, we got this and we’ll figure it out. “

                I thought it was over, Micha. This statement to me signaled the fingers in the ears and blah blah lah lah la la blah time, ie. I’m not listening, hence chemp’s neo-ideologue comment— ie. no more discussion to be had.

                Again, as Chief Troll I not only have the power, but possess the rare expertise in the art of trolling (which you are doing now 😉 ), you’ve not elevated the art, so I’m calling for cease and desist. Until you can make this effort fun, for everyone involved 😉 .

              • Now you’re making it fun! 😉

  32. karlgarcia says:

    I think Mental Health Act needs to be legislated.
    Here is a petition from

    • Thea says:

      I voted for it. But I did not vote for him because I guess and my guess is near the truth.

      Why I voted:

      1. It is but time to give support and understand those suffering from it.
      2. Eliminate the stigma attached to mental health problems
      3. Give attention and address to the shortage of mental health specialists and practitioners
      4. Improve mental health facilities
      5. Fund for the poor patients
      6. Perhaps, when we became aware of the ills and cured from it,we can vote wisely

      We may not be aware one in our family is suffering from it for he/she may be happy and seems contented. We may not be aware that we are suffering from it then we just kick it to the corner of the house. Perhaps, it is social stigma, financial handicap or ignorance about the existence of this evil within the brain that we deny and be surprised by its end. It is not like rashes nor wound that we can give first aid. It is not just a love problem that a friend can give comfort. Health problem is much complicated and frightening.

  33. karlgarcia says:

    we have many roadmaps from dost,dotc,agri,military,neda..
    All ambitious but all motherhood statements.
    Hard to implement with lack of continuity per admin.
    The yearly budget should be at least 3 years or even 5 years, to limit lobbying only for emergencies.

  34. A message from an aging mother to an adult child…

    • sonny says:

      From a father, too. Thank you, Mary Grace.

      • You’re welcome sonny, one thing I notice nowadays, even 3 year old toddlers are so adept at using gadgets. Also, I get dizzy by the speed the newly graduates navigate various computer apps, programs and their ability to find ways and means to create back up files, or to sort out computers glitches even how to make use of pc hardware and media support. Am totally lost on how to change my dual monitors when they conk out or how to assemble a new desk top unit.

        Some are very gracious when asked for assistance, some are quite grouchy and arrogant and lets you feel how inadequate the baby boomer generations are.

        • sonny says:

          Ay naku. I’m still wishing that we’ll return to using VHS format recording machines. Sigh …

          • Joe America says:

            Ahahaha, my first visit with technology was a crystal radio I’d listen to under the blanket at night, a kid’s private flight of amazement that a rock and coil could bring the Top 40 in scratchy fidelity to my bedroom. I liked being a kid, but then the adults foisted THEIR idea of how to do it upon us and messed up the idyllic adventures and amazements. They’re still at it, only now I’m one of them. ahahaha 🙂 🙂

        • chempo says:

          Gadget fatigue — it’s a disease we all get it sooner or later. I used to be rather geeky in the earlier stages of IT explosion. I ended up totally sick of each upgrade of whatever apps I was using.
          I’m using a 1997 version of accounting system on 16bit win95 platform. I refused to upgrade because I’m satisfied with the functionabilties, I can have 100 client workstations without having to pay by number of users (in the early days they don’t have user-number controls). They say it can’t be used on higher bits but I have been using it on 32 and now even 64bits PCs on windows 10.

          • We missed upgrading to free Windows 10 – a networking within the office problem…the geeks here say we will have problem accessing the copier/scanner/printer and network files…so they say.

            I created my own accounting system (excel) and we enjoy the computerized submissions to the BIR courtesy of the former BIR Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares. Even the SSS, Philhealth submissions are now computerized, paperless and easily done…the wonders of technology and internet. They are an accountant’s best friend.

            • chempo says:

              I don’t know why they say there is a problem with shared devices on Windows 10. We don’t have any problems.

              Well done on your excel accounting system. But Excel is only spread sheets. You should try to use Access which is database. But I agree Excel is an accountant’s best friend haha.

              Re SSS Philhealth submissions — there seems to be lots of viruses with those files, I wonder if you have similar problems.

    • karlgarcia says:


  35. karlgarcia says:

    Another problem are vegetables that can not be sold due to cheap imports and lately due due to LGU ordinances..
    Smuggling is perrenial,so are tax incentives which are disincentives to others,so ways to make food cheaper than the imports will be a solution.

    For LGU directives,maybe like sidewalk vendors and those selling in the streets.
    Supply and demand issues.

    Don’t know is it due population density?

    Our electricity rates are sky high.
    A balance betwwen renewables and fossil fuels must be there.
    Waste to energy proposals will solve our waste problem and electricity prices,if they figure out how to make it cheaper to build.


    Our prisons are full.

    How to manage this?
    Community service for minor crimes.
    How like cleaning esteros,community activities.

    The 60 percent drug related cases is the idea killer.

    i can see that the BIR has many foreclosed properties all over the country,for auction.
    Why nit have an inventory of those and other government buildings and land and find a suitable place for drug rehabilitation and new prisons.

    For heinous crimes drug related,many it is time for the reimposition of the death penalty.


    We talked about inheritance tax.
    Dont make the cost dying heavy for the living.
    It is true that estate taxes are heavily abused,but it is very costly.
    High costs are the main reason for smuggling and piracy.

    I still say we must have more take home pay by removing sss/gsis,philhealth pag ibig and income tax. Pattern it to the fair tax proposals in the US .

    Review the EVAT.
    Streamiline everything.

    • chempo says:

      Wow Karl, you have an eccletic list there. My thoughts on some :-

      1. Vegetables
      It’s a perennial problem for govts when imports are cheaper than local produce. The desire to let the market work itself out often has to be tempered with the need to protect livelihoods. When politics get in the way of economics, inefficieny results. Import controls and subsidies is basically socialising cost, ultimate it’s taxpayers’ burden. With the Asean Economic Integration round the corner, this is a very serious issue that needs to be addressed.

      Putting national pride aside, let’s face it. Local produce are not only comparatively expensive in the retail markets, they are of lower quality. The papayas are so small, the ampalayas are so bitter and hard, the bean sprouts are sickly, etc. It’s price and quality competitiveness that Philippines need to work hard on.

      2. Prisons
      It’s a simple problem — simply built more. I don’t think it’s a question of budget. There is simply no champion, no one to take up the cause.

      Two economic activities that can be looked at (these are not new ideas) :
      – Prison industry of some sort.
      – Day release for certain prisoners who goes to a day job and return to prison in the evenings.

      BIR cannot make use of foreclosed properties. They are not the legal owner, period.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Many thanks.
        On the foreclosed properties can’t the government buy a few properties?

        • chempo says:

          Hey anybody can buy those properties — at the open auctions.

          • karlgarcia says:

            ok then the government can buy a few that can house a few more prisons and rehab centers.

            • Sup says:

              The better question would be ”WHY” are the prisons that overloaded….
              In a regular situation if you get arrested there would be a Pro Deo lawyer to defend you from the charge filed by the state………..but the problem is there are not enough lawyers…they don’t earn enough? Not interested? Only willing to do ”big case” like Ampatuans………….so that they get media expose etc etc..(read money money money)
              Most persons in the jail are simple small criminals or even a joint smoker..
              Those cases could and should be resolved asap to let those people go as fast as possible back to their family etc…
              Most of them are the breadwinners anyway so the longer away the more problems in the housekeeping.
              Secondly, the longer you stay in prison the bigger the change you BECOME criminal because the companionship of your fellow inmates, some of them are real criminals, mixed with the ”small” guy’s
              Ok, enough bla bla….

              Do i have a solution?

              I think i have…

              WHAT if the education for lawyer will add another year to be used to defend the small criminals and maybe even do a few months acting as a Judge….
              Simple crime simple ”standard” convictions…right?
              Those temporary judges could be supervised by the ”real” judges..
              A great learning process for the students, not yet corrupt, and always good to get a view in the ”real” life situations…Very important because to be honest most lawyer students come from ”not to poor” families and are sometimes ”far away” from what is happening in real life..

              After the conviction and serving of the sentences there should be an opportunity for a new life including a street sweepers, janitors, garbage collectors…maybe even school them in jail for carpenter, plumber etc..

              Ok, my 2 cents…..

              Thanks for reading…:-)

              • karlgarcia says:

                Nice read.
                Justice on wheels give me hope,but mediation should stay in the barangay,but now there are too many of them,in addition to case backlogs.


              • chempo says:

                You guys still don’t get it. The killing spree and throwing so many in jail is a conspiracy to get Leni Robredo so busy with pro bonos she won’t have time to prepare for 2023

              • Joe America says:

                Political commentary. Kindly refrain.

              • Sup,

                I wrote this article last year, basically of the same issues: I think we’re on the same page—- I was arguing for democratizing the field of Law over there, and basically the main retort was that there was already too many lawyers and too many laws in the Philippines.

                I don’t think the article was relevant then, but now with the fragility of the Rule of Law in question, maybe that old soliloquy of Sir Thomas More in “Man for All Seasons” about giving the Devil his due should become a meme 😉

                Roper: So now you’d give the Devil benefit of law!
                More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
                Roper: I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
                More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you — where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast — man’s laws, not God’s — and if you cut them down — and you’re just the man to do it — d’you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake.

                I think you’ve hit the problem right square in the head here, Sup“but the problem is there are not enough lawyers…they don’t earn enough? Not interested?” … “to be honest most lawyer students come from ”not to poor” families and are sometimes ”far away” from what is happening in real life..” Most lawyers there come only from a certain sector of the population, when agents of the law should represent society 😉

                Also, this is the best argument against prisons, “the longer you stay in prison the bigger the change you BECOME criminal because the companionship of your fellow inmates, some of them are real criminals, mixed with the ”small” guy’s” … over here, state prison is like university for criminals, they graduate to bigger crimes, but more importantly like top universities, it’s where they find connections, network, and fraternity (ie. prison ganges, Who controls the Inside, controls the Outside)

                “WHAT if the education for lawyer will add another year to be used to defend the small criminals and maybe even do a few months acting as a Judge….” This is actually a great idea. For one, you guys don’t have jury trials. Judges and prosecutors can supervise and small cases outsourced to teams of legal students, with their teachers giving further direct supervision.

                Over here, especially with the new UC Irvine Law School (UC system’s newest law school I think), there’s a lot of interaction between the clouds (academia, theory) and the ground (pro bono, work under professors, etc.), Berkeley’s Boalt Hall also has a long track record of coming down from academia to do ground work.

                I’d also add make prosecutors also defend criminals, that’s how the JAG system operates with military lawyers both acting as prosecutors and defenders, the old adage if you can argue both sides, you’d have a better understanding of the case… well JAG lawyers tend to be better prosecutors when they leave military life. 😉

                To be sure, the system will always seem broken, justice is an illusion, the name of the game is to push back the Laws of Nature with the Rule of Law.

                Another thing that needs to be reexamined is what you touched on here, “Those cases could and should be resolved asap to let those people go as fast as possible back to their family etc…” The Philippines and the US are the ones who employ an added layer of bureaucracy under the bond system, with bounty hunters, etc. and since most there can’t make bond, they stay in jail longer than necessary , the bond system here is quietly being overhauled, the stuff going on in DC is interesting, they’ve lowered bond/bail, easing the burden, but they’ve also notice people who’ve posted bond now regularly pay, so no more need for bounty hunters, and no more going on the run 😉 .

                “After the conviction and serving of the sentences there should be an opportunity for a new life including a street sweepers, janitors, garbage collectors…maybe even school them in jail for carpenter, plumber etc..” Or simply let them dance their butts on youtube! LOL! j/k 😉

              • Sup says:

                Thanks for the comments….
                Oh i ”wish” a person with influence would read my effort to lower the sometimes innocent small criminals in the jails and did something with it for ”real”….Maybe One of our readers has a connection to the Law school and Bucor……My dream…. 🙂

    • Bill In Oz says:

      Karl, my lady is complaining at the rarity and price of talong pet chai, & empalaya here in Oz….Mind you it’s Winter and the summer vegies are hard to come by.

  36. Andres IV says:

    Niantic drops a nuclear bomb to destroy one person trying to hack Pokemon Go. The IP of the biggest internet provider in Belgium was banned in playing the hit reality augmented game after it was maliciously used by the lone hacker. This resulted to great percentage of Belgian trainers not able to access their accounts in Pokemon Go. Niantic is so overprotected of their game that it almost banned an entire nation because of the fault of one person.

  37. JV says:

    I had a vacation recently in several places including three Asian countries. Philipines is one of them that I had visited. Why do I have trouble there in the Philippines with my booked shuttle, hotel and taxis? Even push cart per luggages coming back to the States had charges and a short walk to the line required several people to push for tips while I can do it on my own? Thought it’s our own discretion if we tip them or not but the helpers asked us or made us feel guilty for not giving them tips. Everything seems to be more expenses in tipping taxi drivers and helpers of not only one but two, or three people plus one person opening the door for you asked for tips! Why does tourists or even Filipino coming back have to be pressured in giving? I just wonder why those actions are not being stopped! Including guards get P10.00 per taxi to the driver if he can get them passengers at the hotel! Isn’t that something else? These things should be stopped. It’s not totally cool and very disrespectful! What can we do to resolve this issue?

    • Joe America says:

      JV, there are two basic approaches to visiting the Philippines. Judge it by the standards of where you come from, which has a totally different history, culture, and system of commerce, and wonder why no one is addressing the ills that abound in the Philippines. Complain a lot. Or accept that it will be different because of a grossly dysfunctional history and set of values, and find amusement, or reasons, for the differences, and promote change where it is possible. Most do the first, and I avoid them like the plague. A few go for the second and find riches in places they least expect it. Some just shrug and visit France, and that is quite okay, too.

      Although I find the French to be rather arrogant myself. And am amused by it, and attribute it to a bit of a bitchy history as well.

      Good of you to visit the blog to opine.

      • sonny says:

        JV reminds of James Fallows’ piece on the Philippines, “A DAMAGED CULTURE,” where he wrote that the Philippines couldn’t do anything right. I always thought CULTURE is everything that a country is about and as Joe says, “find riches in places they least expect it.”

    • chempo says:

      @ JV

      Great advice from Joe, trust me. I took in his same advice seriously some time back and found sanity here. Besides, it’s really simple wisdom.

      On tipping, I have often found it a joy to tip the less fortunate. If we happen to be out of cash, then simply don’t tip, it’s perfectly alright. Of course, sometimes we feel it annoying when the person asking for a tip feels it is their entitlement. So it’s a matter of to each his own. For me, I tip when I receive courteous service, and when I see the guy is really wretched, or very old.

      A little compassion goes a long way, only don’t be taken for a sucker.

      • chemp,

        I’m a big believer of the tourist tax, especially if you’re coming from the 1st world, you better have ’em 1 dollar bills ready. In the city or tourist areas I give dollar bills (everyone knows the exchange rate, but just seeing foreign currency is a joy in and of itself I’ve noticed),

        in the country or where theres more locals then I do as the locals do.

        For a measly dollar you get some insights, some loyalty, friendship and some smiles, so really it’s great investment—- you get more than you’re giving really, I don’t know what JV’s bitching about, I’ll bitch about culture and systems, but tipping I’ve always felt I’ve profited more.

        • chempo says:

          I agree with you Lance.

          In Europe and UK where I visit some historical sites, like Winchester Cathedral (this is’nt a big deal on the tourist map, but I visited because of the song by The New Vaudeville Band – actually it had nothing to do with the band, that’s what I found out). So at the cathedral, as in most sites, they have a box for voluntary donation – and it’s for upkeep of the site. I always put in a bit. It’s just our shared obligation to help keep the place for generations to come.

    • Bill In Oz says:

      The key issue is simple lack of decent paying jobs….The Philippines has inherited the US tradition of employers not paying casual employees very much in the expectation that customers will make up to employees with tips…Plus the very low wages per hour paid make tips a necessity to survive….

      As for paying 10 pesos to a security guard to flag a taxi, well I prefer this to standing in the sun or rain trying to flag one myself.

  38. JP: PH already has the Reproductive Health law and Bam is working hard about the comprehensive approach in empowering women through entrepreneurship. What else can be done for women?”

    Have you ever read “Travesty in Haiti”? I wasn’t hip to the NGO (both int’l and local) scene over there, but I know in Africa and the ME, whether UN or private NGOs (int’l), their workers are well paid, and foreign NGO agents, ironically you’ll see them hob-nobbing with business and gov’t agents…

    aid as an unspoken industry 😦 (which begs the question if these aid workers and their groups are making bank, if this industry is so lucrative, why end poverty ? 😉 )

    So basically in that book “Travesty” the premise is that , however well-intentioned, the West can and does kill 3rd world nations with kindness… that this whole aid model, should be looked at as another form of colonialism (though unintended, or maybe intended, when it comes to local NGOs who suck from the teets of the UN and other int’l NGOs).

    To answer your question, JP. How about we (since DU30 loves lists) NGOs in the Philippines, both local and int’l, and really accounting for their performance, are they simply giving away sacks of corn and rice from the US (which the US gov’t subsidizes like welfare), or building great mansions that house nothing but a select few aid “workers”; OR

    are they really lifting and helping poor to middle class up?

    Pay close attention to local family “foundations” over there, who’ve tapped into this underground economy of sorts, the aid industry, laying waste to nations like Haiti, Kenya, Nigeria, etc. The donors from the 1st world themselves have to account for their donations for (private and Christian charities) and taxpayers who provide the bulk of the money for these aide scams.

    chempo: Re anti-littering — you need firstly education (at every level — schools, homes, offices, commerce, public places),”

    Agree. I think a lot of it is just knowing where all these things go, where they come from—basically know the system. It’s amazing how , even over here, in schools, kids aren’t taught the basics of public works, when everything these days is so urbanized.

    For example, where does that chicken in JolliBee’s chicken come from? or the meat in them meatballs?

    Litter should technically end up in Solid Waste , but we know that its connected to both the storm water and waste water sewage system. And the clean water system, once in the city gets affected by waste and storm water, and while in the mountains gets affected by logging and mining practices, not to mention sewage from those poor living up in the mountains using rivers as sewage.

    So you got three different water systems mixing and just making people and the sea sick.

    1. re-think storm water runoffs, either by catching storm water to have clean water, or diverting it into a wetland feature (can be a park), runoffs don’t have to be pushed out into the sea, thus pushing sewage and trash along, storm water can be kept or slowed down enough to allow it to benefit people and animals.

    2. waste water, sewage, maybe rethink how we dispose of pee and poop, if you have a garden, small doses of pee will do wonders, just add water to dilute. As for poop, if the midnight soil idea is too gross, then how about incinerate your shit, like this (I would love for China to scale-up that toilet design/system 😉 )

    3. Clean water, more cisterns/reservoirs and pipes to ensure the water is clean, but better yet, have a rain catch system at home, to appreciate the water cycle more.

    Ideally, if you get lots of rain, all three can be done at home.

    Also, re litter, kids over here have lots of plastic toys (too much), and I notice these toys also end up in the 3rd world, by way of donation or some Christmas toy drive. Why not mandate toys made of wood, preferably bamboo, and toys carved out of rocks, I remember my very first chess set from Mexico carved out of rocks.

    I’m not sure if pampers is a big issue over there, as here, but since you guys have a President who can mandate things, why not mandate potty training by 10 months or earlier, eliminate the need for pampers— over here, there’s 4 yr olds wearing pampers, WTF over!

    re education, teach public works, from water systems to transportation to power generation to tele-communication… I would love for steam to make a come back but this time heated directly by solar energy, underneath NYC is an old steam system from like the 1800s, it still going today.

    • chempo says:

      Lance it’s tough keeping up with you on ideas to help save mother Earth.

      On ‘Education’ re anti-littering, I have mentioned before that Singapore’s way is worth looking at and emulated. Lest I be condemned again by Micha for my condescending and arrogant attempt to presume that a formula for a tiny nation can also work for a big country, I’ll skip going into the details. Just surfice to say that we approach each ‘education’ for changing social norms by campaigns. We have been called a ‘campaign city’ not without merit. We have campaigns on just about everything — Long-hairs-served-last (during the height of Beatlemania), Stop-at-two (population control campaign), Killer-Litters (litters thrown from highrise), Keep public toilets clean, etc.

      1 Storm run-offs
      I don’t think harvesting rain water is on the national radar at the moment. It’s the reverse actually. Floods from storms is killing the NCR slowly. The flood level is rising each year. So high on the agenda is how to get them waters out into the sea as fast as possible. Each Admin has been inutile as far as improving the flood situation is concerned. I’m waiting to see how the current admin will tackle this. Not seeing any initiatives thus far.

      Channeling storm water runoffs to catchment areas is a great idea, but it is a giant task that requires huge financial resources, engineering skills, and complicated and almost impossible land redevelopment in a densely built up region as far as NCR is concerned. It requires diverting and counter-flowing water up elevated landscape. You may probably know, China is nearing completion their huge South-to-North Water Diversion Project that brings water from the wet south to the higher grounds of the drier north that will satisfy the needs of the people, industry and agriculture in the Beijing region. It’s a great great engineering feat comparable to their great wall. They are applying your idea, on a scale that is astounding.

      2. Sorry your poo link is not working. I have seen before a poo that gets rid of the stuff by incineration. That one was from the US. It’s for use in far away from civilisation log cabins. You poo and press a red button and your stuff turns to a tiny speck of ash. You dust if off once a month or so. Guess it reguires lots of wattage.

      • Ever the practical example giver here, I will cite what is being done in any locality where we happen to be. In the province, most rural folks spent part of their savings in the construction of a cemented cylindrical structure, (structurally sound, mind you) capable of containing more than 20 or in some instances, like that of my grandmother’s, more than 50 drums of rainwater for use during the dry season. This was even when decades later, my cousin was able to drill fresh water from the reservoir underground that provided half the barrio with clean, potable water. Needless to say, savings from reduced water bills were diverted to other necessities.

        In the city, we bought a number plastic drums that we store in our overhead terrace, complete with plumbing accessories to catch the same rain water to be used in watering the garden, cleaning the garage or washing clothes to save on water bills., the difference from the province experience is that we have to regularly monitor the quality of rain water being collected specially in prolonged monsoon rains within the day…one moment, the water is crystal clear, one wind direction and it will turn black, literally black due to factory exhausts citywide in that situation we have to quickly turn off the water down spout from the plastic drums.

        If more people will practice this, big floods could be avoided in this concrete jungle that we have (with not enough parks to drain heavy downpours).

        Local executives should also think about regular dredging of the river tributaries within their jurisdiction and as chempo has suggested, campaign strategies, fines and strict punishments meted on garbage collection and maintenance, in addition to acquisition of more flood pumps to readily address the flash floods that cause the worsening of the already bad traffic problems that we are suffering from.

        • chempo says:

          Mary your local examples are interesting. I think it is left to one’s creative juices. There are many things one can do in line with Lance’ idea — tapping rain water and put it to good use.

          The reason I think, why individual small projects have not taken root is because the dis-incentive to minimise use of tap water is not punitive enough. Cost of water is still relatively cheap, so who is really going to bother about it. In the province you need to water the plants so the need is greater, in the cities, who bothers?

          I like to share another Singapore story, forgive the irritation to Micha, Portable water was a big problem for us because we have a small water catchment area (forested land with 3 small reservoirs). So we relied heavily on raw water sourced from a Malaysian river. Raw water is piped into Singapore, we treat it and part of treated water is re-sold back to Malaysia. This has been a contentious issue for years between our 2 countries and was a friction point. Malaysia has often used the threat to shut off the water supply, of which we have an international contract on very long term basis. In fact, shutting off the supply would have meant war between us. So Spore govt had 2 objectives — make it very expensive for Singaporeans so we are forced to really use water sparingly (we have Don’t Waste Water campaigns). We have tiered rates. Beyond a certain volume, the rate spiked very high. On the other hand, investments in water technology is encouraged. Today, this has borne great returns. We now have great experience in desalination and converting waste water to drinking water. We now have the technology and expertise in this field that has made us almost self-sufficient and it has in fact generated into an export industry. And Lance would be pleased to know, we have many man-made tiny reservoirs that driins rain waters and diverted to the water plants.

          But if you don’t mind my saying, it will be difficult in PHilippines to impose dis-incentives to use water. The moment you jack up the rates you will see left leaning party lists protesting on the streets. So Micha is absolutely right on this, Singapore formula can’t work here.

          • chempo:“China is nearing completion their huge South-to-North Water Diversion Project that brings water from the wet south to the higher grounds of the drier north that will satisfy the needs of the people, industry and agriculture in the Beijing region. It’s a great great engineering feat comparable to their great wall. “

            Yeah, I think something like this would be above the imaginations of national gov’t, maybe get the UN or int’l NGO to actually fund things like this, instead of just handing out rice and/or corn and other items?

            But I think barangay or individual household cisterns on the ground (using solar powered water pumps) or water tanks (using gravity) is very doable.

            chempo: “And Lance would be pleased to know, we have many man-made tiny reservoirs that driins rain waters and diverted to the water plants.”

            chemp, I think even Indonesia and Malaysia, on top of Singapore and Hong-Kong (while under the British) have pretty good reservoir systems. But thanks for that glimpse into water rights issue between Singapore and Malaysia though, chemp… I’ve become very interested in this of late, not only for the ME and Africa, but also California has some of the funkiest water rights system in the US—- if not for the Sierra Nevadas and Cascadia ranges,

            storing our water for us as snow for a good portion of the year, thus alleviating some hardships, there’d be some great water wars within the state! (there were some pretty funky battles, now mostly happening in courts, but during Wild West days, there most definitely was blood over water rights!)

        • karlgarcia says:

          SM malls collect rain water,maybe more would follow.
          Last year there is a commercial about one a household who does rain water collection.

    • “2. Sorry your poo link is not working. I have seen before a poo that gets rid of the stuff by incineration. “

      Sorry, chemp. I meant ‘how about naturally incinerate your shit’. I’m familiar with incinerating toilets either by electricity or propane—– a solar panel generating the power directly to incinerate would be great, but I ‘ve not found one online (is anyone familiar with the wattage needed to incinerate poop? can a couple of solar panels dedicated to a toilet do the trick?).

      The link I’ve provided bills itself as,

      Solar (passive) and Wind Power provide the catalyst for the Eloo® to operate in a wide variety of climatic conditions.

      The ELOO® provides the right environment to treat and stabilize human waste using separation, dehydration and evaporation. This minimizes the total waste for disposal.

      The ELOO® operates by separating the liquid and solid wastes. The liquid waste drains into the liquid trap in the bottom of the unit while a drying tray collects the solid waste. Airflow directed down through the inlet tubes across the liquid and up through the drying tray evaporates the liquid and dehydrates the solid waste. This airflow aerates the solid waste and carries moisture and odors out the exhaust. This air movement and separation of solids and liquids prevents anaerobic conditions from occurring thereby reducing odors.

      So far in my search, the ELOO is the best off-grid toilet with the least (to zero) yuck factor, but personally I still think the whole midnight soil, reuse your poop and compost for plants is still the most sane solution—- the most insane is dumping our poop into the same water system we drink! and/or dumping it in the sea, where we fish and swim.

      • Mary: “If more people will practice this, big floods could be avoided in this concrete jungle that we have (with not enough parks to drain heavy downpours).”

        Exactly, Mary. I think before great water systems were created, managing storm water run-offs was the first worry—- people simply walked a bit to get water and hopefully walked a bit further away to pee/poo, no need for infrastructure yet.

        So storm water was the first engineering issue, but we opted to divert away from our homes or towns and ensure the run-offs either go towards the river or the sea. Great idea I suppose but once we created infrastructures for poop/pee and clean water, water systems mix—- ewwwwwwww!

        If you live out on the range on your own, either you pump water from the ground via windpower pump to a water tank and/or catch rain divert it into same water tank. But in the city, once we’re dependent on public works, rain catching becomes less necessary or so most civil engineers thought…

        But the new school thinking, is catch or at least let the run-off meander enough to stop from letting all that water adversely affect water supply and beaches. I totally agree, Mary, if more individual households did their part to catch rain/storm run offs, there’d be less of it in the streets and flushing down polluted items.

        Aside from the obvious cisterns and/or drums to store water, landscape architecture (or simply set up your yard, empty fallow lots, parks, sidewalks. etc. etc. as systems to slow down water, enough to water plants, have birds and insects play, etc. wetland plants are great at filtering , then send the run-off on its way,

        • Mary, it ‘s not letting me post a link, so just Google Ed Snodgrass and/or Emory Knoll Farms for some nice looking landscaping and local storm water management.

          • Thanks, will do. Poop mixing in with water reservoir – I will echo your ewwwww! Typhoid fever, hello!


            Emory Knoll Farms is a perennial nursery specializing in green roof plants, currently stocking over 100 varieties of green roof plants, and providing over 1 million sf of planted roofs. On October 1, 2002, Emory Knolls Farms initiated their test greenroof, trialling different plants, growing media substrates and depths. Since then they continue to try new plants under various climactic conditions, including the herbaceous testing shown in 2005 through 2006.

            The test greenroofs hold many varieties of succulents and herbaceous plants including various herbs, bulbs and some grasses, and some modular systems are also monitored on the main test roof alongside the built-in-place living roof – which also sports solar panels. Along with plant material, EKF tests growing media and several methods of planting including plugs, seeds, and vegetated mats.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Waste water treatment and desalination is a path we can not avoid if we want agriculture to succeeed and if we dont want to run out of drinking water.

    • sonny says:

      LC, you’re ever the improv mind. Irineo & you should partner up: he with the computer memory and main cpu, you with the input-output devices and cache memory and small dedicated information collectors and processors. Everybody can take their cue from the marketplace for functions and paradigms that are needed for non-automated (manual) loops for maximum and optimum civic effects and objectives. (here I go again with my cryptic free associations, sorry guys)

      Anyhoo, more random associations/thoughts:

      re: Education
      – there are more than numerous Civil Engineering schools scattered all over the islands. Make it ‘de rigueur’ part of CE dept to design hydrology systems and water usage projects and make them as inputs to CE national juries for vetting and submission to the DOST or some fast-track national registry for local or national DILG consumption. To state the obvious, we are a water-logged country, let’s make do as the Dutch and the ancient Roman armies. 🙂 Let there be fountains, reservoirs, aqueducts and swimming pools, and launder our water runoffs, with bottled electricity from our wind turbine farms along the windward provinces of Luzon, etc. If submarines can do it, we should be able to also.

      re: rain water
      I’m sure the DOST have studied the impurities of atmospheric H2O, the water-borne biology of standing water in cisterns and similar reservoirs. Just we remember, Water Management is on municipal scale and regional scale for the most part. Just a reminder for the obvious.

      re: sea-water
      Chicago and other littoral communities in the Great Lakes region are blessed with an easier-to-manage and infinite supply of fresh water. To my mind drawing sea-water must carry untold benefits and just as infinite supply to draw from. Chicago draws water from Lake Michigan via cribs and water treatment facilities, I can imagine our coastal communities doing something similar, water pumping stations from miles to sea, separate the water from the treasures of the minerals in sea-water.

      re: valley authorities
      Are we up to the challenge of husbanding our natural drainage systems, viz Cagayan Valley Water Authority, Agusan River Authority, or the Rio Grande de Mindanao/Pulangi River Authority. I can only dream for the challenges to our youth.

      We have the manpower, the youth and processes to educate ourselves about our national patrimony. Quo Vadis, Filipinos?


        • Water is strategic… somebody over here told me that Bavaria is blessed with both clean water from its mountain rivers and hydro power in case of anything extreme happening. Plus of course a certain food security because agriculture has been kept and modernized.

          Recently emergency laws were upgraded in Germany – turns out we all are obliged to keep two weeks stock of canned goods etc. just in case, it just seems everyone forgot the old law which was always there and now was modernized to suit the demands of these days.

          • In case of anything extreme happening…

            Two weeks stock of canned goods, how long can we stock them?…I was meaning to do this sometime ago, and practice FIFO (first in, first out inventory system) but the internet is awash with warnings on the evil consequence to our health of consuming processed foods that I had second thoughts about this plan. Tuna and other large fish are also discouraged for their mercury contamination. (I so love tuna pie, mmmm…yummy…will try to master chicken ala king this time just to be safe)

            Strictly for emergencies, like stormy weeks, prolonged power outage when refrigeration will be out, or when there’s unavailable public markets or roads due to floods and other calamities, we really ought to stock on foods that wont spoil that easily. Same thing with first aid kit, maintenance meds, flashlights, batteries, candles, gas, kerosene, etc.

            It’s truly better in the provinces where one can raise your own backyard veggies of all kinds, fruits like pinapple, mangoes, rambutan, avocado, poultry and hogs, and buy fish from daily peddlers caught in nearby lake shore barrios. We cannot store rice for long, bugs and other mites will share your stock, so backyard harvest of camote, gabi and banana will be excellent source of carbs as substitute for bread and rice.

      • sonny, I’m no electrician, tech guy, plumber, nor carpenter, but I know a sane design, whether thing or system, when I see one, and for the life of me, I cannot condone flushing our poop and sewage into the ocean.

        There’s de-salination plants just north of San Diego and I think, another in San Barbara (both not in operation due to costs, they do run once in awhile though), so why not solar stills just bigger scale? Let the sun do all the work! 😉

        But I totally agree w/ you that the Philippines’ best model is the Dutch, but also Israel, these guys too export water. Smart agriculture, not the palm oil stuff, LOL! 😉

        • “LC, you’re ever the improv mind. Irineo & you should partner up: he with the computer memory and main cpu, you with the input-output devices and cache memory and small dedicated information collectors and processors.”

          LOL! yeah, something like a criminal defense lawyer and his P.I. a one, two punch, force for good!

  39. alternative housing styles.

    • NHerrera says:


      There is something very good about the concept of that dwelling — easy to setup; earthquake proof; combination material must make it relatively light and a heat-cold insulated; and a round base has the most space for the the perimeter; 44m2 is better than condo units with only 20m2 area. My additional thoughts:

      1. Land area is a premium in urban sites. With a diameter of about 7m and easement requirement of about 1.5m, one needs on a square basis 7+1.5+1.5 = 10m on each side, eating 100m2. In something close to urban area, one may be lucky to get P1,000/m2. That means P100,000 for the land.

      2. With that modular thing mass produced one may get one for say P500,000, most probably less.

      3. There has to be some sort of community desiring such a unit because buying a 100m2 lot is difficult and one has to have auxiliary facilities. Which will up the cost to say P750,000. Still P0.75m unit with 44m2 floor area is better than a condo with 20m2 area and fetching about P1.0m.

      Calling VP Leni Robredo. You staff of the VP reading this study some more and pass on to the boss.

      • chempo says:

        @ Mary – all other issues aside, the dome-shaped model is perfect for locations with frequent storms. They are storm-proof. The dome surface offers no resistance to strong winds which will glide over it.

        @ NHherrra – ah always the numbers, but you do make sense there. With new technologies, new construction materials and design capabilities, there are actually several systems in the market that are financially viable. In fact, if we can have it on a larger scale which will drastically lower unit cost. These are all pre-fab based that means we can re-design specifically for Philippine needs and also manage inventory to provide the capability for speedy rebuilt in the aftermath of another storm.

    • That’s an awesome house design, Mary! Very Tatooine!

    • mel says:

      this is a land space consuming proposition, may be good to replace the nipa hut in sparsely populated areas. definitely not a city dwelling where one needs also a parking space if one is to own a car. hi rise is a way to go in the city abodes and parking. we need to find cheaper way of hi rise construction with cheaper materials. functionality is the objective rather than optics. incorporating the ideas of this design (mass produced standard similar parts like a lego building block) is a way to go.

  40. karlgarcia says:

    Good to know that Mary Grace’s proposals will soon be implemented.

    • re the article is this the same Jalosjos convicted of the Dakak rape? this smells more a scam than anything really, karl.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of these dome houses, reminds me of the earthship houses at Taos, NM, but wasn’t the issue during Yolanda the storm surge, ie. flooding, so how do these houses save people from flooding, ie. drowning?

      Further, are these homes naturally cool, or will they require lots of AC to cool?

      • karlgarcia says:

        Even if it is unacceptable I try not to look at the leader of notorious note of the place when there is a good project.
        Many do not like Marcos,but applaud the wind mills.

        • karlgarcia says:

          I read your comnent about sources of chickens.Maybe you mean if the chickens were tortured first before killing.
          Too me,I would not want to know those gory details,and they still get killed for humans to eat them,and we still talk about being humane?

          • re Dapitan, it sounds/reads like a scam because the seller (Scott) is marketing it as some shelter, that would protect against Yolanda (but never addressed flooding), which means he’s selling to the gov’t there, and not to regular folks , I don’t doubt that dome houses are practical , even beautiful to look at , but why the Yolanda sell in this specific case, who is he selling to and where is the money coming from? … again look at the foreign aide industry closely, I gotta feeling this guy Scotts getting paid twice or thrice.

            As for chickens, yes they all die, karl.

            It’s the cycle of life, meat eaters eat plant eaters (to be honest, I still do eat McChicken when I have no choice and on the go 😉 ), but the industrial slaughter aside from inhumane is against Nature, whenever you go against Nature (against a certain balance), unintended consequences follow, in this case the stuff we’ve learned re these industrial poultry over here, also pigs and cows, is more antibiotics, more antibiotics equals more super bugs immune to antibiotics, not to mention more antibiotics in meat causes their own problems… losing taste being one of them 😉 .

            Remember that last scene with Tom Cruse in “the Last Samurai”? … Tell me how he died. Let me tell you how he lived… It’s about how these animals live that makes them so good 😉 . So before Cargill ramps up operation there with Jollibee, I remember in the Philippines before killing goats or pigs, they are treated to some good food, so when eaten their meat tastes good. So why not makes this common practice thru out their life span, not just the few days before slaughter, and that’s exactly what Joel Salatin did (Google him) having asked himself that same question as a farmer, my question to you is are there folks like him in the Philippines?

            • karlgarcia says:

              Always learn something new from you Lance.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Just googled him,he has many books,so I think many entrepreneurs can learn from him.

            • LCpl_X (@LCpl_X)

              I remember my paternal grandparents. They so loved pork and entertaining during fiestas so 6 months before the festivities, they usually buy a piglet, construct a bamboo structure with high elevation from the ground. The locals call it “ulbo”. The piglet was given clean, tasty corn meals, daily bath, clean water and greens. He enjoyed this 6 month life all by his lonesome.

              It surely tasted good when various menus were prepared and the family and friends enjoyed the bonding. No quarrel about the quality of the meat.

              Of course, that cannot be duplicated in big industrial farms. Profit motives rule.

              • Edgar Lores says:

                So I should start to worry when somebody starts to pamper me, right?

              • sonny says:

                Ay apo, Edgar! 🙂

              • sonny says:

                Read somewhere, swine is the livestock of choice to raise as protein source in human space colonies. Apparently pig’s digestive system is the most efficient converter of plant input into animal protein.

              • Mary, edgar, sonny, et al.

                I don’t think it’s pampering. And I think this is what Joel Salatin came to terms with.

                My coming to terms with this loving what you eat notion, was when I was playing around with Jainism a couple years ago. I have friends who are Vegan (no meat, not even eggs), they’re no Jains, but same concept of non-violence. I also have friends who are vegetarians for health reasons.

                So if we’re to talk about mercy, Christians, Jews, even Buddhists (Buddha died of food poisoning having eaten bad pork, maybe undercooked? at least that’s the story) , the Jains when it comes to non-violence have proceeded further than any tradition (I know).

                When it comes to ethical ends, the Jains own the clouds on that. They also have some good on the ground urban implementation (its the oldest religion, if you take their word for it, still going today). In the West, mostly from European and Mid-East traditions, we eat meat—-

                and all our religions traditions allow for that.

                But even within Judeo-Christian (Muslim) mores, there is an essence of mercy, ie. quick and painless death, and caring for these domesticated animals as food. Christians mainly because of Paul, have done away with these traditions

                (I think most of the stuff attributed to Jesus about being able to eat anything is not only pseudo epigraphic but also anachronistic, ie. was it really an issue during Christ’s time? no, it was an issue during Paul’s non-Jewish ministries 😉 ).

                This is the reason industrial husbandry meshes so well with modern Christianity. But there’s a reason why Jews and Muslims don’t eat off the market meat (other foods too). The first assumption is that the meat is unclean, but the second is that the meat was NOT butchered according to the Laws.

                the Laws, now we tangent back to edgar’s True Gnosis, and Jain’s ahimsa/non-violence… its no coincidence that a quick/painless death is a must (this is why serious Jews and Muslims will seek to know their butchers, to ensure all Laws are met).

                Back to the whole notion of domestication and animal husbandry. There’s an agreement I think between us and the animals we’ve domesticated, they are under our care. Like Mary said from a taste perspective, there’s is a big difference when animals are fed right , even treated right (I didn’t see that whole caged set-up while there, Mary, but that’s reminiscent of Wagyu/Kobe beef treatment 😉 I’m sure if marketed right, there’d be a niche market for it, but I digress…)

                These days I eat more fish than chicken (once a week?), and certainly no more pork for me (though from time to time I partake), chicken having now cultivated the taste for free-range chicken over here, I do my best to stay clear of McDonald’s and KFC 😉 . Beef once or twice a month maybe. Up north towards the San Luis Obispo area are small farms, amidst the ubiquitous wine-vineyards, who are pushing Joel Salatins business model, farm concept.

                Basically, these new farmers are weeds farmers, growing dandelions, etc. cows eat first, then goats go thru, then pigs, then chickens, then the cycle continues throughout their farms. When its time to butcher, they advertise online having developed a fan/customer base, thru videos, blogs, intimating their animals to the public, transparency of care, then a public butchery (some sort of thanking ceremony), then either you stay to eat and/or stash the meat you’ve bought in your cooler ready to transport.

                Obviously this costs a lot more, but if you’ve already lowered your meat intake, which is the first step here, then doing this once or twice a month, is I think more than worth it. The importance is this sense of balance, True Gnosis, that by eating meet in this manner you’ve put a dent on industrial farming, but most importantly at least at the individual level you’ve not hurt or participated in the unnecessary hurting of animals.

                But more importantly, and I think this is the main take away for the Philippines, YOU DON’T HAVE TO EAT MEAT AT EVERY SINGLE MEAL! And when you do eat meat, eat good quality tasting meat—- less is more. Push back at industrial farming. 😉

                sonny, I’m now very interested about that study you read re space colonies. Pigs I think were considered filthy post-urbanization only, but obviously not before early ME inhabitants who thought domesticating pigs was a great idea (this actually gives us a glimpse as to when these food laws in the Bible were being written, why pigs were given special considerations 😉 not so old )—- and from a husbandry angle, I do think pigs are the easiest to care for.

                They are easiest to care for because they are true omnivores, in urban setting they are filthiest also because they are true omnivores— like us. Hence, you cannot ever order pork medium rare and juicy, pork must be cooked well done to ensure larvae and parasites lodged inside are killed.

                Another issue I have with pigs in space or in an earth-like planet colony is when pigs go feral, they go feral, they’ve become a nuisance in Texas and Hawaii. I’m now curious what the cost/benefit analysis is to bringing pigs , and also other animals—- Polynesians I think brought chickens, hence the chickens you see in the Philippines are essentially the same found in Pacific coast South America.

              • Feral pigs… there are real wild boars in the Ebersberg (=boar mountain) forest reserve in the suburbs of Munich, and people are warned not to feed them and otherwise be careful.

                The whole Munich area used to be just forest in Roman times, too cold for those Italians to really care… all the places around here were settled in the 7th century by slash-and-burn tribesmen… used to live in a town like that at the edge of the huge Ebersberg woods..

              • There’s New World pigs over here too, mostly in Arizona and New Mexico (not as much a problem as their feral Old World cousins),

                Are those Munich wild boars native there? or were they introduced from somewheres else? The way Columbus and Cook introduced domesticated pigs? Pigs, as well as bananas I’m very interested in how these were introduced (bananas since they require human transport).

              • sonny says:

                LC, first time I encountered swine in space colonies was when Prof Gerard O’Neill was writing about human colonies in space (e.g. 10,000 population, 5 mile cylinger orbiting at selected LaGrangian points in space. A more current article about feeding these populations in space I came across, objecting to chicken & pork and also mentioning IRRI (International Rice Research Institute) research in the Philippines. Interesting read.


                High Frontier by Gerard O’Neill


              • Ah, thanks, sonny!

                I wonder if anyone at NASA has considered these two,

                Packable and able to multiply quickly, less of a nuisance.

              • there’s is a big difference when animals are fed right , even treated right (I didn’t see that whole caged set-up while there, Mary, – LCpl_X (@LCpl_X)

                The bamboo cage (ulbo) built in a high elevation from the ground is for them not to get filthy, and they were pampered with a daily bath…hahaha, (yes sir edgar, we need to be worried if we get pampered in case there are cannibals around) if they were left to roam freely they will eat anything hence the threat of larvae and other parasites. Said parasites are also noted in salmon and other fish, too.

                Doc bauwow shared this video at FB:

              • The New England Journal of Medicine added a new video: Removal of Anisakis Larvae.Like Page
                23 August at 23:05 ·

                Anisakis larvae were removed with the use of endoscopic forceps from a patient who presented with severe chest pain and epigastric pain associated with nausea and vomiting after she had consumed uncooked salmon.

              • This is pampering…oh for a wagyu steak with the marbled fat !!!


                But many ranchers in Japan feed beer to their livestock to induce appetite. They also massage cattle daily, sometimes with sake. According to Yo Matsuzaki, Ozumo’s executive chef, some Wagyu cattle listen to classical music, a method used to relax them.

                “They are treated as kings,” Matsuzaki said with a smile.

              • sonny says:

                I’m a steak person: Wagyu and Fogo de Chao dining are tops! I don’t know if Fogo has opened any in cosmopolitan Manila yet. And yet …

    • From karl’s link:

      Scott said the monolithic dome houses they will build in Dapitan are low-cost at P290,000 ($6,500) per unit and it will last for centuries.

      “Whether a typhoon comes, tsunami, earthquake, or fire comes, I promise you these structures will remain,” Scott said.

  41. karlgarcia says:

    Lance, I haven’t seem your reply on my posts on the ocean cleanup and CO 2 sucking.

    • karl,

      Ocean cleanup idea seems good, I’m picturing dragnet type set-ups to siphon debris. I saw a program during the Rio Olympics about how polluted their seas were around Rio, that when tested it was basically equal to pure sewage (I’m sure the waters around Manila, Cebu City, etc. would rank up there with Rio)… and that all this, the debris (trash) and sewage level waters , were actually endangering the athletes, yet the games went on (there was some news about swimmers running into couches or tables in the waters), just lots of anti-biotic before and after I suppose was the solution.

      They also featured a bunch of boats that picked up debris and trash and netting to attempt to safe-guard athletes, and all that reminds me of that link you’ve shared.

      I’m cool with it (like I said, I’ve participated in big voluntary clean ups of beaches, rivers & parks). But the root cause needs to be addressed. Not doing so is like babysitting an 80 yr old who can’t hold his poop, who has constant diarrhea, yet keeps on eating, thus poop everywhere in the house, and you’re focused on poop clean up when you should be addressing the cause.

      re CO2 sucking, I’m afraid this one, unlike the ocean clean up, is too big, though the intent is good, because it’s just too big an endeavor, may come with it a bunch of unintended consequences, ie. CO2 is what keeps us warm and comfy, what if this goes out of whack?

      So ocean clean up is fine, but the root cause mainly materialism as happiness, needs to be addressed. CO2 clean up I hope they get some really bright minds to think about this first, but really if you simply cut to the chase — materialism as happiness — you’d probably be able to cut CO2 more effectively, and I think the trend is actually going towards less CO2 in the long-term, it’s the methane that’s the short-term issue now.

      karl, I like these links, very informative, but I’m more focused on scaling down to individuals and families or neighborhood/barangays, DIY stuff, what can regulars guys like us do right now? with materials available now? No engineering marvels, just at the household level. These industrial level topics, though interesting, honestly goes over my head,

      I’m more interested in stopping AC use both in the Philippines and over here, what sort of stuff can be done re stopping AC use, we’ve posted architecture, more plants, harnessing the breeze, etc. what ‘s being done in the Philippines to lower AC use and/or divesting from it totally?

      Let me catch up on your other links, but if you have DIY type stuff, give me more of that, karl! 😉 thanks.

    • Thea says:

      Philippines needs a lot and bigger of these buckets to clean our rivers and seas. Will help some people to get employment too.

    • karl,

      I just had a recent argument with a friend. We were basically talking about water systems, I said all poop and pee should remain at home, whether via humanure mid-night soil or ELOO® , or an incinerating toilet, your waste shouldn’t go down the drain, ie. sewage,

      and he made a great argument about the sewage system not working if people started to use and re-use water efficiently, use pee for plants, make poop disappear or re-purpose as new soil, storm/rain water used effectively,

      he basically said how would sewage move without runoffs, grey water and black water (poop)? I never thought of it, it was a great question, the system would definitely fail if everyone started doing so, sewage won’t get flushed out to the oceans,

      and that talk a couple of days ago, reminded me of this letter by leading scholars.

      Similarly, the point here is that the system is flawed, whether it must be overhauled or replaced, we need a new system of using water cleanly,

      We’ve set up a system dependent on fossil fuel, that’s a no brainer, whether we quit cold turkey or go the incremental route, sure opinions will vary, but the point should be to look for a better way.

      Further, I don’t think true divestment from fossil fuel actually happens, unless you consciously shed modernity, so these divestments by schools and organizations are actually more like protests than actual divestments. But the act as defiance is crucial, gives pause to the industry. 😉

  42. karlgarcia says:

    Goodluck with that law and order article.Just make ir devoid of politics and it will be stamped for aproval.(hopefully)
    If the BIR already seized the land,aren’t they and the national gov the new owners?

    • karlgarcia says:

      Google or ask Irineo of the revised penal code legislation.a revision to a revision.

      plus the legislated laws must be recodified and simplified.

    • chempo says:

      Karl, real estate belongs to the class of property known as immovable property — fixed to the earth, cannot take it with you. In practically all countries, transfers of titles of real estate are governed by specific civil laws. A mortgagee, or the govt, may take over the property to satisfy the owner’s financial obligation. But taking over does not equate to transfer of title. They only have the right to force sell the property, at fair market rates (that’s why it’s almost always via open public auctions). Proceeds of the sale goes to liquidate the mortgagor’s indebtedness, excess to be refunded to him, insufficiencies to be claimed in normal civil proceedings. To avoid claims of malpractice, mortgagor do not bid for the property. So unlikely BIR will bid in their own auction.

    • karlgarcia says:

      For your reference, The Chief justice’s latest presscon

  43. karlgarcia says:

    I keep on ranting about the fair tax,now what about a combination of flat tax and fair tax.This maybe more applicable once we shift to federal,where flat tax for federal. fair sales tax for state.

  44. karlgarcia says:

    We have separate pension systems for government,private,military and police.

    The military and police get more,even if that more is not yet enough.

    I wonder how they will fix this?

    Same benefits for all,but scrap sss abd gsis and incorporate them to the proposed flat/fair tax system.

  45. karlgarcia says:

    Paper was 7 years ago,but still the same problems,risks and opportunities in agri-fisheries sector.

    Click to access PB%202009-01%20-%20Financing%20Agriculture%20Modernization.pdf

  46. karlgarcia says:

    A paper on the National Land Use Policy

    Click to access PB%202013-01%20-%20NaLUA.pdf

    • Joe America says:

      Thanks for that. It was written in 2013 so I suspect reflects current thinking, at least as far as National Land Use legislation that I know at least one legislator has on the agenda for this session. I forgot who, as I read about it some time ago.

    • NHerrera says:


      Thanks for the land-use link. Will you kindly check the climate-change-risk link — it says “page not available.”

      On land use, I would like to write some rough numbers related to housing requirement and the dome-house model.

      1. Earlier I estimated some P0.75m per unit, based on P0.5m for the unit itself but included land on which it stands and auxiliary requirements. With the Jalosjos model estimated at P0.3m let me now assume that we need P0.5m per unit but including the land portion it stands on plus auxiliary requirements.

      2. The land-use link says the current requirement for housing units is 5.73m with 0.955m being added per year. Thus at the end of 10 years we have a cumulative total of 5.73m+10×0.955m = 15.28m.

      3. If we have a 10-year program to build 15.28m units, we have to build 1.53m per year. But this requirement may include those which does not need massive government assistance. Also some payment to the government may need to be arranged, etc. Whatever. Let us assume that of the total 1.53m per year over a period of ten years, only 50% of this is funded, that is 1.53mx0.5 = 0.765m units.

      4. Join this last number with the number in Item 1 — P0.5m per unit, and we have the yearly budgetary requirement of P0.5mx0.765m = P0.382trillion or roughly P400Billion per year.

      5. Of course, the government may be able to entice the private investors to pitch in on the project towards providing housing, but P400B is just staggering, considering that the current government budget is P3Trillion or P3000B; and there are other equally pressing needs of the country.

      To the credit of PRD, he gives due consideration to the impact of population growth in the scheme of things.

      • I remember Imelda Marcos as Minister of Human Settlements had a number of BLISS – Bagong Lipunan (New Society) Improvement of Sites and Services (BLISS) Projects scattered all over Metro Manila. In fairness, this is a good project and had helped many lower middle class and a few poor but regularly employed Filipinos. It was financed by the National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation which has announced in July, 2016 a Penalty Condonation Program which will give chances for Bliss unit owners to settle their amortization which were in default for so long.

        • NHerrera says:

          Yes, Mary, that BLISS program had some success of sorts.

          What this whole business — of housing for the poor middle class, poor poor, and the very poor — suggests is that there has to be an honest to goodness analysis of the problem, continuity of policy on the housing needs because of the staggering amount of funds required and the associated population growth, etc.

          If Leni Robredo at the HUDCC can layout a serious creative analysis and reasonable path to the solution that will be supported with continuity over several administration that will be enough of a feather in her cap.

        • LG says:

          That’s for the next presidents to worry?

        • LG says:

          to my knowledge, even the rich benefited from the Bliss condo projects. A very rich cousin of mine got one at the Bliss, now located in back of SM North EDSA.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Sorry manong NH link was too long to be clickable.

        It came from here look under policy brief then click more

        ps thanks again for the magic of numbers.

        erarlier I asked about gk and i googled meloto and he was controversial for his sexist remarks.

        I believe he lost a lot of supporters.
        sayang,gawad kalinga showed a lot of promise.

        • karlgarcia says:

          The catholic church must be told that its guidance is appreciated,but hopefully in policy making it will stay on the stakeholder inputs stage only,once they are heard,let thr policy makers make policies and legislator’s legislate and that goes to all lobbyists.

        • NHerrera says:


          I am trying to go with the momentum of ideas that are important to the country, such as the housing needs of the poor.

          • Edgar Lores says:

            I find it difficult to understand why the government is expected to provide housing.

            • LG says:

              Me, too!

              • I think a lot of it is to move the poor somewhere else, especially when a historically poor area becomes gentrified. In instances of squatting, then the owner of the property should be made compelled by the gov’t to find another site where to move the poor. This is where the stackable shipping containers come in.

                Over here they are called the Projects, high-rises in the east coast, and sprawling in the west coast, in both coasts the Projects is where crimes originate and forward progress stunted. So I’m with you guys gov’t housing is an oxymoron, but moving the poor from one place to another, whether by gov’t or private parties,

                moves still need to happen. What are other ideas, re poor, gentrification, re-settlement, welfare, etc.? How is it done in Australia?

              • edgar lores says:

                In Oz, there’s provision for public housing, where units are rented out at socialized prices. The government safety net includes rental assistance.

                I am not aware that free housing is ever provided. There may be for Aborigines and for the homeless.

              • Joe America says:

                Are there food giveaways? Housing is a peculiar commodity. Few can afford one by paying cash. So loans are used, the purpose being to take advantage of something today that would take years to save for. So all a free house is is government’s long-term commitment to provide people their warmth and dryness over the lifespan of the house in cases when people are unlikely EVER to be able to buy one, and can only today afford a cardboard box or squatter’s cabin. Give enough people warmth and dryness, and they can be better laborers and stewards of the nation. That is the return value.

              • Edgar Lores says:

                Yes, there seem to be food giveaways and vouchers, and free medical/dental care, again mostly for the homeless, who are usually substance abusers or mentally incapacitated. The government effort is augmented by church and charity organizations.

                As LCpl_X notes, free public housing programs are a thing of the past, provided for between the end of WWII and the late 70’s. The common experience for these programs seems to end in disaster, in inner-suburb slums or derelict high-rise ghettos.

                What is ongoing is social housing where the government and the private sector provide welfare accommodation for low-income families, the elderly and the disabled. My understanding is the government rents these accommodations from the not-for-profit private sector, and then rents them out in turn to those in need. There is a long queue for social housing.

                My personal philosophy of self-reliance makes me frown on governments providing permanent free housing. When no effort is exerted in gaining something, that something is often not respected, much less treasured.

              • Joe America says:

                Your view is well-principled, and I was mainly arguing to try to figure out why homes would be provided. For sure the “projects” developments created some nasty places. Still, I think poor people living in dirt and filth is not right, and the PH has a huge population living just at the edge of this. I’d have a hard time denying people government funded housing, and think the trick is probably found in the terms and commitments made by the resident. Maybe free is a wrong adjective. Government sponsored housing may be a better expression.

              • edgar lores says:

                Totally agree with that last sentence.

              • I think the Projects was more or less a 50s to 70s thing, eventually the gov’t wised up, though there are still existing projects—- they demolished them in Chicago hence all the violence sprawled out with it (sonny will have more info).

                There’s a lot of rent control type set-ups, and also Section 8 housing, the premise with this one is to stick poor welfare families in regular middle class neighborhoods, in the hopes of elevating them, instead what usually happens is they pull the whole neighborhood down, ie. drinking, trash everywhere, yelling , noise, police call outs, late night parties, etc.

                As for free housing, not technically free but after all the waivers and state assistance, it’s basically free housing, then they go off and buy Cadillacs and HD TVs. it’s 99% a scam.

              • chempo says:

                Same with Spore, Edgar. We have a safety net for housing too Some public housing are allocated for the needy. It’s not for free, but the rental rates are ridiculously low..

              • These days, the gov’t has stopped constructing Projects, instead what they do is compel developers to reserve a certain amount of condos, apartments and housing for Section 8 or rent control , etc. But the developers have also wised up so they kick ’em out as soon as they see trouble, developers are only compelled to house initial applicants thru HUD, then after those applicants screw up, they get kicked out and their units go to regular folks.

                But shelters (mostly private and church owned) also own their own apt and condo units, so they also take in the poor, but the difference I think is these actively push out their occupants, like mama bird pushing out her chicks. I’ve always wondered why the gov’t can’t do what they do, these poor housing are supposed to be temporary, like a stepping stone to help them get to the other side.

            • Joe America says:

              The social conscience is that people should have their basic needs taken care of. The economy is not reobust enough to do that, so people should be given food if they need it, and housing if they need it. Something like that. It is for sure not a guaranteed right, but neither is the idea that we show respect for the elderly or courtesy to guests. It is just something that people want to do. Is it an outgrowth of needy people petulantly demanding houses? Yes, but then temper tantrums are also applied for the same purpose. Applied guilt. It’s an imperfect world, and if making inexpensive homes available for the needy is a flaw, it is not a bad one to have.

              • As in all other things where good intentions are there, abuses abound whether from the rich or from the poorest of the poor. Why do I say that? There are reports that some are selling their rights which they got for free or for a pittance, then squat again in some private or public sites with an eye for another deal from the government. Professional squatters, I think they are called.

              • Joe America says:

                Right, which is why there must be qualification and monitoring mechanisms in place. One ought not just build a house and give it to someone.

      • Great, numbers break down, NH!

        I’m still very suspicious of the dome houses in Dapitan. The article i don’t think explained if it was free housing for the poor. and no further info as to the funding, is the city of Dapitan tapping some UN related NGO? what’s the mark-up? When 3rd world countries, do “business” with UN or int’l NGOs and there’s some 3rd party company, there’s usually some sort of scam going.

        I like dome houses, but how practical are they really? If we talk price, repurposed container house, would probably equal all benefits involved and cost between $1,000 to $2,000 bucks (maybe cheaper when bought there). Not to mention you’re always hitting your damn head on these dome step-ups, and you can’t hang a poster on the wall! or map. 😉

        But from a community lay-out angle, if you truly want to more poor to enjoy housing, you’d want stackable units, and domes you can only connect horizontally, needing more land space. If I were a mayor of Dapitan the first clean up operation has to be the port/pier area, remember I’ve been to Dakak resort, the favela area from the pier once your boat docks is a mess.

        Funny looking domed houses with nice backyards, won’t house enough of those living by the pier area. So these domed houses should be seen first as unique structures those with means can afford, for poor housing, you have to be more practical, and the most practical IMHO are old shipping containers.

        Just hire great designers (or copy from the internet) to beautify these containers. But less land and stackability should be priorities, even if there’s land, by stacking you’d create room for farming , or micro-manufacturing operations.

        • This is how refugee shelters look like in Germany… same kind of containers (same size as shipping containers) are also used to house construction workers. There are even office containers used for project teams or to extend in case needs are temporary…

          • The sky’s the limit as far as design and lay-out of these containers, but when dealing with the poor, there should be some sort of pan-opticon, non hidden corners aspect to architecture, and a sense of balancing of population,

            learn form the high-rise gov’t projects in the east coast and also the west coast version of these projects in which mostly horizontal but a lot of hidden corners. Break ’em up geographically, as to avoid concentration,

            these communities will be permanent so ensure the lay-out is smart.

            • sonny says:

              The sociology of cramming of human clusters suggests repetition of the projects in Chicago that became hugely problematic when other aspects of HEW (health, education, welfare) are not included in the human optimization equations (quality of life) going in.

              • sonny,

                I would love to subtract education from that acronym HEW, and take from the tech-world’s new buzz word, peer-education… the premise is that with solid internet connection and computers, knowledge is there for the taking, making autodidacty the new mode of education.

                Set-up shipping containers using the panopticon concept, with cameras to boot, to ensure safety. and at the center of the panopticon circle is the computer/wifi access center, plus tools library and makers shop, to make stuff, using regular tools as well as 3-D printers and small CNC contraptions,

                This way everything happens in the community, no need to leave.

                All public works stems from military engineering (Romans perfected this), so stick a hospital/clinic in there too, along with low-cost housing for teachers, nurses and college students. It should be a self-contained unit, like a battalion.

              • * computer/wifi access

              • Joe America says:

                I made the correction, after laughing a bit at how someone’s wife got into the picture. LOL

              • LOL! I forgot to add USB docking station, LOL!

              • Joe America says:

                snort chortle 🙂

              • LOL! just be careful that’s how Iran got Stuxnet—- but I’m sure there’s antibiotics for that, LOL!

            • This is a relatively new “model community” in Munich, built on the old trade fair grounds… The lawn is simply a cover over the railway lines… there is a community center for the lower-income families, while there is a bit of a mix of different categories to mix groups…

              Experience shows that making “projects” rise too high breeds discontent, while making a ghetto with only poor people, especially a too big one, is also dangerous… green spaces make things look less bleak… the area is easily monitored, no blind drug dealer corners.

        • chempo says:

          Lance, dome structure can withstand Yolanda force storms. That’s the main advantage. Of course, floods is another issue. This company uses a new technology to construction of dome structures. . Don;t know nothing cost-wise.

          A defunct non-profit organisation The Solid House Foundation built some of these structures in Sri Lanka for the tsunami victims few years back.

          But you are right. These dome housing is OK in suburbs. In dense township locality, it is not viable. We need something that can go vertical. Container housing seems to be an answer. It’s fast to install, stackable. But there are big issues — not appropriate for the heat and humidity here, maintenance is an issue (corrosion – the ever present irk) and I don’t think the units come cheap, even given the price of steel is low at the moment.

  47. Man, how I wish I could be like this Japanese man who is still working at the age of 101, due for retirement in 3 years time. Wow, just wow!!

    TOKYO Japan is world famous for its long working hours and long working lives. But Fukutaro Fukui still makes most of his countrymen look like shirkers. At the age of 70, when most of his compatriots have already enjoyed several years of retirement, the former securities house executive began a new career as a clerk at a lottery sales broker, Tokyo Takara Shokai.

    The job lasted 31 years, with Fukui making a one-hour commute daily into central Tokyo until he retired at the age of 101, becoming one of Japan’s oldest known “salarymen,” as office workers are sometimes called here.

    Now three years into retirement at the age of 104, Fukui said he was motivated mainly by a belief that the desire to work is a deep-seated human instinct and money should not be a primary motive. “It does not matter what we achieved or if we were promoted. I have worked just because it is my instinct.” His three-decade last job was not a particularly exciting one, at least by the standards of his previous roles in finance and mergers and acquisitions: it involved mainly counting money and lottery tickets.

    But he enjoyed it: “I sometimes climbed the stairs by myself to the office, carrying a suitcase with tens of thousands of lottery tickets and even walked faster than younger colleagues,” he recalled at the retirement home where he lives in the city of Chigasaki, on the outskirts of Tokyo.

    In Fukui’s case, loyalty to a former university classmate, his best friend Tamazo Mochizuki, was a key factor. The two met while studying economics at Tokyo’s Keio University and both originally dreamt of becoming economic researchers. However, World War II prevented Fukui’s dreams from coming true. He was conscripted and sent to Manchuria for military service.

  48. NHerrera says:


    I spent a frustrating half an hour trying to make heads and tails on the number of drug users in the Philippines.

    1. As I understand it the authority for this sort of statistics is DDB — Dangerous Drugs Board under the Office of the President. I got 1.3million which I used in my post in a previous JoeAm’s blog. I got this from

    2. On the other hand, General de la Rosa gave 1.8m as the number in the Senate hearing.

    3. And very recently, in one of his briefings, PRD gave the estimate of 3.0m as the number.

    4. I am not good and quick in getting to the sources like Karl is but I thought I will go outside of DDB, the authority, and do some more googling. From

    I got this statement from the then Exec director of DDB (cy 2012):

    DDB executive director Benjamin Reyes told the House committee on dangerous drugs that the 1.7 million represents an increase of 200,000 from the number of drug users two years ago.

    5. Now let us use some algebra. Use 1.7m in 2012 and project this to 2016, a period of 4 years. Since drug addiction is a high growth phenomenon, it is not unreasonable to put a growth of between 10% to 15% per year. This gives us

    2.48m for a growth rate of 10% or roughly 2.5m
    2.97m for a growth rate of 15% or roughly 3.0m

    6. My immediate comments then are

    – Are DDB tech guys not maintaining its website considering the focus of the country is on the subject of drugs?

    – General de la Rosa seems not to be getting good facts/statistics from DDB if he referred to them.

    – PRD has the better numbers since DDB after all is under the Office of the President.


    Without going into the matter of the way the drug war is being pursued — consistent with the revised policy of our blog owner — I wanted to get a feel for the size of the problem in terms of drug users.

    Before I continue, by way of background, here is some statistics from DDB from its website:

    2014 Statistics
    (Facility Based)*
    CY 2014
AGE : Mean age of 30 years 
SEX : Ratio of male to female 12:1 
CIVIL STATUS : Single 49.07% 
STATUS OF EMPLOYMENT : Unemployed 47.59% 
EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT : College Level 29.83% 
ECONOMIC STATUS : Average Monthly Family Income Php 15,423
PLACE OF RESIDENCE : Urban (Specifically NCR 45.56%) 
DURATION OF DRUG – TAKING : More than six (6) years 
NATURE OF DRUG – TAKING : Poly drug use** 


    Methamphetamine Hydrochloride (Shabu) Cannabis (Marijuana)
Inhalants (Contact Cement Adhesive)
* Residential and Out-Patient Facilities
** Poly drug users – abuse of more than one (1) drug

    I make the following assumption at its worst case — that each drug user is just one in the family. Since we have about 20 million Filipino families, we have 3 families affected for every 20 families or 15% of the families are affected because of that one member of the family who, on a statistical average, is a drug user.

    On the assumption that there is an average of 2 members of the family that are drug users, the 15% is reduced to 7.5% of affected families in 20 million families.

    • LG says:

      If I can, I would but do access the article on “Killing Time in the Philippines…” in the Time magazine, current issue. Comprehensive. Very, very informative.

      • chempo says:

        “Killing time” has got a different connotation here.

      • NHerrera says:

        Thanks LG for that link to the Time article. By way of a side note to my post above and at the risk of being repetitive, my interest was on getting a handle on the magnitude of the drug problem via our own Philippine sources, which I admit, requires vetting.

        The time magazine makes comparatives, but I don’t know if the statistics on the Philippines that it quotes is more accurate than those we get from our DDB and from the mouths of our authorities. Nevertheless, the Time comparative statistics from its viewpoint gives some measure of comfort that the drug problem is not such a big deal. I will say this is a debatable issue if considered in the context of “growth” of the menace if not handled well, in the context of a country not as well equipped financially, etc, to deal with the menace. (Again, please note that I am not suggesting at all what method to apply to the problem.)

        It is interesting that on the population base of 15-64 years old, Time quotes a 2.35% addiction, which means that if all age groups are considered, it will be larger, say 2.5% and based on a population of about 100 million, becomes 2.5 million. This will then be in the range of my estimate of between 2.5m to 3.0m I made above. (The number of 2.5m agrees with the 1.7m the then DDB exec dir made in 2012 and my projection of 10% growth to 2016).

        With the note above, let me summarize my main thoughts:

        1. Previously I posited the assumption that one member of the family is drug addicted against 20 million families and thus the family of that one member addicted suffers, one way or the other. With 2.5m number above, this comes to 12.5% families affected. (If, of course, on the average two in the family are addicted, 6.25% of the families are affected.)

        2. Assume no effective way of handling the menace is made so that the 10% growth rate holds, then if 2.5m is used as basis, by 2026 we have 6.48m (= 2.5(1.10)^10).

        3. The population is growing at 1.8% which means in ten years we will be 123m (= 103(1.018)^10). If the average of 5 in a family holds this means 24.6m families.

        4. Now join the relevant numbers in Items 2 and 3, and we have 26.3% (=100×6.48/25.6) of the families affected using the assumption in Item 1.

        Thus, for those of us who have some numbers savvy — and that means all contributors here in TSH — can have a measure of the menace 10 years down the road based on two essential elements: the present scale of the drug menace and the projected growth rate of the menace if business as usual is the norm.

        (Sorry guys, as usual I am long-winded. Not gifted with words as most of us here.)

  49. karlgarcia says:

    The magna carta for the poor was vetoed because it demanded a lot for housing,in terms of budget,which former president Aquino called unrealistic.

    The squatters get relocated and after a few days they are back.
    reason work to far,school already congested,,no electricity,no water,etc.

    The millions spent for removing the squatters in the railways are wasted,because they are back.

  50. chempo says:

    Joining the public housing discussion here. The threads got too long and winding, so don’t mind if I just start fresh here.

    You guys all have your hearts in the right place. But building houses for the poor is sliding down the slippery road of heavy state subsidies and welfarism that always end up in abuse of state resources, decayed townships, and violence come the day when the state must eventually withdraw such provisions.

    As a minimum, the state should provide for the most needy segment of the population. Not the poor, but the homeless and those really down and out. However, this provision should be in the form of subsidised rentals of special govt housing projects. The objective is not freeby, but as Lance said, part of an overall package to help the folks recover and rebuild. In other words, comes with conditions attached and not meant to be permanent. It’s about assistance, motivation and respect for one’s dignity.

    The state must never be in the business of building homes for the poor. It’s a fiscal impossibility. Even Qatar with it’s oil riches, which gives away free houses, only gives to newly weds. not to every poor bloke in the country. At best, the state may allot free lots out of stateland. However, in Philippines, I’m not sure if there is such a thing — stateland, I mean. At least in municipalities. Everything has been gobbled up by the entitleds long long ago. In Spore, we don’t do this, simply because we have so little land. In Malaysia they do this, even to this day. But again, it’s often abused. It’s often given away to Bumiputras (sons of the soil — meaning the Malays). The allottees mostly end up selling the lots to others.

    In terms of home ownership, almost 91% of Singaporeans own their own homes, second only to Romania with 96% (that’s staggering — perhaps Irineo can give us some insights). I have no statistics on Philippines. Poverty is no excuse — look at Cuba (90%). Figs from Wikipedia.

    Singapore has an excellent story to tell in regards to public housing. Deng Xiao Ping in fact, visited us to learn specifically of our housing programme-Central Provident Fund linked strategies. I won’t go into details less Micha jump on me again. I just want to say we had a long learning curve and great lessons have been learnt. Our govt stands ready to impart the knowledge and share with other countries. Many came, but I don’t know how much have been replicated elsewhere. Let me just quote an example. Lance mentioned how many public housing projects in the US have decayed and became crime-infested and vandalism prevailed. We took note of that, understood the issues involved, and designed townships where communities thrived.

    I’m not bragging, but just providing an example of what can be achieved. Poverty is a wall that one can climb over. Remember, when Spore started out on the housing programmes, we were even poorer than Philippines.

    • I agree with sir edgar, why would the government give free housing? It should not be treated as a freebie for the entitled and the ultra needy who seems to have zero dignity.

      But the state also has a duty to provide for a level playing field, one that can provide everyone with equal opportunities to have the basic needs in life – food, clothing, shelter, education. Maybe the BLISS project has been abused by those who have the right connections with the powers that be, but the basic idea is for the lower middle class to avail for themselves a decent place to live in which they can repay over a period of 20 years or less. I had dreamed of owning a unit before (each has a typical 100 sqm unit). Alas, I don’t have the right connection. It’s better than the condo development of today, the ones that are being touted to be for the lower middle class, but 20 sqm, and costing more than a million? Not ideal for a family of four, good only for a bachelor or bachelorette.

      I learned from an office mate of mine in one of our company’s branch in Ortigas, that she shares a 20 SQM condo unit with 4 other employees. Traffic woes and substantial deductions from her salary led her to rent that space for the amount equivalent to her monthly transportation budget, now she is always the first one on the bundy clock, eats her breakfast, lunch and dinner at the office or out and just goes to the unit to sleep, bathe and change clothes. On weekends, she goes home to get another set of working and everyday clothes.

      What Singapore has done was excellent and worth emulating. Never mind Micha.

    • Joe America says:

      There are two situations here where the state builds housing, as far as I know: (1) when the state is relocating people, and (2) after storms demolish a whole lot of homes (Yolanda). These to me see to be reasonable reasons. There may be programs for the homeless, too, but most of the discussions I’ve read has to do with resettlement or storms.

      • chempo says:

        Yeah I did’nt factor that in — natural disaster situations. You got a point there.

        • chemp,

          The ubiquitous cafeteria type designs in Singapore I think plays a big role in galvanizing community. We have something similar lately which developers are now calling mixed-use, ie. condos and apartments up top, then office spaces below, then stores/restaurants on the ground floor. But it seems forced , too commercialized, basically bringing the mall and residential together, which feels more bs.

          Singapores food malls(?)—-what are they called in Singapore?—- seem more germane. “We took note of that, understood the issues involved, and designed townships where communities thrived.” What other things did you guys take note of? because from what I saw, the high rise buildings in Singapore looks similar to high-rise projects of the east coast, only difference was a sense of community, town-like feeling of these high rises, like a vertical town.

          What are other tangibles that you guys did different, I’m sure much of it is non-replicable ie. culture , but I’m curious what else you guys did.

      • “These to me see to be reasonable reasons. There may be programs for the homeless, too, but most of the discussions I’ve read has to do with resettlement or storms.”

        Joe, many times those two become one and also intersect with other programs… “Travesty” also touches on these issues, ie. when emergency resettlement become permanent settlements.

        Like Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan— also West Bank & Gaza. For both Lebanon and Jordan these camps became existential threats, now so in Syria, like 5th columns.

        The Philippines though has a better track record of temporary housing and eventual resettlement (outside Philippines) first with WWII Jewish refugees, then Vietnamese refugees.

        But not so great a record when dealing with its own refugees, both of war and economic.

        No matter the reasons for the state building houses , assume permanence and prepare by maximizing everything, from lay-out to infrastructure to design etc. etc. to improve lives (not the US “projects”),

        I’ve always been a fan of pan-opticon architecture, I love military bases and prison designs, love nit-picking shoddy designs, ie. security/safety issues. One design that’s simple (typical military engineering) is Manzanar detention center, but what makes that camp inspiring is the backdrop, which are the Sierra Nevadas… so maybe when relocating or choosing sites to house the poor the structures aren’t so important (dome, shipping containers, tiny homes, etc.),

        it’s the location,

    • In Romania, homes were usually built by the state during Ceaucescu’s time, and then given to the people – I don’t really know if it was during Communism or just after it fell.

      The typical Romanian apartment in Bucharest will be located in a shoddy block with Communist-style architecture. The better places owned by those who have worked abroad will have 2-3 locks and top-of-line stuff inside, but the blocks still look totally Communist.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: