Thinking positive: Philippine development priorities

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By JoeAm

An intelligent government need not be destined to failure, which seems to me to be the current path. Government’s priority today is to take care of the empowered elite rather than everyday Filipinos. That is failure.

Clearly, when Jollibee, the Pope, and whole student bodies are cited as enemies of the State, we know leaders are not in the business of serving Filipinos. They are in the business of persecuting them.

I don’t think it is rocket science as to what the Philippines needs to do to strive for competence and greater prosperity and inclusion. It’s just that, in the doing, leaders have to get past the widespread penchant of national and local leaders to game the system to their own advantage and enrichment. “Screw the Philippine nation. I’m getting mine!”

Here would be one set of priorities that I think might do the trick to aim once again for ‘first world’ competence:

  1. Rejuvenate sovereignty and pride in nation. Leaders should stand up against all outside intruders and all violence-prone sectors within the Philippines, and ask the people to stand behind the task as well. Be explicit as to what and why. This would require a pointed publicity campaign. It does not require going to war, or bowing to avoid being yelled at by the outside intruders. It requires having adults in the negotiating room.
  2. Put in place a responsible long term economic plan aimed at building the nation’s stability and growth in a way that attracts outside investments. Manage debt and the cost of borrowing. End the State-backed killings and end the criticisms of the Pope, US, China, Human Rights groups, ASEAN states, EU, and others. Get rid of red tape. Provide and project stability and purpose.
  3. Put as much effort into “jobs infrastructure” as cement infrastructure. Develop whole-goods manufacturing capability, a military/ship-building and armaments industry, and a clean energy commitment. Use State money to seed private investments in designated industrial priorities.
  4. Pass a “Technocrat Salary Plan” that mandates rigorous hiring standards, outside recruitment as an option, and pays top international wages for designated agency positions: Customs, Industrial Development, Education, Greater Manila Transportation Authority, Court Management, and Infrastructure Development. Build a large legal capacity within Executive that these professionals can use to propose the needed laws to change the way things operate, and to make Legislative priorities work better for national development. Provide top-flight computer resources to all government agencies. Get professional fast.
  5. Return the Philippine National Police (PNP) to a service role focused on curtailing the manufacturing and importation of drugs rather than usage violations. Free prisoners jailed under the current ‘drug war’ if their cases have not been developed properly or their arrests were under loose or forceful PNP processes. Put reason, compassion, and law back into policing.
  6. End martial law and redirect the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) toward targeted military engagements aimed at suppressing and ending organized violence and threats . . . and reclaiming Philippine sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea. Work closely with US intelligence and defense agencies. Work with China as long as China and Chinese nationalists demonstrate a clear respect of Philippine laws, customs, and people.
  7. Remove mind-numbing rote education from schools and replace pencil-work with computer skills and critical thinking disciplines. Instill the joy of self-development within children.
  8. Clean up the courts by forming a Court Ethics Enforcement Commission with power to remove judges who have abused common judicial ethical standards. Recast laws to end abusive practices that delay and confuse legal processing. Upgrade and automate courtroom procedures.
  9. Clean up local governments by forming a LGU Ethics Enforcement Commission with power to remove local government officials without undue delay or argument if it is reasonably shown that their work was for self-enrichment rather than community development. Urge the Ombudsman to work harder at getting rid of the corrupt big fish in National Government.
  10. Upgrade journalism and social media news promotion by forming a News Ethics Enforcement Commission with power to punish corporations and individuals who demonstrably are playing politics or playing loose with the People’s knowledge and information. Write clear ethical guidelines that end sensationalist headlines and news that caters to crooks and entertainers. End State propaganda and trolling; jail Secretary Andanar and others who intentionally distorted public information. Make the Filipino the best-educated citizen in the world.



That would be a pretty good start.


31 Responses to “Thinking positive: Philippine development priorities”
  1. karlgarcia says:

    I will just add another yeah.

  2. edgar lores says:

    1. Suggestions 8 and 9 are attractive.

    2. How good it would be summarily dismiss the justices who voted to free Revilla. How heavenly it would be to cast Justices Tijam, De Castro, and all who voted to oust Chief Justice Sereno into the outer fires of hell. The better for them to roast slowly.

    3. How satisfactory it would be to send Mayors Binay to the dunce corner for building that overpriced world-class Makati parking building. How immensely pleasurable it would be to force Mayor Duterte to kneel before the quarry’s precipice and allow him to retrieve and resurrect the bodies of his DDS victims… on pain of enduring the same fate.

    4. Gadzooks! Where do these negative thoughts come from? Where has my Buddhist forbearance gone?

    5. Alas, in the Philippine experience, these ethics enforcement commissioners would be the first to succumb to the blandishments of money and power… unless we could gene edit the righteous DNA of Conchita Carpio-Morales into the likes of Ombudsman Martires and a dozen other commissioners.

    6. Nay. Nay. Nay.

  3. arlene says:

    That’s it JoeAm, cleaning up the house from everyone who is crook and corrupt. Damay damay na sila.

  4. Sup says:

    Lets think positive and give this info to all DDS so they will ”wake up”

    PH’s 2018 dollar outflows blow through BSP’s worst-case forecasts

    The amount of dollars spent by the Philippines will outstrip its total dollars earnings by a significantly higher gap this year than government planners’ already pessimistic projections, according to the latest data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) revealed on Friday.

    In a press briefing, BSP officials revealed that they expect the country’s balance of payments — the aggregate net value of all transactions between the local economy and the rest of the world — to end 2018 at a deficit of $5.5 billion.

    This marks a 266-percent increase in the expected net dollar outflows from the $1.5-billion yearend deficit the central bank projected just six months ago which was, itself, already an adjusted projection from the original expectation of a $1-billion deficit for 2018.

    Read more:

    • I fully expect the economy to tank by the end of Duterte’s term. It is just not run in a way that factors the President’s loose lips and wild spending into economic planning. The economists are always talking a good game to rationalize things, but I can’t imagine anyone who is knowledgeable has much confidence. Martial law, for instance, does not project stability. I understand Tourism is below expectation and DOT says they will not meet 2019 goals.

  5. karlgarcia says:

    I have faith in the youth. Before the 2016 election I thought the youth were mislead that it was better in the time of Marcos, but that changed when I saw many protested Marcos burial at the Libingan and many said never again to the likes of them.

    As long as we guide our children well, they could be better leaders than the ones leading the country.

    It would not happen over night, especially with the double or multi tongued Imee’s sweet campaign talk.

  6. karlgarcia says:

    For Corporate Governance, we have the SEC, but they are more on compliance, reviewing annual reports and financial statements,bsonetimes if NBI or media investigates, they expose dummies.

    For public governance, we have ombudsman sa divan,and the LGus

    I see that each LGUs has their motherhood ethical standards.

  7. karlgarcia says:

    I was anticipating that the Consultative Committee on Charter Change would be a waste of tax payers money and time. All their efforts are for nothing.

    • Yes. I think their product was rushed and flawed.

      • karlgarcia says:

        And congress has their own version.

        • Right. It amuses me in a rather sarcastic way to see how Gloria Arroyo persists in trying to get rid of the Constitution that keeps her from being Prime Minister and Queen of Pampanga. When she was President, she was repeatedly knocked back on tries to rewrite the document, and this latest approach is so shallow and obvious that the Senate must have slapped their foreheads in unison, that they were seriously supposed to consider it.

          • karlgarcia says:

            Until when wil the senate can control themselves from charter change? I hope forever, because they will cease to exist.

            • Off topic. I was reading this morning of Congressman Andaya’s continuing attacks on DBM Secretary Diokno, saying Diokno’s relatives are in on the subcontracting work from a number of projects. Andaya was Secretary of DMB under Arroyo, so knows how things work. It looks like Arroyo vs Duterte if we keep the two secretaries attached to their bosses. What’s your reading?

              • karlgarcia says:

                It is a back and forth former speaker Alvarez said it was all about the road users tax allocation. I read about an article about parked funds meaning that the budget does not go to were it is supposed to go because the funds are reserved for someone else.

                Andaya was not only former DBM sec, he and his father handled the appropriations committee for a long time.
                He knows what he is talking about, but the question of “why only now?” Will always be asked.

                Of course he is protecting Arroyo in this power play.
                I am sure he has the support of the fake minority leader Danny Suarez who is an Arroyo loyalist as well.

                I do not buy that Diokno is naive about his inlaws, Come on, he said on record that he is not aware that they are elected officials.

                Who are they kidding? (All of them)

              • That pretty much confirms my read-out, except that I don’t know what Andaya gains by making enemies of Diokno and putting Duterte in an awkward spot. I have a hard time thinking he or anyone in the House operates with the people’s interests in mind as a first priority, so I’m still not quite getting the angle. If there is enough smoke on implied corruption, all the pork will get overlooked? I dunno.

  8. edgar lores says:

    It’s hard for me to think positive about the country.

    Duterte is like a huge fishbone stuck in the country’s throat. And one can’t think beyond the needling pain. Can’t focus until relief arrives.

    Which is why this blog is so important. It distracts from the pain. It says there are certain things that can be done. It is forward-looking.

    Negativity feeds on negativity. I know. We know.

    So these drops of anodyne help.

    • The likelihood of something like the stated objectives being done is negligible. But when sense is laid out, and we can see there are ways the Philippines COULD be first world with commitment to that task, then the current approach looks shoddier and shoddier. At some point, perhaps people will want something other than the current corrupt, drug-infested, sovereignty deficient, economically nonsensical approach.

    • NHerrera says:


      We have discussed a lot about old values, beliefs, structures and systems in TSH. Sometimes, I believe nostalgically — a great desire for the comfortable and value-full days of old. Much like a family-grade Disney Movies. But I believe cyber-stuff has changed all that. Worldwide. I cannot abide by the “get on with it” statement and what it usually implies, but I believe adjustment is imperative.

      Politically, as an example, an appropriate mix of Robredo and Trillanes/ Alejano than the pure Robredo way of saying and doing things may be more viable than the pure Robredo.

      BTW, even a significant number of blog topics in TSH and associated comments tend to this kind of thought, I observe.

      We are thus in search of the illusive and practical Key(s).

      Good morning.

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