Conspiracy theory 201: How to make sense of the Philippine love for China

Policemen in power uniforms. [Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler]


By Joe America

When something makes no sense then we are forced to make up our own minds about what is going on based on what we see, pending hearing something sensible from someone we trust.

We learned the other day that a Chinese warship aimed its targeting radar on a Philippine Navy ship sailing in Philippine seas. The Duterte Administration said nothing publicly about it and reportedly responded through the Department of Foreign Affairs with a note of protest to the Chinese Embassy in Manila. The note also protested China declaring parts of the West Philippine Sea to be within newly designated Chinese districts.

This failure to respond publicly makes no sense when we consider the loud public eruption that occurred when the US Senate passed a resolution giving the State Department the right to decline entry to Filipino officials who were engaged in persecuting Senator De Lima.

Sovereignty is at stake in both cases.

Chinese warships targeted Filipino ships, one of the most brazen and hostile acts one government can direct at another.

Yet, the Duterte Administration kept quiet and persists with warm relations toward China.

Well, it seems to me there are two China’s in this nonsense policy, as there are two Philippines.

  • One China is the government. The other is business interests, such as those represented in the Pogo gambling institutions (money laundering) and Chinese business enterprises operating under the Dennis Uy corporate umbrella.
  • One Philippines is the government. The other is business interests, such as those represented in the Pogo gambling institutions (commissions) and Filipino business enterprises operating under the Dennis Uy corporate umbrella.

Two states and one set of intertwined crony capitalists is another way to look at it.

The States. The Chinese military is on a different page than the Chinese crony capitalists. They are on a conquest mission. Philippine seas, and the minerals and foods contained therein, have been acquired physically by China and must now be defended legalistically and militarily. Thus, they aim the radar to teach those offensive natives from the outer islands who is boss. The Philippines, controlled by private interests, sets State interests . . . even security, even the Constitution  . . . aside. There is no Philippine nation, just a poverty-wracked bunch of vested interests.

The crony capitalists. In Bejing we have (former) economic consultant to the Duterte government Michael Yang, probably the architect of the Pogo businesses in concert with Senator Bong Go and Dennis Uy. They are executing a strategy of acquiring Philippine assets for eventual benefit of Chinese cronies who will strip the land bare and use cheap Filipino hard labor to do that.

Uy is getting very big, as a conglomerate.

There is a crossover of interests between State and crony capitalists in a couple of areas. Uy’s new telecom company shares ownership 35%/40% with China Telecom, the latter a Chinese State corporation. Also, DICT is establishing a video cam spy network using Chinese architecture and equipment, and Huawei is a principal supplier of mobile phones and transmission equipment in the Philippines. Huawei is under fire in the US and Europe for being an agent, or potential agent, of spying for the Chinese government.

But but but . . . the Philippine Constitution envisions a government that preserves Philippine sovereignty.

Irrelevant. Crony capitalists are more interested in money and power than national sovereignty.

So that is Conspiracy Theory 201, Lesson 1, it seems to me. It rationalizes the Military nonsense (failing to respond loudly and firmly to being targeted by missile systems) with the other nonsense (Pogos as a star industry in the Philippines).

Well, the crony capitalists are the most superior of tribes in a nation that has not yet managed to outgrow its many parochial interests in favor of nationhood. The idea of nationhood in the Philippines is more image than fact, the glory of dead heros, singing contest winners, or boxing champs. It does not flow in the blood and soul of legislators or even court judges the way it does in Europe or US. Nor in the blood and soul of most Filipinos. Only self-interest, parochial, provincial self interest resides in the place where nationhood ought to reside.

That is Conspiracy Theory 201, Lesson 2

And and and  . . . even a crony capitalist can be postured as a hero in a shallow and gullible arena where nationhood is a marketing image and not a set of values.

Thus, Bong Go is being set up as the heir to President Duterte.

When Go is in office, the State will have been captured by crony capitalists with a direct pipeline of power and interest coming from China.

That is Conspiracy Theory 201, Lesson 3.

The future of the Philippines.


117 Responses to “Conspiracy theory 201: How to make sense of the Philippine love for China”
  1. NHerrera says:

    Another Whammy. But one which enrages me more than the infectious, lethal but even-handed coranvirus. We may hope to get a vaccine soon for the latter, but not in what you described.

    Yes, that is very plausibly the future of the Philippines.

    • Including my prediction that over-adapting Filipinos would all look as pale as Persida Acosta. In fact Imelda Papin now looks like a ghost, paler than her Chinese co-singers.

      • A Slovak maker of electric batteries is revving up production to reduce European dependency on Chinese imports. Eastern European grit – and suspicion of Communism – come together.

        I wonder how many European manufacturers will nearshore major parts of their supply chains after what has recently happened.

      • NHerrera says:


        You nailed it, Irineo. Adaptability of the Filipino. You scaled it right too: over-adapting Filipinos.

        A short pondering of that trait will yield that adaptability is a good human trait when combined with other traits such as intelligence, industry, creativity and patriotism. I am speaking of the average Filipino: we certainly don’t lack these other traits but much much less (now) of patriotism except as may be stated without conviction by our politicians. However, over-adaptability has crowded out the other traits, especially the latter.

        Even our Leaders and High Officials adapt and do not mind being slaves in essence, except to a higher Chinese Official, not just to a mere tourist or worker. Or am I wrong here?

        • sonny says:

          NH, this should a mantra for every Filipino. It’s bordering axiomatic. If Filipinos take this to heart then it is a shot of adrenaline to our patriotism and national psyche. I like!

          • sonny says:

            “… adaptability is a good human trait when combined with other traits such as intelligence, industry, creativity and patriotism. I am speaking of the average Filipino: we certainly don’t lack these other traits”

            • NHerrera says:

              And I like the portion you abstracted from my comment — which Filipinos should keep and practice like a mantra, sonny.

        • karlgarcia says:

          If we only know how to evolve. We always want a revolution, but what we need is evolution.

    • kasambahay says:

      ah, vaccine. duterte is offering 10million initially, then 50million to anyone who can come up with the vaccine vs the virus. lot of money when the coffer is near empty. haha, so if five scientists from five different countries come up with their own vaccine simultaneously guess they’ll be receiving 50million each from duterte! such big spender 2nd only to imeldefect.

      thinking of selling public assets si duterte just to fund nationwide covid fight. he’ll start with selling cultural center yata. I dont know why the mayor of manila is not kicking up a stink: why should only manila assets be sold? why not sell dabaw assets to finance covid fight in mindanaw, cebu assets for kabisayaan?

      divesting manila of assets and leaving dabaw intact smacks of politicking to me, must be bong go again. once assets in metro manila got sold, politikos there will be seen as weakling, less able to go toe to toe with bong go in 2020 presidential election.

      for mayor of manila to lose public assets when all others mayors are not losing theirs, aba, may double whammy. not only is the mayor losing people to corona virus, he’s also losing public assets. manila mayor with smoky eyes and his fellow manilenyo mayors, time to think deeper po.


    “Over these months China has lost Europe,” said Reinhard Buetikofer, a German Green party lawmaker who chairs the European Parliament’s delegation for relations with China. He cited concerns from China’s “truth management” in the early stages of the virus to an “extremely aggressive” stance by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing and “hard line propaganda” that champions the superiority of Communist Party rule over democracy.

    Rather than any single act responsible for the breakdown, he said, “it’s the pervasiveness of an attitude that does not purvey the will to create partnerships, but the will to tell people what to do.”

    • Seems to be the approach all over the world. People have eyebrows raised for some time. Now they know China is a state aming to overpower everybody.

      • Bernard says:

        Chinese were two to three hundred years ahead of the West in military and seafaring technology. Heck, even hundreds more, five or six hundred years ahead in seafaring technology, they could have easily, easily taken over the world back in the 15th century when they were sailing all over the place. They had grenades. They were so advanced. They could have taken over Africa. They could have taken over Asia. They could have taken over Indonesia. They didn’t do it. They could have taken over India. They could have, they didn’t do it.

        If they had Western DNA, we’d all be speaking Chinese instead of English today. But we don’t, because that’s just not in their in their socioeconomic geostrategic DNA, it is just not there.

    • NHerrera says:

      Using the word slaves in a broader context, it seems, from that article, that Beijing — especially after emerging from its coronavirus experience — wants to act like master to a coronavirus-weakened EU as slaves. It will require some doing but EU has to wean itself from China in a significant way.

      • Micha says:

        EU is already weak even before the virus struck. There’s not so much trust among member nations with German leadership. Brexit was finally consummated and the French and Italians are, last I heard, weighing their options too. Did I mention Greece?

        Germany is too dominating in a supposedly equal alliance. And of course there are the bankers that just spoiled the whole EU soup.

      • The outcome is pretty much open, I dare not make any predictions.

        Eastern Europe might be a nearshore option, also attractive from an ecological POV plus more secure supply chains. Plus these countries are pretty much undamaged by Covid.

        What happens when all emerge from the lockdowns, we shall see. Most borders might not even open this year except for cargo which has priority.

        Germany did also have the sense to import its Eastern European farm workers to save the May harvest – asparagus and strawberries. Special arrangements with Romania.

        EU is covering a large percentage of the wages of factory workers in places like Lombardy to keep them from getting laid off, an adaptation of similar schemes in Germany. Of course it’s a major crisis, but the grim German saying is: let us count the dead when this is over.

    • kasambahay says:

      last I heard, a lady senator is trying to sue china as regards the virus; utterly preposterous kuno sabi ng chinese ambassador, yet it was a songstress singing iisang dagat! that answered the lady senator, on the sly of course. I’m guessing the songstress’ next song will be iisang lahi.

      one belt, one road, then there is bayanihan heal as one, I’m getting nervous with the emphasis of ‘one’ tuloy. bayanihan heal as one had long sounded like chinese slogan to me, bong go’s blueprint all over.

      our lady senator could well be right, other nations are thinking of bringing china to account as well. china selling faulty face masks, faulty test kits, aside from exporting the virus worldwide. of course, sending chinese health teams to our county, to italy, etc, to advise us how best to deal with the virus is nowhere near the suffering both economics and loss of social capitals that devastate nations. it will take months maybe years for economies to recover, for people to get back where they once were, for jobs to be available again, etc.

      suing china is right thing to do.

      • karlgarcia says:

        There maybe a percentage (>.0000001%) of sincerity on their help with what ever.
        But if it worsens the situation with faulty materials, no thanks.

        Winning in arbitration is useless because our leader made it so.

        The trade war made many realize that China should not be the factory of the world.

        • kasambahay says:

          its reputation gotten a battering, china is hiring german firm kuno to do massive pr job.

          guess, german firm will suggest china be open to visits from health authorities wanting to trace the origin of the virus, check wuhan’s maximun security lab and also check the infamous wuhan wet market.

          so far, china is refusing any authorized visits, secretive pa rin and no one is allowed to looksee the maximum security lab and the wetmarket.

          tama po kayo, countries the world over need to diversify and stop being overly reliant on china.

          • Micha says:

            “countries the world over need to diversify and stop being overly reliant on china.”

            Countries the world over don’t have much say on when to stop being overly reliant on China. It’s those private companies and corporations, invoking neoliberal bullshit, which get sucked in, like fireflies to a flame, by low labor cost offered by China and abandoned their manufacturing hubs in America and Europe.

            • kasambahay says:

              uhm, lysol man knows how to fight dirty. had he taken his own advice and got himself injected with disinfectant, his urine could have disinfected toilets each time he pees! WHO is chinese propaganda tool kuno and duly cut off funding. and the genius in lysol man is that he is not bound tomorrow by what he said yesterday.

              so offshooting lang po ako rito. 3m, american company operating in china and manufactures personal protective equipments once had humongous shipment – vamoshed! gone while in international space. also, face masks worth millions bound for germany vamoshed in kenya airport, gone without a trace. all happened yata in late feb o early march 2020.

              apparently, when lysol man declared war on pandemic, in war footing po siya and confiscate, commandeer, etc, any materials needed for war effort back home. which, apparently again, american companies operating abroad are obligated to comply, their products bound for other countries, diverted to support war effort. and surprisingly, much as canada and other countries condemned the move, they took no further action. so lysol man got what the wanted.

              I think albeit jokingly, those american neoliberal bullshitters can be made to heel, lyson man did it on the sly. salud!

    • karlgarcia says:

      Our suits old and new are about the WPS.
      Sen Hontiveros sued for the damage to our reefs.
      We should go many levels up in our diplomatic protests.

      Those that made possible the travel to get the Philippines from December to the Chinese New Year from Wuhan and neighboring towns must be held accountable.

      Our government too, they were slow to react even if they boasted that they were one of the first movers.

      • Micha says:

        Very doubtful seeing that ever prospering at all.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Follow through is not in the vocabulary of Filipinos that makes us full of hot air.
          What happened to the alleged China control of power grids, Pogo? Chinese did this and ChIna did that.
          Wala tayong follow up.

          • kasambahay says:

            aba, payola makes sure no further follow ups of any kind eventuates. as for bad pogos not paying taxes, they pay taxes kuno not to BIR but straight to politikos, save them pogos the paper work, the hassles of the long ques and declaring and enumerating previous assets.

            despite extended community quarantine, these politikos are keen for pogos to come operational. coffers have got to be replenished, politikos have said pa naman they’ll donate their salaries in the fight vs covid 19. whether politikos follow through with donating is another thing. saying things at the heat of the moment, promises easily made are easily broken.

            as for the our power grid being taken over and duly controlled in beijing, the chinese deciding when and where our brownouts can occur, how much more to up electricity prices, etc, no cause for alarm kuno ang mga iyon. local power bosses sabi, they may have have partnered with the chinese, but them local bosses have things under control.

            big words, bigger lies, imho on the rocks.

  3. Micha says:

    A strong and trustworthy China would have been a perfect replacement to fill in the void left by a weakening and self-destructing American empire. If it had not bullied and antagonized its Asian neighbors, it should have gained support as leader of a new world order. Instead it behaves with a lot of hubris and arrogance, imitating (or maybe exceeding) the hubris and arrogance of the old western empires.

    For now, the world will have to make do with American hegemony preferably restoring its values after the stable genius has drank his political Lysol this November.

  4. NHerrera says:

    This note may be out of place in this new blog. But I notice that the coronavirus is such a concern, it rears its ugly head even in this new blog early enough. Note to the Editor: please delete if found inappropriate.


    A friend texted me asking how Reproduction Number and Doubling Time of the coronavirus curves are calculated. I want to share my answer. Somewhat technical. Please pass if uninterested.

    Reproduction Number = R0 = (B/A)^(C/D)

    R0 = Reproduction Number
    B = Ending New Case Number
    A = Starting New Case Number
    C = Average Cycle Period for the coronavirus in days =5 [I took this from the literature]
    D = Days Interval from A to B


    On an uptrend, say, A = 1; B = 10,000; C =5; D = 50
    Then, R0 = 2.51

    On the downtrend, say, A = 10000; B = 5,000; C =5; D = 10
    Then, R0 = 0.71

    Note that reproduction number higher than 1.0 is bad, lower than one, good. Germany’s current reproduction number is about 0.7. US’ rep number is about 0.9

    Doubling Time = DT = Ln (2)/ Ln [ (B/A)^(1/D) ]

    DT = Doubling Time
    B = Ending Cumulative Case Number
    A = Starting Cumulative Case Number
    D = Days Interval from A to B
    Ln = Natural Logarithm or Logarithm to any base preferred


    On an uptrend, say, A = 1,000; B = 5,000; D = 7 days
    Then, DT = 3.01 days. Meaning it takes 3.01 days to go from 1000 to 2000; another 3.01 days to go from 2000 to 4000, etc.

    On a downtrend, we have instead HT or the Halving Time but the same formula applies and the negative number implies halving instead of doubling.

    On the downtrend, say, A = 5,000; B = 2,000; D = 6 days
    Then, DT = – 5.30 days or HT = 5.30. Meaning, it takes 5.30 days to go from 5000 to 2500; another 5.30 days to go from 2500 to 1250. etc.


    The R0 and DT/HT numbers obviously do not remain constant in the New Cases and Cumulative Cases curves. One would therefore try checking different periods of the curve.

    • NHerrera says:

      Correction: the line before the FINAL NOTE should read:

      On the downtrend, say, A = 5,000; B = 2,000; D = 6 days
      Then, DT = – 4.54 days or HT = 4.54. Meaning, it takes 4.54 days to go from 5000 to 2500; another 4.54 days to go from 2500 to 1250. etc.

    • NHerrera says:

      Please note too that the bar chart of the new cases is usually very volatile, so moving averages of from 5 to 7 days should be done before using the Formula to get the Reproduction Number.

    • NHerrera says:

      One more correction. On the concept of Halving Time (HT) for downtrend, one uses the New Cases (the cumulative case does not go down, it monotonically increases since the new cases are never negative).

      [Gee whiz. I should be expelled from TSH. Correction on top of correction.]

    • Thanks for explaining this. Now I get it.

      • NHerrera says:


        Perhaps the TSH reader may appreciate the decline of New Daily Cases with the Formula for Reproduction Number re-arranged from the above:

        B = A*R0^(D/C)

        Holding the following fixed,

        A = Starting New Case = 1000
        D = Days Interval to the End New Case = 15 days (half a month)
        C = Cycle Period for Infection = 5 days

        and varying only R0 (= Reproduction Number), we get the Ending New Case, B, from the starting 1000:

        R0 B
        0.3 27
        0.4 64
        0.5 125
        0.6 216
        0.7 343

        If the Interval Days = 30 days (one month), we obtain:

        R0 B
        0.3 1
        0.4 4
        0.5 16
        0.6 47
        0.7 118

        One can then see that getting the R0 in, say, the range 0.4 – 0.5 is reasonably comfortable.

  5. IaskIseekIdo says:

    We don’t love China, but we just got used with them since the beginning of time. They were not given the sympathy the way Americans were given. All these time with the ‘kano’ we are still a third world country. They took advantage of our sugar and copra in the 1900’s; while the Chinese stayed with us, built businesses. And today, they have turned their country economically at par with the first world. So why not give them this chance today. This may be what DU30 thinks. They may turn this country into a great one, perhaps. In the meantime, Juan has nothing but himself, he educated himself, searched and built his own dreams, helped his family and gave money away like the boxing icon. So busy with himself, there was no time to have an opinion about what happens around him. He is up there today, ‘adapted’ with the majority’s opinion. Too late to learn how to have an informed opinion. He could always pay a lawyer, anyway.

  6. Micha says:

    The World Bank has one primary aim, and that’s to make other countries dependent on American agriculture. This is built into its articles of agreement. It can only make foreign-currency loans, so it will only make loans to countries for agricultural development, roads, if it is to promote exports.

    So the United States, through the World Bank, has become I think the most dangerous, right-wing, evil organization in modern history — more evil than the IMF. That’s why it’s almost always been run by a Secretary of Defense. It has always been explicitly military. It’s the hard fist of American imperialism.

    Its idea is to make Latin American, and African, and Asian countries export plantation crops , especially plantations that are U.S.- or foreign-owned. The primary directive of the World Bank to countries is: “You must not feed yourself; you must not grow your own grain or your own food; you must depend on the United States for that. And you can pay for that by exporting plantation crops.Michael Hudson

    Would anyone venture to suggest that this might be one of the reasons why Duterte pivoted to China? If so, he’s not exactly getting what he bargained for.

    • it’s all this dude’s fault, Micha :

      “In 1944 Borlaug, trained as a plant pathologist, left the U.S. for Mexico to fight stem rust, a fungus that infects wheat, at the invitation of the Rockefeller Foundation, among others. He and his colleagues spent the next decade crossing thousands of strains of wheat from across the globe, ultimately developing a high-yielding, disease resistant variety. Unfortunately, it couldn’t stand, heavy with grain.

      So Borlaug crossed it again with Japanese dwarf wheat to produce a so-called semidwarf wheat, both shorter (and therefore not prone to tipping over with all that extra grain at the tip) as well as disease-resistant and amenable to fertilization. Where the variety was planted, yields soared.

      First Mexico, where he did the work, became self-sufficient in grain (in what was dubbed the “Quiet Wheat Revolution”). Then India and Pakistan, where yields doubled. Paired with similar strains developed for rice and other cereals, a “Green Revolution” was evident in the fields of Asia and helped stave off apocalyptic famine predictions.

      “There are no miracles in agricultural production,” Borlaug said, but as a result of this increase in food production, millions of lives were saved and Borlaug was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970.

      However, the Green Revolution continues to run into an old Malthusian problem: humans are breeding faster than food supplies can keep up. Despite the fact that wheat varieties based on Borlaug’s work cover some 80 million hectares of the globe, food riots broke out in 2008, helped in part, to Borlaug’s way of thinking, by the drive for biofuels. And, thanks in part to Borlaug’s success, agricultural funding has dried up.

      The Green Revolution in Asia has also left a conflicted legacy. Leaving aside the social justice concerns surrounding farm consolidation (and therefore the favoring of rich landowners over peasants), it required massive dams like Bhakra or groundwater mining for irrigation water and huge quantities of synthetic fertilizers made from fossil fuels in addition to Borlaug’s wheat. Today, India’s waters are drying up and some of the water that remains is now poisoned by those same fertilizers.

      Africa also proved resistant to Borlaug’s revolution. Despite nearly 30 years of work, yields have not risen as much as he and others hoped—largely because many countries lack the capacity for massive irrigation or road infrastructure needed to truck in fertilizer. But in 2007, for the first time since record-keeping began in the 1960s, per capita food production in sub-Saharan Africa rose, led by countries such as Malawi that subsidized fertilizers.”

      • Micha says:

        I don’t see the connection between the World Bank’s ideological foundation (a tool for American imperialism) and this guy’s work.

        • Sabotage, unintentional.

          • Micha says:

            There is nothing unintentional about the World Bank’s agency for imperial dominance.

            The Philippines fell victim for just such a scheme. In the early to mid 70’s Marcos tried to develop our rice farming industry with some very remarkable success such that we actually became a rice exporting country. World Bank operatives then told Marcos that no, you cannot subsidize your farmers, you need to liberalize your economy (hint: consider importing some of your food stuff).

            From then on until today our rice farming industry never recovered. We are now importing huge bulk of our grain requirements. If there’s going to be a food supply crisis due to global warming, we will be among the first to go on mass starvation.

            • Exactly, the connection is Micha, if the Philippines opted for Borlaug’s route as did all other 3rd worlds that time that of growing their own (rice, wheat, corn) you’d also have the same outcome, hence unintentional sabotage.

              • Micha says:

                We were already self-sufficient, we know how to do it. Stop deflecting on the issue, you’re not making any sense.

            • karlgarcia says:

              Micha is talking about Masagana 99 and not so many were happy of the outcome of that program.


            • chemrock says:

              “In the early to mid 70’s Marcos tried to develop our rice farming industry with some very remarkable success such that we actually became a rice exporting country. ”

              I wonder why you attribute the success of PH’s rice output in the 70s to Marcos, a favorite narrative of revisionists from Illorco Nortes. His participation in that agricultural achievement went no further than cutting the ceremonial ribbon for the opening of the IRRI’s office in Philippines.

              That PH was able to double rice output and became a rice exporter was due to the efforts of a great international scientific team, people such as Dr Gurdev Singh Khush, and would have never happened without the funding and initiatives of the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, the evil neobliberal capitalists you detest.

              Not least of all, the miracle rice strand came about courtesy of a blending of a tall Indonesian specie and a short specie from a land everyone now learns to hate, China.

          • “However, the program eventually failed because its credit subsidy component proved unsustainable.[4] The program is said to have catered to rich landowners and has been criticized for leaving poor farmers in debt and for having become a vehicle of political patronage.”

            thanks, karl. so the Borlaug’s ideas were implemented there too. the point i’m trying to make here is that even if it was perfectly implemented, the notion of squeezing as much from the land to produce food is just not viable.

            Micha, i’m sure the Philippines knows how to feed itself; but you’re not accounting for over population. Even if the Philippines did it all by its lonesome, you’d have to suffer all the drawbacks now being felt everywhere.

            Because its just not sustainable, food from the US or food from there, same same. I just walked by today at COSTCO saw packages of dried mangoes, then I remember how dirty the mango drying process was with flies and maggots and stuff. But my question, why aren’t

            those mangoes being eaten by Filipinos, Micha? Why am I seeing it here in COSTCO?

            The solution is not growing more food (thus stressing the land and water forever), but to have less people , that’s where COVID19 comes in.

            So stop blaming the WB/IMF, cuz even w/out them, you’d still be in the same situation, Micha. Same-same.

            • Micha says:

              See, that’s the peril of jumping in on a topic when you don’t have sufficient info and you come out looking like a complete fool.

              Yes corporal, there was a time in our not too distant past when we were actually producing enough rice to even afford us to sell to other countries. Say what you must about the Marcos dictatorship but perhaps in his more lucid moments he had thought that he must do something about state of affairs of our agricultural sector but was undermined, unfortunately, by outside forces (World Bank).

              That was the original contention of my post taken from Prof. Michael Hudson’s quote in an interview about his book, Super-imperialism.

              Instead of addressing the central topic, you kept on deflecting on side issues from Borlaug to population to sustainability which, instead of helping to clarify, only dilutes and muddles the original point being made.

              • mel says:

                noon self sufficient ang pinas kz konti lang ang populasyon mga 45m ata noon vs 110m ngayon. tignan ang sumatotal ng situation kaysa sa cut n paste situation to fit the agenda. lahat naman ng tao ay may agenda. maari ang sinasab mo ay may konting truth pero pag sa pangkahalatan myroon din not applicable. totoo api noon ang mga tsino ng mga imperialista, ngayon bumabawi sila, para bang ethnic cleansing ganti. sabi nga ni maerap weder weder lang yan. manyaman kayo ngayon, bukas maeerap din kayo. such is the cylcical nature of things. pati ang climate change ay cyclical…medyo napapabilis lang dahil sa mga tao. ganyan din ang over population, sa dami ng tao maerap ang food. sumugod karod si mamang corona at inalok silang magofw sa land of plenty where milk n honey flows n virgins n machonorin are a plenty. tawa naman jan.

              • Micha,

                You are missing my point here, I see your anti-imperialist stance, anti-IMF/WB stance, but you’re not seeing the counter-factual scenario i’m posing here.

                How could the Philippines have done it alone, given its over population and the now known side effects of Borlaug’s Green Revolution?

                You know of plants akin to manna from heaven that don’t pollute or destroy environments when production is increased? Do you have new agronomy best practices at hand? I think you’re thinking of the rice terraces being able to sustain the whole of the Philippines??? 🙂

                How could the Philippines have done it alone, given what we know now of Borlaug’s ideas (which he himself freely admitted even as he got his Nobel prize for this, it was a stop gap never meant to sustain it self), that’s a counter-factual I think you’ve not considered.

                Spouting anti-WB-IMF, anti-imperialism, so passe never considering that hey could the Philippines really have done this alone and any different, and my point here, BETTER? All evidence of how the Philippines works and how rice grows, say no.

                p.s.– I know I’m taking you to uncharted waters because you tend to be rude when challenge, Micha. Which means you have to think now. 😉

              • Micha says:

                Ipagpaliban mo ang usapin tungkol sa populasyon dahil yan ay walang kinalaman doon sa nauna kong nabanggit na pakikialam at pagdikta ng banyagang lakas kung paano natin hubugin ang patakaran sa pagsasaka at pagkaroon ng seguridad sa pagkain.

                Kung sa tingin mo ay ayos lang na pakialaman tayo sa mga bagay na yan, kaparte ka ng problema kung bakit nagkaganito ang ating bansa.

              • Micha says:


                You are not providing any counterfactual from my original post. You are still deflecting, hence, you still do not make sense.

                Provide a clear counterfactual to my claim that the US, through the World Bank, is impinging on the autonomy and sovereignty of other countries by dictating/influencing policies that are not in the best interest of the host country.

                Borlaug’s revolutionary breakthrough is not a counterfactual. It’s a side issue, a deflection.

                Do you understand?

              • Micha,

                it’s not a side issue that is the (the) counter factual.

                I agree with you re IMF/WB and impinging. I’m saying if you subtract the WB and IMF, would it really look any different. I’m saying it won’t. That is the counter factual.

                If you say that it will, then say HOW. follow your own premise of a better Philippines w/out WB/IMF, Micha.

                Your premise that the Philippines would’ve faired better is just not there. Thus my counter factual is superior to your IF-only-there-were-no-IMF-WB scenario. Get it?

              • Micha says:

                I’m saying if you subtract the WB and IMF, would it really look any different.


                For one, we would have been freed from the onerous and burdensome dollar debt which is exactly the leverage used by the bank to dictate domestic policies.along the lines of the Washington Consensus and the creation of a neoliberal hellhole..

                Number two, to be treated as an independent sovereign nation and not as a vassal state is, in and of itself, a desirable condition. You cannot put a premium to the dignity borne by people who will have been able to craft their destinies through self-determination. And whatever outcome of those efforts, good or bad, we will take full responsibility. We will not be blaming foreign interference and imperial diktats on a country who, while pretending to be an ally, actually drains our economic blood.

              • We’re talking about rice production and food independence, Micha. Could that have been different!!!

                The primary directive of the World Bank to countries is: “You must not feed yourself; you must not grow your own grain or your own food; you must depend on the United States for that.”

                That’s the counter-factual, you’re spouting the same anti-IMF same stuff. Now entertain the possibility that the Philippines re grow your own food would’ve led to the same, maybe the buying from U.S. actually afforded it some time. that’s the counter-factual.

              • Micha says:

                At this stage of this “conversation” it’s difficult to discern if you actually know what you’re talking about or you’re just trolling around. I won’t be responding further to your comments since your incoherence seems to be getting worst by the day.

              • Micha,

                The only game in town was Borlaug’s Green Revolution, unless youre saying Marcos or UP Los Banyos had something different and better, you don’t get your ideal situation of the Philippines growing its own food– because Borlaug’s is flawed.

                There’s nothing incoherent about that.

      • karlgarcia says:

        The so called Green Revolution is the connection of LCX’ s post to IMF WB.

        The IMF and World Bank were both created at the end of world war II in a political climate the is very different from that of today. Nevertheless, their roles and modalities have been suitably updated to serve the interests of those that benefit from neoliberalism. The institutional structures of the IMF and World Bank were framed at an international conference in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. Initially, the primary focus of the IMF was to regulate currency exchange rates to facilitate orderly international trade and to be a lender of last resort when a member country experiences balance of payments difficulties and is unable to borrow money from other sources. The original purpose of the World Bank was to lend money to Western European governments to help them rebuild their countries after the war. In later years, the World Bank shifted its attention towards development loans to third world countries.

        Immediately after world war II, most western countries, including the US, had ‘New Deal’ style social contracts with sufficient welfare provisions to ensure ‘stability’ between labor and capital. It was understood that restrictions on international capital flow were necessary to protect these social contracts. The postwar ‘Bretton Woods’ economic system which lasted until the early seventies, was based on the right and obligation of governments to regulate capital flow and was characterized by rapid economic growth. In the early seventies, the Nixon administration unilaterally abandoned the Bretton Woods system by dropping the gold standard and lifting restrictions on capital flows. The ensuing period has been marked by dramatically increased financial speculation and low growth rates.

        Although seemingly neutral institutions, in practice, the IMF and World Bank end up serving powerful interests of western countries. At both institutions, the voting power of a given country is not measured by, for example, population, but by how much capital that country contributes to the institutions and by other political factors reflecting the power the country wields in the world. The G7 plays a dominant role in determining policy, with the US, France, Germany, Japan and Great Britain each having their own director on the institution’s executive board while 19 other directors are elected by the rest of the approximately 150 member countries. The president of the World Bank is traditionally an American citizen and is chosen with US congressional involvement. The managing director of the IMF is traditionally a European. On the IMF board of governors, comprised of treasury secretaries, the G7 have a combined voting power of 46%.

        The power of the IMF becomes clear when a country gets into financial trouble and needs funds to make payments on private loans. Before the IMF grants a loan, it imposes conditions on that country, requiring it to make structural changes in its economy. These conditions are called ‘Structural Adjustment Programs’ (SAPs) and are designed to increase money flow into the country by promoting exports so that the country can pay off its debts. Not surprisingly, in view of the dominance of the G7 in IMF policy making, the SAPs are highly neoliberal. The effective power of the IMF is often larger than that associated with the size of its loans because private lenders often deem a country credit-worthy based on actions of the IMF.

        The World Bank plays a qualitatively different role than the IMF, but works tightly within the stringent SAP framework imposed by the IMF. It focuses on development loans for specific projects, such as the building of dams, roads, harbors etc that are considered necessary for ‘economic growth’ in a developing country. Since it is a multilateral institution, the World Bank is less likely than unilateral lending institutions such as the Export Import Bank of the US to offer loans for the purpose of promoting and subsidizing particular corporations. Nevertheless, the conceptions of growth and economic well being within the World Bank are very much molded by western corporate values and rarely take account of local cultural concerns. This is clearly exhibited by the modalities of its projects, such as the ‘Green Revolution’ in agriculture, heavily promoted in the third world by the World Bank in the sixties and seventies. The ‘Green Revolution’ refers to the massive industrialization of agriculture, involving the replacement of a multitude of indigenous crops with a few high-yielding varieties that require expensive investments of chemicals, fertilizers and machinery. In the third world, the ‘Green Revolution’ was often imposed on indigenous populations with reasonably sustainable and self sufficient traditions of rural agriculture. The mechanization of food production in third world countries, which have a large surplus labor pool, has led to the marginalization of many people, disconnecting them from the economy and exacerbating wealth disparity in these countries. Furthermore, excessive chemical agriculture has led to soil desertification and erosion, increasing the occurrence of famines. While the ‘Green Revolution’ was a catastrophe for the poor in third world countries, western chemical corporations such as Monsanto, Dow and Dupont fared very well, cashing in high profits and increasing their control over food production in third world countries.

        Today, the World Bank is at it again. This time it is promoting the use of genetically modified seeds in the third world and works with governments to solidify patent laws which would grant biotech corporations like Monsanto unprecedented control over food production. The pattern is clear, whether deliberate or nor, the World Bank serves to set the stage for large trans-national corporations to enter third world countries, extract large profits and then leave with carnage in their wake.

        While the World Bank publicly emphasizes that it aims to alleviate poverty in the world, imperialistic attitudes occasionally emerge from its leading figures. In 1991, then chief economist Lawrence Summers (now US Secretary of the Treasury) wrote in an internal memo that was leaked:

        Just between you and me, shouldn’t the World Bank be encouraging more migration of the dirty industries to the LDCs [less developed countries]? … The economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable, and we should face up to that … Under-populated countries in Africa are vastly under-polluted; their air quality is probably vastly inefficiently low compared to Los Angeles or Mexico City …. The concern over an agent that causes a one-in-a-million chance in the odds of prostate cancer is obviously going to be much higher in a country where people survive to get prostate cancer than in a country where under-five mortality is 200 per thousand.
        And thistle thought that the World Bank tried to extend lives in developing countries, not take advantage of low life expectancy.

        How do countries get into financial troubles, the Debt Crisis.

        The most devastating program imposed by the IMF and the World Bank on third world countries are the Structural Adjustment Programs. The widespread use of SAPs started in the early eighties after a major debt crisis. The debt crisis arose from a combination of (i) reckless lending by western commercial banks to third world countries, (ii) mismanagement

  7. Joe The Kano says:

    And this is a nation in which there is a minor uproar over a foreigner yelling at a cop for hassling his maid about not wearing a mask while watering the flowers in front of the house. A senator even attaches himself to the matter, strikes a “nationalist” pose, and publicly calls for the terrible “arrogant” foreigner to be deported for defending his Filipina employee. The stupid media just parrot the senator’s silly crap without question, and an emboldened police boss publicly issues “a warning to all abusive foreigners.” As if the only possible issue here were the resident’s “foreign” status.
    Meanwhile, the powers that be continue to sell out the entire nation to China and Chinese cronies as quickly as possible.
    It’s so typical. Why the hell don’t more people catch on?

  8. karlgarcia says:

    Our Labir departmrnts wanted a Duterte dissenter deported, Taiwan refused.

    • kasambahay says:

      malakanyang would have to put the dissenter on terrorist watch list before she can be asked to be deported. interpol may even help too had she been put on most wanted list.

      for duterte’s admin that is big on list, list, and all kinds of lists, and for it to forego the list, extra power is crippling talaga, makes people lazy, haha.

      second the motion po ito: good on taiwan to deny the deportation.

  9. NHerrera says:


    In anticipation of the order from Trump to keep the meat processing plants open, Marc Perrone, the president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, essentially said: yes we will keep processing but our workers have to be protected from the corona virus infection.

    These workers “put their lives at risk daily to keep us fed,” Perrone said.

    “Simply put, we cannot have a secure food supply without the safety of these workers,” he said.

    “We share the concern over the food supply,” he said, ending with a call to leaders at all levels: “All of our country’s elected leaders — federal and state — must work together to ensure that we keep these essential workers safe and our country’s food supply secure.”

    That is leverage. Otherwise, what has to be done? Call in the marines? The marines may be good with their bayonets, but I doubt they are as good in carving pork meat. 🙂

  10. NHerrera says:


    Studies on the drug Remdesivir shows that it can be an effective therapy for those infected with and suffering from covid19 [ref: US’ Dr. Fauci]. Big question, in my opinion, is how expensive it is and when Filipinos suffering from the virus can get it.

    Note, however, that it is not a vaccine. Thus, if current effective measures like washing of hands, wearing of masks, social distancing, etc are relaxed too soon without tools like widespread testing and isolating those found positive, infection spread will continue and may come back with a vengeance.

  11. caliphman says:

    There is an emerging conclusion among Covid clinicians that ventilators which are considered critical in treating severely sick Covid cases is responsible instead for their 70% + mortality rate. As it turns out, current treatment protocol even in top US hospitals is to consider very sick Covid patients as suffering from advanced respiratory disease of which pneumonia is one and to use ventilators to supply them with oxygen under very high pressure after sedating them. As it turns out, there is growing evidence from the clinical experience in Italy and New York that this protocol is wrong because Covid respiratory issues are more like blood oxygen deprivation similar to that suffered at very high altitudes by mountain climbers rather than that from acute pneumonia. The prolonged high pressure from the ventilators and extended sedation results in further damaging lung function, eventual organ failure, blood clots and other complications. Apparently, the appropriate control is to treat these cases with
    assisting breathing with CPAP/Bipap sleep apnea devices or supplying oxygen via a nostril cannula instead of automatic ventilator intubation.

    Why is this significant? The high mortality rate in Covid cases is among senior nursing home residents who do not receive medical treatment until it is too late or those who are hospitalized and put too early or automatically and wrongly onto ventilators under current protocol. My advice is if you have an elderly member of your family is about to be hospitalized for Covid symptoms, it might make sense to find out if the doctors are aware of these recent findings.

    • sonny says:

      Playing out the 3 lessons of Conspiracy Theory 201: To buy or not to buy state-of-the-art Attack Helicopters from the US in the light of targeted PH vessels by the PRC military; seems like the US is calling out PH president & citizens to decide which side the country wants to align with. Interesting comments abound.

      “The Philippines is considering either the AH-1Z or the AH-64E to modernize its attack helicopter capabilities,” according to a notification posted to the website of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. “The proposed sale will assist the Philippines in developing and maintaining strong self-defense, counterterrorism, and critical infrastructure protection capabilities.”

      “99 % of Filipinos like the United States. There was a time when the Philippines was a commonwealth of the United States for 47 years. Its Truman who changed it. . not a very good moved on the U.S. part especially on Truman. We would have the Philippines for ourselves showing the world how democracy works.”

      “Time to take out some Chinese fishing, navy or coast guard vessels”

      “Not sure why we would sell the sophisticated Apache helicopter to a country who’s President denounces us on a regular basis and would probably flip one to China so they could dissect it for their military purposes.”

      “Wait wait wait! Didn’t they just take out a multi-million dollar loan withe World Bank? Then they Sold billions of Dollars in Bonds to pay for Corona? And before that it was billions of dollars in loans from China? Latest, they cried about how they are losing money with OFW’s all coming home. Do you really expect them to pay for anything? They will get the items, and never PAY anything. Then they will hunt down whoever ticks off the leaderman.”

  12. NHerrera says:


    There is the usual refrain that official figures or numbers understate the actual covid19 cases and associated deaths in all countries, but if the trend in these official figures shows that the trend is not good, it becomes a double concern. I looked at the charts in the worldometer website for the Philippines. [It uses figures from sources such as JHU-CSSE and easier to get quick access even for a weak wifi connection].

    If you are following this comment, please focus attention on the four items:

    1. the cumulative case line chart
    2. the daily (new) case bar chart
    3. the cumulative death line chart
    4. the daily (new) death bar chart

    You can see the numbers if you touch the line or bar chart at the places you are looking out, or click it with your mouse on non-touch screens. And of course you can zoom on the screen if you want the chart magnified.

    Chart 1 shows that from about March 10 to April 06 there was an explosive ( exponential ) growth of the cases from 33 to 3660 (concave upward of the line chart), followed by a more or less straight line growth from April 06 to May 1 where the cumulative case stands at 8772.

    [By the way, the “straight line” portion corresponds arithmetically to the new cases being broadly constant, with its volatility or ups and downs or valleys and hills as shown in bar Chart 2. More on this below.]

    Corresponding to these two periods of growth in the cases, we have these broad Doubling Times, to emphasize the difference in the two periods growth:

    March 10 – April 06, DT = 4.0 days
    April 06 – May 01, DT = 19.8 days

    Now, what is greatly concerning to me, is that notwithstanding the welcome increase in the Doubling Time in the latter period, the daily cases Chart 2 remains broadly robust or constant (again with its volatile ups and downs not confined to the PH case but appears too in other countries’ cases). This indicates to me that the lockdown and other measures to date have not been as effective as we would like, or it is early days yet. The sizeable positive or asymptomatic cases out there not captured by the very low testing rate so far, I believe, contributes to this situation .

    If the daily cases remains at that broad band, we may not be in a very bad shape — with the hope that it will eventually go down sometime. But if the growth begins to accelerate, we will be in trouble.

    On the other hand, the Death Charts 3 and 4, particularly the latter bar chart, shows a noticeable declining trend, but this may be because of the lagging development in deaths compared to the new case entries. If the new cases remains broadly constant or worse accelerate, the death chart cannot remain in a declining trend absent drug therapies for those hospitalized or a vaccine for the broad public.

    • NHerrera says:

      For comparison, here is the Russian Case:

      In the Russian Case the infection phase may be divided broadly in the following two periods with the corresponding Doubling Times:

      Mar 31 – Apr 19: 2337 cases increasing to 42,853, DT = 4.5
      Apr 19 – May 01: 42, 853 cases increasing to 114, 431, DT = 8.5

      Thus, based on official data, may we say, that the PH is in better shape (?)

      I may note that several days ago President Putin expressed great concern about the coronavirus situation in Russia.

      • caliphman says:

        No, one cannot say the Philippines is in better shape . Not when its testing capacity is so limited that its tested only under a thousand per one million population and being compared to a country which is testing at a rate of over TWENTY THOUSAND per million. The Russian statistics while not perfect reflect far more accurately the actual numbers and trends if Covid infections and deaths. The Philippine statistics reflect more than anything the inability to capture actual Covid numbers and trends because people are getting sick and dying from the virus because they cannot afford or do not want to go to the hospital to get tested or go to the hospital. Remember, Russia is a socialist country and healthcare access is free. Right?

        • NHerrera says:

          Right: no comparison. PH is in worse shape. Worrisome is there is a plan afoot on the easing of restrictions — though understandable because of the damage to the economy with continued restrictions — even when PH is not ready to do so.

          It is a dilemma.

          Even in developed countries, with more capabilities for testing — both for the virus and for antibody tests — big medical questions abound, such that the notion of issuing antibody passport is dangerous because of so much unknowns at this stage.

          Interesting times we live in.

          • karlgarcia says:

            Zamboanga requested an extension to the ecq
            They are anticipating cases from Basilan to Tawi-tawi and from returning OFWs.
            As to why the IATF DILG includes them to the laxed (not relaxed)quarrantine measures is a puzzlement.

  13. NHerrera says:

    CNN splashed the PH on its online website with the following:

    ‘I love you’: How a badly-coded computer virus caused billions in damage and exposed vulnerabilities which remain 20 years on

  14. caliphman says:

    Lockdowns and it’s less drastic variants like social distinction are extremely expensive substitutes for widespread and massive testing when community contagion is so wide spread that contact tracing and testing of isolated infection clusters is not possible. Back in February, Ipisted in this blog that this was the predicament facing the US as Trump minimized the corona virus danger and there was a few cases in Washington State and California.Its now May and the lack of testing capacity has led to community contagion in all the states and the need to mitigate but not suppress the pandemic. Trump and Duterte are both plagued with the dilemma you speak of because of failure to contact trace and test and suppress while the infection was in its nascent stage. Trump is much more culpable for this than Duterte since he had the option and the resources to do this had he acted early enough and listened to epidemiological experts instead of focusing on what he thought would advance his political self-interest. Duterte has neither the resources and options for an early and effective response. Unlike Trump he is less concerned with reelection or passing off the responsibility and blame for lockdowns to regional government. But both are screwed anyway since relaxing restrictions will risk a second and possibly a third covid tsunami. For Trump, the cost will be his reelection chances and the US another lockdown until a vaccine is developed next bbn year to avert a second or third wave. Remember it was the second wave of the 1918 Spanish Flu that was more deadly than the first and it resulted from relaxing the initial lockdowns and restrictions. Those who ignore the lessons of history are doomed to repeat the same tragic mistakes.

    As for the Philippines, my guess is Duterte will revert to his true nature, a butcher at heart. Unless he can ask for and receive massive help from China to control the virus (which I doubt as China has already had it’s way with the Pearl if the Orient) , then the loss of 3 to 10 million mostly elderly Filipino lives to safeguard the economic prospects of 100 million younger Filipinos will be an easy and necessary decision.

    • NHerrera says:

      There are a lot of beyond-the-call-of-duty stories of medical doctors, nurses and caregivers fighting for patients stricken by the coronavirus; as well as stories about the patients themselves. The story in the link affects me because it is figuratively so “close to home.” It describes an 81 year old patient who returns home from the hospital because he pleaded with his son that he would rather die at home than in the hospital. His son and family did what they could and saved him.

      Here is the last two paragraphs of the story:

      “Whether it was the family caring for him, or the available bio-data that made the difference — we don’t know,” he [the son] said, adding: “Perhaps it was just luck and not quite his time to go.”

      In the darkest moments, sometimes a plan of action and a little luck are the only things people have.

      • NHerrera says:

        In a parallel way, my two daughters and their family, one in Canada, another in Australia, are constantly with us in the cyber world — now more often than before — providing comfort, giving suggestions and help to me and their mother. Friends they left behind have been asked by them to do our shopping needs. My daughters know their probabilities [took after me, hehe]: the less one plays Russian Roulette, the more one wins.

        • karlgarcia says:

          More teleconferencing than ever.
          I wonder how the young unmarried couples are dealing with the forced ldr.

  15. karlgarcia says:

    900 plus new casea in SG,
    I guess Chemrock was correct to assume that once to expats dorms have been tested more cases will show.
    Still there are only 16 deaths, I guess this is because they only count those that died of Covid and not just died with Covid but of another ailment like heart attack for instance.

    • NHerrera says:

      Singapore is definitely a country on the mend on the coronavirus pandemic. I estimate its infection Reproduction Number, R0, to be about 0.75. Better than in most countries. Its low case fatality rate is a tribute to its medical facilities. How it will tread its way to robust economic activities will be interesting to see.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Thanks NH.
        Sonny can attest to their health care.

        • sonny says:

          Neph, Singapore was the embarkation port for my 2017 SE Asian cruise; I was confined for a week for pneumonia contracted in the cruise in Ha Long, Quang Ninh province, Vietnam.
          The health care provided was first class, just hampered by the language.

          Covid-19 hit Quang Ninh & elsewhere in Vietnam; interesting n different epidemiology:

          I wish NH could take a look at this reportage and feed this into his database & analysis.

    • caliphman says:

      Karl, I miss my two friends Chemrock and Edgar Lores and their towering intellects. This blog will never be the same without Edgar’s logical precision and his ability to organize thought and reasoning. Chemmy with his articles that penetrated into and looked into every important facet of very complicated controversial economic and social issues. If anything, a blog from him explaining to us simple folk how

      • caliphman says:

        Singapore with its strong and decisive leadership took early and vigorous action to suppress a potential pandemic in their densely populated island city twice. The second time by contact tracing and testing the stricken migrant workers in their crowded dormitories and isolating them into cruise ships offshore. The death rates are very low because the infected workers are diagnosed very early on and most are relatively young. And no, it is not true that virus deaths exclude those who have tested positive but died of stroke, heart attacks, kidney failure etc etc. The Covid virus kills mostly those who are elderly as well as those who have multiple preexisting conditions

        • karlgarcia says:

          I miss them too Caliphman. 😦 It will never be the same eithout them. Chemmy sometimes places a comment or two sometimes.
          Speaking of those missed, when you do not comment for a long time because you are busy their is a some kind of a void.
          Thanks for your additional inputs and the correction of my hip shooting idea.

  16. NHerrera says:

    Heuritstic 02


    This comes in reaction to the haste in several countries to open up from the stay-at-home and other restrictions to minimize the spread of the coronavirus.

    A look at the cumulative cases of covid19 worldwide shows that after the initial explosive growth, powered in turn by sizeable growths in China, Italy, Spain, US, UK, etc, the cases are on a straight line growth — meaning from a basic math view, the average worldwide daily cases are constant albeit with associated ups and downs.

    The implication of this is while indeed some countries are showing signs of a slow down in their daily infection cases, there are others still increasing in their daily cases — resulting in the total being more or less constant.

    This is the case too in the US, where the later period to the present is in this straight line trajectory: meaning, again, that while highly infected States like NY are showing signs of slowing down in their daily cases, the others are still increasing so as to result in a constant total daily cases.

    A look at the different infection charts of countries from worldometer is instructive. I used as a tool an ordinary straight edge or ruler. Using the ruler placed alongside the chart reveals the nature of the chart.

    1. The World Case is an almost perfect example of a straight line cumulative-case growth after the initial explosive increase (the early concave upwards phase).

    2. The US case though not as straight as the world case is more or less straight up to the present. The UK is in the same category.

    3. The Swedish Case where there are no official restrictions, leaving the citizens to do the responsible thing to do, I see a very noticeable concave upward trajectory even to the present, again using our straight edge. This upward concavity is also very noticeable in the Russian Case.

    4. The German Case is a very good example of a very noticeable phases: an exponential growth, a transition straight line phase, a concave downward phase. Singapore is in the same category.

    Going forward I will be monitoring the big picture chart (the World chart) and other big countries chart.

    • NHerrera says:


      Setting aside the very low number of tests made relative to the population and its implication on the resulting chart, but relying only on the official data reflected in the chart, I observe an interesting case: after the explosive growth phase, there was a noticeable downward concavity of the chart (a good sign) but then picked up again to a more or less straight line, with the last 10 days showing signs of upward concavity (not a good sign).

      • It seems to me that data don’t really measure the incidence of virus, but how active testing has been. With LGUs doing their own testing, DOH has a backlog of tested but unconfirmed cases that are not included in the data yet. There may be as much as two weeks delay in getting confirmations. My guess is confirmed cases will grow steadily over the next three to four weeks. The disease is just getting started in some areas (Cebu).

        • NHerrera says:

          I agree. Thanks for supplying the essential on-the-ground-notes to my pure numbers musings of the chart with its missing underlying pieces. It is interesting that notwithstanding your comment, the official numbers to date (with the caveat you noted) already gives a hint of what is happening.

          • NHerrera says:

            My sense of this is that the DOH is not lost to the great importance of tests from the start but a combination of lack of test equipment, good and energetic administrative and logistical process — not to exclude political, economic and other considerations — must have played significantly. But that is water under the bridge now. We hope things are and will be done much better.

            • kasambahay says:

              dati, doh spokesperson, dr vergeire said medical staff were dying because of coronavirus, now, she no longer talk about how many medical staff are lost due to the virus. but, apparently she added that one in five of the infected are medical staff. if the trend goes on, I hate to think of the consequences.

              in other parts of the world, there has been talks of relapsing patients and becoming sick again. so far, our country only has data of the recovered but no data on those that relapsed. no one is asking and no such info is given.

              • karlgarcia says:

                One example is Senator Sonny Angara.
                He tested positive again.
                But Sokor had an explanation on false positives.

              • kasambahay says:

                good thing po screening of donated blood is strict and harm is averted beforehand. I am supposing bong marcos who also recovered from coronavirus has donated his own blood, and has not relapsed.

                donated blood is given freely and often for altruistic reason, but plasma therapy is not free and cost heaps to patients.

    • NHerrera says:

      To supplement my note above on the coronavirus infection worldwide — about covid19 infection growing then slowing in some countries followed by energetic growth in other countries, etc — see the interactive chart in the early part of the link below.

      The chart shows the start of the explosive infection growth in China (Wuhan) — see the bubble grow and the pink color of the map — the slowing down of the bubble growth, followed by the dot growing rapidly in Italy, then Europe, then US. The growth from a point to a a bubble growing in the US is dramatic. The point in Russia grew rather late until currently it grew bigger than the bubble in China. By this time one sees a lot of points in Africa and South America with some sizeable bubble growing in Brazil. Watch these bubbles grow as you watch the infection numbers and dates below the map.

      Is there something in Africa and South America to tell us that the situation there will not follow what happened in China, Europe, US, Russia?

      • sonny says:

        “Is there something in Africa and South America to tell us that the situation there will not follow what happened in China, Europe, US, Russia?”

        NH, I suspect the pandemic footprints will trace the new Silk Road. Maybe?

        • sonny says:

          Or the New Via Appia? (Paging Irineo 🙂 )

        • NHerrera says:

          Seems like it may just do that. Like you, I will be interested to get Irineo’s view on this.

          • I think plane travel played a major role as well. Italy might have been because of the Chinese factories there, with a lot of Chinese working in them.

            Italy to Spain had as a main factor a Spanish-Italian football match in Bergamo. From Italy it is not far to Austria and in Austria it was the Ischgl ski resort that spread the virus among young vacationers across Europe – many German.

            Not surprising that contagion in Europe spread quickly. Fast trains, people travelling all over. The first case in Europe was a factory near Munich. One Chinese woman came and infected a few, they a few more, but all were contact traced. One vacationed in Spain.

            Did somebody in the isolated and treated first German group infect someone not known? Did the woman from Shanghai who got visit from her parents from Wuhan just before she went to a training session in Bavaria infect others, maybe even in Munich airport?

            Eastern Europe closed borders quickly and forced its workers coming home into 14 day self-quarantine – most of those countries still do. Trucks to Poland standing all the way to Berlin, 90 kilometers from the border. The EU having to find a regulation for cargo.

            All in all it is not a simple picture. Travel plays a role, which is why New York is infected. Density also, which is also why New York was hit so bad. How quickly governments reacted – or didn’t. Many hidden fires coming out into the open. The US may be in that situation.

            Turkey and Russia acted strangely, as if they hardly had cases. They are exploding now.

  17. It’s complicated. Possibly USA, UK, Russia, Turkey and Brazil are victims of denial and later unhidable outbreak. The best countries traced like crazy (Sokor, Vietnam, Taiwan) and/or close borders at the right time (Eastern Europe) and/or have good medical system (Germany, Japan, Singapore). Iran may have been due to Chinese proximity / interaction.

    Islands are favored if they don’t get infected. Some Pacific states have zero infections.

    Population density certainly plays a role. Social customs also might. The distant politeness of the Nordic peoples may favor the Swedish no lockdown approach. The hugging and cheek-kissing of Latins may have hit Italy, Spain, France all the harder.

    How travelled a place is? Metro Manila, Cebu and Davao are epicenters in the Philippines. Iloilo a little bit and Baguio too. The “Lingayen-Lucena corridor”, clearly while the Bicol region, Samar, Leyte are sparsely hit. Bohol had zero until recently.

    Geography also clearly delayed the spread into the Americas, even Africa came later. Gene sequencing may give more of an idea of how the spread was. Seems early strains in the Philippines were from China, later ones from Japan, then maybe even Europe.

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