PAREX, the monster of Manila

Analysis and Opinion

By JoeAm

PAREX is the Pasig River Expressway, a Build Build Build project granted to San Miguel Corporation (SMC) under a Toll Operations Agreement with the Duterte Government. Critics abound, mostly environmentalists, some disliking privileged car drivers, and some objecting to the rushed administrative process.

I took up a pro-SMC position on FB and Twitter and boy did I get an earful. I had to mute 3 complainants and I stoked a “Jesus Christ” retort from MLQ3 when I said his description “paving over the river” was emotionalized nonsense.

It was an informative discussion.

Let me just bullet-point a few of the more meaningful lessons arising from the discussion.

  • The approval process, about one year, was very fast and did not provide for thorough public feedback.
  • The Pasig is an estuary flowing both directions and is not completely biologically dead, but it’s a mess.
  • It’s been that way for 75 years and people’s fondness for the river never rises to the point of Government spending the big money needed to fix it.
  • SMC will spend the big money to build the elevated road and improve the river, and get the money back from tolls.
  • A lot of Filipinos don’t like the elitism of self-absorbed, rich, toll-paying car drivers.
  • The Pasig River right of way is a HUGE value, a monster asset, allowing east-west passage without negotiating and buying property rights from businesses and residents.
  • A car road is not the highest and best use of the people’s right-of-way, nor is a near-dead river; a train would be highest and best use of that valuable asset.
  • Many people see the Pasig as a national monument; an expressway above it is like putting a freeway up Mt Rushmore under George Washington’s nose (photo above).
  • Japan’s bullet train past Mt Fuji or Sydney’s Harbor Bridge illustrate that man’s progress can be inspirational, if done right.
  • SMC got stuck with having to correct government’s rush job, muffing it’s choice of architect and receiving screams from anguished citizens.
  • None of the anguished citizens has a practical way to help unblock traffic today; they speak of master plans, mass transit, and a future not in our lifetime.
  • Duterte/Tugade are wasting a valuable resource in what appears to be a rush to leave a Build Build Build success to their legacy; they are over-trying.

My conclusion? Kill the expressway. Put a train above the river. Fix the river. Let it flow. Make it a masterpiece of biking, hiking, parks, and dining. Give citizens something to be proud of.

SMC can do that, I’m confident. The economics will work.

Oh, and anticipate the need to control the flows as seas rise and storms dump huge amounts of water on Manila.


Photo of Mt Rushmore from

289 Responses to “PAREX, the monster of Manila”
    • JoeAm says:

      Agree, an excellent article mentioning, especially, the choking of traffic at either end of the expressway if additional volumes aren’t built into infrastructure there. A train would not have such a severe problem, interestingly enough. Put more buses at the ends. Have several stations along the route, as well.

    • NHerrera says:

      Thanks, Joe for the new blog topic and karl for the supplemental link — highlighting the monstrosity which at best benefits the rich providing the anticipated choke points, among others, are solved (?), but not the poor.

  1. Ramon L. Cuerva says:

    Totally agree. Mr Ramon Ang is a man with a vision, generous, resourceful and intelligent. He puts his own money to undertake his projects that benefit us all. His projects shorten travel times, improve Quality of life, employs thousands etc
    Best Entrpeneur we have. His Mantra is to give not to take away!

  2. Karl Garcia says:

    i just do no get Tugade when he said all projects have climate change in mind.
    not withstanding all the chest thumping on climate change, Palafox is disowning the project denying he had anything to do with the designs.
    Netizens, urban planners, environmentalists never run out of complaints regarding PAREX.

  3. kasambahay says:

    I was thinking about the iconic and the very long thames river in england, apparently the thames is scenic with around 200 bridges crossing over it! going from one side of the river to the other side, by foot or by bicycle, can easily be done in good time.

    the bridges at thames have have walkways for foot pedestrians and sightseers gawking at the river, some with headphones on. tourists with backpack, some are looking at their maps, others are taking pictures and making memories. once dirty and polluted, the thames river is cleansed and marine life is returning.

    in pasig, having toll like parex is is mainly money making ventures for the rich to get richer.

    • JoeAm says:

      Well, the argument presumes there is no money to be made by beautifying the Pasig but Iloilo officials would say there is and ask you to visit. It also presumes SMC executives are money grubbers with no ear to the public, mind for ecology, or eye for design when accomplishments and plans say otherwise.

      The whole premise of capitalism is to inspire the rich to get richer through innovation and success. The more advanced countries do that whereas in the Philippines government thieves steal the riches and socialist countries shrivel for giving money to those who have not earned it.

      So one’s perspective shapes one’s view of PAREX. Mine sees the Pasig as a rich resource treated badly and imagines a thriving resource immensely helpful to citizens.

      • kasambahay says:

        I’ve read somewhere that to rehabilitate a river, a six lane express way is not really needed.

        • JoeAm says:

          Right. But that misses the argument, diverting it from what should drive decisions into emotionalized simplicity. The Pasig is a very valuable “people’s” asset. It provides conflict-free right-of-way connecting east to west. It is now a near-dead body of water. How do you make Manila a dynamic, modern city. If you think a pretty river will do that, great. I’m a businessman. I see the waste of people sitting in cars going nowhere. I want them to get moving. By train. I’m confident Manila has the architects who can pull off the dual goal. SMC thought they had one, but he didn’t like the project. So your statement sorely mis-characterizes the issue.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      Its exit are
      Radial Road 10
      SKY way

      The problem always is when you go down to exit.

      Another link

  4. NHerrera says:


    Months ago the Duterte Group along with Pharmally was chugging along just fine. Not anymore. Now it is exposed — without its clothes and tanking badly — ironically by its erstwhile allies, among others. The Robredo Group has solid reasons now to decide for the country’s good. The B/C calculus has changed in its favor. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

    Time to slay the bigger monster that generates these consequent monsters that we write about.

  5. NHerrera says:


    Fareed Zakaria argues that while the structure of the economies of China, Germany, and other Developed Countries cannot compare with the solid one of the US, it has a “monster” [my term] in terms of its politics.

    Zakaria wrote an opinion article for Washington Post titled, “The U.S. economy continues to soar while American politics craters:”

    • JoeAm says:

      The politics is horrifying. Imagine the Republican racist, hostile, punitive nut cases running American affairs like Hitler’s Germany. Such power.

      • NHerrera says:


        In the PH we have a double horror — the economy and the politics. What is the redeeming factor? Maybe our friend Wilfredo G. Villanueva can write one. Or Kasambahay.

  6. filcitizen says:

    My take against parex thing:

    The premises are

    1. manila needs to be decongested
    2. utilization of pasig river

    My points

    1. It can be done with less money

    i’m not that guy who owns the post, but if it can be done with less money, then surely the remaining budget for parex can be allocated in many other pressing things, such as addressing the pandemic mass testing/vaccination and better frontliner support so that more Filipinos can participate in the economy with less risk of succumbing to covid-19

    the esplanades will make the riversides more accessible to Filipinos across the economic spectrum and will allow more development as well (i.e. reviving the ferry system). the esplanades will also be a good staging point to clean up the river given the improved accesibility

    2. decentralization

    long-term decongestion of manila is possible if people can find a better opportunity in the provinces. minimum wage disparity across regions incentivizes filipinos to take up jobs in metro manila. imagine all those commuting/driving from the provinces to manila just to work and go back home.. it makes up a substantial traffic volume. if the provinces were competitive enough, then all of those commuters wouldn’t have to be in manila at all, freeing up traffic for better logistics of goods and services.

    SMC should consider investing in provinces instead of putting their eggs in one big basket called metro manilla 🙂

    • JoeAm says:

      Your remark reminds me of an article I did long ago advocating for development outside of Manila.

      But I think a train along the Pasig would be both elegant and inspire development of the River as a go-to destination for hikers, bikers, and diners. And it would move a lot of people.

    • kasambahay says:

      it’s not just people that need to move from one place to another, produce is same. container vans, tankers, and big cargo trucks loaded with supplies, fresh produce and livestock go to metro manila, their routes are not just confined at night but leaked to compete with daytime traffic. maybe, barges and river route is good for them.

  7. Karl Garcia says:

    unfortunately whats holding the eastern luzon developmeent is the lack of a car centric access road and express way.
    maybe eventually a train network will be the priority instead of a road network.
    Easy to say that more roads means more cars and more traffic.

    it takes years to have right of way, that is why all over the worldwe have incomplete bridges and highways because some owners does not want to budge for right of way.

    for ralways thre were controversies in the pan luzon north soth rail.
    MRT has decades of problems.
    The PNR is a rotting decay.

    The Mindanao rail never came to be.

    The Nautical Highway was suggested instead of long bridges. Travel by ship is also pollutive so A nautical Highway contributes more to pollution than having cars and long bridges.

  8. madlanglupa says:

    I just read this article which points out the consequences of Japanese government placing expressways on waterways as an effort to modernize its transportation arteries, resulting in the eventual neglect and decay of those historic waterways.

    • JoeAm says:

      Tokyo is a cement city. Incredible. The Pasig today is not much to brag about. Improving it requires a return on any investment so it’s hard to do something piece-meal, as tried in the past. I don’t go to Manila because the drive across the street takes an hour.

  9. Micha says:

    The Interstate Highway System is a massive 77,960 km of controlled-access expressway spanning across the continental US and yet we don’t see a privately run toll booth in any of its corridors. The project first started by Eisenhower was federally funded and designed

    Why do Ramon Ang’s San Miguel and Manuel Pangilinan’s First Pacific get to set up toll booths in the many expressways in and around Metro Manila?

    Those are the country’s crown jewels being handed over to these rent extractors. It’s a natural monopoly that should have been in the exclusive jurisdiction of our national gov’t.

    That San Miguel and First Pacific are the ones running this monopoly is not capitalism anymore. It’s socialism for Ramon Ang and Manuel Pangilinan.

    • isk says:

      I think those were under the build, operate and transfer projects.

      • Micha says:

        Yeah, the favorite scheme of rentier monopolists. They will transfer after fleecing the public dry.

        And we wonder why our brand of capitalism is devolving into feudal oligarchy.

  10. Joe The Kano says:

    This sounds an awful lot like a thinly disguised private trucking expessway to and from the harbor. Let’s think about those implications.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      The Logistics hubs are at Southern Luzon, unless Taguig wants to be a Container yard hub.

      What do you have in mind Joe?

  11. Karl Garcia says:

    Speaking of trains.
    Here are the rail projects pending.

    The only thing missing in the updated wiki article was the Palafox turning down the project.


    Let time forget all wounds.
    Before all environnmental problems have been raised in the airport project like that part of Bulacan will eventually sink.
    Flooding will occur, etc.

    These are still problems,but people forget because of other pressing concerns which we never run out of to make us forget about yesterday’s news.

  12. chemrock says:

    One word of encouragement, if I may. The challenge is not engineering or technology as this can be acquired and transferred. Phlippines certainly have the capability in this area. We have lots of Filipinos working in these fields in Singapore. You guys are’nt short of capable people. The challenge is finance and politics. The issue of finance had been fully studied and addressed in the Pnoy admin. The best way to move forward is PPP with massive private investments who receive compensation by a cut in the revenue from the projects. Unfortunately, the Duterte admin has taken 2 steps backwards. I have no views on politics which seem to be your biggest stumbling block.

    I share an interesting video here on 3 interesting developments Singapore is working on. This is not a show-off but just promoting the idea everything is almost possible in engineering. I like to point to the Tuas port development by reclaiming from the sea. The use of caissons is fascinating. This is the biggest caisson project in the world, something not just Singaporeans but Asians should be proud of. We are already preparing today for a port that can accommodate the vessels of the future. Do note that whilst the video portrays futuristic and state of the art technologies, hardware and ideas, there are lots of Filipino engineers involved.

    • NHerrera says:

      Writing as an engineer myself, yes. Thanks, chempo, for the note and link.

      • sonny says:

        It warms my heart no end when I read and hear about tens of thousands of underemployed, capable Filipino professionals find their well-deserved havens across the globe: nurses, doctors, teachers, scientists, engineers, technicians, laborers. In my time as chemist, the Boeings, Bechtels, Parsons, US Federal & State Governments, universities and hospitals did justice many times over to our compatriots to ameliorate their lives where the homeland could only treat them with pittance and neglect.
        As I write this, I read that Fort McCoy in our neighbor state of Wisconsin is settling 15,000 Afghans preparing them for assimilation into American society and hopefully giving them better chances at life than they could otherwise in their home country.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      Where do you get the concrete for the caissons and the soil and rocks for reclaiming land?
      do you get it from Malaysia and other neighbors like the Philippines?

      I love the water desalination presentation, the pH can do everything you (Singapore) did if they want to.
      Money is no object, the money goes to the relatives, because if there is a will there will always be relatives. If only there is a way for the will and resolve to be channeled and harnessed.

      Back to PH

      if the Parex pushes through then RSA must also do the Quezon canal project a short cut for ships from the Pacific ocean to Tayabas bay then to Batangas and Mindoro finally to the West Philippine sea.

      Singapore must not allow the canal in Thailand to push throuhgh, otherwise all that money spent in that mega port would be put to waste.

      • kasambahay says:

        heto karlG, another of ramon ang’s jumping tilapia, lol! senyor ang bulldoze his way in sa tingin ko. the scion of food and beverages has well and truly gone build build build infrastructuring.

      • JoeAm says:

        Dynamic. The word of the day. I would note that Cebu operates more like Singapore than Manila, kind of a little little brother. Real estate developer Filinvest has received approval to build four desalinization plants around Cenu. Critics say they are electricity hogs and water will be very expensive. I suppose Filinvest would respond “At least we can keep building profitable projects with water, whereas others cannot.” Cebu has a bit of a water shortage I guess.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          Wait till they find out how much water and electricity is consumed by Amazon, FB, Google and all with server farms, then they would think desalination is actually cheap.

          I read Reset the book you featured in one of your blogs the past few months hence.

      • chemrock says:


        1) Indeed, sand is a big problem. I’m glad you asked. There is something very interesting going on. Our own Singaporean research guy have come up with something he calls ‘new sand’. He uses ordinary daily garbage and through a heat process the feeds are converted into particles. Remember in my article on Manila beach reclaimmation, the sand granules are jagged with gives it the interlocking capability. The river sand that is used to mix with concrete comes in grains that are smoothened due to river water erosion. This ‘new sand’ the particles come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, jagged and smooth, depending on the composition of garbage. I’m guessing this characteriistic makes a great difference. Laboraty test show cement mixed with ‘new sand’ is 6 times stronger than with river sand. This is of course great, but it is especially fantastic for some of the projects we are working on underground where great strength is required. The ‘new sand’ is currently undergoing industrial use testing. I have no idea about the economics.

        2. The Kra Canal — This remains the exotic dream of some corrupt Thai generals. The economics does not work out. (a)one way trip to China, Korea, Japan is only a matter of 3 days. (b) Fuel cost savings is not that much. (c) The throughput of vessels cannot compare to Pabama Canal. Thus fees are going to be very high. (d) The canal will create a huge political problem for the Kingdom of Thailand. The southern area is Muslim region with separatist sentiments and a ready militia to back it up. A physical split of the land will drive the separatist faction into the arms of Malaysia.

        • chemrock says:

          (a)one way trip to China, Korea, Japan only a matter of 3 days.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          less we forget silicon based material like glass and silicon chips and yes breast implants come from sand.
          If Scientist can convert shards of broken glass back to sand, there are a lot of glass bottles to turn into sand.

          Recycled concrete taken from the rubble that came from demolition of buildings and roads can be mixed with raw concrete and voila the lack of sand problem is solved.

          As for cement making, the garbage or refused derived fuel can replace coal or mixed with coal.
          I know the R and D of Singapore is topnotch as shown in that vid, here in PH, we are all talk, if all our talk has produced results, we could have been a first world nation by now.

          They must have learned from our (PH) forever wars in the South, that wars are useless. But Their military generals beat us in the number of coups.

          Singapore is already THE transhipment hub now, with that megaport, they will forever be the transhipment hub in AsPac.

          If you run out of space you can always conquer Malaysia. Joke joke joke.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      As long as Singapore is in the map, the Kra Canal will be a no go. (forever and a day). But for the Quezon canal, if RSA lives to pass 100, he might think of this because those who pass by the Batangas City Container Port, needs a short cut very badly. But it is owned by Dubai ports, A Razon Frienemy, it might take time.

      • JoeAm says:

        I’d guess the numbers don’t pan out in terms of volume of ships and fees, because on paper, it looks brilliant.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          With the megaport in Singapore. Singapore will be the only tran shipment authority in this region. All othe ports will just be a transhipment to the mother of all transhipments.

          • JoeAm says:

            My wife wants to go there to see the fancy buildings and trans-ship some jewelry. I want to go to Egypt and crawl around really old buildings.

            • Karl Garcia says:

              Go ahead with your nth honey moon.
              There is also something in Egypt and it is he reconstruction of the thing that is lost during the first time.

              • JoeAm says:

                True on discovering one’s soul in history. The regal Egypt. It would be my third trip there. So much to see and be amazed at. Haha. But Singapore is closer.

  13. NHerrera says:


    My thought of the day as I ponder more on the current blog and chempo’s post.

    The Filipino has creative instinct. He has the intelligence. And quite a few think in facts and science. Unfortunately — the tragedy really — it does not have the critical mass and tradition to embody all three. The US, Germany, Japan have. China has too despite its authoritarian regime.

    Needed: a new leadership to seriously put all these three items together — creative instinct, intelligence, and science/ facts. We had the beginnings under President Nonoy Aquino, but it was cut short by the unique Philippine politics. We need to change that too.

    • Karl Garcia says:

      With all the clowns running for president and vice president…Isn’t it rich….

      Isn’t it bliss? Don’t you approve?
      One who keeps tearing around and one who can’t move
      But where are the clowns? Send in the clowns

    • JoeAm says:

      My grand enlightenment yesterday, taken from MLQ3’s writings about the intricacies of electioneering, is that Philippine elections are complex, intricate, vibrant affairs. Plurality, parties of popularity not principle, VP separate from president, dynastic, swapping of candidates. Not American. Not anywhere else, I’d imagine. Unique. Unchangable, really. If there is failure, it is probably more the fault of the players than the process. Filipinos should be proud of their democracy and just get better at it. That’s my view today, different from the day before.

      • NHerrera says:


        We had the beginnings … but it was cut short by the unique Philippine politics. We need to change that too.

        and your

        … Philippine elections are complex, intricate, vibrant affairs … Not American. Not anywhere else, I’d imagine. Unique. Unchangable, really … Filipinos should be proud of their democracy and just get better at it

        touches, in sympathetic vibration, the concept of uniqueness and democracy the Filipino way. And so the PH politics I wrote about has to change, but not in one fell swoop, which is near impossible. The most that can be done is to evolve faster. Like you, “that’s my view today, different from the day before.” 🙂

    • sonny says:

      NH, just to reiterate what everyone is saying, the cultural mix in language (English, regional Malay), education (American, Hispanic, Malay), economics and Filipino political style and governance (internecine problem definition, analysis, resolution) seem to be the perfect mix to poison any dynamic our collective heads come up with. James Fallows was prescient in this regard.

      • NHerrera says:

        That may well be the case, sonny.

        As I have written more than once here in TSH, in mathematical terms, it is analogous to the dynamics of a set of differential equations whose “boundary conditions/ constraints” do not admit a solution — the constraints being akin to the items you enumerated. Or in the language of Fallows, so damaged it cannot possibly join other countries, especially our neighbors, in the same level of per capita measure of overall wellness.

        But we may be too harsh. I still see a glimmer of hope. Consider too while we are at it, what Trump has done to the US and its possible future. This latest NYT Editorial may be relevant:

        • Sonny has very well enumerated the constraints while what NHerrera wrote reminds me of something a German entrepreneur who was once my boss and later customer told me: “human societies tend to evolve towards a LOCAL optimum”.

          To expound on that, the local optimum in the archipelago was disrupted already in 1521, again in the early 19th century, then during the turn of the 19th/20th century, then in the 1940s and most in the 1990s to the present – but Philippine society managed to keep fixing and achieving a new local optimum until the present state where the local optimum is strained to its limits, meaning things have to change once more.

          NHerrera also speaks of a learning process in another comment, responding to Joe’s comment on the uniqueness of the Philippine political process, meaning the way the polity finds its way to deal with the challenges of the times.

          Just trying to define the parameters, as I have to admit that I feel a bit lost now.

          Wondering also why Sokor managed to go from poverty and low literacy far worse than the Philippines back in the 1950s (including slums in the hills of Seoul due to a flood of refugees from the Communist North) to OECD member status in just a generation. Yes, it also has its own aspects that are damaged (heavily patriarchal, misogynistic and authoritarian culture; some degree of impunity including bullying often perpetrated by the children of the entitled i.e. public officials and rich industrialists; highest suicide rate in the OECD due to an extremely harsh competitive system; extreme consumerism and emphasis on appearances; and reluctance to speak out truths due to face that is only somewhat fading nowadays) so what led to their success and Philippine failure?

          One might be tempted to say Confucian culture (with all its known drawbacks) but doesn’t the Philippines also have Confucian influences? Those like Ramon Ang who succeed often come from the minority that has those influences. Malaysia for example manages to constructively tap those energies and blend them with the Malay aspect, what is missing in the Philippines? Singapore is doubtless a place where the Confucian aspect, mixed with British elements, dominates. Just putting out a few questions here.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            The French and the British may have been shorter in their length of stay in our neighbors but they have left their mark. The Portuguese influence in Macao, Indonesia and East Timor not like that of Brazil’s. The Spanish did not even teach us to speak their language like the Latinos.

            Speaking of our neighbors. The world prefers Vietnamese and Thai Patis, because we do not make them like we used to, we cheat in manufacturing by pitting less fish and more caramel,water and salt and our excuse is China’s bullying of our fishermen which is true, but we never run out of excuses.

            We will never be manufacturers, only in our dreams.

            They say we are resillient, because our neighbors dropped from the top floor only to rise up, but we droppedd only from the second floor and we chest thump on resiliency.

            • kasambahay says:

              food fraud is also happening in europe. in italy, it was found out that the meat burgers from poland were made from ground bones, offals, and hooves all mixed together. and to improve protein content, plant based protien from ground beans was added. as well, diseased and dead animals destined for burning were diverted, processed as food and exported.

              as always, cash up manufacturers said they have done nothing wrong, prosecuting them is costly as they hire top lawyers to argue their case.

              manufacturers are supposed to honestly enumerate and list all ingredients on the food labels attached. and not misled consumers.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Right you are. Well the expression onli in da pilipins is not really only in the Philippines.

          • NHerrera says:

            Irineo, I may have managed to confuse you with the two notes you refer to and you are right: my going from — not optimism — less pessimism to pessimism. That or you yourself express confusion about the state of PH affairs from your comparison with other countries.

            I find your use of the words “local optimum” quite apt in the context of my use of “less pessimism” — that is, figuratively, while other countries are the highs or mountains around us, we are in the swamps with some rises here and there.

            There are fewer and fewer things to cheer about these days and those are things which come mainly from one’s family and friends — in my case, the antics of the youngest of my grandchildren.

            But “tomorrow is another day” [ref Scarlett O’Hara of the movie “Gone with the Wind]. 🙂

            • Let’s say that the recent comments I mentioned by yourself, Sonny and Joe have at least given some form to the feeling I have had for a while, to questions I could not verbalize.

              The local optimum being a product of both the as yet incomplete cultural synthesis mentioned by Sonny and the transactional political culture Joe mentioned as being very accurately described by MLQ3 – and the possibly slow learning process you mentioned.

              The questions now being: 1) is there learning at all (I feel Karl might be skeptical) 2) will it happen fast enough to prevent worse (or will the Philippines have to fall all the way down first before moving up again) and 3) what can be learned from related cultures, as there is obviously a reluctance to learn from “not applicable” Western models, is there a willingness to learn at all or does everything have to go the hard way as in Popeye’s University of Hard Knocks? And yes, tomorrow is another day, what might it bring?

              • Micha says:

                The political and economic elite are doing spectaculararly well; what are you complaining?

              • Yes indeed, why? Because those Filipinos who live by the rules of patronage will also be OK and have a part on the gravy train, those at the end of that food chain might get a cake for their birthday and that’s it but good old unang na loob will keep them in line.

                So in a way, the Philippines and most Filipinos will be OK by their age-old unwritten rules, even if not based on modern rules and institutions but old school favors and following. – why care?

              • Micha says:


                Reading your exchanges with NHerrera gives one the impression that the Philippines is irrevocably hopeless – poor, backward, laggard.

                But that’s not the picture one gets when you are in the wealthy side of town.

                A more accurate depiction is that there are actually two Philippines – one rich and the other poor.

                The taking into account of this economic duality is what’s lacking in your depressing analysis.

                And for as long as we side step the fact that we have our own 1% problem in the country, we will never be able to make a coherent solution to our socio-economic dilemma and inequities.

              • JoeAm says:

                I was struck by an observation yesterday on Twitter that the Philippines will always be hierarchical, and what is needed is more ladders. There is promise in that view. One does not have to get locked into despair. One can go to work building ladders.

              • Of course there is Ayala Alabang vs. Ayala Alabang Gilid.

                There is modern BGC as opposed to the slums near Manila Bay.

                There is Sec. Duque helping German GDP by buying his 3 Porsches.

                But also Filipino nurses who go to work in the city where Porsche is made.

                And of course NHerrera with his old Toyota Corolla who is neither rich nor poor.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                What I meant that we just fell from the second floor while others who were too big too fail that they fell from the top floor all the way down or were bailed out. others were worse off.

                Korea and Japan suffered more. Korea like the rest of our neighbors still abhore the rising sun flag, we are ignorant of that , all we know that it was a cool to have a shirt unil someone posted and flaunted it in socmed.
                Japan suffered because of Enola Gay, fatman little boy, but Jpan Inc got enough attention post WW2. Korea and Japan Had their oligarchs wachamacoldem to rise to the occassion and commit suicide once caught n a scandal.
                Maybe we shoud commit suicide once caught too. Nah!

                Our one percenters evolved from being royalties, to being landowners, to what we have now. the 99 percent either were vassals, slaves, farmers, workers.

                Is it really a dichotomy of Rich Dad Poor Dad because the poor dad knows nothin bout finance or is it more than meets the eye?

                We have clan wars not just clan versus another clan we have clan wars within the same clan who hires active and or ex military and police to hold on to whatever grudge they are holding.

                We have other forms of forever wars involving religion and ideology or lust for power and wealth.

                Then there is the keep them poor variations. Reverse robin hood you steal from the poor and give to the rich.

                We do not really learn from history or we are just slow learners,

              • There are of course two ways to address inequality, in fact in Korea they are side by side.

                The last hillside slum in Seoul today is just beside the posh area of Gangnam.

                But just north of Seoul and it’s hills is the legendary 48th Parallel aka DMZ.

                Yes of course Sokor has a few people living in basement apartments a la Parasite.

                Still the North Korean scenario is far worse than the neolib issues of Sokor.

                And the Kim Fat Pig dynasty proves socialism can also include feudal nepotism.

              • Micha says:


                IOW, not much has changed in the socio-economic set up since we first started as a republic – a system of economic elitism.

                Whereas before we have Don Jaime and Don Vicente lording it over their haciendas, today we have the likes of Don Ramon and Don Manuel lording it over our airports and highways.

                We might have a modern capitalist system but the caste/feudal arrangement remain.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                On Joe’s heirarchy, the one percenter will just say why climb a mountain when there is a ski lift.
                Patronage, nepotism,poticking are ways of leap frogging the others who are just frogs being lept over or stones being stepped over.

                Maybe Micha is right

                The 99 percenters in PH are just vassals that evolve only in name.

              • JoeAm says:

                The nation is economically indebted to the oligarchs for providing jobs and a vibrant consumer economy in part fueled by overseas remittances. To wish them away in favor of less powerful and less rich endeavors puts the nation back to wet markets instead of supermarkets. I think some LGUs do better than others, Iloilo and Cebu as examples. They function as ladder-makers along with the construction pros and oligarchs. The missing piece is the lousy national government that invests poorly. But the nation itself seems far from vassal to me. Maybe 30% is vassal. But a whole lot of people are fed information from entertainers, not scientists. The US, too, where conspiracy theory is becoming as prominent as science. I’ve not lost hope here. As my son says, “it ees wat it ees!”

              • Karl Garcia says:

                that is one way to look at it Joe thanks again.

              • NHerrera says:

                @Irineo: to your three questions:

                – I believe there is some learning (Q1);
                – The speed of learnings and consequent applications may well be crucially influenced by the result of the 2022 election (Q2);
                – The learnings (and their applications) from other countries’ experiences will again depend greatly on the coming election (Q3).

                As to your,

                And of course NHerrera with his old Toyota Corolla who is neither rich nor poor,”

                as karl will phrase it, I say, “exactomondo.” Semi-quantitatively, in math terms:

                Poor < NHerrera <<< Rich. 🙂

                P. S. Re tomorrow is another day, there is an advisory from Leni Robredo’s camp that Leni will make an important announcement tomorrow, Thursday at 11:00 am (Manila time.

              • NHerrera says:

                @Irineo, re the PH status, this article by George Friedman, although writing a not-altogether-new concept offers another nuanced view with respect to China — Duterte’s idol of a country:


                Concluding line:
                …the fact is that the status of China, by any measure, has bred a wealth equal to the best in the world, and a poverty equal to the worst.

              • NHerrera says:

                @Irineo, here is still another article from the geopolitical scientist, George Friedman — looking at China’s future from its foreign policy thrust, supplemental to the previous link.

                It is an interesting read in other respects. It cites US experience in the great depression and the likely instability feared to ensue because of the great imbalance between the rich and poor — but saved or rescued by the economic activity due to WWII.

                The status of China’s rich-poor divide brought in by the pandemic and the US tariff has increased.

                Friedman writes: “The problem that China is facing is a collapse of social cohesion and a loss of confidence in the system. Inequality without hope is dangerous, which is why the current crisis opened with a massive assault by the state on wealthy tech entrepreneurs. The Communist Party of China wants to mitigate the damage of what it undoubtedly saw coming. Nothing is more stabilizing than the wealthy brought low.” [Bolding, mine.]


  14. NHerrera says:

    I think this is relevant even on the blog’s topic concerning PAREX.

    It is about the book, “Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future by Pope Francis in Conversation with the writer Austen Ivereigh. It is of course written from the perspective of a Catholic Pope, but the message seems universal to me in this time of worldwide crisis.

    If our Editor will allow, I post these excerpts.

    IN THIS PAST YEAR OF change and crisis, my mind and heart have overflowed with people. People I think of and pray for, and sometimes cry with: people with names and faces, people who died without saying goodbye to those they loved, families in difficulty, even going hungry, because there’s no work.

    Sometimes, when you think globally, you can be paralyzed: there are so many places of apparently ceaseless conflict, there’s so much suffering and need.

    You have to go to the edges of existence if you want to see the world as it is. I’ve always thought that the world looks clearer from the periphery, but in these last seven years as Pope, it has really hit home. You have to make for the margins to find a new future. When God wanted to regenerate creation, He chose to go to the margins—to places of sin and misery, of exclusion and suffering, of illness and solitude—because they were also places full of possibility.

    But you can’t go to the periphery in the abstract. I think often of persecuted peoples: the Rohingya, the poor Uighurs, the Yazidi—what ISIS did to them was truly cruel—or Christians in Egypt and Pakistan killed by bombs that went off while they prayed in church. I have a particular affection for the Rohingya people. The Rohingya are the most persecuted group on earth right now; insofar as I can, I try to be close to them. They are not Catholics or Christians, but they are our brothers and sisters, a poor people kicked from all sides who don’t know where to turn. Right now in Bangladesh there are thousands of them in refugee camps with Covid-19 running riot. Imagine what happens when the virus hits a refugee camp. It’s an injustice that cries to the heavens.

    I met the Rohingya in 2017 in Dhaka: they are good people, people who want to work and take care of their families yet who are not allowed to, an entire population cornered and corralled. But what especially moves me is Bangladesh’s fraternal generosity to them. It’s a poor, densely populated nation; yet they opened their doors to 600,000 people. Their prime minister at the time told me how the Bangladeshis give up a meal each day so the Rohingya can eat. When last year, in Abu Dhabi, I was given an award—it was a significant sum—I had it sent straight to the Rohingya: a recognition of Muslims by other Muslims.

    This theme of helping others has stayed with me these past months. In lockdown I’ve often prayed for those who sought all means to save the lives of others while giving their own. I don’t mean they were careless, or reckless; they didn’t seek death, and did their best to avoid it, even if sometimes they couldn’t because they had inadequate protection. But they did not prefer saving their own lives to saving others’. So many of the nurses, doctors, and caregivers paid that price of love, as did priests and religious and ordinary people whose vocation is service. We return their love by grieving for them, and honoring them.

    Whether or not they were conscious of it, their choice testified to a belief: that it is better to live a shorter life serving others than a longer one resisting that call. That’s why, in many countries, people stood at their windows or on their doorsteps to applaud them in gratitude and awe. They are the saints next door, who have awoken something important in our hearts, making credible once more what we desire to instill by our preaching.

    They are the antibodies to the virus of indifference. They remind us that our lives are a gift and we grow by giving of ourselves: not preserving ourselves but losing ourselves in service.

    What a sign of contradiction to the individualism and self-obsession and lack of solidarity that so dominate our wealthier societies! Could these caregivers, sadly gone from us now, be showing us the way we must now rebuild?

    • sonny says:

      Just a sidenote about the goodness in people: Vietnamese who were once refugees are helping expatriated Afghan refugees settle in their American homes in Westminster, Calif and Seattle, Washington state.

  15. chemrock says:

    Let me lap on to Micha’s views that infras should be undertaken by the Govt instead of enriching the few oligarchs. The thread was getting rather long.

    I want to share this particular lesson of Singapore in our earlier years. When we gained independence 1965, the first general leaders under Lee Kuan Yuan had their plates full on urgent things to work on. One of this was housing. We were then an oriental slum city basically.

    The task fell on Dy PM Goh Keng Swee, a crafty smart cookie economist who was a corporal under the Brits in WWII. He set up the Housing Devt Board tasked to build public housing, tons of it. His executives started doing the math and exclaimed HDB will be the single biggest employer in Singapore. Goh did his studies and said NO. Construction will be private enterprise. HDB did the town planning, design schematic, etc. But construction were all farmed out.

    Years later he explained, and we can see the wisdom. In every industry, at the micro levels, there exists all sorts of work arrangements of contractors, sub-contractors, sub-sub-contractors, each with specific skills, sourcing knowledge, work crew management and supply subsets, support bases, contact networks, specialist knowhow, economies of operation, etc etc, things that a behemoth Government employer will never understand. At every level the contractors, sub-cons, sub-sub cons etc, are entrepreneurs who are thinking and making decisions on their feet. They will innovate, improve work designs, chase efficiencies, etc.

    Governments never produce or manufacture anything. They govern and serve. The old communists of USSR and China are the best advertisement never to let the government do the production.

    In my humble opinion DPP is the best way forward. Years of groundwork on the legislation, getting people to understand and set up the mechanisms, getting the private sectors in tune with the concept, all the work done by the Pnoy admin, alas all gone to waste by the Duterte admin. Much could have been accomplished by the Duterte admin had they carried the momentum of the PPP drive. Voting has consequences, but how many Filipinos appreciate that.

    • NHerrera says:

      Your Dy PM Goh Keng Swee was a crafty smart cookie economist indeed — the trickle-down positive effect of his ideas. I appreciate your relating it to the PH case [last para].

    • Micha says:

      I did say private corporations and the national government could enter into a contract to build highways, bridges, airports etc. But corporations don’t have to manage/operate/or collect toll fees on those infrastructures because those are PUBLICLY OWNED.

      What San Miguel is doing here is straight out of a neo-liberal playbook. It’s the public whose subsidizing the profit scheme of private corporations. That’s called corporate socialism.

      • chemrock says:

        I agree the infras are publicly owned. The concept is private sector takes the risks and funds the projects, working on the basis of delayed gratification by operating and earning from toll operation.

        Of course equity demands that toll sharing basis has to be worked out that provides a fair ROI for the private sector to prevent a complete 100% capture of the economic fruits of the project. I appreciate in the context of Philippines, this is the buck of the problem in a corrupt oligarchy..

        PPP mitigates state budget constraints and channels private resources to where the government wants. It’s a win-win for all.

        • Micha says:

          “The concept is private sector takes the risks and funds the projects, working on the basis of delayed gratification by operating and earning from toll operation.”

          No, No, No, and No.

          Your concept is entirely flawed and that’s the start of corruption.

          It’s the state, through it’s duly constituted government, who determines the need for, say, a highway at location X spanning 100 kms. A private construction company like San Miguel could then participate in the bidding process and the agreed price for the project could then be settled with a payment scheme of, let’s say, 50% up front and 50% upon completion. Thus, any toll collection arrangement is redundant.

          Because a government project has a sovereign guarantee on matters of cost and payment, your word salad about risks and delayed gratification is entirely bullshit.

          You’re making it appear as if a private corporation has this big magnanimous heart instead of just another opportunistic predator out to make a killing at every turn.

          “PPP mitigates state budget constraints and channels private resources to where the government wants.”

          No, dear chempo, as you very well know from our previous discussion, a sovereign state has no budget constraint unless the goods and services it wants to purchase is priced or denominated in a foreign currency. That, plus the ignorance of its own congress people and policy makers.

          PPP mitigates the lack of profit making opportunity in the private sector so the rentier capitalists channels its resources into the public sector in order to make a guaranteed return.

          There, I fixed the last paragraph for you.

          • NHerrera says:

            The exercise — Chempo posts then Micha corrects. Or vice versa. 🙂 Cheers guys. And thank you both for the posts. I learn.

          • chemrock says:

            Nowhere did I say State acede sovereignty of infra project to private sector.

            State’s role is planning and regulating. Private sector bids and undertakes the construction and finance. Under toll arrangements, private sector look to toll collection to recoup capital and fair returns. This way, infras can be undertaken without the fiscal constraints and legislative processes.

            Let’s put the MMT aside here and deal with the reality in Philippines at the moment.

            • Karl Garcia says:

              You know chemp that I have been wishing for MMT to come true one day. From the get go you already told me that it would not work.
              For PH we wil never run out of foreign loans whether infra is PPP, BOT and especially Foreign aid funded or ODA
              If our local banks can refinance the foreign loans to domestic loans MMT might be possible but I doubt if they have trillions in cash ready.

              As for Oligarchs, As long as they do not act like parasites, practices stakeholder capitalism, sustainable development better if regenerative development, best practices in human capital, modersates the greed, then they are ok in my book.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                About that stakeholder capitalism


                Stakeholder capitalism is a form of capitalism in which companies seek long-term value creation by taking into account the needs of all their stakeholders, and society at large.

                On sustainable development, I guess the tree planting and beyond is going places.


              • chemrock says:

                “If our local banks can refinance the foreign loans to domestic loans MMT might be possible”

                This is not the pre-requisite for MMT.
                In open economy, capital flows from those who have to those who don’t and cross borders. All sorts of hedging mechanisms are available for both borrower and lender to fund or take in the currencies they want. In between, all sorts of third parties take the currency or interest rate risks that the lender or borrower may not want to take themselves.

                I know this MMT thingy is always at the back of your mind. Because it’s absolutely enticing as all freebies are. Who don’t want money for free. So let me give you 2 pointers here to ponder, at the macro level.

                (1) Bangko Sentral simply credits the Govt a/c Php100T. Hey presto, money is printed by a key stroke. In BS books they credit Bureau of Treasury a/c and debit let’s say an account called ‘MMT cash a/c. In BOT books they debit Current a/c (their a/c at BS) and credit ‘MMT issued a/c ‘.

                In BS books, assets=liabilities. So MMT money printed = what BOT owes BS. No problems, right?

                Now BOT spends the Php100T. That money winds it’s way through the banking system and eventually ends up in the various banks accounts at BS. In other words, BS still has the asset of Php100T in the ‘MMT cash a/c’, but the liabilities are now in the credits of the Reserve accounts of various banks. All these liabilities in the hands of other banks are claims on the BS. So you see, is the MMT money free? There is a real debt to be paid.

                (2) MMTers lame attempt to plug the inflation issue with taxation is really laughable. If Php100T is issued, fractional banking will explode the money supply. If reserve ratio is 10%, fractional banking will cause a Php100T to end up with php1,000T. How much do you think the tax rate should increase to pull back Php1,000T out of circulation? The mathematicians in the house can work out a suggestion. It will be a crazy rate. What will that high tax rate do to the economy? OK MMTers can say curtail fractional banking. This is done by raising the reserve ratio. If it is 100%. fractional banking will be zero. Great right? But what will such a high reserve ration do to banks? They will all close shop because they will have an unsustainable cost of funds.

                So what about you as an individual – the salaried man. If Php100T MMT money is printed and taxes are raised, what’s in it for you? Your salary remains the same, but your taxes go sky high.

                These are just the macros. When you go into the micros …..

              • Karl Garcia says:

                I will ponder on the points

              • Micha says:

                Stop corrupting karl’s mind here chemp. When BOT starts spending money to pay government contractors, say FF Cruz Builders, that money forms part of M3 measure and circulates in the economy with attendant velocity. FF Cruz will use it to, among other things, pay their engineers, laborers, and suppliers. It does not necessarily end up in commercial banks’ reserve at central bank as a debt of the latter.

              • chemrock says:

                My dear Micha

                I’m not here to convince you of anything. You are an academician, I’m a practitioner. I’m responding solely for the benefit of those who are following.

                FF Cruz will use it to, among other things, pay their engineers, laborers, and suppliers. It does not necessarily end up in commercial banks’ reserve at central bank as a debt of the latter.

                Of course money circulates.. So anyone that has it either spends it as cash, or he deposits in banks only to spend later. All the money that moves through the banks are cleared through their Reserve accounts at BS. But of course money also will not end up and stop at the banks. Banks never ever leave idle cashdon’t around even for one day. You and I know that money does not go to sleep. My explanation to Karl is in simplistic terms as if we freeze the money circulating, where will it go. Unless you believe people keep all their cash under their pillows, people put their cash in banks, which end up in the banks’ reserve accounts at BS.

                The simplification is just to show the free money is now claims on the BS by banks. Since you don’t understand this simplistic view, let’s take the actual scenario. The free money that was printed is with FF Cruz and he pays his contractors, employees, vendors, etc etc. What does these cash in the hands of these parties mean? They are still claims on the BS.

              • Micha says:

                Hah, now you’re slowly coming into the light chemp, don’t hold back.

                MMT had been saying for ages that all gov’t issued money is a form of IOU so we’re coming into some sort of convergence here.

                Central banks, such as they are, merely function as record keepers of bank reserves. As Ben Bernanke famously said, they simply use computer strokes to mark up or mark down reserve deposits, not entirely different from what your neighborhood bank does to your checking account – marking it up when you make a deposit and marking it down when you withdraw or spend.

                Thus your framing of it as debt to be paid is only half correct because central banks, again, such as they are, are not your typical debtor in this scenario like you and me who will need to scour sources of income in order to pay debt obligations. They are record and safe keepers of bank reserves.

                What is problematic in your framing is that an unsuspecting layman listening to your narrative will naturally balk at the mere mention of the word “debt” because of his pre-programmed traditional concept of it in his everyday dealings as homo economicus.

                Again, a distinction needs to be made between a money issuing national government on the one hand and money using entities like households, private companies and individuals on the other.

                A suggestion was made by blogger Rodger Mitchell that instead of calling it debt we should start calling it deposits instead to relieve the traditional trauma associated with the word and because it is a more accurate description of both its function and nature.

              • chemrock says:

                Whoooa Micha, look who’s talking.

                MMT had been saying for ages that all gov’t issued money is a form of IOU so we’re coming into some sort of convergence here.>

                I have been saying there is no free money, there is a debt. You have been saying it’s free because of keystroke creation of money. So at last you are recognising there is a debt after all. Good. One small step for MMTers.

                Battles are fought and won or lost on the battlegrounds, not on the planning desks in the Dept of Defence or field commands. That’s why I have always been discussing issues at the micro level. If you debt here where is the debit and what does all these entries mean. That has been my issues all the time. You on the other hand discuss grand ivory tower narratives.

                And here you go again with Ben Bernake’s keystroke quote. If you have been reading all my comments right, did’nt I explain how BS keystroke the Php100T into existence? We all know how that’s done. That’s the creation story. I’m pursuing what happens after that and what do the debits and credits mean.

                A suggestion was made by blogger Rodger Mitchell that instead of calling it debt we should start calling it deposits instead to relieve the traditional trauma associated with the word and because it is a more accurate description of both its function and nature.

                This quote displays the niavete of Mitchell. I suppose you know all about bank deposit insurance. This covers depositors’ money in the event of bank failure. In Philippines it is Php500,000 per depositor. In Hongkong it is 100%. The money in the bank is debt frm the perspective of the bank, it is deposits from the perspective of depositors. There is no confusion, there is no trauma.

                That bank deposit is debt is a legally established fact. In a bank closure, all depositors rank for payment as unsecured creditors — after preferred creditors (owing to government agencies, employees),after secured creditors, after liquidator’s fees and expenses. Depositors are screwed, that’s why they came up with the bank deposit insurance.

                I note that you were silent on the tax issue. What is your suggest for a tax rate increase of new MMT money of Php100T further inflated to Php1,000T by fractional banking. What realistic rate would you suggest that can effectively withdraw the Php1,000T from the economy to prevent hyper-inflation. Suggest a rate that is both effective for it’s purpose and see if Karl can sleep soundly at night.

            • Micha says:

              “Private sector bids and undertakes the construction and finance.”

              No dice chemp, that is another flawed concept that you seem to manufacture from commercial bank gutter.

              Private construction companies don’t finance national roads and highways. The financing, as always, starts with congress when they allocate funds for infra bill.

              This is a narrative theme you kept on repeating to marinate unsuspecting minds of your neoliberal rentier financialization.

              If you want private capital to do useful things, channel it to manufacturing venture instead of public natural monopolies.

              • chemrock says:

                Micha, I think you have misunderstood the meaning of PPP

                From :

                “What Are Public-Private Partnerships?
                Public-private partnerships involve collaboration between a government agency and a private-sector company that can be used to finance, build, and operate projects, such as public transportation networks, parks, and convention centers. Financing a project through a public-private partnership can allow a project to be completed sooner or make it a possibility in the first place. Public-private partnerships often involve concessions of tax or other operating revenue, protection from liability, or partial ownership rights over nominally public services and property to private sector, for-profit entities.

                KEY TAKEAWAYS
                1. Public-private partnerships allow large-scale government projects, such as roads, bridges, or hospitals, to be completed with private funding.
                2. These partnerships work well when private sector technology and innovation combine with public sector incentives to complete work on time and within budget.
                3. Risks for private enterprise include cost overruns, technical defects, and an inability to meet quality standards, while for public partners, agreed-upon usage fees may not be supported by demand—for example, for a toll road or a bridge.
                4. Despite their advantages, public-private partnerships are often criticized for blurring the lines between legitimate public purposes and private for-profit activity, and for perceived exploitation of the public due to self-dealing and rent seeking that may occur.”

                We have been talking of endemic corruption as the major problem in Philippines, yet you prefer government handling infras with Congress holding the purse strings instead of PPP.

              • Micha says:

                No chemp, PPP’s are neoliberal vehicles which only came into prominence in the 1990’s and national governments has a choice to not ride in it, or be held hostage by its parasitic scheme.

                National gov’ts can very well do without it.

                “PPPs continue to be highly controversial as funding tools, largely over concerns that public return on investment is lower than returns for the private funder. PPPs are closely related to concepts such as privatization and the contracting out of government services. The lack of a shared understanding of what a PPP is and the secrecy surrounding their financial details makes the process of evaluating whether PPPs have been successful, complex. PPP advocates highlight the sharing of risk and the development of innovation, while critics decry their higher costs and issues of accountability.”


              • chemrock says:


                Every way of doing things has it’s problems. We all agreed the underlying big problem in Philippines is corruption.

                PPP is a practical solution no matter what ‘neo-xxxxxccx’ you want to call it. It takes the Legislative out of the picture. The consequence is less red tape, less cohort to corrupt infra projects. It also takes the fiscal out of the equation as well as the construction risks. Less fiscal for infras means more to spend elsewhere — education, defence, social causes, etc. With the God damned corrupt legislature out of the picture, infras can proceed faster.

                I take note that you are against this.

                We are then left with managing equity on how best to provide private sector with a fair ROI and capital recoupment. Certainly corruption still gets in the way. But this is a people problem, not PPP.

  16. Karl Garcia says:

    One more thing I like with Singapore is you do not see old cars. If you want to maintain vintage cars or low riders, you pay for it.
    For some reason they say it is not doable here.

    Get rid of old jeepneys,cars,trucks and buses.

  17. Karl Garcia says:

    Re : toll fees,taxes%20on%20the%20general%20public.
    We already have road user’s tax why pay for toll?
    Make gov give them cut from road user’s tax

    • kasambahay says:

      such a hard question you’re asking karlG! no wonder the chief of dept of public works and highways resigned after 5yrs on the job. mark villar, son of manny villar give up the ghost job, lol! and is now gunning for senate seat. duterte once said dpwh is tadtad ng kurapsyon, pero hindi raw kurap is mark villar dahil ubod ng yaman; apparently, the rich are not thieves.

  18. Karl Garcia says:

    Now the different designs for Pasig River begin popping up.
    Where were they before?
    What took them so long?

    • madlanglupa says:

      PAREX came as a shock to some enthusiasts of urban planning and transportation, never expecting Pasig River to be made as an expressway artery.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        Why did not they propose something else before?

        • kasambahay says:

          strike while the iron is hottest? against the uber moneyed senyor ang, what chance has anyone? it was only when netizens started a resistance to senyor ang’s blitzkrieg on pasig river that pares with an s come forward and made public their views. better late than never is what I think.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            If ever PAREX pushes through

            Intamuros should be avoided.
            I know I made a comnent of letting go of old buildongs and churches but Intramuros is so valuable and precious

            It should occupy half of the river (across)
            Compromise with the planners and critics

  19. madlanglupa says:

    Off-topic: now the Dr. Frankenstein of politics lambasts his creation:

  20. NHerrera says:

    If our Editor permits,

    In reply to JoannaPilipinas@DeeCMeyer this morning, I tweeted this: This morning and in the coming days, weeks, months *all roads lead to Leni.* 🙂

    It is not yet 11 AM today, October 7, when Leni Robredo will announce an important announcement per her spokesperson. If I may, if she is consistent she cannot but announce that she will file a COC for the Presidency because,

    – I believe she is a woman of her word,
    – she said in many pronouncements of the past that she will work against the ascension of BBM to the Presidency and the continuance of Duterte’s [or by implication his acolytes’] administration.
    – she will work hard together with her staff and supporters regardless of current poll numbers,
    – she will sacrifice for that objective no matter what,
    – the consequence of not doing it will haunt her.

    • NHerrera says:

      Q.E.D. Vindicated. Haha. 🙂

      [Though Leni’s speech has been polished through the sufferings due to the Pandemic, incompetence, and corruption — change is needed.]

    • madlanglupa says:

      She has mobilized the Filipino language, and sent it to battle.

      • NHerrera says:


      • kasambahay says:

        I immediately colored my hair pink! done at the kitchen sink. still not going to salon for fear to catching covid kahit double vaccinated na ako, and has only 25 per cent chance of catching covid.

        so proud! leni is worth the wait.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        My dad has this pet peeve of presidents saluting
        He wrote Mlq3 about it.
        I guess MLq3 just laughed about the email before publishing it in one of his pages.
        AFAIaC see nothing wrong with presidents saluting.

    • NHerrera says:

      Sorry, folks — got carried away with the anticipated morning big event. It must be the coffee I took this morning. I suppose it was really a foregone conclusion to many critical thinkers here.

    • NHerrera says:

      From a Tweet of Manuel L. Quezon III@mlq3 —

      “It just occurred to me, after nearly six years of ranting, snarling, rambling, monologuing, the country got to see and hear a coherently-organized, sincerely-felt, but clearly expressed, speech. And many were moved. Welcome back to a leadership that respects you, the audience.”

      • NHerrera says:


      • sonny says:

        Random reactions to candicate Leni’s announcement:

        *The gentle warrior Leni has crossed the Rubicon, it is time to make her Rubicon ours and cross it with her!

        *parang hindi Pilipinang magsalita si Ma’m Leni; pero Pilipinang-Pilipina magsalita si Ma’m Leni!

        *Her speech is oozing with authenticity;

        *The charisma of M’am Leni is like the reincarnation of Pres Quezon and Pres Ramon Magsaysay and the empathy of Pres Cory Aquino;

  21. Karl Garcia says:

    Trillanes can chair the blue ribbon committee and go after Duterte Bong Go, and the rest of the syndicate.

  22. Inday Sara vs. VP Leni, yeyhay!!!

    (sorry for the absence, browser/old laptop/PC issue, but enjoying Micha/chempo tag youre it game, as its relevant to debt ceiling and Sinema/Manchin hold out over here)

    Just wanted to quickly add,

    1. Epistemology is the study of knowledge, Episteme in Greek = knowledge

    2. Ontology is the study of being, or existence. Onto is Greek = being

    2a. Teleology, Greek Telos = Purpose, so the study of purpose.

    2b. Deontology, Greek Deon = Duty , so the study of duty.

    So we’re dealing with knowledge and the nature of existence.

    The Fed already pretty much admitted that they don’t know what causes inflation , or how economics really works for that matter. So we’re left with just number 2, in a matter of thinking. but that’s too metaphysical. Theory, high falutin’ stuff. 😉

    So much for 1 and 2. Blame Dean.

    2a and 2b is it.

    Which means we have to really understand what’s our purpose, thus duty. This is MMT. we make, we spend. UBI all the way. AOC 2024.

    The purpose of a queen bee is to make more bees, like the purpose of an Imelda Marcos is to make more Marcoses. And so on and so forth.

    Thus duty and purpose most time (IMHO) intersects, or converges. VP Leni’s duty is to save the Philippines, but also Inday Sara’s too is to Keep the Philippines Great, keep those addicts in jail or in the grave. Their purpose as women and as politicians is to create. What that creation is I know not.

    3. Axiology, Greek Axia = study of worth, or value.

    3a. Ethics, study of good and bad

    3b. Esthetics, study of beauty and ugly

    This is the part where we get confused as humans as to what beauty and good entails and vice versa, we tend to confuse all 4 concepts. Mixing and matching stuff. Some people get right most times, many don’t. Oh well…

    Life still goes on. Beware of propaganda! Ganda = beautiful. Vice Ganda.

    4. Eschatology, Greek for ἔσχατος éschatos = last, or how things end, so the study of After-Life; or Before-Life, assuming its all circular. Which Filipinos don’t assume.

    This is where Mama Mary and Lord Jesus comes in. Because everyone wants a mansion, house and lot in heaven. And I’m with Mark Zuckerberg, freedom of expression all the way, I’m sure the biggest crime facebook in the Philippines is doing is harassment of the Holy Family, which isn’t really a crime. Per se.

    If you look at how Filipinos use social media, it’s all Please Mama Mary give me this and that; Lord give me that and this; Pray the Holy Rosary to get this and that, etc. etc. thus harassment of the Holy Family and God, which is Quiboloy Him self.

    4 will help you with 2a and 2b. But mastering 3a and 3b is key.

    My point in all this is ,

    VP Leni and Inday Sara will say this and that, read their intentions and divine outcomes, The Greeks came up with 4 main ways to look at life,

    1. Skepticism, doubt knowledge, all of it.

    2. Cynicism, doubt intentions , all of it, good or bad.

    3. Stoicism, enjoy the shit sandwich and ask for more.

    4. Epicurianism, just Enjoy!

    1 and 2 we thought we got rid of already, but actually they’re baaaaaaaack!!! but 3 and 4 should balance 1 and 2’s return (thanks to social media). Hopefully.

    Does Instagram really make it more difficult for teen age girls to live life, who cares!!! , I blame whoever got them their iPhones or Samsung galaxies. Meaning we can’t all be blaming Mark Zuckerberg, he’s probably on the spectrum of Autism, too dumb to know, we need to be responsible for our own minds,

    and what thoughts we come up with , with said minds.

    With all that said,

    Go Inday Sara, Beat VP Leni!!! What’s the spread per Sal, Joe?

    • Karl Garcia says:

      Sara is not running. I think she gave way to BBM.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        We will know at the end of the day or wait til nov 15 if she will replace any of the pres or vice pres candidates

        • NHerrera says:

          Karl, you are right about November 15, I just tweeted in reply to Joe’s Tweet, the following:

          Wow! And here is the opposite. Does it take xx minutes to queue and file your COC? Well the opposite of the 17 minutes of sanity… you cited, we have xx minutes of the exact opposite — the crying general has filed a Pres COC. I see that the Substitution Game is quite active. 🤣

          The crying general I referred to is of course our General Bato aka General Stone aka A Senator.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            Yeah Bato will be the subchitut

            • Yes, NOV. 15.

              But IMHO …

              Isko and Pac are too just as good as lieutenants as any for Inday Sara.

              Lieu as in “in lieu of” and tenant , “to stay impermanently” , meaning place holders.

              But I fear this elaborate game isn’t to quell VP Leni,

              its for BBM,

              The DU30s fear BBM, all the manueverings are for BBM, not VP Leni.


              if you’re for VP Leni, you’re voting for BBM essentially. Unless new pollings come out saying otherwise.

              That is the bigger game played, karl.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Unless the loopholes begin showing up, i guess Comelec will even trim the list of candidates before Nov 15.

            • kasambahay says:

              I think the crying general has a medical makeover. he does not ‘pour’ or cry anymore. something may have been done to his peri-lacrimal glands, botoxed? much like perpetually sweaty armpits, after botox treatment, the armpits are not sweaty anymore. the procedure is costly though.

            • NHerrera says:

              Subchitut. You mean of course subshitshethought. Sorry, but my old age has scrambled the spelling capability I have, methinks. Kayo kasi pa-inglis inglish pa. 🙂

              With your indulgence, Editor. And of course, you are correct if you censor this ASAP.

              • JoeAm says:


              • Karl Garcia says:

                sa pba nga me announcer subtichut si pinggoy penson ata yun. I guess with all the parameters set by comelec, sara is a no go, unless there is a loophole somewhere. Digong can still run for VP if he dares.

    • JoeAm says:

      Sal some time ago predicted that Leni would run and win. Filipinos are aware of what is happening now and are tired of it. Duterte dropped out from VP because he polled badly. Sara doesn’t want to be fed into the big pink chewing machine.

  23. madlanglupa says:

    And Pangilinan is in.

    • kasambahay says:

      does not matter what party kiko is, or what party others are coming from; under one leader sila, one nation, one dream, united. true opposition.

      • NHerrera says:

        Yes, especially when one considers all the political butterflying around — Philippine political parties and what they stand for are mainly a big joke. Isko himself has jumped from one to another, I understand.

        • NHerrera says:

          I saw this from Teleradio TV ticker this morning: Cusi Wing wala pang pahayag sa pagtakbo ni Bato. [Cusi Wing has no announcement yet on Bato running.] How is this when Bato is supposed to have filed his Presidential COC under the banner of Cusi Wing of PDP-LABAN?

          Kung sa bagay, no talk, no additional mistake from Cusi — for the moment.

          • NHerrera says:

            Another crack on the Cusi Wing of PDP-LABAN? Is it possible the marching orders for Bato to file his COC — coming as it did at 3:00 PM three hours before the closing time of 6:00 PM — came from the Palace without Cusi’s prior knowledge? Cusi of course is lightweight and highly disposable?

            • kasambahay says:

              bato for president, bong for vice president, ppd laban party’s line up is almost complete. pero ang gulo, so disorganised ang party-ng ito. sobrang gaspang. all that billions could not make pdp laban party the party of the century, hard to make the head or tail of this party. so many loose ends.

              had bato not turned up, pdp would have no standard bearer, mukhang tulog, e, typical of this party, lol!

              if sabstitosyon is going to happen, it will be likely between bato and bong go. methink, none of pdp’s senatorial line up is going to step up to higher challenge of the top job.

              si sara naman ay may covid kuno, lucky her, lol!

  24. NHerrera says:

    Sharing what I just tweeted.

  25. Not quite a paper on MMT, but reads like its prying the door open for MMT. Do you know of this dude, Micha?

    Click to access 2021062pap.pdf

    from Wapo…

    The summary of the paper creates room for reading between the lines. “Economists and economic policymakers believe that households’ and firms’ expectations of future inflation are a key determinant of actual inflation,” it says. “This belief rests on extremely shaky foundations, and a case is made that adhering to it uncritically could easily lead to serious policy errors.”

    It’s not until Page 16 that Jeremy Rudd lays out the practical and policy implications of his argument. Once he does, it’s hard not to read it as expressing doubt about the Fed’s new policy framework and advocating for vigilance and humility about understanding what might be in store for the U.S. economy. The analysis comes at a critical time for the central bank: On Monday, both Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren and Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said they would retire within the next two weeks.

    This is what Rudd suggests on monitoring for evidence of an inflation regime shift:

    “One development to watch for would be any evidence that a renewed concern with price inflation was starting to affect wage determination — either in statistical form … or in the form of anecdotes. To the extent possible, we might also try to determine whether quit rates were starting to rise in a manner that was less tied to the state of the labor market and more correlated with consumer price developments, or whether wage increases for new hires were starting to rise appreciably relative to wage increases for workers in continuing employment relationships (the argument being that wages for new hires are more flexible and hence more responsive to economic conditions).”

    • Micha says:

      No, but what stands out on his paper is this sub-note on page 1 :

      “…the primary role of mainstream economics is to provide an
      apologetics for a criminally oppressive, unsustainable, and unjust social order.”

      That’s saying a lot.

  26. madlanglupa says:

    Words can’t express it but CHR’s Gascon is dead.

  27. NHerrera says:

    I like MLQ3’s political commentary, firstly because of his background of past comments and relating the current trending news to historical habits of PH politics. Here is a Twitter commentary from him. It is an interesting, instructive read. As others do, he concludes that November 15 will clarify things. Leading to surprises or disappointments — I suppose on both sides, the Administration and the Real Opposition.

  28. sonny says:

    Off-topic but important from Yahoo News:

    MANILA (Reuters) -Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa used her new prominence to criticise Facebook as a threat to democracy, saying the social media giant fails to protect against the spread of hate and disinformation and is “biased against facts”.
    The veteran journalist and head of Philippine news site Rappler told Reuters in an interview after winning the award that Facebook’s algorithms “prioritise the spread of lies laced with anger and hate over facts.”
    Her comments add to the pile of recent pressure on Facebook, used by more than 3 billion people, which a former employee turned whistleblower accused of putting profit over the need to curb hate speech and misinformation. Facebook denies any wrongdoing.
    Sought for comment on Ressa’s remarks, a Facebook spokesperson said the social media giant continues to invest heavily to remove and reduce the visibility of harmful content.

    • NHerrera says:

      Although the whistleblower, Frances Haugen, who worked in Facebook itself, mentioned the harm Facebook makes on teenage users for the company’s profit, it is of course widely known that it damages democracy in its use for political purposes because of its use for disinformation.

      So I asked myself why in politics the other side does not use Facebook for its own purposes too. Of course, the quick answer to that is the other, usually, the good side can only use facts to counter that because it mostly believes it is anathema to counter with disinformation too. And so — as it usually does — sensational disinformation trumps “boring” factual rendition.

      Facebook and other such media must really be reined in.

      • NHerrera says:

        Here is Washinton Post article which argues why reining in Facebook will be difficult. It is entitled, “Why outlawing harmful social media content would face an uphill legal battle.”

      • isk says:

        “So I asked myself why in politics the other side does not use Facebook for its own purposes too.”
        There was a controversy last October, 2020 before the US election about Hunter Biden’s computer and email messages that was suppressed by the media, including Facebook.

      • chemrock says:

        Frances Haugen is a registered Dem, donates to Hillary (nothing wrong in both), has a history of ‘whistleblowing’ her previous employers, works with Democrat activists (that’s wrong because it then makes her partisan) and she is counselled by the team of lawyers that worked hard in the “Russian-delusion” charge against Trump. If you believe that she can appear in ’60 Minutes’ to expose herself as the whistleblower and that Senate can quickly convene an inquiry the very next day where she appears as the star resource, then you believe things work at the speed of light in DC. I see nothing but a script for Fed to pursue more control over free speech at Facebook. Zuckerberg may soon learn all Leftist revolution eventually turns and eats itself. Capitalists and Socialist Marxists, the twain can never meet. Can Zuckerbucks ride the Tiger?

        • NHerrera says:

          Chempo, your note gives an appreciated nuance to me on the Frances Haugen – Facebook conundrum. Zuckerberg may be able to ride that Tiger but with his hands, arms, butt and legs glued to the tiger — my metaphor to my belief that Facebook should and will ultimately be reined in somehow rather than continue unconstrained along its merry way and more using its original business concept.

          • less are on fb;

            instagram is popular w kids.

            but TikTok is big now. Discord too.

            but faceook has other businesses.,

            so probably doesnt need to ride anything

            at all.

            • NHerrera says:

              Good point. Like the graphic about Facebook’s cart of goodies.

              • sonny says:

                NH, all these problems due to the use of social media are not entirely surprising given behaviors of individuals exhibit behaviors much like the behavior of atoms and molecules when studied at the quantum level of physical reality; thus to a certain extent one can apply metaphorically, quantum laws such Superposition, Uncertainty Principle and particle-vs-wave duality of light, or the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, etc. Just some ruminations.

              • chemrock says:

                I think when you pull the Shodinger cat out of the box you will probably see a freaking angry cat.

              • sonny says:

                🙂 That’s funny, chempo.

                Our mental capacity for abstraction allows us to conjure up Schrodinger’s cat situation. Of course, Erwin’s mind is a cut above mine. Can’t formulate it in a million years.

  29. NHerrera says:

    Karl, in reply to Raissa Robles Tweet,

    Why @attyharryroque cant talk about @mariaressa
    — as the president’s spokesman he could very well say something that would reflect what Duterte feels. But as someone vying for a seat in the UN International Law Commission, how can he contradict the UN Sec Gen who praised Ressa?

    I replied with the Tweet:

    “Hairy is in a dilemma indeed, and his great desire to have a seat in the ILC wins — he does not want to add more fuel to the negative things he had already said about the UN. That is our forked-tongued Hairy.”

    Do you know, if it is at your fingertips if our SecDFA has said anything about Maria Ressa winning the Nobel Peace Prize?

  30. NHerrera says:

    Meantime on Covid-19, there is an interesting, mysterious cycle [ref. Eric Topol] that the infection’s steep surge occurs for about 2 months followed by a steep decline of about equal duration — uncorrelated with vaccination rate and other factors that one may intuitively associate with such occurrence.

    In the PH the nationwide 7-day daily-confirmed-cases average rose from ~ 5k on July 19 to ~ 20k on September 10, a period of 53 days. If the above findings happen here, we may have the confirmed cases hovering at an average of ~ 5k on or about Nov 10. But from the shape of the 7-day avg chart, it may even be lower.

    The Administration may claim that development if it happens, to be due to its vaccination effort. No matter that will be a good development for the PH. I hope personal health protocol will not be relaxed, at the very least.

  31. Karl Garcia says:

    back to PAREX: if this is not an election issue then this will push through.

    • kasambahay says:

      this is probly the latest on parex:

      magmantinir na lang tayo kay vico sotto dahil ang standard bearer sa party niya is busy monkeying for the top job, lol! incumbent pa si standard bearer until may 2022 and already mukhang awol na at missing in action.

      • JoeAm says:

        Interesting. He has expressed no opinion and is waiting to be brought into the conversation by SMC. I’m guessing the project will go or not on his say-so, which suggests the power of respect.

        • kasambahay says:

          as regards parex, I said previously there are info not available to the public, and apparently not available to pasig mayor vico sotto as well.

          I was told there’s plenty info sa internet, and all I saw were artists’ impressions that dont look up to scale.

          for a project the magnitude of parex that ramon ang said will be finished by 2023, comprehensive soil testing along pasig river ought to have been done already, considering the soil along parex route is not uniform, some are porous and some are mixed clay and would require different expressway footings. the norm: the surveyors report as well as the engineers report should have been done and ready for mayor vico sotto’s perusal, sotto aided by his city engineers.

          parex finished by 2023? I think, ramon ang is too optimistic. there is world wide problem with supply chain and freighted building materials are slow to get out from their countries of origin. pandemic and trade wars are some of the culprits.

          apparently in the coming weeks, ramon ang will reveal the parex master plan, hopefully with all detailed specifications included.

          else I’ll start to think, parex is a scam, a stunt to help a political candidate get the votes, lol!

  32. Micha says:

    (Re-starting a new thread here on the subject of debt and money creation by national governments, in response to chempo’s previous comment)

    The nature of debt in money creation is different from your original conception of it, chemp. The fundamental difference is that the national gov’t, in the act of congress legislated spending, is issuing (that is to say, creating) new money.

    Your conception of debt, on the other hand, is along the lines of borrowing from private creditors – something that had been lapped into the mainstream narrative and consumed by unsuspecting public.

    By way of example, let’s say congress deemed it necessary to beautify Malacanang grounds and it commissions a landscaping company to do the work. After the task is completed, the national gov’t issues an IOU as a means of payment.

    What does the national government owe to the landscaping company? Goods and services rendered in beautifying Malacanang grounds.

    That debt of goods and services was settled by issuing IOU certificate. The act of spending was also the act of money creation.

    debt = IOU = money.

    It is high powered, high velocity, sovereign created money.

    And only a sovereign national government has the ability to do that.

    • Micha, chempo, et al…

      enjoying this talk, but reads like a repeat of subjects already covered here before.

      So re fractional banking/money creation, can youz both insert digital currency (central bank) in the talk here, and how that’ll change the game.

      W/ central bank digital currency, why keep up the whole fractional banking system?

      ‘With fractional reserve banking, only a fraction of bank deposits is backed by actual cash in hand and available for withdrawal. The balance is available for lending. This is the opposite of a full reserve system, also referred to as narrow banking, where banks’ deposit accounts are separate from all their other activities, preventing the banks from creating money. Narrow banking attracts many proponents, notably during or just after major economic crises, such as the Great Depression, that led to the Chicago Plan in the 1930s. The plan for banking reforms, including the abolition of the fractional reserve system, was never implemented, but the concepts keep resurfacing. In 2018, the Swiss voted against returning to a full reserve system.

      The deployment of a retail CBDC could change this. The plans from the People’s Bank of China for their Digital Currency (DC/EP) CBDC, as well as the Bank of England’s illustrative model for a Sterling CBDC, both function on a two-tier intermediation model, whereby Payment Interface Providers (PIPs) would keep all CBDC reserves at the Central Bank. These PIPs may be pure payment intermediaries or may be commercial banks processing transactions. But these CBDC deposits would not be used for lending.

      This is a major change: a CBDC will compete for commercial bank deposits, depending on other aspects of the design, such as its interest-bearing status. One result of the withdrawal of funding to commercial banks would be the growth of the Central Bank’s balance sheet in times of stability, that would increase further at times of crisis. Commercial banks would therefore lose stable low-cost funding and might also have to align their deposit rates above that of an interest-bearing CBDC to attract deposits. This would grant more power to the Central Bank’s monetary policy. Digital-only PIPs would also benefit from lower operating costs, so could compete with commercial banks on interest rates. If PIPs are able to attract savings and use these for lending, they could partially or wholly compete with banks.’

      Because if all i needed was a bunch of computers, and a place for servers, as a central bank. what do i need commercial banks for, CBDC does away w/ fractional banking, only money creation is via MMT, me thinks.

      UBI next.

      UBI they kinda did already via the stimulus checks/direct deposits: $1,200 ; $600; $1,400 … continued now via the child tax credit, which makes me want to go to Africa to adopt children ala Angelina Jolie. 🙂


      thank you, i’ll take my answer off the air.

      • Micha says:

        Sorry about the repeat topic LCplX but it needs to be clarified because chempo had been trying to put a wool in our eyes on the subject of national debt.

      • Micha says:


        Fractional banking is a fiction.

        Depositors’ money are not being loaned out. If it were, why would you trust banks with your money?

      • chemrock says:


        Just a side comment first, answering Micha’s :
        “Fractional banking is friction Depositors’ money are not being loaned out. If it were, why would you trust banks with your money?”
        From bankers’ perspective, if I may paraphrase one Filipino lawmaker, “What are we in banking for?” if there is no fractional banking. From the depositors’ perspective — matter of risks-benefits analysis.
        No fractional banking means we go back to the days of Shylock — lending out of bank capital. Philippines aggregate banking capitalisation is about Php 2.5T. Do you expect this to support an economy with a GDP of Php18T. It is incapable of oiling the wheels of the economy. Probably not even capable of supporting just the foreign exchange market alone.

        To your question:
        W/ central bank digital currency, why keep up the whole fractional banking system?

        Just rummaging through my mind. May not be well organised. CBDC comes in all shapes and sizes, so kinda difficult to talk about with being specific.

        1. The role of fractional banking serves a very important function of providing liquidity to the market in realtime. As market heats up, people and corporates go to banks for funding. As market cools, less lending by banks. So the fractional banking mechanism is responsive to market needs. It provides liquidity for all the markets across the board — FX and other financial derivatives markets, Equities Market, the economy generally.

        2. Fractional banking provides banks with a cheap funding source which impacts lending rates. Good for economy.

        3. CBDC would mostly be used to serve retail transactions. If it is fully back, then there is no lending. If subject to reserves, lending is permissible but there is no multiplier effect.

        4. I think all CBDCs will operate as basically tokens of fiat. So there is no money creation via issuance of CBDC.

        5. Fractional banking won’t be going away any time soon.

        • thanks, chemp.

          well chinas running with it.

          some say chinas success in CBDC will coopt AMERICA’S financial supremacy, while we’re dicking around w/ south china seas and taiwan, no ones studying what a china w/ total CBDC will look like.

          but from Googling its pretty easy to divine that under current patterns china will totally do away w/ banks altogether,

          centralize is the name of the game after all.

          granted the CBDC roll out is only at around 1B chinese thus far, but thats already a lot more than the US, chemp.

          and youre right, right now its being used as token for fiat, but my follow up question, is

          IS FIAT REALLY FIAT ACCOMPLI??? seems to me chinas exposing some huge steel chiming balls in all this endeavor , so why not skip banks altogether, and surpass the US..

          whats stopping china from doing so, chemp? heres some good reading…

          As central banks around the world contemplate the risks and benefits of issuing central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), Beijing is likely to leverage frustrations with the inefficiencies of existing cross-border payments channels to strengthen support for its vision of lower-cost alternatives built upon CBDCs. If realized, such arrangements could allow Chinese firms and their trading partners to reduce usage of the U.S. dollar for cross-border transactions and circumvent payments channels that the U.S. government can shut off to entities it sanctions for national security reasons.

          China’s state-sponsored digital currency, the digital renminbi (or e-CNY), is already being designed to achieve these ends. The country’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China, stated in a July 2021 white paper that the digital renminbi is “ready for cross-border use.” Yet for Beijing’s grandest ambitions for its state-sponsored digital currency to be realized, the digital renminbi must be interoperable with the CBDCs of other countries. Hence, the People’s Bank of China is supporting the development of global CBDC standards and working with other monetary authorities to launch a multi-CBDC arrangement.”

          • chemrock says:

            I have no idea how CBDC will evolve. My thoughts of CBDC are centred around this :
            (Let’s not call it digital, it’s confusing. Let’s call it crypto, which in fact is what they really are)

            1. Cryptos as an ideology is all about libertarianism. Central banks is all about control. China Central Bank is about TOTAL control. So if you think you are going to have the free spirit fun of Bitcoins, disappointment awaits.

            2. China’s move into CBDC, and here I’m guessing, is never about technology or bringing goodies to the people, or reduce transaction cost, or internalise the Renmembi. It’s the old dog Communist ideology trying to re-establish it’s place in the economy. Politically it has no rival. But in the economy, the Ali Babas and Ten Cents have taken over. Jack Ma and his other billionaire pals should know very well their place in the sun has an expiry date. When Deng Shiao Ping opened up China, he knew he had to set the people free to germinate the Chinese creativity and enterprise spirit. So he said let a few hundred citizens prosper first. Meaning let the multiplier effect prosper the country. Then when the country has prospered, they need to clamp down on the economic power of the individuals. Today, the CCP is at war with Chinese capitalists. Part of this requires the govt to fill the terrain with they toys the population has come to enjoy — cryptos, digital peer to peer payments from mobile, etc etc. Lee Kuan Yew said decades ago about the direction of China. Once people has enjoyed freedom and the comforts of the advance country, there is no going back for them. Thus CCP, in going after the capitalists, has to provide to its citizens what the capitalists provided. Or the pitchforks will be out again.

            3. For Yuan or China CBDC to replace $ as world currency, it’s not going to happen. Because CCP never surrenders their old dog idea of controlled currency. They don’t pray at the universal altar of the Unholy Trinity of monetary policies. Whenever they have a financial crisis, communist capital controls are kicked in. We cannot have a world reserve currency that behaves like that. Let’s watch what they will do with the coming real estate collapse.

            3. Is fiat fait accomply? — I think Biden will kick off earthshaking devaluation of $ that will require some structural changes. How, I have no idea. The US played its sleigh of hand in 1973 by throwing out the gold standard. Who knows what it will come up next. I think Biden has brought the $ to the Rubicon. Something needs to be done.


            • Agreed , its just official crypto.

              1. Agreed. De-centralized vs. Centralized. More fun if de-centralized.

              2. Agreed. Wars don’t defeat communism McDonald’s do.

              3. This is where MMT vs. Fractional banking comes in I suppose. in 2009’s housing collapse over here, money was thrown to banks (too big to fail), I notice just like money was thrown to Muslim leaders, even in the Philippines, in our Global War on Terror.

              w/ CBDC, which the Fed are now seriously considering also (i guess to catch up with China), we the taxpayers won’t have to throw money to the banks and terrorists. Just skip over them. MMT gives us the framework to do so, it seems, and CBDC makes it doable.

              4. Agreed. I too think we Americans are really tricky when it comes to finance, hence Panama and Pandora papers. We’re doing this. This is an American system. one I really hope to topple and make disappear.

              What’s the opposite of Centralized crypto? De-centralized crypto. Which is Bitcoin.

              And here you and Micha are in agreement. that is you both agree that Bitcoin no good; but IMHO Bitcoin good if only framed as China vs. US. a means to counter China’s CBDC. Also this is where yours and Micha’s talk of private-public enterprise merges, only no one really owns Bitcoin.

              So the public here is Bitcoin, where private is the Fed. thus US Congress has to protect Bitcoin. the public.

              • chemrock says:


                (3) Just a thought. Throw money at big banks — all Liberals cry foul. Actually, no freebies were giving. It’s all loans to ease off the liquidity, with collateras, many of which were disposed post-crisis with gains for the state.
                for the pandemic.

                (4) Now Liberals and socialists would like to shower manna on the working class instead of loans to wall street. So now socialists Dems have just done that by helicopter dropped cash, and other means. What happens? People rest at home, no need to work (I suppose part reason is might as well stay home than risk getting covid since they have some freebies) And the result? Cargo ships cannot unload, no trucks to deliver the goods — because there are no workers!!!! The shelves in all the stores are bare.

              • JoeAm says:

                Ports are processing record volumes so that slur that the laboring class is resting at home is more of that trump racist bullshit, a conspiracy slur masking as fact. You won’t be off of moderation soon.


              • chemrock says:

                Truckers just are’nt turning up at the warehouses. That’s fact. Of course Psaki said economy is booming, too much goods coming in jamming the ports. The Executive does’nt go to the borders or the ports. The czar of the infras is on 2 months parternity paid leave. So yes, all is well.

              • JoeAm says:

                “Life’s a piece of shit
                when you look at it.”

                Monty Python, “Always look on the bright side of life.”

                Conspiracy theorists take irrelevant little exceptions and normalize them as some grand scientific scheme. Christ almighty, paternity leave!!! 😂🤣😂🤣😂😜🤪😜🙄

              • JoeAm says:

                The shipping crisis in the US is multi-dimensional, largely covid bounceback and booming consumer demand. It has nothing to do with lazy drivers or some official’s paternity leave. This recent article gives insight into the real-world complexity of the problem.


              • JoeAm says:

                One final note for readers unfamiliar with US affairs, “Psaki” is President Biden’s press secretary Jen Psaki, and she is brilliant. If you have time, you might poke up a You Tube tape of one of her press conferences and watch her deal with questions. I’m in awe of her ability to frame every answer in constructive terms.

    • chemrock says:


      is that the way you understand how Philippines work? I beg to disagree. You are placing fiscal and monetary responsibilities in the hands of the legislative which is absolutely incorrect..

      I believe it works like this:

      The DBM works out the budget — ie the Executive is responsible for the Fiscal policies. I’m not quite sure of the roles of Treasury and DBM but I’m sure they work hand in hand to craft out the budget for the following fiscal year. This takes into consideration govt revenue, expenditure requirements, and how budget deficits if any will be funded. There is no money creation. Just fiscal matters. If it is a deficit budget, the Treasury has to work out the funding sources.

      Budget goes to Congress who vets the expenditure, and of course inserts their own piggies. Again, no money creation. Just tweaking the fiscals.

      Bangko Sengtral has nothing to do with the budget. It alone is responsible for monetary policies which essentially seeks to manage the price level, or inflation. Towards this end, it has its sets of monetary tools — open market operations, discount rate setting, manage liquidity by tweaking reserve and or liquidity ratios, physical money printing. The central bank creates money in 4 main ways –
      (1) physical money printing,
      (2) when it lends money to banks as a lender of last resort for the purpose of assisting to meet daily liquidity purposes. This is normally through discount windows or repo facilities.
      (3) when it purchases foreign currencies to maintain the forex reserves, and
      (4) when it purchases government securities in the open market, which the FED calls Quantitative Easing.
      How does Bangko Sengtral do (2), (3) and (4)? By what Ben Bernake said — keystroke credit the banks reserve accounts. That’s your keystroke magic at work — it’s an everyday routine, which may come as a surprise to you. That’s digital money creation.

      Now when the Executive runs the budget, where do they get the cash. They have government revenues from all sorts of sources, IRS and customs being major contributors. Bear in mind the budget is worked on a cash basis, not accrual. There is a time gap between the revenue coming in and govt spending. So the government borrows. There are basically 2 types of borrowing –
      (1) to bridge the revenue-spending time gap.
      (2) Project funding.
      So how does the govt borrow to fund themselves?
      (a) By issuing government securities – Treasury bills and bonds,
      (b) By direct loans — from banks, international entities etc.

      That’s the way Philippines govt works, more or less similar to all governments in the world. See how that compares to your :

      debt = IOU = money

      When the Executive borrows it creates debt. Make it simple, let’s say all borrowings are in Php. So the government borrows from local banks and local entities — the money is coming from the investors. Where is the money creation? Congress and Executive are not involved in money creation.

      Anyone here is welcome to submit my comment here to Bangko Sengtral for confirmation.

      • Micha says:


        The whole budget process starts with congress. The power of the purse exclusively emanates from congress when it deliberates on and passes the enabling law for general appropriations.

        So yes chempo, congress is front and center of government’s fiscal policy.

        That you deliberately fail to acknowledge this basic function signals there’s no good faith intention on your part to foster understanding.

        You are here to muddle, to obfuscate, to peddle an agenda of straitjacketed orthodoxy.

        I have no interest in furthering this discussion unless you stop being such disingenuous dork.

        • chemrock says:

          Your budget process starts with Congress. I see. So Congress has all the info – salaries of police, army, teachers etc. So after approval I guess it goes to Dept of Budget Management?

          You are in reverse gear, Micha

          The Executive manages fiscal policies and prepares budget, Legislative oversight – Congress deliberates, tweaks and approves — Senate deliberates, tweaks and approves.. President signs the budget into law.

          This is the black and white of the Philippines budget process.

          Click to access Chap3_FAQ.pdf

          No legislation is passed for annual budgets.

          Spending laws are only passed for out-of-budget expenditures — like pandemic aid programmes.

          So please note again —- no money creation by Execution and Legislative.

          The money creating story is written by Bangko Sengtral.

          • isk says:

            To Sir chemrock, thanks for this discussion, very enlightening indeed.

          • Micha says:

            More disingenuous obfuscation, chempo.

            In our tripartite setup, you are of course familiar with the system of checks and balances, right?

            That Congress is involved in the budget process is gleaned from the intent and letter of 1987 Constitution as a fix from the trauma of dictatorship where Marcos made Congress rubberstamp his egomaniacal agenda. Even then, he still needs legal cover from Congress because you can’t just string, willy nilly, some budget proposal without the approval of a constitutional body – that would be crude full frontal dictatorship which he tried to avoid to be known for, ironically enough.

            The point here, dear chempo, is that the budget process is not going to move forward if Congress deems it anomalous – assuming you have majority of congressional members who have enough moral and ethical probity to discern an anomaly.

            So, going back to my previous example, if congress deemed that a landscaping project in Malacanang is anomalous because it is 20 million overpriced and the landscaping company who grabbed the contract is owned by the President’s grand daughter, there’s likely to be delay/stalemate in the process which might require a referee from the judicial branch.

            Your statement that legislative involvement in the budgetary process is “absolutely incorrect” is, to say the least, a blatant form of disingenuous obfuscation.

            My impression here is that you are out to make an argument where there is none because you have already conceded the money creation part of the national government.

            • chemrock says:

              OK Micha you are right.

              The black and white document pdf of the budget process is my fantasy.

              • Micha says:

                Did you simply miss the Congressional part of the budget process from your own black and white or you just deliberately ignored it to sell your rentier bank monopoly straitjacket?

      • re UBI.

        I’m reading “Seveneves” by Neal Stephenson right now. this is no spoiler, but the moon has just shattered, theres seven big pieces. Scientists have predicted that eventually the pieces will keep on hitting each other to eventually form a ring like Saturn. but before that happens, meteorites from the moon will rain down on Earth, thus making earth unlivable.

        So a bunch of world leaders break this news to the people of Earth, then 2 scientist and a humanities type, close the press conference, basically to give the rest of 7 billion humans some agency. Because not all of them realistically will participate in the escape. so to give them busy work or some agency, these 3 authority types give them assignments.

        1. to collect all sorts of flora and fauna, so their DNAs can be digitized and saved for posterity.

        2. to collect art and personal expressions, via GIFs JPGs MOVs MP4s, etc.

        3. to collect boy/girl combinations from all communities across the globe to have representatives to escape. thus continuing humanity’s varied genes.

        1 to 3 are all utter BS really.

        but gives people hope and busy work.

        After reading this portion last nite, i got to thinking about UBI and the current system. in the end, we’re all just doing busy work that give us some agency. make us feel we’re doing something important. for those engage in day to day survival, there’s no agency, you gotta do it, or die (or your love ones die), but still its all for the sake of a system we never voted for. if the system didn’t dirty your water or dirty your air or poisoned your food, you wouldn’t really have to “survive”.

        But then again Mother Nature herself is a bitch, so similarly if the Moon does fracture. the question is what is the essence of our work. the things we do daily. with now no system to blame?

        UBI here I think serves that purpose.

        In “Seveneves” the leaders and scientists already knew that 7 billion people were useless. They’ve sequestered engineers and skilled workers needed to make life support stuff, they’ve actually already collected DNAs from everything, so the only worth while thing is actually 2. GIFs JPGs MOVs MP4s, DOCXs, etc.

        Why not do UBI, for the expressed purpose of doing just 2. GIFs JPGs MOVs MP4s, DOCXs, etc.
        , for people that want more in life like to work for SpaceX, or other stuff. have at it.

        Again the premise here is that 7 Billion people are doing unnecessary work. That’s the essence. And the justification for UBI. Thus MMT. CBDC —> UBI. All this results in De-Growth.

        • LCPL_X says Economics is Crap says:

          from chemp:


          (3) Just a thought. Throw money at big banks — all Liberals cry foul. Actually, no freebies were giving. It’s all loans to ease off the liquidity, with collateras, many of which were disposed post-crisis with gains for the state.
          for the pandemic.

          (4) Now Liberals and socialists would like to shower manna on the working class instead of loans to wall street. So now socialists Dems have just done that by helicopter dropped cash, and other means. What happens? People rest at home, no need to work (I suppose part reason is might as well stay home than risk getting covid since they have some freebies) And the result? Cargo ships cannot unload, no trucks to deliver the goods — because there are no workers!!!! The shelves in all the stores are bare.


          JoeAm says:

          Ports are processing record volumes so that slur that the laboring class is resting at home is more of that trump racist bullshit, a conspiracy slur masking as fact. You won’t be off of moderation soon.


          chemrock says:

          Truckers just are’nt turning up at the warehouses. That’s fact.


          Joe, chemp, et al.

          Let me stir this one towards UBI. because this is essentially what the discussion is about.

          I agree it is a great lesson in Econ 101. Dean’s Econ, chemp’s Econ, old obsolete Econ, that has taken more than given.

          It s the Economy of selling people useless stuff.

          its Growth driven Economics. of buying for buyings sake.The Economics that s given us so much plastic trash and more oil spills (here in California just recently).

          And i don’t think there’s anything “racist” or offensive about chempo’s proposition at all (and I’m blue collar as fuck).

          Hell yeah, chempo’s correct, if the gov’t gives me a $3,000 dollar a month UBI, I’d not go to work, I probably won’t sit and watch TV all day, but I’d do things worth while for LCPL_X , not the system — there’s no dignity in selling useless stuff/services to people that don’t need it.

          And I disagree with Joe, laboring class don’t have to be laboring to be of any good to society. IMHO, Lazy is good. Withhold your labor for something more meaningful in life. so I’m totally for all these strikes, work stoppages, even these anti-vaxx mandate protests by cops and military.

          Thank you, COVID-19, the gift that just keeps on giving.

          Don’t work. its a rigged system. Of course, chempo and bankers want those truckers and long shoremen and others moving their useless widgets around, for all them to work , be good little workers. The system would break down. No profit would be made.

          A great lesson in Economics indeed, how Economics is crap.

          For example, its been a couple of weeks now of me trying to get around this manufactured obsolescence (that’s from karl, i didn’t know there was an Econ word for it) , just so I can post on here. I don’t wanna buy new widgets (ie laptop/PC), they run just fine, but now i’m having certificate issues, where I cannot even get into certain websites.

          Thus I cannot log into WP and Twitter to log in and comment.

          But now its just an exercise of how long I can last w/out buying new stuff. But I have all the stimulus checks in debit cards still in tact, but if I am going to use it , it isn’t going to be because manufactured obsolescence did me in, hell no… I’m

          gonna buy some homemade cookies with my stimulus money, or other things that i can use that some else made here near me. Ideally, people Gen Z and X mostly and even some retired Boomers, that ‘s withholding their labor and making stuff needed quality stuff for people, like good food or quality long lasting items. Fuck China! I’m happy for TianGong and all, as I’m pro-Space, but unnecessary plastics Made in China, that’s no good.

          Banks and financial sector, per chemp’s 1. , they’re still doing the same thing, have not learnt their lessons from 12 years ago, and yes they have paid their too big to fail payout, but at a cost to the public, theirs been a bunch of frauds at the consumer level, and then you got Pandora papers level shenanigans bigger than ever. All crap.

          So why not really buck the system and go full on UBI, South Korea and Canada and the Nordic countries are coming back with great results. With CBDC, it’ll be seamless. With MMT, IMHO the point of MMT is to render banking and finance obsolete, not manufactured this time, but really make them a thing of the past. so Fuck the banks!

          “Cargo ships cannot unload, no trucks to deliver the goods — because there are no workers!!!! The shelves in all the stores are bare.”

          And here’s the kicker, chemp.

          All the above you’ve just pointed out can be done with machine learning AI and robots. Shipping, unloading, transporting, delivering, shelving, inventory, etc. Much of LA and Long Beach’s port activities are automated now, they’re not hiring no new longshoremen. They have robots now. Tesla’s pretty much perfected driverless tech.


          No need for workers.

          ” — because there are no workers!!!!” No , duh!!!!

          What do you do then, chemp? When there really are no workers, because of robots.

          UBI is the answer. Get rid of banking and finance, re think Economics. De-growth instead of Growth. Make useful items. Re think the word Lazy vis a vis degrowth.

          We’ll have robots and AI soon. We’ll need a new Economics. AOC has ideas; I hope VP Leni does too regarding this subject. I’m sure Inday Sara does, being so close with Cebu City folks. Fast track Digital Currency in the Philippines, and hire Micha as the Filipino MMT czar. Contact VP Leni, Joe. The Philippines is ready for MMT.

          Thus, the lesson in Economics here, is that its crap. Manufactured. Obsolete.

          • JoeAm says:

            Oh, structured laziness is good in any position, but attaching it to class with a kind of underlying Trump-style view that says, in effect, Mexicans are lazy, is wrong. The anti-semitism rising in Texas is downright ugly, I might add. As for throwing money at banks, I’m liberal and I think it’s a good idea. Such stupid generalizations in the interest of dividing people rather than building something are, well, highly stupid.

            • JoeAm says:

              I know y’all like videos, so here’s one of my favorite actors on things that matter.

              • LCPL_X also says:

                I’m sure had Obama not thrown money at too big to fail banks,

                we’d fair a worst calamity, Joe— that’s why I’m equating banks and terrorists re UBI. Must we remain at the mercy of these folks? And this is exactly why Bitcoin was begun. Let’s envision a system that’ll be outside the whims of gamblers and terrorists.

                Andrew Yang did a lot to legitimize UBI with his $1,000 a month idea. Justified by the oil dividend model in Alaska, which is basically UBI. Around the housing collapse 2008, only like 12% of Americans supported UBI, post-Andrew Yang, you got almost 50% American support now, not to mention the Silicon Valley support plus folks like Elon Musk.

                But those tech guys want UBI for their own selfish reasons, so we continue buying stuff from them, while they make those stuff with robots. so be wary. that’s where De-Growth Economics comes in.

                Bitcoin translated to CBDC, which China’s now really expanding. And now the soon to be next president of South Korean, thanks to his UBI policies, will run on UBI and has promised expansion of South Korean UBI.

                The only thing that’s missing is MMT, they’re still wanting to justify UBI by taking from the rich , giving to the poor. Forget that model, just use CBDC to give UBI to everyone. and that’s MMT , money for public good.

                Thus de-Growth Economics, CBDC, UBI and MMT all connect.

                Theres already all sorts of successful UBI systems, like oil dividends in Alaska (which is a GOP program) or the VA via their disabled veterans program (Fed program), here’s a good video on this,

              • JoeAm says:

                Thanks. De-growth economics is a fascinating topic.

              • JoeAm says:

                @LCX, I found the following article on a degrowth economy to be rich with insight, moving right up to the “brilliant” category. Universal Basis Income (UBI) is a facet of the plan for some. I broke out in laughter at the closing paragraph, and this sentence: “As the ecological economist Giorgos Kallis argues, it can be difficult for parties on the left to make degrowth their banner because of the difficulties of confronting an entrenched common sense.”


              • LCPL_X still having certificate browser issues but says:

                “That said, it is at least expected of genuine progressive parties to have ideas in place on how to ensure society’s prosperity and equality without undermining the ecological stability of our planet.”


                Beautifully written, a good read altogether. Thanks.

                California just recently ended single home zoning, signed by Gov. Newsom; but implement ed already in several cities here in the US, CA is the first state to do it though I think.

                I can imagine folks living off $1,000 or $3,000 a month UBI just fine. You’ll have a different type of householding model that will develop post-single family. Which will be more like the Philippines with family compounds and boarders/lodgers. Micro-economies will pop up, I hope doing away with single family zoning will mean small stores and eateries will be zoned in also, that should coopt fast food chains.

                I hope, public houses (pubs) will be plentiful. I ‘ve always wanted to be a baker, flat breads is simple enough, maybe pan de sal or simple dinner rolls. Maybe a pub/bakery. What I miss about the 3rd world were bakeries right smack in neighborhoods. Fresh bread.

                De-growth, Joe, I can almost smell it. Fresh bread every morning. The economy contracting. No more plastics. Fuck globalization. Go local.

              • JoeAm says:

                I’m with you on it. There’s no choice. But conceptualizing it is like imagining the end of the universe. Gotta be something over there, outside.

          • Completely, agree w/ that analogy , Joe.

            I can’t recommend “Seveneves” enough, Joe jr. will take much from the physics of all it— game physics. When they were choosing representatives of humanity, young kids, then sent them for training before shooting them out into space to rendezvous with ISS, to be part of a Cloud (swarm) Ark,

            as training they played games getting them used to Orbital Mechanics. Position; Displacement; Velocity; Acceleration— Delta V’s and Inclinations. etc. etc.

            Your last post coincided with the very portion of the book which I’m on now (like 1/3 through). In it the Elon Musk-like character is now coming back from a 2 year mission (he was featured early on in the story) to capture a piece of comet ice. No spoiler, just some orbital mechanics and metaphor re UBI/De-Growth Economics.

            2 years prior he left geocentric orbit , to go heliocentric and then targeted said comet.

            Returning… he went from helio to geocentric orbit, but by now he’s not quite matched up in orbital planes with ISS/Cloud Ark. So now the concept of , re propulsion plus mass ratio too figures in.

            That’s all physics now, but my point re the analogy here to UBI/De-Growth, is if you can see it far enough, and factor in Delta V’s early on , well things are less expensive budget wise, meaning you don’t have to waste (or carry) as much in fuel and oxygen (propulsion).

            I’m sure everythings a lot more complicated, but just that idea of Delta V budget and if angle is adjusted early on, you’ll not need much propulsion, is a useful fable I’m sure, Joe. Catch it early. Plan ahead.

            As far as characters in the book, I’m loving the whole interaction of just physicists making decisions for humanity. *SPOILER ALERT* the American president whos female sneaks up into space, just before the world burnt. Got rescued, and was all like folks I’m here to help out; and the Cloud Ark leadership were like You are absolutely useless here (you’re just in the way). LOL! politicians and economists, LOL!

            You’ll be happy to know that the food hero in the story (1 page devoted to him) is a Filipino PhD (Los Banyos I’m assuming here via UC Davis credited in the book) who cultivated Sprice (Space Rice). LOL!

  33. NHerrera says:

    Here is an interesting read. The author elaborates on a subject known to us but gives some more nuances. It’s about the power of confirmation bias. The author suggests not inundating a person who holds a contrary view with facts but on a softer approach.

  34. Jov Quio says:

    They did same in Seoul SK, to get rid of their squaters. The made the river as main avenue to ease the traffic jams. But after 2 decades the demolished the pavement on top of the river including the giant posts of the elevated hi way.
    Now its a park where people ca dip their feet and roam around walking, cycling, jogging, have a liad of fresh air incthe river park.

    • JoeAm says:

      I’m guessing they have other ways to move people whereas Manila is still in cars. I personally think the Pasig is a valuable right of way, a train would be better use than an expressway, and a park is doable if attached to a commercial endeavor like a train or restaurants. Tax money has higher uses than for parks.

      • Seoul started building its subway for the 1988 Olympics but when I recently checked out the map of that network today, I was amazed to see a rail transit network that makes the big ones in New York, Paris and London look small.

        They have done an excellent job of creating a system that can move 10 million people around. BTW one small town did an excellent job of using its narrow main riverbed and that was back in the 19th century, the system is still running, nice engineering.

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