August 29, 2016

Developing Philippines Mobility

By View751 (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Some critics will not agree, but Philippines is set for upward trajectory – the basic reason is that, Philippines has many rooms for growth. Other countries might appear to reach the peak, but Philippines is still on the verge of growth; and there are lot of things to be done. The country can choose to reach the peak slowly or at the speed of light, which is much connected to mobility – how fast the society can move.

Traffic jams can limit mobility, does a time lost – one of the most precious resources of the world. In developed economies, mobility is well valued, people will not spend long hours just to fall in line and rush to a transport vehicle when one arrives. In a developed country, you’ll have a train system that arrives every 2-3 minutes with enough space to cover all passengers. The train systems has entrance and exit in different strategic locations where hearts of local development are present. Imagine all provinces and cities of the Philippines connected by single state of the art affordable train system, this will surely pave the way to a mobile society.

The speed of light free flowing internet information would contribute to personal development. With free access to internet, people will be able to learn new things and share ideas at a lower cost. The development of free online education is a breakthrough in learning process which is now offered to the whole world. Today is the age where high grade information is pinned at the corners of the web (the internet), just little dose of curiosity (or searching) is required and answers to the problem can be found.

It is a dream of the society to move freely and learn without boundaries, this can be achieved when proper policies and infrastructure is put in place. 

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March 23, 2016

A Dragging Debate - The Philippines Next President

Photo by unattributed; Published by Rickey, Mallory & Company, Cincinnati. (Indiana University) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I was watching the presidential debate in the Philippines, and I must say that it’s quite disappointing. The debate seems to be a platform for dragging down opponents instead to be a platform for ideas.

A debate should be a battle of quality of thoughts and concreteness of plans. Debate should showcase evidence of timeline in which projects would be executed. Debate should pave way to discovery of a president who has the greatest outlook for the country in the next five years.

The key to success of the next government is concreteness. Filipinos would no longer tolerate false hope and flowery words without supporting evidence. Filipinos know that the government can do more if and only if the government leaders focus on improving the lives of the people and not their personal well being. We need a servant leader whose happiness depends on the quality of life of his or her fellow Filipinos.

I love this line from Adam Smith and hope that leaders of this country would think about; that is: no society would be truly happy with a portion of its citizen down to poverty.

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March 10, 2016

Economics of Entertainment in the Philippines

kneeling carabao
Philippines Carabao Festival by Judgefloro (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Filipinos are good supporters of entertainment; Filipinos love to be entertained. Soap Operas are very popular in the country which shows the lighter side of life despite the hardship in the real world. Noon time shows are also very popular in the country supported by bulk of advertisements. Filipinos are excellent entertainers, yet, despite the psychological comfort that it provides to some people, does it really improve the lives of the audience? For example, does watching TV increase productivity next day or does it result to the reverse? Or in other terms, did the viewer solve his economic or financial problem after watching the TV show?

Entertainment is a business and will always be a business. Producing shows involve cost; the show needs to recover its cost or else there will be no show. This means that a show must attract many audience or else the show will fail because the more the audience, the more the advertisement; the higher the profit. If media is benefiting from the audience financially, does the audience benefit from the media, financially as well? After spending years of watching TV shows, did the lives of the poor improved? These are critical questions which could influence the economic development of the country thru the use of mass media.

In the Philippines he who controls the media controls and influences the actions of the many, thus, mass media has big role to play in promoting productive society. There was this common scenario in the Philippines where poor fanatics fall in line for more than 24 hours just to see their favorite celebrities; this validates how media can influence the thinking and emotions of the mass.

Festival is a form of entertainment in the Philippines that promotes tourism and in turn creates business to the celebrating province. It goes with the saying that Filipinos need to get out and be entertained while working.

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March 9, 2016

Living without Money

Philippines virgin island
Philippines Virgin Island by Lestatb / User: (WT-shared) Jeffvbaldemor at wts wikivoyage - Own work, Public Domain

I was inspired by the quote that “people should not work for money; money should work for people” and that “people should not work for economy; economy should work for people”. It would be amazing to imagine if our economic system will really work for us – you would wake-up in the morning not worrying about money. When economy is working for people – people would have financial insurance – that means every person in this planet would have enough money in their savings account to finance their entire life – let say 90 years. In this case, money will just be a vehicle or tool for exchange not a need; the society will feel again that resources are free just like the old times. People can create, explore, eat, and socialize without worrying about the money tomorrow.

But in the reality today, money is a need. Many people woke up in the morning to find money. The quote above is reversed “people work for the economy” not that the economy works for the people. This is not to say that the government or the central bank should flood the money to the society; too much money in the system will result to inflationary pressure which will reduce the value of money. What is needed is stabilization of the distribution of money. Removing money from the system will not also solve the problem since this will lessen the motivation to create business in the private sector, which is needed in producing basic goods and services in the country.

The money was created to ease the exchange of goods (or products) and services. During the past the exchange was purely goods to goods; then it became metals to goods; then coins and paper to goods; then today, paperless method like, credit and ATM cards to goods; . Thus, exchange or trade was already happening in the past without money, money was just created to ease exchange. Today people have the option to trade without money (barter method) or to trade using money – but majority would still use money because this is the easiest way to trade or exchange goods and services.

People who did not adapt to capitalism (who did not use money) stayed in the mountains where there is free access to resources, while people who chose to adopt the capitalistic system work and build business and use money as their medium of exchange. Today people have two choices, they can live in the mountains for free without worrying about money but they would need to hunt for their basic needs or they live down the mountains and look for money. In whatever scenario, people would need to hunt for something to survive; people need to look for food to eat.

Without going deeper into this subject, it’s safe to conclude that resources in every country should be managed and distributed very well for the welfare of the next generation.

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February 26, 2016

Philippines Economy in 2016 - The Development

Jeepney by Stephanie Azarias & Alexander Olpindo (Wikipedia Takes Manila participant) - Uploaded from Wikipedia Takes Manila, CC BY-SA 3.0

Philippines has gone a long way since 1998 Asian Financial Crisis - the country must be a tiger economy today like Singapore if infrastructure and poverty reduction projects were executed very well in the past. Yet even though it is good to examine the past, it is more important to focus on the present and hope for the future.

2016 will be a critical year for the economic development of the Philippines - 2016 should mark the execution of more infrastructure projects and implementation (not only creation) of more laws. Many Filipinos now days are seeing their rights - and many Filipinos are well informed about problems of the society that needs solution. The key solution to problems of mega cities is to create and transform. The solution to traffic jam is to expand the roads and create more mass transportation; the solution to unemployment is to create simple jobs for the mass and provide free education and training to the poor; food security and sufficiency can be achieved by promoting and incentivizing agriculture business; Eco-friendly centralize industrialization can be encouraged through utilization of modern technology; Environment can be protected through promotion of responsible extraction of natural resources - making sure that all resources extracted would be renewed through the use of proper regeneration processes.

Even though crime is seen to be a problem in the country, the latter is only part of the big poverty problem, caused by lack of access to basic resources, due to unemployment. This is to say that Filipinos should have a security in terms of basic needs and everything else would follow. One of the basic solutions to poverty is utilizing the government funds – using these funds to create poverty reduction projects. Government can either improve infrastructure to improve business in the country and in turn result to creation of jobs or the government can provide people access to funds and teach people to create business; or the government can do both. For example, government can build renewable power plants to increase the supply of energy – which will result to lower electricity bill; which could be a big factor for increasing investment.

Philippines has a lot of resources, we just need to utilize and distribute it properly to every person in the country – in that sense, no economic numbers could be better than that.

Philippine Economist economic growth full year 2016 forecast is 5.9%. For more details about Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data and forecast visit this link: GDP Data.

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February 1, 2016

Economic Specialization – The Case of Swiss Watch

vintage watch
Photo by Allo002 (Own work) [CC BY 1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

I’ve been researching about watches in the past two years. My enthusiasm begun when my friend gave me a watch; it was a fantastic watch which spurred my enthusiasm to do research about time pieces.

When you Google a watch, one country will emerge – Switzerland; the country claims to be the pioneer of watch making. This is not surprising since the biggest names of watch industry like Patek Philippe, Rolex, Audemars Piguet, IWC, Omega, Breitling, TAG Heuer and the likes are located in the said country. What is amazing about these watches is that they were able to create great value on their watch which fuels their mother economy.

Switzerland, located at Central Europe, is classified as developed country with modern cities (like Geneva) and high standard of living. The country is not only well known for specializing in watches but also known for banking and chocolate industry. According to statistics (year 2012), the Swiss watch industry employed more than 50,000 people in Switzerland which caters the demand of luxury watch enthusiast and collectors worldwide – with top clients coming from Hong Kong, US, China, France, and Germany.

With all of this being said, how did the country emerge as the home of watch making? And how did Swiss watch companies able to put high price tags on their automatic watch? And with high price tag, these watches are still being bought despite the emergence of lower priced battery powered Japanese quartz.

According to Swiss watch makers their watch is a device that tells time but crafted with artistry – their watch is handmade (some with signature of the watch maker inside) with high time telling precision from high quality materials that can stand the test of time (100 years or more). When a watch becomes an artistic masterpiece relative to it rareness qualities – it can now command a price like the paintings of Leonardo Da Vinci (e.g. Mona Lisa, The Last Supper). Art is highly valued by some members of the society and some of them are willing to pay the price. When a wealthy member of the society wants the well crafted watch – he or she will pay for the watch despite the luxury price – using his or her disposable income. Thus, the upper class members of the society with higher disposable income create demand for luxury watch. Because a watch claims be a work of art, with its owners putting high value on the device, the owner will not sell the watch at a lower price (because the owner is wealthy) – as a result the value of luxury watch increases. This is one of the scenarios why the value of a highly crafted watch increases.

So what is the point of this in economics? Well, one of the lessons here is that high value cannot only be generated from mass production (the likes of China’s economic model); there is a great value in high precision craftsmanship. Philippines (and other countries) small business can learn from the Swiss model; value can be created from creating a high quality goods and services. In the case of developing countries, creating high quality products can be started from non-complicated goods like agriculture products. As knowledge evolved on producing a high quality product, knowledge is shared and produces a specialized economy like Switzerland.

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November 29, 2015

The Future of Mobility in the Philippines

Green Power Formula 24
Photo by Matt Barker (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Next to renewable energy as one of the most important infrastructure of the future, are charging stations for electric cars. Some people will not agree but the future of mobility is electric powered vehicles. The main reason is that Philippines (and other countries) cannot rely on oil in long run if it wants to be sustainably developed country. Philippines is not an oil exporting country, this means that a huge part of energy demand is being imported. Also, if Philippines wants to improve its trade balance (foreign currency reserves) then it needs to reduce its imports. 

As a head start, charging station for electric cars should be built in every parking space of the country. The main reason why charging stations should be built first is because car manufacturers will not sell electric cars unless there are charging stations; people will not also buy these cars unless there are charging stations. Imagine if charging your car is free because these charging stations are sourcing its energy from renewable energy plants which is being maintained using the taxes of the people (I think maintaining solar panel plants should not cause the government too much); imagine the clean green mobility and productivity that it will bring to the people. People will definitely shift to electric cars with this kind of benefit. Moreover, Philippines is positioned to bring this kind of mass mobility since we have the resources and environment to produce renewable energies.

This is what we call inclusive economic growth, including each and everyone in the mobility – in the development. We know that this is feasible, thus we should start now.

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November 27, 2015

The Pork Barrel and the Upcoming Election

Philippine Flag
Photo by Elmer B. Domingo (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

In the coming election, many politician will project a clean image; thus it is good to conduct a thorough research on the candidates. The society should never forget how some politicians misallocated the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) also known as Pork Barrel. Allot of Pork Barrel Funds have been pocketed; through government, private and non-profit agencies, so it could fit the pockets of the burglars (this was made possible through over priced projects and creation of fake organizations) . 

PDAF case is syndicated well planed government fund channeling that involves politicians, agency heads & employees, and many people. It should be noted that senators, congressman, party-list and the likes holds the pork barrel; this people could be tempted to repeat the past burglary, thus, the society should be careful in electing the people on these positions.

The society should remember that billions of Pesos vanished and headed to the pockets of the bad politicians; if these billions of Pesos were used in proper way, it would have made a significant positive change in the lives of the poor.

We should not elect a person based on advertisement; we need to elect a politician who truly loves the country. 

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November 25, 2015

The Consequence of War

"Szatmárnémeti, 1940. szeptember 5 (1)" by Sárai Budapest Rotációs Fényképsokszorosító (scanned by Derzsi Elekes Andor) - Metapolisz Images. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

No one has ever won a war; some people say that one has to undergo a war before you can understand the meaning of peace. Yet, the world has already experienced the war and we all know its consequence. So does it make sense to wage in war again? I guess not, it boils back again that no one is a winner in a war – people will be hurt and dead. We need to respect each nation’s sovereignty; instead of attacking and starting a war, we need to strengthen our defense against war. Violence will only give birth to violence, unless we wage war against violence there will be no peace.

The key is to help rebuild poor nations; to shift the focus of the world to rebuilding and peace. Instead of sending troops in guns and booths, sending white troops with medicine and food should be the start. We are in war because there is an inequality; one is dominating and controlling the other while other doesn’t want to be controlled. We really need to think about the world we want; there are plenty of issues in which we can focus our energy instead of engaging in a war.

We need to build peace to honor the lives of those who died in the war of the past just to show the world the difference between violence and peace.

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November 6, 2015

Improving Doing Business in the Philippines

Makati Business District
Photo by Ervin Malicdem (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

One of the reason why a country does not progress is due difficulty of doing business. Businesses create jobs that are the source of bread and butter in the table; in this sense, creating business is vital for the progress of a country. Before a business can start it requires government certifications and permits which sometimes causes delay in starting a business. When starting a business is being delayed, there is an opportunity loss, like an opportunity to employ people and generate taxes – which could be use for economic development projects.

Difficulty of doing business in the country could discourage local and foreign investors – people would prefer to save than to invest their money in creating businesses. One of the solution to improve doing business in the country is automation of government process for acquiring certifications and business permit. There are available system in the market such as SAP, Oracle, Microsoft and the likes that can help systematize government transactions. The system would detect where the delay is happening and would alert the approving personnel that transaction is beyond the due date. Moreover, the records from the system could be use for auditing to further improve the speed of acquiring certificates and permits; all records from different provinces should automatically transfer to Manila head office database for ease of auditing.

The good thing about automation is that application for business could be done online; submission of documents, filling of forms, and payments can be done online. Moreover, the business applicant can monitor the status of the application via online and can call the help desk if application was not approved in the committed timeline (let say within 30 days the business permit should be released).

With systematic process we can prevent bribery and red tape.

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