May 24, 2017

Thinking Martial Law in Mindanao

Armed Forces of the Philippines by Sgt. Matthew Troyer ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Yesterday, May 23, 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao triggered by the attack of the Maute Group (an Islamist Group classified by Philippine Army as terrorist) in Marawi City (according to news source, According to Section 18, Article VII of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, the President, “in case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety is requires it” may place the country under martial law.

This brings us to the assessment that the declaration of martial in Mindanao is constitutional or lawful. My opinion on this is that as long as the declaration will help solve the terror problems in Mindanao; then declare it, but there should be a time frame. Within two (2) months and the problem is not resolve, the government should think of new solutions to address the problem.

Many Filipinos have been abused by the misused martial law in the past years of 1986, by now; the people already knew how it feels to be deprived of liberty. Declaring martial, in my opinion, is good as long as it serves the benefit of the society and is time bound; you cannot declare martial law forever; it should be used to resolved heinous  problems. Martial law should not be used to concentrate power in the hands of the few that will result to deterioration of the power of the society, power of the people, power of the Filipinos.

It is too early to conclude what this recent martial law declaration will bring, but it is my hope (and maybe the hope of others as well) that this will bring peace to Mindanao and the whole country.

0 Read More »

January 26, 2017

From TV to Internet to Creating

Man Uses Laptop By Bill Branson (Photographer) - A Caucasian male uses his laptop computer at his desk. A desktop computer with dual monitors is visible in the background. Commons Licensing: Public Domain

90s babies witnessed the boom of television and internet. Nowadays, people are learning that they can be part of the media; from passive (TV) to interactive media (internet) everyone can post a photo to Facebook and as a result entertain someone. A person can post a video in Youtube and as result educate someone about a thing. A writer can create a blog and influence the world. A software developer can share his app in android market and help someone to become productive. An entrepreneur can go to e-commerce website and sell his products. A recording artist can share his music to music streaming application and earn from it. A service provider can go to freelancer website and provide his service.

With technology, people can pursue their passion while earning, this can be leapfrog to a productive society. For example, if your passion is cooking you can post a video about food; if your passion is wood working you can post a video about creating furniture; if your passion is about plants you can post videos about gardening. If you can’t create videos, you can write your passion on blog sites. You can profit from your videos and write-ups by allowing advertisements. But it is important to note that your earning in internet depends on the quality (sometimes quantity) of work and marketing (promotion) & creative efforts as well. Internet is not instant millionaire maker, but better than without, it helps start-ups to pursue their passion and build their business.

When you have found your passion internet is a great place to start.

Read More »

January 7, 2017

Philippines in Year 2017: Improving Infrastructure & Technology

Makati Skyline By j_0_n [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Development in the infrastructure and technology are two ways of connecting people; and connecting people creates development opportunities.  For this year 2017, this will be two of the main keys to open the doors of Philippines development (and other developing countries).

It is very clear that Philippines is a developing country - which means that there are lots of economic challenges that need solution. Developing infrastructure specifically in the transportation, energy, and telecommunication sector are essential to fast track economic development. Infrastructure development in transportation, for example, will result to higher mobility (more movement) in goods, services, and people. Moreover, improving energy infrastructure (such as renewable energy plants) can lower the cost of energy and would be crucial for addressing long term economic development.  Lower energy cost could result lower price of goods, which could increase the purchasing power of the people, and in turn could encourage investment in the country.

On the other hand, improvement in the telecom infrastructure will speed-up internet, which means faster activity or productivity in the internet. Previous years have seen how internet have shape the lives of millions (more than 10 million) of Filipinos. Filipinos socialize shop, communicate, book rides & flights, work & create, and study using the internet. Thus, it would be an added value if communication infrastructure will be improved.

On the other side of the fence, these developments have cost and involve money investment. While the stakes are high, it should be put in mind that the cost of these projects should not be shouldered by the public. It is assumed that there are government funds which could be used to finance these projects. Furthermore, putting the burden to the public will result to lower purchasing power in general, since majority of the population comprise low income earner. Thus, the inclusive utilization (usage) of planned infrastructure can be encouraged by lowering the cost of usage which could help enhance the purchasing power of the public. As others ask, what is the purpose of development if only few can use and benefit from it?

Security & Mobility

Last year show case the effectiveness of the campaign of Philippine National Police (PNP) against war against drugs. This is a sign that Philippines security is improving, even thou there are still lot of things to be done.

Security is very important for a mobile society; people need to feel safe while walking or roaming around the street; while socializing and doing business in the corner; tourist will not tour the islands of the Philippines if it is not safe, thus, will affect the income of tourism industry.  Last year was a good year for the PNP, hope this will continue and further improve in 2017.

Tourism & Environment

Philippines tourism is a game changer for the country. Tourism can create jobs and small businesses that can benefit marginalize member of the society.  For year 2017, it is seen that tourism industry will continue to generate more income for the country; yet, the benefit of this low hanging fruit depends on the tourism promotion in the international arena.

The competitive advantage of visiting and living in the Philippines is that people can do more and visit different provinces and see different places at a lower cost compared to developed countries; plus, the unmatchable Filipino hospitality.

Relatively, improving the environment (e.g. thru pollution control especially in the mega cities) would be an added factor in enhancing tourism; as the slogan says "you plant a tree you save the economy".

There is a big optimism for year 2017 as people continue to increase spending (as of Dec 2016, inflation is 2.60%), this is a sign of growing economy but has its own consequence. For example, traffic jams have increased due to increased in purchase of private vehicles. To support Philippines economic growth, right infrastructure must be put in place and proper policies must be implemented.
Read More »

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. 

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »