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  1. 16 points
    This is an excellent piece that references a good article written by a quality journalist. Well worth the time to read and digest The Filipino First Policy caused the Philippines to Fail If you are one of those Filipinos who thinks that the “Filipino First Policy” of actively discouraging Foreign Direct Investors and multinational companies from coming into the Philippines by requiring them to partner with local Filipino investors who will own at least 60% of the company set up in the Philippines is a step in the right direction, think again. Local Filipino investors are not numerous enough to create as many businesses that would create the huge number of jobs necessary to absorb our country’s unemployed. In fact, the amount of money that most local investors have with them – let alone the money that they are usually willing to invest – is often very low when compared to international levels of investment. What’s very frustrating is that the rest of the ASEAN region, starting with Singapore, relied heavily on attracting massive foreign direct investments as a means of creating a lot of jobs for their people. When Singapore did this, even huge countries like China followed suit. Malaysia too, under Mahathir bin Mohamad, also pursued an aggressive policy of attracting a lot of foreign direct investments as a means of creating massive employment. Everyone else in the region, including Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and even recently, Myanmar have joined in the aggressive foreign investment attracting game. Only the Philippines remains the lone country in which Foreign Direct Investment is seen as being harmful and “infringing upon our sovereignty.” Wow. What idiocy! So instead of allowing foreign direct investors and multinational companies to come to the Philippines and create jobs for Filipinos in the Philippines, Filipinos would prefer to send jobless Filipinos abroad to work in foreign countries, working for foreigners. The main difference is that had these Filipinos been working in the Philippines, they would at least be together with their families and loved ones, unlike when they work abroad as OFW’s and are away from their families and loved ones for years, oftentimes ending up with broken families. Well, done, Pinoys! This Filipino First Policy has done nothing but cause the Philippines to fail! What to see another one? So the Philippines is dead last within ASEAN. Now let’s try to learn more about the difference between Hong Kong – which is very open to Foreign Direct Investments (like Singapore and most of ASEAN) – versus the Philippines – which is very closed to FDI. Here is a story about two “countries.” Hong Kong, for all intents and purposes is a “country.” It has its own economy and it has its own laws different from that of China to which it is supposed to belong after the 1997 hand-over. Read the whole story in its entirety and learn just how bad things have turned out in the Philippines thanks to the 60/40 restrictions and the misguided Filipino First Policy. A Tale of Two Countries (Borrowed from the Far Eastern Economic Review) by William McGurn (June 1994) Editor’s note: While it is true that this is an old article from June 1994, the author William McGurn’s analysis is so spot-on and remains extremely relevant today such that this article seems as if it was written just yesterday. If anything, it is worth noting that the Philippine situation is even far worse now (some 20 years after this article was written) so that whatever the author wrote in 1994 has become even worse in terms of degree. That this article was written in 1994 does not diminish the Truth that this article speaks. The human costs of protectionism Teresa Concepcion had high hopes for her future. Although her father was only a farmer with a grade-school education, things were looking bright for the new generation of Filipinos. By the time Teresa (not her real name) was born, the country had risen from the ashes of World War II to achieve not only independence and a working democracy but the second-highest standard of living in the Far East after Japan’s. In 1970 she entered a local university. Four years later, degree in hand, she took a job as a social worker supervising day-care centers. That’s when her dreams began to dissolve. Teresa had expected only a modest salary. Upon entering the working world, however, she was stunned to find out exactly how low wages were, not only in her profession but throughout the Philippines. Her paycheck brought in barely $40 a month. By now she was married and had given birth to the first of three sons. Her husband, a surveyor’s assistant with the Bureau of Land and Natural Resources, made no more than she did. Even such basics as clothing and baby food became more than they could afford. And so, after eight years of incessant financial struggling, Teresa and her husband made a critical decision. In the summer of 1983, she hugged her husband and three boys–ages 7, 5, and 3–and, with money borrowed from her in-laws, boarded a plane bound for Hong Kong at Manila Airport. At age 33, she was leaving her family behind to begin a completely new career: as a maid. Teresa was not alone. Some 105,000 Filipinas labor in Hong Kong as amahs, or maids. Almost a decade after the People’s Power revolution that toppled Ferdinand Marcos, the plight of these women remains a standing indictment of the Philippine government’s staunchly protectionist economic policies. Like Teresa, the amahs are for the most part smart, relatively well-educated women who found the door of opportunity slammed shut at home. They have college degrees in disciplines ranging from accounting to education, yet they find themselves cooking meals and scrubbing floors for Hong Kong shop clerks and secretaries. Like Teresa, many of them are mothers who are now raising other people’s children while their own grow up without them. Underscoring their predicament is a cruel irony: A generation ago, Filipino families imported Chinese maids. Today the situation has reached crisis proportions. Within East Asia, disparities in prosperity have led to huge labor outflows, mostly from poorer countries such as the Philippines to richer ones such as Hong Kong, Singapore, and Korea. The maids are only the legal tip of a Filipino iceberg that includes such diverse occupations as nightclub dancers, construction workers, shop clerks, and mechanics. Their growing numbers and negative image have become sensitive issues both at home and abroad. When Teresa first arrived in Hong Kong 10 years ago, there were only 24,800 Filipina amahs at work; now there are more than four times that many, and locals complain that the women occupy the city center on Sundays, their one day off. In the Philippines, the debased condition of these women has led to legislation calling for an end to the Overseas Worker Program. In 1993, Philippine public opinion was outraged by the death of a Filipina nightclub hostess in Japan whom Japanese authorities said died from hepatitis but whose family claimed she had been beaten. Filipinos are also upset by the virtual identification of domestic with Filipina throughout the region. The current president, Fidel Ramos, has vowed to reverse some of the longstanding policies that have sent so many Filipinos abroad–a promise that the Philippine people have heard many times before. Ramos’s biggest obstacle is a reluctance among the Philippine establishment to admit that its self-perpetuating economic policies are largely responsible for the country’s descent into poverty. Over the years, Philippine leaders have ascribed their abysmal economic failure to any number of root causes, including their colonial heritage, Marcos-era greed, and a series of natural disasters. The truth, however, is that the country’s poverty is no accident and the quandary in which Filipina maids find themselves owes itself almost directly to the most pernicious of economic sins: protectionism. For the past 40 years, under the guise of ensuring the country’s economic sovereignty, successive Philippine governments have enacted laws that have discouraged foreign investment, concentrated wealth in fewer and fewer hands, and diminished the standard of living for the average Filipino to the point where less than 50 percent of the country earns a subsistence wage. Nowhere is this clearer than in a comparison between the Philippines and Hong Kong, just a two-hour flight from Manila and the destination of so many Filipino laborers desperate for work. Just as the Philippines owes its current status as “the sick man of Asia” to longstanding protectionist policies, Hong Kong owes its stupendous wealth today to an ongoing commitment to open markets and a hands-off approach to business. For the past decade, Hong Kong has boasted an unemployment rate of under 2 percent, and its residents purchase more each year than the Japanese, other Asians, or Europeans. In 1993, Hong Kong’s per-capita income even surpassed that of its colonial protector, Great Britain. But Hong Kong was no more destined to be wealthy than the Philippines was destined to be poor. If anything, it was a prime candidate for the sort of economic anemia that afflicts the Philippines. Lord Palmerston’s remark about Hong Kong upon its 1842 acquisition by the British–he called it “a barren island with hardly a house upon it”–was a fair description of its seeming promise, and even today its crowded population is spread over an inhospitable terrain that makes it utterly dependent on its neighbors even for basic resources such as water. If Hong Kong’s natural obstacles to wealth were considerable, the man-made ones were downright staggering. No sooner had the colony begun to recover from the Japanese occupation of World War II than the Communist takeover of the mainland sent hundreds of thousands of desperate refugees to its shores. A few years later, a United Nations-imposed boycott of China saw Hong Kong lose its largest market overnight. Back in the 1950s and ’60s, the experts were not talking about the “Hong Kong miracle.” Back then, they were wondering if Hong Kong would survive. Hong Kong withstood these pressures primarily by remaining open to foreign investment. While the Philippines and other East Asian nations chose to coddle their industries and put their faith in central planning, Hong Kong forced all its industries to compete with the rest of the world on their own merits and on a completely equal basis. And now, when countries such as South Korea are busy trying to pare down huge bureaucracies spawned by protectionism, Hong Kong is free to do productive business. There are no foreign exchange controls, and foreign companies are free to take their profits out if they choose. Taxes are stable and minimal, with none on capital gains and a flat tax on corporate profits. As Milton Friedman once quipped, “To see how the free market really works, Hong Kong is the place to go.” This prosperity and freedom are largely the legacy of Hong Kong’s legendary financial secretary, John James Cowperthwaite. During the 1960s, Hong Kong was said to be governed “by the gospel of Adam Smith as expounded by his disciple John James Cowperthwaite.” Arriving in the colony as acadet officer in the civil service just three months after the Japanese surrender and charged with getting the economy back on its feet, Cowperthwaite immediately noted the degree to which Hong Kong’s resilient economy had already recovered without any government help. Cowperthwaite’s strength was that, more than most, he understood that even the most brilliant planner was no match for the collective genius of the market. Whether it was water–which in those days was always in short supply–or food or energy, Cowperthwaite insisted that the best way around the problem was to allow free pricing among suppliers and to keep the doors open to anyone who wanted to enter. He did his part by keeping taxes low and refusing to spend more than he took in. “I see no reason,” he once said to a request for government to finance lower water rates, “why someone who is content with a cold shower should subsidize someone who is able to luxuriate in a deep hot bath.” Cowperthwaite, in fact, was so distrustful of intervention in the economy that he refused to allow the government to keep statistics on gross national product–on the grounds that if the government kept the statistics they would only misuse them. This strategy was not simply do-nothingism. At the same time the government was keeping taxes low and spending under control, it embarked on a public housing scheme that would eventually shelter more than half the population. The difference was that Cowperthwaite could afford to do this since he maintained fiscal restraint and resisted calls to subsidize Hong Kong industry or give them any protection. “Had Cowperthwaite taken the advice or yielded to all those who wanted more government intervention,” says Richard Wong of the Hong Kong Center for Economic Research, “Hong Kong would not have prospered. By keeping Hong Kong open he ensured that it would remain competitive.” Certainly history has vindicated Cowperthwaite’s judgment. During the 10 years between 1961 and 1971 that Cowperthwaite was Hong Kong’s financial secretary, income grew faster there than anywhere else in Asia. The policy of keeping the door open to imports also fueled an export boom–at a phenomenal average annual rate of 13.8 percent over these years. Real wages increased by more than 50 percent over this period and remain roughly twice those of both Korea and Taiwan. Hong Kong’s disavowal of protectionism extends to the lack of anti-dumping laws that are used even in the United States to keep competitors out. “Any economist will tell you that when you keep foreign business out you simply hurt your own people,” says Hong Kong treasury secretary and former trade negotiator, Donald Tsang. “All you are doing is cutting your nose off to spite your face. We keep our economy open because it is in our self-interest.” (Note: Sir Donald “Bow-tie” Tsang went on to be Hong Kong Chief Executive at the time when Noynoy Aquino committed terrible embarrassing diplomatic blunders during the HK Tourist Bus Hostage Crisis.) If Hong Kong owes its impressive wealth to a conscious political decision not to micro-manage the economy, the Philippines’ pervasive poverty represents the negative version of the same argument. There, a series of conscious economic choices made over the past four decades–especially a hostile attitude toward foreign investors–has allowed local monopolies to flourish at the expense of both workers and consumers. Some have called it “crony capitalism.” But the preferences enjoyed under this arrangement have little in common with capitalism, and the cronies would lose their protected empires tomorrow if the state weren’t propping them up. The ruling elite in the Philippines has taken a country with a well-educated English-speaking work force and an enviable location smack dab in the midst of the world’s fastest growing market and turned it into an economic basket case. This took some doing. Providence had bequeathed the Philippines many advantages, including an almost inexhaustible supply of natural resources: gold, iron ore, copper, cement, salt, granite, marble. Its soil was rich and its produce bountiful, including rice, sugar, coconuts, tobacco, bananas, and avocados. In the late 1950s and early ’60s, it was second in Asia only to Japan, and everyone assumed that its future would be as bountiful as its present. As the World Bank put it in an upbeat report, “By comparison with most underdeveloped countries, the basic economic position of the Philippines is favorable…. |Apart from its~ generous endowment of material resources and high level of literacy, other favorable factors are the growth of the labor force, the availability of managerial and technical skills, the high level of savings and investment, rather good prospects for most of the Philippines exports, and considerable possibilities for import substitution.” The Philippines was considered so successful, in fact, that in the ’60s Manila was sending specialists to Korea to advise them on their development. But the Philippines never realized its potential. Instead opening the door to foreign investors with the money and the wherewithal to make something of its resources, the Philippines wrapped itself in the cloak of protectionism. Under the guise of nationalism–the country had achieved independence in 1946–the Philippines passed a series of laws limiting what they called “alien” (foreign) involvement in the economy. It started with a limit imposed on alien-owned market stalls in Manila and soon covered everything from access to credit to quotas on imports. By the end of the ’50s, this had evolved into a full-fledged ideology called “Filipino First” that would figure prominently in the presidential elections for years to come. In 1960, Philippine President Garcia summed up the Filipino First policy as merely “an honest-to-goodness effort of the Filipino people to be master of their own economic household.” His secretary for commerce and industry, Manuel Lim, likewise described the policy as simply an effort to ensure that Filipinos get some share of the benefits flowing to foreign investors. Of course, it was slightly more than this. Although both Garcia and Lim went out of their way to say the Filipino First policy would be fair to outsiders, they both saw foreign involvement in the economy as a “threat” and a cause for alarm. Although the policy was later relaxed somewhat, the emphasis remained on ensuring Philippine “supremacy.” “It’s the classic mistake for developing countries,” says Richard Wong. “Despite all the populist rhetoric, whenever you make it more difficult for foreigners, all you are doing is taking money from the public and putting it into the hands of the vested interests.” In the Philippines, protectionism was intertwined with racism. Many of the local entrepreneurs belonged to the country’s sizable Chinese minority, and many of the government regulations attempted to force them from their economic niches. Two of the most infamous regulated participation in retail selling and the corn and rice industries. In June 1954, President Ramon Magsaysay signed “An Act to Regulate the Retal Business,” which was followed by a 1964 measure that tightened the screws even more. The gist of the regulations was that no industry or store could sell directly to the public unless it was Filipino owned; otherwise the business had to sell to a Filipino first. The object was to make sure that Filipinos got a piece of the action on every sale. But in practice, the regulations simply created a middleman who raised the final cost to the consumer. The almost-immediate effects included a precipitous drop in the number of newly registered retail businesses and a sharp rise in general prices. Much the same thing happened in 1961, when the Philippines passed another protectionist act, this one “Limiting the Right to Engage in the Rice and Corn Industry to Citizens of the Philippines.” Like the retail business law, this one took aim at the Chinese merchant population by decreeing that only Filipinos would be allowed to participate in rice and corn production. This was a big decision, because at the time rice was both the chief staple of Filipinos’ diet and a significant commercial export. In 1960 there had been 6,100 foreigners registered in the rice and corn business, but by the summer of 1962 the executive director of the Rice and Corn Board, E. V. Mendoza, reported that the program had “worked” in running foreigners out. “Success,” however, was curiously defined. Apart from encouraging fraud–some foreigners simply put their companies in the names of their Philippine wives or friends–it had a disastrous effect on production and prices. Mendoza was correct in noting that by year’s end most of the rice and corn business was forced out of foreign hands. But the price paid by the population for that change was a severe rice shortage. The Philippines went from a country that exported rice to one that imported it, a situation that did not change until much later in the decade when scientific advances introduced a new, “miracle” rice capable of tremendous new yields. The government’s continuing support of protectionist policies in the face of such abject failures is the reason why Max Soliven, editor of The Philippine Star and the country’s most popular columnist, blasts the Filipino First philosophy as “the pirate flag of convenience for vested interests.” “Every big foreign investment project,” says Soliven, “is slandered as ‘a scam’ or labeled ‘imperialist exploitation,’ and thus those two cabals of conspiracy, the Old Rich and the nouveau riche, manage to fight off and repel ‘the enemy.'” Filipino First, says Soliven, should really be called “Filipino Last and Always.” As far back as the early 1960s there were voices raised in warning. In 1962 the president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce, Alfonso Catalang, went on television to say that Filipino First was shooting the country in the foot. My magazine, the Far Eastern Economic Review, warned that “Filipino politicians seem to favor securing foreign loans instead of inviting foreign capital to come in.” The direct result of such choices were the bloated Philippine monopolies that still stand before us today, protected from foreign competition and unresponsive to the needs of the country. Although myriad regulations restrict foreigners doing business in the Philippines–foreign banks, for example, have not been permitted to open new branches since 1948–the most effective way of keeping them out has been a law limiting the amount any foreigner can own in a business to 40 percent. At the start of his reign, President Marcos made some moves to open up the economy, but instead of busting the monopolies he merely put his own buddies in charge of them. Nor did things improve with the People Power revolution of Cory Aquino. By 1991 foreign investment in the Philippines totaled only $783 million–compared to about $5 billion for Thailand and almost $9 billion for Indonesia, which is just about as poor as the Philippines. In many ways, in fact, Aquino only made the situation worse. The constitution drafted by her associates specifically blocks or severely limits access to vast segments of the economy by outside developers, especially in the area of natural resources. Section 12, for example, requires that the “State shall promote the preferential use of Filipino labor, domestic materials and locally produced goods.” In effect, the revised constitution applies the 40-percent limit to all but a few areas. Filipino First is back with a vengeance. The reason the 40-percent limit is so debilitating is that as long as votes in a company are pegged to the owner’s share, no foreign investor will have control over his money. This is particularly distressing in a developing country such as the Philippines, where the economic climate is uncertain and the risks are already high. Foreigners are unlikely to invest millions of dollars if they don’t have a say over how the money will be spent. “If I had to name one thing that has hurt the Philippines more than anything else, it’s this 40-percent limit,” says Peter Wallace, an international business consultant and economist who has lived in Manila for many years. “We had a similar problem in Australia years ago–we were resource rich but cash poor. Much of Australia’s development came about because it opened the door to those who had the money to develop, especially in the mining industry.” In testimony before the Philippine Congress, Wallace pointed out that if the Philippines followed Australia’s lead, the country’s abundant resources would finally start paying some dividends. The development of natural resources is hardly the only area of the Philippines’ economy affected by the lack of foreign capital. The nation’s infrastructure, for example, remains one of the worst in Asia. President Ramos has recently eased the ongoing power shortage that just last summer was responsible for blackouts of 10 to 12 hours a day. But the shortage never would have occurred had the country opened energy development to foreigners. “Making yourself open to foreign investment does much more than bring in money,” says Wallace. “It brings in badly needed technology. It grows your exports. It creates jobs, and it generally also develops a host of industries that pop up to serve the new investors.” The Philippines’ nationalism has, in fact, managed to strangle every aspect of economic development. Foreign goods remain a luxury that only the protected rich can hope to afford. Recently Philippine Sen. Blas Ople pointed to a study by the government’s own assistant secretary for trade documenting that no less than 167 signatures were necessary to release an imported car from the Bureau of Customs. Ople had a field day when the customs commissioner proudly announced he had greatly reduced the number of necessary signatures: to 50. The regulatory choke hold is also responsible for a phone system so abysmal that it is an international embarrassment. In a November 1992 visit to Manila, Singapore’s senior minister, Lee Kuan Yew, publicly spoke out against the Philippine telephone company as “an example of a powerful vested interest … which has had a monopoly for 64 years.” He also cited a standing joke that “98 percent of Filipinos are waiting for a phone and the other 2 percent are waiting for a dial tone.” In fact, fewer than 2 out of 100 Filipinos have phones in this nation of 61 million people, and the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company controls more than 90 percent of the existing 600,000 lines. Their monopoly has been helped along by Supreme Court decisions that shut Eastern Telecommunications out of the market and awarded a contract to PLDT even though its foreign-backed competitor had outbid it by a factor of six. Comparing the Philippines’ phone system to Hong Kong’s actually provides a thumbnail sketch of how two economic systems produce hugely different results. While the Philippines stagnates with one of the worst phone systems in the world, Hong Kong boasts one of the best: fully digitalized with about 63 phones per 100 population, about double the number of another East Asian powerhouse, South Korea. It is so easy to get a phone in Hong Kong that almost all the colony’s shops have a phone sitting out front that customers can use free. And with new developments in related technology (such as cellular phones) now becoming popular, the government reviewed its telecommunications policy and decided to open up additional networks to increase competition. Beyond all the theoretical and statistical explanations, however, the painful human costs of the different economic strategies pursued by Hong Kong and the Philippines are dramatically illustrated by the booming growth of domestic helpers in Hong Kong. A generation ago, middle and upper-class Filipinos were likely to have poor Chinese as amahs. Today the situation has flip-flopped. Thousands of desperate Philippine women just like Teresa Concepcion–college educated and with children of their own–are forced by circumstances beyond their control to go abroad and work as domestics. The ones who are lucky go to Hong Kong. Many go to the Middle East or other parts of Asia, where the work is even more demanding and the environment even more difficult. Despite their relative good fortune, their life in Hong Kong is not an easy one. According to a survey by Asian Labor Update Research, some 40 percent of these maids work 14 to 15 hours a day and 30 percent work 16 to 17 hours a day for a standard monthly wage of $415, much of which is sent back home. If they are “lucky,” as is Teresa, they have an “amah’s room” off the kitchen–a non-air-conditioned eight-foot-by-six-foot cell barely big enough for a twin bed. Less fortunate amahs sleep on a couch or share a room with the younger children of their employers. Life on the bottom rung of society has its other problems as well. Filipinas often report that the Chinese look down on them and treat them harshly. Indeed, one of the colony’s biggest companies, Hong Kong Land, recently tried to bar them from sitting on its grounds on weekends when they congregate with their friends in the center of town. Occasionally, their work may even prove fatal. One Filipina, Pascuela Destas, gave her life for her 5-year-old charge by pushing him out of the way of an out-of-control bus. But saving the life of her employers’ son meant that Destas left her own three boys back in the Philippines without abreadwinner. Although life in Hong Kong may be difficult, the maids agree on one thing: It is better than being in the Philippines. Thirty-eight-year-old Eppie Cruz is typical. Ten years ago she received her B.S. in accounting from the Philippines’ University of the East. After her graduation, she came to Hong Kong to work as a domestic to support her sisters back home. “Of course we would like to stay in the Philippines if the opportunity was there,” says Eppie. “But the jobs are here.” Eppie is wearing a Giordano blouse, a popular brand in Hong Kong roughly equivalent to the Gap in America. In the Philippines, she says, it would cost three times as much as it does in Hong Kong. The same goes for her Sony Walkman. Back in her tiny room, she has a telephone, an air conditioner, a JVC television, and a host of minor appliances that are standard in Hong Kong but would be regarded as luxuries in the Philippines. Or consider 49-year-old Cora Alanunay. Cora is the mother of six children–two of whom are with her in Hong Kong, also working as domestics. One son, Ramon, is working in a hospital in Saudi Arabia. She came to Hong Kong shortly after she was widowed and needed work, and like her friends she is impressed by Hong Kong’s commercial openness and the opportunity it breeds. Although Cora makes only a minimal wage in Hong Kong, it’s far more than what another son makes back in the Philippines as a bank executive. The incentives are as clear as they are heartbreaking. Today Teresa Concepcion’s children are 16, 14, and 12. Since leaving the Philippines nine years ago, she has seen her boys and her husband just once each year for a few weeks’ holiday. Yet she has little choice. Her salary of $520 per month is 13 times what she could hope to make in the Philippines, and each month she mails half of it back home. Like other Filipina exiles in Hong Kong, Teresa stoically accepts the trade-offs: “I constantly remind myself how important it is to send back the money to them. Otherwise I would get depressed thinking about the kind of work I’m forced to do.” These amahs are not alone. Ever since the Philippines started its Overseas Employment Program in the mid-1970s, hundreds of thousands of Filipinos who would otherwise have stayed at home have gone into exile to provide for their families. They have also provided for their country. Last year, the 4.5 million Filipinos working abroad helped bail out their country’s cash shortages by sending home an estimated $2.5 billion in foreign exchange-more than the revenue from a number of important Philippine industries, including tourism. Having inherited an economy that so demeans productive workers, President Ramos has moved to open up the banking system and, most recently, has vowed to fulfill promises to sell off state enterprises. But the problems remain formidable–particularly the protectionist constitution that walls off investment in any number of areas and a Filipino First legacy that endures. Perversely enough, at a time when the Philippines ought to be out begging for multinational investment, a major argument in the national legislature against the privatization of firms such as Petron Oil is that they may be bought by foreigners. Ramos, too, for all his stated intentions to the contrary, is not above playing the old games. Back in 1975, Imelda Marcos erected pretty white fences so that the delegates to the annual IMF/World Bank meeting would not have to be offended by the sight of the very poor they were supposed to serve. Last year on May Day, President Ramos announced plans to close the Smoky Mountain garbage dump–long a favorite of foreign reporters looking for a symbol of the Philippines’ crushing poverty. The thousands of scavengers who eke out an average $3.00 per day picking through Smoky Mountain’s waste for anything they can sell, use, or eat are upset that the government is once again taking away what little livelihood they have. The Philippine poor will be forced to move out of sight, if not out of poverty. And in Hong Kong, Filipina mothers and daughters continue to pay a devastating social and economic price for the protectionist schemes of their government. Most of these women started out with big dreams; Teresa Concepcion thought that with her college degree she’d have a fulfilling career in the Philippines, not a job scrubbing floors in Hong Kong. Today she just wants to go home. “I’d like to return to the Philippines in two or three years,” she says, “maybe to farm with my husband.” Even if she is lucky enough to do so, it will mean her children will have grown up without her. What kind of protection is that? William McGurn is a senior editor at the Far Eastern Economic Review.
  2. 14 points
    While they are doing that, other countries should pass laws against Filipino's in their countries, like You cant own land You are always to blame in an accident You have no rights in the courts Locals can charge you anything they like
  3. 12 points
    For all of you nay sayers, turns out they have already been secretly doing sea trials on there new Noy Class Subs.
  4. 12 points
    "The victim said she went with him just for fun." Yeah right, fun and most importantly MONEY
  5. 12 points
    1. Anak ng ___! Meaning: Son of a ___! Usage: To express annoyance. Just fill in the blank with any Tagalog noun, but the most common ones used by Filipinos are kamote (sweet potato), pating (shark), tokwa (tofu), teteng (no direct translation) and tinapa (smoked fish). It’s similar to the way Americans use the expression, “Son of a gun!” Example: “Anak ng tokwa! Natalo na naman ako.” (Son of a tofu! I lost again.) 2. Diba? Meaning: “Right?” or “Isn’t it?” Usage: One of the easiest expressions to learn, diba may be placed at the start or end of your question, and you may sprinkle your English sentences with diba, making it sound like you know Taglish (Tagalog-English). Example: In straight Tagalog: Taga dito ka, diba? (You’re from here, right?”) In Taglish: The food tastes great, diba? Diba you’re from Manila? She’s your girlfriend, diba? 3. Susmaryosep Meaning: A contraction of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph Usage: As an interjection, especially when you’re angry, frustrated, or in disbelief. You may also use the shorter versions, “Sus!” and “Maryosep!” Example: “Niloko na naman siya ng asawa niya? Susmaryosep!” (Her husband cheated on her again? Susmaryosep!) 4. Hay naku! Meaning: Hay is “sigh,” but hay naku has no direct translation. Some linguists say it comes from the phrase “Nanay ko po!” which means “Oh my mother!” Usage: Hay naku or hay nako is best said when you want to express frustration or exasperation in the likes of “Oh my,” “Oh my gosh,” “Oh dear,” or “Uh oh!” Example: Your friend says, “My cellphone was stolen this morning.” Your answer: “Hay naku!” 5. Ano ba? Meaning: Ano means “what,” while ba is an untranslatable word that Filipinos like to pepper their conversations with. “Ano ba?” is similar to the American expression, “What the?!” Usage: When said calmly as a question, “Ano ba?” just means “What?” but when you say it as an interjection, it means you are annoyed, insulted, or frustrated at the person. For maximum effect, pronounce it this way: a-noo-bah! Other versions are: “Ano ba yan!” which literally means, “What is that,” but has the same effect as hay naku; and “Ano ka ba?” which means, “What are you?” Example: Your friend calls you fat. You reply with: “Ano ba!” 6. Sayang! Meaning: As a noun, it means, “waste,” but it has other verb forms. Usage: As an expression, it translates to, “What a waste!” because you’re frustrated over something that was lost or almost achieved. Example: As a verb: Huwag mong sayangin ang pera mo. (Don’t waste your money.) As an expression: Nabuhos ko yung tasa ng kape. Sayang! (I spilled my cup of coffee. What a waste!) 7. Ganon? Meaning: A shortcut of the Tagalog word ganoon (pronounced ga-no-on), ganon means, “like that.” Usage: Saying “Ganon?” with an intonation of disbelief can mean, “Oh really?” or “Is that so?” A less sarcastic version is “Talaga?” To advance to a higher level of slang, try “May ganon?” Example: 1. Your ex-boyfriend says, “Huwag na tayong mag-usap.” (Let’s not talk anymore.) Your reaction: “Ganon?” 2. Someone gives you a compliment. You reply with, “Talaga?” 8. Anyare? Meaning: Shortcut of “Anong nangyari?” which means, “What happened?” Usage: One of the newest Filipino slangs, anyare is a rhetorical and spunkier way of asking, “What happened?” Example: You finally arrive at the bar, only to find your friends already dead drunk. “Anyare?!” 9. Ansabe? Meaning: Shortcut of “Anong sinabi?” which means, “What did he/she say?” Usage: A close relative of anyare, “Ansabe?” is a rhetorical way of asking what the person just said. Example: Your normally cynical friend suddenly waxes poetic about a girl he’s in love with. You react with, “Ansabe?” 10. Bahala na! Meaning: Bahala means “care” or “responsibility,” while na means “already.” Usage: When a Filipino utters “Bahala na!” it means he/she is entrusting the uncertainty of the situation to a higher being, to nature, or fate. If you’d like to advance your level of street slang, include Batman (yes, the DC comics superhero) in the sentence, i.e. “Bahala na si Batman!” Translation: “Let Batman decide (or take charge)!” We cannot pinpoint exactly when in history Batman came into the picture, but this expression has been around for years. Example: 1. You’re eating Filipino street food for the first time and you’re not sure if your sensitive stomach can handle it. You say, “Bahala na!” http://matadornetwork.com/notebook/10-slang-phrases-youll-need-know-philippines/1/
  6. 11 points
    if he wants all the foreign special forces out of PI- just send his boys into the perimeter bars to round up all the SAS, SEALs and spec ops guys- theres 100's there
  7. 11 points
  8. 11 points
  9. 11 points
    I only got the pleasure once to be upgraded on a long haul flight, and it was because the guy behind me (i was seated in the emergency row) threw a fit as he complained about a stiff leg or something and couldnt fit in his seat. He was obviously eyeing business class, but instead of him, they transferred me to the pointy end of the plane, and he got to sit in the emergency row. I raised my glass a few times during the flight towards him in appreciation of his brilliant efforts, which seemingly didnt make him all too happy.
  10. 11 points
    We all have that one friend in our squad (or this could even be you!) who lugs around their DSLR camera wherever they go, whether it be to the most remote island on the planet or to the top of a buwis buhay mountain. They’re also possibly the slowest walker in the group because they just HAVE to have the best pictures of absolutely EVERYTHING. But the extra gadget weight is worth it simply because places like Nagsasa Cove and Mt. Pico de Loro exist–beautiful outdoor spots that deserve to be more than just a blur of pixelation in our smartphones. Just in Luzon alone, there are plenty of other sights like these that are worthy of space in your DSLR’s memory card! These 9 picturesque destinations, all less than 5 hours away from Manila, are guaranteed to keep you clicking away on your shutter button. We’ve included tips from Canon Crusader of Light & Landscape Photographer Jay Jallorina to help you achieve the same kind of next-level shots! Travel tip: Aside from being photogenic at every angle, they’re also great places to find adventure! Nagsasa Cove San Antonio, Zambales Monasterio de Tarlac San Jose, Tarlac Pililla Wind Farm Barangay Halayhayin, Rizal Pinatubo Crater Lake Boundaries of Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales Capones Island San Antonio, Zambales Taal Volcano Batangas Mt. Palay-Palay / Pico de Loro Cavite Sierra Madre Mountain Range Atimonan, Quezon Triboa Mangrove Park Ilanin Forest Area, Subic Bay See more information about each of the above locations here: http://insights.looloo.com/stunning-luzon-photos/?utm_source=taboola&utm_medium=referral
  11. 11 points
    Gentlemen I wanted you to see this...I used Piatnight for my source of news since you 2 were so good at posting in the news forum....well I wanted to say since you are doing it here now I follow you here..thank you for the good work..
  12. 10 points
    So his wife for the night had some shabu in her purse and he get's busted for possession! Sounds about right.
  13. 10 points
    I agree with him. Sorry, but Islam is incompatible with modern democratic societies. Trump is quite right IMO. We must ignore the bleatings of naive fools urging 'diversity' and 'inclusiveness' within OUR countries, and stop this Islamic takeover in its tracks. In a perfect world, yes, maybe we should all be holding hands and singing Kumbaya, but 'Flower Power' has come and gone, replaced by Charles Manson's reality, where mind control, cruelty and greed hold sway. .
  14. 10 points
  15. 10 points
    Trouble is you think your gonna get this when really your fellow diners are gonna look like this.....
  16. 10 points
    ANGELES CITY -- A village chairman here has adopted a homeless teen couple found sleeping in front of the barangay hall with their four-month-old baby. Chairman Tony Mamac of Barangay Balibago said he offered the 19-year-old boy a job to support his 17-year-old partner and new born baby. “He is 19 years old, she is 17 years old and they have four-month old baby. No money, and no home to stay. For two days, I noticed them staying in front of the barangay hall,” Mamac said. The barangay chairman said the couple were asking for alms from residents in Balibago. After a campaign sortie in Northville Subdivision last week, Mamac said he instructed his staff to invite the couple who were then sleeping at an area outside the barangay hall. “They were begging around Balibago to sustain the food and milk of their four-month old baby and in the evening they slept in front of the barangay hall only to wake up early when the street sweepers arrive,” Mamac said. The boy is now working as helper at the backyard piggery operated by the barangay. “I told my staff to give them food for their dinner and offer the boy a job as helper in our Babuyan sa Barangay which he accepted. Now he has a job and a small house where he can shelter his wife and their baby,” Mamac said. The village chief said helping the needy is the true essence of public service. “It touch your hearth when you see people like them without hope in their face and with just a small amount of help I glimpsed a little smile and shine in their eyes that frustrations in life is just temporary via kindness of other people,” Mamac said. http://www.sunstar.com.ph/pampanga/local-news/2016/04/10/angeles-village-chief-keeps-homeless-teen-couple-467131 Great, now how about the other hundreds I stepped over and/or around sleeping on the sidewalks this evening?
  17. 10 points
    Maybe it's time they made an effort to root out the radicals themselves The Paris bomber was able to hide for 4 months undetected, he didn't do that on his own If you are complicit you should be dealt with , zero tolerance, accommodating these radical sympathisers doesn't work, time for a proper war and take no prisoners
  18. 10 points
    A young Italian guy I know opened a restaurant in Yangon and he also got the lot next door that he turned into a huge parking lot and built a set of toilets the likes of which have never been seen in Myanmar outside of the 5 star hotels. They are staffed , airconditioned and immaculately clean. People were like WTF ? 12 months later nearly every foreigner filled tour coach stops there for a meal break and he serves over 600 people a day on the buffets
  19. 10 points
    big noter I give most of mine away on a continual basis to worthy causes like hookers, booze and bikes. dont see me issuing press releases
  20. 9 points
    This guy is just like a bargirl. Giving the GFE to her new barfine(China) while telling her WU sponsor(US) that nothing happened on the barfine, just barhopping.
  21. 9 points
  22. 9 points
  23. 9 points
    If they would stop throwing all their damned garbage into the streets... and then on into the drainage system.
  24. 9 points
    Looks like they have the prototype up and running.
  25. 9 points
    Well, I voluntarily joined the Marines in '64, volunteered to go to that tropical garden of paradise in '66. Was the only war we had, I wanted to go to war, had zero perception/knowledge of why we were at war nor did I care. Almost extended for 6 months until they offered me a tour in Japan if I would extent 13 months in SE Asia. By then I had discovered oriental pussy so it was a "no brainer" decision. At the time Ali refused induction, I was a young, hard charging, Marine with a constant woody for Asian pussy, so I mouthed the normal platitudes of my peers. Ali was a gutless, no balled, draft dodging scumbag. Later in life, when I started developing a brain of my own, was able to think about reasons and others beliefs, changed my mind. Ok, he refused induction. But he did so IMO out of his belief's. He did not run away to Canada or Sweden, he stayed, made his stand, took his lumps. Lost three prime years of his boxing career, gave up a lot of money. Endured what much of society thought of him at the time. Now I am not here to say his beliefs were correct nor that I agree with them. Not standing up for what he did, but what I am saying I stand up and give him credit for is having his beliefs and rather than running away, stood up for them and took what ever came. And just like me in my later years, I came to realize that VN was a mistake, or at least the way it was handled was. We went in there, allowed rampant corruption, allowed millions of tax payers dollars to be wasted, allowed 10's of thousands of military deaths because of rather than letting the military run the war, the politicians ran it. And then when we cut and ran, we did so with no thought of what was going to happen to the Vietnamese that fought on our side that we left behind. Just look at what the North did to the Montagnards that fought so long and hard for us. Nope, we sure as hell did not cover ourselves with any glory in that war. And yes, this is my opinion but was later an opinion shared with many of my peers that served there after we grew up and were able to think things thru. And as I was actively involved, I earned the right to have an opinion. Nothing like hindsight to put a different perspective on life. But that said, would I change how I did things? Probably not. As I said, I was a young, hard charging, hard drinking, hard dicked young Marine with a penchant for oriental pussy. Was an exciting part of my life and deep thoughts were not part of it at the time. :happy boner:
  26. 9 points
  27. 9 points
    I have absolutely no doubt that every single person in the PI who is in a position that avails them of an amoral, illegal or inhumane gain of wealth does so with a total feeling of impunity and a psychopathic lack of remorse. EVERYTHING is to be taken advantage of...it's genetic.
  28. 9 points
    I agree. Disgusting. A piss poor example for the younger generation. I remember when I was there as a young Marine Guard, we were always nicely dressed in slacks and a button up shirt when we did that. :oral sex:
  29. 9 points
  30. 9 points
    Actually she offered 200k lol.......
  31. 9 points
    Only in the form of reciepts for food and drink
  32. 9 points
    So put an all Male crew on, why would an airline change uniforms to please one country. And make sure a couple of them are gay.
  33. 9 points
    Forgot where you are this morning did you?
  34. 9 points
    About 10% of the jeepnys are road worthy the rest are just scrap metal ,oil leaking everywhere,exhausting clouds of smoke polluting the air ,bald tires no signal lights ,tail lights. I've seen tie rod ends ,drives shafts ,axles fall right off going down the road.The age of the jeepny shouldn't matter I've seen some old jeepnys well kept. They should be safety inspected yearly if they don't meet the requirements then the vehicle will be OUT OF SEVICE . lm not for people losing Their source of income ,they probably wouldn't be having this problem if they just MAINTAIN THEIR FUCKIN EQUIPMENT .
  35. 9 points
    Will be the best day ever to travel anywhere else in Luzon though.
  36. 9 points
    Never gonna happen, the have's here keep the have not's down with cheap rice, cheap booze, cheap transportation and karaoke.
  37. 9 points
    Of course it's wrong... and he's a damned fool, but 'suspicious websites' ? It's a normal internet dating site, idiots. Minors also need to be educated in the dangers of fucking around with adult males and lying about their age. In these times of social media interaction, normal human behaviour patterns are causing new issues and 'confusions'. Maybe the dating sites should be prosecuted for not checking that their minimum age requirements are being enforced ... to be pedantic, but fair ?
  38. 9 points
    shocking and completely out of character for the country
  39. 9 points
  40. 9 points
    No, just yr normal run of the mill wet brained female. Yes, I admit males do some dumb things also, but over all females seem to have a large head start in that department. I remember a trip my wife took to the PI. We drove up to Atlanta airport, 90 miles one way, for her to catch her flight. Stood 20 mins in a long line for her to check in. Got up to the counter and "now" she realizes she has left her tickets/passport on the kitchen counter. Drew blood biting my tongue to hold back what I wanted to say.
  41. 9 points
    for playing bridge Police and soldiers raided a bridge club in the resort of Pattaya and took 32 mainly elderly people into custody. The group were accused of breaking the country’s anti-gambling laws by playing for cash. But with no evidence of money changing hands the members were charged with breaking a 1935 law, the Playing Cards Act, by possessing more than 120 unregistered playing cards. The men and women, aged 50 to 80, were held in a cell for 12 hours before being freed on bail at 3am. Pattaya police chief Sukthat Pumpunmuang said the raid was sparked by a member of the public complaining to the government’s anticorruption centre. He added: “The chairman of the bridge club is arguing that they were not gambling.” Police said those arrested included 12 Britons, three Norwegians, three Swedes, two Australians, a German, a Dane, a Canadian, a New Zealander, an Irish national and an 84-year-old Dutch woman. The other nationalities were not made public. Barry Kenyon, a former honorary consul awarded an MBE for services to Britain, was among those arrested. He said: “We were held at the police station until 3am. It was an ordeal for our older members, some of whom are over 80. “Luckily someone from a 7/11 store provided a shuttle service for food and police provided water. They took our passports and bailed everyone in the sum of 5,000 baht (£100). “This morning we all attended the police station again as the Black Maria was prepared to take us to court. Then everything came to an end. The police said charges were being dropped. “We are now waiting to get our passports back. We had done nothing illegal. We do not play bridge for money but district officials insisted they wanted to go ahead with the case. “They saw the computer we had to record each player’s bridge records and must have thought something big was going on. It was all quite absurd.” Jeremy Watson, 74, organiser of the club, said he was “extremely hopeful” the case would not come to court. A note on the club’s website said: “Closed temporarily while we get a new licence to have cards on the premises.” It added: “All problems have been solved with understanding by the authorities.” Thailand’s military rulers have vowed to crack down on crime and the south-east Asian country has strict anti-gambling laws, with nearly all forms of betting prohibited. A British embassy spokesman said officials were in contact with the authorities “following the arrest of several British nationals”. The president of Thailand’s bridge league has travelled to Pattaya to explain to police how bridge is played. A police spokesman said charges might not be brought because the club had assured them no money was changing hands. He said: “The president of the bridge club confirmed to us that they just played brain games – a bit like chess. “We will forward this case to the prosecutor’s office and if it considers this is just a brain game the players will not be charged.” Pattaya, about 100 miles from Bangkok, is popular with Europeans and notorious in some circles for its connections to the sex industry. http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/641351/12-British-expats-arrested-Thailand-playing-bridge-law
  42. 9 points
    Did the examiner find or place any bullets inside the pouches ?
  43. 9 points
    There seemed to a tolerance of this vile thing's behaviour on the other board so I am glad that doesn't exist here. If the lift breakdown occurred in the Philippines it would be suspected that he bribed someone to have it break down. There is no excuse for not making him walk up the stairs. He is obviously guilty so why waste the expense of a trial A public castration by his victims is the solution He should be made eat his own testicles raw after the castration. I have zero sympathy for him . It is because of individuals like him that people fund the likes of the IJM.
  44. 9 points
    Amazing...and we laugh at the courts in the Philippines.
  45. 9 points
    They do each over at the drop of hat as well. Morally bankrupt nation basically
  46. 9 points
  47. 9 points
    With the amount of Pinoys that probably did without food on New Years Eve, would have thought they could have put this money to better use.
  48. 9 points
    A HERO SAS sniper has foiled a terror attack by killing three jihadis and two ISIS guards - using just three bullets. The sharp-shooter took out three terrorists, at least two of whom were wearing explosive vests, as they made their way to carry out a suicide mission. The unnamed veteran, who joined the SAS a decade ago, saved potentially hundreds of lives by unleashing three well-aimed shots from a distance of 800m. The operation took place two weeks ago at a bomb factory around 10km outside the ISIS-occupied city of Mosul. The decision to open fire was given when three men were seen leaving the factory wearing heavy coats, despite the hot weather. This was an attempt to hide their suicide vests as they made their way to attack civilians in a nearby town, an attack which could have killed a huge number of innocent men, women and children. The sniper shot the first jihadi in the chest, detonating his explosive device and killing him instantly, along with two ISIS guards sat in a nearby car. The second terrorist was killed with a headshot, as he and the third man tried desperately to get back into the locked factory. The third jihadi also died when his explosive vest was set off by a third and final well-aimed shot from the colour sergeant. An Army source said: “This was a classic SAS mission. The unit had been operating in the area for several weeks, mainly working as spotters for air strikes and gathering intelligence. “About three weeks ago the intelligence guys got information that a bomb factory had been set up in a nearby village. “The unit was sent in to see if they could identify the house and the bombers. “There were too many civilian homes nearby and children were often around so an airstrike was out of the question. http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/626351/Hero-SAS-sniper-foils-terror-attack-by-killing-five-extremists-with-just-THREE-bullets
  49. 9 points
    An alligator drowned a Florida man trying to hide from police - and then ate his remains. Matthew Riggins, 22, was reported missing on November 13, shortly after he and another man had made a plan to rob houses in Barefoot Bay according to his girlfriend. His body was found 10 days later floating in Barefoot Bay pond - closely guarded by an 11-foot alligator. 'He hid in the wrong place,' said local resident Laura Farris. Bay News 9 reports that Riggins and his accomplice were spotted lurking behind homes by neighbors who called police the night of their alleged robberies. Deputies arrived on the scene at around 2am on November 13 and began to look for the men, using K-9 units and even a helicopter to try and track the pair. They both managed to evade authorities however, and Riggins even called his girlfriend during the chase to let her know what was happening and to tell her he was laying low. Unfortunately, he decided to lay low near the edge of Barefoot Bay pond and was reported as missing by his family that same day. 'He probably went into the lake to hide from the officers and the dog, and came across that gator,' said Major Tod Goodyear of the Brevard County Sheriff's Office. The alligator also met an untimely end on the day Riggins body was discovered as a trapper from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was forced to euthanize the reptile after it aggressively began approaching divers sent to recover Riggins corpse. The trapper had been called to the scene after divers observed the severe trauma Riggins' body had suffered during the attack. The medical examiner was able to confirm the alligator was responsible for killing Riggins after discovering his remains inside the alligator's stomach. Like most alligator prey, Riggins was drowned before the animal began to eat the man. 'I would say it's poetic justice, you want to sit there and steal from people,' said Barefoot Bay resident Chuck Stotes. The man who is believed to have been with Riggins that night has refused to cooperate with police and not been charged with a crime at this time. 'To hide somewhere to try and get away, and then meeting up with an animal like that, no, I've never had that happen before,' said Major Goodyear. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3350360/He-hid-wrong-place-Florida-man-killed-eaten-ALLIGATOR-hiding-police-caught-robbing-homes.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
  50. 9 points
    Reading skills are a bit off today he consulted with Dr. Mata and took his advice to have “radical prostatectomy” to remove the cancer cells in August 2013. After the surgery, Trudell said he still suffered from urinary tract infection. In September 2014 he sought treatment in St. Luke’s again and was surprised to learn his prostate was still intact Pretty sure that a “radical prostatectomy” would remove the whole prostate, then to find it is still there is "malpractice and negligence"
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