Posted by: luvin | October 23, 2017

Helping Hands

Sharing ideas with friends over  a cup of coffee, actually it was over a cup of hot choco,  conversations would often sway from love stories to love of country. We would most of the time talk about politics, as most Filipinos would love to do, as if our politics is doing us any good.  It is really a wonder why we are so into politics that is divisive and less into matters that would produce more workable/doable ideas.

Talking politics is entertaining, though these days it is more irritating, due to negativity that it radiates coming from both sides of the fence.  The majority hates the gall of the minority, and the few hates the bully majority. Both sides claim to love their country the most, but asked them how to be of help and you get a blank gaze of one who can’t hear.

But what really is the best model on helping the underprivileged?  If efforts are given to all, there is the danger of spreading the limited resources too thin that it would amount to nothing in the end. On the other hand, if there is selective allocation, there is the danger of falling into the same old mistake where the elites lords over the poor.

This is my take, I told my friend.

I don’t believe that you can help everyone.  Not all are created equal. Some are just smarter than other as some are reckless and others disciplined.  You provide them opportunity, they will just lost it in exchange for a short-lived happiness. Give them capital for a business and they spend a big chunk of it for a new cellphone of a birthday bash.

The Russians even tried killing all the old oligarchy only to see the emergence of a new breed of oligarchs.  That’s just how humans are made. From inception to evolution, from sperm to term. it is always the strongest who wins the race.  This is also true even in China where during the bloody cultural revolution they tried to revolutionized their society, but look at them today, Jack Ma is just above the rest.

The most rational approach is to help only those who are capable so that as an effect, they will provide all the jobs and opportunities for other to also rise from their present condition.

Posted by: luvin | October 20, 2017

A Challenge to our Political Leaders

Ours is an electoral system that most of the time fails to bring out the best leader. Elections are supposedly to choose the best, but then when the electorate are offered lemons to choose from, they will naturally elect a lemon.

Do we deserve this injustice? Of course not, but the present system encourages the empowerment of weak, inept, or even corrupt and morally deprived persons to hold the reign of leadership. It is sad to be under an inept leader, and it is disgusting to be under a corrupt one. But the more revolting of them all is to have a drug lord, a war lord,  a gambling lord to lord over our lives. And be terrorized forever.

Another factoris the cost. Winning an election is a very expensive proposition To get elected, exception are those who could win without spending a huge amount, because a popular election is a very expensive exercise. Most of the time, the poor candidate will have zero to nil chance of winning.

This is further aggravated when the Cory Constitution opted to adopt a multi-party system that eventually become a no-party, or just any party system. A simple  look at the representatives in Congress today would reveal ABC Party, 123 Party. And indeed, ang mga pinoy ay na one two three.

It is not only a very personalistic electoral system but a dynastic one. And there is no need explaining how ineffective this system is.  And this is where the challenge begins. How shall we, ordinary citizens, awaken the conscience of these so called leaders, who speak so humbly about their avowed servitude but serve their greed most of the time. Most of them do not even realize their ineptness.

Can our leaders set aside their personal ambition and think of the greater good? Can our leaders gather themselves in a senate, have a caucus of sort and decide  who among themselves is the best option. Two or three candidates will do the trick. But ten candidates for a single position?

By all means, lets do away with elections where brothers replace brothers, where wives replace husbands and later the sons and daughters inherit the post, just like the prince who inherits the throne.  Can we have none of scenarios where father runs against daughter, or grandfather against grandson.


Posted by: luvin | October 19, 2017

Behind Every Great Leader

“Behind every great leader is a woman”, is perhaps the most famous of these similar quotes, but there are  other not so well known variations of this quote, like; behind every great leader is a great  logistician, behind every great leader is a great leader. behind every great leader is a great team. This only shows that great leaders do not operate by themselves.

Genghis Khan have Yelu Chucai as one of his most important adviser.  Warren Buffet relied so much on the advise of Charlie Munger, from whom he got the idea of “paying a fair price for a good company and hold on to it until it grows.” This is also true with Apple’s leader. We all know there was another Steve behind Steve Job and that is Steve Wozniak, but behind these two geeky leaders is a man who so instrumental to what Apple has become. His name is  Ronald Wyne who was the one who designed the first Apple logo, the one who wrote the first Apple operations manual.  In short it was he who laid down the template from which Apple would build on.

Mao Tse-tung is one of China’s great leaders, “born at a time when China was wracked by civil strife, beset with terrible poverty and encroached on by more advanced foreign powers, he lived to fulfill his boyhood dream of restoring it to its traditional place as a great nation, …he harnessed the forces of agrarian discontent and nationalism to turn a tiny band of peasants into an army of millions, which he led to victory -Fox Butterfield,”  in his rise to power one person played an instrumental role, he is Lin Biao. It was he who compiled that Little Red Book. And there was also a woman behind, and her name is Jiang Qing. It was she who propagated the Mao persona.

Of course these personalities behind are not just the ordinary mortals who could toe behind the whip. These are the people who cannot be won over by a mere gift or be ordered around to do things they don’t approved of. This only proves how these great leaders were able to convinced them to be part of the his or her team.

We all know that leaders are so full of themselves, but what makes great leaders is their ability to work with other equally great personalities.

Posted by: luvin | October 18, 2017

Philippines as a Nation

If it is any wonder why Filipinos seem to be so disconnected in spirit, in dreams and pursuit, our different cultures borne by the 7007 disconnected islands may offer a glimpse of reason.  If in other countries revolutions were fermented from the aching backs of the peasants, from the great divide between the hungry stomach of poor and the perfumed lives of the rich, in this country, rift emanates from the great divide between Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.  If Filipinos have wage revolution against the Spanish colonizers because of the way they have treated the locals (when locals were called indios with malicious slant as an ignorant and uneducated masa), this colonial attitude which were acquired by  local leaders after the successful revolt made them to believed in their local superiority. They practiced what their colonizers practiced before, and they also look down on other Filipinos as if they are of lesser value. Philippines has become a country of those who have the pedigree to govern and those to be governed, the uncouth of Mindanao and the civilized people of Luzon.

If there is a failure of our previous leaders it is but the evolution of this country as a nation.  A country does not become a nation over a revolution. It has to be painstakingly sculpted into one. This is where the Filipino intellectuals, if we have any, have failed miserably, in providing the ideal,  the backbone from which the leaders must build on.

Philippine as  a nations is yet to become. Our leaders are more interested in their personal politics than the national interest. The people have nil to nothing when it come  to patriotism.  Why is this so?

Posted by: luvin | July 18, 2016

The Poor MSME

Helping the Poor or Funding the MSME, is quite interesting. 
For all and sundry, a dream to have and grow their own start ups is without doubt all embracing.
We all have heard how angel investors and venture capitalist have helped Facebook become what it is today. This is also true with Microsoft, Intel, Apple and many other giant firms today. Their early existence have been paved by the capitalist with the golden heart.
In the Philippines according to Philippines Statistics Authority, 99.6% of bussiness enterprise are MSME’s or micro, small and medium enterprises. The remaining .4% are the likes of PLDT, San Miguel Corporation, SM and other large corporation.
Among the 27 million poor Fiilipinos (26% of the population) are 942,925 MSME’s. The present administration is targeting a growth of about 8%. The most practical approach to achieve the growth is to continue with the macro economics espoused by the previous administration, with a caveat on inclusive growth.
The most common intervention is to identify poor communities and pour government resources with the hope of sustainability (because many of these high financed projects appears to only cause a Keynesian pump priming impact). Poor communities would tend to return to its original poor state after the interventions.
Looking at the MSME the assistance they got from the government in form of Capital infusion, technical support and the likes are pitiful to say the least. If each of the these MSME be provided an additional capital of about 3 million pesos each (of course this will be in form of loans), that would only be around 565,755 billion pesos, and it would have a direct impact on the 20% of the entire business environment. Assuming these micro entrepreneurs pays the loan in two to three years, the eight percent national growth target is achievable.
Posted by: luvin | July 7, 2016

Revenue Story 2

As I glossed over the data from BIR, NSCB, and the DBM, I’ve unearth so many figurative anecdotes very supportive of the proposal to shift to a Federal System.

NCR’s revenue collection at 1,152 billion pesos is far bigger than the rest of the country combined which is a mere 183,325 billion pesos. Almost a trillion peso disparity. The key contributor with this are the Large Tax Payers (LTP) and the Excise Tax Services (ETS) which are at 757,340 billion pesos. Almost 70% of NCR’s taxes comes from LTP and ETS.

This data tells us that a big portions of governments lifeblood (the tax) comes from the big business and the ultra rich Filipinos. There are two groups of them, the old landed rich whose money are rooted from sugar, land rent, logging. In short they became rich by exploiting our natural resources. The second group are the Tycoons, the chinoys whose wealth came from hardwork and business skills. The conglomerates they own do business all through the country.  These are the people who are enjoying the 6 to 7 percent economic growth. Why is this so?

The government is telling us since time immemorial that there is not enough money for everybody. Though this reason is no longer acceptable at this time still 26% of Filipinos remain poor.



Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR)  contributed to the national coffers a measly  4,325.82 billion.  They are in the same company as Zamboanga Peninsula which contributed 4,349.08 billion pesos and CARAGA which contributed 3,806.53.  These are the host to most of the country’s mining industry. And these two regions are prominently present among the poorest regions in the company of ARMM, MIMAROPA, Eastern Visayas, SOCCSSARGEN, and Bicol.

And how are the funds allocated per region. We will not examine the Departmental Budget allocation because we already know that it almost becomes discretionary. When a DA Sec is from Tarlac we expect more Agri projects to fall into the  lap of his kababayans. It is no different with our Senators. Just take a look at the projects Sen. Drilon poured in Iloilo, in the same manner that Enrile poured resources to Ilocos during his heydays.

The saving grace is the institutionalized share most commonly know as IRA or Internal Revenue Allotment. Luzon minus NCR got 192,468 billion pesos. Visayas-81,823 B php. Mindanao-117,436B php.

Posted by: luvin | July 6, 2016

Revenue Story

There are several suggestions on the number of Federal States to be created. There’s the 1o states and one administrative region, as suggested by CMFP (Citizen Movement for Federal Philippines). Which is similar to the proposal of Sen.Nene Pimentel in Senate Resolution No. 10.

Another proposal is to have 5 Federal States. Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, BangsaMoro, NCR or the Administrative Capital which is not really an  state per se but as capital of the whole country. The suggestion of the incumbent President is to create two separate states for the Bangsa Moro, one for the inland Moros, and another for those in Sulu, Basilan, Tawi-tawi.

Mindanaoans and Bisaya (representing Visayas) are the most vocal advocates of Federalism. Of the ten poorest provinces, two are coming from Visayas (Siquijor, and Northern Samar) while Eastern Samar is at number 11. Eight of the ten poorest provinces are from Mindanao.

If we are to draw a picture of where the national government gets its money the picture below  would show how small are the revenues coming from Mindanao.It is also to be noted that one third of Mindanao’s 37,946 billion revenue are from Reg. 11 or the Davao Region (12,423 billion).


bir pie chart

(the figures above are in billion pesos)

It should also be remembered that 71,834 billion pesos of Luzon’s revenues are coming from Reg 3 -Central Luzon and Reg 4-CALABARZON. These two regions are close to NCR.

Assuming we are to create three Federal States; namely, the Federal State of Luzon, Federal State of Visayas, and the Federal State of Mindanao, where would these newly created states get their revenue? Can Mindanao develop depending on its 37,046 billion revenue? For an island so big, 37 billion is disproportionately small. In the proposed BBL, the government planned an allocation support of 37 billion per year, an amount our congressmen think are necessary for the Bangsa Moro to develop.

At first view the graph would show how small is the economy of Mindanao. While the graph is telling us of how badly distributed the industry and are in this country, it also tells of a story where  taxes are being paid. Most of Philippine business enterprises have HQ’s in NCR.

While those who are against Federalism ask where will the poor regions get the needed revenue, the bigger question should be;  where goes the big chunk of our taxes?

Posted by: luvin | July 4, 2016

Government Transactions and Federalism

Since we are now in a Federal shift mode, let us deconstruct this idea brick by brick, evaluate the idea a bit at a time.

There are pros and cons. I will not limit my study on the good only, for surely there are pitfall which advocates must be wary of.  But this must not be the deterrent, rather we must try to find solutions to what ever obstacles that may crop up ahead of this journey.  This has already been a long struggle for change, and this shift to a Federal system is the ultimate change that could happen to this country.

The last couple of years we have experience power disruptions and the reasons given was due to strong demand and there are just not enough supply. The worst situation is in Mindanao where the main source is now considered old. I can not understand why the government would wait for the power plant to malfunction before it builds a newer plants, or why don’t the operators of these power plant do a regular maintenance, but that is not the point here.

Mindanao is a land endowed with so much natural resources, those rivers crisscrossing Mindanao are resources begging to be exploited. If all Mindanao LGU’s that have a river nearby (certainly there are many) would build their own mini hydro plant, a  bright side will emerge from  this rather dark energy shortage.

Under the present government system, is this doable? Maybe yes, with so much greasing along way it could be done. Any new entry into this endeavor will easily agree that it is not easy to get the permit. Can you imagine what happens with those application as it dives deep down the bureaucratic ocean? There are so many sharks waiting to get a taste of your flesh. Some are not even content to bite a bit, there those who would like to swallow you in whole. Many of these application won’t come out alive.

This happens when the governmental set up is huge, the tentacles-the so called measures against corruption- are the very same tentacles becomes the obstacles that allows the evil to flounder. In a Federal system, the applicant must contend with a smaller foe. The decisions are made locally so it won’t that much difficult.

The people also will be aware of this kind of transactions and they can actively be part, or they can held their leaders accountable easily.

Posted by: luvin | June 29, 2016

The Judiciary In Federal System

Having lunch with my daughter who is studying law, our discussion delve into what would be the Judicial System if Philippines is to shift to a Federal System of Government? There are still many spaces to fill, and my views are just a product over the table discussion that I found interesting, I don’t pretend to be a legal expert, I just find this topic interesting.

At present the Judicial system in the Philippines are criticized for performing below expectation. It is slow in resolving cases, ridden by corrupt practitioners whom one President referred to as hoodlum in robes.

A court case specially those civil in nature would take a lifetime to reach final resolution giving it an apt description of  ‘justice delayed is justice denied.’ The reason given for this dismal performance are: lack of judges, lack of prosecutors, lack of lawyers, the courts are clogged with cases  that many are petty conflicts.

What would happen under a Federal system?

There would be several courts in the country. The Federal Court, the State Courts, and the Shariah Court. The Ombudsman could also be retained.

The State Courts will hear cases falling under the jurisdiction of the state. There will be a State Supreme Court, Provincial Trial Court, and Municipal Trial Court. The Court of Appeals will still be there but this time there will be one for every Region or State.

The final arbiter would be the State Supreme Court, while those cases which are of Federal or National concerns will be heard in the Federal Court. The composition of the Federal Court would be a representative from the different State Supreme Courts. The Chief Justice must be replace every five years with each representative justice replacing each other, one after the other.

Since there will be fourteen or fifteen Supreme Courts, the final review of each case would be much faster.

In states where there are Shariah Courts, lawyers who would like to practice in that state must first passed a bar examination specific to that State. The Shariah court will be present in Bangsa Moro State or States.


Posted by: luvin | June 28, 2016

After The Rain

After The Rain

The river is alive again,
Water splashing, cascading,
As is, it’s nature singing.

A sense of peace
In a mist filled moment.

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