Posted by: luvin | June 27, 2016

Federal Alternative

The desire to have the freedom to choose, the freedom to be your own master is a universal nature.  It is understandable that the  yearning for self-determination is so strong for people who have suffered discrimination.

When the people are oppressed, when the land are exploited, those who are left behind naturally would demand for an equitable distribution of their rightful share.  The people’s yearning for progress and development will never ceased specially when they feel that their supposed protector-the government- are found most often bending to serve the interest of the few.  When the government can not be found to protect its people, we can’t blame the people if they would protect themselves.

The unitary government that we have today failed to improve the lives of so many Filipinos. One of every four Filipinos or  26% of the population are still mired in poverty. And this has been the case for so long. It is easy to surmise, our unitary government failed to deliver the goods. It is no longer the choice, it is also no longer the alternative.

There are sectors in this country who have suffered neglect for so long. Can we blame them if they seek to correct this injustice? Should we blame them if they no longer trust? And that they would rather find their own solution according the dictates of their culture and tradition?

On the contrary, for so long, those who are in power showed contemptuous attitude towards this desire for self-determination. When the Regions (the people through their leaders) clamored for more equitable share of the nations revenue, many who felt so comfortable under the protective armpit of this unitary system said no.

Now that Federalism is given a fair shot, there are those who would object to the proposition. To be fair though, some of their observations are valid.  One most common issue against Federalism is hurled against local leaders, who many are wont to be dynastic. If we shift to a Federal system, these local political dynasties will be  in power forever enslaving the people till time immemorial.

We can however institutionalized the vetting process for our leaders. We can have a strong party system where the leaders can contest among themselves and where the best leader may be given a chance to lead. During the  writing of the State Constitution, an anti dynasty law can be clearly stated. Ex. A leader will be allowed one term of  four years and one reelection only. No relatives up to 2nd degree of consanguinity will be allowed to run in the next eight years.

Another issue against Federalism is on revenue. It is a fact that many poor LGU’s are IRA dependent. Where would they get their revenue to finance the needs of the government? ARMM for example have few industry to speak of, the people are poor, their are no big taxpayers, corporate or private. So where will they get the financing?

These are birth pains that needs not be ignored. Of course there are donor agencies. The richer regions can also help. Ex. For the next ten or fifteen years, 10% of the richer regions revenues will be earmarked for the poorer region. This approach will give the disadvantage regions a sort of a starting capital.

There are many ways to solve the initial problems. But what other alternative do we have?  With the recent Brexit decision we have seen, some people advises the proponents not to rush. So under the present set up, what alternative do we have? If too much centralization of power is the root of all corruption, then devolution of power could be the answer. The national government can retain responsibilities of national concerns. Ex: Foreign Affairs, National Defense, Education, etc.  Taxation should be devolved to the local governments, and they will remit the equitable portion to the national government. The percentage will be determined proportionately to the amount of necessary to run the affairs of the national government. This way the power of the purse now shifts to the Region.

This way we will retain the unitary system with less power concentrated within the center.The regions will also be given ample time and opportunity to prepare for the eventual shift to a Federal system.

Posted by: luvin | June 15, 2016

Killing the Bandits

Murder is unacceptable in a humane society. The same goes with its synonym, killing. But when eliminating some bad elements in society, our dogmatic view of killing would be distorted. “Killing the bandits” would appear to be acceptable. Of course it is legal when done within the legal framework, but how about when achieved through  vigilantism or an eye for an eye perspective?

Let us take a look at the recent beheading of the Canadian hostaged by the Abu Sayaf. The international as well as the national community are outraged by the beheading. Would the United Nation shout in high heavens of inhumane act if some group, or even the government, exert enough effort to exterminate this group. The Government of course has the manpower and the logistical power to pursue these vermins and dump their souls into the armpits of hell.

There are a few hundreds of them left, and the intelligence community knows who they are, where they are holed, who they are with. They are vulnerable, and they could be killed in mass or one by one. But if done in this manner, can our moral sensibilities accept this incidence? Shall we be tolerant to these kind of killing, but intolerant to the salvaging of druglords?


Posted by: luvin | June 14, 2016

On Becoming a Farmer

Though I have recently met people who are so ecstatic about farming, they, however, are more interested in the business aspect of farming, and are obviously attracted to relax farm life as oppose to city life. Farming as we know here in the Philippines is not something to really dream on. Rare is a Filipino farmer who would like their children to also become a farmer like them.

The state of Philippine Agriculture according to IRIN is like this;

“The average age of the Filipino farmer is 57. Assuming an average life span of 70, we might reach a critical [shortage] of farmers in just 15 years,” said Asterio Saliot, director of the Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI).

“The average level of education of a farmer is grade five only,” he added.

According to Saliot, farmers’ age and limited education make them less receptive to new farming technologies that can boost yields in the face of growing losses from volatile weather.

Weak government policies and programmes, an excessive reliance on agricultural imports, and corruption, have taken their toll on the agricultural sector, say experts.

According to the 2012 Bureau of Agricultural Statistics, the agricultural sector employs an estimated 12 million people, making up 33 percent of the country’s labour force. About 70 percent of the rural poor are farmers and fishermen.

Though the sector contributes about 11 percent to the country’s GDP with US$14.7 billion, 2011 government investment in the sector was only 4 percent of the national budget.

That year total government spending on agriculture was $1.6 billion, almost 24 percent lower than the previous year.”

There was a clear neglect from the government and there is a apparent lack of skills and knowledge from the farmers side.

Having these data, common sense dictates to avoid this sector.  To become a rice farmer is no longer a choice, but those who opted to be one are left with no choice at all.

Posted by: luvin | June 13, 2016

The Flying Geeze Paradigm in the Philippine Setting

The flying geeze paradigm in Philippine setting. The lead gooze in the country is of course is the National Capital Region (NCR).  With Central Visayas, and Davao Region as the two regions flying beneath the wings of the leader. What is interesting about this is the idea that “as the comparative advantages  of the “lead goose” causes it to shift further and further away from labor-intensive production to more capital-intensive activities it sheds its low-productivity production  further down in the hierarchy…”

Flying geeze theory is  “Akamatsu Kaname’s theory of the flying geese pattern of development.  This theory explains how an undeveloped country can become developed relatively quickly. The undeveloped country adopts suitable labour-intensive industries from more developed countries. It produces first for the home market, but starts to export as soon as the industries have grown strong enough. Initially, products are simple, crude and cheap, but gradually the level of quality is elevated. The procedure is repeated over and over again, leading to a rapid process of national economic development.”

Application of this model in local economy c nsidering the fact that economic characteristics of nations are but mirrors of regional economy. Early on, Japan was the lone economic miracle that made waves in Asia, and as it progresses, the labor intensive industries found its way to other countries.  Lately China took the lead role, but is now slowly and clearly easing out of the way.

In the Philippines, though NCR or  Mega Manila has been on the lead role for centuries, it is very apparent that growth in that regions has reached saturation point, and that a new leader must emerge for the country to progress further. The one hurdle that needs immediate action is this. Is Mega Manila ready to relinquish the lead role? And what role will it take now, specially with the unexpected shift of political power from Manila to Davao.

Mindanao has been the the agri/agro producers of the country. Is this now high time for it to shift to a less labor intensive industry? And what industry would that be?

Posted by: luvin | March 11, 2015

Economic Good, Economic Growth


The Good news; Philippine attracted more investment. from 3 billion dollars to 6 billion dollars. This would mean more jobs, more products, and more money to the rich pinoys.

The Bad news; poverty has increase. from 23% to 25%. it means there is no inclusive growth. The poor is not benefiting from economic growth.

This year the economy is expected to grow by 6.2% and since the country have been on around 7% growth since the Arroyo administration, the poor Filipinos should already start to enjoy the growth. (Economic planners are saying we need seven years of continued growth of about 7% per year to really have an impact on the economy. )

Given, however, the present governmental setup, where the central government sucks up all the revenues and allocate the juices unto themselves and favorites, the poor specially those in the provinces will have nothing left. Most of the resources, including the foreign funds, could be found in the hands of the central government. The poor don’t know a thing or existence of such funds. The poor does not know that in banks these days are financial capital waiting to be exploited.

One of the problem the hampers the used of this capital is the knowledge of how to access them. Another one is the lack of collateral which most banks requires before one would be granted a loan. Another hindrance are the paper works. Every borrower, small and big, are required to produce voluminous documents such as BIR payment records to prove once paying capability, bank statements, and such. These are papers which banks says are necessary requirement because they want to be sure that the borrower can really pay the requested loan. The new borrower, specially the poor ones don’t have enough record to show yet. They are new remember. How can an upstart have the BIR record, the bank statement?

The government have legislated some solution to this problem a way back. The solution given was for the government agency to guarantee the loan, but what happened to that law. I don’t know. It is still difficult to borrow money from the banks, and the government guarantee is nowhere to be found.

If only the the government could help make ease the access of these loans, more poor people will benefit from economic growth. If the micro entrepreneurs can have access to these huge capital, it would really transform the economic landscape of this poor country of ours. Micro entrepreneurs comprises more than 90 percent of all businesses in these country but only have about 10% impact on the economy due to their microness (smallness). These micro entrepreneurs are the poor people who already on the move upwards. These are the poor who are ready to take this country to the next level we all are waiting for. Help them. Let the bank make those exemptions. Let the angel investors come. (This could also be legislated, like making these kind of investment as expense, so it becomes tax deductibles.)

Help the poor have access to these huge capital,  allow them to make a huge participant in this economic transformation, let them be the answer.


Posted by: luvin | February 16, 2015

Federal Alternative


BBL is in danger of being dump to the marsh. The least we can expect of it is a watered down version. Now the almighty politicians, the all knowing government people, the holy cows that make things happen here in this damned country the Pearl of the Orient Seas -The Philippines are working with their eyes open. Yeah people, don’t be hoodwinked in believing what Pnoy and his people will tell you.

The moro problem never left us when Uncle Fidel signed an agreement with brother Nur. An agreement with a lot of promise to transform Mindanao. Well, brother Nur have a dream, of building a 8 lane circumferential road in Sulo. Forgetting that there are not enough cars in that part of Mindanao. (Anyways, that was just a dream).

As fast, or even faster, than the evaporation of the dream was the transformation of Hashim Salamats group into a more formidable force all intent to carve out a separate state in Mindanao. And the suffering of the people (specially their people) continued. They too have their dreams, based on the promising minerals in Liguasan Marsh, the MILF leaders dream of another Malaysia, or perhaps Brunei. A separate state that will live perpetually out to the revenue from natural gas believed to be in abundance in marsh situated in between the provinces of Cotabato, Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat.

The truth is (as shown in tv footages) that oil is already flowing even from the land occupied by leaders of MILF. For those who have yet to be educated about Mindanao, large Oil Palm plantation covers vast hectarage in Central Mindanao, even before the BBL could finally see light.

The Bangsa Moro domain would not be unlike a federal state within a state. A very ideal solution, a win win solution for both parties. The moros who dream of carving their destiny their way will finally have their chance.

Their’s a catch somewhere, their is a big disheartened group who are equally fed up with the present system of governance. No, I am not talking about that small group called BIFF, for I know another group would eventually evolve from that terroristic group, maybe with a name of MIFF. The group I am talking are the disgruntled non moros.

The Mindanaoans from Zamboanga, Cotabato, Sarangani, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudara, Lanao, Davao, Iligan, who all suffer tremendous losses in term of lives and opportunity because of this tragedy and the hundred years of neglect. Who says it is only the moros who are suffering. The christians, the lumads, too, are suffering.

For so long, Emperial Manila have treated the people of Mindanao like shit. The people of Mindanao are already capable of sound governance. Mindanao have many leaders who are capable of transforming this country. Now is the time for it to be given the opportunity, in thesame vein that the moros are given the opportunity to be their own master.

This is also an opportune time to also give Federalism a chance. If this chance could be given to our Muslim brothers, why not the non Muslim. The world will be much better if there is equal chance to everyone.

It is my prayer that our responsible members of congress, from the upper to the lower house should see the wisdom of this shift. Now is the time for the long waited federal shift. Let us not allow the 178 families to govern this country. They have their chance, yet the result is the same slow slide to the bottom.

I can only imagine the pull Davao will do for Mindanao once it controls 80% of its tax collection. That would be a lot of financial muscle that could pump prime this island into greatness. And there are other places with strong financial capability like, Gen Santos City and the provinces of Sarangani and South Cotabato, the Zamboanga Penisula, the Cagayan-Iligan corridor which could do wonders for Mindanao. The national government does not need to waste so much of its resources. Let the locals do their share in transformation. Let them help their fellow Mindanaoan.

With a federal setup, there is no reason why investors from Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia will not come in. Mindanao has a lot of potential, and already we are in AFTA era which would make their entry even easier. Let us give the federal alternative a chance.

Posted by: luvin | December 14, 2014

The New Bangsa Moro and the Northern Snub

The immediate good from this effort to establish a new moro government in lieu of the ailing ARMM is the spring of hope it sprinkles on the minds of its people. Many of the people from Mindanao are hopeful that this new experiment will finally bring peace and possible progress in this land of promise. I am hoping, too, even with the recent bombing in the towns of M’lang, Pikit, Kabacan, and the bus bombing in Maramag Bukidnon. I am still hoping it will turn for good even after all the warning that have been provided to those people by the river and those who crafts our laws have been ignored. I am still hoping for something positive even when my voice was never heard.

To begin with, I am in favor of a new set of government for the moro people to be administered by their leaders in the manner which are in accordance with their customs, tradition and religion. But I am also against the move by some power holders from the north to continuously weld control on this southern part of the Philippines. Years have already gone, and many minds have already grown equal to the best that Northern and Central Luzon could offer. So many from Mindanao are now educated enough, learned enough  to hold their own against the challenges of this world. The northern snub should stop.

In one public hearing for the proposed BBL held in Midsayap,  Cotabato, one glaring problem occured. Some leaders spoke of their desire to opt out of the proposed BBL which is to replace the old ARMM. Those leaders came from a town belonging to ARMM who have already experienced the difficulties of such a governmental set up. The town of Wao in Lanao have already spoken, and they don’t want to be part of this new set up. They want to be part of North Cotabato. Another wrinkle  with this BBL is this, for those who are already part of the old ARMM and who wants to get out, is there an exit mechanism for them. Of course this is already a very late move from the leaders of Wao. The die is cast. And in a caste system, your in for a long haul.

Posted by: luvin | November 25, 2014

Why I will vote for Rody Duterte

Why I will vote for Rody Duterte (if ever he runs for President) is not just because he is from Mindanao.

It is not only because he inspires people to be law abiding citizens.

It is not only because he is against drug lords, robbers or smugglers.

It is also because, he has the character and the courage to be different yet a very effective leader.


Our country needs someone like Rody. Our country needs a man who thinks  outside the box, and the Philippines is long in search for a leader like Duterte  who have shown he could not be contained by the long ingrained governmental limitations. He find ways, and that is exactly what we need if our country is to get out of this rot.  Rody Duterte epitomizes the kind of leader that would transform this country into full development.


I will vote for Duterte because in him I have seen someone strong enough to make a stand, and strong enough to break the mold.

At present we have a dysfunctional governmental system patterned after the Americans’ but run like hell by Filipinos. And hell it has become. This has been the root of our misery and it needs more than just a root canal to remove this decay.


I will vote for Rody becaue he has the experience,

He have a proven track record,

He is not perfect, but I don’t know if he owns a hacienda,

And most importantly,

he is not beholden to those powerbrokers in Makati, Ortigas and Alabang.


“These days we could use some “extraordinary personalities” (and this could be Rody Duterte) if we are to make significant progress in our attempts to recover lost ground. It may be too much to hope for a Lee Kuan Yew to emerge from among our national leaders. But perhaps we would be able to accomplish a lot more if some of our local government units are headed by individuals with the drive, the intelligence and the integrity of Singapore’s founding father. Ten or 11 mini-Singapores throughout the country, providing similar degrees of public order and personal security, cleanliness, observance and enforcement of national and local rules and ordinances in the respective communities, would make a lot of difference for the nation as a whole” from Ramon Farolan.








Posted by: luvin | November 23, 2014

Lost Souls and a Foolish Cause

It is disheartening, to say the least, that after so many years and so many lives lost due to bombings and war, and after two signed peace treaty, first with the MNLF and now with the MILF, the killings hasn’t stop.

There are lost souls and there are  criminals. Last night the town plaza of Mlang was bombed causing two deaths and injuries to 17 others. Last week the overpass in Kabacan town was also bombed which resulted to 2 dead students and 16 injured civilians. Several weeks earlier, General Santos City also experience a similar incident.  Those who did this atrocious and cowardly act are criminals nothing less.

What do these people want?. They are fighting a lost battle, and the manner by which they carry on their fight is cowardly, and if there are any sympathy left, their recent beastly act have dissipated it all.

What kind of ideology there is that would rationalize killing as a legitimate means to push one’s agenda. If they have not yet lost their souls, surely they have already lost their minds. They are destroying the very basic tenets of being  human. For whom then are their effort?  The more people are being wounded or killed with those bombs, the more hatred they are planting in the hearts of the people who do not believe in their advocacy. The same hatred that created them criminals.

When MILF and GRP signed a peace of paper for the peaceful settlement of grievances, the people, specially we here in Mindanao are ecstatic. Slowly our dream of a peaceful and soon prosperous Mindanao is finally dawning. There are some doubting Thomases, of course, but we ignored their warnings, we never listened because we are hopeful that the peace accord will do wonders. But truth to be told, a small group criminals can indeed cause so much trouble and turmoil. “We have told you already. These terrorist activities will not stop because they are not covered in the treaty. And another group will start another bombing adventure because they want to be included.  And the cycle of death continues.


I am really saddened and disturbed by this incident.

A need for a revolutionizing idea? Like what? If Mindanaoans are to be asked  who they would like to have as president, how many would say they want A bad, Butch is is his name, to be their president?

Some over eager senator, to become President of a beleaguered country so in need of a leader with new ideas and greater courage-courage needed to think and act outside the box- than all the Presidents in the past, perhaps, are trying their much to hype up the overpriced building issue built around Makati. The opposing camp, not to be outdone, are hurling thesame rotten banana

Overpriced building are nothing new. This is actually thesame as overpriced roads, overpriced medicines, overpriced counting machine, overpriced imported rice, overpriced ambulance….the list would be kilometric. Don’t these senators know that many villages in the hinterlands of Mindanao have no concrete classroom yet. Don’t these senators know that many schools that were destroyed by typhoons and floods have yet to be repaired. Of course they know, they are omniscient.

I have long turned off my signal to this kind of news bytes, but to my annoyance, the giant media outlet, the info couriers of the world wide web kept on  plugging these rotten tomatoes into every stream there is. It is now everywhere, and it is not easy to get away with these negative images they are creating. Negative images that have no positive impact on my life and the lives of many Filipinos.

Should I label them stupid? of course not, as I have written earlier, they are omniscient. Sometimes though, human fallibility takes its natural course, people forget or easily swayed astray. Over eager to make a Ferrari out of a carosa (a wheel less cart drawn by carabao or cow),  filipino leaders are trying to duplicate America’s land of milk and honey. They are trying a remake of the American dream here in the Pearl of the Orient Sea. But this is not to be, and never will be under the present circumstances.

Over priced building are nothing new. It will not move the country into a revolt or progress. The intelligentsia needs to come up with something better. It needs to spark the pile dynamites kept in the hearts of the poor Filipinos  Filipinos don’t need a new driver or a better driver. We need a new car, or better, a new vehicle. We need a new set up. Filipinos don’t need the present system that have failed him for over a century now.  Under the present system, the future of this country is as dark as the night, mas madulum pa sa alkitran. The slide is unabated, and it is still going down. We could watch it die of natural death, and hope that in another life, a new nation will be born.

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