June 2018
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Hanggang Pier Lang

Sopot molo 2004ang mararating sa pagbubuhat ng sariling bangko – sabay paninira sa iba. Dahil walang magbabago sa ganyan. Walang tren o riles o elektrisidad ng MRT na maaayos. Walang mahihirap na mabibigyan ng hanapbuhay at pag-asa sa buhay. At hindi rin aasenso ang isang administrasyon na umaasa sa proyektong nasimulan ng iba. Buti pa si Presidente Marcos – kahit na marami akong ayaw sa kanya – na marunong mamili ng mga magagaling na technocrat para iplano at isatupad ang kanyang mga proyekto.

Kulang sa pansin ang dating ng mga nagpadami ng boto sa Time Magazine online poll para mauna si Presidente Duterte. Siguro kung padamihan ng tao, matatalo ng Tsina o kaya India ang Pilipinas kung gugustuhin – pero bakit nila ito kakailanganin? Kahit Indonesia mas maraming tao, pero wala din silang panahon sa papogi na ganyan.

Ang Tsina, kayang-kaya ang Pilipinas. Ang India, may sariling space program, hindi kaya ng Tsinang hamunin sa sariling teritoryo. Indonesia matatag din na bansa.

Ang Pilipinas naman ano? Iilang nakabarko na Abu Sayyaf hirap na. Magaling pumatay ng mga pusher at adik sa kalye na payat na payat na. Opo lang ng opo sa Tsina. Minura ang Presidente ng Amerika, ngayon naman tuwang-tuwa na baka bumisita ang bagong Presidente sa susunod. EU de puta, ang EU minumura ng minumura daw. Pero hindi naman pinapansin ng EU. Baka ako lang ang manghinayang kapag nagmahal ang dried mangoes galing Pilipinas, kung sakaling tataas ang import duties.

Ano ang Pilipinas na nakikita ng mundo ngayon? NAKAKAHIYA. Parang mga siga sa kanto na nasobrahan ng Ginebra at pasigaw-sigaw. Baka nakashabu na rin sila kaya akala nila sila na ang hari ng mundo. Matitinong tao nakatago sa loob ng bahay. Baka bumaba lang ang krimen dahil maaga ang uwi ng mga tao ngayon. Takot matokhang.

Anong maipapakita ng Pilipino sa mundo ngayon? Wala. Alila pa rin ng mundo. OFW at BPO, pera sa labas. Sa panloloko sa sarili, walang mararating. Sana magising na.

Irineo B. R. Salazar, München, 21 ng Abril 2017


50 comments to Hanggang Pier Lang

  • karlgarcia

    A vision for Philippine industry

    Industry, the bulk of which is manufacturing, has lately outperformed services and agriculture in overall output and employment growth. Manufacturing itself has grown faster than the overall economy since 2010, averaging nearly 8 percent growth annually against the economy’s 6-7 percent. This brings more inclusive growth for the Philippine economy, for at least two reasons. First, manufacturing provides more stable jobs than in much (possibly most) of the services sector, which for more than two decades has led the economy’s growth, and largely includes informal jobs like trading/vending, transport (driving of pedicabs, tricycles and jeepneys), and personal or household domestic services. Second, manufacturing jobs demand less education and training than those in the fast-growing formal service sector industries like business process outsourcing, finance and real estate. Thus, it offers relief for the less educated and poorer segment of jobless Filipinos, who still number well over 2 million.

    To sustain the resurgence of manufacturing and protect its contribution to the overall economy, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has provided more than its traditional level of support for the sector in recent years. In 2012, it formulated a Comprehensive National Industrial Strategy (CNIS) as a roadmap for the renewed pursuit for Philippine industrialization. Last week, DTI held the Manufacturing Summit 2017, a sequel to a similar summit held almost exactly a year ago. The forum again gathered various stakeholders in manufacturing, including from academe, civil society, government and manufacturers themselves, aimed to reassess and reaffirm the roadmap to Philippine industrial development.

    This year, the summit tackled the biggest source of uncertainty facing the manufacturing sector today, often referred to as the Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0, which I have written on in recent columns (see, for example, “The unfolding revolution,” 5/30/17). Its prominent feature is the application of artificial intelligence (AI) in the production or provision of various goods and services, disrupting traditional business models and threatening massive numbers of traditional jobs. The rapid changes that are happening have prompted DTI to focus on competition, innovation and productivity as foundation for its Inclusive Innovation Industrial Strategy or i3S to push CNIS forward.

    The aim of i3S is to develop innovative and globally competitive industries in the manufacturing, agriculture, and services sectors, strongly linked with domestic and global value chains. Intensified competition with more open markets and a strong competition policy now finally in place in the Philippines impels innovation and increased productivity. DTI thus puts innovation at the forefront of the country’s policies and strategies for strengthening domestic firms for competition in the local and global markets through increased productivity.

    In the panel discussion on the country’s industrial vision, I pointed out that productivity ultimately hinges on people, whether as workers, or as innovators who will enable AI to propel industry. The biggest threat to our future productivity, hence our industrial vision, is the cold statistic that one in every three young Filipino children is stunted due to malnutrition. The damage this does is permanent, as physiologists tell us that stunting at age five impairs the child for life from reaching full brain and physical development potential (“A silent crisis in our midst,” 9/6/16). I thus constantly warn that the “demographic sweet spot” we pride ourselves on, marked by predominance of working age people in our population profile over the next few decades, may prove not to be so sweet after all. It could instead be a demographic time bomb of low productivity and massive joblessness unless we correct the situation fast. I have written much about how our restrictive food policies have kept basic foods from being widely affordable to our poor, and will not repeat the arguments here.

    Suffice it to say that our industrial vision rests on investing in our people, starting from the very young.


    Without batting an eyelash, Budget Secretary Ben Diokno told ANC’s Cathy Yang in a forum last week that the Duterte government was “open to importing foreign labor”. Specifically, the government intends to hire low-skilled workers from China for China-financed infrastructure projects around the Philippines.

    This planned hiring of low-skilled construction workers from China, while the millions of unemployed Filipinos are ignored by Chinese contractors, is an obnoxiously irresponsible move that the nation will experience from the Duterte administration’s economic managers, perhaps more cruel than the shooting to death of drug suspects, principally poor individuals without access to the courts…


    Neither fault finding nor negative judgment, this is simply one man’s a continuing non-partisan critique.

    There seems no end to my seemingly helpless inability to comprehend government administrations, past and present. Specifically, I am confounded by the approaches (and lack thereof, in instances) taken to confront the existential problems that beset Metro Manila. Let us encapsulate that succinctly under the catch-all umbrella of “congestion and infrastructure.” It is now evident that none has worked effectively, much less efficiently. We are spiraling down to “doomsday.” We should all be scared!

    The absence of foresight, out-of-the-box thinking and political will have all conspired to bring about chaos and suffocation.

    Nothing about the deterioration of Metro Manila was not unforeseen more than a generation ago. Demographers and urban planners have not been remiss. In fact, they were all spot on! Should not the collective political decision makers, both local and national, be publicly castrated for criminal neglect? Unfortunately, there is no law penalizing imbecility!

    Sometime ago, I had a brief conversation with a high-ranking career undersecretary in the Department of Transportation. (He may have retired by now.) I had the opportunity to ask him if within the ‘roomful’ of filed-away studies and research documents (his proud confident claim–that government has not been remiss in its endeavors towards problem-solving) they have ever considered “decongestion and population dispersal” as a solution to the Manila’s daily calvary. He had that perplexed look on his face. Would you believe, he did look surprised at the question. Anyway, he admitted that government had never ever given a morsel of a thought to “decongestion” and relocation of military camps as an omnibus solution!

  • NHerrera

    Hanggang Pier Lang. Great blog post, Irineo. Thanks.

  • karlgarcia

    Connecting the whole Philippines through infrastructure devt

    May 11, 2017
    METRO Manila, as with the rest of Philippine cities, is generally designed for the car. This situation does not provide for a pedestrian-friendly environment. Metro Manila is one of the most polluted metropolitan areas in the world and is unfriendly to pedestrians and commuters. Its workforce spends about 1,000 hours a year in traffic, with three to four hours a day average. Most live in the outskirts of the city so walking is not an option. Regrettably, our cities developed to a pattern wherein there is segregation of places of work from places of residence.

    The land, air, and sea congestion that Metro Manila is experiencing is an effect of centricity and unbalanced development. The rest of the Philippines is left behind in terms of job opportunities and basic services, among others, further reinforcing the status of ‘Imperial Manila’.

    One of the ways to achieve a more balanced development is to improve connectivity between the 7,641 islands of the Philippines. Our country can be interconnected through railways, tunnels, and bridges, among others. In 2006, at the 60th anniversary of the United Nations held in New York, I suggested that all the continents of the world should be connected by bridges, tunnels, roads and railways. People might have thought it was a crazy idea at the time. Not long after, scientists and experts affirmed my idea and one even said it would cost cheaper than the Gulf War.

    What happens after C-6?
    In 1945, the American Corps of Engineers proposed six circumferential roads and 10 radial roads for the Greater Manila Area. The first two circumferential roads connect different districts within the city of Manila, while the Circumferential Road 3 (C-3) traverses several cities in the National Capital Region. Highway 54, or Edsa, is C-4, and President Carlos P. Garcia Avenue is C-5. C-6 is supposed to connect Metro Manila with Bulacan, Rizal, and Cavite. To date, however, C-6 has yet to be completed.

    As Metro Manila grows in density, areas outside of it should be developed as counter magnets to lessen the congestion and pour in more opportunities to other regions. That is why, in addition to the six circumferential roads, I proposed to build four more circumferential roads, completing up to C-10. These roads will enable the transport of people and goods across regions like Central Luzon and Calabarzon, without having to pass through the heavy traffic of Metro Manila.

    A component of the C-10 plan is a Bataan-Cavite link that could be in the form of a bay bridge and/or tunnel at the mouth of Manila Bay. The Bataan-Cavite link should be able to accommodate pedestrians, bicycles, buses, trains, and cars. It can also act as a “wave breaker” against tsunamis and storm surges. As a tunnel, it could be designed similar to the SMART Tunnel in Malaysia. Aside from being a transportation structure, it could also be used for utilities.

    Railways, tunnels and bridges
    With 2017-2022 poised to be the Golden Age of Infrastructure for the Philippines, the Duterte administration is determined to build and upgrade infrastructure and has allotted P8 trillion to P9 trillion towards its realization. I truly believe that the next six years could be our only opportunity for genuine reform and change to bring the Philippines well into the 21st century. It is also an opportunity to bring down walls and build more bridges. Our country and islands can be connected, integrated, and inclusive. This I envisioned since I first traveled around the world in 1978.

    As early as 2001, I had proposed to interconnect the whole Philippines with railways, tunnel, and bridges. The concept has continued to evolve since then and even caught the attention of the creators of maglev (derived from magnetic levitation) trains in Germany. With a maglev train, it will only take three hours to travel from Laoag to Davao. That’s probably shorter than going to and from the airport as well as the waiting time for boarding.

    In Luzon alone, the system of railways, tunnels, and bridges I am putting forward will connect the island from north to south and east to west. This urban development corridor will entail better economic activities from North to South Luzon and link the China Sea and the Pacific Ocean sides. Similarly, the islands of the Visayas and Mindanao can be interlinked to provide better connectivity, create more jobs, alleviate poverty, and generate income.

    I believe that every region and every large island should become an international gateway in itself. There is no need for Metro Manila to be the only gateway of the country. Every region should be an international hub with a well-designed transportation network. Every region presents a unique geography and a unique culture and identity as well; that is why the regional government should make use of this opportunity. By making every region accessible, we empower them to become self-reliant so that our country can move towards regional interdependence and balanced development. As I have wrote in my term paper for my Masters in Environmental Planning at the University of the Philippines in 1973, “Development is not worthy of the name unless spread evenly like butter on a piece of bread.”

  • This is a truly inspiring thread… which reminds me of this:

    If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.

    Antoine de Saint-Exupery, “The Wisdom of the Sands”


    New ferry service from Davao City to Indonesia to boost EAGA trade

    DAVAO CITY – Mindanao businessmen are expected to save on time and cost in shipping their products to Indonesia when a new ferry service from here to North Sulawesi launches on Sunday.

    The launching of the new ferry service is also seen to further boost trade within the East Asian Growth Area (EAGA).

    President Duterte and his Indonesian counterpart, President Joko Widodo, are scheduled to lead the launching of the shipping route that would link the cities of Davao and General Santos to the Indonesian city of Bitung.

    • sonny

      DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN, PiE!! Truly shades of the multi-point 18th century Malay “Silk” Road involving the Sultanates of Jolo, Brunei, Cotabato, Manila, and the Bugis-Makassarese of Sulawesi. (In jest, I asked my high school classmate if he has traced his ancestry back to Celebes where his patronymic “Pasicolan” has its roots. 🙂 )

    • karlgarcia

      Would an improved Ferry /Roro system be better???
      If you are from bataan and you want to skip manila to go to Cavite, you can Roro to NAIC.
      Kaya lang sobrang iksi ng route.

      • karlgarcia

        Nope 24 kilometers +- is not short at all it will be waay longer thn the 2.6 kilometer San Juanico Bridge. The International Ships transport cranes and tower like stufff especially in this golden age of infrastructure, and a vey high vertical clearance is needed, why not a tunnel?

        Roro port is good too, I am sure they will think of this again.

        • karlgarcia

          Cavite-Bataan underwater tunnel proposed

          Two Japanese firms are seriously pursuing a proposal to help build a 15-kilometer underwater tunnel that will connect the provinces of Cavite and Bataan.

          Itochu Corp. and NKK of Japan are submitting a formal feasibility study to the government through Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chairman Felicito Payumo.

          The construction of a $4-billion to $5- billion underwater tunnel will complete the radial network for Luzon which will specially benefit the Subic Freeport.

          Payumo pitched yesterday the idea to members of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (Finex), stressing that such a project would help decongest the existing roads and highways and cut travel time.

          Payumo warned that if government does not undertake steps to improve its radial road network, “we will choke in the future.”

          He said the proposed underwater channel would be known as the Trans-Manila Bay Crossing. It would stretch from Naic, Cavite to the islands of Corregidor, Fraille and Caballo before ending at Mariveles, Bataan.

          The first six kilometers, Payumo said, will be a suspension bridge connecting Mariveles and Corregidor while the tunnel portion will be from Naic to Caballo island.

          Financing for the proposed project, Payumo said, could be sourced from official development assistance funds such as those coming from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).

          • I was thinking of something like the Dutch (32 km) which closed the Zuidersee and made it a lake.

            It also made reclamation of large areas of land inside new lake IJselmeer possible. Or something similar to the

          • karlgarcia

            This is more likely to push through.


            Project Description: 
            The project is an unsolicited proposal first submitted by the New San Jose Builders, Inc. (NSJBI) and proposed to be implemented through an alternative PPP scheme under the Build–Operate–Transfer (“BOT”) Law, particularly a Build–Gradual Transfer–Build–Operate–Transfer (“BGT–BOT”) hybrid modality.
            The Proponent will implement an integrated infrastructure project in the northern coastline of Manila Bay that involves financing, design and construction of the following components:
a. City Flood Control in the coastal waters of Navotas City;
b. Coastal Sea Barrier through the northern part of Manila Bay covering the coastal areas of Bulacan, Pampanga and Bataan;
c. An expressway that will connect Bataan with Metro Manila and providing direct access to the provinces of Bulacan and Pampanga with a Concession Period of 50 years.

      • sonny

        Neph, this reminds in the “olden days” of our excursions to Corregidor island using the hydrofoil taxi from Dewey Blvd. I don’t remember if the hydrofoil was operated by the Philippine Navy.

          • karlgarcia

            Wait, there is more.


            Cavite Barge Gateway Terminal

            In line with the government’s initiatives to decongest truck traffic on roads in Metro Manila, the development of a barge and RORO terminal in Tanza, Cavite will allow transshipment of cargo from Manila port to Cavite via barges and Roll-on-Roll-off operations. Phase 1 of the project is designed to support 115,000 TEUs per year, translating to about 140,000 fewer truck trips travelling city roads annually.

            Modernization of RORO Transport System in
            the Philippines

            A nationwide project on modernizing the transport system in the three major nautical highways (Western, Central & Eastern) and other existing RORO routes

          • sonny

            Neph, talagang my generation belongs to yesterday na. Pwede ba YOUR generation na ang bahalang mag-dreams ng mga visions for what a better Philippines will look like.

            From my older perspective (humor me na lang 🙂 )

            Manila Bay has an average depth of 150 feet; from Roxas Blvd to Corregidor island (ksama na ang Caballo) is approx 25 kilometers, pero papunta sa “Luzon shelf which is about average depth of 600 ft and then the depth goes na to the West PH Sea bowl. Kung maging totally maritime utilization ang Manila Bay, kalimutan na ang mga Manila Sunsets ng nakaraang bayan ng Maynila. Reclaim ang buong Manila Bay or maintain as real maritime hub. Ang radiation ng Manila ay pwede ring west-to-east, or center-to-North and center-to-Northeast papuntang windward side ng Luzon, or center-to-Bicol (southeasterly), and towards the Central Visayan seas.

            Kaya, educate na nang todo-todo ang mga sumusunod na generations ng mga Filipino. Mabigat ang responsibilidad na ‘yan, neph!

          • karlgarcia

            The planners and the government promised to leave 1 kilometer from the US embassy to the next recla project beyond CCP.( sunset view solved?)
            The National Heritage list big time with the Torre de Manila, and what would stop the wall of photobombers.
            We can dream and imagine the photographs and memories.

            The youth can still fulfill our dreams.

          • sonny


            Erap, (you know who), GMA, Mr GMA, Binay, Gordon, Jose Ma Sison, and many others belong to my generation. I’m not proud of.

    • karlgarcia

      We get our coal from indonesia, I guess shifting to renewables for our energy sources is still very far.

      A nice short cut, so instead of worrying about Abu sayaff and other pirates, they only have to worry about other pirates.

      • karlgarcia

        Our relationship with Brunei and Indonesia and hopefully Malaysia if Sabah will never be an issue is going strong.

        This ASEAN integration can either make us or break us.

        I see more Banks and more Asian conglomerates coming in.

  • Mariano Renato Pacifico

    1. New Cebu International Container Port in the town of Tayud, Consolacion which is adjacent to Mandaue City a city of what used to be a city of industry today it is now a city of malls, haute cuisine and traffic gridlock madness;
    2. Bus Rapid Transit. Currently they have bus system operated by mall operators. Their intent is to move people from mall-to-malls essentially making MALLS A TRANSPORTATION HUB. Good thinking! Because Filipinos go to malls to chill and take refuge from the heat and rain
    3. Lapu-lapu island will have 3rd bridge. WoW!!!!! I believe this is the only island in the Philippines that has 3 bridges.
    4. Lapu-lapu will soon be served by ferry boats (just thinking) because the two bridges are just gridlocked solid during peak hours
    5. There are more foreigners in Cebu than Filipinos. When I landed in Cebu I thought I was in Inchun ! Too many Koreans. When I checked in their hotels I thought I was in Kyoto! It is swarmed by Japanese. I wonder where all Filipinos went.
    6. There are plenty of Thai, Korean, Western joints in Cebu the last time I was there.
    7. Condominiums are sprouting like water lillies
    8. When I was in IT park I thought I was in Silicon Valley ! AWESOME! And the people hanging-out in their boutique coffee shops are Americans ! Darn it! Where are the Filipinos!

    Cebu will soon be gridlocked doomed!

    • sonny

      MRP, back in the late ’80s when I noticed Koreans bringing back via their 3.5 hour air trip to Korea, boxes and boxes of Magnolia Ice Cream (packed in dry ice I assumed), my crystal ball looked to the future time when the Philippine islands were going to be the vacation paradise, a la the West Indies for Europeans, for our north Asian neighbors. 🙂

  • karlgarcia

    Listing and Description of major infra-transpo projects

  • karlgarcia

    Central Spine RORO Project

    Alignment of road and sea linkages through the Roll-on Roll-off system from Batangas Port, Batangas City to Cagayan de Oro

  • karlgarcia

    With that Manila reclamation, the Sangley Airport Plan,
    What will happen to our Navy?

    With our renewed awareness of Benham rise, we need a Naval Base in Isabebela?

  • sonny

    PiE & Karl, maraming salamat sa alert updates ninyo sa commerce, transport & communications. Edukasyon talaga.

    • Mukhang medyo mataas-taas ang area na pagtatayuan: “The proposed 13 stations are along Mindanao Avenue, North Avenue, Quezon Avenue, East Avenue, Anonas, and Katipunan in Quezon City; Ortigas North and Ortigas South in Pasig City; Kalayaan Avenue in Makati City; Bonifacio Global City, Cayetano Boulevard, and Food Terminal Incorporated in Taguig; and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City.” tapos parallel pa siya sa EDSA, makakaabsorb ng mga sumasakay. Good. According to some sources panahon pa ni Aquino plinano iyan, OK credit grabbing na naman sila Duterte pero di bali na basta magawa. Tulad ito ng mga Autobahn – hindi si Hitler ang unang nagtayo kundi noong August 1932 si Mayor Adenauer ng Cologne, iyong naging West German Chancellor noong 1949 noong 73 years old na siya.

  • karlgarcia

    Minsan gusto kong maging sensitibo at magtampo sa kawalan mo ng pag-asa.
    Walang mangyayari sa tampung kulangot.

    Gusto ko man magtaas noo ang ma proud sa Pinas,wala,fried chicken na lang ang natitira, at kung kainin ko pa, nalunok ko na lahat ng pride ko.

    • Hindi naman iyan kawalaan ng pag-asa, inis lang. Nagalit lang ako sa kalokohan ng mga trolls na akalang makakapapel sa Time Magazine tapos nagmukhang tanga lahat. Masasayang lang ang “kinetic energy” ng ekonomiya na malakas na sana kung sa propaganda mapupunta lahat ang concentration – sa bandang huli talo lahat.

      • karlgarcia

        Hindi ko na binasa yun, sa mga komento nyo ni Joe mukhang nakakainis nga.

        • To put a summary on this, Bernard Ong says it all:


          Fanatics are suffering nosebleeds over TIME’s 100 Most Influential.

          90% of their comments can be summarized as: Put@ng-ina. We voted. We won. De Lima’s name was not even included. The voting has ended. How did she end up in the 100 list? We were cheated. Paid hacks. Dilawan.

          This bloody nose is self-inflicted and ultimately boils down to a few things.


          “We voted. We won” sounds a lot like the “We got 16m votes. We are majority. We do what we want”. Mathematically wrong of course as 16m was only 39% of votes cast. Also wrong because the survey did not entitle any respondent to anything.

          And in the case of real elections, winning in a democratic contest – even by majority – does not entitle the winner to take away civil rights that form the basis of democracy itself.


          The TIME poll was not an election. It was simply a survey of reader feedback.

          “The TIME 100—our annual list of the most influential people in the world—features a number of leading artists, politicians, lawmakers, scientists and leaders of tech and business. Although TIME’s editors will choose the final list of honorees, we want readers to share their choices with us as well.”

          TIME reported the poll results – Duterte got most Yes votes at 5%. But its editors are not bound to readers’ choices. Mathematically 1 TIME editor > 1m Fanatics.


          The key word here is Influential. Simply put, one who can shape outcomes in the wider world. I voted YES to about 30 names on the list –political leaders like Merkel, economic movers like Yellen, innovators like Elon Musk & cause-oriented celebrities.

          And I voted YES on Duterte. Why? Because of several factors: He is elected leader of 100m+ nation. He reshaped South China Sea geopolitics by trading islands-seas-and-bananas for trains-and-loans. The Philippines is chairman of ASEAN in 2017. All these make him influential. I don’t like him or his Stone Age brand of leadership. That does not diminish his influence.


          Fanatics thought Most Votes = Most Influential = The Best. They are wrong. He is not even Most Influential in the global scheme of things. Putin, Trump, Xi, Merkel are global movers-and-shakers. He is puny in comparison. He is popular, influential – not necessarily correct. Certainly not the best.


          They thought this was a popularity contest. More votes = Winner. What they failed to grasp is the implication of being on the list. TIME is not a polling outfit. It is a magazine. So they need to write why a person is considered influential.

          The result for Duterte has been catastrophic. The ex-president of Colombia that Duterte called an ‘idiot’ penned the write-up on Duterte. Gaviria painted an accurate picture of a mass murderer who hasn’t learned a recurring lesson from around the world – drug wars don’t work.


          Surprisingly, Duterte fanatics are rarely complaining about what was written about their idol. Instead they complain about why De Lima is on the list. In both cases, they fail to read deeper than the headlines.

          De Lima made the list because she was able to help shape global opinion on her advocacy (uphold human rights in Philippines, stand up to Duterte government abuses). Proof? Articles, op-eds, parliamentary resolutions, UN inquiries. She is a voice Duterte needs to silence. De Lima does not need a single fan vote to get the editors’ nod. She is indeed influential.


          This is an insecure crowd that sees threats in every direction. Sept 21 Martial Law rally = Ouster Plot. Feb 25 People Power rally = Ouster Plot. High profile critics meeting or just in a photo together = Ouster Plot.

          Anyone who criticizes is an enemy. Dilawan. The working assumption is that mainstream media are paid hacks out to destroy the president. Never mind that mainstream media painstakingly tries to get the president’s side – quoting him verbatim, showing videos to provide full context, asking his alter egos for clarifications to his bizarre incoherent messages like “raising civilian army to invade Jolo”.

          Their only explanation for Leila’s inclusion is “Paid Presstitute”. Lazy analysis by insecure minds.


          Here’s my post-mortem on the TIME article that caused bloodied noses.


          That’s the man intent of these lists. Including another TIME special edition – the Person-of-the-Year. Or Fortune’s Top 500 Corporation. Or Businessweek’s Top Innovations. Special editions help attract or bring back readers.

          TIME did not come out with Top 100 Most Influential list to disparage one name (Duterte) or to glorify another (De Lima). Each of the 100, apart from meeting the editors’ criteria, also attract certain readership demographics – music fans, sports fans, business readers, scientists, and yes fanatics. This mix allows TIME to draw the biggest readership possible.


          Every line in Duterte’s write-up has been written elsewhere before this Top 100 Influential issue. Kill 3m Filipinos like Hitler killed Jews. 7000 EJK deaths. Drug War doomed to fail – nothing new.

          Same with De Lima’s write-up. Same with all the 98 other Most Influential persons. TIME is simply presenting short one-page snapshots summarizing how each of them shaped events the past year.


          This was brilliant marketing by TIME. First they put together an initial list of over 100 for people to choose. Then they told the world who are on the list. The goal is to get groups of fans to vote for their idol, get TIME 100 Most Influential to trend, attract more attention, and go viral.

          Different fans indeed voted for their choices. But none so rabid & organized as Team Duterte. His fanatics swallowed it hook, line and sinker. The Obosen crowd was unwittingly drafted into TIME’s viral scheme. They did not just vote. They posted about their vote. They shared the link. They bragged about their lead. They asked others to vote and ensure their idol’s “victory”.

          All they ensured was TIME 100 Most Influential trended online globally. In fact, it also spilled offline into TV, print & other media. They ensured that the world would eagerly await TIME’s judgement. They also ensured attention on what TIME would say about Duterte.

          In a clever twist, the viruses were used to deliver the bitter medicine. Na-Duterte sila.


          There were two results. The first result was just the mathematical reporting of “who got how many votes”. It must have been bewildering for the math-challenged to read Duterte won only 5% of the votes. Surely our idol got more than 5%. We were cheated. Dilawan.

          The second result was the final 100 list that the editors picked. The editor’s pen is mightier than a million fanatics’ clicks. They picked according to their criteria & their need to attract diverse readership. No conspiracy theories, payments, lobbying in this simple explanation.


          It focused only on one aspect: Duterte’s EJK solution to the drug problem. Granted that Duterte is a one-trick pony locked into drugs, drugs, drugs and kill kill kill. But a one-page portrait gives enough space to cover a few other serious issues: false populist promises, kowtowing to China, restoration of the dictator-plunderer Marcos, his own propensity for dictatorship & plunder. Duterte owes the ‘idiot’ Cesar a thank-you note.


          As a Filipino, this is how I interpret TIME’s inclusion of Leila as an Icon in its list. It is a subtle message to the world: Not all Filipinos are brutal murderers bent on destructive war-on-drug policies that have failed elsewhere – like that other one on the list.


          There’s another Filipino more influential in shaping local events than De Lima. De Lima is successful at projecting issues outside the country.
          But Senator Trillanes is the one who creates them in the first place. His research surfaces the issues – Matobato & Lascanas on Davao Death Squads, P2B+ deposit transactions in 16 BPI accounts – that De Lima and others simply echo.

          He is the content creator, the others are his outlets. His research on Makati parking building kickbacks helped prevent the election of one plundering mayor named Binay, although it inadvertently allowed the ascension of another one. In my books, he is more influential than his jailed colleague.


          The editors at TIME are biased – for human rights, civil rights, due process, common decency, peaceful change, learning from history to avoid the mistakes made by others. If that is Dilawan, count me in.

          Their choices and their write-ups are ultimately shaped by their world-view, loosely described by the term “Western liberal-democratic”. Other people have different views. Some can be fascist, socialist, conservative, religious, populist, superstitious, etc. Those persuasions have their own media outlets too.

          A word of advice: If you get nosebleeds reading TIME’s 100, stick to Mocha.

  • – this is excellent (remember how I mentioned elsewhere that waterborne transport is cheaper for non-perishable goods plus much higher capacity) and should be done more:

    MANILA, Philippines – International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) launched Friday the country’s first container roll-on roll-off barge terminal project in Tanza, Cavite.

    In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchnage, ICTSI said the project, which will rise on a six-hectare property in Tanza, Cavite, was launched by its subsidiary Cavite Gateway Terminal (CGT).

    “In line with the DOTr’s national transport plan, CGT will facilitate off-the-roads seaborn transport of containers between the Port of Manila and Cavite and service industrial locators in Cavite area,” it said.

    Christian Gonzalez, ICTSI senior vice president for Asia Pacific region and Manila International Container Terminal head, said the project would be developed in phases.

    The first phase of the project, which costs $30 million, is expected to support an annual throughput of 115,000 twenty-foot equivalent units, equivalent to 140,000 fewer truck trips on roads per year.

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