Posts Tagged Issues

Know Bady’s Perpek

Martin Andanar (cropped)not even the tall, blond and blue-eyed people from Norwegia (link)! A Filipino actually good at something is very suspect, or did a Filipino ever do things right? With a Chinese it is different, they are assumed to be capable of anything. I meant able to do anything, forgib me, for I am imperpek.

Besides, perfect is boring, boring, boring. Look at Mar Roxas, does he get the kisses, or Duterte? Who is more of a celebrity, is it studious Aika Robredo, or his father’s own scholar Sandro Marcos? Striving for excellence is so yesterday, so American neocolonial, Thomasite-inspired social climbing.

Professionalism is Square
Knowledge is Arrogant
Decency is Hypocrisy

are among the dont’s that the New Filipino is learning, quickly and well. Why be professional if you can always buy a professional to do things for you? Americans liked Filipino professionals because they were servants of neoliberal imperialist capitalism. Real Filipinos are free. Let others work!

Knowledge is arrogant. Remember how the yellow ilustrado pretenders nitpicked about Mar Roxas having graduated from Wharton? With no graduate degree? What is decent? Leni acts as if Duterte is not attractive. Honest women like Lorraine Badoy admit attraction to the country’s alpha male.

Sloppiness is Cute
Rudeness is Refreshing
Stupidity is Unassuming
Indecency is Honest
Negligence is Human

are the traits of true Filipinos. Now isn’t Norwegia a cute word, doesn’t that endear PCOO in the hearts of true Filipinos? Screw all the Westernized yellow Ingliseros with their ideas of spelling!

And isn’t Duterte’s rudeness refreshing to all of us who don’t want to behave like in a reception of Spaniards, friars and servants in Intramuros? And those of us who assume we are not stupid – are you saying you aren’t carabaos like the rest of us? That you are more highly evolved? Chinese even?

And would you trust Mocha who admits that she is as horny as the rest of us are, especially when we are abroad away from our husband or wife and sleep with someone else? Or do you trust Leni? And those pedantic moralistic yellows, what’s wrong with their attitude to life? Perfection is scary.

Germans and Japanese are too perfect. Chinese do not scare us because their products break down. But they are smarter than us and will help us where Uncle Sam has left us very, very disappointed.

We thought they were all white and blue-eyed, and then they showed us Obama. We feel cheated.

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, 15 June 2018

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Macho at ma-appeal

Young women in the Ukraine teasing a boy who is pockmarked a Wellcome L0032776(Achtung Satire!) si Solicitor General Calida, kaya gusto yata siya ng isang dalagang estudyante. Kayong mga dilaw diyan, huwag kayo magreklamo! Ayaw ng mga Pinay sa tite ninyong malambot, pero marami ang umupo sa kandungan ng matigasin na si Digong noong kampanya habang nagpapahipo! Ayaw ng babae ng sobrang bait na lalake, anong laban nito kapag may humamon na adik sa kalye? Buti pa iyang mga katulad ni Duterte at Calida, shoot to kill. Hindi kaya ito nila Bam Aquino! Not counted ang computer games. Eh mga #BabaeAko? Pangit at mataba.

E ano ngayon kung maraming kinikita ang security company ni Calida sa mga pondo nang gobyerno? Wa-is si Calida, gusto ng mga babae iyon. Aanhin nila ang isang patay-gutom na walang diskarte? O kaya baklain na puro morals-morals diyan? Matira ang matibay, ganyan ang takbo ng mundo! Tsaka iba ang dumidiskarte kapag mahirap tulad natin. Mga dilawan na pinagpala na may pera na, huwag na huwag nilang subukan ang kahit konting lusot at mahuhuli sila. Buti nga kay Sereno! Mga dilaw at puti, mga kolonyalista silang nagnakaw sa tunay na Pilipino, iyan ang katotohanan.

Panahon na natin para makabawi. Dapat umusog na ang mga dilawan at mga kaibigan nilang puti. Tayong mga tunay na Pilipino na ang dapat kumain ng husto, kasama mga kaibigan nating Tsino. Walang masama kung mga Tulfo, Teo, Calida, Montano, de Castro atbp. kumita kapag suwerte nila. Tayo naman siguro titirahan nila nang kahit kaning baboy, di tulad ng mga suwapang na dilawan. Tama merong hanapbuhay ang iilan noon, pero ang hirap naman ng trabaho diyan sa call center! Mga mang-aapi talagang dilaw at puti, gusto tayong pahirapan. Buti pa ngayon, diskarte na lang!

Kayong mga padise-disente, mga wala lang kayong sex appeal, putang ina ninyong mga bakling. Dinig ng buong ilog Pasig ang mga ungol ng isang sosyal na hindi pa nakadanas ng mga tiradang tulad ng mga galing kay Digong. Buong gabi sila, puyatan daw talaga. Di kaya ni Mar Roxas iyan!

Kaya iyan, di kami bilib sa mga reklamo ninyo, inggit lang kayo sa galing namin sa lahat ng bagay. Pati suwerte. Masuwerte ang lalakeng kumakapit sa amin, at ang babaeng nagpapakwan sa amin! Pinagpala ang bansang Pilipino sa kagalingan namin! Huwag maniwala sa mga paninira. Pek iyon!

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, ika-1 ng Hunyo, 2018

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Kilig siguro sa akin si Sharon..

2397-sharon-cuneta-dead-serious-about-p10mn-bounty-if-husband-kiko-pangilinan-proven-guilty-of-pork-corruption-400x252 (1)isip ni Duterte bago matulog sa kulambo, tapos maglulô. “Tagal di nakatikim ng tunay na lalaki iyan, dilaw lang, wah buring!” sinabi niya. “e baka pati sa sex, simbahan palagi ang sinosonod!”. “Tapos ni walang excitement” inisip niya “e di ba gusto ng babae iyong marunong umaksiyon?” nagsalita ulit siya “anong silbi ng lalakeng puro opisina lang, e kung hamunin iyan ng nasa kanto tatakbo, ang babae walâ man proteksiyon”. “ay walâ, mahinâ” inisip niya ulit. “Tapos mawala pa trabaho ng disente, wala na. Buti pa tayong mga madiskarte, may lusot-lusot sa tabi-tabi”.

Umupo siya sa kama at nagsimulang magsalita ulit: “iyan, putangina, bakit kasi iyang mga disente, nakikialam sa hanapbuhay nating mga mi diskarte? Kung hindi nila hinabol ng hinabol ang mga Marcos, si Arroyo, pork baril, uki pa sana silâ ngayon, di bâ?” Nagkamot siya ng ulo. “Yaman yaman na ng dilaw, ayaw pagbigyan ang ordinaryong Pilipino tulad natin dumiskarti ng kontî man! Eh ngayon, bawi na tayo! Casino sa Boracay. Projek-projek sa Marawi.” Tumawa si Duterte. “Anong alam ng dilaw, Ingles-Ingles lang. Mawala Kano nila, wala na sila. Buti nga”.

Inantok si Duterte at natulog. Pagsikat ng araw, bigla siyang nakaupo sa labas ng isang cottage sa may beach. Tinignan niya iyong kapaligiran niya. “Ano ito, Boracay?”  sabi niya. “Partido ito” sabi ng boses sa katabing upuan. Lumingon si Duts sa kanan. “Leni?” “Oo.” “Anong ginagawâ ko dito?” “Bisita ka namin dito sa Bikol.” “Paano?” “Ikaw mismo ang nagpunta rito, kaya lang matagal kang natulog.” “Talaga?” “Heto muna suman, kumain ka”. “Baka magtae ako.” “Hindi”. Tatlong suman sa ibos ang kinain ni Duterte. “Saan ninyo ako dadalhin?” sabi niya “sa Den Haag na ba?”.

“Kung puwede sana, matauhan ka man lang” sabi ni Leni. “bigyan natin ng kinabukasan ang mga Pilipino, huwag iyong alila lang ng Intsik. Sana lahat may pagkakataon mag-aral ng kayang pag-aralan at makakuha ng trabahong sapat.” Sagot ni Digong “e di ba libre na ang kolehiyo ngayon” “Galing kay Bam Aquino ang batas na iyan” tugon ni Leni. “e paano kaming mga gago na tamad mag-aral? Ma, inutil talaga ako, Maaaaa” umiyak siya at sumandal kay Leni, pero itinulak siya nitong pataas. Kontrolado ang mukha niya, parang empleyado sa Mental.

“Tsaka paano iyong mga mawalan ng trabaho, anong silbi ng subrang pag-aaral? Sa sistema namin, magdependi sila sa amin na may diskarte.” “Sa pagnakaw ninyo, ibig mong sabihin?” sagot ni Leni. “Hende ah, my Lady, Madame Beautipul, utakan lang, abilidad! Mula pa noong 1521 ganyan talaga tayo kung mag-survive. E tanggalin mo ang moral, ang batas, survival of the fittest ang meron. Diyan tayo magaling, kahit walang pari, walang batas. Tsaka mga babae, sabaw ang poke sa lawyer and killer tulad ko! Dilaw lang natikman mo, sayang ang ganda mo!”

Mabilis na tumayo sa Leni, mas mabilis pa siyang sumampal. Biglang napunta sa buhangin si Duterte at paiyak-iyak: “Maa, huwag mo akong hampasin sa tenga, huwag na masakiiit”. Biglang nagising si Duterte sa may sahig, siyempre sa labas nang kulambo. Pumasok si Bong Go. “Anu ang kumalampag diyan?” sabi niya. “Bakit ka nasa sahig!”. “Eh wala, masarap lang ang panaginip ko!” “Gago, tumayo ka, bihis, maraming papirmâ sa iyoh Chinese Ambassador!” Tumayo si Duts. Kinuha niya ang pantalon niya sa may silya at sinuot niya, tapos iyong gusot-gusot na barong.

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, 23 ng Marso 2018

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Others thinking you think you’re better

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Serenoare dangerous – in the Philippines and elsewhere. Sara Duterte about EDSA veterans (link), Supreme Court Justices about CJ Sereno, probably many about President Aquino’s handling Dengvaxia – which may have proven successful given recent indications (link). Damn, time for Martial Law and censorship! Increase the number of dengue cases, as yellow must be made bad! And they deserve hatred that is deep and personal, just like Harry Roque wishing Leila de Lima a life in jail (link) – yes, they messed up some things, but what did they do to deserve all of that?

Pakikisama and Schadenfreude

One accusation hurdled against Chief Justice Sereno is lacking pakikisama towards her colleagues in the Supreme Court – again a propaganda strategy that is very Filipino. Pakikisama often means subduing oneself to fit into a group. You don’t like the movie everybody in the barkada has seen? Bad enough if you weren’t there to see it with them. Worse if you say you think it is a stupid movie. An individual opinion against the assumed majority opinion – wow, does he think he is BETTER? Put a UP graduate into the midst of some working-class OFWs without escape. What could happen?

They might probably wait for the first slip-up of the UP graduate, and then display Schadenfreude. Sara Duterte brought the word Schadenfreude into the Philippine vocabulary (link) with regards to Mariel de Leon not topping Miss International – because she criticized the present administration. The sentiment against “yellow”, the previous administration and all related to it, is however more like the Serbian saying Da komsiji crkne krava – “If only the neighbour’s cow would die” (link) – related to the Serbian concept of inat: spitefulness, vindictiveness, hardheadedness + much more.

Spitefulness and Feindbilder

There is a similar spitefulness visible and audible among those who hate Aquino, Sereno, De Lima. Aquino? Sure he messed up certain things. But is the present government doing so much better? Sure it was easy to make him – and Mar Roxas – bogeymen due to their plantation owner origins. Feindbild is the German word for a cluster of prejudices and fears pertaining to a given group. There is also the Feindbild of the English-speaking elite, easy to trigger among common Filipinos. Why otherwise would Mocha focus on Leni Robredo’s US visits and her daughter in Harvard?

There is I think deep envy about what is perceived to be a privileged life, as opposed to one’s own.  Why otherwise make a big deal about Leni’s dresses, like some have done – yet admire the dresses of Isabelle Duterte at a lavish debut? Of course, Leni Robredo has already been identified as part of the other tribe, those who have “had it all” (not true for Leni who lived in the dormitory when she studied at UP) while “we” never had anything and now have the right to luxury and the good life. Even if no one can claim that Leni is lighter in color than most, or Sereno’s nose way too sharp!

Country and town

are both called bayan in Filipino. In a town especially a small one, there is a certain conformity. There is indeed a certain sameness, anywhere in the world. You are ruling a quite homogeneous group of people. The Philippines is a country – forced upon a collection of small communities. Countries need specialized people to be governed properly. The probably first specialized people in the Philippines were the town scribes the Spanish friars trained. More sophisticated governance and business brought about the present “elite” universities that are in international rankings (link).

That the provinces and the poor were left behind is an effect of this development until today. But the present government is playing a dangerous game in mobilizing envy of those left behind against those who had better chances. Mayors can still run their cities by sheer instinct, like Duterte did. For larger entities like countries you need truly competent people – unless you want to return to olden days with plenty of epidemics, pogroms and witch hunts. Isn’t the Philippines getting there? Measles spreading due to fear of vaccines. Pogrom mentality against drug users. And witch hunts.

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, 3 March 2018

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So much Imbecility

Vile imbecilesis exhausting. Wanda Teo’s tourism charts. Bilibid boys threatening to recant. Alvarez’ wife saying he became a Manobo. Certainly he was always a bobo. His Senate counterpart Pimentel is just as much of an asshole, but I think he isn’t as stupid. Touché for Atty. Mandy Anderson. Kudos to the new culture of directness in the Philippines. If the President can insult people, so can others hit back at those who think they are higher. The Ombudsman telling the President “wala siyang pakialam”, that her work is none of his business, is not imbecility but a language every Filipino gets.

It was a matter of time before the crowd that ASec Lorraine Badoy termed as “ninnies” would hit back. Chito Gascon of CHR telling Panelo to focus on his job. After Panelo told Gascon to resign, which he constitutionally has no right to. Fixed-term appointees were purposely created to provide checks and balances – it would be terrible if one group had all the power without any critics. Malacañan saying that commissioners serve at “the President’s pleasure” (link) is another imbecility. Do they think the President is an absolute monarch, like the erstwhile Louis XIV of France?

How often indeed has the President spoken of himself as the owner of the Philippines – may-ari ng Pilipinas? How often has he spoken of my police, my army, my weapons? Louis XIV indeed said “I am the state” but also said in his old age that “I will die, but the state will remain”. Duterte would destroy the government if he had his way (link) but has not laid out any vision of the “more efficient system” that he would like to have in its place. Will it be barangays with drug lists – decentralized impunity? Plus centralized impunity against Lumad schools and the like (link)?

In the meantime, the real deals with China may have been sealed with the visit of the Chinese foreign minister. Will it indeed be joint exploration close to Palawan – with a sizable Chinese military presence to guard it? Fortunately, few were imbecilic enough to see the lapu-lapu being “gifted” by the Chinese to Filipino fishermen as generosity. Or a few firearms as real assistance. Maybe they are like the expensive underwear allegedly gifted to prostitutes by some pimps – with money they earned in the first place. Or even worse, just Woolworth underwear in Palmer’s plastic bags.

20 million Filipinos remain poor (link). What will be done for them? Will they be sent to work on Chinese oil rigs, since the construction worker jobs will allegedly be given to Chinese? And how about the education of the Filipino in general? Seems free tuition is gone by 2018 (link). Does the present administration want a stupid people to call its own? A slave race, with them as overseers? And the city the Chinese plan to build in Manila Bay, will it be like Intramuros? No Filipinos after dusk? Might they let some Chinoys become “Insular Chinese”? How imbecilic will Filipinos be?

Irineo B. R. Salazar
München, 29 July 2017

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A comfortable life

Comfortable anywhere (372543421)is what President Duterte promised in his first SONA (link). I would not want a comfortable life. I like the way my life is now – with its efforts and its rewards, but not comfortable. Someone who is comfortable is in my book depending too much on others, either as patrons or as servants. Getting comfortable means getting complacent. In the same article, Duterte says: “My administration is working to ensure that basic human services are available to all; food and health needs; water and sanitation; shelter; public safety; education; and economic opportunities”. Sure.

Just a few sentences after, the real emphasis becomes clear: “In his speech, Duterte cited Davao City during his term as mayor, wherein he became well-known for bringing peace and order to his hometown.”. This sounds like putting the cart before the horse. Give people a chance to make a decent living thru work and you have a lot less unrest. How is the situation when it comes to water and sanitation in Metro Manila and other big cities, especially the poor areas where there are many addicts? I might take at least a shot of gin myself – not drugs – if I had to endure living there.

How about education and economic opportunities? It could start with small scale industries, there are programs like K-12 Plus (link) which happens to be German-sponsored and combines both education and economic opportunities by training poor people on the job. I doubt that the kids learning metalworking in the San Pedro Relocation Center National High School take drugs. They have a chance in life and most people are not so foolish to waste real chances. As for shelter – if Leni allegedly did not do enough, what is her successor now doing in terms of social housing.

The right mix in social housing – with community centres especially for the youth to prevent disorientation, mixing different income groups to prevent the hopelessness of ghettos, putting people near factories or place where there is work – has proven crucial to defusing social tensions in modern countries. Where is the comprehensive program for this – or even just the first baby steps?

Food needs. Microfinance (link) and rural banks are crucial, not just ranting against moneylenders. Storage and distribution as well. Prosperity is not just comfort. What is being done for prosperity?

Irineo B. R. Salazar, München, 18. February 2017

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The Kinetic Energy

Luzon mining camp, 1899of colonial discovery hit the Philippines in 1521. The billard queue is long gone but the balls keep moving. Just a preview of a new movie about Lumads in Mindanao shows this (link). Loggers come into the hunting grounds of the Manobo, who finally get sucked into the middle of armed conflict. Uniformed men bullying Lumads are heard speaking Visayan, telling their commanding officer who speaks Tagalog and tells them to stop that he is still naive about the realities of the conflict. A scene that shows one of the many ethnic hierarchies of the Philippines in a nutshell.

Examples of the greed of early encomenderos, those granted land by the Spanish crown in the beginning of colonization, are documented (link): Several principales from Ylagua (Dagua) testified that Salgado had charged them one chicken each in addition to the regular tribute. This, it was claimed, caused “much damage and loss to their wealth.” Principales already being the Filipinos of higher rank – I wonder if low-ranking Filipinos would have dared complain to a royal Spanish tax collector. Even today extortion seems to be practiced by those who have the power to (link).

A pattern seems to have been established then. The pattern of taking instead of building, the easy road to wealth. The path of least resistance. A path that does not create long-term wealth at all. Mine the soil, don’t build anything with the minerals. Sell sugar, coconuts and tobacco abroad – but don’t bother to make soap out of coconut, or at least even cigars or rum like in Spanish times. Let your OFW and migrant relatives work, and spend their money at the mall instead of building something at home. Might be extorted by police or NPA anyway, so who knows it might be wiser?


Two men from Spain – the Roman emperors Trajan and Hadrian – played a decisive role in the conquest of gold-rich ancient Dacia. Affluent Romans liked to settle in Spain, while the Romans who went to Dacia were usually soldiers, adventurers and convicts – the roots of what became Romania. In 2013, protests against the planned Roșia Montană gold mine were the roots of a civic society movement (link) that ousted a Prime Minister in 2015 and a Minister of Justice just days ago. Decades after ousting a dictator, after decades of backlashes, corruption and populism.

A country with more than 10% of its people working abroad. A country that is home to a lot of business process outsourcing, as its people have learned to be flexible and multilingual in their history. Also a country that has been in the vicious cycle of poverty and corruption for very long (link) with people speaking of: constant, everyday bribery — at hospitals, schools and public institutions. And yet a young man says: A new generation has emerged that doesn’t keep drawers full of bribery presents. Everything can be shattered in the next 10 days.


Seeing is believing. Could more Romanians have seen with their own eyes, in places like Western Europe, what real value productive energy can create? That it isn’t just take or be taken from? That just spending energy taking from the earth without reaping – and from others – makes most people POOR, long-term? Possibly those who have understood have begun to reach a critical mass. This critical mass is not yet there in the Philippines, which seems to be evolving backwards or sideways in recent months. But one never knows what surprises kinetic energy may hold in store.

Irineo B. R. Salazar

München, 12. February 2017

 

 

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The Colonial Syndrome

Itinerario legazpiwas mentioned by President Duterte just hours ago in Bacolod – I watched the end of his speech. It referred to some of his pet peeves, but still sounds more like his problem and that of many Filipinos. From skin whiteners so many Filipinos use (looking like too pale ghosts) in the Philippines, to the silly memes some Duterte supporters made showing “Hillary supporting Duterte”. The thin-skinned nature of Filipino pride when the foreign press reports on the country, or a foreign commenter says something not so nice, is the other aspect of the Filipino colonial syndrome.

The teenage nation

The immature aspect of that syndrome is that is takes the foreign, especially the “white” view of things, either as something to be followed or to be opposed. A lot of the anti-Western rhetoric of Duterte recently is similar to things one has heard both from Filipino nationalists and leftists for many decades. There is of course the new aspect of wanting to be allied with Russia and China, which is of course stark opposition to the formerly very pro-American course of the Philippines, somewhat like a teenager wearing exactly the clothes and saying things parents do not stand for.

“Wir sind die, vor denen unsere Eltern uns immer gewarnt haben” – was an activist slogan in Germany before: “we are those whom our parents warned us about”. Duterte’s provocations remind me of some of the provocations of that crowd from the 1960s to 1980s, which used leftist slogans. From the 1990s onward, Nazi and nationalistic symbols were used to provoke, by a new crowd. That Duterte’s Hitler provocation was taken seriously – the Philippine Ambassador was summoned on Friday – but not commented on by higher-ranking German officials at all is not surprising.

Colonialism and independence

A Filipino commented on Facebook that it is interesting that Duterte seems to take a “white man” – Hitler – as a role model, isn’t that very colonial mentality? It is indeed also very colonial to rely on the army and the police in controlling the archipelago – the Guardia Civil already did that, just like its American-era successor, the Philippine Constabulary, which Rafael Crame helped build up. It is also very colonial to lean on a new sponsor – very possibly China this time, much like Aguinaldo decided to gamble on the United States who did bring him to Manila from Hong Kong.

It would be independent foreign policy to strengthen regional alliances like Indonesia and Vietnam, which is one good thing being done already. Overcoming colonialism would also be helping the people in the slums achieve a better livelihood, instead of just conducting the usual drug raids at night (evidenced by videos widely available) and thereby causing many casualties among the poor. Allying with resurgent powers like Russia or rising powers like China may lead to more dependency than working with no longer colonial powers (the EU) or the overextended superpower USA.

Overcoming 400 years

In his Bacolod speech, President Duterte mentioned 400 years of colonialism. The Philippines indeed became a colony very early, a collection of chiefdoms that submitted to a colonial government in Manila, which is the inheritance of the Republic. The President’s powers are similar to those of a colonial governor, and every Philippine President so far has sought the allegiance of local politicians, much like Rajas sought the allegiance of datus in the past. In fact former allies of Mar Roxas have recently moved to PDP-Laban, much like datus flocking towards a new overlord.

And there are still a lot of hang-ups, especially in the relationship of Filipinos to “white people”, who are often alternately admired and hated. Or by some, liked when they come with money or lend money to the relatives of their Filipina wife for example, but secretly seen with disdain especially when they ask for repayment of debts. Or even openly threatened with a bolo or a gun. Strangely enough, there are many Filipinos who bully or deride those nice to them, and submit to those who bully them – foreigner or local. The datu culture in its peculiar, colonial deformation.

Then there is this strange oscillation between trying to ingratiate foreigners and then being rude to them. Something I have observed in many Filipino-foreign contexts, not just recent outbursts. This is of course also an offshoot of the deformed datu culture, where you are either master or servant, never just simply friend or ally. In these aspects, President Duterte truly reflects a lot of Filipino attitudes in a certain segment of the population. Acting just normal, not domineering or submissive, is that possible at all in the future? Time will tell. Filipinos will have to sort that out.

Irineo B. R. Salazar, München, 2 October 2016

 

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Uncluttering a System

Some clutter on a keyboardshould be the main priority of whatever reforms are implemented – Federalism or not. It just takes a short look at House Bills of the Philippine Congress (link) to see they are wasting a lot of time:

  • HB00007 AN ACT INCREASING THE BED CAPACITY OF THE ROXAS DISTRICT HOSPITAL IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF ROXAS, PROVINCE OF ORIENTAL MINDORO, FROM FIFTY TO ONE HUNDRED BEDS, AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE REPUBLIC ACT 7857
  • HB00015 AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE AND FREEPORT IN THE PROVINCE OF ILOCOS SUR, CREATING FOR THIS PURPOSE THE ILOCOS SUR SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE AND FREEPORT AUTHORITY, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
  • HB00017 AN ACT CREATING TWO ADDITIONAL BRANCHES OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT IN THE PROVINCE OF ILOCOS SUR, ONE FOR THE CITY OF VIGAN AND ANOTHER FOR THE MUNICIPALITY OF STO. DOMINGO, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7472 ENTITLED ‘AN ACT AMENDING SECTION 1 OF THE REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7154 ENTITLED ‘AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION FOURTEEN OF BATAS PAMBANSA BILANG 129 OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE JUDICIARY REORGANIZATION ACT OF 1981’ BY RESTORING THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT BRANCH IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF CANDON AND CREATING TWO ADDITIONAL REGIONAL TRIAL COURT BRANCHES IN THE PROVINCE OF ILOCOS SUR, AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFORE
  • HB00030 AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE UPGRADE AND MODERNIZATION OF THE J.R. BORJA CITY MEMORIAL HOSPITAL AS AN EXTENSION HOSPITAL OF THE NORTHERN MINDANAO MEDICAL CENTER (NMMC) IN CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, PROVINCE OF MISAMIS ORIENTAL AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR
  • HB00031 AN ACT INCREASING THE BED CAPACITY OF THE NORTHERN MINDANAO MEDICAL CENTER IN CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7938, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
  • HB00032 AN ACT ESTABLISHING A CITY PUBLIC COLLEGE IN CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY TO BE KNOWN AS THE CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY PUBLIC COLLEGE AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR

ENOUGH, ENOUGH!! Aside from the fact that they use large letters on that page, just like Internet trolls, these matters rightfully should be decided more locally:

  • matters like healthcare and education facilities as well as economic incentives belong somewhere at the regional, provincial or municipal level I think
  • a certain percentage of the taxes resulting from regions, provinces, municipalities/cities should I think go to them, for them to be more flexible
  • there are provincial and municipal councils to decide on how funds are spent – democratic checks – might regional councils also be an idea?
  • if one does not trust the councils at whatever level, then the local level would be a place to start with Freedom of Information
  • Plebiscites at these levels might be an idea as well – including the power to impeach governors and mayors if needed

Federalism might overwhelm the Philippine system and not solve its problems – maybe focused decentralization is needed more. Some ideas:

  • The implementation of education, justice, healthcare, economic incentives and more are State matters in Germany. The Federation can concentrate on its more important responsibilities.
  • it does not necessarily have to be federal – why can there not be regional councils? After some years of experience, one could still decide on whether to make them states. Not rush in.
  • Tax brackets, nurses pay and other things have to be decided on by Congress as well. Why not index them in the future, based on buying power? NEDA could revise the index every year.

One should not forget that the Philippines spans a distance similar to the one from Oslo to Rome, going from North to South – and Congress decides even on the naming of streets!

Here in Europe people often hate “Brussels” – the Commission – for deciding on many things in member countries. But these are mostly standards – not where to open schools and hospitals. Corporations may decide to centralize certain things for efficiency – but a country burdening its legislature with that level of detail is of course inefficient – time to unclutter the system?

Irineo B. R. Salazar, München, 26 May 2016

 

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Revolution in Mind

Braid 4permis not what some think I have in mind. It is a revolution of the mind that I have in mind. It is what I think the Philippines needs. All other forms of revolution so far have failed. And will fail. Rizal lets his (by then anti-)hero Simoun say at the end of El Filibusterismo: what if the slaves of today become the tyrants of tomorrow? Now wasn’t he right like oh so often? Who has read the Noli and the Fili properly? Or The Philippines, A Century Hence – or Rizal’s translation of Schiller’s Wilhelm Tell. He seems like a mere statue today. He died at the age of 35. His thinking discontinued.

Theory and practice

Rote learning is the norm in the Philippines. Theoretical education is too divorced from practice. Common sense looked upon with disdain. The people on the ground are not listened to by the theoreticians, since they often do not have the capability to express themselves in an erudite manner. The people on the ground do not get what the theoreticians want, and often the theoreticians do not break it down properly for them. Like Joe America wrote in a recent comment, the middle is missing. Those on the ground walk on foot. The cars of the erudite have wheels above ground.

  • The 1987 Constitution is beautiful in theory, but fails to fulfill even the first two ideas of its preamble, striving for a just and humane society.
  • Endlessly detailed discussions on legalisms in so many different recent cases, but the law is effectively not there in many parts of the country.
  • Metro Manila’s business district has all modern amenities while huge parts of the country hardly have Internet access at a reasonable speed.
  • International studies are commissioned, for example on traffic, while the expertise and common sense of local experts is often ignored.
  • International contractors are taken in for projects, but there is often no strategy for building local expertise in a step-by-step manner.

The present programs of DOST like the DOST AGT, the Roadtrain, the Diwata Microsatellite, the iGovPhil government IT project, or Project NOAH shine as exceptions to this sad rule. The DOST projects also took small steps to success, but with an overarching goal in mind. Wanting big successes at once does not work. Forget going federal-parliamentary in one step for example.

Models and reality

Hel spit - old mapWe all use mental models to simplify the reality that we see. To be able to process it in a reasonable timeframe. But mental models can become outdated. Old nationalistic mental models of the United States as the threat to national sovereignty ignore how the USA has changed, how the parameters of the global game have changed, and who is now occupying islands near Palawan. Old leftist mental models ignore that there are much better ways of creating a level playing field, and that one has to create better habits among the disadvantaged so they can use these new chances. Old rightist mental models of repression ignore that it has been proven that repression creates an adversarial relationship between citizens and the state, especially if it comes with human rights abuses – that modern policing can involve the community and value human rights without losing its necessary effectivity. It is like satellite photos may cause old maps to have to be redrawn.

Or surveyor’s measurements. It is very important to check assumptions. The adjust the map in one’s mind of the territory that is reality. It will never encompass everything. 90% is enough.

Trial and error

The Romanians have one of the fastest Internets in the world thanks to so-called neighborhood networks. A bit similar to how some Romanian gypsies and Filipino slum dwellers improvise their electricity. Now I am sure that the educated Makati crowd, or the experts at UP would have looked down upon such a suggestion with disdain, since they are world-class and not like slum dwellers at all.

Trial and error is so often the way to success. The DOST AGT in UP did not amount to much while the one in Bicutan is much better. Remember Bill Gates’ first DOS versions?Gluehlampe 01 KMJ

But for that, one must be willing to make mistakes, accept them and learn from them. Edison tried so many designs until he finally succeeded in getting his incandescent lamp working. Good he did not grow up in a culture that immediately calls out minor mistakes, which Filipinos do. While ignoring major mistakes and those who are shameless enough to justify them as being right. A culture that calls to crucify the earnest and release the shameless is not conducive to real development. In my German IT project experience, we have corrected mistakes and moved on to do better.

A culture that seeks to learn progresses. A culture that seeks to punish stays put or regresses. The real revolution that brings lasting effects is the one that happens in the mind.

Driving the BRP Sierra Madre into a reef was a stroke of genius. Using the oldest ship in the navy to block Ayungin Shoal. Filipino ingenuity can if given the chance.

Irineo B. R. Salazar, München, 5 February 2016

 

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