Channeling Filipino money to Filipino ideas: Filipinos can succeed in business!

Lots of people have great ideas. Unfortunately not all people with great ideas are very entrepreneurial. It remains a giant leap to get from an idea to a clear execution roadmap. The execution roadmap need not be written like a formal thesis, but it should at least demonstrate how said idea can be turned into a stable revenue stream; i.e., articulating the business value of an idea as a business plan. As such, developing an idea into one that captures the imagination of people with money to invest is already beyond the means of most would-be entrepreneurs.

Over at the GRP Community Facebook Group, I recently observed an increased interest in business-related topics.

Community member Ron Lazaro makes a very astute observation that is spot on in describing an abundant resource the potential of which remains largely under-exploited for building capital and is, instead, routinely mis-channeled towards dead-end consumption: the remittances of Overseas Foreign Workers (OFWs).

Usapang Business sa GRP: think [of] this… OFW’s remittance[s] have reached an average 18 Billion US Dollars per year! heck this is even bigger than the national budget!!! now the grinding question, where does this remittance money go[ and] how [is it] being spent??? the answer to that is a huge business opportunity for those with [the] entrepreneurial spirit!

Lazaro’s call is quite straightforward:

chase those billions now!

Indeed, those “billions” while routinely providing temporary relief at best for the mall-rat kin of OFWs toiling in some desert caliphate halfway around the world, do not seem to be fundamentally changing the core economic structure of the Philippines.

In short, despite the OFWs “contributing” to the “value” of Philippine economy, they do not change its composition but merely propagate it. The capital-rich become wealthier, and the capital-poor (despite the robust incomes they temporarily get from OFW relatives), at the end of the day gain and accumulate very little enduring equity. The value of OFWs as contributors to economic change is a myth. Whereas OFW’s merely channel money, true capitalists create it.

So, without question, there is money coming in. The challenge is in changing how it is used.

How then do we turn Filipinos from mere consumers into real capitalists?

Another community member, Eugene Dy, sees money sitting right under people’s noses and proposes that the community focus more on the important stuff: making money for ourselves and making Filipinos rich. A first step he proposes is to create a robust forum for advertising skills and services. Dy’s thread initiated a lively and very insightful discussion and is (as of this writing) running up a total 54 comments after just six hours online. What was an initial idea around advertising one’s individual skills and services became a discussion around the more ideal target of building business enterprise.

Indeed, the key challenge remains: how to move from employment (particularly in foreign-owned business ventures) to capital self-sufficiency. Filipinos are renowned (or like to see themselves as such) as star employees in both direct employment by overseas employers and clients and as outsourced service providers. As sources of capital and innovation, however, we are at the bottom of the pile. I have always asserted that we cannot compete in a free-for-all “globalised” world where capital is free to wantonly flow in — and out — of countries. Such a world order favours societies with an existing and extensive track record of creating capital indigenously (and then went on to export said capital). Unfortunately, the Philippines in its current stage of economic maturity is a net capital sinkhole. We absorb lots of the world’s capital but create hardly any of it. As such some of those who advocate the Philippines’ hooking itself onto the gravy train of hot global capital flow as a solution to its chronic impoverishment may be toying with a very dangerous notion

It raises the embarrassing possibility that even with doors thrown open to full foreign ownership and a “Buy us, PLEASE!” sign displayed, we will still be bypassed by the industrialists of the world.

Of course, cash not flowing into the country is not something any of us would like to see. But consider how OFW cash currently flows into the economy to the tune of more than 10% of its value. The really hard question with regard to this embarrassingly large elephant in the room is quite simple:

Where has all that cash been used?

The OFW remittances black hole illustrates how Filipinos remain clueless about the productive and sustainable use of money. A number of issues could be at work there — lack of skills, lack of attitude, lack of imagination, lack of information, lack of infrastructure, whatever. The point is, in the case of this consistently moronic use of otherwise abundant cash, access to it certainly is not an issue.

In short, before we can even consider playing with other people’s money we need to get our act together as far as putting our own money to good use. And that means, becoming net capital creators — become a society of people who create capital indigenously.

This indeed is a huge challenge. Many overseas Filipinos lack any faith even in their own family members when it comes to putting the money they send to them to good use. In a previous article I highlighted the scale of the contribution of Filipino-Americans alone to the Philippine economy — a contribution that accounts for 60 percent of total remittances to the Philippines by Filipino expats. Their expenditure for day-to-day activities in the US alone, at $50 billion per annum is double the National Budget of the Philippines. Yet the only appeal island-dwelling Filipinos can make for a piece of that yummy pie is an appeal to “generosity”.

One that sticks out is the quickness to attribute the $8 billion dollars to two imagined virtues in the Filipino: generosity and love of country, a conclusion [Inquirer.net columnist Jose Ma.] Montelibano encapsulates in the following statement [taken from his essay]:

The sterling example of Filipino-Americans in lending a consistent helping hand symbolized by an $8 billion remittance to relatives in the motherland is an affirmation that they continue to love the Philippines.

Firstly, it is debatable whether a big portion of the $8 billion dollars is sent by choice. It comes to a question of whether the forces that channel that money to the Islands is characterised by a pull or a push.

Do Filipino Americans push the money to the Philippines motivated by real “generosity”? Or do impoverished Filipinos in the Islands through their victim-esquely irresistible appeals to familial sentiments pull the money from their “more fortunate” kin overseas?

So we still have a long way to go from becoming more than just the subject of Filipino expats’ guilt trip. The goal is to turn ourselves into an attractive destination for capital on the basis of a cold, hard, sentimentality-devoid objective assessment of our ability to return on said capital.

I believe it starts with mixing together some key ingredients:

* * *

IDEAS

Ideas range from the nebulous or highly conceptual to the very specific and precisely-defined. Some members already presented interesting ideas.

GRP Community netizen Richard Ryan Cruz, for example, proposes the idea of a private airport bus company which capitalises on the utter lack of safe, reliable, and comfortable transport connection between the International Airport in Manila and its outlying business districts and residential suburbs. Follow-on downstream businesses that could be built around this service abound including other value-add services that returning balikbayans — or visiting tourists and/or investors — could find useful.

Lots of ideas need to be brainstormed, discussed, taken apart, and evaluated. More importantly such a “registry” of ideas need to be routinely harvested for value and turned into the ultimate scorekeeper — money.

BROADENED EDUCATION IN THE TRADES

Ron Ronquillo emphasises the need for more vocational schools

In as much as we’d like to have a lot of educated Pinoys, not everyone will be privileged to have white-collar jobs. The least we can do for the working-class folks (every society has one) is to improve the quality not only of their work but the conditions where they work to make them proud and have some dignity rather than feel looked down upon. Like it or not, we need people like them in our society.

WHEREWITHAL TO EXECUTE

Our very own B.p. Betterphilippines identifies that all-too-familiar analysis paralysis disease that afflicts many of us who are rich in ideas but thin on next steps

so many aspiring entrepreneurs have ideas. many even have the resources (capital etc.) unfortunately, many fail to realize their plans because of paralysis by analysis. what are your thoughts on this. have you had paralysis by analysis? were you able to get out of it? how did you do it?

Add to that “too hard” and “too risky” as the typical excuse of people otherwise brimming with bright ideas. To be fair, this is an affliction seen across societies, even amongst those in the affluent world. Yet, we seem to have a particularly ingrained cultural predisposition to shun the risky venture as the venerable Nick Joaquin himself observed and from which much inspiration can be gained…

Aldous Huxley said that some people are born victims, or “murderers.” He came to the Philippines and thought us the “least original” of people. Is there not a relation between his two terms? Originality requires daring: the daring to destroy the obsolete, to annihilate the petty. It’s cold comfort to think we haven’t developed that kind of “murderer mentality.”

CAPITAL FUNDING THAT SUITS THE FILIPINO CHARACTER

Joaquin then encapsulates the challenge we need to step aspire to prove wrong someday: “The depressing fact in Philippine history is what seems to be our native aversion to the large venture, the big risk, the bold extensive enterprise.” Perhaps if there is the fact of this sad cultural trait of ours, there must be a workaround for it — a solution that includes as part of its inherent features measures that mitigate this reality about our national character.

The financial system is normally a key component of the economic infrastructure that provides a safe — and in most cases, a state-guaranteed — destination for excess cash coming from ordinary people and, an institutional framework possessing of the scale and expertise to convert these funds into capital to be channeled to those who need it to engage in productive business ventures. Financial institutions, therefore, serve to bridge the flow of money from the risk-averse to the risk-savvy among us.

Unfortunately, even the relatively robust financial system of the Philippines is suffering from a crisis of confidence. In a society that is already beset by low collective trust, there have been many instances of spectacular breaches of public trust arising from the greed of those to whom the management of the public’s hard-earned savings had been entrusted. The collapses of major educational funds, pre-need businesses, and most recently, the collapse (and subsequent mismanagement in the hands of state receivers) of Banco Filipino did nothing to encourage Filipinos to save their OFW dollars rather than spend them on non-durable trinkets imported from China.

* * *

There are a few venture capital models out there being bandied as the “next big thing” by the Mainstream Media of the business world.

Fortune magazine featured in its website the possibility of earning $1,000 in 60 seconds in a “business plan contest” organised by Rice University. A bid for investment funds in 60 seconds — an “elevator pitch” — is, as the term implies, premised on the notion that if you are lucky enough to happen to get on an elevator with the CEO of your company, you will most likely have less than a minute to grandstand about whatever great idea you might happen to have in your head waiting for a person who matters to impart it to.

There is also a new “thing” called “crowdfunding” (another one of those things based on one of those “wisdom of the crowd” concepts around which consultants are pitching their latest cutting edge “services”) that CNN Tech is featuring where “Aha!” moments are turned into real inventions. As it turns out, we are eventually led to the point of that article, the launch of the site Ahhha.com, supposedly one of the pioneers of the emerging “social ideation” (you read that right) market.

Micro venture capital anyone? These new “social ideation” sites supposedly promise this as a rosy future for micro-ideaists.

Anyway, back to more sober down-to-earth ideas, perhaps it is high time that someone come up with a more innovative system and more robust process for channeling Filipino money away from idle non-capital-building pursuits and more into equity-building endeavours. The goal is to build an inherent ethic in the Filipino of creating and building capital indigenously (as opposed to a pathetic reliance on foreign capital) as a means to escape poverty.

As seen so far, discussion within the Get Real Philippines Community shows some promise that initial (albeit baby) steps are being taken with this new focus in mind. Indeed, the first step is to turn away from the idle low-intellect-applied banter of conventional Pinoy-style “discussion” and hook onto the world of insightful conversation. Check out the Community and take the first step towards exploring a bigger world!

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30 Comments on “Channeling Filipino money to Filipino ideas: Filipinos can succeed in business!”

  1. I see one problem here. There are just too many steps for even a local Filipino to register one’s business. So before they can actually set up a business, their capital has been used up by the numerous humongous fees and bribes being asked for even if they are shouldn’t actually be there. If you have enough capital to get through that, or could find a way around it, well and good. But still, changing the system is also needed so we can finally eliminate these unnecessary steps to setting up a business legally.

    Although many enterprising Filipinos engage in unregistered (read: illegal) businesses, like some carinderias and even sari-sari stores. They don’t pay any business taxes, but they still do business. We really need to eliminate unnecessary steps… i.e., change the law.

    1. Not just registering and starting up, but maintaining a business is also a pain. You have rising commodity prices and most especially that blasted electricity under Meralco. You have minimum wage to follow (unless you’re an unregistered business). Even the tax brackets are unfair, because they levy the same amount on all businesses, small or big (so small businesses could hardly grow)! No wonder so many local businesses shrink or close up in this country. Now I know why my bosses were so scrimpy on salary and benefits. Being in business at all could kill you, in a sense.

      Success is also not proportional to effort here. The businessmen who actually make it tell me, “in this (Philippine environment) environment, you really need luck to succeed.” And that’s from a Chinese businessman.

  2. Though ideas like that are really optimistic but there are inevitable forces (crime, corruption, terrorism, etc.) that restrict and even prevent Filipinos to even pursue business. We can succeed yes but it’s easier said than done.

    I myself am in the business environment and in my experience, if you do not have a very large capital, and I do mean large, a common person can’t even progress.

    I mean pang gastos pa lang sa mga pulis na humihingi ng kotong eh talo ka na. One time we were pulled off by one of them for smoke belching even though our delivery truck is not emitting smoke. Syempre tatakotin ka nila para makahingi ng pera so we shell out 200-300 pesos para lang hindi mahuli.

    Sometimes araw-araw yung huli, eh di magkano yun, tapos pang gastos mo pa sa gas. Wala pa yung sweldo, taxes at kuryente doon. Doon pa lang talo na eh. Rising gas, taxes tapos poor infrastructures, it’s a nightmare to even survive in a small business. This is base on my experience.

    Kahit mag retail ang isang common person medyo talo kasi mahirap kumuha ng pwesto kasi may iba kakilala yung mayari ng ng re-rent ng place. Kung pwesto talo ka, natural sa customer talo ka.

    So ano choice ng ibang tao kung hindi mag OFW. I know because I mingle with poor people all the time. I ask them that question.

    I can’t really blame them kasi tingnan mo, kung may mga anak ka tapos walang trabaho mister mo o misis may time pa ba magtayo ng negosyo? Wala na so no choice, it’s either you die of hunger or you do something about it. Yun ang sagot nila sa akin and it makes sense.

    Time ang wala sa mga poor people so that’s why they do things they do not want just to survive. It’s kill or be killed in their environment. Remember, sa slums pa lang high crime rate yan so survival is their main motive not business, not progress.

    I’ve been to my worker’s homes and I saw only suffering. I don’t see progress. Now I understand why they have to do things like migrating.

    Yes, it’s a shame people migrate but see for yourself, put yourself in their shoes. Experience their environment. What would you do in that situation? You’d do exactly the same as they did.

    Yes, they should have control there population but like I’ve said, crime is high in the slums so rape is common. I even heard a daughter being continually raped by her father, brothers and lolo. Tell me how can that kind of psychological trauma be removed? Sira na pagkatao ng batang yun.

    As much as we like to help people like those, we can’t. It’s starts with education. Kung education pa lang natin walang quality then how can we embed success to these people?

    Like I’ve said, inevitable forces such as crime, corruption, terrorism etc. If these things cannot be lowered then I think progress will not be a reality. Government pa nga lang hindi masolve yan eh so paano sila makaka-attract ng investors niyan?

    Unless they, or better yet us, lower those “forces” then we can never see a lot of people change.

    1. That’s what I was talking about. Getting into business is easier said than done, which all the problems in registering and even maintaining one. But hey, if you can pull it off, no one’s stopping you (referring to others in general).

  3. the move to change the bigger system (conref) is ok but i’d be careful about packaging it as the solution to problems as “small” as the red tape plaguing business registration.

    removing red tape in the department of trade and industry can be done even under the present system provided there is serious political will on the part of the officials running that department.

    i’m not sure but i don’t think the step-by-step procedures involved in registering a business is covered in great detail by any law.

    1. I would believe though removing red tape is also easier said than done. We don’t have yet a leader with political will, but isn’t it that under the current system, that kind of leader would never get into DTI? I think it’s no wonder such leaders with political will are not getting any positions where they can actually make a difference. The bigger change is not just OK, but it’s the ultimate solution.

      I suppose reforming the registering laws will finally cover it in necessary detail and hopefully weed out the red tape.

      1. red tape has a lot to do with the culture of the people manning these agencies. setting up a better system within these respective offices would certainly do a lot of good.

        i’d argue against packaging a specific system change approach as being the ultimate solution.

        there are no ultimate solutions. there are many possible solutions and they’re all OK.

      2. I think we need all those solutions all at once considering the kind of situation we’re in. No one’s saying constitutional reform is the only one.

      3. i guess we should be clear then that it is not the ultimate solution because that would be misleading.

        i hope more people would support conref. it’s worth a try in my opinion.

  4. A country that is tight gripped in Feudalism; with the Oligarchs, becoming political leaders; will never progress…we see Political Offices as “Pots of Golds”…Government positions as Cash Cows….
    Why sweat in thinking about : businesses; new products; etc…when you can run for Public Office; delude people; get elected and become rich…

    1. Tama ka dyan. That’s exactly my point! Why waste time on business when you can get even more money of corruption? Makes sense why people do things they do here.

  5. A country that is tight gripped in Feudalism; with the Oligarchs, becoming political leaders; will never progress…we see Political Offices as “Pots of Golds”…Government positions as Cash Cows….
    Why sweat in thinking about : businesses; new products; etc…when you can run for Public Office; delude people; get elected and become rich…

  6. The economy in the Philippines is so thin that it is neither capitalist nor consumer, it is “subsist and support”.

    For a broad swath of the working population, the mentality is “I’ll work if I can (or want to), and will lean on my relatives when I can’t (or don’t want to). The motivations here are very different. There is no hope for riches other than the lottery. The disciplines for money-making are completely absent: a sense of the importance of time (appointments), living up to commitments, customer service. The overarching Filipino Ego limits vision and orienting work toward SOMEONE ELSE’S needs. Making profits requires vision and an ability to slot investments toward need.

    Business planning is non-existent, as people throw up mom and pop shops on a dream and a whim, only to find themselves back in either subsistence or desperation mode.

    The ideas expressed here are worthy: cutting red tape, snuffing corruption, trade schools. But until you rid the Philippines of its Ego bondage, not much will happen.

    1. Ego or whatever anyone wants to call it but I call it GREED. Unless we see our leaders change for the benefit of the people by giving them good examples other than their fashion sense then greed will still be rampart in our country.

      Wrong messages on television, newspapers, magazines, books, and radios, these media mediums contribute to the psychology of the people’s minds. They create the foundation of our identity which is, to say, none existent.

      Magazines pa lang they show Pinay women on how liberated they are. My god! I hate to see Pinays being shown that way. It destroys their image. Mataas ang tingin ko sa Pinays and seeing them half naked all the time is insulting.

      1. Edward,

        I think greed is just one aspect of the Ego intense behaviour found hereabouts. Cheating, lack of consideration . . . they aren’t really greed, but are endemic.

        You are right with respect to low-life media standards and poor treatment of women, by foreigners, by deadbeat husbands, by other envious women, by themselves.

    2. The kicker is that it’s the people that try to save that suffer most in the end as their subsist-and-support families turn them into piggy banks. Eventually the savers too have to turn to relatives – especially their children – in order to survive when their capital is finally drained.

      It’s not just endemic, it’s highly contagious. The only way to break free of it is self-excision, which is frowned-upon enough as it is.

    3. Ego? What about high unemployment rate in the Philippines? Have you heard of it? How about overpopulation? Guess not. With so little opportunities under a corrupt government plus an overwhelming devotion for religion, what should you expect?

      I agree with Edward. There’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.

  7. Business skills sits on top of a pyramid of financial management skills, and the foundation of which are the skills related to spending (living within means) and saving.

    Filipinos have not been taught about this. Jumping into business immediately without learning the basic financial skills will mean disaster.

    1. I think making money through business is a talent, just like drawing, painting, singing, playing an instrument, or writing. Some people have it and some don’t. Rich people see opportunities to make money where most ordinary people don’t in the same way a world-class photographer sees a winning composition where others see only an unremarkable scene.

  8. Any place where you need to make “diskarte” instead of follow the system in order to succeed is obviously screwed up.

  9. Here’s an interesting document about something that I haven’t seen mentioned on GRP or AP yet.

    http://emlab.berkeley.edu/users/webfac/emiguel/e271_s04/SEED.pdf

    A group of Harvard and Princeton folks partnered with this tiny bank in Caraga to help form a very strict savings regimen. The metaphor is clear in the title: tying Odysseus to the mast of his ship to avoid him jumping overboard to the lethal song of the sirens.

    Perhaps such a plan could also be adapted by our bigger banks as well.

    1. I don’t think so. It’s also said there that “further research is needed” because what works for a short term, does not equal long term results. When I say long term, I mean 10-20 years or so.

      Though is does give benefits but the market shifts every year. Meaning “change” can’t be avoided and it’s the biggest factor that can hinder this experiment.

      It’s like marriage, you see everything good about your partner for a couple of years but when about 5 to 7 years you start seeing his/her true colors prompting you to decide whether you love your partner or not because he/she already changed.

      By the end of 10 years, both of you decided to separate because of your “differences”.

      1. I think that’s why they used a tiny rural bank to start off with. This way the results are essentially confined to a more easily observable area. Plus, the project is relatively recent so we still haven’t reached “the long term.”

        And like marriages, if one really loves their partner then both of them would make the effort to do the occasional reconciliation or reaffirmation of their vows. As BongV once said, you can take a horse to water but it’s the horse’s decision do drink.

        The basic idea is this – Filipinos like to flaunt rather than save. So perhaps they could be made to see the incentives of a strict savings regimen to plant the “seed” of future growth and thus find saving a good idea. The SEED plan seems hard-edged, but for a culture that is averse to saving perhaps it’s a worthy solution that could be extrapolated to the society as a whole.

      2. @Frank

        Yes, but animals drink base on instincts not decisions so “deciding” is not part of their brain system plus on Zoology, almost 98% of their brain is base on motor skills contrast to humans which has a larger prefrontal cortex (thinking part of the brain), 30% larger than animals, making us the higher species because we can decide.

        And your definition of marriage is very common. People marry for different reasons. in India, parents wed their children at a very young age. This is a sign of unity between two families so they can have strong family ties.

        Regardless of what marriage, no matter how much you love each other, suffering and pain will still be in the marriage and, still, true colors of each partner will show in recent years, but that does not mean that they can be separated right away. It’s still base on both of the couple’s actions.

        Yes, Filipinos like to spend but not all solutions are actually solutions at all.

        Using Murphy’s Law, new solutions breed new problems. And that law might be the best I’ve seen. This is the case of what happened to facebook, though it’s convenient and flexible, it also created so much problem like depressions of teenagers, rebellion of Libya and Egypt to it’s government which killed a lot of people in the process, Assange with Wikileaks which, if succeeded sparked world war 3 that could lead to billions of deaths.

        Yes, it’s good that we can create solutions but sometimes these solutions can lead to more problems. Still, the best way is plain old discipline which can be taught to the people.

        I mean why waste a lot of money on research that can lead to more problems? It’s a waste of time.But that’s just me.

        The Filipinos are hard to teach, I know that, who doesn’t. Everyone is hard to teach, the brain is hard to teach. Of course it will take time. But whining about it instead of actually doing it have a lot of difference. You need to experience it before understanding what I’m saying.

        I’ve been there done that. I also find ways in the past to solve numerous problems on my business but surprisingly, when I did only simple acts of respect and kindness, it returned to me ten fold. I didn’t even need to buy new machineries which would cost me a lot of money on maintenance.

        Technology and other shit inventions can have a lot of leverage but still, the most simplest and practical acts are the best ones and nothing can replace them.

        Respect, kindness, honesty, and so on and so forth, these are gold to a lot of people. It’s like one time two street boys came to me and ask for money, but I gave them a piece of bread. They were so happy on what I gave compared to the ones I gave money to, that means poor people values food more than money. They value respect over coercion. Trust over pressure.

        Observing is different from experiencing. One must do both, he has to observe and experience what poor people experience. I did, many times over. You observe but do not understand. You have knowledge but do not have wisdom. There’s a difference.

        Like Morpheus in the Matrix said,

        “There’s a difference from one who KNOWS the path than the one who WALKS the path.”

      3. You are correct when you say that simple discipline is the way to go. In this case, it’s the discipline of owning and maintaining a savings account that people won’t just fritter away as mentioned in this blog post. It is the discipline of commitment. The same one that keeps Libyan rebels and Egyptian demonstrators going despite the repression.

        And speaking of “creating new problems,” I have also observed and understood that no solution is perfect. The rebellions in Libya and Egypt may be resulting in the loss of life, but that’s what happens when people rebel against dictators with a history of oppression. That’s realistic thinking.

        In a sense, the discipline of actually saving one’s money may create a problem where they have nothing to actually spend it on apart from what they need to survive. That’s why multiple solutions – such as a change in mentality and laws described here – are also needed to counteract many of the bad things that could arise.

        However the discipline of commitment, where the SEED plan teaches people to save also builds trust (as compared to plain punitive discipline). The bank trusts the people to deposit their savings and the people trust the bank not to risk it on bad loans.

        Finally, in terms of understanding “what poor people go through,” do not pull the straw man of thinking that I don’t know. My family is currently in a financial crisis of their own because they admitted they didn’t really have a plan for fiscally raising me and my siblings. As a result, whatever I save becomes their piggy bank until they can somehow get a job to get back on their feet – something increasingly hard given they’re in their 50s. They currently owe me money in the five-digit range.

        I am committed to saving. But until I can change the situation significantly, I risk – quite possibly through no fault of my own – ending up being a debtor myself.

      4. @Frank

        Ok I agree. I don’t mean to hit anything here.

        The point I’m trying to make is the solution that the Harvard guys suggested in their thesis. Honestly, I read that like 2 years ago and I already know that SEED program.

        What I’m really baffled at here is the “changing the mentality” part. It’s much more different and far difficult. It might have worked in Mindanao area but it’s different if you go whole scale on this or in Metro Manila.

        Don’t get me wrong, I was excited when I read this solution that these guys did but I asked myself, if the solution is already there, why is it still not implemented if its effective?

        The answer is simple: Politics my friend. The Philippine political system is so tarnished with so many loopholes that opportunistic leaders take it for granted.

        I’m not against the SEED program, in fact I agree with you totally, the problem is if the political system of our country is not even in order then how can this program even be implemented or even maintained?

        If it were implemented, how can the government’s commitment on this program even be maintained so it can last for a long time?

        See, Murphy’s law is right. I’m not only talking about problems that the SEED program creates but also the government’s involvement in this program too. There are so many loopholes still.

        If a miracle happens and the government is responsible enough to effectively execute this, then why not? Otherwise, why bother focusing on this SEED thing? It does not make sense.

        The leaders are not united today, so does it make sense to implement this program? I say no. Fix first the inside before going outside.

        It’s simple really, if an army is not united and undisciplined regardless if the general’s strategy is the best they will surely perish to their enemies easily even if their equipment is state of the art.

        An army that is united, even if the general’s strategy is simple, is even stronger than an army ten times their strength.

        Evidence, when Alexander the Great faced King Darius II, he has only 40,000 Macedonian soldiers with him. King Darius II had at least 400,000. Alexander’s strategy was simple, push the front of the Persian army using the Phalanx formation and Alexander will circle around and focus on killing King Darius II. You kill the king, you destroy Persia.

        Same thing in Battle at Thermopylae, King Leonidas’ strategy was simple, hold the Persian army at Thermopylae which has a narrow passage until the entire Spartan army comes back from it’s campaign. They held the Persians for three days and killed thousands of them.

        All of these it’s because the soldiers are united. It won’t matter what size the enemy is or how big the problem is, simple strategy is enough. You don’t need any new solutions.

        Like I’ve said, simple is still the best. It cannot be replaced.

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