The one and only CORRECT SOLUTION to the profound dysfunction that hobbles Philippine society’s march to prosperity

solution_to_philippine_poverty[It is time we dug up and presented some of the most ancient scripture from GRP’s antiquity to demonstrate the unparalleled consistency and stability of the conceptual framework that underpins “getrealism”. GRP’s Solution Framework has withstood the test of time and remains the birghtest beacon of real hope in a society starved of insight to substantiate the merely nebulous “hope” its people live on. Behold:]

* * *

A Solution Framework that aims to address the cultural dysfunction of the Philippine Nation hinges on three solution classes. These classes represent the key roadblocks to change at the cultural grassroots level of Philippine society (in contrast with the more often-highlighted political roadblocks which to a large extent have merely cured the symptoms of our cultural malaise).

Subscribe to our Substack community GRP Insider to receive by email our in-depth free weekly newsletter. Opt into a paid subscription and you'll get premium insider briefs and insights from us.
Subscribe to our Substack newsletter, GRP Insider!
Learn more

(1) Right philosophy — subscription to a philosophy (or set of philosophies) that will put said society in a collective state of mind that is conducive to sustainable prosperity.

(2) Efficient communication — a shared strength in a chosen language (proficiency of which is not monopolised by an elite class) that provides the society access to as big a body of knowledge as possible

(3) Wealth creation ethic — the capability to sustainably create and accumulate wealth domestically

Maintaining focus on these three while building up more detailed solutions (i.e. proceeding down to lower and more detailed classes of solutions) will ensure that effective visibility across the proper precedence relationships (between root causes, secondary causes, tertiary causes, and so on…) is maintained and the property of MECE (mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive) within class levels of solution propositions is sustained as the framework increases in detail and proceeds to touch on more operational levels.

Such precedence relationships between sub-classes of solutions can be seen in the following diagram that takes the framework down to the next level:

Using this approach to drilling down to lower and more detailed levels of recommendations, it is envisioned that the Solution (in the above already revealing itself at two levels — three solution classes and six sub-classes) will eventually yield a suite of initiatives, composed of projects, and, in turn, composed of action steps encompassing.

This structured “drill-down” to the action step level will of-course lead to many action steps, projects, and initiatives that have been on-going or have been conceived in the past. However, taking these discrete tasks in the context of an over-arching cultural framework that strongly defines precedence and root-cause relationships, should mitigate the effects of past approaches to taking “action” on the issues of the nation, such as:

(1) Flippant and rah-rah approaches to developing actions. Unstructured lists of non-systemic “action steps” that show no evidence of logical rigour in their development and aim merely to cure symptoms without addressing underlying problems.

(2) Ningas-cogon. This is the offspring of unstructured solutions development. When the last of the rah-rah’s echo in the distance, the slogan-bearing banners and bumper stickers peel off, and the feel-good primal euphoria of the latest Edsa “revolution” gets checked by the Angel of Reality whenever there is a change in administration or a slump in the global market for semiconductors, garments, and, yes, bananas or a spate of domestic terrorist activity, or whatever classic excuse for failure is made by our eminent historians and sociologists, that is when this very Pinoy, characteristic sets in.

(3) Sugar coating the situation. Part of the reason why so many flippant solutions are proposed is because of a lack of desire and will to, or a sensitivity with clearly highlighting deep systemic flaws in Philippine society and culture.

As such, this framework slots into the realm held hostage by tunnel-visioned traditionalism, ethnocentrism, and culturolatry (blind worship of one’s culture).

While this framework focuses on culture, it goes without saying that every aspect of our approach to progress has been and is victim to flippant and publicity-oriented solutioneering. And it is quite fair to state that the Philippines is one big un-implemented, ningas-cogon-victimised, flippant solution based on sugar-coated issues. On one end of the scheme of things is our penchant for Edsa “revolutions” as the nationally-preferred change process and at the other end, one example (among so many others) would be our approach to vehicular pollution control (catching offenders on the road — with the accompanying grandstanding and sloganeering — in contrast with catching them during the registration process — quietly and systemically).

Our indigenous automotive industry best reflects the character of the nation. The quality of jeepneys and ohner-type-jeeps run no deeper than their galvanised skins while superficial adornments scream for attention.

This approach proposes to change that mindset so we develop quality in our society and culture that runs deeper.

* * *

Why has this Solution Framework stood tall and unchallenged over the last eleven years?

Simple: Because it was formulated squarely on the basis of a deep understanding of the real problems that are at the root of why the Philippines consistently fails to prosper and take its place amongst its former peers in the region. When it comes to framing and defining the true challenges that Filipinos need to squarely face if they seriously want to progress, NOBODY beats

[Originally published on on the 20th August 2002.]

27 Replies to “The one and only CORRECT SOLUTION to the profound dysfunction that hobbles Philippine society’s march to prosperity”

  1. It really covers everything important… trust, language, employment, wages, frugality… in the end, it all really comes from the human will. Human will can beat any government form or system simply by refusing. Either we want to do it or don’t want.

    1. “Human will can beat any government form or system simply by refusing.”

      Would you summize that this is more possible under the current infective governance or by having someone like Marcos come into power and get people to respect the rule of law as a jumpstart?

  2. I’m half expecting a few “advocates” to come barging in here and insisting that their three-headed “star” monster IS the only way that the framework stated above will get implemented.

    1. I think you’re referring to the Philippine flag with an open fly, which I last saw as a logo on the shirt of a bald has been performance artiste.

  3. Commenting on the first step in the frame work: Build an environment of trust.

    What is the first thing the Filipino may think of at a situation regarding trust? “He might hoodwink me… I’ll out hoodwink him first.” In other words, instead of trusting, he is the first one to do the betrayal of trust! That’s a big problem.

    We should all stop planting mistrust at once, and first foster trust by doing things right ourselves. Remember the procedure: assume innocence before proving someone guilty.

    1. Jaime Licauco in an Inquirer article dated 22 May 2001 wrote: “A nation whose policies and rules are based on the assumption that everybody is a cheat and liar unless proven otherwise cannot long endure. Take a close look at our bureaucracy and its rules. It is burdened by elaborate and often unnecessary checks and balances so that nothing ever gets done in the process.”

      The solution is obvious: Our best approach to combating corruption lies in creating an environment where mutual trust can take root. And a good starting point is to create fair, simple, and transparent governance frameworks where accountability rules; not controls.

      “In Japan there are very few lawyers and the codes are mostly unwritten, but they are binding, nonetheless.”
      – Greg Sheridan, Asian Values Western Dreams

      1. Just a few minutes ago, I came across a meme that said “Integrity is basing one’s decision on values rather than personal gain.”

        In other words, doing something because you know it is the right thing to do.

  4. Yes, very good. Yes, the truth is told. OK, now what do we do? We know: The leaders of the country are CRIMINALS and are stealing EVERYTHING that is not nailed down. How can this be stopped? How does anyone even begin to start a MAJOR industrial concept from start to finish,i.e.a Filipino AUTOMOBILE?
    Good question, huh? the Japanese did it after WW2, so what up w/the 7,000 island archipelago that has more natural resources to offer than Japan? why has nothing happened along the lines of greatness in the country that has so much to offer???
    IT IS SIMPLE, it has all been STOLEN!!! YES ,that is correct. 50% of everything that could have been produced in the country in the last 60 yrs. HAS BEEN STOLEN!!! Until this is STOPPED DEAD IN ITS TRACKS, BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY, NOT A SINGLE THING WILL CHANGE! so do not blame anyone but your fellow countrymen when, in 5 short years, the same SCUMBAGS are running the country and ROBBING the people bling ,and NOTHING IS CHANGED!!!GUARANTEED, if something is not done NOW, you will continue have more of what you have NOW! NOTHING!!!
    YOU ALL KNOW WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE, so fuckin do it!

  5. As you have illustrated, the three legs of your solution are interconnected, especially as you drill down. It really is a complex undertaking.

    How does Average IQ fit in to this?

    Hong Kong 107
    S Korea 106
    Japan 105
    Tiawan 104
    Singapore 100
    China 100
    Malaysia 92
    Thailand 91
    Indonesia 89
    Philippines 86

    1. Just looking at our terrible corrupt public school system. I’m not surprised. Is it just me and my tinfoil hat but it seems our government seem to be intentionally dumbing down our school system by not reforming the huge corruption going on our public education system?

      They are implementing expensive programs like K+12 (that we will end up paying for) but fail to address more core problems like giving kids enough textbooks, chairs, and fixing run down classrooms.

      I have a suggestion to, can you guys do a series of articles that tackle the abysmal education system we have here?

      For over 20 years I have sponsored over 27 disadvantaged children in different public schools and believe me corruption from above has infected even the teachers and educators of many public schools from Principal to teachers.

        1. Filipinos happiest in the world daw.

          Happiness kasi in denial sa kung ano talaga nangyayari sa buhay nila. 😛

  6. “that show no evidence of logical rigour”

    You want logical consistency? Good.

    What if I tell you that the whole current field of human-defined formal logic is illogical by its own standards? Would that dampen your belief system? Perhaps not. But it would temper your usage of the term “logical rigour.”

    The whole logic of current thought is a set of inconsistent theories and contradictory axioms whose logical proofs only appear valid within a certain set of parameters and are logically inconsistent and error-filled when stretched and extrapolated. That alone should alarm you and would enlighten you why most human systems, language, philosophy, counting and politics (historically, until now) are as chaotic and miserable as it were, only dressed in a different costume but still stinking underneath.

    Logical rigour, as you put it, has not yet been established.

  7. “has withstood the test of time”

    Nobody believes in that anymore. Almost all models have been surpassed, rendered obsolete, supervened or have failed nations terribly.

    A cursory observation of countries and their political systems, then and now, would tell you, nobody really was a purist; nobody really followed a certain precept to the letter. We had to make adjustments here and there, or we had to scrap entire political beliefs altogether because it simply is causing too much trouble on society.

    “Tried and tested by Time” is being challenged, because it appears, no matter what we do, ultimately Time, that ancient titan, destroys it all.

  8. Just thinking about your idea of “right philosophy”…don’t you see any threat to personal liberty and responsibility in developing such “collective state of mind”? How about reducing the power of the govt. and saying “no” to central planning? …Dr. John V. C. Nye, summarized the PH problem in one sentence in his lecture to BSP last 011411 as having “less to do with macroeconomic or fiscal stability but with a badly distorted micro-economic price situation, poor and unreliable property rights and contracting, a stiflingly legalistic bureaucracy, a slew of policies and institutional constraints that are anti-investment and anti-competitive, and a political economy that favors the worst mix of populism, elite rent-seeking, and high-minded but unproductive nationalism” (p.13)…Though I do not agree with his assessment of US QE, he believes that PH situation is not at all hopeless. He claims that it is not yet too late to benefit from what is happening right now in global economy and that the real issue lies in reforming “micro-economic policies to make investment more competitive.” (p.8). He thinks that in order to maximize the benefit of what’s going on, PH must act faster than its neighboring countries in reforming its regulations if it does not want to be ignored by foreign investors due to the existence of better options. However, investors must be given the assurance that the changes in policies will stay and remain consistent in the future. If these conditions are not met, he said, our country will once again “look back in a few decades at another set of missed opportunities as the gap with our Asian cousin further widens” (ibid.).

    1. Perhaps there is some threat to personal liberty and responsibility in espousing a ‘collective state of mind’. But we can also easily with the benefit of hindsight that a granting of the power to freely express as individuals did little to transform Filipinos into original and independent thinkers. Indeed, you see Filipinos today — many using the latest social media technologies — moving in those all-too-familiar herds as they express their “high-minded but unproductive nationalism”, each one of them thinking they are exercising their individual rights to voice their opinion, yet failing to notice that they simply parrot taglines and slogans fed to them by the usual and very same opinion shapers.

      As to becoming competitive? Well, recent events have shown that ultimately, it is still the capacity to produce stuff that markets want that separates the men from the boys in the global economy. You need an aptitude for innovation, originality, and operational excellence to build the capital base needed to compete at that level. Instead, the Philippines focused on developing labour-intensive industries rather than capital-intensive ones and, as such, will remain imprisoned in the small-time endeavour of competing on price rather than on true product and service added-value.

      1. Can we really escape opinion shapers? I think going for collective mindset is heading towards similar direction. To me, it is a matter of which kind of opinion shaper? It boils down between those who advocate for liberty or bigger govt…Isn’t the govt big enough? And aren’t the existing economic policies not enough? Will protectionist measures really safeguard the domestic economy from the big players? Or will it lead to local monopoly?

      2. You have a point, as I have observed this a lot of times unfortunately. Correct me if I’m wrong, but you mentioned in the past that we as a people have a dysfunctional culture. Allow me to play devil’s advocate here, as this is the question I’ve always wanted to ask you: is there really an example of an entire nation which transformed through changing its entire culture? Is it really doable for us?

    1. What an unusual source ha! I have no problem with nationalism, but I think most Filipinos fail to distinguish between two kinds of nationalism. Don’t ever forget that history taught us that nationalism of a wrong kind can be used as a tool for totalitarianism.

  9. I havent even finished reading the whole write up and I already decided this is a very good concept. The question is, have you submitted this to the pertinent authorities. I dont think they can disregard something like this. What was their comment?

  10. No question about it, the concept is very good. But I have one major disagreement with a certain detail, the matter of ‘”Fully establish the use of English”‘ This aspect presumed that English is the most efficient form of communication.I strongly disagree. To me, the most efficient would be Taglish. I dont know how if there is a way for us to really find out what really is the best language to use. I have seen Filipino talents wasted and not recognised simply because the the person is not that good in English. Even among the so-called well educated including lawyers and teachers, you can see the differences in their effectivity when using pure English or Pure Tagalog compared to Taglish. The Corona impeachment proceedings is one proof of that. I am UP educated and at my age, I can safely say I belong to the so-called intelligentsia yet I cant honestly say to myself I am that good in English. Id safely say that at least 50% of College graduates in the Phils. are so poor in English proficiency that I personally would not even consider them as at par in English even if they say they are only HS grads. That last sentence I made took me so long to finalize, edited maybe a dozen times before I was finally done. And still Im not sure if I made myself well understood. That is how difficult English is to me and in case you do not know, I have been living in Australia for more than 20 years.
    Also, establishing full use of English (only I presume)would only serve to polarise more the effect of language. Inconsistent with the goals of your concept. take note that one factor in PNoys popularity is his extensive use of Tagalog to the point that he is being criticized by the intelligentsia. (Take note, I had to google if I spelt criticized correctly). It would have been a lot easier for me had I written this post in Tagalog but I had the feeling you guys might just ignore me if I do. (do or did-will someone pls. confirm the right grammar)

  11. The solution is simple really, if you think about it.
    How do we usually prevent pests, diseases, tumors from spreading?
    Food for thought.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.