To be an independent country, the Philippines needs to build an independent economy


“No man is an island,” as the old cliché goes. On the back of that “wisdom”, it can be said that the Philippine government’s diplomatic posturings in recent weeks expose its people to the risk of being isolated — starved of the global trade and military umbrella they have grown dependent on for survival.

But, wait, the Philippines is an island! It just happens to be an island “strategically located” in one of the world’s busiest and most vital shipping lanes. It also has, within its territorial waters, a potential energy goldmine that, unfortunately, is also all but fair game to other claimants.

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Just the same, the Philippines is pretty much on its own. Nobody will rescue Filipinos from their own poverty and abject weakness as a nation. Aid in any form, military or financial, merely exacerbates the very cultural traits that caused that poverty and weakness to begin with. And whatever “investments” and economic activity are spawned by foreign trade has, in the case of Filipinos, the unintended consequence of turning Filipinos into mere consumers rather than net producers of stuff.

Are Filipinos entitled to the United States’s (or, for that matter, any foreign power’s) altruistic good graces on account of its need for such? Not likely. Need has a poor record of standing up as strong value proposition to people with money to spare. People who have surplus cash do so because they made shrewd business decisions in the past. Giving that hard-earned cash to people simply because they “need” it is not something one would consider to be a shrewd business decision.

Thus, the Philippines needs to present itself as a sound investment and not just another sad Third World charity case.

To be a sound investment, the Philippines needs to prove that it can yield returns on those investments. For now, its only return on most foreign investment is the ability to provide a big market of warm bodies to (1) consume imported goods by the container load, (2) staff tennis ball factories and casinos on the cheap, and (3) work 24 hours a day answering customer complaints. Aside from being renowned for being big spenders (relative to their monthly paychecks) and patient English-speaking labourers, Filipinos are not really known to be great makers of cool stuff. Tatak Kalabaw is simply no match for Starbucks and Nike and, as such, a consistent failure to launch in the global market.

Filipinos need to abandon the old notion of the “blessedness” of poverty and embrace a more confronting definition of this condition:

Poverty is a habitual entering into commitments one is inherently unable to honour.

In embracing the above definition, we begin to see poverty for what it really is — not an ideological construct of emo activists but a basic resource management issue. Poverty is a symptom rather than the root cause of a society’s most fundamental problem: a lack of inherent ability to convert low-value input into high-value output coupled with a pathetic dependence on the low-value input component of this equation for livelihood.

Despite the Philippines being host to abundant natural resources, and now, an enormous supply of people, the society as a whole lacks a collective ability to apply this enormous number of people to the task of turning these resources into any sort of valuable economic output of consequence. Instead, natural resources are harvested raw and sold raw — mineral ore, logs, overseas foreign workers. Overseas, these then get turned into iPhones, karaoke machines, those shirts with the Philippine islands embroidered onto their left breasts, Honda Civics, Havaianas, and Starbucks tumblers after which they are shipped back to the Philippines to be purchased using OFW cash.

And so any discussion on “solving” Philippine-style poverty should begin with an honest regard for questions derived from key components of my definition:

(1) Why is poverty deeply-entrenched in the Philippines?

(2) Why is poverty hopelessly chronic in the Philippines?

To answer Question 1 requires an effort to understand Filipinos’ habitual behaviours that exacerbate and deepen their impoverishment. To anwer Question 2 requires an effort to understand Filipinos’ inherent lack of collective ability to prosper.

One of the specific issues plaguing the Philippines is its commitment to its enormous population. Why did Filipinos multiply so virulently despite an obvious dependence on foreign technology to sustain these numbers? Much of what enables countries like, say, the Philippines to sustain their enormous populations is underpinned by foreign technology. Agricultural, economic, financial, and health technologies are at work helping the people of the Third World multiply and keep their offspring alive to sexual maturity (thus ensuring that population growth is sustained).

The offspring of people who lack these modern technologies are characterised by a high infant mortality rate — because lack of food and the impact on health this lack brings will kill most children before they reach reproductive age. So in pre-technological societies, population is kept in equilibrium with those societies’ inherent ability to capture energy.

The populations of “modern” Third World countries are not in natural equilibrium with their inherent energy capture capability. Foreign technology is an artificially-introduced variable in the resource management equations of such societies. Third World countries are entirely dependent on foreign technology to boost their energy capture capabilities to “modern” levels. In the Philippines, for example, the very research facility that developed farming technologies to increase the yield of the national staple — rice — is owned and managed by a foreign organisation. The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) has been operating in the Philippines since 1960 and is credited with developing much of the high-yield rice crop varieties that are now cultivated by major rice producers around the world.

The IRRI case , by itself, is ample evidence that foreign influence and even direct intervention in a Third World society does not necessarily rub-off a weatlh creation ethic as a consequence. It raises questions around the whole idea that the Philippines needs America — or China — to prosper. This is because it has become quite evident that what is driving Philippine poverty is not external in nature. What drives Philippine poverty are internal forces. That is;

Philippine poverty originates from within.

Trying to solve a problem created by foreign technology and influence using more foreign technology and more foreign influence is like trying to pay off debt by borrowing more money. It’s a fool’s way of life.

Albert Einstein once said:

You cannot solve a problem using the same thinking that created it.

Foreign capital (of which “technology” as we define it is one form) will not cure the poverty of societies that remain inherently unable to embrace, absorb, and embed, foreign capital to productive (as opposed to consumerist) ends. Living within one’s means involves aspiring to a living standard commensurate with one’s inherent ability to produce economically valuable stuff to sustain that living. The Philippines, like many Third World countries aspire to live to a standard way beyond that inherent ability. And that is why the Third World remains poor despite the First World’s “best efforts”.

57 Replies to “To be an independent country, the Philippines needs to build an independent economy”

  1. We are against ignorance. We feel that you have to educate yourself, no matter what the situation is. People who refuse to educate themselves – people who refuse to find out what something is about, that they’re frightened of – find comfort in being ignorant.

  2. The Philippines cannot develop an independent economy as long as the Chinese (local and foreign, legitimate or illegitimate) monopolize our industries, by bribing their way into our politicians’ pockets. It’s as simple as that.

    1. I dont agree wih you. Firstly, corruption is already inherent in the government. It has nothing to do with the Chinese offering bribes. The government should comedown hard on corruption if it wants to succeed. There’s a chinese proverb that says “if a cow does not want to drink, no matter how hard you try to push it’s head down to drink, it will not drink” So this equates to if one is offered bribe, one should resist no matter what.

      A good example is Singapore. 50 years ago Spore was like the Philippines – corrupt officials, filth and dirt, slum enclaves, poor third world country. But look at it now being transformed into first world country. After gaining independence from Malaysia, the first thing the government did was to come down hard on CORRUPTION!

      1. [Revised]


        Oh Yea? Then explain to me what is the driving force behind graft and corruption in the Philippines, and where do you think our politicians, from all areas and levels of government are getting their money from, so they can “live high on the hog”?

        Then explain to me why the Chinese-Filipino businesses became the riches in the country in the last 30 years, while the Filipino-owned businesses in all the industries—who had been around for a long time before 1986–went out of business and had to resort by any means possible (like become OFWs or other lesser means) just to survive.

        Also, how can the government officials come down hard on corruption when they’re the same ones who are committing them?

        If our government officials’ average civil service salary is only about 30,000 pesos a month, how can they afford to live in multi-million pesos houses, condos, and drive expensive cars, vacation abroad on their meager salary without receiving bribe money from somewhere?

        You know why Singapore is so successful? Because there are no natural resources in that barren and tiny country. It’s multi-ethnic citizens finally foot their foot down and said, “enough is enough! Unless we end corruption once and for all, right here and right now, we will all perish as a nation.”

        I don’t see that happening in the Philippines because the playing is much too wide, the natural resources abound, and “it’s every man for himself” to help himself and survive, regardless of what happens to the nation and its citizens in the long run.

        It really is “More Fun In The Philippines” because everybody can do what he or she wants to do without any care of getting caught or what will happen to the country and the people. It’s all common sense, man.


        1. So in this world, the Filipino-Chinese is a wanton corruptor while the Singaporean-Chinese or Malaysian-Chinese is an upright member of society. I cannot imagine the logical leaps required to arrive at this point in time, nor do I believe that based on these premises it is the Chinese who are at fault.

        2. {Revised]

          Gustaf von Creutz,

          The Singaporean Chinese have no choice but to play by the rules of their multi-ethnicity nation.

          It’s probably the same with the Chinese in other ASEAN countries; they have to abide by the rules of their respective nations. Why do you think a lot of these Chinese businessmen from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, and China come to the Philippines and are partnering up with Chinese-Filipino businesses?

          The law are much more looser in our country and these Chinese can easily get in and out and away with just about anything their money will buy—including smuggling drugs and other contraband into this country and bribing our politicians.

          It’s all common sense, man, but most of us don’t want to accept the fact because it hurts too much to consider. Just look at the high profile drug smugglers in our country; they’re all Chinese nationals—and that’s no coincidence. The Chinese “Bamboo Network” or Chinese Mafia or whatever you want to call it is very much at work in our country.


        3. Correction: we also have Nigerians. Many nationalities are caught up in this drug craze, and unfortunately it is our bad luck to be ground zero.

        4. [Revised]

          Gustaf von Creutz,

          Are you trying to make excuses for the Chinese by the drawing the attention to the Nigerian drug smugglers? These Chinese have literally monopolized all of our industries by bribing our politicians; they are the richest people in the country at the cost of impoverishing our people; and are now being caught in greater number with smuggling drugs and other contraband and destroying our way of life. How much more evidence do you need to prove that the Chinese–legal and illegal–have literally taken over your nation? Are you even a Filipino or Chinese?
          You are making me sick, Traitor!


        5. Funny, really. If we were in Mexico, you’d be saying the same thing about the Americans. In Ukraine, the Russians.

          Philosophical musings aside, I see your problem. It’s basically the inability to accept that we Filipinos have a large role to play in our own destiny. You reduce the Filipino people to being footnotes in a racist “Chinese invasion”, oblivious to the fact that Filipinos can bribe fellow Filipinos, or to the argument you keep making that multicultural countries (that include the Chinese) can and do improve their situation, or to the reality that the drug war is multinational in nature.

          In summary, on one hand you say that the Chinese are to blame for everything. On the other hand, you say that societies like Singapore can become successful even with Chinese citizens. You attribute this paradox to the idea that Filipinos can never be “a self-governing people that will set aside their differences in order to live as one nation”, yet you keep urging us to “do something–together–to make things happen now”.

          What exactly do you believe in, sir? All you’ve given us is a mess of contradictory statements that do not give a clear road map to the progress we want for our society.

          I’m not sure if you’re a closet Chinese supporter with palpable cognitive dissonance or, if I evaluate some of your statements correctly (like The American bases provided political and, to some degree, economic stability in this country), a pro-Manifest Destiny brown American. And at this point, I’m past caring. Show me a good logical fact-based argument or go home.

        6. Gustaf von Creutz,

          Well, we’re not in Mexico, so don’t extrapolate like what you did for the Nigerians. Too many Filipinos, who don’t want to face the harsh truth about their country, are already doing that: use other countries’ problems to downplay their own.

          Filipinos have been convincing themselves for a while now that the problems in their country are as simple as the battle between good versus evil; the rich versus the poor; and the helpless masses versus a corrupt government.

          I hate to burst your bubble, but that is what these mind-numbing “teleserye” programs on television have deliberately taught our people: to see only on what’s on the surface and not what’s below it, which is much more conniving and destructive to the future of this country and the people’s way of life.

          I’m tired of repeating myself to you on how the Chinese have been exploiting our country and people for the past 30 years. Whether you want to believe me or not is not important. What’s important is the message has been conveyed and we’ll just have to wait and see what will happen.


        7. There you go. The blame everything else mentality, except it was not my fault.Another warped illogical thinking of the filipinos. So the Chinese successful businessmen all over the world suceeded by bribing their way! if only business success is so easy. Your arguments are laughable.

          Also, how can the government officials come down hard on corruption when they’re the same ones who are committing them? This is precisely the problem with the Philippines. You need a strong leader, like a Lee Kuan Yew to eradicate corruption. In Singapore they not only have many successful Chinese businessmen, but also Malay and Indian businessmen – all successes due to sheer hardwork and persistence.

        8. marc,

          You’re a real dumbass, you know that? Find us a fucking leader like “Lee Fuck You” in the Philippines and we’ll elect him.

          In the meantime, just shut your trap because you’re too goddamn afraid to lose your Chinese-owned SM malls, high-rise condominiums, and Jollibees for admitting the truth:

          The Chinese–with the help of our oligarch politicians–have destroyed our opportunities to make a living in our own country. Instead, we have to look for jobs overseas as OFWs, settle for low-paid “contractual” jobs in our country, or turn to a life of crime just to survive and patronize these Chinese-owned businesses.

          You motherfucking proud, but equally stupid, Pinoys are the reasons why the Philippines is fucked up. You keep feigning deafness, blindness, and ignorance to what’s going on in your own country so you can keep living the aristocratic lifestyle.

          Fuck you and your over-generalized internet reference to support your weak defense of the Chinese, Traitor and Sellout.



        9. ‘You’re a real dumbass, you know that?’ – Aeta
          ‘…just shut your trap…’ – Aeta
          ‘You motherfucking proud, but equally stupid, Pinoys…’ – Aeta
          ‘Fuck you…’ – Aeta
          I don’t know if any restraint is being exercise in this forum. If there is none, I think we should exercise, if we are really serious in engaging others, self-control in order to not lower the level of the discussion.

        10. Ok. I’ll take this onboard.

          Aeta, could you please tone it down and maintain some level of respect for one another’s views? For now I will have to add you onto our Moderator watch list. Your comments will attract a higher degree of scrutiny from the Moderators than average whilst you are in that list. Thanks.

    2. “The Philippines cannot develop an independent economy as long as the Chinese (local and foreign, legitimate or illegitimate) monopolize our industries, by bribing their way into our politicians’ pockets. It’s as simple as that.” – Aeta
      Can you give a concrete example of what you are alleging?

      I ask that because it’s easy to blame other people but to prove it is a different story. ????

  3. What does it mean to have an independent economy?
    That a country is self-sufficient without any import whatsoever?
    If that is the definition then pls give me an existing country that already has such an economy. Maybe North Korea or maybe Cuba till recently.

  4. What do you mean by an “independent economy”? Because the closest thing to that is North Korea and Mao-era China. Such model must have worked out so well for them, right? 😀

  5. Maybe what he means is to have an economy w/ the resources that we have n apply knowledge in it to use it for the benefit of our people w/o depending on others. But we need the right leaders n lots of money for that. The money? We have lots, its just not been used yet.

    1. Get rid of the Chinese’s monopolizing influence in the country, Apprentice, and you will be able to apply those things you’ve mentioned.

      1. The Chinese people are hardworking and smart. So if the government gives them invitation to bribe them, why not if can get things done fast. In fact it is the chinese business men thats driving the economy of the Philiipines. In the words of Lee Kuan Yew – “whoever governs this country must have the iron in him”. This sums up what the government should do, and not just paying lip service!

        1. marc,

          One wrong answer makes the question wrong. Two wrong answers don’t make the question right. You’ve just circumvented your other comment to me that you don’t believe the Chinese are bribing our Filipino politicians.


        2. marc,

          In the duplicity nature of graft and corruption, does it matter who (the Chinese businesses or Filipino politicians) initiated the bribery? In other words, you can call “shit” human excrement, stool, or fecal matter, and it will still look, feel, and smell like “shit.” If you don’t believe me, try tasting it.


    1. Of course, so what we should do is unite n do nation building w/ what we have n correct our dysfunctional attitude. Attract foreign investments too yes? But first solve the root problem

        1. yes. population control via RH Bill. less population means leaner workforce, our internal resources (food, rice) can be supplied to all filipinos instead of us importing from other ASEAN countries. a pinoy farmer grows the crops sells it to a filipino consumer. pinoy buys pinoy product – internal economy is strengthened.

  6. Before the PI can be a sound investment, it must invest in education over the latest platforms in technology. And I’m not talking about learning to use WordPress. I’m talking about building the next thing online.

    Such a thing though is waaaay beyond what most Filipinos are used to doing – copying everything.

    At least if they’re copying why not copy something like Square or Magento? Why not go open source? No overhead, no products to sell, just good online services. There’s a ton of niches out there that still need competition!

  7. take the title of this article and add:”AND THAT WILL TAKE 50 YEARS”….and you will have an accurate assessment of the economic situation in the Republico De Pilipinas.

    The country is a basket case that has fallen so far down the ladders rungs that it is now in competition for poorest country/per capita in S E Asia.

    There is little to no manufacturing, the banking system is dependent on foreign investment which could be a lot more if ownership was offered to foreigners but that will NEVER happen.The Philippines is its own worst enemy and its a good thing it doesn’t really have an enemies close by as they have no army to defend themselves with.

    The country MUST start somehwhere and confiscating the plundered wealth by the Political Class (starting with the Marcos AND Aquino families followed by the Estrada’s, Enrile’s & Arroyo’s and then the Oligarchs:SY, TAN and the rest) and spending it on PUBLIC WORKS PROJECTS would be a great place to start INSTEAD of taking predatory loans from the likes of the IMF and World Bank to fund said projects.

  8. it is the yellow dynasty’s communistic rules in their laws which drive the Philippines into poverty. building up their own heroes, there’s only 3 heroes so far in Philippine history, jose rizal, marcos, and duterte. they’re all fighting for the welfare of their Motherland the Philippines, the beloved Pearl of the Orient. the rest are all revolutionist to grab power for their own interest. AMEN!

    1. @ YT, I’m t gonna argue about Marcos right now, I do not have the time, BUT DUTERTE IS NOT A HERO, YET. He may very well be one day(somehow I doubt that!) BUT so far? NO WAY, HOSEAY, Duterte has only done one thing, and that could be conctrued as state sanctioned or possibly state complicit murder of street level drug dealers, and those, ARE NOT THE ACTIONS OF A HERO.and you cant count cursing either.

  9. Nothing can solve the problems of the Filipinos; except themselves…no kind of foreign intervention; foreign help; or foreign charities…

    It is in our mindsets…we have stupid thinking…that degenerated to stinking thinking…when the Aquinos and the YellowTard Media made us dumb and dumber.

    If we can change our mindsets; and believe in ourselves…that we are capable of solving these present problems, without outside help. Then, that will be the day, we are really capable and independent.

    I know, it is very hard to remove, what those colonizers had placed into our minds…it will take time. However, let us begin with ourselves !

    Cleaning our country of all its evils is a good start…next, is cleaning and putting right our mindsets, because, whatever we think, that is what we become !

    That YellowTard thinking is a stinking thinking ! Discard all of that idiotic thinking !

    You can see in this GRP blogs, those people who promote foreigner’s agendas…they discourage us to have confidence in ourselves …

    1. clean the street in front of your home, for starters,how bout that? do it on a regular basis too.encourage others not to litter, its not a lot, but ya gotta start somewhere,yes?

  10. The thing is, humans tend to produce what they intend to consume. And what have Filipinos been producing not only in economic terms but also culturally? The only thing driving its economy now is exported human capital. If we look at other past evolving societies, they had the creative capacity to be self sufficient with the intention of helping to uplift other civilizations. Their drive to progress was based on innate virtues and not by external rewards or compensation. Put simply, we’re ineffectively drawing and directing our energies on the wrong things. The path to independence involves a desire which translates into actions that literally lead to inclusive growth-a concept that really needs to be digested, not just chewed on.

    1. The only thing that Filipinos are able to produce economically is provide a culturally-deprived (for lack of love and preservation of their own), cheap source of labor for other countries. Any more than that is uncharacteristically Filipino.

  11. I don’t mind exporting labor or ‘human capital’. There is a demand for it and we can supply, so what’s the problem?

    This game of comparison where we are being compared with other countries that have different qualities in terms of economic, political and military stature is just unfair.

    If we’re going to make a comparison, take a country that lies in the middle of an ocean, having the same geographic limitations, historical background, political structure, economic being and military ‘strength’ and then we can talk.

  12. President Duterte is right in saying the US soldiers have to leave. Their armed forces are not even effective in ending the wars in the middle east. They have no business being in the PH. Their covert policy is to fund both sides of the war, create false pre-texts, and sabotage real efforts in resolving conflicts. It’s time we cozy up to other more capable, GENUINE potential allies.

  13. To be an independent country, we don’t just need an independent economy, we need an independent military. We cannot forever be dependent on the US for our defense. President Duterte is starting to break this dependence and it is natural that the US would be unhappy because it means they lose control.

    Superpowers maintain control by creating a co-dependent relationship. For instance, before the US “granted” independence to the Philippines after WW II, they made sure to bind the Philippine economy tightly to theirs so it could not survive on its own. No local industries were developed during the colonial period so the Philippines would have to keep importing finished goods from the US.

    Becoming more independent does not mean becoming an enemy of the US. It just means building more alliances with other countries so we’re not too dependent on one. Problema sa US, masyadong selosa. Nasanay na sino-solo ang Pilipinas. Problema naman sa ibang pinoy, masyadong starstruck sa ‘kano, hindi maka-let go. Pero tama ang ginagawa ni Duterte, kailangan marami tayong kaalyado—Russia, China, Japan, etc.—in addition to America. Para hindi tayo gawing kaladkarin ng isa.

    Problema lang kay Duterte, laging golpe de gulat ang ginagawa niya, in public pa. He should have talked to diplomats and defense officials on both the US and Philippine sides first before publicly stating that he doesn’t want American troops in Mindanao.

    This was actually quite a rational decision, but as usual, his spokespersons could not articulate the reasons properly. The AFP said that there are actually only just a handful of American military personnel left in Mindanao (about 100). Now, if the Abu Sayyaf tries to go after them because they are high-value kidnapping targets, dadagdag pa sila sa sakit ng ulo ng AFP. I think our constitution forbids foreign troops from engaging in battle in Philippine soil, so talagang magulo yan if the Abu Sayyaf decides to go after the Americans.

    But of course, neither the local yellow media nor the international media bothered to dig deeper and understand the logic behind Duterte’s statement. Nagwala na kaagad. In a way, I don’t blame them, kasi magulo talaga si Duterte magsalita, pabigla-bigla pa. But this is why his communications team really needs to be on their toes. I’m sure Martin Andanar and Ernie Abella are working very hard and making huge sacrifices. But they really need to add an experienced analyst/strategist to their team because understanding and explaining these complex issues is not their forte.

    1. Yes, I would like to hear sir beningn0’s take on this. Should we start buying advanced weapon systems and building our own military assets instead of purchasing secondhand shit from the US? Can we afford to ramp up military expenditure as a developing country?

      1. Why would you give advanced weapon systems to people with primitive minds and will impulsively use them to terrorize each other? That is so stupid.

        1. the military are handling that for sure. not all filipino soldiers are barbarians. we already have the right leader so, that’s that po

    2. I doubt you could get an “independent” (wait, that doesn’t sound like the right word) military, you need an independent economy. You can’t decide what you want to buy if someone else wants to dictate it for you.

  14. An independent economy. That’s what we should be. But the vested interests (I would call out the Yellow-associated ones, most of all) that have long been controlling things behind our nation do not like that. They prefer that we remain a captive economy. One dependent on other nations.

    First, we have a general difficulty in getting jobs or setting up a business in this country. That makes some Filipinos go abroad for jobs as OFWs. Then they become the ATMs who send money to families who become dependent. Even adult members will choose to remain dependent and not take jobs. They are then bombarded with advertising and marketing that tells them, if they don’t have the latest or trendiest products, they will be treated like trash. Philippine culture encourages shaming and putting down other people, and this is used in marketing products. The people selling the products would even like it that the breadwinner is abroad, since they are not physically there to prevent their family members from spending impulsively.

    If you assume that money stays in the country, guess again; a lot of products have something like royalties that go back to the headquarters abroad. In other words, the money goes back abroad. And there are import products. Even things like food get imported. That’s why it seems to me that support for our farming industries and similar have been gradually dwindling: the importers of our country want it that way. They prefer that they country not be self-sufficient on food and other basic things so they can profit more from it. They prefer that Filipinos work either abroad or in BPO-related (jobs that won’t produce basic goods for ourselves) so that they become consumers. They just buy things without really producing stuff. As said, we are primarily a consumption-based economy. Some say it is good, but I say it isn’t. They want you to just be a good, obedient consumer, but that’s exactly what keeps us backward.

    A lot of Filipino people are poor, and this means standards are low. It’s as if there is a deliberate effort to keep Filipinos poor, or make the can-afford ones poorer. Especially on salaries. Since they’re low, the bigger business sector can maximize profits. The poorer people, when employed, are either underemployed or are really paid low that it’s not enough for their needs. This makes sure the class divide remains. Or is even widened. Economic development is discouraged. It’s done to maintain the master-servant class structure of Philippine society, which is our actual heritage and identity. We middle class are deceived to believe that we can be masters, having maids, drivers and all. But that’s what lulls us into consumer-frenzied idiocy.

    That’s our economy in a nutshell. According to me, of course. I however believe this to be a fair assessment.

    1. ChinoF: I agree with your general observations, but not the interpretation.

      In other words, the money goes back abroad.

      Of course it does. It must. It seems to be that Filipinos, despite being obsessed with money, fundamentally don’t understand how it works. If you have an OFW abroad earning dollars, and he sends those dollars to the Philippines, somebody must buy those dollars for pesos. Who is going to buy dollars? Banks and traders. What are they going to do with those dollars? Well, at some point, they must buy goods denominated in US dollars: the money must go back to the US, where it was issued. That means US imports, or US bonds. Here are the numbers:

      Select “MAX” and just take a look at that. The Philippines hasn’t had a healthy trade balance since 1969.

      Now, who buys US imports or collects interest on US bonds? Rich people. Thus all those poor people accepting US dollars from their OFW compatriots are participating in their own oppression.

      That’s why it seems to me that support for our farming industries and similar have been gradually dwindling: the importers of our country want it that way.

      That they do, but again, the Filipino is his own worst enemy. I’ve seen first-hand how farmers are manipulated by government agencies. Their trust in the government is touching. They genuinely believe the State wants to help them. If I told them the State would prefer that they all just drop dead, they’d probably have me quietly shot.

      I just had a long conversation with gnogid about how rural families might help themselves, instead of waiting for some scraps thrown down from the rich man’s table.

      I think we got there in the end, but there was an awful lot of “How dare you tell farmers to learn some farming skills?”.

      This attitude runs all through society, and it’s the reason the country doesn’t produce anything. With a few rare exceptions (I’ve met a couple of world-class craftsmen) nobody knows their job, and they have no interest in learning. I’ve met carpenters and plumbers who turn up with no tools, Lawyers who don’t know how to write a contract, metal fabricators who don’t understand basic metallurgy … the list goes on.

      As I said before, my most fervent hope is that Filipino parents stop filling their kids’ heads with nonsense, and if they ask a question, tell them: there’s my cellphone. Google it, then tell me what you found out.

    2. ChinoF,
      I read your entire comment but it really beats me what you want. What kind of Utopia do you want for the Philippines (as country, economy, population)?

      * First, we have a general difficulty in getting jobs.

      Obviously, because you have more people than that there are jobs available (same as in my country).

      * setting up a business in this country.

      Setting up a business – in my country – means that you have to meet a lot of criteria/requirements (fire/escape safety; environmental rules, sanitation, personell). If you dont meet them all, you dont get a permit to start any business.

      * They are then bombarded with advertising and marketing that tells them, if they don’t have the latest or trendiest products.

      Same happens here with the latest cell phones, latest TV (smart full HD TV).

      * If you assume that money stays in the country, guess again.

      Profits (after corporate tax being paid) goes to all the share holders; another part of the profits is invested back in the company (research, development into new products or making current products better. Without re-investing into the company, the company will go bust).

      * And there are import products.

      Thank god there are import(ed) products/goods. Philips TV sets are more expensive than any other foreign (read: Japan or Korean) TVs. Same applies to audio sets (amplifier, tuner, DVD player, Blu Ray player).

      * A lot of Filipino people are poor, and this means standards are low.

      This is also correct for Dutch poor people.

      So again, what do you want? What is your Utopia?

      1. It’s not a utopia, but I’ll just use simple words: move from a consumption-based economy to a producing economy. That’s an independent one. One whose majority does not bring home money just to buy the latest goods without saving or investing. One whose spending habits or economic policies are not dictated by foreign agencies, but rather agreed upon, because it seems the consumption-based economy was dictated and in effect forced on us.

        1. But that is not how the world works ChinoF.

          You have to have the products that the world wants. You have to compete and maintain what it takes to be a credible competitor. I’m afraid we’re not even as close to that yet. The dictation part, it’s beyond our control. We’re no major players in the economic stage. We are not in the position to impose our voice and exert influence to change the balance in economic equation. No. We’re still ordinary soldiers in the world where behemoths, like US, China, Japan, Europe and other advance countries, rule. They get to have the say where the direction of the worlds is going be and all we can do is go along or perish.

        2. ChinoF,
          producing economy => producing what and for who?
          Are you producing for B2B (business to business) or for B2C (business to consumers)or both?
          In the former its called an investment; for the latter its called consuming.

          What do you want to produce? The entire PH population working in filty conditions in a factory or working in the Agricultural environment.

          Come on, ChinoF, in the west we are doing everything by robots (well almost everything).
          Pls dont try to invent the wheel again. Already done that.

          Why not try to start a knowledge-economy? Sell knowledge. Sell how to minimize the effects of a typhoon on a country; sell how to avoid any effect of typhoons.

        3. Chino,
          any and every economy is based on:
          C + I + G + E – X.

          C = consumer spending
          I = (corporate/business) investment
          G = government spending
          E = export
          X = import

          A government has only little influence on those 4 other factors/variables.

          When a government lowers the rate of income tax, it means my spendable income will increase. But when my trust in my own job is not on par (and/or in the economy is low), I will not spend that extra money. Instead, I will deposit that extra money in my savings account.

          Now that exra money in my savings account will be used to lend to businesses (by the banks) with which they can do new investments (also depends on the interest rate).

          If those businesses are also not sure about the near future of the economy they will not use that money to invest.

          So the economy comes to a full stop. Result, people (workers) will get laid off.

        4. Well, Filipinos can try being productive atleast in the basic stuff first. And sufficient enough so as not to rely on international aid for food and basic needs. Now, energy is a requirement for a productive economy. That’s basic. It’s the third key element in the production-consumption /demand-supply concept. It’s time we get out from a closed-system economy.

        5. I just believe it’s possible to oppose in some way how the world works and win. Filipino society is only convinced to be a captive market. We need to overcome this mentality and stop being captive-minded. We may not be able to do it now, but perhaps it’s a goal to look toward to in the future. At least to make the OFW sector a sunset field, for one. And what Klara says, that’s more realistic.

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