If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got
Master of your Ship
I often receive Facebook messages from Filipinas who want a spell or advice on how to get their husbands or boyfriends back. I don’t know a thing about gayuma or whatever, I leave that to writers who study this niche but I do answer these ladies with what they don’t expect to hear and my answers are usually similar but with different words or train of thought. I tell them that they need to be strong and conquer the world by themselves. If they find someone who wishes to partner with them, that’s cool…just don’t be dependent on this person. You are the master of your ship. No one else. Just you.
Dear Filipinos, the Philippines is not the master of their ship.
President Duterte may take strong stances against other nations or threaten other world leaders who he believes degrade this wonderful country but his words become hollow once he appears happily next to world leaders who invest or loan money to the Philippines with ulterior motives. Motives that are not beneficial to Filipinos or the country. I immediately wish to note that this is definitely not an anti-President Duterte article; what is stated below is a snapshot of the last forty years.
I am not going to rattle off monetary figures for investments or loans. When it comes to the Philippines, the numbers are extremely high so any nationalistic pride you have that is devoted to economic independence should take a steep nosedive at this point. Ask yourself the following:
Why do Japan and China invest or loan so much money into the Philippines? Why would they do this and how do they benefit?
In the case of Japan, they get access to natural resources. Japan is a country that has very few metal resources to draw from and have a heavy dependence on foreign nations to supply them with what they need to continue growth or at the very least, remain “stable”. By investing in foreign economies (nations that they consider third world), they request access to mining and other natural resources not available in Japan. This is why, in simple terms, Japan invests in the Philippines. It is pure exploitation, hidden from the general public and involving several media spin doctors, smiling leaders and backdoor deals based on the poorer nations need to grow and/or continue daily survival. It should be noted here that Japan also has many different projects involving real estate but for the most part, natural resources top the list.
China is a very different story. Yes, they do request access to some resources but China is not natural resource poor, like Japan. When it comes to investments, Japan could be compared to a bank where Philippines natural resources are interest rate payments. China would not be a bank. China is the mafia. They want their interest payments but their interest rates are very high and once you miss a payment, your options become extremely limited. The Chinese have invested a great deal of money into the Philippines in the last five years and this has benefitted President Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” initiative. The plan has many good intentions but although these investments sound great for Filipinos, the truth is quite the contrary.
China is depending on the Philippines to fail the debt repayment. Once this happens, other equity deals need to be created and this is where the China Sea disputes will be resolved in favor of China. China’s loans to countries around the world has been an almost evil execution of tyranny upon distressed countries. The Chinese government is well aware that most of the countries they loan money to are heavily in debt and will eventually fail to make their payments. This political maneuver – perfected by China through their Belt and Road initiative – is called debt-trap diplomacy.
In 2017, when Sri Lanka couldn’t repay their debt, China took over two strategic ports, giving the Chinese free access and to some degree, control to that countries imports and exports. The same has happened to Djibouti, in Africa. They too have ceded a key port to the Chinese. Eight other countries are now in the same position and much secrecy has clouded what repayment will look like. The Belt and Road program created by China has succeeded for one country and only one country…China. It was a ruse from the beginning and countries who fell into the Chinese economic/infrastructure mirage are now paying heavily for their desperation.
The other entirely frustrating piece to the Belt and Road program is that once China invests or loans money for infrastructure projects, they insist on hiring Chinese nationals to perform many of the jobs. The hope or intent to increase employment opportunities by the loan country is crushed.
Does this sound familiar? POGO, bridges and natural resources? It’s a ruse. The whole Chinese program is based on future annexation of land and resources and the Philippines is presently in the eye of the Chinese annexation storm. This is not a conspiracy theory; it is happening right now.
Covid19 has taken many innocent lives but it has also been a disaster for the global economy and the Philippines is suffering because of it. Once lockdowns are removed, many Filipinos will have no jobs to return to. Rents will not be paid and retail outlets will struggle to sell products that were once easy sales. Taxes won’t be paid and government coffers will greatly decrease thus making debt repayments near impossible. Do you see where I’m going here? How will the Philippines government settle with China?
Don’t Be Ashamed to be Nationalistic, the Globalist Economy has Failed You: Filipino First
Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden recently stated that “America first means America alone”. This is another of a long string of unintelligible remarks by Biden and could not be further from the truth and Donald Trump, of all people, has proved this. The reshaping of the American economy (pre-Covid19) has created millions of jobs and brought nation leaders to Washington with a fervor never experienced before. The American economy is once again the very best that best can be. The Americans are not even close to being alone, in fact, almost every nation in the world wants to be included in the U.S. economic explosion. The nationalistic America First campaign has meant prosperity for Americans so why has this obvious, in your face message, not resonated with Filipinos as it has with almost every European country?
Why are Filipinos still buying products made in a country that wants to annex your islands in the China Sea and steal your natural resources? It makes no sense. I read so many rants on Twitter when a Filipino fishing boat was crushed by a Chinese boat who then left the Filipinos alone in the water, fighting for their lives. Filipinos across the nation were furious and wanted Duterte to retaliate but it was quickly forgotten and Huawei phones flew off the shelf in the local malls as they normally do. All talk no action.
You want to retaliate?
Stop buying products made in China! Buy Filipino products. How can you not see what is staring you in the face? Continue on this path of buying foreign goods and your not-so-distant future will be very, very grim. There is a bizarre mentality in the Philippines that says you’re not cool unless you own foreign products. I think otherwise. I think you’re a sell-out and a narcissist who has no benefit to the future of this country. Lose the vanity…buy local goods and if Lazada or whomever is not highlighting Filipino products… force them to change their retail strategies. Call them out by using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Tik-Tok, whatever you please, but force them to highlight Filipino products. If there is no Filipino merchandise in a specific description, have Lazada show that and maybe an enterprising Filipino will answer the call and manufacture this product. Filipino First.
- It is time for the Federal Government to consider taxes on all non-food or non-agricultural products not created in the Philippines.
Example: Approximately one in five automobiles sold in the country was made here. That will decrease now that Honda has left and Mitsubishi is rumored to be considering a slow exit. It is time for this country to build their own vehicles. Just look towards Vietnam as an example of how fast this industry can turn around communities once a local company builds cars. The loss of Honda is also an example of how dependence on foreign corporations to prop up your economy is a tightrope walk on a windy day. Eventually, you will depend on a net to save you. Unfortunately, there are no economic nets in the Philippines so you’re screwed.
Build the cars and offer incentives to own them. Filipino First
- Increasing taxes on OFWs and not collecting taxes from Chinese POGOs is stupid but having an economy that relies heavily on OFW remittances is insane.
Overseas Filipino Workers do what they have to do but the concept of a large segment of a nation’s population leaving their families to work in a foreign country is a blight on the Philippines. It is an absolute embarrassment. Study hard to work abroad is no longer an expression, it is a Filipino mantra. Does this not make you ashamed? The only way to stop this is to create local manufacturer’s and businesses.
This should have been done fifteen years ago. Instead of collecting loans to pay for new bridges, use that cash to build government-run, fully transparent and quarterly audited companies (crown corporations) such as automobile manufacturing; steel manufacturing; solar paneling and so on. Use the profits from these new Filipino industries for infrastructure projects and subway extensions instead of borrowing from shadow-hostile countries that only wish to exploit Filipinos and the country. Don’t spend interest-due loan money on projects that have zero revenue potential or return. It’s the height of stupidity.
The theory is that these loans will create jobs that will, in turn, deliver taxes (and tolls on some routes) back to the government and these taxes will pay the interest owed. This is utter nonsense and should never be included in any business development plan but somehow the theory is practiced over and over again by government economists. IT NEVER WORKS. There are too many exterior factors (such as Covid19), especially in a country that is renowned for corruption. To add, and as I mentioned earlier, when China loans money they also demand to hire Chinese nationals instead of Filipino workers so the tax theory essentially becomes null and void and projects quickly become over-expensed. This is a well-known Chinese tactic and it is destroying the countries desperate enough to fall into their trap.
On a side note, business advice for these government-run corporations should come from successful business professionals and not from lawyers and/or economists or elected career politicians. It should also be noted that these government-run companies must have open ledgers for any and all Filipinos to view at any time. This reduces the risk of fraud but also develops a level of trust and pride in Filipino owned manufacturing. It is a winning strategy for any government seeking re-election. Filipino First
Every economic plan the Philippines has tried in the past 40 years has failed, so why are your leaders still following the same tired and loser game plan?
As cliché as this sounds, step out of the box and reinvent your economy. Unless you have a project that will generate income and Filipino jobs, don’t borrow money.
- Build industries or products that are high demand with low supply in the Philippines.
- Build local industries and hire local residents so as to cut down on traffic. Every barangay, without fail, should have at least one manufacturing plant within one mile of the barangay entrance.
- Federal and community leaders should offer major tax incentives to small business owners that hire ten or more employees.
- As a community leader, look for game changing ideas and accept business proposals from enterprising Filipinos. Create monthly meetings to discuss new ideas and finance options for these businesses or inventions. Opening a new 7/11 is not what you’re looking for even though it will create a few jobs.
The Breadbox of Asia
I have discussed this before in other articles and I will mention it again, hopefully to a new audience.
The Philippines is the perfect country for the idea below basically because of its very well-educated agrarian population but also because of its weather. In fact, no other country in the world could pull off this idea as quickly or as efficiently as the Philippines. I believe without hesitation that this project would make the Philippines not only incredibly prosperous, but also the most important country in Asia. In the words famously portrayed in the movie, Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come”
I wish to build vertical farms across the country. I’m not talking about vertical farms in five-story buildings with LED lights; these are a waste of time and energy. I’m proposing single story buildings with a multitude of inexpensive, space saving A-frames that will organically grow almost any vegetable or berry known to mankind twelve months a year with little or no chance of crop loss. I’m proposing an opportunity to feed all of Asia and eventually other countries. Given the present toxicity in underground water supplies as well as lack of farmland in Asian countries, there is a great need for this and only the Philippines has the ability to fulfill this life necessity. Only the Philippines. Filipino First
For more information, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t follow the same path of those who have failed. This is no longer acceptable behavior and has to be stymied at all cost. If you see a news article about Japan, China or whomever wishing to invest in the Philippines, immediately sound the social media alarm and have it stopped. Protect your natural resources and land and waterways.
On an unfortunate note, when writing a document that appears very anti-China, the opportunity for critics to claim racism becomes their first line of attack. I’m not sure how stating facts about one-sided economic plans open to the public can warrant such a claim, but so be it. Fire away.
I’m going to write this one more time and I hope it opens your eyes:
If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got.
Dear Filipinos, it is time to change the narrative. Be strong. You are the master of your ship.
God bless and thanks for reading.