Why Hong Kong, U.S., and Other Freer Economies Can Justifiably Ban/Restrict Free-Riding RP in the Name of Reciprocity

PHILIPPINES-FREERIDER

A number of Filipino netizens felt strongly offended over a reported “racist” plan of a marginalized, little known political party in Hong Kong to pass a bill that seeks to ban Filipino domestic helpers from working there, in order to compel Philippine President B.S. Aquino to sincerely apologize for the 2010 Manila hostage crisis that exposed the incompetence of our national police and public officials.

Some of these passionate pinoy social network users, who didn’t even bother to get the whole facts of the story, called Hong Kong “racist” and angrily demanded that we also ban Hong Kong and Chinese nationals in the Philippines.

One Filipino Facebook user even posted the following emotional comment on this Facebook group: “Should we start rounding up illegal Chinese at Divisoria and Binondo? Ang dami nla dun nagtitinda di naman marunong mag tagalog at sila pa mainit ang mga ulo (A lot of them sell goods there and they can’t even speak Tagalog and are ill-tempered).”

Another Facebook user said: “Dapat lang ipatupad ang batas. Huliin ang mga illegal Chinese at ipa-deport. Sila ang nakikinabang hindi ang mga tunay nating kababayan (We should implement the law. Illegal Chinese should be arrested and deported. They’re the ones who get benefits, not our fellow citizens).”

I think someone should inform these misguided people that Hong Kong is also fighting for its independence from Mainland China, and not to confuse Hong Kong nationals with Chinese mainlanders.

The thing is, if these Filipino netizens were patient and keen enough to read and know the content of the news report, they would have known that majority of Hong Kong citizens did not support– and even ridiculed– the plan. In fact, Hong Kong’s The Standard reported that “no political party is willing to second (the) motion to ban Filipinos from Hong Kong – and even relatives of the Manila hostage victims have rejected the idea.”

I say, kudos to the civilized, active-minded people of Hong Kong for being rational and for embodying the ‘free market principles’ of their own government. Educated and intelligent Filipinos should find it ironic that this “discrimination” issue rather exposed a collective or group that is actually guilty of “racism” and ethnocentrism. It’s none other than the Filipino people.

This reminds me of a proud Filipino “lawyer” named Severo Brillantes who strongly advocates protectionism and who probably thinks we’re as economically free and open as Hong Kong or Singapore. 

In our heated online discussion, Brillantes argued (emphasis mine):

The Philippines failed to industrialize precisely because we have not adopted protectionist policies which would have allowed our industries to grow and to develop. Your parity rights precisely and decontrol policies imposed by the US have kept us agricultural; kept us the dumping ground of foreign made finished products while we merely export raw materials. That precisely explains why our balance of trade is always a deficit. By reason of our failure to industrialize, we do not have enough jobs for our citizens. Our economy save for a few constitutional provisions is not protectionist and out and out free market.”

I believe this man is one of the biggest proof why majority of Filipinos are economically, and even legally, ignorant. It’s either this so-called “lawyer” wants the Philippines to be the next North Korea in Asia, or he simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about. By the way, the US-RP parity rights agreement expired in 1974, which indeed proves he doesn’t know the law.

BLOG-PIC1

Unknown to millions or even majority of Filipinos, the country’s laws and economic policies are some of the most “racist”, ethnocentric, jinguist and close-minded in Asia.  Also, there’s no need for the Philippines to punish Hong Kong for trying to exercise its right to sovereignty and self-determination, because we’ve banned foreign professionals and strictly limited foreign investors and businesses here a long, long time ago.

Now here are some important facts Filipinos and foreigners need to know:

In 1986, the Cory Aquino regime renewed our system of government by enacting the 1987 Constitution that retains the country’s 60-40 protectionist laws and continues to increase the size of our bloated Welfare State. Some of our retained protectionist policies include:

  • the ban on foreigners from owning lands
  • the 60-40 ownership arrangement favoring Filipinos
  • the ban on foreign professionals from practicing their respective professions in the country
  • the ban on foreign investors to join our media industry
  • Other restrictions (negative list) in our foreign investment laws

Filipinos need to know that Hong Kong is the most open-minded and the freest economy on this planet. In terms of economic freedom, Hong Kong has been ranked No. 1 this year by the Heritage Foundation. This international economic think tank defines economic freedom as “the condition in which individuals can act with autonomy while in the pursuit of their economic livelihood and greater prosperity.”

Free market intellectual Friedrich A. Hayek defines it as “the prerequisite of any other freedom cannot be the freedom from economic care which the socialists promise us and which can be obtained only by relieving the individual at the same time of the necessity and of the power of choice: it must be the freedom of economic activity which, with the right of choice, inevitably also carries the risk and the responsibility of that right.”

In terms of ease of doing business, Hong Kong has been ranked No. 2 behind Singapore, which means that starting a business in this tiny sub-state that became Asia’s economic Tiger despite lacking rich natural resource, is just a piece of cake. Depending on the type of business, any entrepreneurial foreigner can put up his own business in just a matter of days. Because of less business regulations imposed on entrepreneurs, Hong Kong is one of the least corrupt nations in the world. Less bureaucratic gridlock and intervention in the economy means less red tape, less bribery, and less cases of corruption.

In the Philippines, cases and incidents of bribery, extortion and corruption are rampant because multinational companies seeking to do business and create jobs for Filipinos are required to go through bureaucratic regulations, to partner with the government or Filipino cronies, and to deal with some bureaucrats if they want to expedite the process. This interventionist-protectionist economic climate in the country is one of the main reasons why a CEO of a Czech railway firm Inekon Group is accusing MRT officials and certain public personalities of bribery or extortion. In other words, our protectionist, red-tape-riddled system creates opportunities for our corrupt politicians, bureaucrats and their family members or relatives to make “easy money”.

Now the question is not whether Hong Kong should ban or restrict Filipinos for B.S. Aquino’s alleged failure or refusal to sincerely apologize, but whether Hong Kong should impose the same protectionist policies against the Philippines in the name of reciprocity and fairness.

But first, what is this principle of reciprocity in international relations?

In global politics, the concept of reciprocity is widely recognized and applied in international trade, the laws of war, the laws regulating the practice of professions, diplomatic relations, among others. It serves as a powerful mechanism to compel nations to cooperate and to observe fairness in diplomatic and trade relations.

One of the international organizations that explicitly adopted this principle is the World Trade Organization (WTO). In fact, reciprocity, according to WTO, is one of the fundamental principles in global trade. Other WTO’s basic principles include non-discrimination and enforcement/dispute settlement, transparency, and safety valves.

Although this principle is not clearly and explicitly defined in GATT/WTO literature, scholars like Bagwell and Steiger (1999) offer the following definition: Reciprocity “refers broadly to the ideal of mutual changes in trade policy which brings about changes in the volume of each country’s imports that are of equal value to changes in the volume of its exports.” Obviously, Bagwell and Steiger’s definition  focuses on nations’ export-import reciprocal relations.

Reciprocity is defined also as “a fundamental rule by which plural parties maintain the balance of treatment by means of granting the same or equivalent rights and benefits and/or undertaking obligations to each other.”

There is reciprocal engagement between two states when there exists a balanced treatment or condition in which one state gives the other certain rights and privileges, whereas the other returns the the same rights and privileges. In global trade, a number of nations fully allow foreigners to trade and to conduct economic activities. These economic activities include the rights to own 100% equity of a business, to own lands and property, to lease, to practice a profession, to fully invest in major industries (e.g., media, power, transportation, telecommunications), among others.

Since the goal of the WTO is to eliminate “discriminatory treatment in international trade relations”, its rules demand that its signatory or member states, the Philippines included (since 1979), implement non-discriminatory trade policies and reciprocal concessions. Reciprocity, therefore, attaches duties or responsibilities and obligations to nations, particularly those that entered certain bilateral or multilateral agreements.

However, based on its laws and protectionist policies, the Philippine is one of the biggest “free-riders” that do not observe reciprocal concessions in global trade, and one of the guiltiest violators of the reciprocity principle.

But let me clarify that Hong Kong, China, the U.S., or even the WTO, cannot legally compel the Philippines to change its economic laws and policies in order to comply with its reciprocal obligation in global trade. Like any other country, the Philippines, which is a sovereign nation, is entitled to its right to self government or self-determination.

Global politics, some international experts argue, is inherently anarchic due to the absence of a world government designed or created to legally impose rules and police nations. Yet this does not mean that cooperation between and among sovereign nations is impossible or unreachable. As the WTO and other global organizations and treaties show, cooperation can be made  and effected through nations’ willingness to enter into bilateral or multilateral agreements. In this era of digital globalization, cross-border trade and technology play a major role in compelling nations to relax their trade barriers and other restrictions by adopting free market or liberal policies.

For instance, China was forced to join the WTO in 2001 not only to attract outside investments and to improve its then growing economy, but also to protect its economic interests and the intellectual property of Chinese firms. In just ten years since its WTO membership, China became the fastest growing economy. China’s fast-rising economy is the very reason why it was able to expand its military. In fact, China is even more economically free than the Philippines in terms of foreign participation. Foreigners are allowed to own 100% equity in land and business in China. After repossessing Hong Kong in 1997, China, a semi-socialist or “market socialist” middle-power, showed its willingness to respect the authority of Hong Kong politicians to run their own own economy and preserve their free market policies.

This 2008 study shows how China’s 30 years of economic reform and openness brought investments and progress:

“As a result, China’s real GDP was over 13 times higher in 2006 than in 1978. The extent of this growth is highlighted in Figure 1. Furthermore, because of its controlled growth in population, the level of per capita income in China rose steeply.

“Furthermore, China experienced a substantial rise in its Human Development Index (HDI) during this period. Its HDI (one indicator of well-being) rose from 0.530 in 1975 to 0.777 in 2005.”

What happened since the 1979 reform?

This happened after China liberalized its economy…

As to the question of whether Hong Kong and other freer economies (e.g., United States, Singapore, China) should impose reciprocal treatment against the Philippines, I think it depends on whether their economies or businesses (HK, U.S., Singaporean, Chinese firms) have been severely or directly affected/victimized by our protectionist policies.

As for the United States, it has every reason to impose reciprocity rule against the Philippines. For instance, international forwarding firm FedEx, an American registered company, was banned from operating in the country for not being a Filipino company and for being detrimental to the interests of local competitors. This despite the fact that FedEx was granted permit to operate in May 2011 by the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB).

In my humble opinion, instead of appealing its losing case to the Supreme Court, FedEx should have left the country for good and lobby the U.S. government to impose equivalent treatment and restrictions against Filipinos and Filipino-owned companies operating in the United States. If I’m not mistaken, the U.S. government did the same thing against protectionist France in the past.

Now I believe there are Hong Kong and Chinese nationals “illegally” doing business in the Philippines. Any foreigner who failed to comply with the 60-40 ownership arrangement is a criminal or violator under the Philippine protectionist laws. The country’s laws totally ban foreigners from owning 100% of a business unless it is covered by our PEZA laws. However, any HK and Chinese nationals who would like to sell imported goods here or to put up a small business have only two options:

  • Marry a Filipina/Filipino
  • Hire a dummy. The bigger the business, the more they should be careful in choosing dummies. But there’s an unwritten rule in dummy-hiring: Be sure to get a dummy you can control and easily BLACKMAIL. 

Indeed, big corporate Filipino dummies (those who run and manage multinational companies and conglomerates actually owned by foreign billionaires/millionaires) are like pampered, lucky “royal nannies” tasked with looking after corporate “princelings”. They’re allowed to live and enjoy a luxurious life as long as they ‘behave’ and remain quiet about the real status of their “business”. To protect their interests, the ‘real owners’ or dummy-makers hold something against their dummies (e.g., deep secrets, sex tapes, etc.). Which suggests that these Filipino dummies were not chosen because of their unusual skills and business acumen, but because they possess certain weaknesses or negative attributes, e.g., they can be easily controlled, they have shameful secrets (e.g., sexual deviants, crimes, etc.), or they are cowards and unprincipled, etc.

Now, Hong Kong and Chinese politicians may– or should– study our protectionist laws and analyze how they impact their respective nationals and economies. In dealing with our protectionist policies, Hong Kong and China have at least two options:

  1. Continue to respect our laws
  2. Impose reciprocal treatment against the Philippines, the purpose of which is NOT to compel us to change our laws but to protect their nationals, businesses and economic interests.

I find the second option just and fair because some of our laws apply reciprocity rule in the practice of certain professions by foreign nationals. Despite prohibiting foreign professionals from practicing their respective professions here, our laws allow certain exemptions. For instance, foreign physicians, whose country grants reciprocity for Filipino physicians to practice, may be given Special Permits by the Professional Regulation Commission. According to the Department of Health, the Special Permit may only be given to a foreign applicant after complying with certain qualifications and requirements, and that the permit is valid only for one year.

However, there’s a big difference between our Special Permit and the permit to work or to practice allowed in freer economies, like the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Singapore, Japan, and Switzerland. As we all know, there are  thousands of Filipino doctors currently working in these freer, progressive economies, an alarming trend that deprives the country of good and experienced doctors.

Whether or not Hong Kong, the United States, Singapore, China and other freer economies should impose equivalent protectionist policies and reciprocity treatment against the Philippines, the fact is that they don’t actually need us, as they can always trade with their economic equals and other poor countries that are willing to adopt reciprocity and non-discriminatory principles.

However, they have the power to stop the Philippines from being a parasitic “free-rider”, a term WTO used to describe a country that is unwilling to “make any trade concessions, profits, nonetheless, from tariff cuts and concessions made by other countries in negotiations under the most-favoured-nation principle.”

In their 2008 economic paper entitled Do Countries Free Ride on MFN, authors Ludema and Maida argue:

“To the extent that non-reciprocating countries benefit from improved market access to liberalizing countries (the so-called MFN externality), two related incentive problems emerge: countries may avoid participating in negotiations in hopes of free riding on the liberalization of others; and countries that do enter negotiations may reach inefficient agreements, as they do not fully internalize the benefits of their liberalization.”

The authors argue that the solution to the free-riding problem is two-fold:

  • to provide greater inducement for participation
  • to isolate free riders (like the Philippines) from the benefits of trade liberalization.

I find the second solution more practical and results-oriented. The authors believe that strict application of reciprocity principle, including other formulas (principal supplier rule and the use of formula negotiations), can be used to “combat the free-rider problem”.

For decades, non-reciprocating, free-riding Philippines has been benefiting from the continued economic progress in the region as well as from its improved market access to economically freer economies (e.g., Japan, United States, Singapore, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Saudi Arabia).

The Philippines, truth be told, however bitter it may be, is one of the biggest free-riders in Asia, as it has been free-loading on the improved economic conditions of its Asian neighbors (e.g., Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, China, Hong Kong). While the Philippines stubbornly maintains its  protectionist policies (e.g., the ban on foreign professionals to practice and the 60-40 rule imposed on foreign investors), its liberalizing neighbors, which all achieved economic progress due to their economic openness, continue to attract and/or absorb Filipino workers, both domestic helpers and professionals alike.

The country’s OFW phenomenon, which is now depriving our major industries of skilled and experienced workers, is not merely a creation of the government (from the Marcosian policies to the institutionalized OFW programs implemented by TESDA, POEA and other agencies); it was also fueled by growing demand for skilled workers in liberalizing countries. Thus, the Philippines is free-riding and benefiting through OFW remittances and increased trade driven mainly by these liberalizing countries’ demand for agricultural, electronics and semi-conductor products. For example, our main exports (semiconductors and electronic products) are fueled mainly by some industrialized countries’ (Japan and United States) demand for these products.

So, who actually needs who?

These liberalizing countries do not need us, as they have more and better options. We need them because our restrictive, protectionist unstable economy heavily relies on OFW remittances.

So, it’s just the right time for these economically freer nations to dump and isolate us because we’ve been isolating our country for nearly 100 years!

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45 thoughts on “Why Hong Kong, U.S., and Other Freer Economies Can Justifiably Ban/Restrict Free-Riding RP in the Name of Reciprocity

  1. Can someone enlighten me how the Philippines got almost 3 billion in foreign investment still?
    Also, how can the Koreans own all these businesses in the country?

  2. Pingback: Online Debate: Why RP Should Allow Foreigners to Own Land? | vincenton

  3. “In fact, China is even more economically free than the Philippines in terms of foreign participation. Foreigners are allowed to own 100% equity in land and business in China.” – Despite this, the people I talk to still say that most Chinese are still poor despite their economic improvement. I find it disturbing ‘cuz it seems to me as a justification to keep our country’s mediocre ways, thus keeping us poor……..

    • China used certain aspects of Capitalism to get funds or to attract investors. Lee Kuan Yew divulged this in an interview when asked how he mentored Deng Xiaping in the past. So, China’s free market side is an opportunistic mechanism designed to finance its political goals and military. Still, China retains its ONE-PARTY communist rule. Politically, China is a socialist state. Economically, it implements market socialism.

      But why are most/some Chinese poor despite China’s free market compromises? It’s because Beijing is acting as its people’s HR Department and Broker. The Chinese government is like a broker that gets most of the investment cuts while ignoring its people’s economic plight. So, global investors flock in China because China offers cheap labor… Which means China is using its people to get rich and to fund its military and state apparatuses, which it uses to maintain political power and to suppress dissent and criticisms.

      Beijing is using the money it gets from investments and trade to finance its communist propaganda, military, the Communist Party, and other state apparatuses.

      By definition China is a Fascist State.

  4. I just learned that this Vincepleton has brought our debate to another forum. Lest others be deceived by his squid tactics, let me share here how I argued with him before:

    JAL LEAVE, I already spoke earlier of Vincepleton’s Laissez faire as follows and it has not yet received any response from him but a DEAFENING SILENCE. Instead, he has engaged time and again in his pasttime of doing shadow boxing and knocking out ghost opponents.

    “You honestly believe that the economy left to itself will take care of itself and like an invisible hand promote the common good? That presupposes that there is genuine competition. but what we have are cartels and monopolies, so where is your invisible hand which will promote the common good. Government thus must be there to intervene in the economy to break monopolies and cartels to promote the common good. where is your invisible hand during calamities, when businessmen will exploit consumers by means of hoarding. So where is your law of supply and demand which will promote the common good. Someone said, there are high prices because of the law of supply and demand. A Congressman then retorted, then let us amend the law of supply and demand. On reflection, he has a point, because the law of supply and demand can be manipulated, It will never work when there are cartels and monopolies. It will never work because of hoarding. So where is your laissez faire now. You are definitely wrong, Japan or Korea are not superior to us because they are economically freer. they are superior because they suceeded in industrializing which we have failed to do. And tell me, how were they able to industrialize, if they did not initially adopt protectionist policies. Perhaps you have not gone to department stores and markets. Do you not know that foreign made goods are even cheaper than our domestic products. So what protectionism do you speak of when foreign made goods continue to flood our markets. Speak of the invisible hand to the thousands of workers who are exploited, because of their oversupply and thus who are paid starvation wages. Tell me, should not the government intervene to protect them? So who is arrogantly ignorant now?”

    Vincepleton, misrepresenting my views accuse me of all out protectionism when all I spouse is selective protectionism, in otherwords, a mixed economy.

    Severo L. Brillantes | October 5, 2013 at 7:44 am

    And how else would you brand a person who believes in laissez faire, that is, that the market, meaning, self-interest left to itself (meaning, the pursuit of profit or the profit motive), without any government intervention will promote the common good? Such person precisely has made money as their God. Go pray to all mighty profit motive and the good of everyone will be answered. Well, Vincepleton will have allies in his advocacy: 1) owners of cartels and monopolies who impose their will (meaning the price of their goods to the captive market; meaning the exploited consumers) and exclaim to government “leave us alone and do not intervene in the economy; 2) Hoarders during calamities and who exclaim to government, leave us alone and do not impose price controls; 3) owners of businesses who pay unjust wages to their employees (who because of the oversupply of workers do not have the bargaining power to demand decent wages), who exclaim to government,leave us alone and do not impose minimum wages; 4) landlords who with their vast lands would exclaim to government, leave us alone and do not implement agrarian reform; 4) aliens who will dump their finished goods which will be cheaper than locally made goods and thus exclaim to government, leave us alone and do not impose high tariff duties, so that our goods will remain cheaper than locally made goods.

    The vast majority of Filipinos are already landless and Vincepleton wants foreigners to be allowed to own lands here, which will aggravate the landlessness of our people. Filipinos thus, will remain landless but this time their landlords will be aliens. Worse, Filipinos who are tenant farmers will be driven out of the lands that they till as these lands will be transformed for industrial purposes and thus aggravate the massive hunger already widespread all over the country.

    Vincepleton wants foreign investors in our media industry and thus allow aliens to shape the minds and hearts of our people. Decades of colonial rule have already made the minds and hearts of Filipinos value anything American and foreign, and Vincepleton wants to make our cultural captivity complete by surrendering our media industry and even our schools to aliens.

    Jobs are already scarce in the Philippines and he wants aliens to compete with our own professionals, which means he wants our people to be perrenial OFWs, thus destroying the Filipino family, because of an absent father and mother. And what is most funny, he has advised the US and other countries to also ban our professionals in their shores, if we maintain such a policy. Vincepleton’s advice however is most foolish, because foreign countries are not interested to send their professionals to the Philippines but are most interested to attract our professionals and skilled workers, lest their countries will be in a stand still.

    … which all make me believe that Vincepleton is part of a lobby group to advance alien interests in the Philippines. By saying so, I am not here attacking his person as I have extensively attacked his arguments. But I believe I have blown his cover and warn people to be wary of his motives.

    • It seems, Mr. Severo Brillantes, that you can’t argue without resorting to fallacies (particularly strawman fallacy), emotionalism, context dropping, and appeal to ignorance.

      You didn’t even address the points/arguments made in the blog. Instead, you filled your comment box with pure leftist rhetoric and non-factual, illogical arguments.

      You’re simply trying to ignore the fact that the Philippines is a protectionist state.

      I told you these facts a number of times:

      1. We already restrict foreign investors thru our 60-40 law.

      2. We already BAN all foreign professionals.

      3. We also totally BAN foreign investors in our media industry.

      4. We totally BAN foreigners from owning lands.

      What more restrictions and regulations do you want? Both current political and economic realities show us our PROTECTIONISM FAILED TO WORK.

      The thing is, we ARE ALREADY A PROTECTIONIST economy. All you need to do is read and understand our Constitution. Also, our protectionism does NOT merely seek to protect what you call “baby industries”; it was designed to protect the entire industries against foreign competition… But in reality, what it protects are the politically connected cronies and oligarchs. That’s why we have IPPs (independent power producers) created during the term of Cory Aquino. That’s why the oligarchs established a water cartel, which is constitutionally protected against outside/foreign competition.

      So, let’s get the facts correct: Our Constitution does not seek to protect only the “baby industries”; it establishes an institutionalized PROTECTIONIST system.

    • This statement by Severo caught my attention:

      “Jobs are already scarce in the Philippines and he wants aliens to compete with our own professionals, which means he wants our people to be perrenial OFWs, thus destroying the Filipino family, because of an absent father and mother.”

      Jobs are scarce in the Philippines because of lack of opportunities. And lack of opportunities is caused by the fact that we restrict foreign investment. This is basic economics. This is why millions of Filipinos now work abroad.

      I’d like to ask Severo just one question: Name at least one OFW destination country that imposes the same 60-40 ownership limit and ban on foreign professionals.

      • The Philippines lack jobs because it is not an industrialized country and is largely an agricultural economy (which differentiates rich countries from economically backward ones). That is basic economics. Foreign investments will not guarantee the industrialization of the Philippines as it is not to the interest of foreigners to make the Philippines industrialized, to make it capable of processing its raw materials into finished products, so that it can produce its own needs and thus compete with imported products. Foreigners may bring some of their factories for some of the spare parts which they need but not the factory for the entire car for instance. Between the spare parts which we will export and the entire car for instance, the former is definitely cheaper and thus our balance of trade will always be a deficit and our economy bankrupt.

        Yet to Vincepleton,foreign direct investment is the panacea of my country’s poverty. But has this Vincepleton forgotten his God, the profit motive, the alien’s profit motive which will not prompt any foreigner to pursue the industrialization of my country? Vincepleton likewise remains silent on the need for genuine agrarian reform, which will not only equitably distribute land and thus the wealth of the nation but also provide our farmers technological, marketing, financing support. Countries like Japan and Taiwan implemented agrarian reform. Yet what we witness is this Vincepleton’s deafening silence on agrarian reform is of no use or value to his foreign principals.

        On this point, my argument to Vincepleton remains unrebutted:

        “The landlessness of my people is not due to protectionism on the contrary it is due to your laissez faire of government lack of meaningful intervention in the economy. It is precisely due to a government which has perpetrated the feudal nature of Philippine society, of land being concentrated in the hands of a few landlords, while the majority of our people are landless. This injustice could only be addressed by genuine agrarian reform and not laissez faire. Instead of lack of government intervention which you preach by your God, the profit motive which you believe will bring about the common good left to itself, government must intervene to equitably distribute land to the landless and provide them financing and marketing support, which sadly had not been effectively and honestly done yet. Japan and Taiwan at least implemented agrarian reform, which you have not spoken of at all, because you want local landlords to be replaced by aliens and worse for lands tilled by tenant farmers to be transformed into industrial zones to aggravate the landlessness and widespread hunger of our people, which fully convinces me that you are indeed a foreign-paid hack advocating alien interests and not those of my people.”

        Yet time and again, this Vincepleton would misrepresent my views and issue the challenge and ask if I want the Philippines to be another North Korea, when it is most evident in my views that what I am advocating is a mixed economy.

      • “The Philippines lack jobs because it is not an industrialized country and is largely an agricultural economy (which differentiates rich countries from economically backward ones). That is basic economics.”

        I don’t know where you got your basic economics, Severo, but what you said is just wrong and not basic economics.

        You should have told me what makes a country industrialized so I’d be able to understand where you’re coming from.

        If you understand your basic economics, you’d find out that all industrialized countries have one thing in common– Economic openness.

        USA, Great Britain, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Germany, among others are all industrialized countries.

        You can’t argue that Philippines is not an industrialized because it’s a relatively new republic because Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and others were also as poor as the Philippines 40 to 50 years ago.

        As the blogger argued, China, Singapore, South Korea and other Asian tigers achieved industrialization after opening their economies to the world.

        Which makes me think that we should be more progressive and industrialized than all of these Asian tigers if you think that keeping our protectionism can uplift our economy.

        Also, your arguments make me think you want more restrictions and protectionism. Is that what you really want? I’m beginning to think you want us to be a socialist country.

        My questions are:

        1. If you think that more protectionism is the solution or is what our country needs, then why we’re poorer and lagging behind all Asian tigers that opened their countries to foreign investment and more economically liberal?

        2. What is your solution then for us to become an industrialized economy? Should be increase our foreign investment restrictions and adopt more protectionist policies?

        Thanks for responding to my question. 😉

      • Thank you for your Rejoinder. I also appreciate your responding to my views without attacking my person, as Vincepleton has the habit of doing.

      • Mr. Severo, sorry for the late reply.

        If you have time please answer my questions. I’m quite interested in your opinion. Thank you.

  5. And here are my other views:

    Vincepleton, there you go again with your shadow-boxing skills, knocking out ghost opponents. I do not know if I am talking to a person or a machine. The landlessness of my people is not due to protectionism on the contrary it is due to your laissez faire of government lack of meaningful intervention in the economy. It is precisely due to a government which has perpetrated the feudal nature of Philippine society, of land being concentrated in the hands of a few landlords, while the majority of our people are landless. This injustice could only be addressed by genuine agrarian reform and not laissez faire. Instead of lack of government intervention which you preach by your God, the profit motive which you believe will bring about the common good left to itself, government must intervene to equitably distribute land to the landless and provide them financing and marketing support, which sadly had not been effectively and honestly done yet. Japan and Taiwan at least implemented agrarian reform, which you have not spoken of at all, because you want local landlords to be replaced by aliens and worse for lands tilled by tenant farmers to be transformed into industrial zones to aggravate the landlessness and widespread hunger of our people, which fully convinces me that you are indeed a foreign-paid hack advocating alien interests and not those of my people.

    Vincepleton, you believe it is foreign direct investments which will save us. I have said from the very start that it is industrialization as is exemplified by the rich countries. and what industrialization will they bring but merely an assembly line

    Vincepleton as in Simpleton. there you go again, doing what you are good at, doing one ad hominem after another. I am not only a lawyer but taught Logic for several years. That is precisely why I have exposed your fallacies one after the other. You must be so embarassed that i have blown your cover: you are no other than a foreign paid hack. You know my full name, you can google me. but you hide behind a false name. Reveal who you truly are if you are that courageous enough. but that you will not do as you have been so compromised already as to your true objectives.

    My God, you call on other countries to ban Filipino workers, which but reveals that your interests is not the interest of my people, the Filipino people. I have fought the corrupt and hated Marcos dictatorship: joined several rallies, have been water cannoned, teargassed. I have risked my life during the time of the dictatorship to investigate military abuses in Mindanao. You what have you done for the Philippines. That of course, you will not say because you are no other than a foreign paid hack.

    Readers are invited to examine my exchanges with this Simpleton, and see what he is good at: shadow boxing. Yes, misrepresenting my views and thereafter knocking out ghost opponents and thereafter shout to the heavens that he has won an argument when all he did is shadow box.

    But you can not rest Vincepleton as in Simpleton from now on, as you have already been exposed. Like Devina, you should be so embarrassed that people now know who you are.

    I have demolished this Simpleton’s myth of laissez faire which until now awaits a rebuttal from him.

    This Vincepleton as in Simpleton must be so enraged that I have blown his cover that from now on people reading his posts will find his motives suspect, his being no other but a part of a lobby group to advance alien interests. Readers here should be forewarned and be wary of the motives of this Vincepleton as in Simpleton.

    Throughout my life I have advanced causes for the welfare of my people. In doing so, I have even lost my job once or twice. But what has this Vincepleton done for my people but advance the interests of his foreign masters.

    So continue in your rage. As I have expected, you will go berserk and commit one ad hominem after the other. And I have been proven right.

    So enraged are you that you would commit illicit generalization about the current state of legal education in the Philippines. By making said illicit generalization, you are no better than that Devina Dediva.

    • Here are some pending questions for Mr. Severo L. Brillantes:

      1. You said “WHICH CONFIRMS WHAT I SAID THAT COUNTRIES WHO WERE ABLE TO INDUSTRIALIZE FIRST STARTED BEING PROTECTIONIST”. Are you saying their PROTECTIONISM made them rich or industrialized?

      2. If your answer is yes, then why did they have to break away from their protectionist past and then embraced free market reforms? In short, if protectionism is what made them great, why did they open their economies to foreign investors?

      3. Do you understand the concept of “protectionism”?

      4. Based on your hilarious illogic, the Philippines ought to be MORE PROSPEROUS AND INDUSTRIALIZED than Japan, Hong Kong, China, Singapore and South Korea for keeping its protectionist policies since 1930s. But that’s not the case. Care to explain this, mister?

      Everything you said is an economic fallacy. History has it that every economic crisis was caused by the government thru excessive regulations, protectionism and intrusive intervention. Learn economics.

      If your leftard argument is true, then North Korea, the most regulated, protected economy on this planet, should have been the richest, the most industrialized.

      Everything you said is not backed by history and proper economics.

      The Great depression was caused by excessive government intervention.

      The first quarter of the 20th century in the United States saw the rise of the progressives mostly composed of the educated elites who favored government regulation and big government over free market capitalism. As result, a number of progressive or statist laws were established from 1890 to 1920, such as the Interstate Commerce Act enacted in 1887 that regulated railroads, the Sherman Antitrust Act enacted in 1890, a law that prevents large firms from controlling a single industry, and the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 implemented during the term of President Woodrow Wilson. Also in 1913, the Sixteenth Amendment was ratified, which led to the institution of income tax in the United States. ——>>> https://vincenton.wordpress.com/2013/07/04/the-roots-of-americas-great-depression-big-government-and-the-federal-reserve-system/

      NOW, most progressive countries in Asia, like Singapore, Japan and South Korea, were inspired by the American free market model. Lee Kuan Yew himself said he was inspired by America’s free market and immigration system. This is why two decades ago Singapore began freeing its fledgling economy and allowing foreign investors and professionals to be part of its team.

      I am not saying Singapore is an example of a free market society. But Singapore has a higher degree of economic freedom. And when we talk about free market system, we talk about a society’s level of economic openness.

      Just imagine the degree of freedom versus government control, zero (0) being “Anarchy Level” and 100 being the “Absolute Government Control Level”. Using this freedom-statism scale, the Philippines must be somewhere between 60 and 50 percent. We have more controls and degree of government intervention. Singapore must be somewhere between 40 to 30 percent. A true free market model should be between 15 and 10%.

      There’s this one particular fallacy many Filipinos commit whenever they try to compare the Philippines with other Asian countries. And this fallacy is what I call the “fallacy of politico-economic equivalence”. Some pinoys– especially the economic illiterates– tend to think that while the Philippines is way poorer than Singapore and Japan, the three are equal in terms of politico-economic foundation and fundamentals. They’re not. That’s why we’re economically inferior to Japan, Singapore and South Korea, which all have superior economic models. But what makes their econ models superior or successful?

      The truth is, Japan, SK, Singapore and HK are economically freer than us. In terms of ease of doing business, it is easier to start a business in these Asian tiger economies. Which means that they have a higher degree of economic freedom. They embrace foreign investors. They don’t have the 60-40 rule that we currently apply. We totally ban foreign professionals; they don’t. They’re certainly not representatives of capitalism or free market system, but they’re freer than other economies or societies. They’re many times FREER than us. In fact in terms of economic policies, China is freer than us.

      But really, where do you think we should get the political and economic model for our country? Please answer.

      https://vincenton.wordpress.com/2013/07/10/filipinos-fallacy-of-politico-economic-equivalence/

  6. Finally, this is the last challenge I posed to Vincepleton, which he did not respond to at all. But without my knowing it, he would attack me in another forum:

    I challenged Vincepleton to reveal his true identity and he refuses to. He wishes to hide in anonymity, like the Makapilis of old who would hide their face with a bayong. Equal to his rage due to my blowing his cover as exposing him as a foreign paid hack and a puppet of his alien masters is is great fear of being identified. Devina at least has the courage to identifying herself, but not this Simpleton, I mean Vincepleton. By acting like a Makapili, we know now were his loyalties lie, we know now of his true motives.
    Aristotle defines rhetorics as the art of persuasion. It has three elements: ethos (which refers t the credibility of the person), logos (appeal to reason) and pathos (appeal to the emotion). A number of alleged people know you? Yet, you continue to hide in anonymity. why don’t you introduce yourself and let’s see how credible your person is, so that I know that I am indeed talking to a person and not to a machine or to someone who is perhaps the victim of alien abduction, who has been so brainwashed that he has to advance the selfish interests of his alien masters.

    Ok, I bombarded you with so many arguments, involving so many issues, which your Vincepleton’s mind (I mean Simpleton’s mind) have a hard time grasping. So I will go with you one by one, issue per issue and I promise to be patient with you. Go answer this one:

    Vincepleton wants foreign investors in our media industry and thus allow aliens to shape the minds and hearts of our people. Decades of colonial rule have already made the minds and hearts of Filipinos value anything American and foreign, and Vincepleton wants to make our cultural captivity complete by surrendering our media industry and even our schools to aliens.

    • Well, I expect you, pulpol, stupid lawlawer, to be more honest.

      Do you want RP to become another North Korea in Asia?

      Also, please answer my pending questions, which you’ve been evading.

  7. If anybody is misguided, it is Vincepleton. He takes each and every opportunity to advance his laissez faire philosophy, the foundations of which I have already demolished but remains unrebutted by him.

    He speaks here of a little known Hongkong political party who would want to ban Filipino domestic workers, which he himself advocates and in fact advises Hongkong to pursue, based on his alleged reciprocity principle (and not only domestic workers but all Filipino professionals) but makes a laughing stock of himself by admitting that Hongkong will anyway not pursue such action.

    On this advice of Vincepleton which he himself admits Hongkong will not pursue, I have previously debunked his position as follows:

    Vincepleton wants foreign investors in our media industry and thus allow aliens to shape the minds and hearts of our people. Decades of colonial rule have already made the minds and hearts of Filipinos value anything American and foreign, and Vincepleton wants to make our cultural captivity complete by surrendering our media industry and even our schools to aliens.

    Jobs are already scarce in the Philippines and he wants aliens to compete with our own professionals, which means he wants our people to be perrenial OFWs, thus destroying the Filipino family, because of an absent father and mother. And what is most funny, he has advised the US and other countries to also ban our professionals in their shores, if we maintain such a policy. Vincepleton’s advice however is most foolish, because foreign countries are not interested to send their professionals to the Philippines but are most interested to attract our professionals and skilled workers, lest their countries will be in a stand still.

    … which all make me believe that Vincepleton is part of a lobby group to advance alien interests in the Philippines. By saying so, I am not here attacking his person as I have extensively attacked his arguments. But I believe I have blown his cover and warn people to be wary of his motives.

    • LMAO! You’re simply reposting, regurgitating crap I already debunked.

      “Jobs are already scarce in the Philippines and he wants aliens to compete with our own professionals, which means he wants our people to be perrenial OFWs, thus destroying the Filipino family, because of an absent father and mother. And what is most funny, he has advised the US and other countries to also ban our professionals in their shores, if we maintain such a policy.”

      I think it is impossible to respond to all your ignorant rebuttals.

      Jobs are already scarce because of your protectionism. Do you know the difference between RP and all Asian tigers in Asia? They have economic freedom, hence they get a higher level of FDI. The Philippines actually next to North Korea when it comes to protectionism. Our nearly a century of protectionism did not help the poor and make our country progressive and economically stable. Instead, it forced poor and middle class Filipinos to work abroad. It is your PROTECTIONIST policies that have been DESTROYING the Filipino family. How many millions of OFWs work abroad because they cannot find jobs here in the country? Also, your protectionism and trade restrictions have been causing BRAIN DRAIN. Thousands of Filipino doctors, nurses, engineers and other professionals left the country for high paying jobs and better opportunities abroad. Where did they go? They migrated to ECONOMICALLY FREER countries (e.g., United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, etc.) that allow them to practice their professions. That’s ironic because our laws totally ban foreign professionals to work here.

      That’s the reason why I am advising these economically freer countries to impose RECIPROCITY RULE against the Philippines. If we totally ban foreign talents here, why can’t they? The reciprocity principle is part of the World Trade rules.

      Are you even a lawyer? You must be a “pulpol” lawyer lol!

      “The vast majority of Filipinos are already landless and Vincepleton wants foreigners to be allowed to own lands here, which will aggravate the landlessness of our people.”

      And did our nearly a century of protectionism solve that problem? It’s either you want a North Korea system for the Philippines or you’re indeed clueless or ignorant about things! Dozens of nations have already opened their shores and economies to foreigners and foreign investment. Did their openness aggravate the “landlessness” of their people? By your logic, we should have been more economically progressive than these nations. You’re indeed out of touch reality.

      Everything you said is a fallacy. Which shows you’re utterly politically and economically ignorant.

      Be honest, Mr. Brillantes. Do you want to totally close this country to the outside world? If that’s your death wish, then, I urge you to be more consistent. We should also STOP importing things made, produced, invented and conceptualized outside this country. Let’s see if we can survive with your NoKorish plan.

  8. Mr. Severo Brillantes said: “you are indeed a foreign-paid hack advocating alien interests and not those of my people.”

    I already answered that in our previous encounters.

    I said:

    ROLFMAO-tse-tung! That shows you’re not just a leftard ignoramus; you’re paranoid and sick in the mind as well. You really some psychiatric help, creature. 😉

    I also said:

    That’s just hilarious! That’s because you’re a pulpol and you know nothing about history, economics and politics.

    Based on your latest name-call (“a foreign-paid hack”), the leaders of Singapore (Lee Kuan Yew), China (Deng Xiaoping), Hong Kong, Japan and SK were all “foreign paid hacks” for implementing free market reforms and scrapping their protectionist policies.

    You’re such an uneducated creature.

    I can also say you must be a JoMa Sison agent… You ought to be investigated for possible links with the CPP-NPA… 😉

    • Vincepleton must be utterly desperate and has engaged again in his pasttime of shadow-boxing, and as a squid spitting his black ink as he makes a hasty retreat from an argument. So everyone critical of capitalism is a communist and a JoMa Sison agent? I am in fact a democratic socialist. The Catholic Church and the popes to Vincepleton thus must be a JoMa Sison agents, for being critical of capitalism.

  9. I at least have evidence that Vincepleton is a foreign-paid hack. He himself has admitted it. How else would you conclude if a person advises foreign governments to ban Filipino workers and professionals in comradeship with an unknown Hongkong political party which in its objective of forcing the Philippine President to apologize has proposed the banning of Filipino domestice helpers? The evidence speaks for itself. He however has utterly no evidence that i am a communist or in the Philippine political spectrum a National Democrat, more specifically a Reaffirmist or a Joma Sison ally, in the context of the split in the Philippine left. I have time and again challenged Vincepleton to reveal his identity but he has refused, most clearly proving that he is a Makapili hiding his face in a bayong, a Japanese collaborator of old or if I may say in the current context, an alien collaborator. Be wary of his views as he is advancing alien interests.

  10. Go investigate me as I am known publicly in the worldwide web. But you, how could we investigate you when you continue to hide in anonymity, using a false name. You persuade, in the language of Aristotle, not only because of the soundness of your arguments (logos) or your appeal to lofty emotions, thus moving people into action (pathos). You persuade because of your very person, that you are indeed credible (ethos). Who are you indeed Vincepleton? Or am I talking after all to a machine or someone who is the victim of alien abduction?

    • What does that suppose to mean? LOL! Some people know me. The more you talk about nonsense, the more you expose your utter ignorance. 😉

      You’re not even answering questions.

  11. eloquent is the man whose life could speak. You persuade not only by your words but by your very life. The true philosopher I said when I taught philosophy before is not only one who seeks that truth but one who lives the truth and if needed, like Christ and Socrates, suffered and died for the truth. I may not share all the views of Filipino communists but I remain completely respectful of them, for they lived what they preached. Many of them have suffered and even died for their beliefs. but you Vincepleton, how have you lived? Where were you during the hated Marcos dictatorship? where were you as hundreds of thousands died of oppression, hunger and injustice. We will never know, only your alien backers who must have instructed you to hide your face in a bayong know.

  12. This should have been a very interesting, informative conversation without the hurling of insults from both sides.

    I get it. The Philippines is a protectionist economy, as it limits foreign investment, ban professionals and ban foreigners from owning land. As the blogger pointed out, we had these policies since the very beginning of our Republic. But did we improve? Well, I don’t think so. As a Filipino who lives outside the country, I can say the Philippines is indeed restrictive and has long isolated itself from the global economy.

    Now I have questions for Mr. Severo… Having read your comments, I’m not quite sure what your policy is. It’s as if you’re denying that we’re not a protectionist economy and that you want more foreign restrictions. What is it that you really want? Do you want us to totally close our economy to the outside world? Please make your arguments clear. Thanks!

  13. Pulpol so-called “lawyer” Severo Brillantes said:

    ” Government thus must be there to intervene in the economy to break monopolies and cartels to promote the common good.”

    — Do you even have enough brain cells to understand Philippine laws? Do you even know what causes monopolies and cartels in the Philippines?

    We have these monopolies and cartels in all industries because they are PROTECTED by the government against outside competition. There are types of cartels in the country: 1) the Philippine government through its GOCCs and corporate entities, and 2) the protected cronies and oligarchs.

    https://vincenton.wordpress.com/2013/07/04/how-protectionism-and-oligarchic-system-cause-artificial-water-crisis-in-the-philippines/

    Everything you said exposes your ignorance of economics and politics.

    • Can you please identify in which businesses these monopolies and cartels are? and let us see if it is protectionism or laissez faire which allowed them.

      • So prove then you have the brain cells you brag about, by showing that the cartels and monopolies in the Philippines is due to protectionism and not laissez faire.

      • I’d like to respond to this one…

        “Can you please identify in which businesses these monopolies and cartels are? and let us see if it is protectionism or laissez faire which allowed them.”

        You don’t know? I’m beginning to think you indeed lack basic economic knowledge.

        1. Power sector: the IPPs and Meralco. No foreign investors can compete with them. Know the power sector in Singapore where foreign investors are allowed to compete. As a result, they have cheaper electricity.

        2. Telecommunications: Filipino economists said we have a duopoly of Globe and PLDT. No foreign telecom companies are allowed to compete with them. In South Korea, there are more than 30 telecom companies competing for consumers. Many of these companies are foreign-owned. As a result, South Korea has then fastest and cheapest internet service in Asia or even in the world.

        3. Lottery and gambling is monopolized by PAGCOR.

        4. Light railway transport: It is monopolized by MRT. Ever heard of the $30 million bribery case filed against some MRT officials by a Czech company?

        5. Real estate: It is monopolized by Filipino-owned real estate companies like MegaWorld, AboitizLand, Ayala Land, to name a few.

        6. Water sector: It is monopolized by Maynilad and MWSS.

        7. Banking sector: monopolized by BPI, Metrobank and very few other banks.

        8. Aviation: Monopolized by PAL, Cebu Pacific, AirAsia Zest and a few others.

        9. Mall: Monopolized by SM, Robinson’s, and very few others.

        They are all protected against foreign competition.

        Just research who own or dominate all of these sectors. You will see familiar names like Lopezes, Ayala, Sy, Tan, etc.

  14. Kudos for the article sir. I am a student of finance and I find this article very enlightening. Most of my professors, when I ask them about the protectionist policies of the Philippines, cannot give me a clear and concise answer. However, I am a bit skeptical about the part where HK and/or Chinese nationals can “hire a dummy” in order to start a business here in the Philippines. Can you share reliable sources that can support this conspiracy? Thanks.

    • The use of dummies is not merely confined to wealthy Chinese or HK nationals, obviously. I simply gave a scenario wherein they can still invest here by simply using dummies. About the “nature” of dummies, I believe that’s the real world practice. Blackmail is part of the game. Think of an ordinary “illegal” trade or venture wherein some influential people need to use dummies because they’re either barred by law or they simply wanted to protect their good image or reputation.

      Now there’s this Filipino businessman who, according to business insiders, serves as a dummy for a billionaire Indonesian family. Do you think this family is too stupid to simply gamble their wealth without getting insurance for their risky business?

      • Has there been cases of one of these dummies being caught and confessed that they have practiced the conspiracy? Or foreign businessmen who confessed the using of dummies to enter into business in the Philippines? I know it’s unlikely that there is because it’s not of their interest to confess doing such an act, but I’m just curious.

      • “Has there been cases of one of these dummies being caught and confessed that they have practiced the conspiracy?”

        — Yes. Unfortunately (or fortunately), there had been a lot of anti-dummy cases decided by our courts in the past.

        Examples:

        Macario King vs. Pedro Hernaez
        Pua vs. CA
        People of the Phils. vs. Gacott

        There were, in fact, hundreds of cases.

        This one is going to be a landmark, controversial case. The case of Japanese pachinko billionaire Kazuo Okada and others who were accused of having violated RP’s Anti-Dummy law. http://www.rappler.com/business/211-governance/33774-okada-pagcor-face-anti-dummy-law-case-in-philippines

        ————

        As to possible “confession” by dummies. Question: What do you call those Marcos cronies whose businesses were sequestered by the government? Technically speaking they were also dummies. Or, to be more exact, they’re corporatist dummies of Marcos. Bongbong and Imelda Marcos have been alleging that Lucio Tan is just a dummy of Marcos. Of course, nobody knows (except the involved parties) how Tan and Marcos arranged their corporatist partnership. But the Marcoses have been alleging that Tan merely served as the Marcos family’s dummy. Probably the Marcoses thought they’d rule the country like monarchs. They were wrong.

        Here’s a related article— http://raissarobles.com/2010/08/03/why-does-world-billionaire-lucio-tan-have-such-a-troubled-airline/

  15. So many false comparisons are made and I am not sure how much of what you say is even true. I have met plenty of foreign professionals in the Philippines in fact it is probably one of the easiest countries in Asia to get a work permit. Given though the labour market in the Philippines attracting local talent to stay in the country should be the first priority. I am based in China and there are plenty of highly skilled Pinoys working here from architects, business executives, accountants ect. China did however pass a law on 1st July this year which will make hirring overseas professionals more difficult. The US, UK and others all have quotes on the number of skilled migrant visas they offer and employers are required to prove they cannot fill a vancancy locally.

    Also the idea that China is somehow completely open to foreign investment is simply not true. It is not possible for foreigners to buy land in China because it is not truely possible for ANYONE to buy land in China, their whole system of land ownership does not follow that of a market economy. I own land in the Philippines by virtue of the fact my wife is a Filipino citizen. Hong Kong too has also recently introduced limits on non local ownership of real estate in order to deal with the cost of living crisis facing many. Given the Philippines already has a booming home construction industry how would it provide more benefits if units were simply being bought by overseas buyers creating a massive inflationary bubble. Simply leaving the housing market to its own ends has been a proven failure from the US to Ireland and Dubai. We will have to wait and see if the same will happen in China but the fact that apartments in major cities cost 20 times the average income is not a good sign.

    The whole idea of dummies works here too in fact even in cases where a wholelly owned foreign enterprise is allowed it is often advisable to have a local partner, especially one with connections who can handle the fact that the rule of law doesn’t really apply in China.

    The Philippines does have overly restrictive laws on foreign investment but they are not as out of step with other developing countries at the same stage in their own development. Issues like corruption and poor infrastructure are bigger obstacles to investment I feel. The real litmus test has to be will foreign investment benefit people in the Philippines or not.

    • ” I have met plenty of foreign professionals in the Philippines in fact it is probably one of the easiest countries in Asia to get a work permit.”

      — What a very nice story…

      What professionals are you talking about? I’m referring to professionals limited by our laws.

      Tell me what kind of professionals you’re referring to. You obviously don’t know PH laws.

      ” It is not possible for foreigners to buy land in China because it is not truely possible for ANYONE to buy land in China, their whole system of land ownership does not follow that of a market economy.”

      — I don’t think you’re familiar with Chinese law, or that you know what you’re talking about.

      The truth of the matter is, IKEA is the largest foreign land-owner in China. Know this very simple fact.

      Although China imposes restrictions, foreign individuals and firms can still own real estate in China via its Foreign Invested Enterprise (FIE).

      I said that China is more economically free than the Philippines because of its Wholly Foreign Owned Entity (WFOE) policy, allowing foreigners to own 100% equity of a business.

      In the Philippines that’s not allowed because of its 60-40 ownership arrangement.

      • I don’t know which professions are limited by PH law you never specified just said “ban on professionals” without saying which ones.

        Nobody owns land in China, it all belongs to the state. It is possible to buy responsibility for a piece of land for a fixed number of years, it is nothing like the western idea of purchasing land however.

        WOFE in China has very high minimum capital requirements and extremely strict rules on the scope of the business they are allowed to carry out. In the eye of the authorities the primary role of a WOFE is to export rather than to enter China’s market. Hence why they have special duty free import exemptions in order to produce finished goods to ship abroad. Only recently have WOFE been allowed to start producing goods and services for use within the China mainland itself even any changes to the scope of the business as defined on their licence must be approved first. WOFE is not the ideal vehicle for a company to enter the Chinese market but maybe suitable for a company wishing to move production or provide business consultancy to other foreign firms.

        The vast bulk of firms in China are still state owned enterprises and in many sectors they control state backed monopolies. It is nigh on impossible for firms other than these to obtain credit from the banks and death sentences have been handed out to business people trying to obtain credit through China’s huge underground banking network. There is an ideological struggle going on within China whether they will become a state capitalist country or a free market economy with the rule of law.

      • “I don’t know which professions are limited by PH law you never specified just said “ban on professionals” without saying which ones.”

        — That’s the problem. You’re commenting without knowing our law and the facts related to this topic. When we talk of professionals, we refer to doctors, lawyers, nurses, engineers, architects, etc.

        What kind of professionals are you talking about? It was actually my intention not to tell you who these “professionals” are and not to give you the law so I could CORNER YOU.

        Here are the professionals not allowed to practice here:

        a. Engineering
        i. Aeronautical Engineering
        ii. Agricultural Engineering
        iii. Chemical Engineering
        iv. Civil Engineering
        v. Electrical Engineering
        vi. Electronics and Communication Engineering
        vii. Geodetic Engineering
        viii. Mechanical Engineering
        ix. Metallurgical Engineering
        x. Mining Engineering
        xi. Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering
        xii. Sanitary Engineering

        b. Medical and Allied Professions
        i. Dentistry
        ii. Medical Technology
        iii. Midwifery
        iv. Nursing
        v. Nutrition and Dietetics
        vi. Optometry
        vii. Pharmacy
        viii. Physical and Occupational Therapy
        ix. Radiologic and X-ray Technology
        x. Veterinary Medicine

        c. Accountancy
        d. Architecture
        e. Criminology
        f. Chemistry
        g. Customs Broker
        h. Environmental Planning
        i. Forestry
        j. Geology
        k. Interior Design
        l. Landscape Architecture
        m. Law
        n. Librarianship
        o. Marine Deck Officer
        p. Marine Engine Officer
        q. Master Plumbing
        r. Sugar Technology
        s. Social Work
        t. Teaching
        [Article XIV, Section 14 of the Constitution; Section 1 of R. A. No. 5181]

        QUESTION: Who are these “plenty of foreign professionals in the Philippines” you met here?

        May I know

        Again, like I said, China is economically freer compared to the Philippines because it allows 100% foreign ownership of business and allows foreigners to own property.

        China’s latest FDI figures DEBUNK everything you said. You understand what FDI is and what it implies?

  16. Mr. Severo Brilliantes is awfully silent… Yet he has not answered a lot of questions lately. I’ve been reading the comments from vincenton as well as others. I got Vincenton’s point that we need to liberalize our economy for it to grow. However, your point, Mr. Brilliantes, is to make the Philippines more like North Korea. As far as I know, with the exception of North Korea, no country in the world would support slavery. Do you really want the Philippines to be the 2nd country in the world to support slavery? As far as I know in our constitution (1987 Ph Constitution to be the most recent one), slavery is unconstitutional. Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

    It is harder for non-Filipinos to work in their respective professions here in the Philippines as compared to more free economies like our Asian neighbors. A good friend of mine even had to change his name and citizenship to work here as an entrepreneur.

    With all due respect to Mr. Brilliantes, please do answer the questions that you have not answered and stop throwing insults which have nothing to do with the issue at hand.

    Thank you so much

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