Mr. President, It’s Time to Tear Down RP’s Protectionist Walls!

Everybody rushes to get a chance to board a C-130 military transport plane in Tacloban city

Everybody rushes to get a chance to board a C-130 military transport plane in Tacloban city

It appears that the Yolanda tragedy, which is feared to have killed over 10,000 locals in the Eastern Visayas region, has been very effective in bringing in foreign aid instead of the most needed foreign investment that could have helped Filipinos build safer and stronger homes, buildings and infrastructures.

To date the Philippine government received nearly two billion pesos in foreign aid from industrialized countries, which include United Kingdom (P710 million), United Arab Emirates (P424), Norway (P141 million), Canada (P206 million), and the European Union (P173). The United States government also pledged $20 million in aid (P860 million), apart from deploying U.S. troops to help in the release of relief goods and relocation of typhoon victims.

It’s quite interesting that these donor nations are not just the world’s freest and most open economies; they’re also the major OFW destinations. They are willing to help the Philippines despite the fact that the country’s laws unfairly limit and discriminate against foreign professionals and investors, particularly the nationals  of the afore-mentioned ‘generous’ countries, to protect Filipino oligarchs against foreign competition.

Now is the most crucial and critical time for the Philippine government to bring down the country’s protectionist walls and allow foreign investors and companies to help create jobs and build the typhoon-ravaged region.

Japan, for example, was able to quickly recover from the 2011 quake/tsumani tragedy not merely because it is one of the most developed nations in the world due to its liberalized economy, but also because of foreign direct investment. After a magnitude 9 earthquake hit Japan and brought its economy to a near-standstill, Japanese officials and economists immediately thought they needed to lure FDI to tsunami-hit cities, especially Tohoku, to re-build the country’s shaken economy.

From Government of Japan’s Public Relations Office:

Luring foreign direct investment to quake and tsunami-hit Tohoku is a way to help revitalize the area from the devastation of March 11, 2011.

Major foreign-capital companies such as GE Japan and IKEA Japan K.K. began with donations to Tohoku, which paved the way to business expansion, while Amazon Japan K.K. built its customer services center in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, to secure required talent.

GE believes that two of its global initiatives, “ecomagination” and “healthymagination,” have roles to play in helping revitalize Tohoku through foreign direct investment. Since the reconstruction involves many stakeholders, the key is public-private partnership.

“GE Japan wants to help resolve challenges through technologies and innovation in collaboration with local stakeholders,” said Hiroaki Kitagawa, director of the Reconstruction Assistance & Sustainable City program at GE’s Tohoku base in Sendai, which the company established in April 2012. “We will support Tohoku’s sustainable growth with win-win models for the private and public sectors.”

Yes, the Japanese government was HUMBLE enough to admit it needed more FDI to revitalize its tsunami-ravaged cities and economy.

How about the Philippine government? Well, the B.S. Aquino regime recently warned local businesses to prepare for price control or prize freeze. Despite the super-typhoon tragedy that displaced thousands of Eastern Visayas locals and destroyed jobs and businesses, it seems that President B.S. Aquino is unwilling to bring down the country’s protectionist walls that currently shield Filipino oligarchs and cronies against competition.

Filipinos are more interested in foreign aid than in foreign investment.

Filipinos are more interested in foreign aid than in foreign investment.

The solution to the Philippines’ poverty problem is ECONOMIC FREEDOM:

  • Eliminate certain taxes or lower tax rates. Taxes that can be eliminated are income tax, estate tax, capital gains tax, property tax, community tax, and corporate income tax. The government may focus on consumption tax as its source of revenue. However, the elimination of taxes should be done in a gradual, cautious manner.
  •  Lower government spending
  • Privatization. It is time to privatize all government-owned and controlled corporations.
  • Legalize gambling and lottery. Allow both foreign and local entrepreneurs to run gambling and lottery businesses. Let them compete with each other.
  • Allow 100% foreign ownership of land and business.
  • Allow foreign professionals to practice their professions here.
  • Allow foreigners to put up schools, media, public utilities, etc.
  • Allow foreign investors to put up power companies and compete with Filipino-owned power utilities.
  • Decontrol or deregulate by repealing economic regulations and restrictions.
  • Allow private insurers and social security companies to compete with SSS and GSIS.
  • Abolish certain government departments and agencies like DepEd, CHED, DSWD, DOH, national housing authority, NFA, DPWH, DoE etc. But this should be done gradually.
  • Abolish certain welfare programs like PhilHealth, government loan programs, subsidies, etc.
  • More focus on our judiciary or court system, police, and military.

The High Cost of Ignoring FREEDOM!

Is there any connection between the degree of a country’s freedom and the security and happiness of its people? Is there any possible correlation between a country’s degree and appreciation of liberty and rights and the outcome of natural calamities and man-made devastation? Do we have to look at the functions (e.g. controls and regulations) of the government if protecting the rights and happiness of every individual is our main goal? My answer is Yes, Yes, Yes!

The typhoon Ondoy that submerged entire Metro Manila was clearly a natural phenomenon, but logic tells us that its effects could have been prevented had the government known how to deal with the forces of nature. A natural phenomenon is the metaphysically given, meaning that which is part of nature and beyond the power of man to control. The typhoon Ondoy that put the entire metropolis under water is the metaphysically given. We cannot— since we don’t have any powerful climate-altering technology yet— control natural calamities like typhoon, earthquake, and tsunami, but we can control or minimize their effects. Flooding, which is the effect of continuous rainfall, is not the metaphysically given, thus it can be controlled or manipulated by man.

How RP’s Remaining Republican Principles Can Save Us from B.S. Aquino’s Creeping Liberal Fascism

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

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

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 from 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.

Yolanda Tragedy in Pictures

Rescue effort: The Philippine's Special Reaction Unit join soliders in the search for the bodies of victims of Typhoon Haiyan

Rescue effort: The Philippine’s Special Reaction Unit join soliders in the search for the bodies of victims of Typhoon Haiyan

Scavenging: A young boy pushing a trolley in search of water passes a coffin containing a victim of Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban Scavenging: A young boy pushing a trolley in search of water passes a coffin containing a victim of Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban

Search: Rescuers from the Philippine Coast Guard ride on a life raft during a search and rescue operation in TaclobanSearch: Rescuers from the Philippine Coast Guard ride on a life raft during a search and rescue operation in Tacloban

Typhoon victims: Bodies in bags are arranged in rows by military personnel beneath a tent that reads 'I love Tacloban'Typhoon victims: Bodies in bags are arranged in rows by military personnel beneath a tent that reads ‘I love Tacloban’

Deadly: Members of the Philippine National Police move dozens of bags of bodies of people killed by the devastating storm in Tacloban Deadly: Members of the Philippine National Police move dozens of bags of bodies of people killed by the devastating storm in Tacloban

Dreadful task: Soldiers pull bags filled with typhoon victims from the floor waters and leave them on higher ground

Dreadful task: Soldiers pull bags filled with typhoon victims from the floor waters and leave them on higher ground

Rescue effort: The Philippine's Special Reaction Unit join soliders in the search for the bodies of victims of Typhoon Haiyan

Rescue effort: The Philippine’s Special Reaction Unit join soliders in the search for the bodies of victims of Typhoon Haiyan

Scavenging: A young boy pushing a trolley in search of water passes a coffin containing a victim of Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban Scavenging: A young boy pushing a trolley in search of water passes a coffin containing a victim of Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban

Search: Rescuers from the Philippine Coast Guard ride on a life raft during a search and rescue operation in TaclobanSearch: Rescuers from the Philippine Coast Guard ride on a life raft during a search and rescue operation in Tacloban

Typhoon victims: Bodies in bags are arranged in rows by military personnel beneath a tent that reads 'I love Tacloban'Typhoon victims: Bodies in bags are arranged in rows by military personnel beneath a tent that reads ‘I love Tacloban’

Deadly: Members of the Philippine National Police move dozens of bags of bodies of people killed by the devastating storm in Tacloban Deadly: Members of the Philippine National Police move dozens of bags of bodies of people killed by the devastating storm in Tacloban

Dreadful task: Soldiers pull bags filled with typhoon victims from the floor waters and leave them on higher ground

Dreadful task: Soldiers pull bags filled with typhoon victims from the floor waters and leave them on higher ground

A father carries the lifeless body of his daughter on the way to the morgue after super typhoon Haiyan hit Tacloban City in Leyte provinceA father carries the lifeless body of his daughter on the way to the morgue after super typhoon Haiyan hit Tacloban City in Leyte province
Children wait for medical airlift in the devastated town of Guiuan, eastern Samar province

Children wait for medical airlift in the devastated town of Guiuan, eastern Samar province. Youngsters have been washed away in floods, crushed under falling buildings and injured by flying debris

A father carries the lifeless body of his daughter on the way to the morgue after super typhoon Haiyan hit Tacloban City in Leyte provinceA father carries the lifeless body of his daughter on the way to the morgue after super typhoon Haiyan hit Tacloban City in Leyte province
Children wait for medical airlift in the devastated town of Guiuan, eastern Samar province

Children wait for medical airlift in the devastated town of Guiuan, eastern Samar province. Youngsters have been washed away in floods, crushed under falling buildings and injured by flying debris

An aerial shot from a Philippine Air Force helicopter shows the devastation on Monday of the first landfall by typhoon Haiyan in Guiuan, Eastern Samar province, central PhilippinesAn aerial shot from a Philippines Air Force helicopter shows the devastation left by typhoon Haiyan in Guiuan, Eastern Samar province, central Philippines

A ship after it was swept inland at Tacloban city. This photograph was taken by the Philippine Air Force

Blown inland: A ship lies among the ruins of a built-up area of Tacloban after the vessel was swept inland. This photograph was taken by the Philippines Air Force

A battered town in Samar province in central Philippines. Dazed survivors begged for help and scavenged for food, water and medicine on Monday, threatening to overwhelm military and rescue resources

A battered town in Samar province in central Philippines. Dazed survivors  begged for help and scavenged for food, water and medicine on Monday, threatening to overwhelm military and rescue resources

Ships that washed ashore into a coastal community after Typhoon Haiyan hit the province of Leyte in central Philippines Ships that washed ashore into a coastal community after Typhoon Haiyan hit the province of Leyte in central Philippines
City of the dead: Dazed survivors survey the damaged houses in Tacloban city, Leyte province. At least 10,000 people are believed to have died thereCity of the dead: Dazed survivors survey the damaged houses in Tacloban city, Leyte province. At least 10,000 people are believed to have died there
This image taken by astronaut Karen L. Nyberg and released by NASA shows Super Typhoon Haiyan from the International Space Station yesterday

This image taken by astronaut Karen L. Nyberg and released by NASA shows Super Typhoon Haiyan from the International Space Station

6 thoughts on “Mr. President, It’s Time to Tear Down RP’s Protectionist Walls!

  1. First, some correction, the Japan quake of 2011 measured 9.0 magnitude not 7.4.

    I sympathize and agree with your perspective agenda. Indeed, it needs a moratorium or abolition on such provisions to recover the people in Visayas in a short time possible.

    At least you have a diligence of a good brother not like from the Get Real Philippines, Showbiz Government, et al who prolong the agony of the victims.

  2. Pingback: B.S. Aquino Continues to Play the Blame Game, Tells CNN Local Government ‘Failed to Respond’ | VINCENTON

  3. that picture of the PH CG using a Life Raft is Priceless, and examplifies what is wrong .. ah, come on .. what next ? all Navy guys will be going to war wearing and floating in Life Jackets ??

    One of the richest country in the region, in terms of mineral and wealth, is also one of the biggest jokers of the region .. who can have top class Presidential Fleet, Sky Scrapers with Helicopter Landing Pads, rich men who own private jets and fleets of Helicopters and Yatchs, but are glorified as being the reason for the country’s prosperity, but in reality, the rich are nothing but leechers .. and when a typhoon which was predicted so much in advance hits, you see Coast Guard using one time use Life Rafts to look for survivors.

    Cool, aint’ it ?

  4. Pingback: The Danger of Sending the Wrong Message: The Solution to Monopoly is NOT Dictatorship! | VINCENTON

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