Foreign Ownership in the Philippines

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By Foreign Eyes

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The government is vigorously seeking and soliciting foreign ownership in major development projects in its “Build, Build, Build” program. This solicited investment is in the multi Billion Peso region in the Clark Development Area.

The Government is authorizing and soliciting mega foreign investment by large corporations whilst suppressing micro investment by foreigners who have emigrated and staked or who are considering their future in the Philippines as domesticated Aliens. Foreign Corporations can buy and build any amount of investment. However, Individuals cannot invest their life savings and their on-going pension in developing small scale projects in agriculture or in residential property.
The government is choking small micro development on a massive scale by a multitude of foreigners who would bring not only capital but also foreign expertise and business development experience. There are many ‘baby boomers’ around the world looking for a better country in which to settle, of which I am one. We have chosen to migrate to the Philippines because it is a stable democratic country, respect for the rule of law, English is widely spoken, it is scenically beautiful, it has good medical facilities, low level of corruption and bribery, excellent banking system, excellent electronic communication systems in internet and mobile phone coverage and currently a low cost of living. These baby boomers are from predominantly western countries and have either English as a first language of are excellent in its use as a second language.
If a foreigner buys land and builds a house what are the effects to the Philippines economy. The sale of land enriches a philippino who has sold the land and they are then enabled to invest that money in their own venture. This purchase money has a multiplier effect through the banking system increasing its value many times. The construction of a dwelling also has flow on effects through the supply chain of housing materials creating jobs throughout the Philippines. The construction also has job creation effects in the architectural, legal, banking and local government sectors even before any actual construction has occurred on site. The construction phase employs many casual hire workers for whom seasonal work in farming is limited and they often have second jobs in house construction.
Surely the vision of “Build, Build, Build” should not be limited to the Clark area and to mega corporations. To facilitate Federalism throughout the Philippines and a diversified “MicroBuild, MicroBuild, MicroBuild” the logical extension of the President’s twin strategic vision of Build, Build, Build coupled with Federalism of development.

The sale of land for own use dwellings, Constructions of apartments for rent and micro farming ventures would be facilitated by some relaxation of the rule on foreign ownership of land in the Philippines.



Taxation: regressive or progressive?

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By Foreign Eyes

It is easy to see the differences between cultures and countries. It is much harder to see the similarities between countries and cultures especially when one or both are changing. It is in the area of taxation where I see many countries moving in similar directions. These include the USA, Philippines and Australia to name a few.

In Australia the very conservative government has an agenda of “Flattening” the tax structure to equalize the percentage of tax taken from each person’s income and from each person’s spending. This is called a ‘regressive tax’ as it unfairly targets poor Australians who end up paying a greater proportion of their income in tax. This is mainly through the Goods and Services tax of 10%.

In the Philippines I see a similar process in place with the implementation of the TRAIN taxation. Salaried workers will be better off with a lower tax rate on their income. Non-salaried workers, mainly “Poor people”, have a higher percentage of income used for consumption will be taxed harder. The “Poor” include fishermen, farm laborers, itinerant construction workers and those selling goods in small sari-sari stores. It also includes taxes on Bingo winnings which is an entertainment for the poor. This greater percentage of tax taken on goods and services stops the poor from investing in their children’s food, health and education. It stops the poor from saving to buy a small business or a house. The poor will be generationally poor because the government will visit the taxes “of the fathers unto the third and fourth generation”. Taxes on salaried workers will be reduced under TRAIN but taxes on goods and services will be increased to compensate. This defines the winners and the losers just to stabilise the government’s tax revenue. This does not allow for a government’s increased desire for additional revenue.

Governments who implement flatter tax structures and a GST/VAT (Goods and Services Tax/Value Added Tax are also more likely to shift to a “User pays” service delivery method. Governments like not only to increase income but also to reduce expenditure. This can be done by raising fees and charges on government low cost or free services or by outsourcing these services to private enterprises by selling them. It is private enterprise who must them bare the odium of reduces services and higher charges.

A Tale of Two Wars

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by Foreign Eyes

My view is that the Philippine people are fighting two wars simultaneously.  The first is the war on drugs.  The second is against the muslim terrorists in Mindanaweño.  Both wars should be prosecuted vigorously to purify the country and to restore peace and harmony.  (NB.  I am a member of a facebook group advocating the death penalty in my home country).

Just as the only sane solution to the muslim separatorist/terrorist war is to vigorously pursue and exterminate them in “live fire exercises” till they cannot affect the next generation.  So also the same strategy should be pursued in the drug war.  The Philippines seems to me being undermined by the “fifth column” of western liberalism and humanistic thoughts  where western societies are degraded by individual rights  and freedoms.  I think that I must agree with the apostle Paul and the President (Romans 13:4) that the Philippines state “does not bear the sword in vain” to protect the people.  However, the implementation of extermination of these twin scourges leaves a lot to be desired.  Both wars,  seen to an outsider, seem to be run by bureaucrats and the KPIs are missing.

The western liberal democrats are a collection of individuals grouped as a society.  My view from the two wakes which I have attended this week is that the Philippines is a society composed of mutually supportive individuals.  The Philippines must maintain its society by eliminating the twin cancers of drugs and terrorists.



New Jeepney Laws

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By Foreign Eyes


There are many laws that introduction of the new extravagant jeepneys.  The shortsighted law ordering their purchase and phasing out of the older individual iconic idiosyncratic and inexpensive models with the new A/C high tech front loading first world minibuses.

The law counterbalancing the jeepney introduction law is “the law of unintended consequences”. The unintended consequences are the following but not limited to them only:

  1. Fares must increase to cover the purchase price of the high tech mini bus pseudo jeepneys.
  2. Old jeepney owners will suffer a big financial loss as obsolescent.
  3. Running costs of the new extravagant “white elephant” jeepneys will be higher.  This includes fuel costs to run them and their A/C units in Filipino summers.
  4. They do not meet first.  World disabled access standards.  Western buses can “kneel” on their airbags to allow better access  for the disabled, infirm and the elderly.
  5.  Trip times will be longer as fare payment will be consecutive with payment occuring before driving.  Now payment occurs concurrently embarcation and disembarcation will take longer as it will be harder to load and unload people and freight.
  6.  Alternative transport modes will become more competitive with tricycles and grab being lower in cost that the “first class” new jeepneys.  You only have to look at airlines to see the seat ratio between first class and economy class or observe the rise of “no frills” carriers like Cebu, Scoot and Air Asia  X” to see that in the provinces 6 people on a tricycle is both cheaper as a whole and much cheaper pro -rata.
  7.  No more tourist brochures showing Philippines colorful jeepneys.  This law is a solution devised by a soulless beaurocrat without a B.Ec.

Mardi Gras Vs. Mardi Gay @ Anilag

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Attending the Mardi Gay parade in Sta.Cruz today, March 11, 2018, during the day 2 celebration of Anilag Festival 2018  I was struck by the similarities but mostly by the differences in how lesbians and gays are viewed in Australia’s gayest city— Sydney and in a provincial capital like Sta. Cruz.

To an outsider, who is very familiar with the increasing acceptance and normalization of LGBTQI in Australia to see how far behind the Philippines is in accepting non binary straight people as 100% human is a step back 25 years in time.

In 2018 gay people can legally marry.  In 2017, Australia voted to legalize SSM (Same Sex Marriage).  5 years ago the Parliament granted them full equality before the law.  Gays and lesbians have for many years been able to foster children.   IVF clinics treat lesbians and gays as “normal” applicants for assisted reproduction.  Online internet sperm groups are mostly populated by lesbians and straight sperm donors.  Birth certificates in Australia can have both mothers (in lesbian couple) as parent 1 and parent 2.  7 years ago a gay sperm donor was removed from his daughters  birth certificate and replaced by the mother at the time of conception.

At the Mardi Gay Parade I only saw drag queens and a gay accepting church group.  Gays and lesbians are accepted within families.  However, full civil acceptance still seems years in the future.



Bureaucrats Are Weird

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By Foreign Eyes

Australia like  the Philippines has a shortage of blood donors (whole blood, plasma and platelets).

In Australia at the Australian Red Cross I can continue donating plasma till my 81st birthday.  I am an experienced donor with 325 donation as at January 2018.

When I went to the Laguna Red Cross-Sta.Cruz to start my blood donating life in the Philippines I was told that I was too old as Filipinos must stop at 60 yo.

So Australians have better blood or are we tougher that we can donate for 21 more years than Filipinos?  Or have arbitrary age limits been made by bureaucrats in the Philippines?Or does the Philippines have so many donors that they can afford to retire them early?

The answer that I was given for this age anomaly is that Filipinos die younger so they might need their own blood.

Personally I think that the 60 yo age limit is some bureaucrats lucky number in an illegal lottery.



Who Is Poor?

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By Foreign Eyes

People often say you’re  Australian you must be rich!  But as my foreign eyes look around at the adults visiting friends to play cards, marjong or just to chat and gossip.  I think how different it is to Australia.  We don’t know our neighbors, we only visit if invited. My son-in law once told  me “don’t just call in  if you want to visit,  first ring and make sure it is convenient!”  Filipinos are poor in cars, travel, houses, cloths and many material things. They are richer that western people in human friendships and connections.

This connectivity starts at the cradle with a village raising each child.  Filipino children have few western trappings of Affle once.  No ipad, no xbox, no thousands of dollars of lego, no internet games which need additional dollars to  upgrade to the next level.  They like the adults have a busy social life of hopscotch, thong-tossing, bike riding, chasing  and tag.



Filipino kids do not suffer from obesity like Australian (western) kids.   Who are poisoned by too much processed packed prepared sugar laced food.  I have observed two body morphologies in Filipino kids, skinny and solid but no obese sedentary kids.

I look around and say have I come to a poor country or rich country.  I think the answer is not a poor country measured properly.