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    If all your life you have always aspired and you think the one on top is no good, you must think again. Maybe you are no better. Or maybe you look worse!.. Or, why not think God. You're good but he loves you. You could end up that egotist stooge you hate in the mirror.
  • A small thief and a big thief are the same. They are both thieves... Uh uh, OK, we have a small thief and a big thief - they are not exactly the same... size.
  • People don't know good until they have seen bad, or they don't know bad, did not have any idea about bad, until they've seen good. Before all them could be hollow strings of words. [Tumen's doctrine]
  • Gagged people can sometimes be as dangerous as the non-reasonable. [Right of Reply]
  • One thing is always better than nothing. [When hope is gone; Kapit sa patalim.]
  • There will always be something better or advanced than the thing. [Law of Dialectic]
  • Putting down good or perceived good you lose. If good puts you down you lose as well. Try to be good. [Politics and propaganda]
  • Tyranny and rape belong to the same set of mind. They believe and look at themselves as too good.
  • When a person has lost credibility the best thing for him is to stop issuing statements because politically he has already lost any and all arguments. [Everything to a person - Integrity]
  • If truth can bring you down you must be stood on weak or false ground. If lie can bring you down then you must be stood on worse than scum!
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    "True" church or true religion is a squabble between theists. Whatever it is people believe in must be of no problem to God. I bet He can speak very well the language of any man - any creature, actually. [A Universal God]
  • A man's gain may be another man's loss. A man's happiness may be another man's woe. A man's ease may be another man's sacrifice and misery.[Expropriation/Profiteering/Bureaucrat capitalism/Government corruption]
  • To err is human. That’s why it is not good habit to drop God’s name just to drive the self. It might be standing stinking shit aside Him. [Cashing-in on the gullible]

  • Man has sometimes relegated God to a mule. Religion and State need to separate. [Religions in politics]
  • Heroes are remembered for their greatness. The bad sides of them are all in the hidden files and folders. Villains are the other way around. Nobody is perfect.
  • Except for being a figure of speech, nothing is really absolute.
  • Some people are hard headed. They cannot be told once. Well, try and try again, who knows. [Big names that flopped in politics]
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In the Rim of a Storm

The Philippine Supreme Court has issued a TRO that prevented the impeachment court to have a subpoenaed bank divulge account[s] of Chief Justice Corona. The TRO is specific to any that falls under Republic Act 6426, or the Foreign Currency Deposit Act (FCDA). It stayed clear of  Republic Act 1405, or the Bank Secrecy Act, which then left wide leeway to the opening of  information on several  peso-accounts owning to the CJ. It was issued upon a motion by the bank, actually.

RA 1405 allows the opening of bank accounts in cases as impeachment. RA 6426 specifies written permission of the owner of an account for its divulgence.

The Three Sides of it. Lifted from Google search: the impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona, Senate President and Impeachment court head Sen Juan Ponce Enrile, The President Benigno Simeon C Aquino III.

The TRO has been viewed by prosecutors as an intervention by the SC in the impeachment process. By itself, I don’t think the SC intervened in the big meaning and in the serious implications of the word. This made me post a comment somewhere, excerpts hereunder:

I think the supreme court never intervened for anybody, anywhere, anytime. It only receives the complaint. It must act on them. It likes doing them or not. It [SC], they [justices], must.

But, does the Supreme Court really intervene with the impeachment? I think the right-of-way of the Impeachment Court has never been in question. Nobody has questioned it. Nobody is questioning it.

There were series of events that led to the defense running to the Supreme court for relief. I think the TRO came at a time better than if the SC might or will say later that the impeachment court had been party to what the SC might say is [anything not good]. The impeachment court, being not really a party to prosecution, has choices between agreeing with the prosecution on their interpretations of the constitutions and by laws, or to honor the TRO from the SC,  so it seems now. I think it would be safe for the impeachment court to give a little room for the SC at some distance.

in·ter·vene

(past and past participle in·ter·vened, present participle in·ter·ven·ing, 3rd person present singular in·ter·venes)

intransitive verb
1. become involved in situation: to involve yourself deliberately in a situation, especially in a conflict or dispute, in order to influence what is happening and, most often, to prevent undesirable consequences
2. have preventive or delaying effect: to occur or take effect in such a way as to stop or delay something
3. elapse: to elapse between one point in time and another
4. break into conversation: to break into a conversation or discussion
5. be situated in between: to be located between two things
6. law enter lawsuit: to enter a lawsuit as a third party in order to protect your own interests
7. economics act to manipulate economic markets: to take economic action that is designed to counter a trend in a market, especially in order to stabilize a country’s currency

[Late 16th century. < Latin intervenire “come between” < venire“come”]

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The apparent conflicts between Malacañang and some legislators in one hand and the Supreme court in the other hand, made people to worry of a constitutional crisis. Malacañang Palace says that such a crisis is “malabo” [unlikely to happen].

Not only the possibility is there. Filipinos may not be in the eye of a constitutional crisis but they are already in the dark cloud of such a storm. I think the constitution is in effect being questioned by the President and his men.

There are times when people can debate in public on what they cannot agree with, without any problem to them. They are so when  the subject is hypothetical or the exercise is academic. Any question to the constitution right in the middle of a difficult real situation is, I think, itself a constitutional crisis. There is a difference between amending a law and subverting a law, the high forms of them.

That [duty and obligation of the SC] being it, a constitutional-political crisis is not impossible. Right now some legislators want the supreme court to totally stay out. The way some legislators act, it is possible the SC upon complaint might say the rights of the defendant is violated during the impeachment. Executive and Legislative could override the Judiciary. We have a collision when or if that happens. We can only imagine the rest.

Some of the President known allies and men. Lifted from Google search. Clockwise from top left: Sen Kiko Pangilinan, Sen Franklin Drilon, Presidential spokesperson Edwin Laceirda, Head prosecutor Cong Neil Tupas

The TRO handed to the Impeachment court was promulgated by the Supreme court after a vote of 8-5 with 2 abstentions. Cong Rodolfo Fariñas, member of the Impeachment prosecution panel has called for the impeachment of the 8 justices who favored the TRO.

No doubt Malacañang has the numbers in the lower house of congress where impeachments are born. The impeachment of the Chief Justice passing in there without or without much house deliberations has proven it. But Cong Feleciano Belmonte, the current head of the lower house, although a known ally of the President, has been quite apologetic for Cong Fariñas’ action.

Right now, the critical theater is the Senate where the impeachment of the Chief Justice is being handled.  Has Malacañang the numbers in there to finally impeach Justice Corona, too? Most political analysts will say yes.

But Philippine Senate in general, especially Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, has been trying to show impartiality in handling the proceeding.

Senator Enrile’s tenure as Senate President has always been threatened by coup.  Nearest contender would be Senator Franklin Drilon, a staunch ally of the President. But a coup would not be necessary. In the Senate that is acting as an impeachment court, anybody can be overruled.

People could wake up one morning under a declared or undeclared revolutionary government. It might not be planned. It could just happen.  A Judiciary that, in deed or in effect, might be gagged and suspended or arrested by the Legislative and Executive branches of government.

And that is not actually stated in the constitutions.  But it can be squeezed by the Executives into the shell of an emergency rule and then hatched. And the Philippine constitution saw only an independent Legislative branch to check that, which in the imagined scenario based on how things are, is likely a mere formality rather than functional. We see a scenario of the Legislative, more than checking, ganging up with  the Executives over the [Supreme Court and the] Judiciary.

Well,  if that would not be a constitutional storm enough that can develop into a political one. Whether Revolutionary government or dictatorship, then, are but matters of opinion.

This has always been a natural material world. Behind the rhetoric about good governance it is hard for the situation not to develop into a simple struggle for power and survival.

“The symptoms of this weak state are the large gap between rich and poor—a gap that has been exploited for political ends—and a political system based on patronage and, ultimately, corruption to support that patronage,” Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, former President.

That is where PGMA has been. Stated one way differently, as political power is harangued and harassed, it gathers all forces around it and in the end their interests – personal survival – become one, or are one of symbiosis. A formidable machinery whose loyalty is to itself is formed, by people tolerant of one another, and whose mainstay is the President.

Filipinos have seen history repeated times and again. We have the ingredients of past failures very much around. It is hard to hope for something very different under the same old circumstances.

The Two Views on the Matter

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is being impeached for culpable violations of the constitution, betrayal of public trust, and graft and corruption –  that’s the legalistic side of it.

The President, even before he was sworn into office, has never liked the Chief Justice, and his camp is busy working on that – that’s the politics’ side of it.

Meanwhile, things are drifting towards a storm and pointed to the eye of it.

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How Do We Do

How are we doing. Former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has criticized the present administration lately as a “politics of division”. The Aquino administration, in the other hand, claiming to be making strides, hit back at her as a “huge failure”. Except for, I should say, its overly zealous campaign against alleged anomalies of the past administration, I think, the Aquino administration is no more than threading along on the paths left by the PGMA administration i.e. Build Operate and/or Transfer schemes for public works, Tourism development, Cash Transfer for the destitute, others. Carry overs of the Arroyo administration, furtherance or expanding some of them,  actually.  Tourism seems to be one good prospect.

But are we really making stride at everything as claimed? I think this has become a boring claim by everyone since President Marcos. Where Filipinos are, today, tells it loud.

GDP and the Simple Man in the Street.

Gross Domestic Product [GDP] is one system indicator that a government relies on to tell itself of the country’s progress. It is a language usually understandable only to the business sector. It is usually expressed in amount of money and converted to percentage, say a GDP of 3.2% [annual] growth. And what does that in turn mean? Actually, nothing except to give people a near idea how the country is doing compared with its neighbors.  Sometimes we hear politicians prate about them. But figures are not really conclusive unless we are comparing countries that have exactly same external-internal conditions. But this is going a-side.

So, let’s say there was P95.00 then that now is P150.00. It shows a gain of P55.00 or roughly a 58% of [accumulated] gain. It might be considered good for the business sector. What is presented there as gain is more of a result of inflation – value on production was re-adjusted. It does not necessarily mean that the business has grown. It does not also automatically mean that business has become more profitable which is another thing independent.

But there must be growth of businesses as the population grows so we can say that the country is really doing good. Growth of businesses means more employment. And growth of businesses has to surpass growth of population so it can be said that the whole nation is making a stride forward. This is within what they mean by Positive economic growth. That will mean pushing against an existing huge backlog in employment for one thing.

[The figures in term of money given as example represent 1 kg of chicken then [P95.00] and 1 kg of chicken now [P150.00]. While it showed a gain [P55.00]. I kg then and I kg now, actually, is zero growth. What was presented as a 58% gain is actually inflation figure. It has to be 1 kg then and 1 plus [1+] kg now, to have really grown. If production was 1 unit then that now is 1.1 unit, then 0.1 unit or 10% is the real growth. What was P95.00 then must now show P165.00, which is actually 58% inflation plus 10% growth.  The gross production that is P165.00 is actually inflation plus growth.]

Whatever in reality, what  are perceived as gains cannot be felt or understood by people in the streets. Sometimes there is actually a feeling of retrogression. As when one breadwinner had 3 mouths to feed then, but now he has four or five. Or, when a bread-winner belongs to a sector that is short-changed at every round of unending readjustments because of inflation, as happening in countries where states lean or lean heavily on the side of the business class who are themselves also hard pressed by world trade and competition. The buying power of the wage earners in such places is shrinking. While the business class might be progressing, the wage earners will be seeing retrogression. But we are going a-side.

Figures will have been expressed better based on volume of production i.e. metric tons, other units; or showing both volume and value of production to compare them then and now. Otherwise partial figures [showing only value] are actually some misleading.  The national figure is a summary of them. And a summary is possible only using a common denominator – value. The amount in money can be awesome. It somehow projects progress.  But there are people who cannot feel it. They don’t understand why.

One direct indicator, a short cut showing the state of national economy, is employment figure. A claim of economic growth is actually false when there is a decline in employment. [Again, in there, figures might be tricky but we are going a-side.]

I think another, and real-hard indicator, is the 8 million overseas Filipino workers [OFW].  I was in Guam in 1991 when overseas Korean workers started going home, many of them cutting contracts. I guess it was a feeling of missing  new-found-friends that made me think they were wasting opportunity that, as a Filipino earning 10 times more in there, was how I saw things.

That there was a growing need for employment in Korea, that the differential in pay was narrowing, and that they have no more reason to be away from family – those are what I learned from them. How true. People will do with less if they can have them near their loved ones.

[SOKOR economic stride was awesome. Today, a few hundred thousand Filipinos are in Korea doing work. Korean corporations like Hanil and Hanjin are in the Philippines directly providing tens of thousand jobs for Filipinos not to mention secondary opportunities they have generated.]

For business to go abroad may mean  expansion or growth. But for workers going abroad to find work does not speak well of local economy.

Problems are not solved overnight.  But at least we should see a reversal of the trend of Filipinos going abroad to find work, to claim our country’s economy  is really doing good.

Yes, how do we do. There are sleeping issues not up yet because of the impeachment of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. How long can this administration keep economic issues at bay or how long before economic issues will come to play remains to be seen.

Or maybe some of them already do. Discontent can assume any form. It can ride even on unrelated issues.

Lifted from Pinoyweeklyonline / Google search: mga larawan, P-noy

Scaring away graft and corruption might be good for this administration.  But that alone is not enough.  People have seen the best of PGMA’s economic programs and policies.  Ok, maybe same things, same everything, but different players equals different results.  Frankly, I find it hard to be optimistic.

Related articles

A Shining Light in the Dark…

People are leaving the country…

A Global Problem – Unemployment

So much about our neighbor. Looking around in our own backyard, what good is a super highway to the moon when there are people living in streets and gutters and without food on their tables, Sire/Ma’am?

Imagine all the options for survival by people like these. Lifted from Google search: Street people. Philippines

In the other hand, of late report, we have more than 8 million Filipinos who are abroad either working or looking for work [OFWs].  I bet it does not include Filipinos who have immigrated for good.

Out in the world, Globalization has now tended to drown the working class of the developed countries. [Add to that overseas Filipinos competing for jobs and resources]. And that is not a problem solely of their working class because depression of them affects consumerism that in turn affects industries and whole economy of nations. There tends growing pressure mounting against governments in there. But their problem of unemployment is in fact superficial when compared to that of the underdeveloped world. A remedy to their problems may be lost opportunity, and burdens in underdeveloped countries.

Today, the dollar remittances of OFWs are gross estimated to amount P 475,000,000,000.00 [475 Billion PhP] a year.  That, and ever increasing debt by government from borrowings, cascaded and rippled in the local economy, are the only things that literally keep Philippines on its feet at present.

[Gross estimate is based on partial report for year 2011.]

Lifted from Google search: Street demonstrations. Philippines

Expect things like this and brace ourselves for them, folks! No, they are not coming all-at-once. Garrote ito kay Juan dela Cruz that should be remedied or out-paced now. And the remedy – seemingly nothing short of a social overhaul – appears next to wishful thinking. And there are only two ways social-political-economic reforms are known to come. If they don’t come from the top then they must be coming from below.  There’s the challenge, Sire/Ma’am.

And never mind arts and culture. They are just expressions that reflect the people of time. They are parts of a hard, real, world. They evolve with the world that is constantly changing with times.

Ohh…Maybe obese children left to fend for themselves in the kitchen would make more interesting and refreshing subject matter to write about next time.  😦

Related posts:

A Shining Light in the Dark…

People are leaving the country…

A Massive World Set in Motion by Petropolitics

I’ve been thinking of writing about something known as petroleum-politics or Petropolitics.  But, until now I really feel that the subject is fragmented in me so I need to sort my perceptions  into places, first.

In the other hand I doubt if I really have time to think about them, or why should I. Well, if I ever get to post them in here later, I think they might go this way

While "American Imperialism" has been one pole of global conflict, the other pole has shifted. The USSR and the Cold war are gone factors, equation has now pointed to forces that identify itself as Islamism.

  • All about world’s ever pressing need for petroleum, in particular. This is not limited to capitalism as the need for petroleum also involves socialist states.

  • A review of the petroleum industries in the free world, their motivation or nature, that again is not limited to them because in socialist states, state and bureaucracy merely took over, assumed role or assimilated, everything formerly of private capital.

  • The need by capital, to mean both capitalist and socialist in the case now, to exploit resources in traditionally international spaces.

  • The universal natures of politics and politicians of time. The need by states to provide for their people, the need for political-economic-social stability internal to them.

  • Lobby and/or corruption, a symbiotic relation, interests of capital and states have naturally collude become mutually beneficial along lines if not one.

Today's richest government on Earth is building up its military hardwares and flexing its muscles.

  • International conflicts in the race by states to get hold of free territories, the universal natures of people – patriotism and nationalism readily rallying behind states.

  • Added in there are: regional, cultural and racial differences that are generated further with the conflicts. The prospects of neo-global polarization of east-west-black-white, of insurgencies and world terrorism.

Peoples Republic of China - the big foot in the Spratlys, South China Sea

The main engine that drives world’s economy and politics, propelling the world in its present course is Petropolitics.  The thing has contributed much in shaping local and foreign policies of nations. It shaped laws, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea [UNCLOS] is no different.

This  world has been spinning on an axis called petropolitics. So very natural and perceived to be normal, to many people it’s just the way of the world. Living for the day is man. And that may be dangerous. The dangers of armed confrontation and wars is never been real.

By the way, have you ever wondered why all the fuss about cigarette  smoking when nothing is said about one car out there is 10,000 X more hazardous than one cigarette smoker? Well, that’s because we do not have thing called tobacco-politics with us. The thing is dwarfed, dying, if not already dead.

And look who says what is, or what is not, more important thing in this world. Like, the stride for alternative energies, say hydrogen, for all reasons, can wait.

Maybe I missed lots more than are stuffed in this thing called petropolitics. Maybe somebody should polish and finish the ideas.  But is not everything antedated, antiquated, nowhere in time, thus boring?

Ohh, what me worry. I am not Clark Kent.

An Inherited Problem for the President – Hacienda Luisita

Hda Luisita is used to be owned by the Cojuangcos – of the Corazon C. Aquino circle of family. It’s been subject of land reform under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program or CARP.

Land reform was originally passed to eradicate feudalism in the country. It was aimed at emancipation of peasant-tenants from feudal bondage.  Peasants became land owners. Land reform today no longer limits to tenancy as they may also include any farmland, tenancy or not, over 5 hectares in area. The idea is to break up big farm units into small farm units, which is some politics’ idea of “democratization of wealth”.

Land Reform in Capitalist Farming

Hda Luisita is capitalist farming, corporate farming to be specific. And in capital farming, farmer actually refers to the owners of the means of production, in this case Hacienda Luisita Inc. [HLI] that owned and ran the land. And, yes, Sire/ma’am, small miserable farmers and super rich farmers are the same. They are all farmers. Welcome to the era called capitalism.

Farm-er [fa’armer] (plural farm-ers) noun

Somebody who farms: somebody who owns or operates a farm

1993-2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved

Employees under the landowners or farmers are actually not farmers but farm workers, also known as wage earners. Hacienda Luisita is a case where farm workers would like to own the land to be the farmers. One big farmer to become many small farmers.

Anyway, Land Reform in capitalism is a matter between the state and landowner in one hand, and between the state and would-be-farmers in the other hand. State and the landowners agree on price and mode of payment. [In principle, would-be-recipients are represented in an adjudication board] State then distributes the land to recipients  under terms agreed upon by state and recipients or beneficiaries.

When landowner conceded or agreed to land reform, and when landowner accepted payment from the state, then, state became the new owner of that land until ownership has been passed on to recipients of land reform. Outgoing landowner has no business with the recipients of land reform.

At least in principles. Because, in the case of Hda Luisita that is not the case. The hacienda happens to have a sugar mill in an estate that is around 6,000 hectares [hectare X 2.471 = acre]. Hda Luisita has since been exhausting all legal remedies not to have the land simply distributed to interested farmers. They have fought for a say how it should be done, which is the “stock distribution option” or SDO for would-be-beneficiaries. By stock distribution, beneficiaries must incorporate their farm lots with the sugar mill. Interested beneficiaries in the other hand see it as THEIR option.

For HLI, giving up the land appears to be no problem. In fact many landed families made money better selling their lands to government than by anything else. Surely the Cojuangcos were not short changed in the deal. Big income is in sugar trading and not in sugar production, anyway.

Since the time of President Cory C. Aquino up to 1997, or in the first 10 years of CARP, 4, 619,000 hectares of land have been distributed under the program, 2.7% of them within compulsory acquisition [CA] and 97.2% of them within voluntary offer to sell [VOS]. VOS is land reform from landowners’ initiative. This is the period after the collapse of the sugar industry, and when the future of sugarcane farming has always been bleak until this day.

Hda Luisita is VOS but with “stock distribution option” attached to it. Why else would an estate owned or controlled by the family of a President ex President be subjected to land reform if not volunteered? So we see why giving away the land is not the problem. Preserving the sugar mill is another thing.

The existence of the sugar mill built on the land may be threatened. While sugarcane is top grosser, farmers will spend less for production and will net-profit better if they, and most likely, plant rice or corn instead. And a sugar mill without the farmers to supply the canes is sure-dead mill. Bye to lucrative sugar trading as well.

For the owners of Central Asucarera de Tarlac, simply giving up the land was therefore not as easy as would-be-farmers want it their way, or as easy as some implications of the law. Viewed from certain quarter, there are efforts by owners of Hda Luisita to defeat or circumvent the CARP for reason we have already outlined. Until Hda Luisita, CA or VOS did not have provision called SDO.

Personally, I think VOS should be scrapped and CARP modified rolled back, to affect only tenancy and idle private lands, which was what original land reform had been all about. But since there is the present CARP law, then, law ought to be law, we like it or not.

So, we have a case here of interested farmers going against the interest of those very influential in government. Interested farmers are dealing with the family of no less the President, Benigno Cojuangco Aquino III, son of one time President Cory C. Aquino. The conflict revolves around the SDO. In his mother’s time as president of the country, activists, militant farmers and farm workers, marching on their way to Malacañang Palace to demand the land under the agrarian reform law, ended up killed in what is now known as the Mendiola massacre.

And the heir of Pres Corazon C. Aquino, clear enough, is trying to avoid the same thing from happening in his time. While Noynoy apparently is not turning his back on the family’s “stock transfer” position, his administration, so far, has been quite liberal in its approach with those demanding for the land of Hda Luisita. A referendum regarding the SDO has been devised.

Another issue there seems to be who decides on who should qualify as beneficiaries. Right you are, at the end of the day, it is the owner of the land who decides. In cases involving land reform, only government that now owns those lands has the right to do that. Only DAR issues certificate of award, land or stock.

A CA usually started with  a petition by people’s organization  for some land to be acquired by government and then redistributed to the petitioners, under the land reform program.

VOS, in the other hand, stemmed from landowner’s will to sell land to government. VOS are not as simple as they sound. Ordinarily,  landowners  did not know their way around. They found their way to people who know the way. Those agents could be lawyers, or influential individuals or groups, who are knowledgeable in the maze of the bureaucracies i.e. Department of Agrarian Reform, Land Bank of the Philippines, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Bureau of Lands, and more.  The fee was usually 20% of the total amount of the sale of land.

It is not usual way for DAR to take the burden of seeking or finding interested beneficiaries for VOS land. S.O.P. requires list of beneficiaries as one requirement for approval of VOS application. And VOS applicants and their agents should provide a tentative list of that or else  their application sleeps. That system has been formalized as voluntary land transfer, a term which is technically parallel operation land transfer [OLT] of the old land reform. Almost all VOS went that way.

Farm workers-turned-farmers as stockholders of Central Asucarera de Tarlac? Next thing to happen there will be a squabble between them and the original stockholders for control of the Corporation. Contest for control of a corporation is normal, natural, and universal of all corporations. But as we have seen just the mere thought of them is no longer acceptable to many of the would-be-farmers. First, they cannot agree with Luisita’s admin on many terms. Second, they seem do not or cannot trust the other side. The situation, which has already wasted a lot  of blood right in Luisita, hangs in there.

Lastly, HLI uses the “number of days worked by a farmer” as a basis for determining the number of stocks to be given to a farmer. Through this, HLI can unilaterally deny any farmer his entitlement to the stocks by the simple expediency of not giving him any working hours or days.

Land re-distribution in Tenancy land reform is easy. There are actual tenants with actual specific areas assigned them by landlords. State simply surveys them to draw parcels based on actuality.

How would you parcel out land to farm workers? They come and go. Some of them have been there for generations. Some of them are residents while some of them are seasonal migratory. Some of them have worked there for many years, while some of them just came yesterday. What about the women and the children who weeded in the fields? Sometimes, as in the case of bloody Hda. Luisita and bloody Hda Velez-Malaga in Negros, the farm workers cannot even agree among themselves. Who qualifies and how much should go to each can, indeed, be chaotic.

SDO by HLI?  That cannot be because HLI can only recommend to DAR, which has the authority to decide and to approve.

Actually, half the interested-farmers in Luisita have already accepted and tried SDO. They were not happy. What did they expect to earn in a hectare or a fraction of it from sugarcane production, really? Even five hectares in there is a waste of time under present circumstances. And that’s what I said selling land earns better! And we already saw 4 million hectares sold by their owners because they saw no good to them! There are better things than sugarcane farming.  First, there is the instability and volatility of  the  sugar market in the country  with a long  history quite pessimistic for the planters.  Second, is the nagging issue of slave wages that have always been blamed on the landlords, and to which  nothing seemed can be done about in the situation.

As for the land reform called CARP that is actually more of politics than sound economics? Well, it looks like the President can do nothing about it. Maybe Philippine Congress will do something for CARP or whatever people would like to name the program. And whatever that is, I don’t think the President will be comfortable with. Because, he is in a situation that damn if he does and damn if he does not.

The program had actually expired but was extended by congress to appease farmers and radicals. Or maybe that is only what we see. Fact is, CA is deemed terminated while extension applies to VOS. There were lots of VOS applications that are pending yet when the program matured. Department of Agrarian Reform [DAR] has received VOS applications more than it had handled.

Damn CARP! Or, maybe, we should say damn sugar trade in this country!

Give all the lands to the poor as they are what they want and as they are what politicians think is good. Then, give farmers a little better than rice and corn. Or, give them better reason than for them to leave their lands idle. The latter solves the problem of any sugar mill, the problem of Luisita included.

Give more incentives and protection to our producing sectors. The country which is blessed with land and climate suitable for agriculture should have been an agricultural power instead of having become dependent on world agriculture. Damn “Comprehensive Agrarian Reform” program. And damn sugar trading.

Related post here. Doing away with comprehensive agrarian  reform…

Updates: SC latest ruling regarding stock distribution option in HLI.

Land distribution ng Hacienda Luisita…

The Craziest of All Ideas for Filipinos – Self Reliance

I think, for a change, state should redirect its focus at self reliance. Yes, like, state should have a direct hand at industrialization where there is much need if not a void.

Adolf Hitler, reconciling capitalism with socialism, employed it. President Ferdinand E. Marcos  also made a push at there.  No, it is not dictatorship I am selling. They are  the good sides in them viewed from national standpoint that I am saying. Aside from self reliance, industrialization by the state where there is none, also meant more employment.

The idea of national self reliance is old. Filipino leaders in the past must have had it in mind. Like, without many infrastructures needed everywhere, they had Philippine National Construction Corporation [PNCC] for that. Today, with the private sector proliferating in there, the thing has naturally become a Burloloy [white elephant]. Whatever functions to justify its continued existence can easily be assumed by later-day agencies like, say, National Economic Development Autority [NEDA] and the Department of Public Works and Highways [DPWH].

They had National Power Corporation [NAPOCOR] and the National Waters and Sewerage Administration [NAWASA], that the private sectors under them today would like to take over. Ill-administered, top heavy and became financial burdens, these state-owned corporations are more in the side of burloloys that may be dissolved except for their barest function – Regulatory.

[In the world of ideologues, privatization is a lease of life to capitalism]

But back to self reliance. Let’s talk about fuels. Putting aside pretensions, the world went to wars for that. Nations invaded for that.  Terrorism is rooted to that. The latest world economic crisis was caused by a domino that is rooted to that.  Maybe, we Filipinos can pursue our needs for fuels without any thought of going into any war.

President Marcos, recognizing the very peculiar vital rule of fuels, created Philippine National Oil Company [PNOC] and PETRON. Aside from being a move towards self-reliance and stability, Petron also contributed to the coffers. I think, privatization of Petron, later, was some stupid monkey business. Because, the reasons behind their creation, unlike others, are becoming aggravating instead of receding as time goes on.

Self reliance. Surely every Philippine President that came and went had dreamed about it. The idea looks simple when it is not. Under the present circumstances the idea is in fact crazy.

Let’s talk of our Bio-fuels Law passed just a while ago. It created a big demand for Ethanol to fill but where are all the ethanol plants and the ethanol because there are none. So we import something that could easily be produced locally while saving on foreign currency reserves as well.

Let’s fantasize that government is putting up ten ethanol plants for a start. Imagine 10 ethanol plants where there is nothing! That will be sisiw [small timer]. Kayang-kaya, wholly owned by the state, or in partnership with other states and or in partnership with the private sector.

Perennial problem of troublesome informal settlers living in streets and gutters?  Then, state can start relocating them to the sites where those industries are and where jobs and housing for them await there.  That makes  the practice of selling rights in relocation sites and coming back to the streets and gutters a thing of the past for them.

No, professional squatters does not mean professionals who live in squatter areas. The term applies to squatters who have already  been relocated for the ump time so that it seems squatting getting relocated has become their means of living.

But Ethanol plants need farmers. Without farmers to supply the raw materials, mills are  no better than scrap metals. Many of those small farmers today are in the streets and gutters than starving back home or living more miserably in farmlands! They have to be enticed back to the farms from the cities. Financial-agricultural assistance, mabigat but still kaya. Maybe the presently allocated billions [21 Billion  a year] of pesos ‘cash transfer’, alms, palliative that does not solve the problem of poverty, should be cut and diverted to long range solutions.

But, most of all, farmers need motivation – stable and good price for their produce. That’s to sustain them and the system of production. That will also make many people in streets and gutters to pack-up and start moving back to the provinces. Yes, going home by themselves as they have moved into the cities by themselves !

But, to make farmers happy, State needs to elbow the Compradores aside. Or, leaving the traders as they are, to pose stiffest competition for them. State will end up getting its hands on trading of fuels, or fuel components, if not strongly dictating over the whole agricultural and agro-setup.

Laws will be needed. Everything and everyone that contributed to the deep quagmire that the nation is presently in will be rocked!

So, you see, as we go deeper to the bottom of  the matter, it gets more and more complicated. The whole idea is what and why I call crazy. It’s like telling the majority of our lawmakers to tell themselves to go to hell, or to get lost! Present day Philippines is much a creation of the comprador class.

Ethanol, the big talk in the country in 2000, is something nobody is investing. Apparently the problem is about trade and not about production. A look at the situation of the sugar industry, and of the state of the country’s sugar mills, are enough to douse any enthusiasm for ethanol, I guess. Interested would-be-producers see no guarantee in trade. In short, private capital has sensed no money in there, or else they’re in there now.

Should not we just drift with everything and everyone to the edge?  Maybe there is a miracle somewhere to snag the Filipinos for the better.

Still, I strongly recommend Stronghold Crusader by Firefly Studios for everybody or everyone running the state. Maybe they’ll learn a little of something from the game. And don’t forget to select Castle Builder Build peacefully, with just the camels for company!  There are big cats in the way, lest you forget.

Related Posts  here

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