Here's a Platform, But No One's Standing On It

LP_logoPresented here, unedited and in its entirety, is the Economic Program portion of the platform published by the Liberal Party. It is one of three parts of their platform, which bears the general title “Policies for the New Century”; the others are the “Political Program” and the “Social Program”.

The platform includes some points that are not quite fully-developed or stated in an unequivocal way, and for most points of the platform, arguments for or against can be presented. These considerations, however, are secondary; what matters is that the Liberal Party has now moved into a realm that has been the exclusive domain of parties like PANGMASA and Ang Kapatiran in providing the voters the opportunity to debate the attributes of the parties and their candidates on substance rather than rhetoric and personality. We’ve asked – ad nauseum by some peoples’ measures – for platforms, and someone has finally delivered something that meets the definition:

  • State the problems and issues
  • Describe the solutions and objectives that address those problems and issues
  • Explain the reasons for those particular solutions and objectives

POLICIES FOR THE NEW CENTURY  

I. Economic Program

We believe that the market is the best basis for providing opportunity and prosperity. Government’s role should be to guarantee competition, through;

1. Ensuring that the market works as effectively as possible. This means liberal markets and open competition, both domestically and internationally. It means action to remove barriers, to lower costs of entry into the marketplace (this is of particular importance to small businesses and the self-employed), and to encourage individual enterprise. It means a market driven by consumer choice, rather than producer power. It means providing the public investment necessary to create the climate for private enterprise to prosper. This includes an infrastructure which allows efficient mobility of goods, and a social structure which provides the maximum flexibility of labor compatible with fair treatment of employees. And this in turn means moving towards the full protection of rights at work defined individually and protected by statute.

2. Taking action to correct market failures. This includes preventing industry and consumers from distorting the market by ignoring environmental costs. It means that barriers of discrimination that would otherwise exist – against women who are likely to have children, for example, or against people with disabilities – are dismantled. It means, crucially, correcting the unfettered market’s tendency not to invest in human resources – as a skilled and adaptable workforce will be necessary to meet the economic challenges of the new century. On a wider scale, it means setting a framework of long-term forecasting, thinking and research that the market left alone usually ignores.

3. Ensuring that ownership is spread as widely as possible at all levels (including in the workplace itself). This implies a commitment to equity considerations, job ownership and to participation in decision-making at work.

To enable such market to work, government must create stable conditions in the economy. Chief amongst these are low inflation, stable exchange rates, a vibrant domestic market and low tariff and non-tariff barriers to external trade.

To meet these objectives, the Liberal Party shall undertake:

1. Economic Stabilization

What the economy needs is a new impetus. The government’s proposals will not achieve this. Only new investment will provide the kick-start needed to escape from recession and reduce the waste of talents and escape which results from unemployment.

Liberals recognize the Philippines’ long-term needs. We are committed to a competitive and enterprising economy. We do not believe it is government’s job to run business-people do that much better. We see government’s role as encouraging competition, investing in skills involving employees in the success of their companies, nurturing small business, playing positive part in the construction of the new Southeast Asian economy and above all bringing greater stability to national economic management.

A. Turn the Country Around

The current recession is undermining our future success. Massive lay-offs, business closures, unemployment and underemployment lead to major wastage of talent and resources. At the same time, essential investment in infrastructure, in education and training and in innovation, is being neglected.

Liberals will introduce an emergency programme of investment to end the slump- major programme of public capital investment, jointly funded by the government and private investors (i.e., such as through the B.O.T. scheme), perhaps together with a prudent increase in borrowing. This combined with a freeze in interest rates and investment in education to increase the nation’s skills, will kick-start recovery and create jobs, we will:

• Invest in local economies. We will encourage Small Scale Enterprises to become strong, locally based, employer-led organizations providing business services, acting as an effective voice for business at local level, and overseeing training of those in employment. We will encourage decentralization of financial institutions. We will end the present Government’s policy of clawing back authority from local governments.

• Investment in infrastructure. We will provide support for transport infrastructure, including a dedicated expansion of our existing rail and navigation system to connect the capital with the major routes throughout the country, and the extension of electrification throughout the country. We will encourage the expansion of airports and seaports outside Luzon.

• Freeze-business rates this year, thus effectively reducing them in real terms, a larger reduction than that which the Government is prepared to do.

• Stimulate competition. We will take tough action against monopolies, combinations in restraint of trade and those who manipulate the financial and FOREX markets. We will introduce a Restrictive Practices Act to penalize anti-competitive behavior and end price-fixing by cartels. We will encourage greater competition in the banking sector.

B. Make the Philippine Economy Competitive

Creating long-term prosperity. We will change the ways in which economic policy is made and implemented to bring greater stability and a sensible framework to economic management – ending the present ‘boom, bust’ approach. Long-term private investment in the production of high-quality tradable goods and services is essential for long-term success. This will only be possible in a climate of investment, enterprise and partnership. This climate of enterprise and competition is vital if Philippine industry and products are to compete effectively is overseas market. We will:

• Break up monopolies. We shall level the playing field through the dismantling of monopolies in public utilities, agricultural trade and energy generation and distribution, and by ensuring that business incentives apply to all except for the industries targeted for accelerated development.

• Launch an all-out mobilization of Filipino capital in support of a vigorous program of industrialization and employment creation.

• Promote the accelerated transformation of the economy into a modern and industrializing one by targeting the high value-added industries that will allow the country to catch up in the development process.

• Promote consumer rights. We will take the lead to ensure that all products come with accurate, full and simple product and service information. We will give consumer watchdogs greater powers, and improve redress for inadequate goods and services.

• Build partnership in industry. We will ensure that every employee has a right to participate in decision-making in their enterprise. We will set up a program for Industrial Partnership to help companies and their employees find the precise form of partnership which best suit them.

• Invest in research, innovation and design. We will immediately increase the science and technology budget and raise it steadily thereafter. We will establish regional technology transfer centers to bring together the resources of industry to invest in innovation and to provide seedcom capital.

• Reform taxation to increase investment. We will increase investment substantially in schemes to encourage innovation in industry, particularly in small and medium-sized enterprises, especially those involved in the manufacturing. We will reform corporation taxation of savings to achieve even treatment for different forms of savings.

• Encourage a long-term approach to private investment. We will reform the corporation and investment codes to require greater disclosure of information such as expenditure on research and development. We will further define the responsibilities corporate officers to ensure public accountability.

• Encourage small business and the self-employed, and ensure a level playing field for them in competing with their larger establishments. This will include relieving the administrative burden on overdue debt, and encouraging local chambers of commerce and local enterprise agencies to reorganize to form a network of business-led one-stop shops. We will encourage and if necessary legislate for banks to treat small business fairly. We will promote the establishment in the countrysides of local enterprise banks.

• Ensure the development of a balanced and dynamic agro-industrial structure featuring a sound mix of basic, intermediate and light industries and the active participation of all Filipino producers – the Filipino industrialists, the small and medium business, the family enterprises, the professionals, the artisan and craftsmen, the industrial workers, the OCWs, the farmers, the fisher folks, the tribal communities, etc.

• Share success in industry. We will legislate to establish the right of every private sector employee in a substantial company to have access to a share in ownership and/ or in the profit they help to create. We will encourage profit-related pay, employee share-ownership schemes and employee buy-outs. We will re-launch the Cooperative Development Authority. Strengthen the role of cooperatives, people’s organizations and other grass-roots organizations in community livelihood projects.

2. Generate Employments

• Attack unemployment by creating new employment opportunities. Our emergency program should reduce unemployment drastically over next two years. We will increase spending on public transport, housing, hospitals and schools, on energy efficiency and conservation projects and on education and training – all sensible investments for the country’s future. We will aim to guarantee everyone out of work for six months of more places on either a high-quality training program or a work program with a strong element of training. Vocational training would be directed at increasing the capacity of the work force for high-tech jobs.

• Create training incentives for firms that would encourage employers to release their employees aged under 20 for a minimum of one day in the workweek for further training. We will establish a fully integrated system of skills training, leading to recognized qualification. We will increase ‘access’ courses for mature students and retraining for women returnee’s and those in mid-career. We will fund crash courses in the main areas of skill shortage, aimed in particular at the long-term unemployed.

• Encourage decentralized wage bargaining. Our plans to spread employee ownership and participation will encourage wages to be set according to the profitability of individual firms. We will encourage greater decentralization of wage bargaining at company level.

• Encourage flexibility in working patterns, including part-time and flexi-time work, job-sharing and home working.

3. Taxation

Taxation is a key feature of economic policy. The way in which taxation is applied and explained, however, is crucial. The purpose of taxation is to provide opportunity by expanding public sector services. It shall be our duty to indicate how taxes can be used to fulfill this purpose. We believe that, to be acceptable to those who pay, a taxation system should have five virtues. It should be effective at providing a wider distribution of opportunities; it should be appropriate to the prevailing conditions of the economy; it should be used to exact the full price for actions or goods whose market price would otherwise be lower than their true cost (such as those which produce pollution); it should, as far as possible, allow the maximum freedom to the individual; and it should be just, and be seen to be just. For this reason an efficient modern system of tax would levy less charge on wealth, value added and jobs, but impose more on the use of finite raw materials and the production of pollution.

Our long-term aim is to shift the burden of taxation away from the things the country needs more of – income, saving and value added – and on to the things we want less of, such as pollution and resource depletion.

• Taxes and public spending shall be set to reach a savings target for the country over a period of years. We will set a target as a total of private- and public-sector savings, and adjust fiscal policy to achieve the target over the medium term. If the country does not save enough to achieve the target, we will alter taxes and public spending accordingly, to ensure adequate long-term investment and keep the economy developing in a non-inflationary way. We will encourage individual savings by giving tax relief on all income paid into new Registered Savings Accounts.

• Provide a taxation and licensing regime for oil and gas, which will ensure sustained exploration and continued development to gain the maximum yield from our potential energy resources.

• Reform of the annual budget. We will publish a draft budget before the final version is submitted to Congress, to promote open discussion of economic and taxation policy. This will facilitate the integration of spending and revenue-raising, a measure we have long advocated. This will also make it easier to measure the impact of economic policy on the environment, and on the other needs of society.

4. Environmental Protection

There are two major environmental challenges to be confronted: excessive use of resources, particularly of finite raw materials, and excessive output of pollution. The global population explosion hugely amplifies these threats. But these challenges must also be seen as opportunities – opportunities to create a local environment, both natural and man-made, which will improve individuals’ quality of life, and communities’ civic pride; opportunities to create a more efficient economy, with industry which concentrates on clean technology and energy conservation; and opportunities to create a public transport system which is both efficient and pleasant to use.

We have to find the ways to alter our economic system, change the way we behave and restructure our society in order to live sustainably – defined as leaving a stock of knowledge and understanding, of technology, of manufactured capital and of environmental assets no smaller than that which we inherit. This applies not just at the national but, even more importantly, at the global level.

In Philippines, this implies changes in energy use and production, in patterns of transport and mobility, of housing and planning, in methods of production and habits of consumption, and, crucially, in the measurement of progress. But these objectives will not be accomplished successfully by asking people to give up either their liberty or their prosperity.

So although government has an indispensable role as setter of standards, the task is not to abandon the market and individual choice in favor of command economy and tougher limits on individual behavior. It is. Rather. To incorporate environment costs into the market wherever feasible, and thus educate and encourage individuals and firms to use their choice in favor of the environment and to penalize those who do not. There is plenty of evidence to show that in principle people are ready and want to do this; our task is to find ways to mobilize and channel this public support.

Liberals know that we have a duty, not only to each other but to the generations which follow us, to protect the environment. We believe that this is best achieved not by making people poorer or less free but by building true environmental cost into the market so as to reward those who conserve and penalize those who pollute.

The accelerating destruction of the environment is one of the most serious challenges we face today. Its symptoms are becoming clearer with year, from global warming and holes in the ozone layer to poisoned rivers and polluted air at home. They threaten not just our ability to enjoy our towns and countryside but our health and our children’s future. Liberals aim to cut pollution and cleanup the local environment. We will create new incentives to follow environmentally sensitive strategies and behavior.

Liberals are determined to ensure that the country changes its ways so that it becomes as leader, not a laggard, in facing the environmental challenge. Polluters will pay and conservators will be rewarded. Taxation will be gradually shifted from the things we want more of – income, savings and value added – to the things we want less of: pollution and resource depletion.

A. Protect the National Patrimony

Conserving and enhancing the physical environment, especially the countryside, forests and national parks, as well as the town centers and barangays, is of crucial importance to everyone’s quality to life. We will:

• Improve countryside protection policies for conservation Areas, heritage coasts, areas of outstanding natural beauty, and sites scientific interest. We will tighten controls against exploitation, we will create more Conservation Areas and will improve access to the countryside. We shall also ensure the strict enforcement of criminal sanctions against traders in endangered species.

• Introduce Countryside Management Agreement for farmers and landowners. These will be drawn up in conjunction with local planning authorities with the aim of managing the countryside to animal wildlife, and preserve traditional landscape features.

• Reform land use planning so that the protection of the environment is integrated to the planning system. We will decentralize planning decisions as much as possible, giving a key role to the local plan drawn up by the local authority.

• Clean up the cities. We will improve public transport, reduce traffic congestion, and encourage pedestrianisation and cycling schemes. We will encourage more parks, gardens and green spaces. We will provide more resources for local councils to deal with noise complaints and make compensation for excessive commercial noise more widely available.

• Promote better waste management. We will provide grants for recycling schemes, introduce regulations on the use of packaging materials, and encourage local; authorities to clean up litter. We will clean up beaches and coastlines by ensuring full treatment of sewage.

B. Control Pollution

We will use market mechanisms, where feasible, to reduce pollution by ensuring that environmental costs and benefits are fed in to the economy. Direct controls will still be needed in some cases. We will:

• Set targets for cutting pollution. These include a 30% reduction in carbon dioxide emission from the Philippines by the year 2010; our energy policy is geared to this target. We will ban the use of CFC and other greenhouse gases and encourage the use of alternatives.

• Introduce a system of tradable emission licenses. We will issue factories and power stations with licenses setting a ceiling on permitted emissions of pollutants such as sulfur dioxide. These will be tradable: those who are most efficient at reducing pollution would have surplus licenses which they could then sell either to those less efficient, or therefore to government. The targets for emissions- and therefore the number of licenses available – will by reduced year by year, leading to steady fall in pollution.

• Put forward plans for a powerful United Nation Environment Programme to lead global efforts to protect the environment, operating within the framework of an ‘Earth Charter’. We wish to see a world market in tradable emission licenses for carbon dioxide and other pollutants. This would not only provide incentives to cut pollution but also act as a channel for transferring resources to developing countries.

C. Country Energy

Without an effective energy policy, government cannot have an effective environment policy. The country’s national energy strategy must be set within an overall framework of sufficiency, with the aim of reducing pollution, improving energy efficiency and boosting the use of renewable sources. We will:

• Invest in energy conservation and efficiency. We will set new energy efficiency standards for homes, offices and factories, and for products such as lights bulbs, fridge and cookers. We will give incentives for the installation of solar panels, and introduce energy audits of building.

• Double government spending on renewable energy research. We will establish a Renewable Energy Office to promote research, development and application, in particular of wave power, hot rocks geothermal energy, passive solar design of building, small-scale hydropower schemes and wind energy. The non-fossil fuel obligation must be reformed to allow and adequate return which will encourage private energy production, most of which would be renewable.

• Encourage continued exploration for oil and gas, and ensure that the licensing system and the taxation regime encourage rather than inhibit enhanced extraction rates.

• Support a Community-wide Energy Tax on all energy sources. This will be related to levels of carbon dioxide emitted and will provide a strong incentive for saving energy and investing in cleaner sources. Extra revenue raised through the tax will be fed back into the economy by reducing other taxes such as VAT and by protecting those least able to adapt to the higher price of energy.

D. Make Transportation Clean and Efficient

By expanding the provision and quality of public transport and reducing society’s dependence on the private car, we will improve travel efficiency and protect the environment. We will achieve this by:

• Investment in public transport. Developing alternative modes of transportation especially in congested cities, increasing the frequency of service, speed and safety, and reducing the costs to the individual – especially in isolated rural areas where the need is greatest. We will encourage new schemes, building light rail systems in cities and train network between provinces. We will require local authorities to define minimum standards of accessibility in their areas and draw up transport plans that meet them.

• Immediate improvement in the rail network. Allowing more movement of goods and passengers by rail and causing less environment damage.

• A reduction in fuel consumption. Price increases in gasoline will not be brought in unless and until compensation schemes for individuals and rural communities which have no alternative to the use of cars are already to be introduced.

• Assist people in rural areas by developing improved schemes of concessionary fares for local public transport widely available. We will encourage the use of shuttle services and buses. Transport policy will be guide by specific measures to ensure that rural communities are not disadvantages.

• Take action against traffic congestion in urban areas. We will encourage local authorities to introduce peak-hour bans on cars, traffic, calming measures, car-sharing schemes and further pedestrianization. We will consider introducing a variety of road-pricing schemes, in which motorists pay a premium to use highly congested roads at busy times of the day.

• New priorities for road building. We will approve major hi-way or trunk road investment where it can be demonstrated that alternative transport provisions cannot meet the need at lower economic and e4nvironmental cost. Essential new roads and improvement will proceed, particularly to improve safety. However, we shall encourage some switch of passenger and freight transport to the railways once train systems are sufficiently developed.

• Reverse the decline in the Merchant Fleet. Both for economic and defense reasons, we will boost Philippine shipping and promote recruitment and training for Seamen and the Merchant Marines

• Develop environmental planning policies which will encourage the building of homes near workplaces, leisure facilities, shops and other services. Where this is not possible, public transport routes must be easily accessible. We will encourage the use of information technology to decentralize work.

E. Build a Sustainable Economy

Liberals aim to build an economy which is not only competitive and enterprising but also environmentally sustainable, leaving future generations a wealth inheritance – of knowledge, technology, capital and environmental assets – at least as great inherited by the current generation. A system of environment incentives and penalties will be set in place. We will make available grants and subsidies for environmentally friendly activities and help individuals and industry adjust to stricter standards for pollution control. We will penalize activities that harm the environment or deplete the stocks of raw materials through taxation, in order for prices to reflect the damage they do. A new energy Tax is a key proposal in this area. The revenue raised will be used to reduce other taxes such as VAT. Our proposals are:

• A better method of measuring economic progress. The conventional target of growth in GDP is a poor indicator of progress. We will modify GDP by incorporating measurements of pollution and resource depletion to create a figure for sustainable national income. We will also use indicators of social and personal quality of life such as changes in life expectancy, literacy rates and educational attainment to give a better measure of progress.

• Enable consumers to identify and choose sustainable products. We will introduce new product labels, showing information such as energy consumption during use and the environmental impact of the production process. We will introduce strict standards of life expectancy for companies, showing the environmental impact in their activities. 

 

There are of course other parts to this platform, and the other parties are developing theirs, or at least that’s what they tell us, but there are a couple reasons why this specific part of the LP platform is our first focus. First, the economy is the biggest issue for the country in any election. And second, despite the fact that a reasonably-detailed platform has been published by the LP, the supporters of the party and standard-bearer Noynoy Aquino seem not to have gotten the memo, or chose to ignore it. One would think that a commentator with the reputation of Manolo Quezon III would be able to skillfully promote and defend his advocacy, given some ammunition like this (and he does know it exists, since he has mentioned it a couple times); instead he, like the rest of Aquino’s hysterical “yellow army”, chooses to attempt to make his case through things like obtuse and water-headed parallels to decades-old fantasy literature involving elves, and then hides behind a nickname to descend into ad hominem playground-level carping when respondents call him on his b.s., and actually ask him in plain terms to “explain” (something he claims to be good at) what Aquino plans to do to be a good president.  The Long View, indeed; maybe he’d accomplish something if he’d shorten that view to something a little more practical.

Worse still, the candidate himself seems to be unaware of this platform; his inarticulate public ramblings have, to this point, betrayed no knowledge or understanding of it. All of which is to his great disadvantage, as illustrated by rapidly-declining poll numbers and open questioning of his fitness for office by some in the mainstream media. This tends to make the objective mind begin to form some uncomfortable conclusions, such as whether Aquino actually understands his platform, believes in it, or has any real intention of following through with it if he becomes President. So far, he has not given any positive indication of any of those things. Hopefully, he will soon realise that his and his country’s best interests will be served most effectively by his getting with the program.

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About bkritz

I'm a writer, and I do things my own way. That might sound cool to you, unless you're one of the people who actually knows me, in which case you're probably shaking your head in exasperation at the depth of that understatement.
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62 Responses to Here's a Platform, But No One's Standing On It

  1. benign0 says:

    Ok, now we’re talking. Time to sharpen those pencils, folks…

    This is now what should frame any further discussion/debate/evaluation around Noynoy and Mar.

    • cvj says:

      What do you mean “now we’re talking”. That platform was up there since back during the time when you were complaining that there was no platform. I (and others) pointed this out to you and you said you were looking for the candidate’s specific platform.

      • BenK says:

        Did you happen to notice the title to this presentation? I’ve known about this for a while (was actually hoping they’d fill in some of the blanks, too, but whatever), and I know you (and others) have, too, but I got tired of waiting for someone – anyone – who should, by definition, be standing on or behind this platform to say something about it. I’ve had PANGMASA’s, Ang Kapatiran’s, and the collection of statements that passes for a platform for Teodoro for a long time as well, the difference being there is not quite the urgency of informing the public with those folks, since they actually refer to their own plans as a matter of course, unlike the yellow army and their reluctant leader.

        Right, you (and others) pointed it out. That’s like a boss saying to his staff, “We have a marketing plan that you all need to follow…but you have to figure out where we hid it, just for fun.”

        On the other hand, after reading through this platform (I’ll post the other parts starting next week), I suppose I could see some reasons why they don’t really want to draw too much attention to it.

    • benign0 says:

      I was referring, Mr. cvj to what BenK said in his other blog:

      Since Noynoy Aquino’s brigade of pundits couldn’t be bothered to actually discuss the platform or use it to their advantage to make a sensible case for their advocacy, I’ve taken up the slack of their defective sense of public service.

      BenK got the ball rolling here, thus, now we’re talking.

      That’s we, that is. So far I don’t see any of Noynoy’s bunch of starstruck disciples framing any of their discussions around the Liberal Party platform (in case you haven’t noticed, Noynoy is running under the Liberal Party banner). But am I surprised? Not really.

  2. BenK says:

    I for one am very happy to see this. From my outsider’s perspective, the thing that people want to know is what they can expect from an Aquino presidency, or a Teodoro presidency, or a Villar presidency, and so on. Who will be president is in the hands of the Filipino voters, but those who are serious about investing or taking some other substantial interest in the country would like to be able to prepare for different possibilities. This is a big help.

    For the record, after I copied this bit of the platform (I would like to also do the same with the other parts by and by), I made a diligent search for something similar from the Nacionalistas, Lakas, Estrada’s organisation, and others, and have turned up nothing new. So fair credit to the LP for being the first of the major parties to do what they must.

    And I agree with you completely, B. I will no longer entertain or participate in any exchange about this party or their candidates that is not framed by this platform.

  3. Joe America says:

    The employment section is horribly weak and contains various bells and whistles but says nothing about all the friends and relatives who are in place, destroying career opportunities for productive people. The “make our economy efficient” section says nothing about structural ways to build efficiency. Giving employees a right to decide how to run the business is so much socialistic poppycock.

    What percent of the voting public do you figure will read this platform, versus watch the candle parade on ABS-CBN.

    Better get this down to some meaty, meaningful bullets.

    Joe

    • BenK says:

      That’s a very good point, Joe, and rest assured that this and other platforms (I’ve just downloaded Ang Kapatiran’s again, since I forgot which thumb drive I put the first file on) will get a very thorough going-over. I see lots to talk about here, but in the interest of fairness I felt it necessary to present it as offered by the LP before we get down to brass tacks.

      I find it mildly amusing, though, that you picked up on the very first thing that jumped out at me, too: the employee administration bit. That’s a definite non-starter for me.

  4. res ipsa says:

    i don’t see any peace and order agenda. i think that’s what we need at the moment. and the economics part is too broad, almost impossible, considering the current limitations imposed by our constitution. if we’re thinking long-term then do away with the national economy and patrimony provisions in our constitution, we’re just circumventing them anyway. why not just give it a free reign? include charter change or something in this platform.

  5. BenK says:

    They do address peace & order and charter change (they’re against it) in the other two parts of their platform, which I haven’t reviewed thoroughly yet. Everything should flow from economic development, however; nothing can be achieved if there isn’t an economy to sustain it.

    Here are some points, good and bad, that I see with this economic program:

    1. Wasting effort on the rail system is not a good idea. There is no viable rail system to begin with (outside of the light rail around Manila, which, if that is what they’re talking about, is okay), and trying to expand the PNR is too big an engineering and financial challenge to be worthwhile. Other parts of transportation development, such as roads, airports, and ports, are good ideas, and good ways for the government to invest.

    2. Freeze business rates? Not sure what that means, but if it means taxes, that’s a bad idea.

    3. Anti-monopoly initiatives and “Restrictive Practices”: would like to see more detail here.

    4. “We will ensure that every employee has a right to participate in decision-making in their enterprise. We will set up a program for Industrial Partnership to help companies and their employees find the precise form of partnership which best suit them.”

    ABSOLUTELY NOT. Not only will this drive away foreign investment, it will seriously discourage investment and expansion of businesses domestically. This is a terrible idea. And pretty ironic coming from someone associated with Hacienda Luisita — let’s see him put his money where his mouth is on this one.

    5. Co-operative development and support: Good idea.

    6. Introducing a system of tradeable emissions licenses: Several studies have already thoroughly discredited this idea as an effective way to reduce emissions. Emissions reduction should just be straightforward.

    7. “A reduction in fuel consumption. Price increases in gasoline will not be brought in unless and until compensation schemes for individuals and rural communities which have no alternative to the use of cars are already to be introduced.”

    First of all, I don’t see where this particular point has anything to do with reducing fuel consumption. Secondly, fuel price controls cannot be effectively used when there is no supply reserve. I think they’re getting ahead of themselves on this one.

    8. Take action against traffic congestion: Yes, please do. These are simple ideas, but could help a great deal.

    9. “A better method of measuring economic progress.”

    The Philippines cannot make its own rules and standards when it comes to something like this. No matter how they want to measure it, global measures and indicators will still apply.

    • Joe America says:

      BenK,

      And I read it pretty much the same as you. The focus seems to be on ideology (freezing rates, employee’s running the asylum, er, business) versus practicality. But at least it is out there, for the ummmm debating and reshaping . . .

      Thanks.

      Joe

  6. benign0 says:

    There should be stronger and less-ambiguous wording used to describe Government’s role in economic development. Consultants “encourage” and “facilitate”. Governments on the other hand govern, regulate, and create.

    Therefore government should create an environment conducive to private business development and its proliferation, govern this environment by way of ensuring that performance (e.g. the conduciveness of the environment) is continuously measured, evaluated, and refined, and regulate within the domain by which it has defined its powers to intervene.

    Whatever ‘business rates’ mean, (1) freezing any kind of rate (interest rates, forex rates, prices) goes against the “free market” preamble of the platform (in Point 1 specifically). Perhaps the lessons from the disastrous attempt to freeze fuel prices recently should be highlighted here.

    Taking tough action on monopolies is good. But the obvious challenge here is to ensure that further detail is provided either as we get closer to election day or as early as possible into the term of office. And this should be detail around (a) what exactly “tough action” means, and (b) which monopolies specifically are we talking about here (as there is quite a number of them).

    I’d be a bit reserved in this whole business of employee participation in the “decision making” of their employers. The reality is that rapid industrialisation in most developed economies occurred in an environment where the capitalist was king. When it is an employer’s market (i.e. labour is in abundant supply), there will always be a supply of workers willing to work regardless of the conditions and regardless of how big a “say” they have in how ‘people-oriented’ their employers ought to be. Filipinos proving to be too whiney a worker? There’ll always be a Vietnam, China, and Bangladesh to go to.

    Do agree that they struggle a bit with the “Generate Employments [sic]” thing. I don’t know if training while employed is the real issue (which two out of the four points within Section 2 were devoted to). The focus should be more around training TO get employed. When an economy is at Base Zero, employment is an end in itself (for now). Training then should be geared towards getting employed and getting in business.

    This may be appropriate for another part of the platform but there again lies the whole debate about meagre educational resources being invested in Tagalog-articulated learning. Between English and Tagalog, which language presents the bigger ROI dollar-for-dollar spent? Considering the vast difference between the two, the question of spending, say, 30% of classroom resources on Tagalog becomes a MAJOR consideration (if that correlates to 30% of MONEY spent on education, it becomes even more questionable).

    more later… 🙂

    • GabbyD says:

      dude, why are u criticizing “encourage” or “facilitate”?

      the platform uses the words ‘encourage’ and ‘facilitate’ in the cases where the govt has NO DIRECT CONTROL

      Example:
      ” We see government’s role as encouraging competition, ”

      the govt cannot create competition, hence it encourages it…

      • BenK says:

        How do they encourage it? That’s what they should be telling people. We can already assume they “will” encourage competition — so will everyone else, most likely. It’s just a motherhood statement if no details are provided.

  7. Conyo says:

    Oh my God–a platform!

    But c’mon folks, we are a bunch of smart people here. That Platform is bullshit.

    If anyone here seriously believes that a Filipino political party will stick to a “platform” like that, then you are dumber than Abe or Buencamino.

    See you at Starbucks 🙂

    • benign0 says:

      That all depends, Mr Conyo on where you see the role of the electorate lying in the overall democratic scheme of things.

      If you see the electorate as no more than a bunch of brain-dead buffoons then, yes, we need not be surprised that politicians will pretty much do what they want regardless of what they committed to during their campaign and regardless of what their party platform states.

      So ultimately, dude, as most of our “expert” pundits are wont to assert, power does indeed lie in the people. The people have the power to drive the behaviour of their politicians (such as continuously keep their performance in check on the basis of what they stated in their platforms). The other side of that equation is obviously that the people also have the power to be the vacuous lot that they always have been. The Media will merely feed upon and regurgitate what its customers fancy. And at the moment what they fancy does not seem to extend beyond the usual horseshit that ABS-CBN and GMA7 make their millions repackaging and serving.

      At the end of the day, politicians merely reflect the quality and savviness of their constituents. And the Media simply brokers all that while laughing all the way to the bank (just like how your Starbucks successfully convinces people to fork out P200 for coffee that costs P10 to produce 😀 ).

      • Conyo says:

        Benign0,

        You said: If you see the electorate as no more than a bunch of brain-dead buffoons then…

        Yeah you got that right. The electorate is brain dead.

        If you think otherwise, then you need to GET REAL.

        Of all people, it is you who I expect to know the maturity level of the Filipino electorate.

        Or perhaps I am more radical than you–that I make you look like a romantic Abe Margallo.

        See you at Starbucks 🙂

      • benign0 says:

        If you think otherwise, then you need to GET REAL

        Indeed, you know me too well, Mr Conyo. I do in fact believe that the electorate is brain dead, and our coven of political “experts” aren’t contributing much to changing that reality either.

        But then where there is a challenge, that’s where you will find ‘GetRealists’ — specially challenges that are so far out at the fringes of what ordinary Pinoy schmoes consider to be the domain of what they think is achieveable.

        So you actually exhibit something typical of Da Pinoy — a self-limiting regard for the range of what warrants a serious effort to insitute change.

        Everyone once derided an awareness of platforms as a serious factor in a Philippine election. Look around you now, dude. The word “Platform” now pops up in the most mainstream of mainstream media.

        But does it end there?

        Of course not.

        The next challenge is to actually make use of what are really just the beginnings of a growing focus on platforms. And how do we achieve that? Using the same method we have always used — hammering in the message into the thick skulls of Da Pinoy Establishment (and by “establishment” I include the mindsets firmly established the collective psyche of the land — which you, as it happens, seem to embody).

        Do you think that is achievable, Mr Conyo?

        Of course you don’t (as evident in what you’ve posted in this blog so far).

        But that’s where people with true vision go. We take a stab at what people with a deficiency of imagination believe to be unachievable.

        And here’s the thing:

        The Philippines needs to achieve the unachievable in order to progress. So deal with it gramps. Getting the electorate to evaluate their politicians on the basis of the issues may, by all intents and purposes, be unachievable.

        But what is the alternative?

        That’s where you come in.

      • Conyo says:

        You are sounding very romantic. Is that really you Benign0?

        I am not self-limiting–I am a REALIST. Perhaps I am more aware of the magnitude of the problem. But for argument’s sake, let us try to list the major factors:

        1. The Filipino culture is a dysfunctional social operating system (like Windows Vista) that, instead of getting patched, continues to get hacked by idiots who call themselves nationalists. The major flaws on our social operating system can be attributed mainly to several hundred years of Spanish rule and a perverted 2000 year old religion.

        2. This defective operating system is deeply inbedded in each individual. Some Pinoys are fortunate enough to get “reformatted” by going to Australia or USA and adopting their superior operating systems. But for the vast majority of Pinoys, they are stuck with Pinoy Vista for the rest of their lives and they pass it on to the next generation.

        3. Fixing Pinoy Vista will take MORE THAN 100 YEARS. I am not defeatist. I am REALISTIC. That is how long it will take to purge Catholicism and all that Spanish-Pinoy bullshit out of our brains. There is no quick fix, no decisive moment. This will be a very slow and painful process of attrition.

        After considering my main points, now you will ask WHAT WILL I DO about it?

        The answer is simple: Absolutely nothing—and that’s the brilliant thing about it.

        Social, Economic and Technological changes will slowly erode our dysfunctional ways—not because of some grand scheme of cooperation—but because the market has a way of giving us PAIN to force us to change. And believe me, SERIOUS PAIN is coming.

        There is nothing self-limiting about doing nothing and wait for the unrelenting economic forces to obliterate inefficiencies. There actually something very Buddhist Zen about it.

        See you at Starbucks 🙂

        P.S. Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book What the Dog Saw is not so good.

      • Conyo says:

        SERIOUS PAIN:

        1. Oil at $300-$400 per barrel

        2. Global Overpopulation

        3. Crop failures, food shortages (due to overpopulation)

        4. Global Pandemics

        5. Frequent super typhoons

        Given such SERIOUS PAIN, any society will be FORCED to be EFFICIENT.

        It will not be a choice and that’s the beauty of it.

        Like I said, ZEN.

      • benign0 says:

        Well, perhaps me daring to be ‘romantic’ (whatever you mean by that) is an “unachievable” that turns out to be a challenge for me nowadays.

        Of course, Mr. Conyo. In your above comment you pretty much read out my whole position on Pinoy prospects for prosperity as if you sucked it straight out of my brain.

        And indeed, I of all people don’t judge how much or how little one “does” (though I wonder what gave you the idea that I asked). Everyone has a responsibility to take care of themselves, and the theory there is that if each of a majority of people become good at taking care of themselves, that translates to a society that collectively can take care of itself.

        It depends, therefore, on what you mean by doing nothing. To most Pinoy schmoes, in fact, I pretty much do “nothing”. Perhaps that is a fair assessment. Much of what I do is a big set up for that big I-told-you-so moment coming our way (many such moments already did). Being on the right side of the I-told-you-so equation is quite a satisfying experience.

        You’re free of course to not do anything (based on whatever your definition of not doing anything is). That’s your personal choice. But whether you like it or not, banging away several high-quality comments here is, in fact, doing something. And that’s a lot more than most Pinoys can even bring themselves to do. Most Pinoys cannot even bring themselves to speak up clearly in a meeting when called for. Perhaps that is why they can relate to Noynoy.

        Btw, I too am not a big fan of essay compilations that are turned into books. If I were, you’d be seeing a Get Real Philippines Book II, III, and IV by now.

        Just the same, each one of Gladwell’s pieces, taken by themselves, in Dog were alright.

      • BongV says:

        The reality is:

        1 – there’s the braindead noy-pi.
        2- and there’s the proactive noy-pi whose gray matter is sought by world class companies.

        that singapore and sokor achieved social transformation within a generation is a reality.

        that there are enclaves in the philippines which are ahead of the rest of the philippines is a reality.

        davao for instance reengineered itself in less than a decade and has emerged on top, so has cebu, marikina, subic, and makati.

        the reality is, there are viable tested solutions – but only when people are ready to step up instead of slacking off 🙂

        that is ZEN.

      • Conyo says:

        By me doing nothing, I mean:

        1. Sitting at Starbucks everyday, reading Abe, Buencamino and Manolo’s delusional attempts of stopping the upcoming tidal wave of global disruption with their grandstanding blog posts. Who needs Stephen Colbert when you got these real-life clowns who are so sincere and yet so incredibly stupid—funniest shit ever, really.

        2. Making my greedy ass as rich as possible since I know I wont be able to rely on the government when all shit breaks lose.

        See you at Starbucks 🙂

        P.S. When I see Manolo there, I will say you said hi 🙂

  8. Conyo says:

    Bong,

    I like your optimism.

    If things are so great, then why don’t you come back and live in the Philippines here FULL TIME then?

    You might be missing out on the next great economic miracle.

    My money is on gold, silver, and a blue chip NYSE mutual fund. If I could “short” the Philippines, I would. Hell, I would short your beloved Davao just to piss you off.

    If you believe in the Philippines so much why don’t you put your money where your mouth is?

    See you are Starbucks 🙂

    • Conyo says:

      And I don’t mean some tiny-bitty “feel good” Pinoy investment.

      I mean 90% of your wealth in the Philippines.

    • BongV says:

      Conyo:

      kaw naman, am amazed that your starbucks crowd has not kept you in the loop about “not putting all your eggs in one basket” and diversified portfolios. did your zen guru miss that one? 🙂

      moreover, investment is not predicated on my physical presence in the philippines. i might be overseas but… my hospital is raking it in – long term contracts for servicing of employees of agribiz and mining firms in southern mindanao and mindanao.

      when their employees take time off, they go to my beach resort, eat the organic raised food that come from my green farms.

      90% lang? – i say 100% – 🙂

      investing in my hood is not predicated in my physical presence, surely you know that warren buffet need not live in hungary or the EU, or UAE to invest in it. it’s the ZEN of investment.

      and i like being overseas, I see the trend before it gets to the Philippines, and I can position early to reap a windfall when the trend comes to the Philippines – for example bringing in refurbished wind turbines from UK and Spain for my posse in the NPC 😉

      and why give starbucks my money, when i can keep it by selling kape barako to starbucks – its the ZEN dude. 🙂

      • FreeSInce09 says:

        What Hospital? what beach resort?

      • BongV says:

        Check out my beach farm at http://www.shimricbeachfarm.com – we just won the best environmental practices award from WWF-Philippines – tourism and commercial categories. we also have lots of R&D going on in the area involving green technologies.

        As to hospital – my family has pooled in funds in order to have majority shares in a cooperative hospital in Davao City. we are expanding and construction of another 80 room building is going on. we are looking at the EAGA and selected Fil-Am markets for medical and dental tourism. Contact information is available at http://www.davaocity.gov.ph/Directory.aspx?id=523 – or http://www.intellicare.com.ph/accredited_hospitals_r11.asp

        In cooperation with ODA sources, we rolled out the wellness family centers – http://www.wfmc.com.ph/ – we provide the back office support and continuous medical education programs to create more health entrepreneurs among midwives in anticipation of the brain drain of our top tier health professionals. We are strongly advocating smart card applications in health and are in negotiations to implement a pilot program with the DoH (applications and technologies c/o moi). Sample of impact of our ventures is covered in this article – http://www.ofwguardian.com/article.php/I49EmpoweringourMidwives and here – http://www.ifrtd.org/new/news/full.php?view=288 – Of course, all credit goes to the senior leadership, as moi takes care of business development.

        More or less I am the virtual overseas office of our Philippine operations. I am always on the scout for joint ventures, venture capital, technologies, marketing arrangements that will leverage our core assets.

        It is to my interest that the Philippines shape up because it is good for our companies’ bottom line, my bottom line – but most of all, our customers and the Philippine economy. That’s the ZEN of win/win.

      • mario taporco says:

        Bong,

        Ignorance is a Bliss

        This Conyo guy, needs some schooling in Economics. Specially in future planning (that’s retirement investment planning), Conyo.

        First of all, Conyo does not know how to lay his eggs, too boot, where to lay them.
        I hope he reads this commentary of mine. So that I can diversify his portfolio. Or, if he even has one in the basket.

        Even better, I’ll have my son
        [Jonathan Taporco] to discuss with you and go over your vested plan(s).
        I have thought my son well. Now his moving his future to be a better Filipino. My son is a Partner/Owner of this Firm. And I am a proud Filipino father, for having a successful son.

        Investment is a good thing.
        Don’t forget to get back with me now, Conyo!
        That’s if, you are really serious about your future.

        Food for Thoughts:
        Youa are, what you make it.
        No one else will do that for you.
        Propel yourself, then everyone will follow.

      • Conyo says:

        Mr. Taporco,

        Okay you win. You’re son is THE MAN.

        Happy?

        But you still haven’t succeeding in making me care.

        I still don’t give a shit.

        See you at Starbucks 🙂

      • Conyo says:

        Bong,

        I must admit, you actually have something to show for.

        That is why it is easier for me to make fun of Abe and Buencamino.

        So I will not argue with you.

        I will wait.

        And when all hell breaks lose…. I will say I TOLD YOU SO.

        If I am wrong, I will still be at Starbucks 🙂

      • BongV says:

        Conyo:

        Hell has already broken loose 🙂

        Where there is a gap, a disparity – there’s mullah to be made – I AM TELLING YOU SO 😀

  9. res ipsa says:

    it’s better to have some sort of platform even if it’s just pro forma. in the end we can’t rely on vague generalities or motherhood statements. we know that some way or another platforms are bound to be broken. we’ll still see lots of economic programs incongruent to the platforms. look at JPEPA and the Seismic Survey Partnership with Vietnam, they’re a glaring violation of the national economy and patrimony provisions of the constitution and GMA’s strong republic program. If anything, these platforms just remind me that the party at least thinks ahead and at least has a gameplan. execution is another story.

  10. I wonder if the Lopez monopolists backing Aquino/Roxas expect that this platform will be applied to them… Sadly, real economy competition has been anathema to local Big Business. It functions as an unofficial tax as our purchasing power continues to erode…

  11. One more thing, I find it a tad hypocritical that the ROXAS/ARANETA-backed LP is harping on an on about “free markets” and economic liberalization. Wasn’t the Araneta clan behind RFM? RFM exploited “import substitution” schemes in past to get a large chunk of the processed flour market in the Philippines. Not exactly an exercise in faith in competition nor did such acts help foster a free market. Indeed, by hiding under the huge tariff wall for processed flour while importing wheat tariff-free such business tactics just resulted in the Pinoy consumers’ eroded purchasing power due to the lack of any meaningful competition in the local market.

    • BongV says:

      Exactly. That’s one of the reasons the Aquino/Roxas tandem are playing down platforms – they don’t want to be held accountable.

      So much for Aquino/Roxas phoney integrity.

  12. Lady Dolly says:

    It will be much better if they also focus on education and population control. I believe that these two are the major reasons why this country is encountering poverty and environmental issues. Most people are not educated by the importance of population control. Mountains and rice plains are converted to residential area. In education, we already know that having this we can change the future of our children, their families and the community they are belonged to.

  13. res ipsa says:

    who posted this platform? it seems unfair to comment when it’s incomplete. kindly post the entire platform so we’re not left guessing what are the other programs LP is supporting. and if it’s possible kindly add the platform of other parties so we can make a comparison. i bet other parties push for substantially the same agenda.

    this makes me wonder why don’t we have hardline differences in political ideology i.e. democrat or republican.

    • BenK says:

      I did, and if you read the preamble you would be assured that the rest of this one and the others I have gathered (which so far are only from Ang Kapatiran and PANGMASA – none of the other big parties yet) will be presented in like fashion. However, you can see that even just one part is a rather lengthy piece of text, so…small bites. We’ve got time.

    • BenK says:

      And this particular platform from the LP is divided into three separate parts in their website as well, so what I’ve done here is basically the same thing.

      • res ipsa says:

        ok, i’ll be waiting for the rest. please post the link of the original source, just for verification, some things always get lost in translation.

      • BenK says:

        Ha. Not when I translate them. You know what they say happens when you assume.

        The text at the beginning of the entry is hyperlinked to the original source(s), if you haven’t tried it yet.

      • res ipsa says:

        i’ve read the link at the beginning, i’m referring to other platforms that will posted later.

  14. Hyden Toro says:

    We are pleased for the Liberal Party to read their platform. It is a good first step for our
    political process. However, we have these pressing issues that are more important:

    1. Political Dynasties. Family Dyansties rule the Philippines. Datuism is the fact of political
    life in the Philippines. All laws enacted against it are useless. This had lead to the
    violence in Maguindanao. This issue is preventing other qualified and sincere Filipinos from
    serving the government.

    2. Rampant Graft and Corruption. What will you do to minimize this chronic desease? The
    Ombudsman Court is toothless. It is under the control of the President. If the President and
    her/his friends are involved. Cases are put ON HOLD.

    3. The Mindanao Insurgency Problem. It is a perenial problem draining the national treasury.
    Money used for War, if used on national development would be better.

    4. Energy Problem.What are your programs to give us clean energy. To make us, energy self
    sufficient?

    5. Squatters Problem. It is not only a Metro Manila problem. It is a national problem. Houses are
    built on esteros; along the rivers; on seashores, around the Laguna der Bay, etc…They are everywhere.
    On places where they can build shanties. What will you do with these people?

    6. Pollution. What are your programs to clean and protect the environment?

    We wait for your answer…Thanks!

  15. GabbyD says:

    you write: “; his inarticulate public ramblings have, to this point, betrayed no knowledge or understanding of it. ”

    how do u know this? what public ramblings r u talking about? can u provide some evidence re noynoy’s lack of understanding?

    i saw his isang tanong appearance. it was OK. he clearly isnt dumb.

    • BenK says:

      I would refer you to the extensive YouTube copies of the broadcast, but you have apparently formed your own opinion of them, which is fine. In my opinion, I saw a man who is uncomfortable as a public speaker, and especially one who is not able to articulate thoughts on the fly. To me, there’s not much excuse for it, as long as he has this platform as background material he can refer to (notwithstanding whatever value people give the points in the platform, it still is a ready-made something for him to talk about).

      When he’s side-by-side with others who are better speakers – even if they’re just making a b.s. answer sound good – he looks indecisive and unconfident.

      • GabbyD says:

        for the sake of debate, lets use very specific examples of his alleged inarticulateness. his lack of knowledge of his own party’s platform. when/how did he get it wrong?

        i am open to be proven wrong.

        did he stutter? stammer? did he talk about 1 thing while refering to something else? did he dodge questions?

        i’ll give u an example of weird response to a question:

        erap was asked about how to fight corruption…

        erap answers (i paraphrase) 1) madali lang ang corruption, 2) i asked the WB for a study on corruption.

        neither of these answers make any sense, even as i acknowledge the man has charisma.

      • res ipsa says:

        better noynoy than erap.

        erap is full of useless cliches, everything he says is like a line from a movie or tabloid comics. he doesn’t answer questions instead he gives jokes and everybody gets distracted and end up losing sight of the real issue.

      • BongV says:

        res:

        noynoy is the oligarch’s version of erap – he is as oblivious and as pandering as Erap.

      • GabbyD says:

        all i’m asking for is an example of noynoy not making sense. if he’s as inutile as everyone says he is, then this should be easy 🙂

  16. Pingback: Why I Will Not Vote for Noynoy in a Few Sentences « Elevic Pernis

  17. Hello there Anti-Pinoys,

    This is a really good discussion and I hope to read through the rest of it. I believe BenK is right in saying that the economy should be the focus of the next administration. Because, without a good economy, there is no money for any of the other programs and projects that need to be done.

    There was a disney feature (Jack and the Beanstalk I think) where I remember where Mickey, Donald, and Goofy (I think) were starving because of a famine of sorts. They were down to their last piece of bread and a bean.

    Mickey sliced the bread so that everyone could have two pieces. He ended up slicing the bread so thinly that it was practically transparent and the punchline was Donald Duck having his usual fit.

    I think this summarizes the Philippine problem and the importance of getting the economy fixed (although, I wonder if “fix” is the right term because some would argue that it had never really worked).

    Without a good economy, the government will just end up cutting up the budget into thinner and thinner pieces.

    I know Mar Roxas may not really be your favorite guy in these parts, but he actually had a good word for it and that word is incrementalism. This refers to the practice where the government spends for a little of this and a little of that, but in the end, no one is really served sufficiently.

    With a better economy and perhaps better budgeting priorities, I think we can get somewhere.

    • ilda says:

      Hey malayang halalan

      I love that particular parody of Jack and the Beanstalk by the Mickeys! It does look like Filipinos are behaving much like Donald Duck nowadays. Irrational and not thinking straight due to hunger and malnutrition.

      I wish the people who are not starving or those who have enough food to eat will help and think for their fellowmen especially this coming election. Sadly though, these educated people who have more than enough are the same ones who continue to rob and take advantage of the starving majority.

      It’s ironic too that the educated ones are also leading the same path to a romanticised election, again.

      • res ipsa says:

        ilda:

        don’t generalize that all the educated are robbers who take advantage of the starving majority. there are lots of educated people out there who are truly committed to a clean and honest election. part of this is respecting the decision of each and ever voter. we can conduct as many voter’s education sessions, campaign for a particular candidate and advocate a certain platform but in the end it’s the voter who will decide.

        have faith.

      • ilda says:

        Hi res ipsa,

        You know, if you have been writing or blogging for a while like Benign0 for example, you will realise how few the people who care. Ask Benign0 yourself. I must admit I’m only new to this business but I can already feel that there are a lot more people who are apathetic to the situation in the country. Majority don’t want to hear about the problems. They just want to party.

        Besides, my statement is more of a challenge to those who do care to speak louder and let themselves be heard.

      • res ipsa says:

        hey ilda,

        from where i’m from, people do care and they don’t just go blogging or writing about it. they get their hands dirty, going places and convincing people to vote and vote wisely. you might be right that there’s a large majority out there who are apathetic but that can’t be an excuse to join their ranks. instead it should be a motivation to do more. blogging is a good start but as the election draws near, we need to be more active.

        i must have misread your statement, anyway it’s good to know that there are bloggers out there who take interest in politics.

  18. Pingback: The Kick-Ass Test | The Anti Pinoy :)

  19. Pingback: The Kick-Ass Test « NoyPI Ako!

  20. CHITO says:

    Great platform…

    Now, if only someone can tell me who in the Liberal party will do it.

    Noynoy? He has never achieved anything in his life. He has never run an organization…not even HALUTODA (Hacienda Luisita Tricycle Owners and Drivers Association).

    So, what makes you think he can complete reading the above platform?

    Assuming he can keep his attention long enough to finish reading the platform, how will he know what to do next?

    No experience, no competence.

    End of story.

    • BenK says:

      That’s a good point, in a way. I’ve explained many times that a platform is a contract: the candidate is asking for people’s votes based on his promises and plans expressed in the platform, which means that if he is indeed elected, he has to follow through on it. If he doesn’t, then there’s going to be trouble – up to and including removing him from office through the proper available means if he screws it up bad enough.

      Character and experience comes into play, because you the voter can judge those and the platform against each other. Does the platform show that the person behind it is experienced and competent? Conversely, does the character and experience that is known of the candidate indicate that he will be able to follow the platform? Every voter has to make their own judgment on those two questions; obviously, looking at the platform and the record of the man has led you to your own conclusion, and that’s great. That’s how it’s supposed to work. (I tend to agree with you, for what it’s worth). Someone may look at the same things and come to a different conclusion; you or I might disagree and have trouble seeing how they could come up with that, but it’s hard to fault them if they’ve used the same process.

  21. CHITO says:

    Yes BenK, I’m now half a century in this world and the taxes I’ve paid (employee for so long) gives me the right to really scrutinize who we are hiring for the Presidency job, beyond my earned right as a citizen of this country. In a way, therefore, I’ve invested real, hard-earned, money in this country. That is why I am NOT prepared to hire as our President someone with no experience. This is not a job where applicants will learn the job with an “on-the-job” training. I never got that kind of a deal myself in my entire life!

    What hurts me, however, is that much as we want to connect platform to to character and experience, that is limited to the 8% of the voters — the AB voters. CDE voters which comprise 92% do not care about platforms because their needs are very basic: food, housing and shelter. I cannot fault them for being what they are.

    However, we will have ourselves to blame if WE do NOT go out and reach out to our countrymen to make them understand that the long-eterm solution, the sustainable solution to our poverty is to elect someone precisely based on character, competence, and platform. And not just based on popularity…and certainly not based on the memory of my dead parents.

    Mabuhay ka!

  22. Pingback: Here’s a Platform, but No One’s Standing On It | Movement for Better Values

  23. Conyo says:

    Oh my God–a platform!But c'mon folks, we are a bunch of smart people here. That Platform is bullshit.If anyone here seriously believes that a Filipino political party will stick to a “platform” like that, then you are dumber than Abe or Buencamino.See you at Starbucks 🙂

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