Da Coconut Repablik

A Chronicle of the Da Pinoys and Da Coconut Repablik of Da Pilipins

Da Pinoy Chronicle: On Economic Protectionism and Preserving The Status Quo

Of all the countries in the world, doing businesses in the Philippines is one of the worst experiences for a businessman or an investor. According to World Bank and the International Finance Corporation’s Doing Business, The Philippines was ranked 136th out of 185 countries in regards to legalising business franchises in the country. This pretty sums up everything.

The Philippines was also ranked as the least attractive country in the ASEAN in regards to foreign investment mostly for its draconian economic policies and its ultranationalistic atmosphere. Due to lack of foreign investment, the country is still struggling to create a respectable face in the international stage.

From my fellow blogger Joseph Solis Alcayde:

It takes 161 days of starting a business, among the worst in the world, compared to only a day in New Zealand, 2 days in Australia, 3 days in Canada, and 4 days in Singapore.

It takes 16 procedures in order for a business be legally approved by the government, making it the third worst in the world after Equatorial Guinea which takes 18 procedures and Venezuela which takes 17 procedures.

It takes also 36 days for entrepreneurs in order their businesses be registered, way longer than the world’s leaders of New Zealand which takes only a day for businesses be registered, Georgia which takes 2 days for businesses be registered, and Singapore which takes 3 days for businesses be registered.

It cost 18.4% of the country’s GDP per capita in order for businesses be legally registered that includes legal fees for registration, compared to nothing in Slovenia, 0.2 in Denmark, 0.6 in Singapore, and 1.0 in the United Kingdom.

It also cost 4.8% of the country’s GDP per capita in order for businesses especially foreign to deposit money to pay the paid-up capital requirement as required by our law, compared to none in many countries like our regional peer, Singapore.”

The insistence of the government officials to open up our country to foreign investment contributes to the lack of jobs that forces several Filipino professionals to emigrate to other countries. Its near autarkic policies and its draconian policies against FDI’s is one of the main factors why Philippines will never become prosperous nor economically stable unless legitimate economic reforms will be made.

Both Nationalists and the members of the Radical Left use the same old argument for support on the current economic policies of the country. They emphasise patronage of local products, draconian foreign investment policies and high taxes on businesses that will obviously benefit the old aristocracy and the old oligarchs in power.

Mr. Orion had written an article lambasting the main advocate and number one patron of economic protectionism, Esposo of The Philippine Star’s column The Chairwrecker. You can read the one by one rebuttal by Orion against Esposo. Unfortunately the mentality of Esposo is very similar to the mentality of most Filipinos.

The Philippines remains highly nationalistic, false patriotic, jingoistic, chauvinistic, a macho society, sensitive to foreign mockery, very racist and very proud of something that did little to the country. This mentality is still in force today, thanks to the Media which was controlled by the aristocrats. Public humiliation in the name of the people is also common.

Its society is highly emotional and detest critical thinking. Its people live in conformity and shy away from current affairs. They live in a constant fear of political clans and their armies that will kill anyone who dare to oppose them.

Pointless telenovelas, stupid game shows, sensationalized press, showbiz news and repetitive films which bring little to no thinking were all ingrained thanks to the power of the Media. The Church exercises significant political power and dictates their twisted morals only to be swallowed by an ordinary citizen as fact.

Authority is absolute on their minds. They will blindly follow it, even though the authority they respect is already becoming hypocritical and corrupt. It is due to the attitudes of the friars of the Spanish era.  Populism is also a problem, as parties from the extreme draws thousands of followers because of populist platforms, even the aristocrats used it. Anti intellectualism is very common and even promoted.

The Aristocracy, The Church and The Media all oppose Constitutional Reform because the old status quo will be destroyed, thus their significant power will be almost eradicated. If CNN and several foreign news organisations will be allowed here as well as several foreign television networks, the local Media will be forced to shut down due to falling profits or make themselves competitive by airing programs that makes sense.

Luckily some members of the old order supports Constitutional Reform especially some members of the Makati Business Club. Gokungwei is one of the main advocators of free trade. In short, if Economic Liberalisation will be implemented, the status quo of our society will be destroyed.

There are several examples that we can emulate like China, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia but in my opinion, Germany and Japan is worth emulating, including Germany’s Federal System and its Parliament.

The Philippine economy might had been collapsed if the OFW’s are non existent. Currently, the OFW’s keep the economy afloat thanks to its remittances but this is only temporary. As long as economic reforms will not be implemented, no doubt that our country will still be a failed society living in a state of mediocrity.

I personally admire the Japanese culture as an example of a good foreign culture that Filipinos must emulate in order to succeed. We are diverting away from the topic, so this is my conclusion.

We need to open up our country before it is too late. The nations will not wait for us to become developed like theirs. While some people will boast our GDP, our GDP per capita is still far inferior to the EU countries or heck Malaysia and Thailand.

We need to discard some outdated ideologies in order to move forward. That is why i am in full support of the Constitutional Reform Agenda in order to cure our ailing country.

I love my country that is why i want to see it change, real change not false promises promised by the old aristocracy. Filipinos, its time to wake up from your ignorance or else you will be left behind.

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