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Friday, October 05, 2007

More Businessmen Getting Involved

And just as I said in the last thread, businessmen ARE angry. BusinessWorld Online came out yesterday with its headline: China Prodded on Transparency.

Beijing’s assurances welcomed given Arroyo administration’s recalcitrance

BUSINESS AND CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS, dismayed by the Philippine government’s lack of transparency regarding a controversial telecommunications deal with China, are now pinning their hopes on action from Beijing.

In a September 21 letter to the Chinese Embassy, the Makati Business Club (MBC), Management Association of the Philippines (MAP), Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines, Bishops-Businessmen’s Conference, Foundation for Economic Freedom, and the Action for Economic Reforms said they were backing Chinese government moves to ensure "transparency of the transaction."


The Del Rosarios, Alberto - who heads MAP, and Ramon, Jr. - who is MBC chair, together with the leaders of FINEX, and the NGOs wrote the Chinese Embassy, located in plush Dasma Village in Makati City, to express their confidence over China's Finance Minister Liu Jien Chao’s statement "that the Chinese government takes allegations of corruption seriously." They knew, of course, that their concerns would not have been addressed adequately had they made the same representation with the Palace.

This also proves my theory that the businessmen are taking matters into their own hands as legislative actions have been met by government with legalistic excuses at every twist and turn. Del Rosario, Jr. stressed, "The letter was done in the spirit of preserving our ties with China. This will enhance the relationship in the long run if contracts like this are not allowed."

The businessmen's action, finally showing some of their muscle, I think implicitly reminded the Chinese that they will be much around long after this regime's characters either all end up in jail, or are old, or are dead. Such notes, however innocent or benevolent, coming from industry moguls, always deliver a strong message.

This may just be the beginning, a preview of the upcoming war in the horizon. The first battle has been won, it is safe to assume that this direct act by big business for self-preservation DID affect the decision to scrap the NBN deal, whether initiated by the Chinese or the Phiillipine government. Whether they admit it or not. She, who says she "chases bullies", blinked first.

Do you still remember what the Sergeant in the 80's TV series "'Nam" tells his men before every delicate mission?

"Lock and load, let's rock and roll!"

11 Comments:

At 2:06 PM, October 05, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tounge,
you're right! Rap-mahi kalaban ang mga negosyante, isa yan sa nagpatalsik kay erap, they can also do it to madam.
kung ordinaryong tao lang like me, e sa kangkungan kami pupulutin.
Big business should take up our fight, aba e customer nyo din kami. More corruption and red tape, high cost of goods and services, less income for us, then magtitipid kami, that's bad for business.

GMLet

 
At 4:25 PM, October 05, 2007, Blogger mschumey07 said...

Aside from this, the government should first tap local companies for eco-infrastructure projects. Let the private sector aid the government in investing in the Philippines.

Stricter overseas investments by local businesses should also be implemented. What we have now is are Filipinos expanding abroad than here. Higher taxes on these companies should be imposed and incentives for local expansions should be extended.

We now have a surplus of $35 billion, the government should use $5 billion for projects than borrow from abroad. We don't need a big reserve and leave it idle. A big reserve does not transmit to a good economy.

 
At 12:42 AM, October 06, 2007, Blogger Tongue's Wrath said...

GMlet,
Pag sila ang mag-aaway, tabi muna tayo. Mas masarap manood. Mahirap mahagip ng ligaw na tae. Labanan ng strategy, lawyers, at higit sa lahat kwarta at impluwensiya.
*******
mschumey,
Pakitang-tao lang iyang surplus. The tip I got is that she will collate all these savings, no new infra-spending, and in 2009, she will use it to show, "There, see? We now have a balanced budget". My contacts at ADB tell me it would be a disaster if she actually does that. The neglected infrastructures will cost the next admninistrations more for lack of maintenance spending.

Next year's budget assumes a balanced budget already.

All for show.

 
At 8:00 AM, October 06, 2007, Blogger AdB said...

Well, GMA against business that would be a good horror show to watch!

Yeah! "Lock and load, let's rock and roll!"

 
At 8:03 AM, October 06, 2007, Blogger AdB said...

Btw, there’s a list of things that people can do to help the Burmese people on www.thefirstpost.co.uk/index.php?storyID=9004

OK, ideas really just right off the bat…

It occurred to me after reading the list in The First Post that we actually could adopt the same things, tactics to bring down Esperon (well, at least we can try) so I transposed the things to do listed in The First Post on what Filipinos can do to help our incarcerated officers (if only morally):

PROTEST actions: international and local actions (am not suggesting physical rallies) to free our incarcerated officers –suggestions open, eg, wear a pin like “Free our officers” or post a page on your blog with “Mister Esperon, Free the Officers” or something like that (dunno, there must be a better slogan), etc etc. to show solidarity with our incarcerated officers…

PESTER THE EMBASSY: for those who are expats, pester your Philippine Defence Attache embassy by sending e-mails or faxes calling on Mister Esperon to free incarcerated officers (give names)

TARGET GLORIA: by sending a fax or e-mail or letter to Malacanang, the DFA, DND or to the Ambassador in your region.

SIGN A PETITION: Start a petition campaign on line

SUPPORT A PRESSURE GROUP: The Senate, Congress, and human Rights Group to pressure Mr Esperon to free the incarcerated officers

KNOW YOUR ENEMY: The AFP and the DND must have websites containing reports lies (sic). See if you can hack into them (websites).

(I bet lots of people would laugh at these naughty way of doing things, but heck, Gloria and her sgt at arms ain't any less naughty.)

Cheers!

 
At 9:04 AM, October 06, 2007, Blogger DJB Rizalist said...

Good stuff, Tongue. More power.

 
At 12:04 PM, October 06, 2007, Blogger Tongue's Wrath said...

Anna,
Looks comprehensive, ha? Why don't we, er, you distribute it to the blogs. You can be our leader, General. Heheh. Mahirap yung commitment.

But that list pretty sums up just what the people need to do.

Thanks for the link.

***********
DJB,
Hey, Thanks Dean. Kasalanan mo to, now I'm supposed to religiously watch this space, heheh.

More power, was that sarcasm?Joke lang. Thanks for dropping by.

Welcome!

 
At 1:18 PM, October 08, 2007, Blogger Ellen said...

Tongue, do you get clearly the Chinese attitude towards corruption in overseas deals? Are they against it or do they condone it?

Nene Pimentel said something about in China they shoot against the wall those found guilty of corruption. But on the other hand, there's Maid Miriam's famous quote which are not exactly baseless.

I tend to believe they condone it. Anyhting just to unload those $1.3 billion surplus.

 
At 12:22 AM, October 09, 2007, Blogger Tongue's Wrath said...

Ellen,
I know how the Chinese operate here and elsewhere, except in China itself. They have good business acumen many citizens of other countries could only wish they had, among many other good traits. But honesty isn't one of those. I don't know if it's the same in the mainland.

We were supposed to inaugurate a huge paper factory in Shenzhen owned by my US-based relatives and some Chinese-Ams this August (they were asking me to manage the plants), the local gov't offices there messed up some papers causing the delay of the project by 2 months. What do you know, a whole office in the province, about 26 men and women in all, were sacked due to this foul up. The Americans were impressed.

Of course we read in the news how one Health Official who took bribes in exchange for approvals (like the BFAD kind of thing) was sent to the firing squads.

And third, the co-owner of the factory that had manufacturing contracts with Mattel committed suicide because of the recalls.

If only for these, I would like to believe that honesty in principle, is encouraged, if not strictly practiced, in the mainland.

On NBN and other projects, I don't view this as aid from an ally to another. I say its an investment. Especially for highly-technical undertakings where China is not a recognized mover, the NBN sought to provide the Chinese telecoms industry a window where it can showcase its homegrown technology. The Philippines will be their model. It is understandable that they are collecting a very minimal interest. What's better than being paid by your guinea pig?

Wimax isn't a "perfected" technology yet, especially for use in a non-continguous topography like ours, when it was designed for urban, high-traffic utilization, and it is a big gamble for a country like ours to invest big bucks in something whose longevity isn't even certain.

Think Betamax. The Chinese may be selling us now a superior version of Sony's Betamax, we fell for it because of the improved features, but then Panasonic came out with the better product, VHS, which rendered our SuperBetamax obsolete before it even got out of the box. We can't buy spares today for the unit which is supposed to last 25 years.

The question is, was the P25B (future value) loan worth the risk? Will there be equipment, technology, and service support even just until the end of 25 years? Or another: Is there another technology more suitable to our terrain, less costly, and will last beyond 25 years?

The reason why many refuse to just let it pass (aside from the accusations of bribery) is because the government didn't exercise Extreme Due Diligence, much less drafted a simple feasibility research to ensure the public the project is worth every centavo that's gonna be paid.

On the condonation angle, I guess you're right too. I don't think anybody has said this before but, listen, do you think that Joey De Venecia, whose whole business is about and depended on telecoms, stupid enough to concoct such a tale about a large scale bribery he personally witnessed? The Chinese company, or the Chinese government who owns it has not taken up with JDV3 even if the issue is so shameful enough it could possibly trigger World War III.

Yes, China may have Dollars flowing from their ears, but the 3% interest was a clue, a giveaway, perhaps. It raises suspicion.

Sam Ting Wong?

 
At 6:14 PM, October 12, 2007, Blogger Ellen said...

Thanks. Illuminating.

I'm afraid, this Cyber Ed is worse than this NBN project. And I'm afraind it might push throughb ecause the people's anger over corruption has already been drained dry by this NBN scandal which amounted to nothing concrete. Arroyo is still there,more greedy, more repressive than ever.

 
At 6:44 AM, October 13, 2007, Blogger Tongue's Wrath said...

Ellen,
Cyber-Ed is, no doubt, a worse more expensive project. No studies too, I'm sure.

I wrote a theory about the reason Abalos is dipping his hands into a Telecoms deal in your blog post Isang Kahig Isang Tuka na Naka-Mercedes Benz and another here.

It's about the Supreme Court's voiding the Comelec's Automation Project rendering useless a large quantity of microwave equipment that would have been ordered by whoever got the Canvass Transmission Portion of the Automation Project.

My take is that these equipment were manufactured in advance by China to gain a distinct advantage as Abalos will surely specify immediate delivery. Since the award to Mega Pacific was obviously "lutong makaw", the commissions were advanced by Abalos on behalf of the Mafia as the Chinese thought that the deal was "plantsado" and they saw that Abalos was indeed a very powerful man. They did not foresee the Supreme Court decision so they had to "earn" the advanced commission in another project and unload a huge inventory of microwave equipment sleeping in their warehouses - that could have been NBN.

It may also refer to that "money", in part or whole, Joey De Venecia said the Chinese gave to Abalos earlier which we thought was advance commissions for the NBN.

 

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