Businesses suffer the #Philippines government rather than benefit from it

There are many company CEOs who bitch, as we do, about the politicians that we have. When they talk among themselves, they compare notes on how this or that politician is such a low life — for indeed a good many of these politicians may look so respectable on the outside, but their brains are really full of garbage. I know of a CEO who carries extra medicine for his high blood pressure whenever he has an appointment with this Congressman or that Mayor. Another CEO always claims that he spends a long time in the shower after any lunch or dinner with any government person — he says it is a good way of feeling after being in touch with filth. I, of course, don't know if he is just being hyperbolic and joking, but it should give you idea that there are CEOs who are sick and tired of the prevailing situation.

That many of the CEOs wish they just be left alone by government and if they have to deal with govt, it is just to pay the proper taxes is also a fact. Unfortunately, the Philippines is not a level playing field for business, especially big business. Laws, both national and local, can be so unpredictable and selective, giving this preferential treatment or that concession, and if you don't watch it, you might just wake up one morning in a very uncompetitive position. This randomness of laws is one reason why Intel said goodbye to PHL; 27,000 locals lost their jobs when Intel left. You could say the same thing when Kimberly-Clark, Johnson & Johnson, 3M, and a horde of others, who all pulled out their manufacturing facilities; they are now either in Indonesia, Vietnam, or Thailand. These companies are just now maintaining sales and marketing offices in Philippines, and we are now importing the products that used to be manufactured here.

PNoy got something correct: kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap. Unfortunately, he thought of it only as an advertising gimmick. With his selective justice, we now know he actually didn't intend to pursue the idea.

As one blog said: "Poverty is the actual cause of ruin of a country, not to mention the desire of its ruler and officers to amass wealth and possessions, by any means. Corruption undermines the nation's well-being. For corruption to thrive it needs self-centred and selfish politicians, suffering from obsession of grasping and accumulating wealth supported by businessmen who feed them for their selfish needs. To recover the bribes these businessmen often hoard their goods to get more profit out of them by creating scarcity and by indulging in black-marketing or get contracts by unreasonable means causing a loss to the public."

This is the reason why UN came up with Millennium Development Goals (MDG) to highlight that governance is very critical. It includes targets to reduce bribery and corruption. But see, MDG cannot not now be found in the lips of PNoy and his ilks; he had a glowing SONA, but he didn't mention that they didn't meet the MDG targets. Thus, his achievements are all vacuousness, the same emptiness the candidates for 2016 are showing.

I don't understand why people are not scared. ASEAN Integration is just around the corner. If Pinoys continue with their apathy, they will find themselves very much under the ASEAN bus — in three years, I guarantee, and situations will be much worse after that. We have to be angry now, people.

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