Thursday, January 31, 2013

Philippines February will start negotiating 12 FA-50 fighter jets with SK – for 2015 Delivery

Published in Flight Global, KAI, "Philippines to enter final negotiations for 12 FA-50s" Korea Aerospace Industries and the Philippines will soon commence final negotiations for the purchase of 12 FA-50 fighter aircraft.

A source close to the deal tells Flightglobal that negotiations will commence in February. The source expects negotiations to last for six months. If discussions are successful, Manila could receive its first FA-50s in 2015.

The source's comments came after Philippine media reports quoted presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda as saying that Manila will move forward with negotiations for the 12 aircraft.

Lacierda reportedly said that the aircraft will be used "primarily for training, interdiction and disaster response".

"These planes have camera capabilities to monitor and also to take pictures of disaster areas," he says. "So it will be used in a number of ways."

A lack of fighters is a major capability gap for the Philippines, which retired its last Northrop F-5s in 2004. The shortfall is especially pressing, given the development of China's air force in recent years, and territorial disputes between Manila and Beijing in the South China Sea.

The Philippine air force can use the FA-50 both as a trainer to regenerate its ability to operate fighters and as a combat aircraft, if necessary.

In January 2012, Seoul placed a $600 million order for 20 FA-50s, the most advanced variant of the T-50 trainer. It could eventually acquire a total of 60 to 100 of the type to replace more than 150 Northrop F-5s. It is due to receive its first FA-50s in mid-2013.

Seoul's FA-50s will have the Link 16 tactical data link, as well as an Elta Systems EL/M-2032 pulse doppler radar.

The FA-50 also has a radar warning receiver and a night vision imaging system. It is capable of carrying 4,500kg (9,920lb) of weapons, including the Boeing Joint Direct Attack Munition and Textron CBU-97 Sensor Fused Weapon. The FA-50 also has a 20mm cannon and can carry air-to-air missiles.

The other two variants are the T-50B performance aircraft, and the TA-50, a lightly armed version of the T-50 with a 20mm cannon and the ability to carry air-to-air missiles.

All T-50 variants are powered by General Electric F404 engines.

Flightglobal

Bangko Sentral biggest Challenge: So much money coming in to the Country

Amando Tetangco, governor of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, seen in this Oct. 8, 2012 photo, said interest rates will remain low this year even as growth will probably meet the government's 6 percent-to-7 percent target. Amando Tetangco, governor of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, seen in this Oct. 8, 2012 photo, said interest rates will remain low this year even as growth will probably meet the government's 6 percent-to-7 percent target. Photographer: Julian Abram Wainwright/Bloomberg

Bloomberg published "Philippines Joins Korea in Weighing Steps to Curb Inflows" also explained how would it affects the country's economy if left uncontrolled.  

Philippine central bank Governor Amando Tetangco said he's studying more measures to counter excessive capital inflows lured by growth, joining South Korea and Singapore in warning that policy makers need to consider more steps to reduce the impact of such funds.

"Capital flows and the impact of these on the local economy and local financial markets" would be among the biggest challenges this year, Tetangco said in an interview in his office yesterday. "We continue to study what other measures can be implemented just in case there's a need to adopt more measures in the future."

Monetary easing in developed nations from Japan to the U.S. and Europe has spurred flows to faster growing emerging markets as investors seek higher returns, boosting Asian stocks to the highest in 17 months this week. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas can't rule out further reductions on the rate it pays on funds placed in its special deposit accounts after a cut last week, Tetangco said.

"It's becoming challenging to manage inflows with so much of it coming in and increasing liquidity in the system," said Santitarn Sathirathai, a Singapore-based economist at Credit Suisse Group AG. "What the central bank doesn't want is for these funds to go into speculative activities, like to the property sector."

The Philippine economy grew 6.8 percent last quarter from a year earlier, the government said today, beating the median estimate of 6.3 percent in a Bloomberg News survey. Gross domestic product increased 6.6 percent in 2012, it said.

Gradual Appreciation

Singapore central bank Managing Director Ravi Menon said yesterday Asian policy makers should allow a gradual appreciation of their currencies along with other measures to keep inflationary pressures contained as the region faces a "wall of money." South Korea should consider taxes on currency trading and bonds to help limit "speculative" inflows of capital, Deputy Finance Minister Choi Jong Ku said yesterday.

Thailand will set up a team of economists, including central bank Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul, to study how to respond to short-term capital inflows, Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong said yesterday. The country won't impose capital controls or tax measures to curb fund flows, he said.

Interest rates will remain low this year even as growth will probably meet the government's 6 percent-to-7 percent target, Tetangco said.

"From our point of view, we do not see signs of overheating in the Philippine economy," the governor said.

New Limits

Bangko Sentral in 2012 announced limits on banks' currency forward positions and banned overseas funds from special deposit accounts. Last week it cut the rate it pays on 1.72 trillion pesos ($42 billion) in its so-called SDAs to 3 percent from more than 3.5 percent. It kept the benchmark overnight borrowing rate unchanged at a record-low 3.5 percent.

"By introducing more macro-prudential measures, they're able to target specific concerns unlike using the main interest rate, which is a blunt tool," Santitarn said.

Philippine outsourcing companies have called on policy makers to curb the peso's gains to sustain competitiveness. Inflows must be managed as currency gains may hurt exporters and low rates may spur asset bubbles, New York University Professor Nouriel Roubini said in a speech in Manila yesterday.

"We don't see evidence of stretched market conditions at this point in time but we continue to monitor," Tetangco said. "We don't target a particular exchange rate. Our policy is the same; we won't go against the fundamental trend but reserve the right to step in the market to smoothen excessive volatilities as may be necessary."

Top Performer

Capital inflows have boosted Philippine stocks and helped make the peso Asia's best-performing currency in the past 12 months.

The peso climbed to 40.55 per dollar on Jan. 14, the strongest level since March 2008. It was little changed at 40.66 as of 10:15 a.m. in Manila, according to Tullett Prebon Plc. The yield on the three-year peso bonds fell to 3.29 percent this week, the lowest since September 2011. The main stock index climbed 0.6 percent today, extending a record high.

The $225 billion economy is on the cusp of an investment- grade rating, President Benigno Aquino said this month. That would attract inflows, Tetangco said yesterday.

The Philippines has the highest junk rating at Moody's Investors Service, Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor's. S&P raised the outlook to positive last month and said an upgrade is possible in 2013 on improved governance and public finances.

Encourage Outflows

The Philippines may consider further loosening foreign- exchange rules to encourage outflows, Felipe Medalla, a member of the central bank's Monetary Board, told reporters yesterday.

"We're not thinking of imposing holding period for investments in stocks," Medalla said. "If at all, maybe on fixed income, because people who go to fixed income do carry trade. We're studying everything."

South Korea's finance official Choi said yesterday his government may further tighten restrictions on banks' currency forward positions. South Korea on Nov. 27 capped currency forward positions at 150 percent of equity for branches of foreign banks. The limit is 30 percent of equity for domestic banks.

Tools other than interest rates have to be used as emerging-market economies such as the Philippines try to curb volatility, sustain growth and keep prices stable, Tetangco said.

"The policy rate remains the main instrument of monetary policy," he said. "Over the long run, we may develop an interest-rate corridor. What we did last week was an intermediate step towards that. It's a medium-term objective."

Bloomberg 

Philippines is poised to join the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies

Consumer Boom Fuels Philippines as Neighbors Hit by Export Pain

The Philippines is poised to join the world's 10 fastest-growing economies this year and next as Filipinos buying goods from dresses to condominiums cushion a faltering in exports that's hurt the rest of the region.

The economy extended a fourth quarter of expansion of at least 6 percent, boosting full-year growth to 6.6 percent, faster than economists had forecast. Consumer spending has risen to about three-quarters of gross domestic product from 63 percent a decade ago, World Bank data showed. The Philippines will expand 5.5 percent this year, and 5.4 percent in 2014, putting it among the fastest-expanding economies, according to Bloomberg surveys.

"We have a generation that has a better lifestyle now," said Frances de la Cruz as she waited in line to pay $100 for a black dress and a belt at a Zara store in a packed mall in Manila on a recent Saturday. De la Cruz, a 31-year old call center director, is part of an industry that has helped spur 10 percent income growth in the nation from 2009 to end-2011, along with remittances and a burst of manufacturing from Japanese investment.

The consumer spending strength means the nation may be more resilient to global shocks compared with other Asian export- dependent economies from Singapore to Taiwan, where growth slumped in 2012 as demand for goods eased.

Since he took office in 2010, President Benigno Aquino has sought to transform the Philippines from a laggard to one of the fastest-growing economies in the region by increasing government spending, curbing the budget deficit and reducing corruption, taking the country closer to an investment-grade rating.

Tommy Hilfiger

Consumer spending in the nation, among the most consumption-driven in Asia, rose 6.9 percent last quarter, holding above 5 percent for an eighth quarter. That's spurred sales of brands from Tommy Hilfiger to home-grown Suyen Corp.'s Bench.

"The Philippines has proven it's got particular strength in mitigating external headwinds because its domestic demand has kept the economy running even as other nations suffered," said Vishnu Varathan, a Singapore-based senior economist at Mizuho Corporate Bank Ltd. "Now with Aquino boosting infrastructure, capacity building, the growth potential over the longer term is rapidly increasing. The Philippines is on a very good footing to remain the blue-eyed boy in the region."

The Philippine peso has risen about 5 percent in the past 12 months, the best performer among 25 emerging-market currencies tracked by Bloomberg. The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange Index climbed to a record in January.

Demographic Dividend

Southeast Asia's second-most populous nation already enjoys a demographic dividend compared to many of its neighbors, with most of its population in the 15-to-64 working-age range. Its labor force will expand by almost 18 million, or 31 percent, to 75 million by 2020 compared with 2010, with a median age of 23.9, Merrill Lynch has predicted. That compares with 37.8 in China and 43.4 in South Korea.

"It's a young, booming population," said Trinh Nguyen, a Hong Kong-based economist at HSBC Holdings Plc. "There's an energy, a euphoria you can sense in the Philippines. The domestic market is burgeoning, thanks to strong population and income growth. This has attracted flows from foreign investors looking to capitalize on the consumption-driven economy."

Japanese investment into the Philippines grew about 30 percent in 2011, while global retailers including Harry Winston Diamond Corp., Uniqlo Co. and Forever 21 Inc. have opened shop or expanded operations recently. Auto sales rose 11 percent in 2012, according to the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines.

Rating Outlook

Aquino, the son of former President Corazon Aquino, is increasing spending to a record this year while seeking more than $17 billion of investments in roads and airports to spur growth to as much as 7 percent in 2013. Standard & Poor's in December raised the country's sovereign rating outlook to positive, citing improved governance and public finances.

A peace agreement with Muslim guerrillas in the mineral- rich Mindanao island in October is forecast to bring about $1 billion in investment commitments. Aquino has also shown progress in the fight against graft, with Transparency International raising the country's ranking on its annual corruption index to 105 last year, higher than Indonesia at 118.

Exports, which made up about 30 percent of GDP in 2012, slowed in November from the previous month. The nation also remains reliant on remittances, which account for about 10 percent of GDP. The unemployment rate is 6.8 percent.

"Growth is uneven," Nguyen said. "The government needs to raise investment to create jobs and cut poverty to make growth more inclusive."

That hasn't deterred consumers like Charlotte Co, a 26-year old accounting analyst who bought a one-bedroom condominium for 3.2 million pesos ($79,000) in 2011 and purchased a bright yellow Céline Trio bag for $1,000 in December with her savings.

"I would be brave to invest if I don't believe things are really changing," Co said. (http://bloom.bg/XVmWwg)

Bloomberg 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Philippine economy beats market expectations, expands 6.6% in 2012

The Philippine economy grew 6.6 percent last year — beating the expectations of the market, lending institutions and even the government itself — driven by the services, trade, real estate and construction sectors.

In a briefing on Thursday, NSCB chief Jose Ramon Albert announced that output for the fourth quarter hit 6.8 percent, pushing the full-year gross domestic product (GDP) beyond the government's 5 to 6 percent growth expectations for 2012.

The full-year 2012 figure was significantly higher than 2011's 3.7 percent and was slightly higher than the National Economic and Development Authority's (NEDA) 6.5 percent GDP growth expectation.

It was also higher than the market's media forecast of 6.2 percent as shown in a GMA News Online poll.

"The increase was fueled by the robust performance of the services sector led by trade and real estate, renting and business activities as well as the substantial improvements of manufacturing and construction," the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) noted in a separate statement.

"On the demand side, household final consumption expenditure together with government spending, the recovery of capital formation and the remarkable performance of the external trade contributed to the healthy growth of the economy in the fourth quarter and the whole year of 2012," it added.

GMA News

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Good bye Panatag Shoal? International Professors Criticized the Philippines

It was boasted to the media that the Philippine government will spend billions of Dollars for the armament upgrades to protect the Philippine territory and in fact already spending half a billion Dollars for the said upgrade but without even a single cent of bullets spend to protect the territory, China managed to oust the Philippines' control in Panatag Shoal/ Scarborough Shoal last June 2012.

Many Filipinos are asking why the name of Panatag Shoal of the Philippines was renamed into Chinese Island in the giant Google Map? The World knew about it but it remained unknown to the Philippine people as the Government hide the truth to the  public for shame that this "REPUBLIC" failed for the 3rd times in protecting the territory from invaders.

The Panatag Shoal or also known as Scarborough Shoal is well within 200 Nautical Miles Exclusive Economic Zone of the Philippines.

What is the purpose of having our Military if we will not use them to defend our territory? Are we really Coward?.

It is better to lose our territory with pride that we fight for it to our last breath to defend our dignity than to lose it without doing anything.  Should we replace our National Anthem? "Ang Mamatay ng Dahil sayo"? Why don't we replace "Sa kamatayan ay takot ako"? This is a very big insult to our country.

Rebuilding for the Better Philippines supports for the peaceful means but losing our territory without any action is not acceptable. It's just a big shame and making our country questionable if we deserve to be called as country? Are we really a country with dignity and able to protect the territory?  

We are sorry our compatriots. Even WE, the Rebuilding for the Better Philippines didn't know that China already controlled the Scarborough shoal until the publication from the International media informed the world and embarrassed the Philippines that China successfully ousted the Philippines in the Scarborough Shoal without even a single sound of a gun.

Even Vietnam criticized the Philippines for giving up the Shoal without fighting for it. This is very embarrassing. We are losing our face to the international community. We are called as "Coward".

While China is invading the Panatag Shoal, they simultaneously invade the territory of the Independent Island State of Palau, a hundred kilometer distance East of Mindanao Island.

The small island State government of Palau fight against the invading china, captured, jailed and penalized the invaders. Bear in mind the Palau State is a very small state with only few thousand residence compare to the Philippines with hundred Million populations. In contrast to Palau, the Philippines leave the Panatag Shoal and give up to china without even a single shot of a gun to defend it.

The Philippine government is no sting, really weak, ineffective and unreliable in dealing with issues with the territorial disputes. This country is very soft. It is the THIRD failures of the Philippines in dealing with the territorial disputes with the invading neighbors.

We could recall in the past, the first incident happened when Vietnam lured the Philippine Soldier guarding the Islands in Kalayaan Groups (Spratly) with their Vietnamese bitches arrived from Vietnam to have sex party of hot flesh where Filipino Soldier abandoned the protected Island to accept the offer of Vietnam and give up the protected island to Vietnam.

The Second incident was happened on 1995 when Chinese poachers build a hideout in Panganiban Reef/ Micheif Reef 75 Miles from Palawan. China negotiate the Philippines Government to allow their fishermen to fish in the Philippine waters and let them use the place for hide our during bad weathers and Ramos allowed them then later, Filipino fishermen fishing near the reef were jailed and China build its Strong Military Garrison in Panganiban Reef/ Mischief Reef inside the Philippines territory and successfully controlled the reef. Why this country still trust the words of China for the second time?

The THIRD and very fresh incident is the Scarborough Shoal. Without even a single sound of a gun to defend our territory, China managed to oust the Philippines' control in Panatag Shoal/ Scarborough Shoal last June 2012.

ABC News  reported that Chinese paramilitary ships confronted Philippine vessels last year in a monthslong standoff over a disputed shoal. China has effectively controlled the shoal since June, when Manila withdrew its ships as a typhoon approached.

How reliable this country, these Military to defend our territory?

The world noticed that the Philippines is not really capable in protecting the territory and they are losing hope for this country to be remained FREE in the future so we receive criticism for elevating the issue to the United Nations if we could not defend it, why not just give up and keep quiet in the corner.

Even USA who signed for MDT did not come to help the Philippines when china used force and invaded the Scarborough shoal. It is a use of force!, but why the MDT cool-down? It is because the Philippines did not show to the world that we are willing to protect our territory. It could not be the fault of America who signed the MDT with the PHL but a big mistake of the Philippines who failed to defend the territory.

Don't you ever think that the "Pivot" in Asia could be a conspiracy? Don't you ever think that USA with huge debt in China planned this to use the Spratly as their payment for their huge debt in China?

Don't you think that USA after Wikileaks leaked the fact that the USA secret records shows that Mindanao alone has untapped $1 trillion Dollars mineral reserves scrambled for their "pivot" in Asia plan because Mindanao already knew the secrets and they might explore the resources without USA?

Do you still remember that USA secretly negotiated the Mindanao Rebels to open the hidden minerals in Mindanao bypassing the Manila's Arroyo Government?

Don't you ever think that if the war will broke, US will dominate the country and would probably control the Philippines again to explore the untapped resources in Mindanao?

It could not be acceptable if it will happen but if it is the fate of this country to doom soon then it's better to be with USA than with China.

The Aquino government is dealing with the hardest challenge ever encounter in the Philippine history. The Hidden Agenda, the conspiracy, the Pivot in Asia and the untapped resources.

The political strategy has becoming more and more complicated and the center of the issue is the Philippines. 2 World giants want to divide the country to explore the riches. Japan could be the last recourse of the Philippines but not capable enough to drive away any of the giants.

Who could be blame for this fate? Our country could not defend the territory because we did not equip our Armed Forces. WE want Ramos to answer this.

Yesterday, WE receive the "STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL" intelligent report from Korea about the Geostrategic Plan of USA and China. It was a big Surprise for us when our Korean Lady Friend working is the intelligent units stumbled the hidden file and sends us the Screen shot of a short message.

We are giving warning to the Philippine. If we could not trust USA, we have Japan and Australia with good record of governance but before the bad fate will happen, WE must equip our Armed Forces so these giants' users will back off.

My compatriots, I would die would this exposé but I am ready for it and I will take responsible of my worlds for my country. I want that all Filipino will wake up that we are now in the brink of losing our country if we will fail to protect our territory. There is a conspiracy. We need to face the challenges, and we must help the government, we must love this country, we must defend our country and fight against these giants with our own resources and without relying any other to defend us. WE NEED OUR ARMED FORCES TO BE EQUIPED WITH ENOUGH WEAPON TO DEFEND US.

Published in Voice of America Princeton University Professor Gilbert Rozman believes tensions over the South China Sea could cause problems between Washington and Beijing in other areas as well.

Rozman says Manila's decision to take the maritime dispute to the United Nations clearly escalates the standoff. He worries that it will put pressure on Washington to do something. As of now, he says, China is "blaming the U.S. for stirring up the trouble."

Simon Tay in the says the South China Morning Post Philippines' decision to take its South China Sea island dispute with China to UN arbitration will set in motion a legal process that, unless carefully managed, could lead to political fallout.

It seems that the international community blames the Philippines for trying to asked help the United Nations as it would just be treated as escalation of the issue knowing that the Philippines is not capable to defend the territory then who will fight for the Philippines?

This is a shame to our country because until now we did not spend enough for our Armed Forces to have a good posture.

This is Prince Dan We, one of the authors and editors of the Rebuilding for the Better Philippines. My Compatriots, I could Die Today or Tomorrow for my bold criticisms to our government, to USA and to China but I hope you could forgive me that I just love this country more than my life. "Ang mamatay ng Dahil sayo"

Pinoy RH advocate Carlos Celdran guilty for “Damaso’ing” the Catholic Church

The Metropolitan Trial Court found tour guide and Reproductive Health advocate Carlos Celdran guilty of offending religious feeling under Article 133 of the Revised Penal Code.

Based on the ruling issued by MeTC Branch 4 Judge Juan Bermejo Jr., Celdran is meted with an indeterminate sentence of 2 months and 21 days of imprisonment to a maximum of one year, 1 month and 11 days of imprisonment.

"Wherefore, premises considered, accused Carlos Celdran is found guilty beyond reasonable doubt for the crime of Offending the Religious Feelings under Article 133 of the Revised Penal Code and applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, there being no mitigating and aggravating circumstance, he is hereby sentenced to suffer imprisonment of two months and 21 days as minimum to one year, one month and 11 days…" the MeTC Branch 4 said in its ruling.

The lower court gave credence to the testimony of witnesses saying "the positive declaration of the witnesses for the prosecution and the circumstances surrounding the incident are sufficient to satisfy the quantum of evidence needed for a criminal conviction."

The case stemmed from the complaint of violation of Article 133 of the Revised Penal Code filed by Monsignor Nestor Cerbo of the Manila Cathedral.

Article 133 punishes those who "in a place devoted to religious worship or during the celebration of any religious ceremony shall perform acts notoriously offensive to the feelings of the faithful."

On Sept. 30, 2010, Celdran staged a protest, where, dressed as the Filipino national hero Jose Rizal, he shouted inside Manila Cathedral that the church should stop meddling in government affairs while holding a "Damaso" sign referring to "Padre Damaso," the antagonist priest in Rizal's Noli Me Tangere.

Celdran said he would appeal against the court's decision, describing the authorities' use of the little-known and rarely used law as a threat to freedom of speech.

"I am calm but I am going to fight this till the end," Celdran said in a statement posted on social media alongside a copy of the court's decision. Celdran remains free on bail, pending his appeal.

International rights monitor Human Rights Watch said it was alarmed by the use of an "archaic" law to prosecute Celdran.

"This is a setback for free speech in the Philippines, which prides itself on being a democracy," Human Rights Watch Asia researcher Carlos Conde said in a statement.

The proposed law that Celdran spoke out in favor of during his protest was eventually approved by Congress last year and came into effect on January 17.

The law requires government health centers to hand out free condoms and birth control pills, benefiting tens of millions of the country's poor who would not otherwise be able to afford or have access to them.

It also mandates that sex education be taught in schools.

Catholic Church groups have filed petitions with the Supreme Court, asking it to overturn the law.

About 80 percent of the Philippines' 100 million people are Catholic, a legacy of Spanish colonial rule that ended in the late 1800s, and the church remains one of the nation's most powerful institutions.

Officials at the court that handed down the verdict were not immediately available to comment. With a report from Inquirer & AFP

Monday, January 28, 2013

Philippines' property boom shows no sign of slowdown

 A property boom in Metro Manila, described as the best in two decades, has pushed construction in the Philippines to its highest growth in at least six quarters.

The Philippines is experiencing a property boom like no other with developments covering office buildings, housing projects, hotels and new shopping districts.

This is all being fuelled by confidence in the Philippine economy which grew at a notable 7.1 per cent in 2012.

With the Philippine economy growing at an impressive pace, experts said there will be no slowdown in the demand for real property market as the country rides on strong macroeconomic fundamentals and investor confidence.

CBRE Philippines' chairman Rick Santos said: "We are seeing a very strong government. The Aquino administration is doing a very admirable job. The strong leadership and a strong cabinet have been reflected on the confidence of the foreign investors. A lot of countries around the world now are getting investment downgrades. In the Philippines, we are seeing investment upgrades so that is very positive. The Philippines is becoming this overnight success that took 20 years."

Property developers are now enjoying brisk sales with vacancy rates falling to its lowest on record.

In some cases, pre-leasing for office spaces are committed for the next two years.

The challenge now experts said is how to cope with the unprecedented success.

Jose Antonio, founder and chairman of Century Properties Group, Inc, said: "The challenge is actually not only for us as a company. The challenge for our country is how to sustain this growth. How do we sustain it? It is really to plough back all the income of both the private sector companies and the government into sustainable projects and relevant projects.

"For example, it is very important for the government to expand our infrastructure. There is a big need and we know it. (The government needs) to hasten the infrastructure program of the government."

The government has allotted a record budget of over US$9 billion this year to upgrade the country's roads, ports, bridges and airports.

Industry experts believe the aggressive infrastructure spending will further real estate growth in the country. (http://bit.ly/10YCvow)

Channel News Asia 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

FMT: Sabah, North Borneo the 81st Province of the Philippines

Explosive article written by Free Malaysia Today writer Mariam Mokhtar called Sabah North Borneo as the 81st Province of the Philippines for her article titled "Welcome to the Philippines 81st province"  January 25, 2013 Publication.

FMT NEWS: It is believed there about 1.75 million Filipinos in Sabah, who were allowed to settle in the state during Dr Mahathir Mohamad's premiership

People should be able to place their trust in the prime minister to head the elected government; some prime ministers achieve greatness, others are best forgotten. Many are mediocre, others gain international acclaim.

The future of one Malaysian prime minister might well lie in a cell. His crime? When he was in power, he did not act in the interests of the country, but was consumed by a passion to further his own political interests. He was prepared to sell his country to foreign nationals.

Last week, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad admitted in a press conference that he had authorised the provision of ICs to Filipinos. The Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on Sabah revealed that between 1970 and 1984, around 73,000 Filipino refugees had been allowed to settle permanently in Sabah. Pundits claim that today, there may be around 1.75 million Filipinos.

In 2011, the opposition alleged that around three million Indonesians had been absorbed into Malaysia and given citizenship, with Bumiputera privileges and most important of all, granted full voting rights.

The Wikipedia entry for the Philippines states that there are 80 provinces which are grouped into 17 regions depending on their geographical, cultural and ethnological features.

With these allegations, Peninsular Malaysia might as well be known as the 34th province of Indonesia, and Sabah should be recognized as the 81st province of the Philippines.

Mahathir tried to deflect criticism from his "Project IC" by making unfair comparisons with the granting of citizenship to Malayans by Tunku Abdul Rahman. When he was stung by the criticisms of sullying the name of the Father of Independence, Mahathir tried to backpedal, but the damage was already done.

Malaysians don't really care about Mahathir's racial origins, his ethnicity or his religious conviction. They do mind his deception and the manner in which he helped propel the Ketuanan Melayu myth to the detriment of all races and religions in Malaysia.

He championed the Malays above everyone else, but left out other Malaysian-born citizens, and tagged them with the "pendatang" label.

His adherence to his Malay bloodline, whilst ignoring his equally noble Indian ancestry, is what has probably made many people despise the Indian Muslims, through no fault of their own. Many disparaging remarks which appear to be directed at all mamaks, are in reality directed solely at Mahathir.

Private kitty

Mahathir used the ISA and Operasi Lalang to silence his critics. He created heavy industries and installed his own cronies in these ventures. He treated the Treasury like his own private kitty, bailed out favoured people, and thought nothing of losses being borne by the taxpayers. He brainwashed Malaysians, especially the Malays, into accepting a two-tiered society.

Mahathir asked us to "Look East" because of his personal spat with the West, but unbeknown to us, he did a private deal with Margaret Thatcher in the Pergau Dam scandal.

It is laughable that anyone should think the British will come and rescue Malaysia, like the cavalry charge in the cowboy movies.

British Prime Minister David Cameron and his government are more interested in flogging their old weaponry to Malaysia, saving their firms in an economically stagnant Europe and rejuvenate their flagging property market with Malaysian EPF money.

During Tony Blair's time, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) was told to halt its investigations into the BAE arms sale to Saudi Arabia. Allegations of kickbacks to a Saudi prince proved embarrassing and Blair claimed that he was acting in the "national interest". Will Cameron be any different?

Recently, some professionals revealed that in their student days, they were not awarded scholarships or loans for further studies because they did not show allegiance to Umno, or that their parents were not pious Umno Muslims.

These are revelations from Malays who did not have the right connections but were able to scrape up just enough money to pay for their own education. Anyone who thinks Umno helps all Malays is deluded. Umno only assists Umno Malays.

The Sabah RCI has revealed that Umno is not concerned about illegal immigration. It places more value on being in power. Mahathir and Umno were prepared to sacrifice the harmony of the Sabah people and manipulate its history. What happened in Sabah will probably be proven to hold true for Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia. Will Najib Tun Razak hold similar RCIs for them?

When the RM17.7 billion Iskandar Malaysia project was launched in Johor in 2006, a visibly angry Mahathir said: "After the land is sold, the Malays will be driven to live at the edge of the forest and even in the forest itself. In the end, the area in Iskandar Malaysia will be filled with Singaporeans and populated with only 15 percent Malays."

Real justice

These words have now come to haunt Mahathir as the RCI has exposed his treachery; but Malaysians have to ask themselves what sort of a country they want to live in.

Last week, Mahathir tried to justify his action of granting MyKads to foreigners by saying, "Malaysia accepts foreigners to become citizens provided that they meet certain conditions."

Try telling that to the hundreds of thousands of Malaysians who live overseas. Families are torn apart because of unfair practices promulgated by Mahathir's Bumiputera only policies. These people were shunned despite being Malaysians who were born and brought up in Malaysia. They were treated shabbily. In the end, Malaysia lost a valuable resource.

Mahathir also said of the Project IC Filipinos, "Many of them in Sabah were not there for a day or two, but 20 or 30 years and can speak Malay. They have the right to be citizens."

Again, tell that to the thousands of Malaysians who are forced to live outside Malaysia, because their foreign-born spouses are considered persona-non-grata, despite being highly skilled and able to speak Malay.

As usual, none of this applies to the very rich or the very poor. People with money are welcome provided their wallets are always open. The very poor are welcome provided they vote for Umno.

Mahathir's lust for political power has left a humanitarian crisis in Sabah, and we are left to clear up the mess.

Najib should ensure that the Sabah RCI is not another whitewash like the Teoh Beng Hock RCI. He should prove that he is a firm leader by bringing Mahathir to justice. Real justice, not the sham justice which we have come to associate with the Malaysian courts.

Mariam Mokhtar is a FMT columnist.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

DOST ₱1 Billion, Phildev ₱5 billion Philippine PC Tablet Manufacturing for $100 each

"I look forward to the day when there's no longer imported PC (in the Philippines)." – Dado Banatao at the Gonegosyo Technopreneurship Summit. (Go Negosyo photo)

Very impressive and ambitious plan which been started the fund raising for the first Philippine design personal computer and pc tablet manufacturing initiated  Philippine Development Foundation (Phildev).

Reported at the Manila Bulletin (Friday) Philippines Can Supply PC Requirements would mean that the Philippines would stop relying on imported computers from china's low quality pc and would make the Philippines as a global supplier for affordable but good quality computers.

Manila Bulletin: With a skilled workforce capable of doing difficult chip design, this seemingly far-fetched vision is not impossible as the Philippine Development Foundation (Phildev) has already started planning this.

The Philippines should one day supply 100 percent of its own PC (personal computer) needs instead of shipping these in from South Korea, Taiwan, or China, according Silicon Valley-based technology entrepreneur Diosdado Banatao.

With a skilled workforce capable of doing difficult chip design, this seemingly far-fetched vision is not impossible as the Philippine Development Foundation (Phildev) has already started planning this.

Phildev is raising 5 billion from the private sector for this megaproject of which more than 500 million has already been raised.

"This (tablet computers) is a project we started last year. The tablet computer is just one component," said Banatao in an interview at the sidelines of the Go Negosyo Technopreneurship Summit.

"I look forward to the day when there's no longer imported PC because we're designing one. We have to gain confidence in developing products that are very viable. That's how developed countries did it, and we're buying their products"

The tablet computers are envisioned to be distributed to public schools at a very cheap cost at perhaps around $100 per unit. Software will be developed with the Department of Education and Department of Science and Technology. Government is reported to have also allocated around 1 billion for the project, but cost may be much more considering infrastructure requirement.

"By the time we're done deploying this, it will be a lot of money. The tablet is just one component of the project, there's infrastructure. Communication, long distance wifi, tablet, network – this whole thing will be needed by the Philippines," he said.

The Philippines must access the global market if it has to grow in technology ventures and bring a lot more wealth, said Banatao who founded Silicon Valley startups Mostron, Chips and Technologies, and S3 Graphics through which their IC design .

Investments should be made to become competitive in technology equipment, including PCs, in three parameters — performance, power consumption, and cost.

"In your smartphone, you'll see a bunch of chips. I've been kind of curious how many dollars were invested in making those work — with those three parameters. Roughly $3 billion were invested to make that smartphone work," said Banatao who design and manage design of chips that are now found in PCs and other electronic equipment.

There should be a complete intermarriage between business and science where workers have strong grasp on basic disciplines-- primarily math and science. The education system should be reformed for this.

"It is disappointing some schools are being guided more by business than learning. If some schools understand what parents go through to send their kids to school, they will put more content in the kids' minds because the parents pay for it."

Intensive technical education is inevitable if the country has to take off economically

"What we do at Phildev is we're working with government to attack this (commercialized education). If you look at the curriculum, and there's no depth in science, you should worry you're not getting the return for your money," he said, stressing it's through technology that Japan and Germany arose from destruction in previous wars.

"Japan became the number two economy within less than 20 years after World War II because they're deep in technology."

In Silicon Valley, where there are no unions because enterprises pay for brains and hardwork, technology innovators dig inspirations from the basics, according to Banatao.

"When I was at Mapua, we always had a set of problems at the back of each chapter. I solved all the problems in the book, whether Physics, Math. I did this twice – once before the test and another before the finals. I know that's severe, but that's me. Somehow I thought there should not be problem I can't solve.

That shows excellence one can strive for," he said.

"I brought that practice to Stanford where I was competing with top one percent of students in the world."

Banatao's Tallwood Venture Capital, a startup funder, has more than $600 million in investment portfolio in technology enterprises. Tallwood has a local affiliate investing here, Narra Venture Capital represented by Dr. Paco Sandejas.

"The biggest companies in Silicon Valley grew because they're practicing entreprenereurs grounded in deep technology. There are no compromises in wanting to use or acquire that knowledge," he said.

The wifi technology is also continuing to evolve — so that Silicon Valley companies are doubling capacity of data transmission.

"We're continuing to put a lot more money for wifi. It's just a matter of time, and (the technology) is potentially violating Shannon law. Probably we'll spend about half a billion dollar. You'll see that it's impact on people's lives is amazing," he said.

The challenge to practice expertise in a technology craft should drive many to entrepreneurship.

"There's no job here that can really challenge me, so I left for the US. That confidence will allow you to become an entrepreneur. It's not easy to become an entrepreneur especially when you deal with technology. Chances are you will fail in nine out of 10."

Among the success factors to technology entrepreneurship are a compelling need — if someone has long been looking for this product for a long time until one's product comes; execution — a cohesive plan for the first year, second year and so on; and a strong technical and management team. This team is pertinent in bringing in the funding as this team's payroll would also require a significant amount while the company is still struggling to survive .

The creation of a market for a technology startup is really a painstaking effort. It can take five to 10 years to create a market. On the other hand, an existing market for an existing product would give an entrepreneur readily-available data on the market.

"You think you can create a market. But I advise startups 'Don't do that. It can take five to 10 years to create a market. The nice thing with the market if it's an existing market is it has a lot of data. Market research is crucial. It's easier to develop a product based on existing markets with identifiable needs."

There may be successful technology entrepreneurial successes like that of Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg.

But most of the time it takes more years to create a market, Banatao said. It took Bill Gates, for one, 15 years to develop the PC, and it took Michael Dell, Dell Inc. founder who is now $14 billion worth, some time too in developing direct marketing for the PC.

One has to offer something really good amid competition.

"There is something positive and negative in any market. There are a lot of players you can compete against. If you bring in something good to that market, you have markets right away. But with strong competition, you have to be that much better. It's hard."

"The key thing is in identifying a need. It has to be very compelling – a way to gauge that is if someone says 'This is what I've been looking for — that's a definition of compelling. No one has addressed that need."

Venture capitalists should be present to finance startups even while it is yet to achieve profitable operation.

"You either commit to be that good, or you get out. It's a relentless effort, and that's where the investors come in. They have to continue to support you if you need more money because its relentless."

Planning is important in ensuring that one's product does not go obsolete.

"I want a situation where I make my own product obsolete."

Monitoring of key results in a technology enterprise is a constant challenge.

At Tallwood Ventures, the key results and targets are right in front of each staff, Banatao said. Each staff has to come up with weekly reports, and part of that report are monthly objectives that came out of the operating plan.

"Every employee should be working on some objectives. It has to be that accurate."

There should be a strategic planning the result of which is a product roadmap. However, when there is a need to change plans, change should be done.

Tallwood invests in the semiconductor and related industries.

Its investment portfolio in technology enterprises includes Accent, offering communication and metering technologies for the Smart Grid industry; Alphion, photonics component manufacturer; Amulaire, engaged in metal injection molding processes; Astute, advanced storage processor company; and Audience, Sandbridge, and Tram, fabless semiconductor firms.

The others are Sirf, developer of silicon and software platform for high-quality digital audio-video; Wave Semi, low power programmable solution provider; Wilocity, gigabit wireless solutions enabler; Stream Machine, MPEG-2 video recording supplier; Silicon Clocks, timing products maker; and Rio, optical transmitter manufacturer. (http://bit.ly/Y63LBF)

Manila Bulletin 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

SUBMISSIVE & Overflowing PATIENCE of the Philippines to China’s bully landed up to UN Tribunal

By: Prince Dan We

The ill-equipped, small Island Nation and Archipelagic State of more than 7,100 Islands, the Philippines played its vital role in peaceful resolutions for china's invasion in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) territories for decades but still failed as china will not cooperate and severely bully this small country resulting to exert the last recourse to seek help from the United Nations.

China as one of the top 3 trading partners of the Philippines always enjoyed so much favor and pampered by the Philippine Government to flourish the importance of friendship and being neighbors and also a historical and ancient trading partner to the Southeast Asian Nation we back since 982 AD onwards as recorded in the history after a merchants from "Ma-i" (now as "Mindoro") brought their first wares to Guangzhou China that invites china to see the existence of the small scattered island kingdoms and begin trading with the several small kingdoms exist of what we called now " group of more than 7,100 islands, the Philippines".

The history says the Philippines and China was once best friends and trading partners since the 982 AD but gradually changed after the perception of the communist china in the present time switched from best friend to an invader and seeks to expand its territory and to take control the territory of the old best friend (A betrayal to a trustworthy friend).

China did not even see and doesn't have any "know how" that the small and scattered kingdoms exists of what we called now Philippines if the traders from "Ma-i" (now as "Mindoro") did not brought their wares to Guangzhou China opposite from china's claim that they makes expedition and discovered the Philippines so now they claimed the Philippines' territory because they are the one who firstly discovered the islands.

The old best friends now turn into a territorial competitor for the hottest territorial disputes in Asia that ends up to severe bullying from the giant china.

The world even noticed how submissive and how deep is the patience of the Philippines to stand and remain calm from the severe bullying of the Asia's giant.

To take note, the Philippines already showed several very unacceptable way of obedience to china's demand just to preserve that friendship resulting to severe bully by illegally taking controls to some Philippine territory and claiming most part of the western part of the country.

Laguna Copperplate Inscription (LCI), the first written document found in a Philippine language. The inscription itself identifies the date of its creation as the year 900AD. When in 1989 Antoon Postma deciphered the text of the Laguna Copperplate Inscription at the National Museum of the Philippines, he discovered that the inscription identified the date of its creation as the "Year of Syaka 822, month of Vaisakha." According to Jyotisha (Hindu astronomy), this corresponded with the year 900 A.D. Prior to the deciphering of the LCI, Philippine history was traditionally considered to begin at 1521, with the arrival of Magellan and his chronicler, Antonio Pigafetta. 

Philippines' submissive action to China's illegal activity in the territory

Illegal Fishing

To avoid a mass discontent to the Philippines government, the previous administration itself tried to hide to the public the reality that china's fishermen are fishing in the Philippine waters which makes the Philippines fishermen think that the Philippine territory where they fish is also a common ground for fishing between china and the Philippines and they both fish harmoniously with Chinese fishermen as acting dominant in the Philippine waters as they are using bigger fishing boats compared to the Philippine small wooden fishing boats.

The China's illegal activity in the rich fish stocks Philippines waters is actually a violation of Philippine law but the Philippine government because of its weakness tolerates the Chinese' illegal activities in the country and keep quiet and avoid the issue to be open in the public but because of the freedom of communications and SMS/texting is available, Filipino fishermen disclosed it to the public resulting to a public outrage to the Philippine government's ineffectivity which giving pressure to the recent administration to act in accordance with the law and tried to find solutions to regain the public trusts.

It could be late or not yet too late but the Chinese fishermen already used to it that they are free to fish in the Philippine waters which they think now that they also owned the area as the Philippine government tolerates them to do so for several decades.

The Philippines is just very lenient in nature in sharing its resources to the neighbors as the culture of giving is well-practiced by every Filipinos. It's not just China actually enjoys the freedom to fish in the Philippine waters but also Vietnam which they even used to reached up to Palawan to fish. In the South, the Philippines and Indonesia also enjoys sharing of their waters to fish in both areas in Celebes Sea. The spirit of giving in both countries for their caught fish is still even enjoyed by both fishermen for Philippines/Chinese or Philippines/Vietnamese even the territorial disputes begun. It is just the government complicate the issue for the business and economic interest but the ordinary people in both countries still enjoyed giving and fishing harmoniously.

Territorial invasion

It has been documented in 1995 during the time of former President Fidel Valdez Ramos when the Philippines discovered the illegal occupancy of Chinese fishermen in the Panganiban Reef or also known as Mischief Reef, a 75 miles from Palawan.  The Philippines wants the Chinese fishermen to dismantle their hide-out but China talked to the Philippines to allow their fishermen use the area for shelter. Since the Philippines still enjoy TRUST and FRIENDSHIP with china, President Ramos allowed them to stay but a surprise burst out to the Philippines when the Filipino Fishermen fishing near the Panganiban reef were captured and jailed by Chinese Military for a week, then China build a Military garrison there and claimed the Panganiban reef as China's territory inside the Philippines. (How untrustworthy china is)  

On July 2012 china's invasion incident happened in Zambales Province in Panatag Shoal or also known as Scarborough Shoal / Bajo de Masinloc (Spanish) when the Philippines restricting the law for the protected and endangered species and the Philippines Coast Guard discovered that china are poaching inside the Philippines territory where boarding of the Philippine Coast Guard to the Illegal poaching Chinese fishermen happened then China's Paramilitary ships patrolling inside the Philippine Waters come to the rescue and blocked the Philippine Coast guard from detaining the illegal Chinese poachers.

The standoff between china and the Philippines occurred but the Philippines is determined to deescalate the tension as part of peaceful procedure both agreed to leave the area because of the approaching typhoon and both china and the Philippines leave the Panatag Shoal.

Another surprised to the Philippines is after the agreement of the 2 to leave the Panatag Shoal, the China indeed leave but suddenly returned back to Panatag Shoal and install a blockade to the passageway so the Philippines could no longer enter the area.

China is so much showing their untrustworthiness in the region that their words are unrealistic and they are cruel opportunistic. They always do against what has being agreed.

Illegal occupancy in its own territory

The incidence in the Panganiban Reef / Mischief reef is not a lone incident of China's bully to the Philippines.

Even though the Panganiban Reef is just 75 miles from Puerto Princesa City of Palawan and well within 200 nautical Miles Exclusive economic Zone of the Philippines, China entered and exercise their law power inside the Philippine territory by capturing Filipinos fishing inside the Philippines and jailed them.

Other popular issue when Chinese navy attacked the Philippine- British Oil Exploration Firm in the Recto Back /Reed Bank near Palawan and within 200 Nautical miles EEZ of the Philippines.

The Philippine plan to develop the oil resource rich area in its EEZ is blocked by china which is very unlawful. The abused of being giant and being powerful of china hit so much to the Philippines but still the Philippines remained calm and remain friendly to china not to angry the giant. What a very pity country Philippines in a claw of dragon china. The Philippine economy could grow even faster than the present growth if China will stop their illegal activities and exercising their illegal powers in the Philippine territory but the direction of china is getting worst and aggressive opposite from what the Philippines is hoping for.

Now, the Philippine fishermen are not allowed to fish in the Philippine territory in the Panatag Shoal area as Chinese navy will attacked them and would possible jail them as what it did in Panganiban reef. Filipino fishermen don't want to be held as criminal by the foreign invader in its own land.

During the Scarborough Standoff, Hongkong Ship killed Filipino fishermen in the Philippine "Payaw" or artificial fish sanctuary built by the Philippines.

The Last Recourse

Philippine Foreign Secretary Alberto del Rosario said the Philippines had elevate the conflict to the United Nations ITLOS, a decision came after Manila had exhausted all political and diplomatic avenues into the matter.

The tribunal of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea will arbitrate whether the presence of China's activists in the South China Sea violates the Philippine's sovereignty, Reuters reported.

China might probably ignore the Philippines but Emeritus Professor Carl A. Thayer of Australia's University of New South Wales said that the tribunal may be able to move forward without Chinese participation

GlobalPost's Benjamin Carlson, reporting in Hong Kong, accused the Philippines as seems emboldened by the United States' implicit support, and has become remarkably assertive in its claims against China.

But the Philippines' action is not furtherly examined by the Globalpost reporter in hongkong that the Philippines is doing the last recourse because the Philippines could not afford that china will reign in all Philippines territory and will block the Filipino fishermen to fish in the Philippine waters and want to push back china as it is already stepping inside the Philippines and exercising its power illegally.

Already more than 2 thousand fishermen from Zambales Province are now jobless as they could no longer fish in the waters because china's paramilitary will attack them anytime.

"It will be interesting to see how it plays out, given that, in public, Chinese diplomats pay lip service to the international law, but if the UN were to rule against China, it's very hard to imagine them abiding by the ruling," Carlson said. "To be honest, China is similar to the US in that respect."

Hai Nguyen a Vietnam citizen commented in the Global Post article saying "As a matter of routine, China will lie about its baseless history of ownership, about willingness to negotiate and about peaceful resolution... but, enough evidences of their aggression and escalated hostilities... will mute their noises. Neighbors are watching the courage and effectiveness of the Philippines and the world is watching the bully China, closely."

However, even if the tribunal orders China to respect the Philippines claims, China could always choose to ignore it. But China could not escape from the International condemnation if it will not obey the Order if the United Nations to respect the Philippine Territory. Sanctions from the United Nation would probably hurt china's economy if it would remain adamant if UN will give a favorable decision to the Philippines.

There has been no reaction from Beijing over the request for a tribunal.

===

This is Prince Dan We, one of the Authors and Editors of the Rebuilding for the better Philippines. I want to leave to you the word for today as "In God We Trust" 

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