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Gross National Happiness for PH; FVR still needed – Malacañang


By Fred Lobo


The Duterte administration will create a local Gross National Happiness (GNH) Index to measure the level of satisfaction of Filipinos in everyday living.

Now we’ll measure your degree of happiness, the Palace says.


The baseline study and special survey will be conducted next year using a questionnaire and metrics, said the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

We need to know not only our GNP but also our GNH. Getting nicer and happy?


The government said that like other countries, the local GNH Index will measure the contentment of the population based on several socioeconomic pillars such as economy, good governance and environment.

So happiness index won’t be based on “shabu, alak, at sabong.”


NEDA Deputy Director General Rosemarie Edillon said the socio-economic domains of the Filipino-style happiness index will be anchored on the Ambisyon Natin report, the country’s long-term vision on the improvement of the standard of living, finances, security and ease of transacting with the government.

The initial 2015 Ambisyon survey showed most Filipinos desire to attain a family-centric life “free from worry and hardship.”


The Filipinos, Edillon added, also want to have: A car, a medium-sized home, the ability to send all their children to college, taking occasional trips around the country, and having the time to relax with family and friends.

Yes, time for some degree of Digong Prosperity for impoverished Pinoys.


Meanwhile, Malacañang said that former President Fidel V. Ramos, who just resigned as special envoy to China, should continue to play a role in the Duterte administration, especially in its engagement with Beijing.

Translation: Steady Eddie is still needed and has a role to play.


Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said the administration continues to recognize FVR’s role in the thawing of relations between Beijing and Manila, before Preisdent Duterte went on a successful state visit to China.

FVR broke the ice through warm “Nihao ma!” and his signature “Kaya natin ito !” thumbs-up.


“PFVR’s presence is invaluable. PFVR was appointed by PRRD as special envoy precisely because of his stature, credibility as our elderly statesman and his ability to break the ice with the Chinese government,” Andanar said, referring to Ramos and Duterte by their initials.

“Moreover, it is not true that the former president can no longer have any role in our engagement with China. His stature and expertise are needed now, more than ever, to follow up and build on what President Duterte accomplished during his recent visit to China,” Andanar said.


Ramos tendered his resignation as special envoy to China after criticizing priorities and policies on the war on drugs, the “separation from the United States,” as well as the administration’s refusal to ratify the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Just take those criticisms as coming from “an older brother of the big, big,big Filipino family,” FVR said.


“PFVR was instrumental in the softening of ties between our government and the PROC, which led to the very successful recent state visit of PRRD in Beijing,” Andanar said.

After Duterte’s state visit to China last Oct. 21, Filipino fishermen were able to enter Panatag (Scarborough) shoal without being harassed by Chinese coast guards, aside from the $24 billion in pledged loans and investments, he said.

Likewise, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano said the administration continues to value Ramos’ expertise and stature in dealing with Beijing.

“The former president continues to be the guiding light of this administration and any advice that he will give in official or unofficial capacity, privately or publicly, will continue to be sought,” the senator said.

Yes to a continued Duterte-FVR alliance before we all go bonkers.

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