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Monday, December 11, 2017 28° Cloudy

Continuity in advocacy

Published

Melito Salazar Jr.

Melito Salazar Jr.

By Melito Salazar Jr.

 

If we want change to happen, there is a need to constantly and continually hammer on the advocacies that we espouse. Once we stop, there will be absolutely no chance for change to occur. That is why I understand and appreciate the unceasing efforts of family, friends, and sympathizers of Jonas Burgos who, up to today despite the frustrations including the acquittal of the military officer allegedly responsible for his disappearance and the non-appearance of witnesses, continue to persevere in ferreting out the truth.

Their hope is that at some future time they will succeed. Their yearnings are bolstered by recent developments that seem to indicate the creeping sensitiveness of the Duterte administration to public sentiments. The Duterte decision to make the PDEA the lead government agency in the fight against drugs and shifting the PNP focus to criminality is an example how overwhelming public concern can lead to meaningful change.

It is not only in societal issues that continuity of advocacy can produce results. A good example in the business arena is Arangkada Philippines, a derailed source of policy documents with recommendations from the foreign investment community to support increased foreign investment and the resultant job creation. Since the late 2010, Arangkada has prepared and published five policy briefs and seven policy notes in addition to its original book – Arangkada Philippines 2010: A Business Perspective. While sponsored by the seven members of the Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines (JFC) the policy papers and notes are a product of a consultative process involving academe, other thought leaders in a diverse field of expertise and other businessmen.

Building on the Seven Big Winner Sectors (agribusiness, business processing management, creative industries, infrastructure, manufacturing and logistics, mining and tourism, medical travel, and retirement), the recommendations are monitored to indicate progress and a sense of the seriousness of government. They are complemented by other reforms in the general business climate – business costs, environment and natural disasters, foreign equity and professionals, governance, judicial, labor, legislation, local government, macroeconomic policy, security, social services for education, health, and population and poverty.

Progress of implementation are brought up to the highest level of the Philippine government like President Benigno Aquino just as was done in March 7, 2016. Recently, the JFC organized the six annual Arangkada Forum on the theme “Implementing the 10-point Agenda of the President Rodrigo Duterte Administration” with five panels discussing key programs, policies, and programs supporting the agenda and grouped as follows: Muscling the Economy: Filling the Infrastructure Gap; Philippine Industrial Revolution: Manufacturing, Logistics, and Mining; Game Changers: Agribusiness, Creative Industries, and Tourism; Disruptive Technologies: Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Drones, Robots, etc.; and Philippine Workforce 2030: Human Capital Challenges and Solutions. Even just a cursory look at the Duterte economic agenda reveals that much is anchored on previous recommendations of Arangkada and thus it was not difficult to marry the two and identify priority areas for action. Such areas can be gleaned from comparing 2017 metrics with 2016 such as average broadband speed at 4.5 Mbps compared to 1Mbps; BPO employment of 1,300,000 compared to 536,128; foreign direct investment of $7.9 billion in contrast to $1.1 billion; and unemployment rate of 5.5% compared to 7.30%.

Accomplishments are clear but the road ahead is replete with challenges for the Philippines still lags behind its ASEAN partners in terms of overall competitiveness. The World Economic Forum 2016-2017 Global Competitiveness Report identified problematic areas that affect competitiveness – inefficient government bureaucracy, inadequate supply of infrastructure, corruption, tax rates, tax regulations, policy stability and restrictive labor regulations.

It is clear that while the 10-point Duterte agenda addresses some of these areas, it can only succeed if all of the areas are acted upon. We are fortunate that we have JFC through Arangkada that will continuously monitor and sustain their advocacy for inclusive economic growth. One wishes all other advocates would ascribe to continuity and sustainability. Only then can real change occur.

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Comments (19)

  • Avatar

    Parasa Bayan

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    OSG misled, manipulated by PAGCOR Greed

    Earlier this month, the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel, or OGCC, issued an important Opinion (sent to the Office of the Executive Secretary on 6 September 2017) which established an authoritative and resounding rebuttal of the earlier opinion issued by the Office of the Solicitor General with regard to the matter of online gaming.

    The OGCC Opinion included a scathing rebuke of PAGCOR for virtually manipulating the OSG to comply with its whim and try to support with “legal basis” its questionable and illegal Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) program, which has actually wreaked havoc and caused uncertainty and turmoil in the local online gaming industry. Last year, PAGCOR arrogated authority to itself and wrested control of the very lucrative online gaming industry from other agencies, in the process imposing steep legal license fees. Whispers and grumblings among industry players tell of steep unofficial ‘enrolment fees’ as well./.

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      maka pili

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      pagcor should not continue to hide its greed and their actions like online gambling which is clearly something that they should not be doing. pagcor is more concerned on its greed and corruption. they should not be allowed to operate and supervise online gambling as clearly this is not in their mandate

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      sam nicolas

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      we need government agencies that will be able to deliver for the government funds needed for projects that will improve the lives of the people. pagcor has the funds however they are operating outside of their legal function and we are not sure if all their earnings are being returned to the government./

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      myca delos santos

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      pagcor officials should be investigate. their lifestyle should be checked and if found that they are involved in corruption they should be replaced immediately. our president does not approve of corruption and they should follow the example of the president.

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      michael timbreza

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      we should not give pagcor a chance in continuing their greedy acts and corrupt practices. we should continue our vigilance over the acts of pagcor in hiding and justifying their corruption. we should pressure pagcor to always be transparent and clear in all their activities.,

      Reply

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    Parasa Bayan

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    pagcor is manipulating whatever it can to justify its greed and its non legal acts. pagcor is trying to involve other government agencies like the osg in hiding what it can most specially its greed and money making activity. we should pressure pagcor in removing graft and corruption in its ranks

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      maka pili

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      this is clearly a case of trying to justify their illegal acts. pagcor has been known in the past and even in the future to be involved in corrupt practices and deals. we must not allow pagcor to involve other government agencies in hiding and getting support for their corrupt acts.,,

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      sam nicolas

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      pagcor must be consistently reminded that they are serving the people and the government. the government is the people and they are entitled to better services. how can the government support the people and its services if the money that is supposed to go to government goes to corruption

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      myca delos santos

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      pagcor has the necessary authority and responsibility to provide government with the funds needed to support several projects. unfortunately the greed of some pagcor officials have resulted in corruption and the government not fully getting the benefits of the earnings of pagcor,,

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      michael timbreza

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      online gambling is simply not in the function of pagcor and can be used to further expand their greed and their corrupt practices. we should make sure that pagcor does not abuse its authority and supervision. we should always be critical to pagcors greed and in making sure that they support our president in his anti corrupt acts,

      Reply

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    trisha hipolito

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    this clearly shows the support of our current president and government to our troops. our president has supported our troops all the way and he is not only saying things but also showing actions in his words. we should now take care of our troops as they are our defense for all the enemies of the state including terrorists

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      melaisison

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      our soldiers are taking their lives on the line whenever they go to the field. it is only proper that we give them the right equipment to support their work. it is only in this administration that we are seeing the full support of our government to our troops. we should applaud this government and president duterte in his honest dedication to our military.//

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      Rey David

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      preparing our military for all the threats in our country is one of the best initiatives of our president and his administration. we should support our president in his dedication to fully upgrade our military. he knows what is best for our military and is doing everything in his control to make sure that the military will be ready to protect us,..

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      Lucas Temoteo

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      protecting our military should be the primary concern of our government and this is indeed what our president is doing. he is like a good father who is protecting our capabilities in the military so we can react more quickly and properly in case of any threat. we should support our president in his goal of strengthening our military,..

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      Kwak Kwak Kwak

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      a capable military will make our country earn the respect of our neighbors. the upgrade of our military is an important first step for us to gain the respect of our neighbor countries. our president knows this and he is not only saying or making promises to the military but also making actions in making sure that they get the right equipment/..

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    melaisison

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    the strengthening of our military has been long overdue. it is only through this government and our president that we are seeing the right attention deserved by our troops. we should continue supporting our military and our president in his dedication to make sure that our military is able and prepared

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    Rey David

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    this is very good news to our troops and our military. israel is very capable in selling us military equipment and they have been known to have good military capabilities. we should applaud our president in his real concern and real dedication to improve our military capabilities

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    Lucas Temoteo

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    there is no room for corruption in this administration and as a result our president is now upgrading the capabilities of our military. if there is no corruption then we have enough money and resources to upgrade our capabilities. let us support our president in his dedication to our military and his goal of upgrading their capabilities

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    Kwak Kwak Kwak

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    we have seen during the marawi incident that our military needs to be upgraded to cope up with the threats to our country. let us support our president for his dedication in making our military more capable in dealing with all the threats to our country. this president clearly is working for the benefit of our military

    Reply

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