Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Santo Duterte vs the Catholic Church, again

Normally an idiot does not know his idiocy and arrogance so he braggingly announces it.









His dictatorship-leaning prouncements are consistent with his threat to behead a bishop, attacking an institution, in this case the church, that criticizes some of his policies. Even attacking a "stupid" God  that he does not believe. People and institutions should never criticize him, otherwise they are into drugs, they can be murdered.

We should not go back to a dictatorship. In a democracy, the President and his political party, administration are fair game. They allow drugs by the billions of pesos, they kill by the thousands, they will be criticized. They impose high taxes, they are smeared in corruption, they will be criticized. A dictatorship does not like being criticized, one reason why Du30 loves Xi Jinping -- a communist government does not allow organized and sustained criticism.

BWorld 269, IPR, private property and prosperity

* This is my article in BusinessWorld last November 23, 2018.



“Every Man has a Property in his own Person. This no Body has any Right to but himself. The Labour of his Body, and the Work of his Hands, we may say are properly his.”
— John Locke, Two Treatises of Government (1689)

Private property, not collective or communal or state property, is the cornerstone of social order, innovation and prosperity in the history of humanity. The most prosperous economies are those that respect and protect private property of the means of production. Backward communist China and Vietnam realized this later so they instituted reforms that allow and protect private property even if they retain the one-party socialist government.

Such private ownership apply to both physical and nonphysical or intellectual property, the latter including trademark and brand, patent on inventions, copyright on compositions, and trade secret.

In Asia in particular, economies with high per capita income — Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan — are also those with high scores and global ranking in intellectual property rights (IPR) protection. And countries with poor or low per capita income also have low scores and ranking in IPR protection. Exception here is Brunei, high per capita income due to gas and oil-based economy and not FDIs-based like the five economies mentioned, and low scores and global ranking.

Data below are from four sources. (1) International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) World Economic Outlook (WEO) October 2018 database, (2) Property Rights Alliance’s (PRA) International Property Rights Index (IPRI), (3) World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report (GCR), and (4) US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC).

IPRI is composed of three factors, one of them is IPR protection. WEF’s global competitiveness index is composed of 12 pillars, pillar #1 is about Institutions and among the sub-pillars is intellectual property (IP) protection, and global rank is out of 137 countries in 2017 and 140 countries in 2018.


Now there are IPR-busting policies in several governments like plain packaging for tobacco products. Australia was the first country in the world to do it in 2012, and in the ASEAN Thailand wants to do it too.

Plain packaging (PP) is a ban on branding, it removes trademark, certain graphics, colors and logo, and allows only a generic name in a standard font/size with graphic warnings. And this is where the danger lies.

Corporate branding is elaborate and complicated, the bar codes can even show where the product was manufactured and when. By removing corporate branding via PP, generic branding is less complicated, less elaborate, and very easy to copy and reproduce by illegal producers and smugglers. Since these smugglers did not invest decades of business developing their brand, they can sell at a much cheaper price. And this will attract more smokers, more smoking, not less.

IPR issues like forced technology transfer and outright IPR robbery are among the thorny issues in the ongoing US-China mild “trade war.” The US says its companies are losing as much as $600 billion per year via piracy, counterfeits, imitations, trademark infringement and other IPR robbery, but China denies it.

Health socialists and activists who hate tobacco, alcohol, soda, confectionery companies and their products should realize that both nature and the market hate a vacuum. Remove the legal products and demonize their manufacturers, and that gives room for smugglers, criminal gangs and terrorist organizations to produce and sell their own fake, substandard but cheap products. This results are more smuggling and corruption, more smoking and drinking, not less.
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See also: 
BWorld 238, Trademark ban and health alarmism, August 04, 2018

Saturday, November 24, 2018

China Watch 30, Distinction between CN people and CN communist government

The China economy and people are ok, the China communist government is not. Jack Ma and other Chinese businessmen are fine, Xi Jinping and other top officials of the China Communist Party are not. Sailing in the SCS/WPS under FONOPs is ok, controlling and “owning” that sea is not. Only a communist dictator government would say that they “own and/or control” that sea by stealing territories. And only a dictatorship-leaning PH government will be happy to kowtow to China dictatorship.

When Xi Jingping visited Manila this week, Nov. 20-21, see how President Duterte behaved -- he walked behind Xi, no PH flag behind him while Xi has the CN flag following him.


Have a friend from UP in the 80s, Lauro Gamboa, son of former Assemblyman Wilson Gamboa Jr. of Negros Occidental who was a famous anti-Marcos dictatorship legislator. See Lauro's posting last November 21 of which he later tagged me, what a bummer il-logic:

“we lost the shoal to china sa panahon ni AQUINO ... he is so stupid ... kaya nga nagreklamo sya sa HAGUE ...BULLSHIT ang HAGUE na yan ... may ruling nga sila sana to cure the STUPIDITY AT PAGKA-TRAYDOR NI AQUINO ... then what? they cannot even enforce it. Hague is asking the Philippines and DUTERTE to enforce the ruling by going to war with China? ... buti pa gawing pampunas sa pwet ang ruling nila ...”

If his father is still alive, I think he would disown his son Lauro Gamboa. The late Assemblyman Gamboa Sr. was a staunch anti-dictatorship legislator. Now his son supports a government that kowtows to China dictatorship.

China communist govt. bully stole Scarborough. The previous administration has no huge armaments to match those of CN but it has legal weapons to counter it. It used that legal weapon, it brought a case vs CN at the UN PCA, it won. Now Du30 the traitor kowtows to CN, his administration does not and cannot protest the stealing of more territories, bowing to Xi Jinping, the leader of China communist dictatorship.

Lauro and his fellow Du30 supporters asked who will enforce that PCA ruling? Many. The US’ Trump, UK’s May, JP’s Abe, AU’s Morrison, etc ARE enforcing the PCA ruling – that portion of SCS/WPS is international waters, NOT owned or controlled by China communist government. So Trump, Abe, May, Morrison, are correct in sending their battleships and aircraft carriers in that portion of SCS.

Lauro further wrote, “AQUINO who facilitated the occupation of the shoal by China.”
This is a very idiotic statement of course. If he “facilitated” it, why did he go to the UN PCA? On the contrary, he protested it, opposed it, that is why he went to the PCA. Lack of military armaments does not mean a country has zero other option to protest big communist dictator bully governments like CN.

Lauro further wrote, “because AQUINO is so stupid !!! sila dalawa ni TRILLANES…”
Huh, going to the UN PCA to protest CN communist bullying and stealing of territories is “stupid”? Far out. It is wisdom to protest bullying, dictatorship and stealing of territories. Use legal weapons, not military weapons if one is weak militarily.

CN govt does not need a Trillanes or anyone else to know that PH has no big military to defend its territorial claims in SCS/WPS. Even a grade schooler in CN and PH would know that. But what CN did not know was that the PH under the previous administration has assembled a strong, intelligent legal team when it went to the UN PCA. So CN communists did not know that the PH has a chance of winning there and it won.

This is treason, verbal surrender by a President of a country.

Duterte says China 'already in possession' of South China Sea, tells US to end military drills
PUBLISHED NOV 15, 2018, 5:16 PM SGT   Raul Dancel  

"China is already in possession (of the South China Sea). It's now in their hands. So why do you have to create frictions… that will prompt a response from China?" -- Duterte.

Duterte followers do not find this idiotic and treason? ONLY the CN Communist government + Du30 communist lover say that CN controls and possesses that area. The UN PCA, the US, UK, AU, JP, other governments do NOT recognize CN possession of that area. Go Trump, Go May, Abe, Morrison, send your battleships to that area under FONOPs.
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See also:

BWorld 268, Market-oriented reforms in the Senate

* This is my article in BusinessWorld on November 20, 2018.


“Every family should have the right to spend their money, after tax, as they wish, and not as the government dictates. Let us extend choice, extend the will to choose and the chance to choose.”
— Margaret Thatcher, UK Prime Minister (1979-1990)

Advocates of forced collectivism, health socialism in particular, will be unhappy with that advice from the Iron Lady of the United Kingdom. For them, health care, education, many other services are not personal and parental responsibility but state responsibility. So the state is justified to slap tax-tax-tax anywhere, regulate-prohibit anytime, because the state has “endless responsibilities” that often lead to endless abuses and corruption.

1. UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE (UHC) BILL ALLOWING MORE BENEFITS TO DIRECT CONTRIBUTORS.
In a column yesterday in BusinessWorld, “Watching out for UHC” by Ms. Diosana of AER, they attacked Sen. Ralph Recto because he “intends to give more PhilHealth benefits to those who can pay more. Under the section “Entitlement to Benefits” of the approved SB 1896, he inserted this provision: “PhilHealth shall provide additional NHIP benefits for direct contributors, where applicable.… the two-tiered benefit scheme will also exacerbate health inequity in the country.”

This market-oriented reform initiated by the Senator is correct. There should be a two- or multiple-tiered system in health care, inequality in contribution should lead to inequality in getting benefits. Socialism wants inequality in contribution but equality in social results.

If people can afford to buy alcohol, tobacco, fatty food, nice cellphones, etc., it is assumed that they should also have some resources to buy health insurance that will augment state-sponsored health care.

2. RICE TARIFFICATION BILL.
SB 1998 led by Sen. Cynthia Villar will untie the heavy hands of the state and its bureaucracy to restrict and prohibit free trade in rice. By replacing high quantitative restrictions (QRs) with tariffs, the NFA’s monopoly power to import through its favored and crony traders will be clipped.

Free trade in rice means freedom to choose from various rice exporters in Asia, and freedom for consumers to choose cheaper rice, which will help reduce inflation rate.

3. ENERGY VIRTUAL ONE-STOP SHOP (EVOSS) BILL.
SB 1439 by Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian is meant to reduce the widespread bureaucratic delays in power plant construction caused by various government agencies, national and local, which lead to fewer power plants than potential, and higher electricity prices for consumers. The delays and costs caused by the bureaucracy can be horrible, based on the actual experience of a hydro plant developer (see table).


A total of 359 signatures, from 74 regulatory agencies and bureaus, involving 20 different laws, requiring 43 different contracts, certifications, endorsements and licenses.

So the EVOSS bill will create a single electronic network-based platform under the DoE, and power plant proponents and developers will submit all documents and permits and the respective agencies are given timeline to act on applications, and if they fail to act on the timeline, the application is deemed approved. Clipping the long tentacles of bureaucracies and corruption.

4. REPEALING MANDATORY CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT (CPD) BILL.
SB 2073 by Sen. Ralph Recto intends to lift this obligatory and coercive training that costs professionals huge money. R.A. 10912 or the CPD Act of 2016 requires professionals to earn 45 CPD units of seminars and trainings that cost between P10,000 to P30,000 per person every three years, otherwise they cannot renew their PRC license.

That CPD Act and its mandatory order is lousy for at least two reasons: (a) Professionals normally attend various seminars, conferences and trainings in the course of their work, and (b) the market, the customers are the best judges and natural regulators. Lousy professionals are punished by customer dissatisfaction that is easily spread through social media, they lose clients.

There are many anti-market, statist or state-worship bills in the Senate of course but those proposals and bills that advance market-oriented reforms need to be highlighted.
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See also: 
BWorld 265, Integrated PPP vs Hybrid PPP: The case of Kaliwa Dam, November 15, 2018 

Friday, November 23, 2018

Energy 117, Cheap oil and Trump

In terms of climate and energy policies, this leader is bright. Obama, HRC, the Dems and other climate alarmists are bonkers :-)


Some news reports:

Coldest Thanksgiving In 150 Years As Northeast Hit By "Siberian" Temperatures
by Tyler Durden Thu, 11/22/2018 - 23:08

Thanksgiving Day will be coldest in over a century for millions in U.S.
Nov. 22, 2018 / 12:48 AM GMT+8 /
By David K. Li and Alex Johnson

Winter is Coming – Super Grand Solar Minimum
brian wang | November 22, 2018 

Oil Crashes To One Year Low, Brent Below $60 As Saudis Pump Record Crude
by Tyler Durden Fri, 11/23/2018 - 08:26
----------

(Original post, November 14, 2018)

Wow, WTI prices today went down to $55.7 a barrel ($4 decline in a day), Brent $65.5, Dubai $69.8.  Despite rising global demand, despite political and military tensions in big oil exporting countries (Iran, Venezuela,...), oil supply keeps increasing. Thank you America (latest output 11.6 million barrels a day), thank you Trump. Oil prices must fall further.



Many anti-Trumpistas will be unhappy that the man is further opening up US energy potentials, especially in oil, gas and coal? They are unhappy that oil and energy prices are going down? They want the Dems to lock up oil and gas reserves and go back to $100 a barrel or higher?

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-set-to-produce-half-of-worlds-oil-gas-output-by-2025-iea-report-finds-2018-11-12



I applaud my friends who work in the fossil fuels sector, they help make our lives more convenient, more modern, we have electricity 24/7 with no blackouts, streets and roads are lighted at night, less accidents, less crimes, our lives are safer.

For the anti-fossil fuel guys, I still have to see them riding bicycles or skateboards or manual scooters to work, meetings or schools. I still have to see them riding giant kites, solar planes, Uber brooms, instead of airplanes that use oil, when they announce and post photos of their travels abroad or in the country.

Thank you Trump. You are correct, the Dems, the UN, Al Gore, NYT, CNN, WaPo, etc are wrong in their climate alarmism and renewables cronyism lobby. Climate change (warming-cooling-warming-cooling...) has been with us for the past 4.6 B years, with us for the next 4 B years or so. Fossil fuel energy will allow us to adapt better under global warming or global cooling period. 


https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/10/16/trump-administration-considers-using-west-coast-military-facilities-for-coal-lng-exports-maga/
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Meanwhile, last November 08, a Filipino friend in the US who is a consistent anti-Trumpista, anti-fossil fuel activist who seems to frequently fly from California to the PH, elsewhere, posted this and tagged me despite knowing my criticism of renewables cronyism. It's like challenging me to another debate despite our many debates before.


I commented that he has undeniable daydreaming. In 2017, 50% of PH total electricity production came from coal power. From his beloved but expensive, subsidy and cronyism-dependent solar + wind? Only 2%. So if he wants massive blackouts, be an Ambassador of N.Korea darkness in the PH, elsewhere, he can go ahead. I also adviced him that if he keeps spreading energy stoopidity, he better keep it in his own wall, no need to tag me.

See his reply:

Joe Real: Nonoy Oplas your future grandchildren would surely know who’s stupid! For now your coal stinks and losing. Consider changing careers bro! Better advice than yours.

The guy wants massive darkness. When there is frequent blackouts, the poor will use more candles, then have more fires and deaths. The rich will use more gensets, then more air and noise pollution, what a stoopid proposal. Again, I adviced him to keep his energy stoopidity in his own wall, no need to spread it in other people's wall, like mine.

See his second reply, worse:

Joe Real: Nonoy Oplas, I have more world credentials than you in Math and Physics, and have many best scientific papers, and yet you call my energy analysis stoopid? Only because Facebook and I allow you my friend and I care for you and our fellow friends. I have more well cited scientific publications than my colleagues. I am giving you the best advice as a friend. I will respect your opinion if you resist. The economics aren’t in the coal’s favor now. I have excellent proposal for coal, however, they can be turned into humic and fulvic acids that can increase the soil’s physical properties for ecosystems restoration and agricultural productivity. After all, I’m just an AgroEcologist by passion and credentials too! I am spreading the solution and you won’t be able to stop it. Resistance to goodness is futile.

What an insecure and arrogant position. I was attacking his proposal, not him personally, he cannot distinguish the two. What's the point of announcing one's credentials in a policy debate?

I checked his fb post on this thread, it's gone. He deleted it. Lousy.
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BWorld 267, Poverty data vs banking, mobile phones and Internet access

* This is my article in BusinessWorld last November 15, 2018.


“Something terribly wrong with a program that grows ever larger even when prosperity for everyone else is increasing. We should measure welfare’s success by how many people leave welfare, not by how many are added.”
— Ronald Reagan, 40th US President

Among the economic phenomena that I am skeptical about is the continued high poverty incidence of the Philippines. I often go to provinces especially in rice farming villages and among the things I notice is that the poor hardly ride animals or bicycles anymore, they ride motorcycles, electric bikes, or buses and vans. Farmers hardly use cows and carabaos to till the farms, they use hand tractors or big tractors. The poor now communicate via e-mails and social media, not slow mails or smoke signal.

I suspect that there is some corruption in the design and measurement of poverty because there is big public money involved in high poverty: multi-billion pesos of continuing loans with WB-ADB; big budget yearly for welfare agencies like DSWD, DepEd, CHEd, DoH; big pork barrel (explicit and implicit) for legislators, national and local governments; big projects for consultants and academics; even big indirect funding for NGOs.

From ADB’s Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific (KI) 2018, here are some data on poverty (see Table 1).


See that the Philippines has higher poverty incidence than Cambodia, Indonesia and Vietnam, and nearly similar as India and Laos?

There are several possible proxies for poverty, like low access to formal credit markets like bank accounts, low access to modern telecoms and the web. From four selected factors, they belie the high poverty incidence data of the Philippines: Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) people have lower access to formal credit markets, LTE mobile and Internet access. India and Indonesia have lower access to LTE network, mobile phones, Internet access, etc. (see Table 2).


Reagan was right. Any serious, honest and successful welfare, anti-poverty programs by government should result in a decline in the number of the poor and state-dependent, subsidy-seeking people.

What we often have are either dishonest, unsuccessful welfare and anti-poverty programs so that the current poverty incidence is similar to those three decades ago and will remain so two decades from now. Or the programs somehow were successful but implementers, lenders and consultants have invented new schemes so that revised definitions and measurements of poverty always lead to high poverty incidence.

So government invents new taxes and fees, or raise existing taxes and fees, to finance new programs and bureaucracies to “fight poverty” endlessly.

If there is more honesty in reducing poverty, the budget for welfarism, the number of bureaucracies and politicians, the rates of taxes and fees, should flatline and even decline through time. This is hardly happening.

Here is an old anecdote about poverty:

Politician: Thank God for poverty, it provides my political platform.
Consultant: Thank God for poverty, my occupation is to study it.
ODA lender: Thank God for poverty, we endlessly lend money for it.
Poor: I feel so appreciated, thank God.
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See also: 
BWorld 264, Energy by legislation promotes corruption, November 14, 2018 

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Agri Econ 28, SE Asia rice production is rising, not declining

"Man-made" climate change (CC) / global warming is causing SE Asia rice harvest to decline? Another proof that the climate alarmism movement is based on dishonesty, deception and lies. SE Asia rice production keeps rising, not falling.

Climate Change Causing Southeast Asia Rice Harvests to “Dwindle”… NOT!
David Middleton / November 14, 2018

Crop losses are caused more by rising rivers and lakes, heavy flooding by monsoon rains, not by rising sea level. And here is the climate alarmism article from the Straits Times, it keeps harping about "rising sea level", far out. 

Last July, the Philippines, Central and North Luzon in particular, experienced bad monsoon, about 2 weeks of rains day and night. Many rice fields were heavily flooded, young crops were damaged, some farmers have to replant. By August, another monsoon, 1 week of rains day and night, another round of crop losses for many rice farmers. Also bangus/milk fish farmers, their fish cages were overflowing with water, hundreds of thousands of caged fishes escaped and began swimming on the roads and streets. By September, a strong storm "Mangkhut" that dumped huge volume of rain water again aside from its strong winds. Good that somehow many crops survived and there were harvests last October.

We need more dams to 'harvest' and store lots of rain water during the wet season yearly, reduce flash flood. We also need large-scale dredging of many rivers and lakes that become depository of eroded soil, mud during flash flooding. But governments would rather spend huge tax money on many climate bureaucracies, climate meetings and junkets, in the country and abroad. Very wasteful.

In terms of absolute production, the giant rice producers are #1 Indonesia, #2 Vietnam, #3 Thailand, #4 Myanmar. PH only #5. One reason is huge rice lands devoted to rice farming in those top 4 countries. VN and TH for instance have about 10-11 M hectares each for rice farming alone, PH has about 4.4 M hectares.   Chart from the WUWT article.


CC is REAL, it is true. But it is not man-made, it is nature-made. It is natural, and cyclical. We've had CC since the planet was born 4.6 B years ago, we have CC now, and we'll have CC in the next 4 B years or so. Warming-cooling-warming-cooling-warming-cooling....

In 24 hours, it’s day-night cycle.
In a year in the tropics, it’s wet-dry cycle.
In the N and S Hemisphere, it’s winter-spring-summer-fall cycle.
In the ocean, it’s El Nino-La Nina cycle (about 6 years on average)
In the atmosphere, it’s water evaporation-condensation cycle.
In the Sun, it’s solar maximum-minimum cycle (every 11 yrs on average).
Then there are hydrogen cycle, carbon cycle, etc.

The climate alarmism movement is a denier. Deny that there is warming-cooling cycle. Deny that CC is natural and cyclical. Deny that global warming happened in the past even with zero car, mall, coal plant. Deny that global cooling will happen after the global warming phase. Deny that CO2, the gas that humans and animals exhale, the gas that plants and trees need to produce their own food, is a useful gas.

Even IRRI joins the climate alarmism movement and does not recognize that CC is natural and cyclical. After the medieval warm period (MWP), it was followed by the little ice age (LIA) that ended in mid-1800s, then global warming resumed, the modern warm period, now we are in a transition towards global cooling phase. We should expect more rains and flood, not less. We should have more dams, not more climate bureaucracies and junkets.
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See also: 

Friday, November 16, 2018

BWorld 266, Inflation, GDP and Duterte

* This is my article in BusinessWorld on November 13, 2018.


Last week, the October inflation and 3rd quarter GDP growth data were released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) and the numbers confirm the fear of many observers of deteriorating macroeconomic fundamentals of the Duterte administration.

The big jump in inflation rate was triggered by the TRAIN law. Only 2.9% in December 2017, went up to 3.4% in January 2018 (first month of TRAIN law), 3.8% in February, 5.7% in July, 6.4% in August, 6.7% in August and same 6.7% in September. The year to date (ytd, January to October) inflation rate then is 5.1% or nearly double 2017’s 2.9%.

The good news is that this may be the peak inflation for the year. Any upward pressure in prices because of the provisional fare hikes and wage hikes implemented this November will be compensated by low world oil prices. WTI oil peaked at $76.4 a barrel last Oct. 03, down to $60.6 a barrel on Nov. 11.


The bad news is that compared to many neighbors in Asia, the Philippines has the biggest jump in inflation this year compared to last year. Some countries even experienced decline in inflation despite the high world oil prices (see Table 1).

The high inflation rate coupled with rising interest rates as the BSP tries to temper price uptick via monetary policy has resulted in low consumer confidence.

Recall the basic macroeconomic equation, GDP = C + I + G + (X-M), where C is household consumption, I is investment, G is government consumption, and (X-M) is net exports less imports. C is huge, 61% of GDP and the three others constitute only 39%. C growth has been declining, 6.2% in Q4 2017, went down to 5.7% in Q1 2018 (with TRAIN law), 5.6% in Q2 then 5.2% in Q3. This is bad.

As a result, overall GDP growth of the Philippines has been pulled down, from a high 6.9% in 2016, 6.7% in 2017, and only 6.3% in 2018 Q1-Q3. By way of recommendations, the following may be considered by the Duterte government.


One, suspend part two of TRAIN excise tax hikes for oil and coal, full year 2019 and not reinstate them after the May 2019 elections.

Two, freeze or suspend raising the Motor Vehicle User’s Charge (MVUC) or road user’s tax, (RA 8794). Like oil tax hike, this has inflationary pressure, a good observation and proposal from the Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto.

Three, continue the agricultural trade liberalization, replace the quantitative restrictions (QR) with low tariff and remove NFA importation monopoly.


Four, cut VAT rate from 12% to around 8% and reduce the exempted sectors. Malaysia is the best example for this, it has a gross sales tax (GST) of 6% until May 2018 then abolished it in June, a campaign promise of PM Mahathir. Its average inflation rate four months before (February 1.4%, March 1.3%, April 1.4%, May 1.8%) was 1.5%, became 0.3% four months after (June 0.8%, July 0.9%, August 0.2%, September 0.3%).
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See also: 
BWorld 259, Inflation, fare hikes and TNCs competition, October 17, 2018

Climate Tricks 75, Brazil President Borsonaro is 'threat' to the planet?

Brazil's new President, Jair Bolsonaro, has become another inconvenient truth for the climate alarmism movement. Many 'planet saviours' have labelled him as a 'climate denier', wow. In the first place, how can anyone, even skeptics, deny climate change (CC) since the planet was born some 4.6 B years ago? See some reports here,


The Paris Climate Agreement Survived Trump. Can It Survive Brazil's Bolsonaro?
Dave Keating  Oct 24, 2018, 09:44am

Brazil’s new president will make it harder to limit climate change
31 October 2018


Today, a friend Ted Padilla posted this in my fb wall, about new Foreign Minister Ernesto Ara├║jo which has called climate change as ‘dogma’, he also criticized the ‘criminalisation’ of red meat, oil and heterosexual sex.

Brazil's new foreign minister believes climate change is a Marxist plot
Jonathan Watts, Global environment editor
Thu 15 Nov 2018 17.13 GMT

I thanked Ted. Yes, 'man made' CC is a global socialist and ecological central planning project. The UN, Al Gore, WB, WWF, etc are the central planners. They deny natural or nature made CC, they deny that global cooling will happen after the global warming phase, they deny that global warming has many precedents thousands and millions of years ago.

The central planners and their partner governments in poor countries salivate at $100 B a year of climate money, the planners decide how much will go to whom. Huuge political and economic power over the rest of humanity.

Those 'planet saviours' if they are honest, they will recognize cyclical, natural or nature-made CC. But because they are dishonest and corrupt, they deny these and insist only on man-made CC. 

Now there is early winter and big snow in the US and Europe, and it's only mid-November. There are a few indicators of global cooling, reported here: 

'Mini Ice Age' Looms As NASA Scientist Warns Lack Of Sunspots Could Bring Record Cold
by Tyler Durden Thu, 11/15/2018 - 20:05

Winter To Arrive Early Across Central Europe As Solar Activity Remains Quietest in 200 Years
By P Gosselin on 14. November 2018

Meanwhile, this story is cool, from 

“Despite sea-level rise” there has been a “land area increase in eight of nine atolls” since 1971
“We specifically examine spatial differences in island behaviour, of all 101 islands in Tuvalu, over the past four decades (1971–2014), a period in which local sea level has risen at twice the global average (Supplementary Note 2). Surprisingly, we show that all islands have changed and that the dominant mode of change has been island expansion, which has increased the land area of the nation. … Using remotely sensed data, change is analysed over the past four decades, a period when local sea level has risen at twice the global average [<2 mm/yr-1] (~3.90 ± 0.4 mm.yr−1). Results highlight a net increase in land area in Tuvalu of 73.5 ha (2.9%), despite sea-level rise, and land area increase in eight of nine atolls.”  (Kench et al., 2018)

See also:
Climate Tricks 72, Calling El Nino-La Nina as weather anomalies, September 02, 2018 
Climate Tricks 73, Attacking Dr. Will Happer as 'CC denier', September 10, 2018 

Climate Tricks 74, People should eat insects to fight CC? October 29, 2018

Thursday, November 15, 2018

BWorld 265, Integrated PPP vs Hybrid PPP: The case of Kaliwa Dam

* This is my article in BusinessWorld last November 08, 2018.


Integrated Public-Private Partnership (PPP) means the construction then operation and maintenance (O&M) phases will be done by a single entity while Hybrid PPP means the construction is done by one entity, the O&M to be done by another entity. Funding of the former therefore will be fully shouldered by that entity while in Hybrid PPP, construction cost to be funded via ODA/foreign loan or Philippine government budget appropriation, O&M by a local private firm.

So if one will build a dam near Metro Manila, a Hybrid PPP route means taxpayers from Northern and Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao will contribute to pay for that loan. In an integrated PPP, only the users and consumers of the water from that dam will pay, the users-pay principle works.

The Metropolitan Manila Waterworks System (MWSS) is pushing an important project, the proposed New Centennial Water Source Project (NCWSP). It will involve the construction of a dam at the Kaliwa River (Laiban Dam), and a smaller dam (Kaliwa Dam) downstream to maximize the water supply, give additional 600 million liters per day (MLD) to augment the 4,000 MLD from Angat Dam in Bulacan which provides potable drinking water. This is important not only because of rising water demand but also for backup, in case the old Angat Dam will be damaged by a strong earthquake.

A Japanese firm, Global Utility Development Corp. (GUDC), signed an MOU with MWSS in 2008 for an Unsolicited Proposal on Kaliwa Intake Dam Project, BOT scheme. The proposal was completed in November 2009.

Somehow plans have changed, MWSS has amended bid contracts, the integrated PPP later became hybrid PPP. I checked old BusinessWorld reports on the subject, I found these four stories.

1. San Miguel mulls legal steps as Kaliwa dam project to be funded by China ODA (Oct. 3, 2017).

2. MWSS expects three Chinese firms to buy Kaliwa dam project bid documents (Feb. 16, 2018).

3. China-funded Kaliwa dam, LGU surveillance projects seen making progress (July 19, 2018).

4. Manila Water flags risk of water shortage between 2021 and 2023 (Aug. 30, 2018).

So the original proponent GUDC, then San Miguel, Datem, other bidders were somehow lost in the process when the Duterte administration came.

Then GUDC was given consideration because its proposal is about 30% cheaper than the China-funded one. From various sources, I gathered these info and summarized them in this table.


So there. Not only that the cost is higher under China contractors because of its oversized design and other factors, the rest of Philippine taxpayers will be involved in paying this higher cost. This is anomalous because the users-pay principle under integrated PPP works just fine.

The MWSS website said that “Project Cost P18.7 Billion, to be funded from ODA from China. Loan Signing scheduled on the state visit of China President Xi Jinping on Nov. 19-21, 2018.” Wow, formalizing the anomaly.

Incidentally, public vs. private funding of infrastructure and other social services will be among the topics that will be covered by the various panels in the Philippine Economic Society (PES) annual conference today, Nov. 8, then the Federation of ASEAN Economic Associations (FAEA) conference, Nov. 9-10, 2018. Both to be held at Novotel Hotel, Cubao, Quezon City.

Economists have elaborate explanations on the beauty of users-pay principle, far superior than all taxpayers-pay policy under the Hybrid PPP scheme. This administration is compromising current and future taxpayers with this suspicious scheme, Kaliwa dam and other projects.
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See also: 
BWorld 142, PPP vs ODA, Part 3, August 08, 2017
BWorld 156, Integrated PPP vs hybrid PPP, October 04, 2017

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Agri Econ 27, On rice tariffication and trade liberalization

Last Monday on my way to a meeting in Solaire Hotel, I passed by a group of rallyists going to the Senate. Mostly NFA employees, they oppose rice tariffication (conversion of quantitative restrictions, QRs into tariff), oppose removing NFA importation monopoly, in short they demand more rice protectionism, 

SB 1998 or the rice tariffication bill intends to amend RA 8178, Agricultural Tariffication Act, implement a 35% duty or tariff on imported rice from the ASEAN, 50% tariff for rice imports from non-ASEAN countries. It will also remove NFA authority to monopolize or regulate the importation of rice and issue import licenses for the private sector.

This illustration I got from the web, perhaps DOF made this.



Senate committee on agriculture Chair is Sen. Cynthia A. Villar. SB 1998 will also create the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund, P10 billion initial appropriation, succeeding years funding will come from the tariff revenues for rice importation, about P8 B/year.


On plans that government should subsidize high value crops for small rice farmers, I think a better option is for government to remove oil taxes. PH agri is becoming more mechanized. From hand tractors to bigger tractors, from manual to machine harvesters. Higher oil taxes means higher cost of farming.
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See also: 

BWorld 264, Energy by legislation promotes corruption

* This is my column in BusinessWorld last November 06, 2018.


When a “bright idea” needs legislation, 90 to 99% it is a lousy idea that will not work if not implemented by force, coercion and state favoritism. In contrast, many of the brightest innovations and successful business projects in the country and the world were born without legislation, they just prospered under a competitive environment.

Among the recent stories published in BusinessWorld pushing for some “bright ideas” are the following.

1. “Bring down electricity prices and the inflation rate will go down” by Roberto Verzola of AER, Oct. 22, 2018.

2. “No place for ‘dirty energy’ in ADB’s climate vision” by Yongping Zhai, Chief of ADB’s Energy Sector Group, Oct. 24, 2018.

3. “Solar dev’t agency bills filed in House,” Oct. 29, 2018.

In story #1, Verzola is lobbying for the enactment of HB 8179 or Solar Para sa Bayan Corporation (SPBC) franchise owned by Mr. Leandro Leviste, son of greenie Senator Loren Legarda.

If people are sincere in having real competition in power generation, distribution and supply, they better push further implementation of RA 9136 or the EPIRA law of 2001. Among the provisions of that law is retail competition and open access (RCOA) where non-franchised retail electricity suppliers (RES) can directly compete with franchised electric cooperatives and private distribution utilities nationwide. Houses, stores and schools in far away communities with no electricity can be aggregated to become “contestable customers/markets” and be qualified for electricity supply by any of the many ERC-accredited RES.

In story #2, Zhai and the ADB are indirectly lobbying for high carbon tax, which can be done only by legislation. ADB’s shadow carbon price is $36.30 per ton of CO2 to be increased 2% annually. That amount is high, 2x the price of carbon tax by end-October 2018 in the European Carbon Exchange (ECX). ADB wants two things then: (a) more expensive electricity for developing countries like the Philippines where coal power provided 50% of total electricity supply in 2017, and (b) unintentionally forcing people to use the real “dirty energy” — candles and gensets. When there are frequent blackouts as famous renewables solar and wind are highly intermittent, the poor will use candles (more fires, injuries and deaths) while the rich will use gensets (more air and noise pollution).

In story #3, HBs 8311 and 8326 propose to establish a Solar Energy Development Center (SEDC), HB 8337 and SB 497 seek to establish a Solar Energy Development Authority (SEDA). As if there is no RA 9513 or the RE law of 2008 which gives lots of favoritism to RE developers. And creating new bureaucracies will mean additional burden to taxpayers.

The endless lobbying in the country to glamorize wind-solar and demonize coal-oil do not realize that the Philippines is already #1 in the world in terms of environmental sustainability in its energy development.

The World Energy Council (WEC) publishes an annual study, the World Energy Trilemma Index. WEC is a UN-accredited global energy body with over 3,000 member organizations in over 90 countries, from governments, private and state corporations, academia, NGOs and energy stakeholders.

The Trilemma Index is composed of three factors:

(1) Energy Security — reliability of energy infrastructure, ability of energy providers to meet current and future demand,

(2) Energy Equity — accessibility and affordability of energy supply across the population, and

(3) Environmental Sustainability — energy efficiencies and development of energy supply from renewable and other low-carbon sources.


The results of Trilemma Index 2017 and 2018 ranking out of 125 countries covered may be shocking to the “kill fossil fuel” lobbyists and activists.

With very low rank in energy equity, we should call instead for reduction if not abolition of the distortionary feed-in-tariff (FIT) scheme, high oil and coal excise tax in TRAIN law. Stable and competitively priced energy, not more RE cronyism and legislation.
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See also: 

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Energy 116, Cheaper oil but rising oil tax

The good news is that recently, world oil prices are falling and peso depreciation has stopped so domestic oil prices are falling. World coal prices are falling too (In 2017, 50% of total PH electricity supply came from coal power plants).


The bad news is that oil and coal tax hikes part 2 under TRAIN law will proceed in January 2019 or two months away. Dutertenomics and TRAIN law believe that cheap oil, cheap electricity is bad so they raised the taxes to make oil and electricity prices become more expensive.

And while Malacanang earlier announced that they will suspend part 2 excise tax hikes by January, DOF also announced that they may not suspend part 2 tax hikes. Any suspension is only for electioneering purpose, after the May 2018 mid-term elections, they will resume part 2.
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See also:
Energy 113, First Gen/EDC's anti-coal drama, September 23, 2018