Saturday, September 17, 2011

Pilipinas Forum 10: Migration and Singapore as a Social Contract

Another long discussion here from pilipinas forum yahoogroups more than 10 years ago. Get your favorite snacks and enjoy the exchanges and debates :-) This is PF column that I submitted to (that site is now non-existent). I was busy reading then editing the exchanges for the column, did not participate in the exchanges anymore.

Related articles here are PF 6: Middle Class Exodus (September 02, 2011), and Migration and Freedom 7: Restrictions to OFWs (April 13, 2011).

Migration and Singapore as a Social Contract
July 4, 2001

Consider this World Bank paper on globalization:

"Globalization is not a panacea. It can increase many countries' susceptibility to shocks and can subject states to checks and disciplines that circumscribe sovereignty. But reversing globalization, were it possible, would be an enormous setback. One of the author's (Yusuf) observations: Trade, by enlarging markets, reinforces those gains, and the option to migrate further augments the value of skills. The growing worldwide gap in income between skilled and unskilled workers suggests how much more fruitful skills are under globalization."

Could the exodus of the middle-class be the result of globalization, where they recognize the increased return on their skills abroad (with maybe the lower cost of airfare and improved communications offsetting the social dislocation)?

-Bob Herrera Lim

I'd like to believe that those leaving have reasons other than low AQ (adjustment quotient) or low FT (frustration tolerance). They may just be exercising their rights -- of life, liberty and particularly, pursuit of happiness. They may find much more meaningful and worthwhile challenges abroad than here.

Anyway, we can use what is said as the Law of Substitution and free will, turning negatives to positives, problems and obstacles to opportunities, etc. Filipinos abroad make fifth columns. They may also provide a network of personal, professional and business contacts. Come to think of it, we also have Filipino multinationals: Jollibee, a chemical industrial Filipino firm which supplied COMELEC with its superior indelible ink. It has already subsidiaries in Thailand and Mexico.

-Roy Picart

If the best option available means a better life elsewhere, why should it be a problem? I think no one will disagree that the average Filipino is quite resilient. He is quick to adopt the ways of his host country when necessary. I am sure some of you will have better stories to tell, but from my own limited experience people from other countries are surprised when they learn I am Filipino. They aren't even being insulting; they just don't know. Unfortunately, their experience is limited to domestics and I happily disabuse them of the notion that we are a nation of domestic and other blue-collar workers. To all the immigrant families, expats who help to change our image outside the Philippines, more power to you!

My concern is not so much of the 1st generation migrants, but rather the 2nd or even down the line. It doesn't apply to all of course, but I've come across a few who have zero appreciation for their heritage. They despise what we are, and think that their short visit to the Philippines is equivalent to hell on earth with the gigantic mosquitoes and all. I'm not sure what the problem is here--maybe the 1st generation was unable to impart enough Filipino culture, or maybe adapting to the host country was 101% so that there wasn't any room for anything remotely Filipino.

-Llana Domingo

I'm a Filipino by birth, now a U.S. citizen by choice, and still truly love the Philippines. In 1990, my wife and I visited the Philippines. Upon arriving at MIA, I just acted like any ordinary balikbayan. Things got rough when I was already trying to pick up our luggages. Well, it didn't take long to decide that I have to identify myself that I am in fact a lawyer although I hate to be showy and only then an attendant became very hospitable.

Observe how the U.S. custom and immigration officials and employees treat us in coming back in as U.S. citizens. We felt that each time we "came home" to the U.S. just like other U.S. citizens, we were made to feel as if we are welcomed with open arms and with warm and friendly atmosphere given by those officials and employees in our port of entries without the necessity of finding means to show that we are somebodies or lawyers, except by showing our U.S. passports.

How I wished that if we visit the Philippines again, we Filipinos from abroad, be given the same kind of treatment at Philippine customs and immigration gates as much as we get in coming back to the U.S. After all, we still have the same color as Filipinos.

-Marlowe Camello

If everyone will complain about what is happening around, every one will head for the easiest port of entry to find out what is happening on the other side. They will be disappointed at the start. They might adjust to a new situation. But they will always come back. That is a true Filipino middle class. Filipinos given a chance will rise and compete with the rest of the world.

-Paul Alli

We do not need another charismatic person to rally all Filipinos and finally occupy a small space on the world stage. We can do it on our own, with our families, with our own little groups that do not WALL OUT the balance of our race.

What we lack is pride, the will to forge on. Every bad news is a setback, and not an opportunity. Every misstep a chance to castigate and not to correct. Every blot on the face a lifelong handicap. Pardon me Mr. Churchill, but I must quote you, "It is not that our strength is seriously impaired. We are suffering
from a disease of the will."

-Lardy Caparas

I feel very sad that no one so far dared to express some consequences if this exodus goes on unabated for the next five years or less. No one would like to go against the tide by appealing to those who may have the heart for it by pointing out that precisely the long-term cure for these feelings or perception of hopelessness in this country , is to stay and fight it out here and BE COUNTED AS PART OF YET UNTRIED SOLUTIONS.

I agree that many Filipinos who are abroad still continue to serve their country just as there are people who are better banished from this land. BUT I still believe in the value and wisdom of one's love of country:

LOVE OF COUNTRY, is the thing that fires the bellies of and form the critical mass that will care about and actually fight to protect the interest and welfare of the Filipino people. True, those leaving can easily be replaced by the younger set, but the quality of the critical mass may not be the same.

LOVE OF COUNTRY, motivates Filipinos to work for good and competent government. We simply need warmbodies here to go on working or fighting for good government. It may even move citizen to pay correct amount of taxes and work for better and just system of taxation.

-Nap Imperial

As I see it, those who choose to leave the country do so for very valid reasons-their well-being and that of an entire new generation of Filipinos-their children. And as Gina pointed out, presence in the country does not translate to patriotism.

I say it's just for us who choose to stay behind to do something to make the Philippines more habitable. I like what Kori wrote-clean up time. It's very positive and affirmative. I believe that as a people, we have the capacity of being noble. We have lived through two EDSAs and seen what miracles a unified purpose can achieve. The challenge is for us to tap that burst of energy which inspired those two EDSAs and transform that energy into a steady flow of power that will create and sustain the kind of society and life we envision for ourselves.

-Vicky Suarez

On the matter of exodus, it has been a never ending question for us as a family. Being in the I.T. business, there was/are ample opportunity and a few offers for me and my wife, Digna. But we could never see a real need to justify leaving the city of dancing cops, warm weather, pirated vcd's and corrupt politicians. Or perhaps it's just those illustrated versions of Noli Me Tangere, El Fili and the lives of national heroes that my father used to buy (instead of Batman and Superman comics) that's making me stay. Yet, still, we find ourselves asking the same questions over and over again (every eight months or so, I think :). Maybe because we feel that our window of opportunity is getting smaller as we grow older, the situation is not getting any better and I'm getting tired seeing supposedly intelligent people believing in some young politico-wannabes that do not care enough for the country as much as they care for their own welfare. Hey buhey talaga. So the questions remain the same - Shall we stay or shall we go? And if we go, for how long? IF we are to come back at all.

-Eric Tiongson

The case for immigration always assumes that the benefits of migration will outweigh the costs. How sure are we of the benefits? What are the costs? Will life abroad really be that much better or is this simply a case of choosing the devil you do not know? By far, it is simply the popular perception of many that life abroad is better. Popular perception is just that, perception.

More often then not, those inclined to immigrate do so based on the accounts of friends or relatives. Let us focus on those that say life will be better. America is just coming out of the longest post war expansion. Those who are saying life abroad is indeed better probably arrived at their conclusion probably because they directly benefited from the largesse. I would argue that if this expansion halted, then many of these people would change their mind, enough to tip the scales towards the negative. The benefits of migration are much higher then perceived.

So in our cost-benefit analysis of things, we have shown that life abroad is not as rosy as it may seem. How about the cost side? The financial costs alone are staggering: plane fare; where to stay; proper documents, choosing to forgo them will translate into lower wages in the underground economy. I would conclude the benefits to immigration are not too big and the cost rather prohibitive.

In summary, the case for immigration under a strictly cost-benefit analysis does not make sense. This does not mean that life in the Philippines is the ideal. However, I am often told that one of the worst things to do when you have a problem is to solve it by creating a bigger problem. Immigration is precisely that. You basically traded in a bad situation for one that in all likelihood is worse. In these tough times perhaps the worse thing you can do is embark on some Quixotic quest without seeing it for what it is.

-Vic Limlingan, Jr.

Let me add the economist's perspective on the issue. The main reason why many Filipinos prefer to move abroad is really economic. It boils down to the proposition that the expected gains from the move outweigh the expected costs of the move. That is, the market value of the individual is believed to be greater in one place than in another, over and beyond transaction costs.

The common view is that international trade and international migration are similar phenomena, to be analyzed with the same general theory, the Heckscher-Ohlin-Samuelson theory of factor-price equalization that considers movement of workers and movement of capital to be alternative routes to the same production end. But the analogy is not sound. The inter-country difference in that labor cost -- which can be very great -- is shared among the consumer and the employer of the labor which produces the goods. By migrating, the workers capture this difference as they receive higher wages in the country to which they move.

Migration can improve the overall standard of living by putting a given individual in a context where the cooperating elements--capital and infrastructure--enable the person's skills to be more productive. The migrant goes from a place where he or she is less productive to a place where he or she is more productive.

-Ronald Villanueva

Victor wrote: "What are our other sources that life is indeed better in the land of the free and the home of the brave? I am not aware of any government figures or statistics that directly prove the matter."

My reply: I guess you should first define what determines "better life" before making a conclusion. What constitutes "quality of life"? Isn't it access to basic services such as clean water, stable electricity supply, efficient garbage collection, reliable public transport, good education, health facilities, and so on. We don't have these and others have them. Isn't it that simple?

Most of the analyses in the previous postings also focus primarily on the reasons why randomly-chosen individuals move, rather than the reasons why there may exist systematic gains to migrants, and hence net migration from one place to another. Broad factors such as differences in average income, as related to the structures of prices and wages, can help us understand international migration better.

A related issue to immigration is remittances which are an important part of the economy. The remittances are large in magnitude, probably over USD 4-5 billion per year, helping prop up the peso and finance the burgeoning BOP deficit. Moreover, the payments go directly to the final recipient, in contrast to government-to-government foreign aid which often is so diluted by bureaucratic costs and plain corruption that much of it fails to do much good. And the sender of the remittances has personal knowledge of the capacity of the recipient to make use of the funds for consumption or investment, which must lessen the likelihood that the funds will be squandered (of course there are some sad exceptions).

-Ronald Villanueva

Ronald: I guess you should first define what determines "better life" before making a conclusion. What constitutes "quality of life"? Isn't it access to basic services such as clean water, stable electricity supply.

Victor: You are absolutely right, you should define "better life". You seem to try, I think it is way off. Sorry I did not define quality of life. Do you know why? Because it is not that simple!

Clean Water? Stable Electricity Supply? These things were present in the Soviet Union at one point in time - how many people did you have defecting there? Health Facilities? Try Cuba, I am told they still have among the best in the world. Somebody told me you were based in Singapore. Lee did not get to most Singaporeans, they have a high level of immigration.

There are other people who think that there is more to life then efficient garbage collection. How about things like freedom of assembly? How about things like freedom from discrimination? How about being close to you family and loved ones, does that not give you a better life? Speaking about Singapore, how about the freedom to chew gum or forget to flush a toilet! I am sure glad Lee is a guy, if he were a girl, he might make it a felony for us guys to forget to lift the toilet seat.

I am sorry, I am just so amused. I really like Manila. Sure, crime, pollution what have you heard it all before. But you know, this place is my home.

-Victor Limlingan, Jr.

The assertion that a migrant goes from a place where s/he is less productive to a place s/he is more productive assumes that the migrant practices abroad the profession (whether white or blue collar) s/he acquired at home, i.e. a nurse in the Philippines works as a nurse in the US. That's pretty straightforward that I feel awkward having to mention it here. It is, however, necessary to do so to remind ourselves, just in case we've forgotten or conveniently overlooked the fact that a good number of Filipino overseas workers perform tasks other than those they were trained for in the Philippines. We know that hundreds of teachers, midwives, medical technologists, nutritionists, etc work as domestic workers in Hong Kong, Singapore, Italy, Spain and Great Britain. Could that be considered "productivity"?

Theoretical explanations to existing phenomena are useful but alas, reality, particularly migration, is really not that simple. "To earn more" is a common reply of most migrant workers when asked why they left the country. To earn more in order to pay debts, send children to school, build a house, start a business are common reasons for earning more. Many of those working abroad were not unemployed in the Philippines. They PREFER to work abroad believing they would EARN MORE. It is not therefore a matter of survival but a matter of economic advancement. One would think that once the goal of working abroad has been fulfilled, the migrant would return home. Anecdotal evidence however tend to show that this is not the case.

-Annabelle Gambe

Victor conveniently reduces the arguments that have driven millions of our countrymen abroad to "perception" - is this not tantamount to hallucination of a grand scale! It would be fine to qualify his observation as his own personal reasoning, but to extend that to the general case is an incredible leap! My list of what constitutes "better life" was not intended to be exhaustive (which is why I added "and so on"). I did not even mention security and peace & order which were important considerations for Sam, but I thought the abnormal situation is quite recent while the exodus has happened over many years.

Yes, I am in Singapore because I work with a global company that has regionalised its operations. I was cross-posted here like many other people from all over the world. Political borders really only exist in the minds of politicians; in reality, especially with advent of Internet, businesses operate in borderless world. It would be simplistic to assume that since one is working abroad, one is no longer "Filipino" or love being "Filipino".

-Ronald Villanueva

I can not resist congratulating my idol Victor Limligan Jr. for giving such a whooping nice response to Ronald V.'s posting. I love the bit about Singapore having all Ronald's definition of quality of life and yet Singaporeans are overly eager to actually get out of that country. I have Singaporean personal acquaintances who said first hand that from the outside looking in it's a fine country (you get fined for every little thing you do :)) but from the inside it's like a glorified prison cell. Three of these friends have now gone to Australia for keeps.

Idol Victor can never be more right when he related quality of life with the concept of freedom. I also would not wanna leave this country for all the economic theory espoused here so far. Ten years of dissecting economic theories and i know that no theory could ever wholly apply to "psychological attachment" to a place or a person. It's like love in the time of cholera.

You can't change things in this country from the outside. Somebody's gotta work on it from within. It could take a bloody long time to get things to change around here. Many may not have the audacity and temerity and patience. But long as it may take, our decision: VE VAIT.

-Ozone Azanza

There is no disagreement with the importance of freedom as part of the "good life". In fact, if not for my professional obligations, I would be happy to be working in Makati and enjoying the whole range of freedoms that we have back home which are restricted in Singapore. So this is not an issue.

Nowhere in any of my previous postings did I cite this tiny island as an ideal place for migration - only that Victor's analysis assumed that I had taken on Lee Kuan Yew's thinking simply because I work here in Singapore. His analysis is way off mark and only intended to confuse the issues. My main point is that his so-called "cost-benefit" model is seriously flawed, reducing complex explanatory variables into "perception" and therefore effectively concluding that those who have left the country were hallucinating.

I was really writing about a possible generalised model to explain the phenomenon of mass migration from the Philippines. The cold, objective fact is that there are millions of Filipinos abroad today who send billions of dollars of remittances into the economy annually. To explain this phenomenon as due to "perception" is simply hollow. My alternative proposition is to define:

a.) the benefits of migration as the sum of different variables (employment opportunities, access to basic infrastructure, peace, order and security, education, health services, etc) WEIGHTED by the degree of importance to the individual MINUS

b.) the transaction costs of transfer, emotional effects, separation from loved ones, etc.

The difference should then be DISCOUNTED at some rate that represents the opportunity cost of the best alternative option (usually the status quo) to the individual.

Necessarily, on a personal level, the result will be different as each person has unique situation, experiences and preferences. But on a macro level, the overwhelming conclusion is that many people find that migration makes sense.

This model can also be applied to Singapore (or other similarly repressed areas) and its migrating citizens. In these cases, the benefit of migration is reduced to fewer variables, particularly - more freedom! The other economic factors are weighed less or even ignored because they already have these in their home countries and the condition in the destination countries are not significantly different (i.e., low or zero incremental utility post-migration).

-Ronald Villanueva

The fact that people leave this country means there is something here they don't like, there is something out there they think would offer them a better deal, or they are not sure and would want to find out. I would just be consistent if I say that it is nature and bad governance that is driving these people out of this god-forsaken place.

So what if we're able to quantify the economic value of migration? So what if the regression models show that the costs to the country of origin is higher than whatever benefits it gains from the remittances of thousands upon thousands of overseas workers? These discussions escape my stupid mind in trying to figure out what will come out of it. Will we prevent people from leaving? Will we shoo them out? Will we pass laws? Will we tax higher the people leaving the country and give tax credits to those who come back? Tax? Wait sige, payag ako dyan!

-Citizen Kori Coronel

I tend to be quite neutral about Singapore--it's either your cup of tea or not, or maybe somewhere in between (I like Singapore's efficiency, but will probably be bored after a decade or so). Personally, I think people migrate or not depending upon what they believe to be their priority at the time they make their decision to go or not (career or economics vs. social ties). Anyway, it doesn't have to be a permanent decision or one where some sort of compromise is not possible.

Singapore seemed to be a rather unique place in Asia because of the social contract that had apparently been forged clearly between the people and government. When in Singapore, they stay mum as long as government delivers on the goods; abroad, they speak out a bit more. Apparently, until today, this duality works for them. I also see some sort of contract in the US whereby the
elite bargains away its power (through the rule of law, democracy, and respect for individual rights and liberties), in return for which people agree to respect the law and its institutions.

What is our social contract in the Philippines?

-Bob Herrera-Lim

Dear Bob,

Thanks for your note. I remember Amando Doronila wrote a similar article in the Inquirer sometime after the EDSA II to explain Lee Kuan Yew's criticism of our "unconstitutional" change. He basically explained that Singaporeans do not complain as much with their rulers as we do in the Philippines because their leaders deliver the goods which is not the case with our leaders. The Singaporeans basically trade-off their freedom of speech and other rights in exchange for the economic benefits that their government promise and really deliver. Of course, there are many citizens here who are not happy with this "contract" so they migrate to Australia or Canada where they enjoy similar economic environment PLUS the freedoms they have foregone in Singapore.

What is the social contract in the Philippines? I believe this is either vague or there is none at all. Our leaders commit to "motherhood" promises which are not generally measurable and therefore difficult to account for. Roles and responsibilities are not spelled out clearly, so accountabilities for results or failures are not defined - mediocre bureaucrats can get away with spending millions of taxpayers' money without showing any tangible results.

-Ronald Villanueva

Like Ronald, I have experienced how it is to live in Lee's "paradise." Having studied in NUS for 1.5 years, I should say that nagustuhan ko ang lugar na yon. Marami po akong naobserbahan sa kanilang pagkakaintindi ng kanilang maliit na bayan. ang gobyerno at kanilang mga mamamayan ay may mataas na working understanding of economics.

This is the reason why I think many things are working well in that island. Come to think of it, there are 3 taxi companies and 3 bus companies competing on the streets for passengers and yet they are all owned by the government. As one of my singaporean professors would say: singapore has almost perfected communism in a capitalist system. At saka di naman totoo na all of them religiously follow
the rules.

But the level of discipline is really something. My 3 year old son then got a taste of life there and when we arrived here, he has so many questions about the squatters, about the basura, about the traffic. in his 5 yr old mind, my son was asking - why is it dad that people here do not care if there is basura outside the house, as much as they care for the basura inside.

-Alvin Ang

Dear Ronald,

From the migrant's perspectives, he/she has a choice to move to another location to earn more. It is however mitigated by circumstances of the host country's standard of living, i.e. (higher wages = higher prices) compared to the country of origin - labor migration from developing to developed countries. Savings rate tends to be higher compared to the country of origin as the compensation for price difference between two countries are mitigated by price of production inputs (e.g. higher production inputs in host country compared to lower production price inputs in developing country). However, we cannot also discount the fact that labor or knowledge skills attained at host country is accumulative, thereby we factor human capital in the equation.

-Paul Alli

Ronald, I think the reference to Singapore was made purely to exemplify the point that there is more to your definition of a better/quality of life. Indeed, one is likely to regard a food/shelter/clothing definition as rather elementary. We are all aware that people are not bound to be happy living in a gilded cage. A general framework, since it is general and it is a framework, is expected to be encompassing. What you were wanting to provide as such did not really sound quite convincing, i'm sorry. In economic theory we may be pleased with an idea that assumes ceteris paribus first hand just to make a point clear. But we happen to be discussing reality here. The exodus as a phenomenon is real and the factors can be endogenous or exogenous, obvious or otherwise, but we have to see them all. A general framework that seeks to delimit an outlook tremendously can not and should never pass as a general framework. Paul Krugman (I can only surmise), is not likely to agree with such.

Please allow me to say that the issue of basic freedom remains at large even if we situate the argument in reference to migrants to the US or Australia because then, other issues relevant to "freedom" e.g., racial discrimination, will kick in.

-Ozone Azanza

Ozone, There are important policy implications in defining the migration issue correctly. If we believe Victor's "perception" theory, then the exodus/brain drain can be addressed simply by "educating" the people that life is not necessarily better abroad. But the root causes of the migration go much deeper than imagination - it is about generating JOBS, providing basic social services and infrastructure, etc. which should correct the "disequilibrium".

By the way, all my Singaporean classmates from Melbourne Business School have rejected offers to work in Australia (they are all PRs there) and have returned to Singapore. There are better regional job opportunities here they say, never mind the political repression. The individual migration pattern is quite similar with businesses. American and European companies ignore human rights issues and lack of democratic space/freedom in China, Vietnam and other repressed areas and continue to invest heavily in foreign direct investments. Yes, there are clear trade-offs between economic benefits and other factors, but looks like the economic imperative is much stronger than the socio-political factors.

-Ronald Villanueva

1. Despite the fact that the institutions inherent in a democracy are in place in the Philippines, like separate branches of government, freedoms and civil liberties, a strong and vibrant press and media, I dare say that we are far from being a true democracy. If democracy is defined as a way of life where the will of the people is truly observed, identified and followed, how can we say that we are democratic when our electoral system is so bastardized that both sides of the political fence cheat like anything.

2. Observation that the poor and ignorant have no access to the law is so correct it is accepted as the norm rather than an aberration. Our poor people believe in the law of the streets, the law of the old testament where the accepted principle is an eye for an eye. The delay of the Philippine judicial
system is laughable.

3. Not only do we not have economic freedom, we never had it in the first place. In a feudal society like ours no one can rightly claim that we have ever had an era where the owner of a sari-sari store has as much economic clout as the owner of malls.

Yes perhaps the Singapore way of life is better than the way of life here. Despite the foregoing though, I would still rather live in the Philippines than Singapore. No this is not because I have this overwhelming nationalism that is blind and unreal. It is also not because I think that the Singapore way of life is just too stuck up for my taste. I would still rather stay because I am still hopeful that the wealth of potential we have as a nation can still be tapped and brought to light. I still think that we have a lot to offer the world and that we are all raring to strut our stuff.

While I agree that there is value to comparing ourselves to our more wealthy neighbors just so that we can aspire for something higher, we should not lose sight of the very reason why we dare peek over the fence to a greener lawn and more sturdy and comfortable house. It is not so that we can jump the fence and hope we can stay in the corner unseen and undetected. It is so that we can realize that we have a lot to do and that we should start cleaning house. Now.

Yes the way of life may be better there but are we not convinced that the way of life can be improved here? Do you not feel in your bones that while there is a lot to be done, something can still be done? Aba kung hindi eh di huwag lang natin lansagin ang gobyerno nating walang ginawang matino. Pira-pirasuhin na natin ang pinas at ipagbili ang maga ito sa mga mayayamang bansa.

Hirap sa atin ang daming naiingit sa kapit-bahay pero walang gustong mag-linis ng sariling bakuran. Pinoy pa rin.

-Reggie Nolido

Reggie, yan nga ang sabi ng anak ko - bakit ang dumi ng labas pero gusto malinis ang mga loob ng bahay - wala ba talagang gustong maglinis ng sariling bakuran?

-Alvin Ang

Filipinos must have come from Sisyphean stock. We roll our boulders up a mountain and when we are near the top, our grips loosen, our knees get tired, our noses bleed, some wisecracks get serious, join Congress, and we laugh, and the boulders come rolling down again. Some of us just move away, majority chose to stay. But why keep on aspiring for the peak that stands as a tower of despair? Not that it's there, but I think it's faith. Our race deserves more and we feel our time will come. And if our good neighbors in Singapore ever get tired climbing multi-storeys, let's invite them in our mountains, with all the greetings from the gods, and there they can finally start living.

-Lardy Caparas

Though I am inclined to share the same observation with our fellow PF members on the issue of Singapore, nonetheless, let me share some points when it comes to comparing Singapore (S) and Philippines (P). S does not even constitute one fourth of P in terms of land area and population. I don't know if you will share with my opinion that it is easier to manage a small and less populated state like S than a bigger and more populated one like P.

One of the provinces in the P that is Cebu earns billions of dollars from exports (PEZA, BOI and other export oriented firms). If Cebu were to spend its income (including locally generated income) alone for the benefit of its population, it could have been like S if not better than S.


Makikisali na rin sa usapang immigration dahil gusto ko ring kumbinsihin ang sarili ko kung bakit kahit mga magulang at kapatid ko ay US citizens na e nagpapakatiyaga pa akong maging Pinoy. Ang gagamitin nating methodology lang ay financial cost and benefit analysis.


Iba ang financial at economic analysis. Ang decision point e timbang sa financial analysis.

Lahat ng bagay (o externalities) may numerong (o perang) katumbas. Yung mga quality of life o concept of freedom (nila Ronald, Vic at Ozone) at iba pa puwedeng i-quantify nga lang talagang subjective ito pero pwedeng hanapan ng proxy values (kunyari bidding, willingness-to-accept compensation, willingness-to-pay, travel cost, atbp.).

Ang mga numero e naka-peg sa isang base year at either nasa dolyar o sa peso.

Investment Costs.

Sabi ni Vic himayin natin sa dalawa, financial at emotional cost. Yung financial cost (sa pamasahe at kung ano pang mga transactions), outflow kaagad na kaperahan na puwedeng bumaba kung may mga lupain kang maibebenta o makakautang ka sa kamag-anak (payable when able). Yung emotional cost depende na sa tao. Kung gaya ka namin ni Oz na may "psychological attachment" sa Pinas e mataas. Gaano kataas? Gamitin natin yung bidding na sistema. Ako papayag umalis ng Pinas forever di babalik (no questions asked) kung bibigyan ako ng P50 billion ngayon din. Ito ang aking emotional cost.

Operation and Maintenance Costs (O&M Costs).

Dalawa ulit pala ito, financial at emotional O&M. Una muna kailangang i-define kung ano ang type mong quality of life (in terms of basic services, leisure, education, pati na rin yung concept of freedom na gusto mo). Yung gagastusin mong O&M sa Pinas at sa ibang bansa ipagkukumpara. Yung emotional O&M gaya ng pagkalungkot sa mga kaibigan dito pwedeng ang proxy value natin e gastusin for a three-month vacation sa Pinas.

Pag nasa ibang bansa ka automatic na nag-re-remit ka dapat kahit kaunti sa mga kamag-anak kaya O&M rin ito. Pag tumanda ka naman mas maaring mas mahal ang O&M mo dito sa Pinas dahil baka mas mahina yung welfare system natin.


Ika nga ni Ronald pwedeng may differences in average income kaya yung expected revenues ng isang immigrant puwedeng mas malaki sa kikitain nya sa Pinas. Para mas maging realistic sabihin nating may two-year lag bago magkatrabaho ang mga immigrants. Kung may change of profession man gaya ng sabi ni Annabelle (i.e., teacher to nurse) gawan na lang ng valuation itong "loss of prestige" at isama sa emotional O&M.

Sa ibang bansa pwede ka sigurong magtrabaho beyond 40 hrs dahil may isa ka pang trabaho na napakahirap gawin dito kahit gusto mo.

Dahil mas stable ang dollar sa peso may "dagdag" ka pang kita kung i-ko-convert sa prevailing exchange rates in the future.

Pag nasa Pinas ka naman posibleng may "psychic revenues" ka dahil nakakasama ka directly sa pagsulong ng kapakanan ng bansa mo.

Evaluation Period and Discount Rate

Posibleng mas mataas ang life expectancy sa ibang bansa. Yung evaluation period mas mahaba kung gayon pag nasa ibang bansa ka. Pag mas bata ka pa mas mahaba pa yung evaluation period (at posibleng mas mababa yung emotional costs). Ano ang iyong discount rate o cost of equity? Kung medyo mataas baka nga makukuha mo iyon sa ibang bansa.

Ang resulta depende particularly sa quantification ng "unquantifiables". Kung risk-lover ka pwede mong ma-understate yung costs at i-overstate ang benefits at kung risk-averse ka kabaligtaran naman. Sa akin mukhang may kataasan yung mga "unquantifiable" costs ko at nanghihinayang ako sa mga posibleng "foregone psychic revenues" kung aalis ako.

-Erick Planta

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