You think foreign investors are dumb?
President Noynoy is going on a trip to Europe and the United States soon to convince potential investors that they’re “safe” if they come to the Philippines.
Tall promise. Big words.
Kidnapping, especially of Filipino-Chinese businessmen, is on the rise; arriving passengers are being hustled by customs and immigration people at the international airports; murder with the use of motorcycles as getaway vehicles is an everyday occurrence; robbery in homes, holdup incidents on the streets, rape, killings committed by drug-crazed individuals; and most of all, policemen shooting innocent civilians whom they are supposed to protect.
On top of these crimes, there is corruption in high places; potential investors being given the runaround by government people unless they are paid off; laborers who ask unreasonable demands from employers; the kidnapping for ransom of foreigners and local folk by bandits in the south; and the insurgency problem.
If you think that people in other countries are not aware of what’s going on in the Philippines, you must be dumb or illiterate.
Those incidents reach other countries every day through various news organizations like the AP, AFP and Reuters, international TV news networks like CNN and BBC; and the Internet.
Foreigners will wonder why President Noynoy has the temerity to tell them it is safe for them to come as investors or tourists when our government can’t even protect its citizens from criminals and criminal-minded law enforcers and other civil servants.
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One of the good things that Francis Tolentino, chair of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, has done is to decongest C-5, one of two main arteries in the metropolis (the other being Edsa).
Tolentino’s lane reserved for cargo trucks is the reason for the decongestion.
I use Edsa and C-5 alternately and I notice the big improvement in the traffic with the truck lane at C-5.
Let’s see if Tolentino can decongest Katipunan Avenue in front of Ateneo and Miriam College which he promised he would do.
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The Filipino’s “crab mentality” (envy for other people’s good fortune) was at work in the filing of charges of economic sabotage against businesswoman Leah Cruz in the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Cruz’s Vegetable Importers, Exporters and Vendors Association (Vieva) has been helping local farmers by buying their produce from their farms.
Vieva buys goods from farmers at current market prices.
This has adversely affected the middlemen who buy low from farmers at a low price and later sell the produce to vendors (for a big profit). The vendors, naturally, also sell high to consumers like you and me.
Chinese importers of vegetables are also losing because Leah, who also imports the same products, sells at much lower prices.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima’s claim that Cruz hoarded garlic, the reason for the recent sudden rise in the price of the commodity in the market, is not true.
Garlic farmers in the Ilocos region will testify that Leah bought garlic from them and sold this to vendors at the height of the scarcity of the commodity.
It was Leah’s accusers, her rivals in the trade, who hoarded garlic.
I know Leah personally because my vegetable farm in Puerto Princesa City is a pilot farm of Vieva.
Soon, my farm, which used to be practically barren, will be producing vegetables which Vieva will buy and then sell to consumers in Palawan and even in other parts of the country.
Why doesn’t De Lima ask Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala about Leah Cruz, whom he admitted he knows is an importer.
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