Worth Reading…

It’s 6 weeks or so till the Presidential elections, and the race is reasonably close/tight, but this article says a lot of the things I was thinking privately… I don’t know the author and I have always been a Roxas supporter, so yes, I am biased. :)


27 Responses

  1. xxxxx First half of comments deleted and all future comments from this poster will be deleted. xxxx …..

    He also represented himself as a WHARTON graduate which connotes a MASTER degree when he only had an UNDERGRADUATE degree in Penn University.

  2. I dare say, sorry that the choice of our presidentiables boils down to the lesser or least evil. Unfortunately, some of the better qualified candidates with principled stance are those running as independents and lesser office with little media exposure and not beholden to moneyed interests who can fund TV ads for almost a million pesos per shot! Just think of what these interests would ask/expect of their candidates for the ROI (return of investment).

    And if I may name a senatorial candidate with strong credentials and whose website you can visit for a really presidentiable platform of government:

  3. Ana, your comment only reinforces my choice. Your earlier comments nearly gave you away, but what really takes away from your most recent one is your low and uninformed parting shot. For your factual information, the WHARTON SCHOOL is the BUSINESS SCHOOL of the University of Pennsylvania. It confers BOTH UNDERGRADUATE and GRADUATE degrees in business. Mr. Roxas never claimed to have an MBA from The Wharton School. He completed a four-year undergraduate degree there. See their website here, it’s painfully easy to google it and you could have before your inaccurate/uninformed assertion/comment. And if you were in the habit of looking at college admissions, then you would also know that the U.S. News and World Report (the most often cited list) ranks Wharton’s UNDERGRADUATE business program near the top, if not, actually the #1 undergraduate business school in the United states at the moment, and it has always ranked very high over the past few decades. The graduate school, on the other hand, currently ranks 4th by the same report, after Harvard, Stanford and Booth (that’s University of Chicago in case you can’t get away from the name of university vs. the name of the school). But really, it isn’t about the fact that he was fortunate enough to attend one of the best/toughest undergraduate programs around, is it? It’s only because you are trying so hard to find something somehow wrong with that. And you are plain and simple, barking up the wrong tree in this particular regard, making me wonder if that’s how you go about choosing your own candidate for President.

    So you got my curiosity up, and I wonder which candidate you are indeed thumping for… is it the one who attended Lyceum University and then went onto the San Beda Law School, oh, but apparently after being expelled twice before that, once from an Ateneo (secondary school)? Or is it the one who went to U.P. Diliman, and onto their highly esteemed Law School? Or perhaps the one who started at U.P. Diliman, but finished up an undergraduate degree at Boston College, graduating in 1991? I think I can guess… :) (All educational credentials from Wikipedia)

    Your first comment on the video post suggests you are definitely not for Ms. Poe, and your comment here suggests you don’t like Mr. Roxas, so that leaves only two main contenders, Mr. Binay and Mr. Duterte. And it was Duterte’s camp who seemed to make a big deal of Wharton… so my guess is Duterte. And OMG, I just found out because of your post that Mr. Duterte got expelled twice from school before he finished his undergraduate and graduate degree. And am I taking that against him? Absolutely not. Absolutely not. :)

    And for full disclosure, I too went to Boston College (but also got accepted to U.P. and Ateneo) for my four year undergraduate business degree at the Carroll School of Management (yes, they have undergraduate and graduate degrees) but graduated 5 years ahead of Ms. Poe. And I was fortunate enough to get into all the three graduate business programs I applied to, at Dartmouth, Wharton and Columbia… but attended the one in New York rather than the one at the “University of Pennsylvania” instead. Does it matter one iota? No, not really. :)

    For your future comments, Ana, please make sure you use your real email address or they will be deleted. Somehow, using “mickjaggerfan001@gmail.com” and “marketmanila.com” as your URL doesn’t give you much credibility around here. Oh, and I would be curious to see where you got your own diploma(s) from. And I mean the ones with “Ana Santos” written with a calligraphy pen and ink. Any latin honors to add to the discussion, perhaps? :) Thank you.

  4. im with Mr. Mar Roxas since day 1. it will be a very hard battle to win pero im hoping manalo sya talaga. majority of pinoys napakadaling mag.pauto, laging inaasa sa iba ang pagbabago, why dont they start with themselves and the rest will all just follows.. Ayoko talaga kay Mr. Duterte! napaka.Ampao nya sa paningin ko.

  5. Oh, and Ana, too bad you had nothing better to say than some idiotic knee-jerk reaction to my lengthy answer above. Your comment and all future ones will be deleted.

    The readers here are for the most part long-time visitors to the nearly 12 year old blog with over 4,300 posts that have garnered way over say 40+ million page views since it was started. Yes, I wrote that right, more than 40+ million page views. While blog readership is waning in the age of 3 second attention spans, some of my posts do still manage to get over 80,000+ views over time and it is by a rather erudite, intelligent, civil and interesting bunch of people I suspect are both nationalistic and all hoping for the best in this country. The blog’s integrity is one of it’s biggest advantages, but what would you know about integrity?

    I respect the vote of the majority and will hope that any President who is elected does right by this country. I have no need to bash any other candidate, and wonder why you are so rabid about bashing anyone but your own pick. Reminds me of a rat with rabies. Hence rabid. Chill. Start your own blog and call me when you get to just 10 million page views. :)

    And since I am in a pleasantly irritated blogging state this Easter morning, let me point out a couple more things that you may never understand are dripping with sarcasm. In your comment above, I think you meant “Master’s” degree and not a “MASTER” degree which might “connote” either “a head of a college”, “a title for young man” or even “a former Naval title”. As a mentioned earlier, WHARTON is the name of the school of business, and it confers both UNDERGRADUATE and MASTER’S degrees in several fields of business. And finally, there is really no such thing as “Penn University” as there is The University of Pennsylvania or more fondly called “UPenn” as its nickname and where the Wharton School resides. Or, you could have meant Pennsylvania State University or “Penn State” for short, that is not only a major research university, they have an active football team as well. Of course there was a chance you meant Pennsylvania Highlands Community College, or Pennsylvania College of Art and Design, or Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts or the Pennsylvania Institute of Technology. But maybe not, since the last four schools aren’t universities…

    Have a happy, steamy Easter Sunday! :)

  6. Frankly, I’m beginning to wonder if a degree from an elite university is a positive or a negative, especially if its from one of those ivy league schools. Take the current crop of U.S. politicians, for example. George W Bush went to Yale. He misled the country into going into a disastrous war in Iraq, which continues to pay ‘dividends’ today in the form of ISIL. Donald Trump, like Mr. Roxas, went to Penn. Ted Cruz went to Princeton. May God forbid either of those two from making it to the White House. If that happens, I just might move back to the Philippines.

    But then again, it may not have anything to do with schooling at all. It could just be the political party they belong to. :)

  7. I voted for Mar in 2010 but his recent performance leaves a whole lot to be desired. First off is the DOTC, where he blocked the extension of of the LRT 2 to Masinag as well as replaced Sumitomo with an incompetent service to provider for the MRT 3. Boo Chanco had been critical of the decisions Mar made and has been quite prophetic on what eventually happened to the mass rail system in the Metro. Rose Fausto did not seem to delve on this issue, yet made a very detailed critique of GP. Why no analysis of the Mar-Abaya MRT fiasco? (Abaya was said to be Mar’s choice to replace him at the DOTC). Boo was the one who coined the Teka-Teka approach of Mar.

    With regards to Mar’s preparation for the Yolanda typhoon, why didn’t he bring Sat phones with him to Tacloban before the typhoon hit? Communications is paramount in a disaster that big. Remember when Pnoy castigated that PNP commander who said that around 10,000 people might have perished? That was caused by a lack of communications on the ground, something that Mar should have foreseen. Karen Davila asked Mar in Headstart if he had brought sat phones with him. He didn’t answer the question at all and changed the topic immediately. The video is on youtube.

    Mar has a pattern of not answering criticisms directly, which is true for most candidates I suppose. What I find disconcerting though is his penchant for blaming other people for his failures, especially with regards to the MRT. He was head of the agency that was supposed to ensure the performance of this critical mass transport system, and yet he set off a series of events that would later lead to the MRT’s decline. Sure he blames Sobrepeña for the MRT mess, but if a DOTC secretary can’t handle a has been like Sobrepeña, then you wonder if he has the right stuff to be president. No wonder Mar’s numbers in the NCR have been so low.

  8. Monty, I don’t disagree that there are shortcomings. But for the MRT, it was a privatized entity with a contract with limitations from several administrations before. In essence, it needed to be nationalized or re-taken over by the government in order for it to be run the way you suggest. I agree public transport should belong to the state, and hence all buses (not private) and all rail lines (not private or PPP) and all MRT (not private)as well — like Singapore, or several U.S. cities, or Paris, for example. But in previous and current administrations, either can’t, won’t, don’t or are unable to implement large scale public transport systems without graft/corruption/inefficiency/other quality issues AND THEY turn to privatized efforts because they think that might work better. Hence our problems with electricity prices, toll roads, MRT’s, airport terminals, etc. Going private often has a price, but one wonders if overall average wise, that price is less horrible than if you went a corrupt public version instead…

    If it were up to me, which it isn’t, I would tax private cars/vehicles some outrageous number, like say PHP100,000 each per year in Manila, then from say 2.2 million vehicles in the greater metro manila area, that would yield revenues (and screams) of PHP220billion a year, which could be put into a kitty or fund that is overseen by both government and selected private or ADB or similar type institutions. Then, public transport lines would be listed by priority for a period of say 12 years or two terms worth of Presidents. Then do proper bids for the projects such as a new MRT system or an takeover/upgrade/etc. of an MRT system, and do a 24-hour, round the clock construction of new systems. Temper this with bus systems that are put in place in a shorter period of time, etc. If the program and government is credible, and the funds collected in the first year or two, international agencies and banks would happily lend or advance funds against future collections, hence theoretically raising our ability to mobilize funds, to say 3-4x the annual collection, or a kitty of say 600-800billion for transport infrastructure in a year’s time. But over 12 years overall, you would be looking at a nearly 2.7 trillion in mass transit budget/expenditure that SHOULD have dramatic impact on our city. That’s the beginnings of a mass transit vision. The problem, is always in the implementation. You take over existing MRT lines and get sued and it stays in court for 20 years. You can’t buy right of way in less than 10 years. There are squatters rights bills that mean you can clear areas for mass transit to pass. A local group or government blocks things. You get the picture…

    And notice how none of the candidates has suggested this kind of “crazy” solution. Because they are afraid they won’t get elected if they say it. And imagine how much graft and corruption in implementation there might be on a PHP2.7 trillion kitty. And because many don’t opt for a bold, long-term, think out of the box solution that might be ridiculed by many of the voters who aren’t thinking about solutions in the same way… There are solutions, but there are radical, painful, expensive, disciplined, intelligent, unpopular, etc. etc. Of all the candidates running for President, there are only two I can think of that have a real sliver of chance of doing a fraction of what needs to really be done… And one of them was a great critic of the MRT and I would love to see her take a crack at it (and I don’t say that with sarcasm at all) and see if she is able to change it for the better in 6 years with our current legal environment, contracts in place, funding limitations, etc. It would be brilliant if someone, anyone, could fix our mass transit problems or vastly improve them in 6 years, as it would be nothing short of a herculean type achievement.

    P.S. And why pick on the private vehicles? Because that’s likely to be 1 million individuals who will pay the price, for improving a mass transit system for 15 million other individuals. I think that’s a good trade-off. And since mostly private vehicle owners are the ones who bitch about the traffic, they should pay more for the privilege of using the limited road space.

  9. It is really sad and unfortunate that for all the bright ideas for fixing a broken system, including the one proposed by MM for our horrendous mass transport system, we cannot deny the influence of the moneyed interests for any meaningful change because any legislation designed to benefit the people will be shot down by those funded and chosen by competing interests .

    “ The combination of the heightened power of capital and a highly undemocratic political system designed to serve its interests has concentrated the gravitational pull at only one end of the political spectrum,” one party no different than the other, the Philippines mirroring that of the US and at the expense of the less privileged majority.

    My bottom line is, I will choose the candidate who is not beholden to any moneyed interest who will inevitably collect their ROI ( return of investment) , and of course must have enough neurons in their head to run a government, be able to get away from orthodoxy, not have authoritarian values or tendencies, and lastly, but just as important, will say an unwavering NO to put Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

    As in the US, it is time for a political revolution!

  10. I’ve actually advocated the raising of car registration fees to pay for public transport before in one of the Disqus forums in the Inquirer, but maybe not as much as P100,000 per car. P15-20k would probably be a more realistic rate. We already subsidize the MRT to the tune of P7 billiom a year, so its maintenance shouldn’t be an issue at the very least. The maintenance provider was replaced during Mar”s stint and affirmed during Abaya’s term. This was an unmitigated disaster that has put Mar in such a bad indefensible position that he can’t directly answer any question relating to matter. When GP confronted him with the MRT-APT Global and Zamboanga siege issues in the last debate, he just tackled the latter since he felt that was less controversial with regards to his performance. I agree that he handled the Zamboanga siege quite well, but he totally skirted the MRT issue. Boo Chanco has been critical of Mar”s performance for several years now, yet I’ve never heard Mar give a point by point rebuttal of Boo’s criticism. Mar should go on an interview with Boo, Jarius Bondoc and Ted Failon – his most vocal critics. He has nothing to lose being at the bottom of the surveys.

    As for power, water and other utility rates, I’ve advocated benchmarking these industries with that of our Asian neighbors. Why are we paying the highest power rates in Asia? Is it a coincidence that our top taxpayers include a disproportionate number of executives from companies in the power industry? Our manufacturing sector has withered due to the high cost of power and this problem has to be addressed. Generation, transmission and distribution rates have to be studied closely to check if there’s overpricing in these monopolies.

  11. And if I may add on your suggestion on the car registration issue- why should a car owner outside of metro manila also pay the same “road user” fee (and higher gas prices) if they are not using metro manila roads at all?

  12. Yup, AC, I meant Manila only. But seeing as how Cebu is nearly in the same state, as we are familiar with that city, equally drastic measures are needed there as well. Imagine our second largest city with 2 million folks doesn’t have a functioning bus system or rail system for that matter? Yipes.

  13. I was surprised that the Wharton graduate thing got brought up again during the presidential debate last week. It’s fairly easy to understand why Roxas was correct in saying that he is a Wharton graduate. Why other people fail to understand this makes me shake my head that if they fail to grasp this then how can they understand more complicated topics such as foreign policy and economics.

  14. A subway line in Singapore costs $400- $600 million per km., which could likely be lowered here. Assuming Metro Manila could start off with 30km worth of subway tunnels, then we’re looking at a $12 billion price. If we can raise $1 billion a year through increased Metro Manila registration fees (P20,000 x 2.2+ million cars) then the subway price tag is certainly affordable. A socialized registration fee structure wherein more expensive cars pay higher fees would make this more palatable to the public. Special fees could also be charged to cars entering the CBD’s during peak hours.

  15. Monty, I agree there are solutions… it’s the implementation where we fall flat. On top of your suggestion, if I were evil supreme leader :) I would make the MRT P10 or less for 4-530am and more expensive from 530am onwards so even mass transit had “socialized” pricing… But I still like the PHP100K per car and get more mass transit in faster. If folks don’t like it, they can take the new subway lines to work and play, I know I would at least 30% of my trips and maybe more. I lived in Singapore for 5 years and never bothered to buy a car. I have taken public transport in almost every major city of the world that we have visited with the exception of Jakarta, Delhi and Mumbai…

  16. I really enjoyed the “rant”. MM, I am happy your candidate is Mar Roxas. If I were there, I will also vote for him because I believe he will continue the “daang matuwid” plus he is a relative. My grandfather Don Felix de Leon, M. D. has an older brother, Don Ceferino de Leon (senator during President Roxas) who has a daughter Donya Trinidad deLeon Roxas (married to President Roxas) who are the grandparents of Mar.

  17. i finally found a civilized discussion with different choices of a presidential candidate without being threatened and without being bullied. i have not been living in Pinas for awhile but i do go home twice a year for R&R. i could have spent it somewhere but i still prefer the air in Pinas. a lot of friends here that ive known for years have told me that they are going home already since Pinas is doing well and i agree. for that i give credit to the current administration. like what Roxas said that there are shortcomings and things can be better. that’s why i want continuity and would want to see the programs of this administration continued and not to start all over again from scratch.

  18. In this coming election, an intelligent voter will go for Roxas and Robredo.
    No one else.

  19. I never like roxas. he has been raising his campaign funds the moment noynoy got elected president. billion of pesos spent trying to buy charisma that ain’t there (money that could have been used to improve ph transport system). He will always be a PR nightmare he keep on saying wrong things at the wrong time.

    His booboos are too high profile to ignore.
    he’s at my bottom too along with binay.

  20. Well We could agree on one thing, we need to improvement, the only question is who’s gonna take us there. Let’s just compromise that whoever win this, let’s exert the same intensity on discipline.

  21. Has anyone seen the dismal condition of the LRT 2 Recto Station, north bound? The escalators and the elevators haven’t been working for two or more years. To reach the second and third level of this station, one has to climb about eighty steps of the stairway to take the trains. Abaya raised the train fares promising to repair and upgrade the trains and the stations. But nothing came out of it! Aquino doesn’t have the balls to fire Abaya because that scumbag is the Liberal Party head. Damn it! If Roxas is elected as president, I believe this situation will remain as is.

  22. Probably joined the fray to late but regarding the Wharton/Penn graduate thing. I think the misleading part on Roxas’ part was putting on his credentials Ateneo University and then Wharton. This is an actual excerpt from his Senate bio “MAR graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University in 1974 and the Wharton School of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania in 1979.” Without stating what school level, one would naturally assume that he graduated college at Ateneo then did post-graduate at Wharton. Instead of the reality that he graduated HIGH SCHOOL(!!) at Ateneo then did undergrad at Wharton.



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