Friday, March 24, 2017

With due respect to Mr. Cusi . . .

Who will do what, when, where and how? “Cusi wants more investments in merchant power plants,” Danessa Rivera, The Philippine Star, 13th Mar 2017. “Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi is seeking more investments in merchant power plants to further spur competition in the electricity spot market.

“Currently, 90 percent of the country’s power supply is sourced from bilateral contracts between power generators and distribution utilities. This means only 10 percent of the supply comes from the WESM.

“The DOE will undertake a study to raise WESM sourcing to 20-30 percent, Cusi said. ‘We are looking at 20 to 30 percent (from) merchant (plants). As a secretary, it’s very important for me to have the PEMC working because of the policy we are implementing.’”

Energy is ground zero if PH is to move forward as an economy, as a nation. Sadly, it is common knowledge that it takes us decades to get things done. Of course, we have a similar challenge with (a) prioritizing infrastructure development and (b) stepping up rapid industrialization starting with the JFC’s 7 industry winners, for example.

Why can’t we get anything of consequence going? The sense of identity and purpose is missing? The island mentality is overpowering? Finally, one Editorial is calling it what it is. Policing the power sector,” BusinessMirror Editorial, 20th Mar 2017. “The Philippines has one of the most expensive electricity rates in the world. The government owes taxpayers safe, reliable and affordable electricity, but its attempt to lower prices by restructuring the power sector through the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira) of 2001 has not been without obstacles.”

But we’ve had this disaster for decades? And what have we been talking about? Our sound economic fundamentals?

Is it about Big Data and analytics? We’re overwhelmed by too much information that we can’t find the needle in the haystack? Is it the need to synthesize? To our writers and journalists, is it the topic sentence or crafting a headline? Or is it the Baltimore Catechism versus the Two Great Commandments? Is it Pareto’s 80-20 rule?

The blog recently talked about toilet facilities along the popular routes in Palawan. Innovation and competitiveness aren’t identified with PH? Why? We have yet to wake up to our “aha” moment that creativity is simply connecting the dots. And college dropouts can do it!

Is that the price we pay for an oligarchic economy and an elite class that is calling the shots? We like to talk about poverty yet we have accepted being the regional laggard – and, worse, that ours is a culture of impunity? We can’t have our cake and eat it too!

To develop PH needs creativity. It needs connecting the dots. And it starts with toilet facilities to elevate Palawan tourism. And it starts with energy to get PH moving forward in development. 

The anecdote goes, “Steve, you are a technology company, why are you showing me this mock iPod?” so says Bill Gates. And the response? “Music is the way to the soul, why not a thousand songs in a personal device?” And to this day Apple while threatened by Google is still the most valuable enterprise in the world. Translation: Beyond technology, innovation is being sensitive to human needs and raising man’s wellbeing; and is simply connecting the dots.

The blog talked about it before, Steve Jobs, in a Yale University course on the study of geniuses, ranks with Beethoven and Einstein.

So, to Mr. Cusi and the economic team of the Du30 Administration, how do you propose to develop the topic sentence or craft the headline for the advancement of PH? Sadly, Du30 started on the wrong foot, EJKs.

If PH was among the Asian Tigers, do you think we would have the problem of narco-politics? We may have the drug problem but will be wealthy enough to deal with it like the way the Portuguese are doing it, that is, humanely!

Or is the whole idea of being an Asian Tiger simply too much for us to imagine and visualize? If it isn’t obvious yet, the blog matter-of-factly speaks to “imagination and visualization” because they are imperative in the pursuit of innovation and global competitiveness.

“Why independence, if the slaves of today will be the tyrants of tomorrow? And that they will be such is not to be doubted, for he who submits to tyranny loves it.” [We are ruled by Rizal’s ‘tyrants of tomorrow,’ Editorial, The Manila Times, 29th Dec 2015]

“As a major component for the education and reorientation of our people, mainstream media – their reporters, writers, photographers, columnists and editors – have an obligation to this country . . .” [Era of documented irrelevance: Mainstream media, critics and protesters, Homobono A. Adaza, The Manila Times, 25th Nov 2015]

“National prosperity is created, not inherited. It does not grow out of a country’s natural endowments, its labor pool, its interest rates, or its currency’s value, as classical economics insists . . . A nation’s competitiveness depends on the capacity of its industry to innovate and upgrade.” [The Competitive Advantage of Nations, Michael E. Porter, Harvard Business Review, March–April 1990]

“Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.” [William Pollard, 1911-1989, physicist-priest, Manhattan Project]

“Development [is informed by a people’s] worldview, cognitive capacity, values, moral development, self-identity, spirituality, and leadership . . .” [Frederic Laloux, Reinventing organizations, Nelson Parker, 2014]

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