Sunday, May 7, 2017

“All that he made was very good” – including Juan de la Cruz

We know that's lifted from Genesis 1:31. How could we then let it be that Juan de la Cruz is the regional laggard?

And not surprisingly, we have the biggest poverty challenge in the region. And narco-politics made the hurdle for the poor more daunting. Not to worry, we have the Davao model – EJK will give us a clean slate. Human rights don’t count to the regional laggard. It gives us license to kill, take the law into our own hands. We are the regional laggard . . . because . . . how foolish can we be?

Try to google: (a) NEDA: More consultations needed for Mega Harbor project stakeholders; (b) Bonifacio Global City; and (c) Iskandar Malaysia. And then figure out how much of a laggard we are. After the original four Asian Tigers, Thailand and Malaysia, and more recently Vietnam, have also left us in the dust. And at the rate they are going, not only this generation is the laughing stock, also the next?

Do we or don’t we belong to this century – like the jeepney and the steam locomotives? “Steam locomotives were first developed inGreat Britain during the early 19th century and used for railway transport until the middle of the 20th century. From the early 1900s they were gradually superseded by electric and diesel locomotives, with full conversions to electric and diesel power beginning in the late 1930s. Most steam locomotives were retired from regular service by the 1980s, though several continue to run on tourist and heritage lines.” [Wikipedia]

Let’s borrow from an earlier post in the blog: “Think General Motors versus Tesla. GM once defined America. “What is good for GM is good for America.” But today Tesla is more valuable than GM. And why is Apple and Google and Facebook now more coveted than General Electric? The old paradigm no longer holds. It is about evolution and in the 21st century, technology is defining what it means and demands development-wise.

“How does that translate to driving the PH economy? (A) If we cannot think synergy amongst energy, infrastructure development and industrialization, we are but mired in the 20th-century paradigm. We know the top ten exports of PH. What we must focus on is how to make the products and/or services that make them up truly globally competitive while expanding the portfolio.

“(B) And that includes figuring out where or in which regions these industries must be housed and where we must create “the clusters” – consisting of the primary industry and the requisite auxiliary and support industries – as well as the fundamental imperatives of energy and infrastructure to attain synergy or gestalt, if you will. That is how we will generate employment, not by populist rhetoric a la Trump.

“At the end of the day, they are the real driver of the economy . . . that will flesh out GDP as the growth metric.”
We know Bonifacio Global City. What about the Mega Harbor project? “The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) has advised the local government of Davao City to conduct more consultations with various stakeholders to determine if a proposed 200-hectare joint venture agreement would benefit the city and its inhabitants.

“NEDA regional director Ma. Lourdes Lim . . . said this as the local government submitted additional documentary requirements from proponent Mega Harbor, which is pushing for the implementation of JVA signed between the reclamation developer and then-Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in 2016.

“We also need to look after the welfare of the settlers who are currently occupying the area, and there was still a need to conduct further evaluation, which encompasses potential financial, economic, and institutional benefits to the city and its inhabitants.” [NEDA: More consultations needed for Mega Harbor project stakeholders, Yas Ocampo, Manila Bulletin, 4th May 2017]

And here’s a teeny primer on Bonifacio Global City from Wikipedia. “In 1995, Bonifacio Land Development Corporation, a consortium led by Metro Pacific, made a successful bid to become BCDA's partner in the development of Bonifacio Global City (BGC.) Ayala Land, Inc.and Evergreen Holdings, Inc. of the Campos Group purchased a controlling stake in BLDC from Metro Pacific in 2003. BCDA and the two companies control Fort Bonifacio Development Corporation, which oversees the master planning of Bonifacio Global City.

“The city governments of Makati and Taguig fought over the jurisdiction of Fort Bonifacio because of the area's growth potential. On August 1, 2016, in a 27-page decision, the Second Division of the Supreme Court granted Taguig’s petition which sought to declare Makati guilty of forum shopping and asked that an appropriate sanction be meted against it.”

What if we look outward, to Iskandar Malaysia which was recently featured on CNN? We will – surprise, surprise – note (a) how the Malaysians do connect the dots, (b) design synergies into the enterprise, (c) how they benchmark and the benchmarks they set for this colossal undertaking. “The development region encompasses an area of 2,217 square kilometers covering the city of Johor Bahru and the adjoining towns.

“The population of Iskandar Malaysia was 1.8 million in 2010. The Iskandar region is planned to have a population of 3 million by 2025. The region is also planned to have a workforce of 1.46 million by 2025, from 0.62 million in 2005. The GDP per capita (PPP) of the region is also expected to rise to $31,100 in 2025, from $14,790 in 2005, with an annual change of around 6%.

“Iskandar Malaysia is modelled after the Pearl River Delta Economic Zone. It is envisaged to capitalize on its current synergies withSingapore as it aims to complement each other as an economic hub, similar to the relationship between Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

“In 2014, the Malaysian Prime Minister announced that ‘In committed investments alone, the economic zone in Johor has secured US$47 billion since 2006, of which 51 per cent or US$23.8 billion has been realized to date.’ The amount is around 41% of the target amount which it seeks to achieve by 2025.

“[The] Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) has these elements: (a) Flagship Zones; (b) Economic growth; (c) Residential enhancement; (d) Commercial Development.

“Flagship Zones. Under the plan, five ‘Flagship Zones’ in the 221,634.1 hectares (2,216.3 sq. km.) of land covered are identified as developmental focal points: (1) the development of a new financial district, the central business district, the waterfront city, a mixed development and the Malaysia/Singapore Causeway;

“(2) a planned development of the new Johor state administrative center, a medical hub, an ‘educity’, a resort for international tourismand an industrial logistic cluster and a residence community; (3) a port development, providing a second transportation link for Malaysia/Singapore, a free trade zone, and a World Heritage Park; (4) a port and an industrial zone including a technology park and a regional distribution center; (5) the Senai International Airport, hubs for cargo and knowledge, a multimodal center and a Cyberport city.

“Economic growth. The economic growth plan of the CDP consists of two components, a Strategic Economic Thrust (SET) for immediate implementation and a Future Growth Scenario, 2005-2025, for long-term application.

“Both were developed in mind of the region's economic strengths in manufacturing and services, with 60% of value-added manufacturing derived from electrical and electronic (E&E), chemical and chemical products (petrochemical, plastics, oleo chemicals) and food processing sub-sectors. Many service and other manufacturing areas have emerged in support of these.

“The Future Growth Scenario is aimed towards strengthening the economy internally and internationally by such factors as improvements in global transportation and developing manufacturing and service clusters. Also, promoted by the Future Growth Scenario is the encouragement of the immigration of skilled, moneyed foreigners to help develop an international lifestyle attractive to foreign workers and investors. The targeted foreign and local investments is US$ 100 billion.

“Residential enhancement. Part of the CDP includes attention to quality of life of residents with emphasis on functional, livable communities that promote social wellbeing . . . Physical Development Plan (PDP). The PDP was designed to guide the development of land within Iskandar Malaysia to help promote the CDP's overall goals of economic development and quality of life.

“Commercial Development. The commercial focus of the CDP is on six services identified as ‘pillars.’ including creative, educational, financial, healthcare, logistics and tourism.”

Can we now figure out why we’re the regional laggard? How can we let it be when “All that he made was very good” – including Juan de la Cruz?

“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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