Saturday, January 20, 2018

Circle the wagons

Bunker mentality or Pinoy “abilidad”? Consider these news reports: (a) DA eyes changes in rice self-sufficiency and (b) NFA allots P5.1 B for palay procurement.

The Philippine rice industry is uncompetitive. What to do? Not a knee-jerk to deliver activity but not outcome. It highlights the absence of foresight and explains the 1-% phenomenon. How? Like the rest of the world we can’t on a dime shift away from the logical yet linear and incremental thinking that built Western higher education. And why we worry about AI, for example.

While those in the innovation game see it as a powerful tool. That’s too far out for PH. And that’s the problem, like the rest of the world, the 1-% has left us behind. [What we direly need is to figure out the building blocks of prosperity instead of prescribing a system of government, for example. And invite an Apple manager to show us the “Apple Way”: (a) at the macro level and (b) to make our export products globally competitive.]

More to the point, innovation and competitiveness demands a heavy dose of foresight. And why the 1-% schooled in foresight development, e.g., “model thinking,” will dominate. They can relate the building blocks of an enterprise to the object, e.g., competitiveness.

Why is Juan de la Cruz yet to learn progress and development? Hint: learning is discovery [calling our millennials] not a top-down process, especially in the absence of a national collective wisdom to impart like a Singapore. And so, generation to generation we keep replicating tried and failed approaches. For example, the swagger that is skin deep we admire – in Du30 (and now also the DA and NFA?) for the paternalism it bestows – is why we can’t: (a) overcome leader-dependency, (b) our inward-looking instincts and worse, (c) it breeds tyranny, i.e., political patronage and vested interest (aka oligarchy.) To be sure, we created a larger local economy than our neighbors but fell flat on our face with our inability to compete beyond our shores.

In a democracy, the people must be active participants, beyond the system of government, by exercising the check-and-balance inherent in a democracy. Simply, transparency, foresight and leadership especially in these teachable moments – when we can accelerate progress and development – are what we must demand. We don’t need another “Malakas” (as in Marcos or “Maganda” as in Imelda.)

Let’s start with transparency. We have the International Rice Research Institute right in our backyard, how have we leveraged this resource? In the same manner that we never accepted and learned from the Asian Tigers, we never accepted and learned from the IRRI. When a simple google search will bring us to the doorsteps of IRRI.

There is where the problem lies. We are not predisposed to change. And until we understand and accept reality, we will waste one generation after another – and still be the regional laggard. There is no free lunch, with apologies to Ciel Habito. [When the writer was still in his shorts, he heard RM’s “Que sera, sera” many times over especially following Pinatubo. It didn’t occur to him that is the core of our mindset and our culture?]

What say you, IRRI? “The Philippines cannot be competitive by enhancing the rice production system alone. Parallel efforts should be made to improve its marketing system to be able to compete globally. To do this, milling efficiency should be improved. This can be done by breeding varieties with similar grain shape and length and with high head rice recovery. Also, farmers should be encouraged to plant fewer varieties as most millers complain about having too many varieties, which makes processing costlier.

“Mechanizing the drying of paddy can also minimize the high percentage of broken rice and improve the overall quality of milled rice. Improving the transportation infrastructure and facilities, including the handling systems, can further reduce marketing cost. Cutting on the labor cost through mechanization of loading and unloading can reduce transport cost. In addition, road widening and creating bypass roads (e.g., those in the outskirts of key cities) can encourage investments in more efficient modes of transporting grains. Revitalizing the railway system can be another long-term means of enhancing transportation efficiency.

“Increasing competition among local market players can lead to reduced margins. This can be done by establishing wholesale paddy markets like those existing in Thailand. The creation of these markets will eliminate assembly traders and agents and their margins as well, and consequently reduce overall returns to management. The National Food Authority (NFA) is in the best position to handle this function. The NFA does not necessarily have to procure the paddy, but they can provide facilities to establish the wholesale paddy market. In addition, they can provide custom services to both farmers and traders such as weighing, drying, and temporary storage. They can also make marketing information transparent to all players.

“Another way to increase marketing competition is to open the rice marketing system to foreign investors, thereby giving farmers more choices in the sale of their produce. Their entry could bring fresh capital into the market and improve competition with the large domestic marketing players who have a sizeable market share. This is an option that can be studied further.

“International competition is both a challenge and an opportunity for the Philippine rice industry. It has both positive and negative effects. If the Philippines decides to embrace a more liberalized rice trade (e.g., removal of QR while maintaining tariff), rice imports will increase and domestic rice price will decline to mirror the cheaper price of rice in the world market. The poor consumers consisting of but not limited to fishers, landless laborers, corn and coconut farmers, and the urban poor will benefit from the more affordable rice. The lower price of rice can also contribute to the further development of the industrial and service sectors. Cheap rice eases the pressure to increase wages, thereby, encouraging entrepreneurs to expand and hire more workers.

“On the other hand, cheaper rice means lower prices for rice farmers and processors. This could adversely affect their income if they will not adjust. The analyses provided in this book tried to show the things that could be done to improve competitiveness both at the production and marketing levels. Moreover, the change in price can also encourage producers to venture more into rice-based farming systems and other agriculture-based enterprises that can give them better household income than when they engage solely on the rice monocropping system.

“For the past 20 years, protectionism did not lead to an improvement in the competitiveness of the Philippine industry; it was rather lulled into complacency. The country cannot expect new results if the same policy directions continue. It must face the challenge of liberalization head-on and take the necessary steps to improve competitiveness because it is now a matter of survival.” [Competitiveness of Philippine Rice in Asia; Bordey FH, Moya PF, Beltran JC, Dawe DC, editors. 2016. City of Muñoz (Philippines): Philippine Rice Research Institute and Manila (Philippines): International Rice; Research Institute. 172 p.]

How short-sighted do we want to be – to demand swagger from elected and appointed officials? That is no leadership. But that is what we deserve for deferring to hierarchy while expecting paternalism in return. It is a self-reinforcing drive to mediocrity – and a race to the bottom for PH.

Consider: “The Department of Agriculture (DA) is looking at changes in the computation of the country’s rice self-sufficiency level, saying that the one used by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) is not accurate.

“Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol said the department is now in talks with PSA to thresh out some of the components in computing rice self-sufficiency.” [DA eyes changes in rice self-sufficiency,  Louise Maureen Simeon, The Philippine Star, 15th Jan 2018]

And this: “State-run National Food Authority (NFA) is allocating P5.1 billion for its palay-buying program nationwide to boost buffer stock and rice distribution requirements.

“Last year, NFA failed to meet its local procurement target following higher prices offered by private traders of up to P25 per kilogram compared to the buying price of the agency at P17 per kilogram. The agency was only able to purchase 587,748 bags or 19 percent of the target.” [NFA allots P5.1 B for palay procurement. The Philippine Star, 15th Jan 2018]

Do we appreciate how limited our perspective is against the backdrop of global competition? Does it explain why: (a) we’re the regional laggard (b) this writer and his contemporaries lived through two wasted generations?

We didn’t do anything either. We were contented cows after attaining the Juan de la Cruz dream. Community and the common good be damned. Remember our value of family? We forget that charity doesn’t end there. And why every nook and cranny of the bureaucracy is teeming with graft and corruption. As the Swiss would say, we are a self-disciplined people; any system of government will work.

With due respect to the clergy advocating a system of government, it is personal conversion that Juan de la Cruz needs, not (a) something extraneous or (b) the self-righteousness of Padre Damaso.

“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]

Now I know why Paul dared to speak of ‘the curse of the law’ (Galatians 3:13). Law reigns and discernment is unnecessary, which means there is little growth or change in such people. When you do not grow, you remain an infant.” [Faith and Science, Open to Change, Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation, 23rd Oct 2017]

“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]

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Du30 is not the future … but Rizal is

Recall the blog has discussed foresight [and keep the thought], the attribute behind man’s superiority. Why Du30 v. Rizal? “He who submits to tyranny loves it,” says Rizal. Contemporary 21st century knowledge confirms his genius. What about Du30? “I will be president only if I can declare martial law to speed up the wheels of justice to fight criminality.”

We were forewarned … then elected a Dirty-one-dimensional-Harry to lead a nation of over a hundred million that is the regional laggard. We took Rizal for granted ... and then gave Du30 our overwhelming vote of confidence despite EJKs! Because he promised to lift and empower Juan de la Cruz via federalism?

And isn’t America: (a) the greatest example of federalism and (b) the largest economy? But Warren Buffett won’t put them in the same sentence even when he repeatedly acknowledged that being born in America is his luck. Instead, says Buffett, “In 1776, America set off to unleash human potential by combining market economics, the rule of law and equality of opportunity.” [The genius of America, Time, 15th 2018]

No reference to system of government behind the genius of America. But note market economics and the rule of law. And let’s see how Laurene Powell-Jobs, the widow of Steve Jobs, echoes the equality of opportunity piece – to counter the Trump insularity, aka the closing of America.

“[We] affirm our American motto: e pluribus unum, “out of many, one” … [T]hat America is a big, inclusive country; that immigrants are what have always made our country great; that we stand with them; that we have eyes to see a future built on hope rather than fear; and that we will never stop fighting to keep the doors of opportunity open to dreamers.” [What we choose to see, Time, 15th 2018]

And what about Germany? Recall what the German ambassador said. That federalism is strengthened by the rule of law – a long-held tradition – that was there prior to federalism. In both America and Germany, federalism was meant to unite standalone states; while what we are doing is to fragment, consistent with our instincts of parochialism and insularity?

And there is Switzerland. From a Swiss professor: “We are a well-disciplined people. We know what to expect from each other; we also know what our government can do and cannot do in our behalf. Thus, any system of government will work in Switzerland.” [“Proposed federalization is a fixed deal,” Hermenegildo C. Cruz, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 11th Jan 2018; Cruz was accredited as Philippine ambassador to the United Nations in 1984-86 and to Moscow in 1986-1990]

What is PH leadership doing re the pursuit of federalism? Try barking at the wrong tree. But in Washington-speak, it’s called “bait-and-switch” – a deliberate ploy to move the target away from the disease to the symptom to promote a hidden agenda. Yesterday, Marcos cronies … today, Du30’s?

Because we see imperial Manila as the root of our underdevelopment, we are merrily going along? We forget that parochialism and insularity, among our other instincts aka culture, is the disease or cancer that Rizal saw? And by definition, “imperial Manila” is the symptom.

There are assumptions that rationalize our submission to tyranny but we must test them to override our default-instinct – i.e., deference to hierarchy. For example, aren’t we way past the self-imposed deadline he gave to win the war on drugs? And likewise, to fix Metro Manila traffic?

What about Mindanao? Mindanao’s insurgency (Muslim and otherwise) is a historical challenge that Magellan and the Spaniards and the Americans that followed them had to contend with. And he is not about to end that. [On the other hand, think of Singapore, how can it be such a multi-ethnic enterprise? Try the journey from poverty to prosperity that is the common denominator of the Asian Tigers ... and keep our eye on the ball.]

And the parochialism and insularity, including dole outs to elect candidates of party in power, from the barangay units all the way to the provincial and regional levels … and the Manila government added fuel to the fire. And today Davao consistently grabs the headlines which is unsurprising, again, because of these instincts.

And despite Build, Build, Build, we won’t make Juan de la Cruz the equal of his neighbor-peers. In a generation? Which is a stretch given these neighbors aren’t standing still. And as the blog has shared, the writer from a career standpoint lived through two wasted generations. The upside we are buying won’t wipe away our tears, not in the near- or medium-term.

And worse, Du30 is what the West calls a threat to democracy. Pooh-pooh that ... yet we’re juvenile development-wise that our views don’t carry the wisdom of experience. Sorry.

Consider: We brag that we don’t want to beg for European assistance? That’s Trump-speak, i.e., narcissistic. When Lee, Mahathir and Deng “begged for Western money and technology” it was not literally to beg. It was to acknowledge the interdependence of the community of nations, which is founded on certain principles.

For example, “the European Union’s founding principles include democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights.” [The Battle Line for Western Values Runs Through Poland, Charles A. Kupchan, The New York Times, 10th Jan 2018; Kupchan]

We must learn not only about community and the common good as Filipinos but also as members of the community of nations. We have so much to learn from them given our state of underdevelopment.

In a recent posting, the blog discussed that Juan de la Cruz must gear up and be educated on big data and analytics and that objective as opposed to defensive (as in defense mechanism) benchmarking is a good starting point. That is, we must accept and learn from the foresight and genius of the Asian Tigers ... and not reinvent the wheel.

Remember “sabog” (translation: wasted; and manifested in “crab mentality”) which explains why community and the common good is alien to us. And heed the latest UN SDGs (sustainable development goals), i.e., rapid infrastructure development, industrialization and innovation and competitiveness, because they will reinforce our efforts to benchmark against our neighbors.

Still, foresight is critical to instinctively prioritize and employ Pareto’s principle – and overcome “crab mentality.” And to learn the ropes of creativity – defined by Steve Jobs as connecting the dots. Recall the blog pointed out that Jobs tapped a Japanese technology to create the iPod. And he is considered a genius in the company of Einstein and Beethoven ... yet we Pinoys sincerely believed we can reinvent the wheel and then some? Another manifestation of “sabog” – and parochial and insular to boot?

Simply put, our level of underdevelopment measured against our neighbors has robbed us of the ability to look outward and forward. The poor get poorer while the rich get richer? But we are quick to posit that we hold our values high ... except that ours is a culture of impunity and why we must not mirror Padre Damaso and his self-righteousness. The hypocrisy we see in the West is a human condition and thus universal. We cannot be holier-than-thou. The good news is we are all created equal, both human and divine.

And so, the demigod we see in Du30 is misplaced, if we still don’t appreciate it. There is no silver bullet. Despite our admiration (aka “kapit sa patalim”) for his ability to cut through the chase – e.g., to make errant businesses pay their taxes, fund our favorite causes and advocacies and even fire abusive cabinet members ... but condole with families of deceased soldiers. It is par for the course! Yet because of successive leadership letdowns – and being the regional laggard – we celebrate “activity” and don’t aspire for the higher cause, as in “outcome.” Think Lee, Mahathir or Deng. Outcome comes from vision and leadership – beyond our instincts of deference to hierarchy while expecting paternalism in return.

If it isn’t obvious yet, the blog consistently concludes with several quotes representing a diversity of perspectives: from Rizal to St. Paul to a respected Filipino to a strategy guru to a priest-physicist and to an organization development practitioner.

The exercise is akin to brainstorming or design thinking and replicates model thinking as opposed to the conventional logical yet linear and incremental thinking – that is at the core of the innovation phenomenon in Silicon Valley.

And which the writer has adopted in his development work (at the instance of a USAID program and recognized by the Bush 43 White House) in Eastern Europe over the last 15 years. That puts him among those opposed to the Trump’s retreat from American exceptionalism.

But like Du30, Trump is not the future [of America] while the likes of Buffett and Powell-Jobs are. As GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham puts it, America is an idea. And in our case, Rizal is the idea … and our future.

“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]

Now I know why Paul dared to speak of ‘the curse of the law’ (Galatians 3:13). Law reigns and discernment is unnecessary, which means there is little growth or change in such people. When you do not grow, you remain an infant.” [Faith and Science, Open to Change, Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation, 23rd Oct 2017]

“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]

Thursday, January 11, 2018

PH: 2018 and Beyond (from our economists)

“FMIC, UA&P economists: above-7% growth doable,” Melissa Luz T. Lopez, BusinessWorld, 5th Jan 2018. “Improving global demand will add to continued strong investments and household consumption to fuel gross domestic product growth to hit the government's 7-8% target for 2018, according to economists of First Metro Investment Corp. and the University of Asia and the Pacific.

“Bigger and faster spending on infrastructure, the continued buildup of capital goods and strong private construction will boost economic activity, alongside the recovery of the manufacturing sector and an upbeat tourism sector …”

On the other hand, “By the looks of it, the Philippine economy has been getting more Manila- and Luzon-centric in the last 20 years. While I’ve noted that our economy’s growth is getting more inclusive …, it’s in the geographic dimension of inclusiveness where we don’t seem to be making progress. In fact, we seem to have moved in the wrong direction.

“The numbers say it all. Luzon accounted for 73 percent of our total gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016, even more dominant than its share 10 years prior (2006) when it was just 66 percent.

“Metro Manila alone (aka the National Capital Region or NCR) accounted for nearly 37 percent of GDP … Calabarzon is the next largest contributor to national output, being a far second with a share of 16.8 percent, followed by Central Luzon (9.5 percent) and Central Visayas (6.5 percent).

“The Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) is third with P133,654 ... The case of CAR, while surprising at first blush, affirms that manufacturing, prominent in Baguio City, is the most potent driver of jobs and incomes in any regional economy. It is the common thread in all the regions with higher economic shares and average incomes.

“The lesson that emerges from all this is apparent: Manufacturing, which has been growing faster than the overall economy since 2010, deserves an even greater boost. And it’s not just about big factories.

“Much of it can and should take the form of greater value adding on farm products by more small enterprises all across the country. I’ve long argued that this would help raise farmgate prices received by our farmers with more competition to buy their products, rather than have a single large processor dictate monopsony prices that squeeze our farmers, as is still common in our countryside.

“If our economy is to be less Manila- and Luzon-centric, we ought to pursue even more strongly this goal of having more geographically inclusive small-scale manufacturing.” [“Development beyond Manila,” Cielito F. HabitoNO FREE LUNCH, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 5th Jan 2018]

In recent postings, the blog has argued that if we are to conquer poverty, we must drive sustainable wealth generation – and that comes from competitive products. And this is where our dilemma sets in, which is unsurprising given how Western higher education has influenced us. That is, it is logical yet linear and incremental.

For example, we’ve been addressing the factors of production to assist farmers become productive – and take it for granted they will farm the right produce. And in the case of rice, we assume it is a must being a staple – and more dramatically, rice is food security.

We take it as a good example of foresight but it isn’t. The evidence? We are still importing rice despite the bruhaha about food security. Because it is classic logical, linear and incremental thinking.

One technique in developing foresight is to ask the question, what is the end in view? Or where do we want to be? And the blog gave the coconut industry as an example. [See below re The Competitive Advantage of Nations]. To become world-class the industry must be producing the right portfolio of coconut-derived products where synergy amongst the products – both consumer and industrial – puts us head and shoulders above competition. It means taken together they will generate the greatest revenues versus friends from other countries.

The same exercise must be done with other agriculture products. Instead of simply doing crop rotation, we must be more circumspect and ask the question, what crops must we rotate – that will address man’s needs and raise his well-being? Will the portfolio give us a competitive advantage?

Once we know what to produce, we can walk back and retrace the food chain and figure out what each link demands – again, the end in view is to attain competitive advantage and generate the greatest revenues. Thus, we must tap the right technology, the right location of the farms and the right scale. And as we keep retracing the food chain we can figure out the dots that we must connect.

That is an example of how innovation and product development is pursued in the private sector. Those who read about Steve Jobs will recall how he conceived the iPod following the Mac. He recognized that music is the way to the soul and he wanted to move beyond the Sony Walkman.

And so, he asked the question, why a hundred songs, not a thousand songs? And that meant moving to digital technology. And to connect the dots, he sent his team to Japan to look at their transistor technology and they found a hard drive the size of a dollar coin. And the rest as they say is history.

On the other hand, how we designed the support system behind land reform is, again, logical yet linear and incremental. It missed the object of the exercise: to make the farmers and their produce globally competitive. It will take some doing … and time …

That is why the title of this posting is about 2018 and beyond.

Granted that beyond a consumption economy (aka OFW economy) we now recognize that manufacturing is key, are we in fact forward-looking and forward-thinking measured against global yardsticks?

The blog has argued that we are limiting our perspective because of our instincts of parochialism and insularity. And it also explains why our local economy is larger compared to Thailand (3/4 of PH), Malaysia (1/2) and Vietnam (1/10). But let’s hold that premature celebration …

Sadly, despite the war on poverty to boot, we’re tops in poverty rate: Vietnam, the worst performer of the 3, has only half of ours; Thailand at a third; and Malaysia at less than 1/5.

Again, our failure to produce competitive products limits our ability to compete beyond our shores. Recall the new UN sustainable development goals (SDG): rapid infrastructure development, industrialization and innovation and competitiveness. To add insult to injury, our structural flaws and deficiencies negatively impact our ability to attract FDIs.

And the correlation is so stark … and explains why we’re the regional laggard: If we set our FDIs/Exports at index 100/100, the comparison looks very scary: Malaysia = 189/381; Thailand = 301/493; Vietnam = 180/407. Very scary? Because regional/multilateral trade agreements (e.g., c/o APEC) will sink us deeper absent export-competitive PH products. Go figure.

Nine years ago, when the blog was born, it pointed out a very similar picture. Have we asked ourselves why we’re so out of whack? An organism that is unable to adapt that it risks extinction?

Our underdevelopment is beyond the function of imperial Manila. Think of it as the “effect” and our culture as the “cause.” But it’s a great soundbite indeed (no different from food security) yet it doesn’t bring us closer to understanding ourselves.

It’s then pleasing to read the article, “If federalism is the answer, what is the question?” It’s: (a) a great way to employ foresight, and (b) a good “cause-and-effect” exercise.

And economists concede that culture matters: We are parochial and insular; defer to hierarchy and expect paternalism in return; and value and rely on political patronage and dynasties and oligarchy. And that is the “why” of imperial Manila, if we still don’t appreciate it.

Simply, we wear a blinder and can’t see beyond hierarchy … and beyond our shores. Yet there is no denying that GDP will grow in the 7% range. Still, that means we need at least one generation to get over the hump – given how far behind structural flaws and deficiencies have brought us.

Short-term thinking plus logical, linear and incremental thinking would explain why we sound like a broken record. We’ve yet to gear up and educate Juan de la Cruz in big data and analytics. It is fundamental to innovation and competitiveness. And a good starting point is to understand the imperative of benchmarking, which demands maturity: we must accept and learn from the foresight and genius demonstrated by the Asian Tigers.

The writer heard it first 50 years ago – that the ensuing year’s economy would be better than the previous – when he started his career. If we can’t change our ways, Rizal is truly prescient …. And we don’t want the elite class to be the present-day Padre Damaso ...

“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]

Now I know why Paul dared to speak of ‘the curse of the law’ (Galatians 3:13). Law reigns and discernment is unnecessary, which means there is little growth or change in such people. When you do not grow, you remain an infant.” [Faith and Science, Open to Change, Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation, 23rd Oct 2017]

“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]