Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Forecast for 2009

Next year is the year of living dangerously. The wall street and main street bloodbath will hit the bottom and everyone breathing in this planet will be shaking their head in accepting the fact that the day of stock gains and profit boom will not return quickly.
Here are my forecasts:
1. The new U.S. president will find it difficult to reverse the damaged done by the subprime, housing and investment crisis. He will be more insular protecting the economy of U.S. rather than giving aid to the other country. We will expect the new U.S. president to create jobs for the Americans (of course!) hence deportation for illegal immigrants and tighten entry of new ones.
2. There will be less remittance going to the Philippines if there will be retrenchment next year. If the companies in U.S. and Europe start to tighten their belts in order to survive the first thing that they will do is to cut operational costs. They will not hesitate to fire employees. Call centers, shipping, logistics, air lines, tourism will be the first to be hit by this belt tightening.
3. The $700 B package approved by Bush will not stimulate financial credit and there will companies that will still go under. Companies who borrowed in dollars and whose loan will mature for the next 3 years will find his boat rocking ferociously. With the advent of less customers and higher interest rate, it can bring the boat down.
4. Jobs will be available for those who got skills that others do not have.Technical skills will be favored instead of a sloppy college degrees from a sloppy colleges.Skills in electrical , electronics, automation, alternative energy, design will be highly sought by selective employers.
5. Philippines will still find itself in the bottom of the economic heap in southeast asia. The perception of corruption, poor infrastructure and low quality of education are issues that can not be erased by the current Malacañang occupants. She will be at the helm until 2010 and we have nothing to do but pray.
6. The Philippine economy is saved by the remittance of OFW. There will be less inflow of dollar or euro investment next year and the stock market will still be in the bear mode.
7. The Filipino family will find it more difficult to send their children to college. With the continuos rising cost of food, transportation,and utilities every filipino family will face a tremendous challege in 2009.
The predictions may sound gloomy but it is what I perceived as the reality of 2009.
But predictions are predictions.
It may come true or it may not. Still the future is in our hands and the antidote for gloomy things are actions.
Yes Og Mandino is right. It is better to act than be an spectators.
Let your nose be bloodied.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Quezon Del Sur

Last July 2, 2007, I wrote in this blog my opposition on the partition of Quezon.Next month Quezonians will vote in a plebiscite to decide if we adhere on dividing Quezon into two.
Quezon politicians and the church (no less than the Bishop) are involve and the people are starting to get confused.
Understanding the herd mentality of Quezonians, many will vote based on what their politicos or priests endorsed.
It is time for the people of Quezon to vote based on the merit of the proposal and decide what is good for the province.
These are the 7 questions that we should answer before voting. Scrutinize if the questions are explained to you.

1. There is direct evidence judging from existing data that dividing provinces will spur economic progress. Yes ( ) No ( ).
2. There is a research done by economists that dividing Quezon into two will mean less bureucracy, less headcount, less capital and operational expenditures and less corruption. Yes ( ) No ( ).
3. There is a research done by DOLE or any independent firm that dividing Quezon will mean additional jobs locally. Yes ( ) No ( ).
4. There is a research done by DTI or any independent firm that dividing Quezon will create more small and high scale industries. Yes ( ) No ( ).
5. There is direct evidence based on an intensive research that dividing Quezon will transform Quezonians into a hardworking and enterprenuerial people. Yes ( ) No ( ).
6. There is a direct evidence based on intensive research that dividing Quezon will produce political and economic leaders that will put Quezon Province interest first. Yes ( ) No ( ).
7. There is a direct evidence based on intensive research that dividing quezon will attract local and foreign investments. Yes ( ) No ( ).
Check your answer:
6-7 No ----- Ditch the proposal.
4-5 No ----- Again ditch the proposal.
1-3 No ----- Maybe you can vote Yes but can you handle the truth?

Go out and vote.
You are given the freedom to send this article to anybody, to everybody who will vote on the November plebiscite.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

David H. Maister

Today I would like to feature one thinker that influences me. Mr. David H. Maister, one of the world’s leading authorities on the management of professional service firms.

In 2002, he was identified as one of the top 40 business thinkers in the world (BUSINESS MINDS, Financial Times/Prentice Hall.)

For twenty-five years he has advised firms in a broad spectrum of professions, covering all strategic and managerial issues, building a global practice that finds him spending about 40% of his time in North America, 30% in western Europe, and 30% in the rest of the world.

A native of Great Britain, David holds degrees from the University of Birmingham, the London School of Economics and a doctorate from the Harvard Business School.

He began his teaching career at the University of British Columbia, Canada, and then joined the Harvard Business School faculty, where he taught courses in managing service businesses from 1979 until 1985.

One of the research that Maister contributed for business that catapult him one the helm of my favorite thinker is the 9 Statements for business to profit. These 9 are:

1. Client satisfaction is a top priority at our firm.
2. We have no room for those who put their personal agenda ahead of the interests of the clients or the office.
3. Those who contribute most to the overall success of the office are the most highly rewarded.
4. Management gets the best work out of everybody in the office.
5. Around here, you are required not just encouraged, to learn and develop new skills.
6. We invest a significant amount of time in things that will pay off in the future.
7. People within our office alwyas treat others with respect.
8. The quality of supervision on client projects is uniformly high.
9. The quality of the professionals in our office is as high as can be expected.
If you notice Maister is very particular on employee attitude as we all know it can make or break the organization.
Cheers to Maister!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Today, October 7, 2008, is designated by UN as “World Day for Decent Work”. For all Filipino workers toiling in the Philippines and other countries, we all have one aim and that is to lift ourselves and our family from the pangs poverty and hunger. It is our aspiration in our working lives to have a decent work that is productive and provide fair income. We long for security in the workplace that we can not be fired unjustifiably. We aspire for a social protection that will help us when we are old. We look for decent job that provide us personal development and an environment where we can express our concerns without being penalized. These are what decent work means to all of us.
But sadly the global financial crisis will result in tossing the meaning of decent work and making us accept or be grateful in having any kind of work at all. Our working class is stuck in the survival mode since the founding of the country.
We need to pass the survival mode and jump to creative/inventive mode in order for us to have a decent work that will help us develop self-respect.
Having any kind of work just to survive is a survival mode hence not a good work because it does not bring self-respect. It does not give a degree of autonomy.
I am praying for a day when all of Filipinos are enjoying the creative/inventive era where Filipinos are not treated by their employers as a resource or a commodity that can be manipulated.
(you may e-mail the author at


We always think that Saving for college is priority for Filipino parents, right? Wrong. Almost 80% of parents I interviewed said that they spent more on transportation and foods than they set aside for college.
Parents are borrowing more than ever to put food in their table than savings for college. Over the past five years the cost of tuition fees rose by the average of 10% annually. It is very common to pay P45,000 per semester in UST, P60,000 per semester in ADMU and DLSU and P20,000 in UPDiliman. The high cost of college became a heavy burden for a Filipino family that hinders them in sending their children to the “best” school. The moneyed class has no problem because they can pay but they did not know that the current situation is an injustice that will haunt them also.
The high cost of tuition fees prolong the rule of the elites and fail to uplift the masses out of the debilitating poverty. It is only education that will equalize everything and it is not happening right now.
Whether the elite graduate from his elite schools and he is surrounded by people of abject poverty these elite will also be affected economically. The purchasing power of the people surrounding him is low that the chance of setting up and succeeding in business becomes highly unlikely. If they work in a corporation they can not get a high salary because his company has few customers to attract.
In short, lifting the poor out of poverty will benefit all of us economically. The poor who rose out of poverty will construct their own house, send their children in private school, spend their money in the mall, and employ people. It is a domino effect.
Here’s a thought: Skills are now much needed for the country to survive. A country that possesses skills and knowledge has comparative advantage to those who have none. This will make the country powerful and the people more productive. If we deny or will not provide the skills and knowledge to the masses we will always be at the bottom of the heap, economically.
(you may e-mail the author at