Philippines: Export oriented-Import dependent Economy

All of us are hoping for a better year in fact anything that is introduced as lucky charms to attract good vibes and prosperous living is deliberately being adhered to for the hope that it will bring us positive result. Unfortunately, there are inevitable events which are not controlled by these lucky charms. These are events which are not perceived even by the toughest fortuneteller. One peep on the year ender reports from different Medias will attest to this fact because if not, thousand of people who were killed from so many calamities and wars might have been spared. Even the toughest and mighty countries were not spared from this. Their technology and forecasters never perceived that this economic turmoil would end up to economic downfall like a plague.

The Philippines alone has reduced its population by death tolls from sea vessel’s accidents, plane crash, storms, floods, massacres, death in Mindanao due to war, political killings and natural deaths. I guess we need another Merlin or the wizard of OZ for best predictions. Well, these are just the repercussions of men’s greed and neglect of environmental issues. You reap what you sow according to old saying and yes, it’s true.

The other day, as I walk home, I meet an old friend, my co-worker at the company where I used to work. According to her, IWSPC, a subsidiary of SWS Japan, has announced their recent work schedule. They are now working 6 hours/day and 3 days/week. I was stunned by that news. How will an employee survive with that scheme? She told me that her recent earning is only 800php or a measly $17 and she has to budget it for 15 days. How can she make both ends meet with that income? I guess she needs to enroll herself to Harry Potter’s school and aim for the wand. I can’t sympathize further for I, myself is suffering with the same grief. If we lost the court battle with demolition issue, we will be losing the roof on our head at the end of this month.

Despite GMA’s denial that Philippines is not affected by recession, the gleaming truth is slapped right in the face of many workers who are being hit by different inhumane labor schemes just to cope up with the economic turmoil. We all know that most industries and factories in the Philippines are run by Multi-National Corporation from Japan & the US and these countries are in the midst of recession. The final way out is thru retrenchment or at the maximum is to close the company and return to their homeland leaving the Filipino workers jobless with no separation pays.

This only proves that we can never achieve a genuine progress unless we change our economic system. An economy which remains to be an export oriented and import dependent will always ends up at the dumping area. We are more than 80 millions Filipinos, producing our own local products and selling it at the local market is the only way to move out from this dreadful situation. More than 70% of the products we used are being produced by other countries. Look, from the tip of your toe to the tip of your hair, you are using imported products. “Imported per se” is not just products available at Clark or PX stores, these are products produced by non-Filipino owned companies. Though their companies were erected at Philippine land, their sales and profits will be returned to their own countries. The only reason why they are here is not because they want to help us but because they want to take advantage of our cheap and docile labor.

Japanese will only buy cars made by Japanese corporations, but the local artists in the Philippines seldom uses beauty products made from the Philippines. Remember, each time we buy imported products, spend our vacation abroad, purchase property outside the Philippines, our money go out leaving our peso floats and drowned by inflation.

money-cycle-pkp

Money Cycle

Thanks to the living heroes who untiringly take back the money we spent outside the Philippine territory, despite the loneliness, dangers and abuses, they remain meek because of the call of earnings for the sake of their families. Do you have an idea who are those people? They are the OFW workers who are unceasingly working to earn not only for their family but for the country’s economy as well.

And Kudos to online workers like us who are also earning dollar from home. You are helping our country to get the money back and return it to circulate here. And to those who are hoarding the money and investing it outside the Philippine territory, you are one of the reasons why the Philippines remain poor.

Gumising na sana tayo….

 

~Juliet Corpuz~

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I Need Your Strength

Two top media company has already come in our place to look at the matter but we never see any light at the end of the tunnel. Days passed by swiftly and the thoughts of losing the roof on our heads beyond January 30, 2009 makes me weaker each day. I can’t even feel the Christmas in the air, although cold wind is already embracing me… I guess it just makes me numb each passing day. The show of force is so demoralizing, watching the regular round of soldiers in our neighborhood is creating fear and confusion among the children. I already written our cause to some top leaders of our society but it seem our issue had just fallen in deaf ears…

 

I NEED YOUR STRENGTH

 

I started blogging to ease my pains

To ease my feelings and gain some friends

To voice out my opinions and ravings

and to pacify the anger in my surging veins

 

The journey to blogging seems interesting

It lessen the worries that makes me lame

It makes me feel alive once again

From more than 3 years of silence

 

I was silenced by the forces of evil

Who threaten to take my life If I never refrain

Refrain from what? You may ask me that

From being radical which narrowed my path

 

But I can’t live in silence for many years

It makes me crazy and will paralyze my brains

Now I need to go out once again

Maybe not in the street but in the field of blogging

 

 I love my kids, I don’t want to endanger them

That’s why I shut my mouth off and quit from work

But how long shall I stop and just stare at them?

While they are crashing our rights and our home


We were all strangers in this land

Which created by God for every man

But some men are greedy and cruel

They draw the boundaries and created their titles

 

But how dare you claim you own the land created by God?

You just draw the line and claimed it’s yours?

And for that claim you’re ready to harm and maybe kill

Whoever blocks your plans and claims?

 

Fights and wars has just one cause

The greed in every man’s heart to rise in power

By trampling the rights and freedom of other men

Just to place themselves in the pedestal of fame

 

The journey to freedom maybe long and hard

Millions of men had already sacrificed their lives

For the call of justice, equality and sovereignty

Despite all these, we still have to take our steps in this journey

 

I am drawing my strength from God and friends

And I am calling you to internalize the cause

The fight will be stronger if you joined mine

I need your strength in the darkest time…

 

~by: Juliet B. Corpuz ~

12-8-2008 4:00am

Poetry is my healing balm… I need to put into words all the bad feelings I have in my heart…

Related posts of our issue:

Demolition Issue

Demolition update

Eviction notice

Jan 1, 2009

I would like to thank all my readers and blogger friends who extend their hands and support to our demolition issue. The good words coming from you guys is very important to me as this keeps me going and stand on my feet each day.

I also want to give my sincere thanks to SSNUFY for a wonderful poem he composed for this post.

POEM FROM SSNUFFY

Be still my friend have you not forgot
that an awesome God Controls the lot
His word is law and very true
and you know the depth of His love for you

So Stand in faith and and trust His Word
to doubt His power is quit absurd
For He is God and on His Throne
and your promise is your not alone

In His good time this storm will pass
and you will stand at peace alas
and the threat so bold that held you there
will disappear in the morning air,,,,,,

Gods very best >>>SSNUFFY

Thank you very much….

Here is my response for this poem…

Thank you very much SSNUFFY
For this sincere poem you created for me
The thoughts made its way to my heart
Which adds to my strength and made me glad

Never will I forget I have a Big God
Who always leads my path
In him I draw my strength
To face all my struggles and pains

I always thank him for all the friends
That He sent my way as an instrument
Who cheers me up when I’m in vain
Which cushion the blows and ease the pains

I stand still and keep my faith
To trust His word is my shield
This storm will go and never win
Cause I have a God who never fail

<<<<Juliet >>> [January 1, 2009     7:30 a.m.]

Health and Poverty

It’s very surprising how different websites and health magazines are flaunting how they are geared to promote modern health and lifestyle. They claim to understand the needs of families, men women, teens and children when in fact they are just promoting artificial foods, books, vitamins, dietary pills and other forms of products.

Digging deeper on the issue, we know the real score, they are there for one reason…Profit not Health. Are they really serious that our health is their main concern? I doubt it.

Health is a worldwide issue and it’s agonizing to know the sad truth that the very people that we’re depending on to promote and create programs for a healthy living and environment are the one who are destroying it. They are the one who are launching war from one country to another leaving thousand of casualties.

Philippines is one of the poorest country in Asia, despite of its richness in natural resources, millions of Filipinos are surviving hunger everyday. While the present government is claiming that health and other social services is one of their priorities, records will not conform to it.

Based on statistical data, the United Nations ranked the Philippines 90th out of 177 countries for the Human Development Index (HDI) in 2007. The HDI is a survey on the quality of life of citizens in UN member countries. It measures life expectancy, educational attainment, and GDP per capita. It was developed by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) as a standard means of measuring human development, a concept, which according to the UNDP, refers to the process of widening the options of persons, giving them greater opportunities for education, health care, income, employment, etc. It was also reported that in 2006, infant mortality rate in the Philippines is 24 per 1,000 live births.

According to the Health Alliance for Democracy (HEAD), ten mothers die daily of pregnancy-and child-related causes. The group also said that seven out of ten Filipinos die without medical attention. Malnutrition and hunger is one of the major problems in our country and it is escalating everyday. A survey by IBON Foundation in April this year showed that 75.3 percent of families could not buy enough food.

Despite this devastating fact, The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) showed its budget allocation for health.

Year

Health

Debt Interest Payments

Defense

2001

13.64 B

181.60 B

32.78 B

2002

14.49 B

185.86 B

38.91 B

2003

12.40 B

226.41 B

44.42 B

2004

12.88 B

271.53 B

43.85 B

2005

12.93 B

301.69 B

44.19 B

2007

11.66 B

318.18 B

49.34 B

2008

19.77 B

269.85 B

50.93 B

Average allocation per year

13.84 B

257.10 B

43.58 B

While I was typing this article, the news airing on our TV caught my attention and stopped me. 24 Oras, a news and current affairs program of GMA 7, one of our local TV is making a report about the poorest municipalities in the Philippines and according to Philippine National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) NCR is on top of the list. Very poor families are scattered in different places of Manila, considering that Manila is one of the most modern places in the Philippines.

My hub took these photos today, while he is on his way to school to deliver students’ IDs. His way was blocked by these people swarming around the corner, curiously, he made his way to know what’s going on, and it’s the same scenario that we see on TV everyday, these people are patiently waiting to buy NFA rice. I told him jokingly why he didn’t buy a kilo for our dinner. Well it’s not a really a joke as we are also surviving hunger everyday. We are having hard time to make both ends meet.

Due to continuous oil price hikes which trigger unstoppable price increase in commodities, we are poorer now than we were 2 years ago. We can’t even buy a half cavan of rice unlike in the past that we already have a sack ready even before our rice dispenser runs out of rice. We are already using coal to save gas and my kids are complaining of eating noodles for their breakfast.

The only luxury that we have in our house now is my internet connection because I am using this to earn a living. But the kids are having a hard time in adjusting but I always console them that things will get better soon and I know that we have to double our work and I have to spend sleepless nights in my online works to do this.

Just like the many poor families in the Philippines, I am taking my sincere call to the government to prioritize health and employment, for a strong republic will remain a dream if these issues will not be properly addressed. And lastly, how can it be a strong republic when its people are weak, sick and dying of hunger?

 

 

 

Teaching and Activism

I am holding tutorials both online and offline. I am not a teacher by profession but Teaching is one of my passions. My mother is a grade school teacher and she used to tell me that teaching is a very fulfilling profession. Some of her students are already holding government positions and some have decent jobs and she’s happy everytime she meets them at the mall with their families and would stop and say hello and would acknowledge her wisdom and patience.

I am helping her to fix her visual stuffs since I was in grade school and I remember that my first experience in teaching was when I was in grade 5. They had an emergency conference, she went to my room and asked me to watch her grade one class. I was very hesitant at first but she told me to just give them some task so they won’t go out of the room. She endorsed me in her class and warned them that I would record the names of the noisy students and they will be punished when she return.

When she left the room, one student raised her hand and asked me, “What is our lesson for today ma’am?” I was surprised and I stood infront of the class and told them I will be reading a short story and they must listen carefully because I will ask them afterwards. I was amazed how they listen silently until I finished the story. After that I asked them to draw the characters on the board. It was fun how they gave me their own interpretations and I really enjoyed it. After that day, my mom usually asks me to watch her class everytime there is an emergency conference. Some of my mom’s students even call me madam during recess or even outside the school.

That was a great experience and maybe you would ask me why I didn’t take her field. Well, that’s another story lol 🙂 But it seems that I was destined to teach. When I was working at Japanese Corporation, I was assigned to conduct trainings for newly hired employees, that was before I became a labor union leader. When I ran for the position of Union Vice President of our worker’s union, IWSWU (International Wiring Systems Workers Union), I gained an overwhelming votes and it was surprising because I was just a stranger in Tarlac during those time. Maybe, my church activity has helped me a lot. We had 4 thousand members then. My 5 years as union vice president were spent educating my members about their basic rights as a workers. We formed an Education Committee and we held continuous labor educations.

I was also the Chairman of the Broad Alliance of Trade Union in Tarlac then. These photos are my guests from ISA, International Solidarity Affairs. Most of them are journalists and Trade Union leaders from different countries, Germany, Australia, Indonesia and US. They usually integrate with us to learn our culture and trade union struggles. I usually narrate the actual trade union situation in the area and we usually share each other’s experiences on how we resolve issues and grievances. This is a very rewarding activity to both of us as we are able to learn from each other.

I was 7 months pregnant in this photo. I was with Japanese Trade Union Leaders and Journalists and we had a local village immersion at Hacienda Luisita. These are farm workers who are facing land issues and we gathered them after their work so we will be able to know their issues.

I had my share in grievances, court battles, rallies, walk-outs and other forms of collective struggles to stand for workers’ right both inside and outside the company premises. This has led me to the streets walking with clenched fists, shouting and asking for a change. Years of my stay as a union officer has changed me and I emerged as a fearless leader doing my speeches during rallies which is usually held in the middle of the streets and trucks serves as our stage.

Those were the years that we topple Estrada Administration. But the succeeding years after a new president was put in power, series of political killings has been exercised killing many of our allies. Most of the active leaders in different organizations which are radically fighting and stands for the call of decent wages and humane working environment were shot to death.

Some of them were tagged as terrorists when in fact they were just simple workers who are just fighting for workers’ rights. I myself was included in 10 leaders in OB Hit list in 2005 and sad to say that most on that list were already in their grave. My father who is a retired military advised me to slow down and leave my job because my life will be in great danger. I am a mother of 4 kids and in as much as I want to serve the people, I knew that my kids are waiting for me at home everyday hoping that they will see me alive.

Leaving my job which I spent half of my life and the people who are defending on my leadership was the hardest part of my life. Seeing their tearful faces while I was submitting my resignation was so hard to endure. Even the tough guys who used to accompany me were crying and I was so stunned for their love and support. It took me more than a year to recover that loss and the internet has served as my healing balm.

Some photo of my Trade Union Struggles

Now, I am teaching again. I am holding IT trainings either free or paid depending on the arrangement. Recently I conducted an IT training for Martinet faculty and that was in my previous posts.

I will be creating online tutorials here but it will be in Tagalog language. I will add another page for that. Why Tagalog, because it’s for my fellow Pinoys both here and abroad. There are already a lot of trainings here in the internet for you guys who are in foreign countries.

At para sa mga kababayan ko, gagawa ako ng mga modules para madali nyong maintindihan. Magsisimula lang muna tayo sa simple o basic IT Skill. Antayin po lamang ninyo sa mga susunod na araw at ipo post ko ang mga paunang lesson natin.

Okay guys, till here and see you in my next post. Thank you for reading.