Readers speak on various topics
BIZLINKS - Rey Gamboa (The Philippine Star) - April 17, 2018 - 12:00am

We have several letters from readers who deserve some space in this column. Let’s hear from them.

This one comes from Nemesio de la Cruz on Philippine agriculture. “Since I graduated from UP Los Baños, it was our ideal to improve our productivity in the field of agriculture, not for our personal gain, but for our nation.

“Agriculture cannot be productive for small scale operations under a farmer who is not equipped with technical, financial and practical capabilities.

“We can’t produce high caliber agriculturists if the young see most of their colleagues remain employees and not entrepreneurs (In the 60s, there were 300 enrollees in the different fields of agriculture. Now, barely 80 of them take up this course.).

“We are stuck with small-time after-harvest facilities in most parts of the country for rice, corn, vegetables, except sugar, when the government started breaking up these facilities with the agrarian reform program, which the ASEAN technocrats blame for low productivity.

“High cost of power deprives industrialization. And so on and so forth. All these we can refer to columns written by our technocrats such as Dr. Emil Javier, Dr. Cielito Habito, and professors from the UA&P.

“Now with such conclusions, what do we have in the long term for the nation’s agriculture?”

On Chinese relations

Rene Moral writes about his view on the growing dominance of the Chinese in government relations. Here are his thoughts.

“The Chinese double-crossed us when it was agreed that both our and Chinese ships leave a contested portion of the West Philippine Sea. Our ship moved out, but theirs did not. Then, they prevented Filipino fishermen from fishing in OUR territory.

“They constructed military installations on our shoals and reefs. Yet, we want to borrow at outrageous interest rates from those who stole Philippine territory and who have no word of honor?

“No one protests against the Chinese aside from SC Justice Antonio Carpio and Jay Batungbacal. Where are the senators and congressmen who love conducting investigations in front of TV cameras?

“Why are there no demonstrators in front of the Chinese embassy like those in front of the US embassy?”

On OFWs

Our next reader sent his view on our column, “Lessons from Joanna Demafelis” published Feb. 22 this year. Peter Smith writes:

“Essentially, this is a very sad story, and the end result of failed government policy.

“Since the 1970s, the government has encouraged a policy of exporting labor to all parts of the world, and this caused major social disruptions in this country. Families are split up, children are raised with absent parents, and a whole range of social problems is created by this.

“Some Filipinos, unfortunately, get into situations abroad that are way over their heads, and end up in serious trouble. The world can be a very dangerous place for the uninitiated.

“This is very sad, but the solution is for the government to formulate and implement a policy of importing capital to this country through foreign investment, therefore providing local jobs.

“Some may say that this is selling out the country by allowing non-Filipinos to own assets in this country, but there is a quantum difference between foreign investment and foreign ownership.

“The Philippines, in terms of natural and energy resources is actually quite a rich country, but it will require tens of billions of dollars to exploit these resources, and there is simply not enough capital in the system here to do that.

“My country, Australia, for the last 250 years has relied on foreign capital to be invested, therefore raising the living standards in that country. The comparison between Australia and the Philippines is as stark as night and day.

“As I said before, it is very sad, but until the government changes its policy and opens up the economy to foreign capital, these problems will continue.”

A basic right

And our last letter sender is Victor Sanoy who gives us a glimpse of how telcos in Canada operate. Here are parts of his letter:

“Let us start from dial-up 20 years or so ago. That time, we had three telco networks: the original Bell telecom, Rogers specializing in cable TV, and Telus who was big in the west.

“These three telcos were in a race to get there first. Today, they are still the three telcos, but with more than a dozen internet providers, including Virgins Telecoms who is now a partner of Bell but is independent in its own operation, and in fact is competing with Bell and all other telcos for business.

“But if you call Virgin to move to their services, the same technician from Bell will disconnect your line from Bell, and reconnect it again for Virgin, and install the Virgin gadgets, and you have to return the Bell gadgets.

“But who is the fastest network? All three offer the LTE seamless service as fast as 974 mbps for downloads.

“The regulator just handed its ruling which mandated that fast internet is a basic right and should be available to all, including the remotest villages, at the minimum speed of 50 mbps download and 10 mbps upload.

“The nicest thing (about competition is that) if you wanted to get a cellphone on a two year-contract, the provider will usually pay half of the retail cost.

“With a plan, for $60 unlimited text, talk and six gigs data, many piggy backers forced the main networks providers to match their offers.”

Facebook and Twitter

We are actively using two social networking websites to reach out more often and even interact with and engage our readers, friends and colleagues in the various areas of interest that I tackle in my column. Please like us at www.facebook.com and follow us at www.twitter.com/ReyGamboa.

Should you wish to share any insights, write me at Link Edge, 25th Floor, 139 Corporate Center, Valero Street, Salcedo Village, 1227 Makati City. Or e-mail me at reydgamboa@yahoo.com. For a compilation of previous articles, visit www.BizlinksPhilippines.net.

OVERSEAS FILIPINO WORKERS PHILIPPINE AGRICULTURE TELECOMMUNICATIONS WEST PHILIPPINE SEA
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