The big breakthrough in the Philippine landscape
JAYWALKER - Art Borjal () - May 16, 2002 - 12:00am
The recent capture of several kidnappers caught the attention of Dr. David Murphy who, day by day, reads the news in Philippine newspapers from faraway America. He noticed that quite a number of good things are now happening in the Philippines. "The peso is getting stronger. The poor seem to feel their lot is improving." he said. "The pessimists will need to work harder to maintain their negative attitudes if this sort of thing keeps happening."
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Dr. Murphy also noted two other positive items. Hollywood movies are now being set in and partially filmed in the Philippines, featuring some Filipino actors in prominent roles. The other was the promotion of Henry Co to the presidency of Ford Philippines. He is the "first and only" Filipino to head a multinational car company, Dr. Murphy added. "These are two examples of Filipinos succeeding on the international scene," he said.
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Murphy sees similarities in the circumstances of the Filipinos now with the Afro-Americans of the 1950ís. "You are just beginning to develop your economic, social and political power. You are just beginning to appreciate your own unique qualities. And you are just beginning to create your identity as a people," he said. "Right now, you are justly proud of the successes of your countrymen. There will come a time in the not-too-distant future when articles about the first and only Filipino will become rarer and articles about successes in business, sports, politics and science will be more common."
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"Then they will be less in the nature of reporting progress and more oriented to the continued eminence of Filipinos in their respective fields. Then the Philippines will be well on the way to being not a developing nation but a mature nation. But right now, this decade, is an exciting time to be Filipino," he predicted.
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"Finally, thank you for the lucid explanation of the Meralco controversy. I found the facts you presented very helpful. As I understand it, during the Marcos administration, so much government money was misdirected or stolen that infrastructure, including power-generating facilities, was neglected. The Aquino administration spent most of its time and effort in re-establishing a democratic government, including working for its own survival. The Ramos administration inherited a severe shortage of electric power and instituted a crash program to rectify the situation," he added.
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"Lacking government funds, the administration enticed private companies to risk their capital to meet this need by assuring them that they would be paid for any power generation capacity they supplied, even if there were no need for it, a situation that seemed unimaginable at the time. Now, the unimaginable is the reality and the Philippines has a 40% excess power generation capacity, which someone has to pay for," he added.
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"My first response on reading this was that 40% excess power generation capacity is not a problem, it is an enormous opportunity! What does a big store do when it has an excess of an item? It puts it on sale, even at a loss if necessary! This takes care of the excess and attracts customers who buy other items as well," Dr. Murphy stated.
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Murphy suggests that the Philippines put this item on sale! Attract businesses that will provide jobs and additional tax revenue. Any revenue derived from the actual sale of the electricity is a bonus since it has already begin wasted.
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"I am sure that there are plenty of competent engineers around who can come up with lots of excellent ideas for using cheap electricity. And plenty of businessmen around the world who would leap at the opportunity to establish businesses here if they could get cheap electricity," he said. As an example, I understand that aluminum processing requires large amounts of electricity. Offer an aluminum processor electricity for a reduced rate for a period of time, maybe five or ten years."
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"Someone, somewhere has already thought of this. The excess generating power is not a problem. The only problem is that the right people in the government or in industry must see the opportunity, develop the idea and let the world know what youíve got there. Maybe itís already being done. If not, letís pray the right people read this column," he concluded.
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Thanks a million and God bless TGFHA-LV, a businesswoman with a golden heart, for lending a helping hand to the Good Samaritan Foundation. She sent P5,000 for our marginalizef fellowmen. Thank you, too, to "Carmela" of Calamba, Laguna, a regular donor, for her donation of P1,000. God bless!
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When Ben Simpao, who lives in San Francisco, saw a giant poster with pictures of children at the reception room of the Alameda County (San Francisco-Bay Area, Calif.) District Attorney’s Office, Family Support Division in the Oakland Hills, he copied the center piece of the poster, which is a poem, author unknown, and sent it to me with the plea that I share it with STAR readers, especially those facing the prospect of becoming new parents:

If children live with criticism,
they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility,
they learn to fight.

If children live with ridicule,
they learn to be shy.
If children live with shame,
they learn to feel guilty.

If children live with encouragement,
they learn to live with confidence.
If children live with praise,

they learn to appreciate.
If children live with fairness,
they learn justice.

If children live with approval,
they learn to love themselves.
If children live with acceptance and friendship,
they learn to find love in the world.
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Wisdom means the humility to discern and accept the views of others.
It means accepting the possibility of one’s failings.
Otherwise, intelligence becomes mere arrogance.
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If a task is once begun,
never leave it till it is done.
May the labor, great or small,
do it well or not at all.
And whatever your hands find to do,
do it with your might.
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