Dear Honorable Sir, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte!
The reason why I write you, is because your misconception. Let me first allow you and say to you. Your allowed to say anything between the moon, the stars and the deepest sea-bed of the kingdom I reside in. President Duterte you can call Norway by all names of the book, say anything you want about us or Our Prime Minister, about our traditions and even our strict-rules foreign workers to get visa. Please, talk about it. I have no trouble with it. It is a good thing to be questioned and get criticism from afar, from someone looking in and questioning our possible misgivings. We have loads of mistakes and things that is not working in Norway. Therefore, please address if you may, especially if you ever come to visit here, when you might resume the peace-talks with the red-army in Mindanao. Please, talk about our ways and politics. Feel free, Mr. President!
Now, that I have allowed you to do that, let me look into one of your statements, that Rappler has reported today!
“DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Critics are welcome to say all they want about his governance, but President Rodrigo Duterte said they have to make sure they’re not foreigners in his country. “Every Filipino is entitled to criticize me as a matter of right. Okay sa akin ‘yan (That is fine with me), but certainly not a foreigner, however holy you are. I will not allow [you] to do it in my country,” Duterte said in his speech on Saturday, July 7, at the inauguration of Malayan Colleges Mindanao in Davao City. He added, “After all, we’re not supposed to do it in your country.“” (Basa, 2018)
I don’t why your so bitter, so sour, and don’t know if foreigners ever hurt your pride and your vision. I understand that your battling belittling aid and donor loans, that trigger the Republic and the ways it has maneuver to get the grants and donations, where your state would be monitored and muffled with to get donations from abroad. That I get and that is more damaging, than even development. Where the donations would belittle you and your administration. That I respect and understand. But this here, I don’t get.
Why can they not question the government and say something about it? Why can’t I? I know I am not a citizen of the wonderful island republic of the Philippines. However, if there are misgivings, an outsider might have the balls to say it, while the insider might be afraid to lose the job or even not get hired again. Have you considered that? Did that cross your mind?
If a Filipino might address you wrong or even cross you badly, you might re-appoint someone else or even revoke their licenses? What about that then? You don’t have the same power over the foreign nationals inside the Republic. That also comes with the power of the state and the diplomatic disputes it might create. You got criticism for the sudden detention of the Australian Nun. That was to be expected, no matter she has done or what she hasn’t done. If she has broken the codes of entry or broken codes of law. It would be fine, but if she just was a vocal human being, then it is wrong.
So as I stated, President Duterte. Please say all the wrongs about Europe or Norway, as much as you please. Please call it out and call us ice-cold Vikings, who isn’t treating Filipino foreign workers well. Say it and than the diplomat’s can address it. We can carry it, but we hope you could extend the hand. Let people like me address you and understand why I do it.
It is healthy to have a conversation, to have people who looks with another view and with another perspective, than the narrative and the possible outcome might be better. The different views and the enriched discussion might lead to something fruitful and also give it another direction. Instead of being ignorant.
So, Please Mr. President do it in my country, if your ever has the chance, because it is healthy. We need conversations and perspectives to broaden our insights to life.
Writer of Minbane
Basa, Mick – ‘Duterte says he welcomes criticism, but not from foreigners in PH’ (07.07.2018) link: https://www.rappler.com/nation/206730-duterte-criticism-foreigners-philippines?utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1530968818
President Rodrigo Duterte has been under fire lately for his statements on the bible and the way the world was created in the holy scripture. He has also kissed a married South Korean lady on stage, while being on state visit in South Korea. So, there is never a dull moment in the life of Duterte. However, before be goes into to deep into the ignorance of faith and lack of understanding of gender equality from the President. Both deserves scrutiny. From I know, both has been discussed and also tarnished Duterte in Rappler and everywhere else. All of that is deserved. He should show respect to the faith and its origin, as well as other shows respect each other faith. Secondly, you should never misuse power to gain sexual advances, that is just wrong and should be condemned.
However, this piece is not about that, this is about how the man who has insulted bible and the other gender recently. Should be more careful with his words. When your discussing the stupidity of the bible. Maybe, should be more careful with throwing that around. That being said, he cannot be as wise, when all the economic signs of late is dire. There is nothing in the recent days and the collected effort that lights hope for the economic situation. These are all reports, that shows the signs of weaken state and also, needs of a serious boost. If they are planning to revive the Peso and the economy in general.
Philippine Statistic Authority on the 7th June 2018 states that from last year, the wholesale price of the well-milled rice has gone up by 6,63 %, the same commodity in the retailers has also risen in price, that has gone up 5,58 %. This is huge amount of money, when it is concerning the staple food, that most eats to every meal, every single day. That means the people are paying more for the same.
Heydarian writes on foreign investments in the Philippines: “During the first half of 2017, there was a 90% year-on-year drop in new investment pledges from $1.45 billion to $141 million. During Duterte’s first year in office, South Korean investments plunged by 93%, while American investment dropped by 70%. Meanwhile, the ranking of the Philippines in the global corruption index hit a five-year low in 2017. During the first quarter of 2018, new investment pledges dropped by 38% on a year-on year basis, reaching the lowest level since 2010” (Richard Heydarian – ‘More Duterte fallout on the Philippine economy’ 21.06.2018 link: https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/More-Duterte-fallout-on-the-Philippine-economy)
Xinhua states: “MANILA, June 19 (Xinhua) — The Philippines is planning to issue about 1 billion U.S. dollars worth of Samurai bonds this year, the country’s finance department said in a statement released in Manila on Tuesday” (…) “”This year, we are also planning to issue around 1 billion U.S. dollars worth of Samurai bonds,” Dominguez told Japanese businessmen. Dominguez did not give other details of the planned yen-denominated bond float in his speech, but he has said earlier that the government will proceed with it by September or October this year” (Xinhua – ‘Philippines plans to issue 1-bln-USD Samurai bond’ 19.06.2018, link: http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-06/19/c_137265039.htm).
Bilyonaryo states this: “The peso has lost a big chunk or P3.29 over the last six months to 53.28 to $1 last week from 49.99 as of end-2017 making it the weakest currency in the region. Since Duterte’s entry in Malacanang, the peso has dropped 14 percent from 46.86 to $1” (Bilyonaryo – ‘PH peso is Asia’s worst performing currency; even Duterte admits economy in the ‘doldrums’’ 24.06.2018, link: http://bilyonaryo.com.ph/2018/06/24/ph-peso-is-asias-worst-performing-currency-even-duterte-admits-economy-in-the-doldrums/
There is a worry when the prices of rices goes up that, together with a weakened peso. Both are proving that imports of rice will be more expensive, and not only hit the consumers who needs to pay more for the same commodity. Combined with the losing interest of foreign investments, that short-fall is planned to be undermined by government bonds, which is state created short-term debt to cover the deficit created by the lack of investments. All of this is short-term efforts to cover the stop of funds from abroad. Adding more bonds, will also mature more of the previous bonds and add the collected debt of the Republic. This is not sound economics, but more punching more holes in the bag and hoping the rice doesn’t go out to fast.
The ones losing the citizens of Philippines who will pay for the economic progress or lack of thereof, with a weak currency, higher prices on staple food and also more state debt. That is why I want a President who creates all of that, to respect God a little bit more. Because he cannot be so wise, if he is in-charge of the rising prices of rice, devaluing the currency and adding more government debt. While doing so, scaring away foreign investors and trying to take out more debt to cover the shortfall. That is the only thing it looks like. When the government plans to add the same amount as they are losing in investments. This is a way of getting fresh funds and foreign currency into the market, but not generating more revenue directly.
Time for Duterte to get his focus straight, as KPMG states: “For example, even if government expenditures are below program, they will still be at magnitudes well above those in the past. Foreign grants help, but the country does not depend on them to grow today and those that it lost could be replaced with aid from other countries like China and Japan who are willing to give and are already doing so. At worst, these risks, if they occur, could bring GDP growth down to a still lofty six percent or so average in this decade. In summary, the Philippines will remain among the region’s fastest growing economies even if many of these risks were to occur and is on track towards significantly reducing poverty and strengthening the domestic market over the medium-term. The present leadership has smartly placed the stewardship of the country’s economy at the hands of well intentioned and bright managers bent on pursuing rational policies and carrying on from past successes” (IT Report: Philippines – 2018 Investment Guide by KPMG in the Philippines, P: 15, 2018).
So all hope aren’t lost, but the Philippines and the President should be aware of the policies put forward. They are risking the future, today as they are moving forward. The decisions made are vital and crucial for how the prices, inflation, growth and if the currency even will be worth something abroad. Even if some numbers are going up, all of them aren’t and some are more worrying. As the prices on food and others are rising to. So the growth is eaten up before it is felt, while the state isn’t acting within reason.
So please Duterte, look into the measures and into the economic landscape. Let the people of faith be and respect woman. Please start to look at some of the parts thta are not working. Find out the reasons why the Peso is weak, the rice more expensive and the foreign investors are not arriving. Government Bonds isn’t the solution, that is short-term fix, but not a steady economic policy, which would bring stability to the currency, rising inflation and the prices in general. Therefore, the value of the growth is lost in the deep dark hole of inflation, added prices and weak currency. Peace.
The Astellon Capital Partners report on the Italian nation debt is troublesome, as the reports are indicating troubled waters ahead for controlling the debt and repayment on the defaulted loans. This will create other higher issues than only the Greek debt and interest-rates from Brussels and Berlin. The Italian and Rome problem will cause monetary effects for all of Europe, as the debt are like his:
“1980 –1995: Debt / GDP increased by 64%, due to high interest rates levied by Bank of Italy to fight inflation and promote exchange rate stability of Lira within European Monetary System, precursor to the Eurozone” (…)”1995 –2015: Debt / GDP increased by 11%, due entirely to debt servicing costs as Italy ran a primary fiscal surplus over this period” (Astellon Capital Partners, P: 2, 2017).
The continued pressure of the Italian debt is showed with the average primary balance since 1995 have been 2, 1% and the average interest costs of the GDP have been 5, 5%. “Italy among the most fiscally sound member states in the Eurozone, yet also among the most burdened by interest costs” (Astellon Capital Partners, P: 3, 2017).
These numbers are not really positive at all, as the high interest rate by the Bank of Italy together with the rise of debt servicing that increased 11% alone in a decade. That the Italian state have the amount of costs of interests amounting to 5,5% says lots of the economic pressure on the budgets and fiscal policies within the government structures. This does not like a prosperous and strong economic situation.
The report continues with more worrying numbers that the Italian labour costs are 11% higher than rest of the EU average. Certainly also that the average productivity of the labour are 12% lower than the Eurozone average. So you got higher paid workers that work less, which also isn’t strengthening the economy.
That the Italians bank’s they have deflated badly loans that has gone from under 5% in 2005 to the running value of close to 15% in 2016. So that the European Central Bank have bought into the government debt issuance: “2014 –2019: At current government debt net issuance rates and announced QE levels, ECB will have been responsible for financing 100% of Italy’s deficits from 2014 –2019”. This is if the debt is: “Assumes €50bn annual run-rate of government net debt issuance” (Astellon Capital Partners, P: 6, 2017). That is a hefty sum when considering all the other fiscal issues that already put forward.
“Substantial increase in non-bank net purchases of Italian debt required ECB and Italian Banks acquired 88% of government debt net issuance since 2008. Over next six years non-banks will need to increase purchase activity to 7x that of past nine years” (Astellon Capital Partners, P: 7, 2017). So a nation that struggles with high paid performance with low productivity are suddenly needed to get the workforce to 7 times higher purchase activity, meaning the production and selling has to increase seven-fold if the state should have ability to sustain the defaulted debt that has increased and the debt the ECB has bought. Together with the Italian Bank gold-reserve which is lower than the stated and needed figures to be sufficient. The bank has gold-reserves by today’s value about €100bn, but by the ECB agreement need to collateralised that needs to be up to €350bn. That the report claims to be only 25%; while the assets are dwindling too and that is also worrying!
The Assets have from 2011 gone from being around 0% or none, to 2016 when the assets of the Italian bank is now in 2016 -20%. Because this have come a German proposal to avoid an new Argentine Bank collapse case. As the Italian Bank are required independent assessments of debt sustainability.
The great risks for Italy and the Italian republic are these scenarios. Like the hedge funds can buy into with high risks and yields through BTP yields during the 2016-2017. Second scenario in 2018 is that the ECB or European Central Bank will be a marginal buyer of the government bonds and buying debts. Third scenario is that the Italian Banks becoming net-sellers and therefore losing their assets with less of profits in the 2016-2017. Last scenario is unilateral re-profiling or re-domination or some form of Greek-Haircuts by 2017-2018, that means trade-offs and cutting taxes to try to revamp the economy (Astellon Capital Partners, P: 21, 2017).
With these numbers and situation, there are certain men in ECB and in Italy that is worried. The strength and sovereign nation of Italy has to find ways of restructuring the debt and assets. What is certain is that the debtors cannot take it easy on this one. The Italian debts and reserves are worrying as the debt has to restructure and the focus on how the Italian republic has to get more productivity and create more production so the taxes and debt per GDP can go down. This will be painful for the Italian state and their government institutions, together with all the debt and bad-debt that the state has to cover, because the banks cannot afford to lose all of these fiscal funds. There have to be a revolution of something if the Italian republic and its workforce are able to 7 times higher purchase activity. That will not come easy and how they will ever achieve that must be by a unicorn arriving and spinning the Fiat wheels of Torino more than ever before; even getting the world more hooked on Milan fashion design or Illy coffee. Peace.
Astellon Capital Partners – ‘Q1 2017 Notes No. 24 – Ciao a tutti: An orderly restructuring of Italian debt’