Philippines: Joseph Cabatbat Argel – House Resolution No. 1783 – Strongly Urging President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to Immediately Terminate or Withdraw Executive Order No. 134, Series of 2021, Import Duty on Rice (20.05.2021)
I write what I like.
In these times were living in, the Department of Agriculture or other authorities cannot monitor or control every avenue of the Republic. The President and his associates can issue and ask for the public to follow guidelines. However, this will be hard to follow in the days ahead. As the exports of rice from Vietnam will dwindle. Even as the DA has stockpiled enough for 75 days. There will still be questioned, as the public are on lockdown and people cannot move as they used too.
The Luzon is already under quarantine and under direct lockdown. While Mindanao isn’t under that yet. Still, this will stop the movement of rice and other goods. With this in mind and with the COVID-19 or Coronavirus outbreak. The most likely thing to happen, when the public are not allowed to cross checkpoints and leave their homes. The traders, the farmers and everyone involved will need to be compensated. This will make the process more expensive, as well as the ability to import rice from Vietnam and elsewhere will be harder too. With all of those pieces in mind, the price from farm-gate to the consumer will rise.
The DA can by all means, monitor and challenge the rises of prices. They can send out information about their stockpile and the previously bought stock of rise in 2019. However, now in 2020, as people are living and seeing the spread of virus. The stops, roadblocks and lack of imports will make the prices go up. That is common sense.
The stockpiling which was done is positive. That the DA has stocks for three months of ordinary supply is good. However, the ability to transfer, the ability to get the rice moved will be harder. When the army and police is guarding the barangays and the communities. This will hit it and the ports will not as open as before, because the state has already issued guidelines.
With all this in mind, the prices are most likely rising and the basic commodity of rice will go up. Even if the warning letters comes the way of the DA. They cannot stop the inevitable. This is not just scrupulous traders, but usual tendencies when situations like these transpire. If there becomes shortage in Zambonga Del Sur or del Norte. Expect the prices to sudden rise. That because the rice from the stockpile in Luzon isn’t arriving there. The rice from Davao isn’t crossing Mindanao, because of the social distancing and the authorities are blocking the movement. Which likely could happen too.
Even if the ASEAN partners wants to help, they still got their own neck to consider too in this crisis. COVID-19 is hitting worldwide and therefore, the damage is everywhere. Philippines will be hit like everyone else. In this instance with imports of rice, as Vietnam and Thailand is not doing as much as they did in the past. That will affect the prices and will limit the scope. As well, as the other travel advisory and other measures made across Asian nations in concern of exports an so-on.
The DA and the authorities means well, they are trying to signal positivity in the midst of a crisis. However, initial thoughts from me is that with a crisis like this the prices will rise. Unless, the state decrees the prices. They nationalize all parts the food-chain from the farmer to the consumer. Where every party has a fixed price and therefore the rice is costing a much as they set it to be. If they don’t do that, then the prices will spiral and go up. As the fear, the ability locally and in the Barangay’s can use their means to put it up. Since it is less movement, they can initiate a jump of prices and the national authorities cannot follow-up in all areas.
That is why this will most likely happen. It is a force of nature. Even with a giant stockpile. That stockpile is one place and not made across the Republic. The rural Barangay’s will not get their additional loads of rice quickly. Not in this time. Because, the state and authorities doesn’t have the capacity or ability to move that quick. Therefore, there will be change of prices and costs will go up. They can try to stagnate it, but if they wanted to control it. They should do so on decree and nationalize it. Peace.
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.
“With the French colonization, we had positive things” – President Macky Sall
The Senegalese President Macky Sall is out again, being super-friendly to the French. Even saying again that the Colonizer did lots of good to Senegal. The Republic and the people should be ashamed by the man. That he is so little sovereign and with pride over his own republic. If he was Paul Biya, I would understand, he should praise Switzerland and the mountain resorts he resides at. But I will not digress more. President Sall has again praised France. It is like you wonder how much money they are doling him and what sort of business-deals he has done with French Companies. Since he is a bit to friendly with them. Especially knowing the history of France in Senegal. You should figure out, that you can be cordial with them, but not so lovable.
First show some older clips, to show that this isn’t new from the President. So the ones that is shocked about recent statements as of this week. This is his M.O. and what he does. He has been like this before and said similar things, even if the French was imperialistic and still is, with their reach and demeaning control of the currency market in West Africa. Which the Republic of Senegal is under and their monetary policies are controlled by, therefore, I would expect more reluctant view of France, but Sall is different. He prefers and just see goodness from the French.
BWOG Staff reported in 2013:
“President Sall painted his vision for African Economic growth, insisting that philosophers like Fukuyama and Hobbes paint a picture of man “as a wolf to other men.” He insisted that predatory economic practices be reined in and saw little merit in criticism of African debt by countries “that are in huge debt themselves!” “We cannot validate the voice of the future with tools from the past,” he went on, claiming that innovative investment, not empty charity, was the real path to growth. He claimed that 4/5ths of African countries were experiencing growth above the world average and insisted that a common currency for eight West African is the right move. The one positive aspect of colonialism is that it united those countries oppressed by the same power” (BWOG Staff – ‘LectureHop: Macky Sall, the President of Senegal’ 28.09.2013 link: http://bwog.com/2013/09/28/lecturehop-macky-sall-the-president-of-senegal/).
An interview with Sall in 2013:
“What role should countries such as Senegal play in regional security compared with outside actors such as the United States and France? We cooperate with France, which is an ally and a friend. It is of course a former colonial power. But France understands the stakes in and the sociology of our countries. The United States also has a security policy in the region, and it is our partner through africom [the U.S. Africa Command] and everything that it does in terms of military cooperation with various countries” (…) “So can Africa take care of its own problems now? No. Africa cannot handle its own problems, because we are not yet at the point where we have the logistical capabilities to deploy troops in case of emergency. It’s simply a matter of means, not a matter of men” (Mercredi – ‘A Conversation With Macky Sall’ 28.08.2013 link: https://www.ndarinfo.com/A-Conversation-With-Macky-Sall_a6291.html)
Northern Senegal farmers:
“Under French rule, the poor farmers of Northern Senegal were forced by oppressive economic policies to resort to the monoculture of peanuts and rice. The legacy of colonialism on traditional farming practices was the desertification of the delicate Sahel soil and a devastating famine in the late twentieth century (Kloby 103). In what was once a civilization of communal living and bartering, the French instituted elements of capitalism that would best serve the European metropole. Instead of nurturing a complete capitalist system and educating the local populous about the newly developed concepts of industrialization and economic theory, the Europeans exploited the rich resources of both land and people to further advance their own development (Rodney 112)” (Emma Anderson – ‘COLONIZATION AND SENEGAL’ 10.07.2013 link: https://www.globalcitizenyear.org/updates/colonization-and-senegal/) .
As you see, President Sall has a favorable view, maybe he is caught up in the view of French Embassy of Senegal in Dakar, which writes on their page about their relationship:
“After more than three centuries of uninterrupted relations, France and Senegal have remained since the independence of very close nations. A shared history, a tradition of cooperation in all fields, a constant flow of human and material exchanges in both directions, confirm this proximity. The strong bond that President Léopold Sédar Senghor had with our country has been perpetuated by his successors, President Abdou Diouf, President Abdoulaye Wade, and President Macky Sall since April 2012. France intends to remain alongside Senegal, which is the largest recipient of French aid in sub-Saharan Africa. It is in all these areas, but also in that of our cultural and human exchanges, woven through three hundred and fifty years of history, that the exceptional relations of friendship between France and Senegal are manifested” (La France au Senegal – ‘Relations politiques’ 21.06.2017).
Therefore, you can see that the exceptional relationship is evident in the way Sall is defending the colonial works that French did in Senegal, as they didn’t do it to control and get their imperial control of Senegal. That should be insulting to Sall, but you can wonder why he see it so favorable. Because he shows such defense and defense of the assimilation and the policies done by French Colonial Administrations, which was done for the betterment of Paris and not for the betterment of Dakar. That was just dumb-luck if the policies created something good for Dakar, because the end-game in the colonial enterprises are for the betterment of the empire, not for the colonies. They are the means to an end.
That is why Sall is so French friendly and defending the demeaning and insulting policies of the Colonial French. Which the Senegal republic has inherited and is still under supervision of the French. As their monetary policies and other government framework are still monitored by the French and the French Treasury in Paris. Therefore, the Senegal Government have less control and have less powers of their own, as long as they are following guidelines from the French on how the Central African Franc (CAF) is.
The Senegalese are the ones that following similar steps as in France, but have politicians that are blindly also following the French. This is all in deliberate way of still having not only influence, but actual control of the territories they used reign supreme over. That is what the French is doing. Therefore, President Sall is a bit to friendly and defending the French. I just don’t get it. I don’t. But that is just me though. Peace.
Certainly, one of these days the Jubilee government Cabinet Secretaries going to wake-up from their sleep and start to act with common sense. Since the release of subsidized maize and opening imports, the markets has not overflowed with Unga. Neither, the reality that some of the millers kept stockpiles of it, as they knew they would be subsidized from the state. So why sell it months ahead, when you can keep it steady and unleash when you get double bonus. The Jubilee government knows this and therefore right on the day of the subsidized maize and the possible export provisions came into effects. Boats with foreign maize came pouring in through the ports of Mombasa.
“He witnessed the arrival of 12,000 bags through the Rift Valley Railways yesterday. “To ensure every Kenyan enjoys the Sh90 subsidised maize flour, all maize from Mombasa will be removed using SGR, RVR and trucks,” Bett said. In two weeks, the market has been experiencing a shortage of unga. “Since we started the subsidised programme, we have witnessed more Kenyans preferring unga, thus the high demand for maize flour,” he said” (Ngotho, 2017).
CS Willy Bett, need some guidance, needs some reassurance and some sort of stiff upper-lips for insulting fellow citizens. It isn’t the sudden love for UNGA. This the staple food. This is what Kenyans are known to eat. UNGA, Ugali or Posho (Ugandan I know). Still, the maize flour meals is not a well-kept hidden secret. It would be like taking potatoes as out of the equation when feeding massive parts of Northern Europe. That is just the staple food. Period.
The CS clearly, has some internal issues and need to stop thinking he can deceive fellow citizens. As the indicated exports combined with the stockpiling was very evident. That people are buying lots of it now, is because they might even fear for more scarcity. Since it isn’t only drought, but man-made problems that has given way to shortage of UNGA.
It is time to wake-up for Mr. Bett and smell the UNGA. Time to see and relieve his fellow brothers and sisters. Not just find excuses upon excuses and think it can save his grace. You do not take away some-ones staple and think you can get away with it. Seriously, that is insulting. The insinuation and undermining of the needs and the will of Kenyans. Are evident in his approach to the UNGA crisis. This should not be forgotten, because his grace has clearly not done his job and then blames the citizens for either their staple food! Peace.
Ngotho, Agatha – ‘Kenyans eating more ugali to blame for unga shortage – CS’ (20.06.2017) link: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2017/06/20/kenyans-eating-more-ugali-to-blame-for-unga-shortage-cs_c1582605?platform=hootsuite
You know there is something special, you know there is something out of bound and something compelling, when the Members of Parliament (MPs) who has no quarrels with eating without taxation, without thinking of their salaries compered to the ones who they represent. The constituency of the MP must feel betrayed as their allowances and their benefits are enormous, to say it at least, they are gigantic! But take a look at the latest big payment for the MPs!
“Parliament — MPs are smiling all the way to the bank after the government authorised the release of an extra Shs45b to Parliament, with each of the 449 lawmakers set to get an additional Shs100m, ostensibly to buy cars for constituency travels” (…) “In a June 13 letter titled: ‘Additional cash limit of Shs45.8b for the Parliamentary Commission’, Mr Keith Muhakanizi, the Secretary to the Treasury, authorised Ms Jane Kibirige, the Clerk to Parliament, to spend the cash as part of non-wage recurrent budget in the fourth quarter of the Financial Year 2016/2017. The clearance comes barely two weeks to the end of the Financial Year” (Arinaitwe & Manzil, 2017).
So the Members of Parliament are clearly getting another pay-day without passing to much legislation or any sort of consideration of the proposed budget or pledges they had for the financial year 2017/2018. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and the NRM Caucus have clearly made together with the Parliamentary Commission to make a new pay-day for the MPs, yet again!
The National Resistance Movement and their MPs clearly like to get extra brown-envelopes without any considerations of the state of the budget or the way the funds are raised. It is not shocking, it seems like an ordinary event at this point. Not like it is the first time, the MPs uses their Noble place in the august house to enrich themselves and add cost to the state. Therefore, the added debt and interest payments should be feared by the MPs. Instead, they are adding debt and creating more interest without concern of the citizens.
The citizens are going to pay extra for this, they are the ones that are ripped off at broad-daylight. They are eating directly of the state reserve and does it with impunity. Also worth noticing, President Museveni is not sanctioning against it, since he can do as pleases. Since he is eating directly and misuse s it whenever he wants. Peace.
Arinaitwe, Solomon & Manzil, Ibrahim – ‘Uganda: MPs Get Extra Shs100 Million Each for Cars’ (17.06.2017) link: http://allafrica.com/stories/201706190735.html?utm_campaign=allafrica%3Ainternal&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_content=promote%3Aaans%3Aabafbt
You know something is fishy when the markets suddenly has maize flour in the stores as the 2 kg packaged that is produced in Kenya and milled in Kenya. This comes as the fixed subsidized prices comes into effect. Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, who has been in Port of Mombasa in the recent days. Being proud of the delivery of imported maize flour.
That their been shortage and that the markets has had less in storage is the evidence of the escalating prices. Therefore when COSMO millers comes with milled in March 2017 and is expiring in August 2017. Also, that the shortfall in between the fixed price and the balance has to be covered by the state. As the prices has clearly gone to high and than the government stepped in. But the ones coming of the boat during this week. Couldn’t suddenly appear in the shop. It had to be taken care of and repackaged, even milled if it was pure corn.
That the package of the milled maize flour now has the label of GoK, as the Jubilee fronting their good work. As they trying to look like they stopped a scandal and shortage. The Government clearly has either ordered the millers, agreed with the millers or tried to put a shortage to suddenly see the likes of COSMO filling the market with stock. The 30,000 tons of IVS Pinehurst couldn’t jump into the market this quickly and change into subsidy “GoK 90/-”, which is today’s new feature in Kenya. They want to look like a saviors, instead of the ones who created this. But it is suspect that milled in March dropped on the marked instant after the subsidized maize we’re released. It seems like clockwork.
So the questions doesn’t stop with the sudden drop and the evident approach. As Port of Mombasa and Millers clearly has worked in accordance with the government. As they had the papers for the package of flour and could quickly deliver it to the shops. Therefore, this seem like a planned enterprise as the delivered flour, which should gone from port to millers. Really hit the stores in amp-speed. Little two quick for that amount.
It makes it seem like it all was a short-con by the Jubilee, to gain popularity on the staple-food. As their stories of origin of the vessel and the maize, that even been countered by the Mexican Authorities, as well as the vessel came from Mauritius and not South Africa. There are certain aspect of this story, that seem like a ploy. To get the prices down, but at the same time make sure the millers are getting more for the maize, than they did before. Also, make sure the profits are steady on the grounds of drought and yields. As the subsidized maize flour will surely benefit the private producers, who already earn on the higher prices.
There are questions that will not be answered, the reality is that there are certain signs that Kenyans shouldn’t be duped. Surely, the price is better now after the subsidize from Jubilee. Still, the look of artificial prices and sudden drop that the government can do. Also, that the millers could label GoK so quickly. Shows there certain aspects that the Jubilee and the Millers didn’t consider. The suspicious intent is because the Jubilee has always been more promotion and PR than actually considering their policies. That is the legacy they will leave behind. Peace.
The ship coming to the Port of Mombasa in Kenya, the IVS Pinehurst, which is owned by the Nisshin Shipping Co. Ltd, which is part of the Pool Operation at the Hansa Tankers. That is based in Bergen, Noway, so the Pinehurst is a bulk carrier. It is flagged through the Philippines. It’s call sign is DUHUB and it was built by Tsuneishi Cebu in 2015.
On Vessel Finder, the 13th January 2017the Pinehust was in Mumbai (ex. Bombay), India at 13:04 UTC. The next port it was in was Toamasina, Madagascar, which was on the 19th February 2017 at 11:04 UTC. The last port before Mombasa was at Port Louis, Mauritius on the 22nd April 2017 at 12:03 UTC. As the Port of Mauritius reveals, is that the vessels discharging coal. Therefore, the vessel had to be filled with maize before leaving for Mombasa. Carriers from Port Louis to Mombasa on route alternatives takes about 19 to 22 days. Therefore, the vessel couldn’t really have been so many days in between the tracking on Vessel Finder and suddenly in Mombasa. Especially, since it delivered coal to Mauritius.
So when the Government of Kenya says this about the vessel, you start to wonder if they even know how to google or even if other people knows how to search for maritime vessels. I don’t really do that, but found quickly out this information from sites that verifies this.
Therefore, the verified news from from Business Daily Africa:
“However, Transport Principal Secretary Dr Paul Mwangi said the maize was stored in South Africa and the vessel took only five days after importers were given the nod to ship it into the country.“The white maize was imported from South Africa from Mexico last year when there was a shortage in that country. The excess amount was stored in Durban and sold to Kenya by Inter Africa Gains PTY of Johannesburg,” Dr Mwangi said at the Mombasa port. “The maize is therefore Mexican White maize which was transhipped into Kenya from South Africa. The ship takes only five days to sail from South Africa to Mombasa and that is why the maize arrived quickly,” he added” (Marete, 2017).
So I wonder if Dr. Mwangi knows the internet and the inner-works of this. As it doesn’t take much searching for me find all these information, if the PS Mwangi, think that wasn’t enough. The Mexican Embassy in Nairobi has today officially said: “MEXICO DENIES direct deal on maize with Kenya and has no declarations on any commercial transactions, embassy in Kenya says” (NationBreakingNews, 15.05.2017). So that the PS Mwangi are saying this seems to be a lie. There are certainly something the Jubilee isn’t telling, as the Duty Free was decided and quickly as the duty free maize and sugar. Came into effect just days ahead of the shipments coming to ports. Peace.
Marete, Gitonga – ‘ Maize was shipped through South Africa, State now says’ (15.05.2017) link: http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/news/Maize-was-shipped-through-South-Africa-govt-says/539546-3927934-p0wqcl/