Monday, April 20, 2009

Sick ‘doctors,’ sick prescriptions

I am down with LBM. The whole family went down with it in sequence, including the househelp. Either the heat triggers some hibernating bacteria or it’s because I didn’t fork over some more money to change our water filters when I already should have. Thankfully, I am recovering faster thanks to my “biozapper,” which positively charges my body’s good bacteria to neutralize the negative ones. I am also upbeat in trying this new, all-natural Chinese powder that’s made up of animal parts, roots, and oils--instead of the cheaper watermelon powder--against another irritant. Stomatitis, which brings out white patches in the mouth, is prevalent in this weather because of how the body reacts to the summer heat. (Since all the males in my family have consistent bouts with it, it’s probably genetic as well.) Coupled with mentholated virgin coconut oil, I’m sure this powder will beat all the western medicines out there by a huge mile!

You’re probably wondering why I am discussing herbal medicines. It’s because former Mayor Jun Simon, in our Saturday radio program, made a parallel between economists prescribing solutions and doctors prescribing medicines.

If so-called doctors and their prescriptions fail, we immediately replace them and their approaches to our illness. But in the nation’s case, RP economists, whether academics from UP or the Ateneo, or those in media and government, like Solita Monsod, Cielito Habito, or Victor Paderanga, have all been advocating failed economic “medicines” that have presided over the deterioration of the Philippine economic well-being and brought it to the ICU. Looking back the past 28 years, their economic prescriptions have been nothing but bitter pills which the country has swallowed, but which have only made us sicker and sicker. Yet mainstream media continue to laud their “expert” economic advice, by giving them various platforms (columns, TV or radio programs) with which to continually spew the poisons that kill our economy.

What are these latest poisons? One, the World Bank (WB) prescribes the Philippines to again increase its tax on fuel to balance the budget. Every Juan, Pepe and Pilar knows by now that more taxes would only rob more money out of the people’s pockets and siphon these off to the big oil companies and banks. Withdrawing money from circulation, in times of economic crisis, is poison to the economy. Even if government collects the tax, it won’t be going to the state anyway but to debt amortization, which would run up to P700 billion, amounting to half of the total national budget of P1.4 trillion. The WB says the new taxes will improve the RP’s standing with the “credit ratings agencies,” but these, like Standard and Poors or Moody’s, are the very same ones that have been discredited because of the US financial collapse by being blind to the many crimes of Lehman’s, AIG, et al.

Second, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas chief is welcoming as a good sign the news that “hot money” is starting to pour into the Philippines again. With US Dollar interest rates at historic lows, money speculators are using these dollars anew to “invest” in RP stocks, currency and money markets. When you match this with the general nature of Gloria Arroyo’s “sell-out” economic policies that fatten corporate profits for banks, privatized utility companies, power and water generators and distributors, as well as, give fantastic yields to speculators, hot money coming in only means more looting of the Philippine economy. In fact, we are losing billions in this manner when we should be tightening up as Malaysia and Thailand have done, by requiring residency durations for such “hot funds” so as not to “burn” our nation’s economy.

The Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC), in examining the 2009 National Budget, has exposed many anomalies, including new taxes such as the rVAT and excise taxes, of which a whopping 70 percent presently go to ever-increasing debt repayments. It found that in 2006, for the first in Philippine history, the debt repayment amount exceeded the collection of revenues, which means that our debt is increasing by leaps and bounds. Because of this, there will come a time when “banksters” (bankers cum gangsters) will pull the rug from under us, as what they had done to Argentina in 2000, then blame us for defaulting. My prescription has always been to default way before they do us in. Of course, the US and Britain will be angling to get everything else of value from us, with the charade in Mindanao, involving the Abu Sayyaf and their “white” hostages, just being the latest.

I have said on my radio programs that the Abu Sayyaf will not behead the whites as they’re only capable of beheading their fellow “brownies.” Moreover, the kidnapping was timed for Blair’s arrival and his message of “a-peace-ment,” as well as, for mainstream media to extol the US Balikatan forces before the Filipino public, with daily news of their house-painting and medicine distribution for poor Filipinos. Similarly, human rights abuse issues are being lobbed against one of the few who have stood up against the VFA, Mayor Rudy Duterte. Although many may not like him because he is, no doubt, a “trapo,” the more important issue is his willingness to stand up to the imperialist’s claws, coupled with his peace and order record, of which majority of Davaoeños hold Duterte in high esteem.

Just as there are illnesses of the body, and of our economic and political well-being, that have been dealt poorly by countless prescriptions, suffice it to say that if the present situation persists, we are really hopeless. But, as we continue to live, we continue to breathe hope, and that will be the subject of Friday’s column.

(Tune in to 1098AM, Sulong Pilipinismo, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.: Monday with Atty. Alan Paguia, Wednesday with former Mayor Jun Simon, Friday with Ver Euistaquio / May Pag-asa, 10 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday; Talk News TV, Destiny Cable, Channel 3, 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Tuesday, with FDC on “Rising from Debt: The Imperative for Survival;” also visit

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