Archive for the ‘national economic planners’ Category

For lack of local jobs, Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo asks Filipinos to leave for employment abroad

March 2, 2009

Without enough jobs available locally, Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo continues to call on her people to pursue jobs abroad. About 500,000 employment positions, mainly in construction are available in the Middle East, Australia, and Canada.

This is the recommendation of the country’s president (the “top economist and chief executive officer”) for the employment-seekers present in a job summit at the Malacanang Palace.

Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Director General Augusto Syjuco advises Filipinos to take alternative courses in butchery, tile-laying, roofing, carpentry and other menial jobs just to survive in a growing economic crisis.

Something is wrong with their recommendations. The policy of sending Filipinos outside has drifted away from the task of government to provide livelihood for its people. For the government to adopt a policy of encouraging talents to leave the country is objectionable.

An estimated 9 million Filipinos are currently working abroad to support families and help avert the financial collapse of the country. Government critics complain that more Filipinos will be separated from their families and placed in risky conditions as a consequence of being forced to leave the country.

There is sadness in seeing a president advise its people to take menial work abroad as a way to build a nation back home—much more sadness in seeing officials propose second courses in preparation for jobs availabe outside. (Photo Credit: Mark Hillary) =0=

RELATED BLOG: “Who says we are spared from the effects of recession?” Posted by mesiamd at 2/27/2009

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Who says we are spared from the effects of recession?

February 26, 2009

Presidential spokesman Anthony Golez said the Philippines wasn’t among the Asian countries affected by the worldwide recession. It might be a lie that Malacanang Palace wanted us to believe. He based his conclusion to the non-inclusion of the country in the International Labor Organization (ILO) list which projects 113 million jobs loss in Asia as the world economy continues to falter (Malaya , 02/20/09 Bengco, R.) According to ILO, the expected unemployment number this year will be more than the 22.3 million jobs Asian countries lost in 2008.

It will do us good if we look closely at the data Golez is referring to before we celebrate. We aren’t that trusting anymore. The effects of the financial meltdown are just beginning to show. It is foolhardy for him and the government he represents to assume that we aren’t affected.

The unemployment we see in the street is a better gauge than the assurances of government officials. We see what food we eat and what clothes we wear. Most of us are familiar of the signs of chronic job loss and their aftermath. The employment stagnation in the country is long-standing and antedates the global economic meltdown.

5,500 OFWs lose jobs—–Arroyo

“Some 5,500 Filipino overseas workers have lost their jobs abroad and returned home over the past four months, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said Thursday. The Department of Labor announced earlier this week that 39,000 Filipinos had lost their jobs since October, a number which included overseas workers.”—Agence France-Presse/ Inquirer (02/26/09)

Foreign companies are pulling out their business operations in Manila. Unemployment among fresh graduates continues to rise. There is pervasive underemployment and lay-offs. The rush for jobs abroad doesn’t abate even if applicants downgrade their qualifications just to grab work even if it is risky and suffers from inadequate pay. With a bearish investment climate, people are afraid to shell out money that stir spending and growth. The number of impoverished Filipinos continues to rise.

Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo’s job creation is too little to assuage the fear and anger of the public. The government projects that are quick-disbursing, high-impact, and labor intensive (according to Management Dir. Hermogenes Esperon) don’t come close to reality when one sees the widespread unemployment, poverty, and corruption in the country. That’s why we rely early on ourselves more than depend on announced legislated measures by the administration. (Photo Credits: Slavishtubesocks; JRIOrion)=0=

3,000 IT & 10,000 semiconductor jobs at risk

At least 3,000 information technology (IT) jobs are at risk in first quarter alone while 10,000 positions in semiconductor industry could be shed during the first half of the year due to the global economic slump.”—GMANewsTV (02/28/09)

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The Coming Crisis of 2009: Some Thoughts (Part 2)

January 3, 2009


I am continuing this series in order to provoke some thoughts. In this way we might have a better understanding of the crisis that is coming to our shores.

Finance capital, monopoly capital, “hot money”. What do these all mean?

Finance capital is basically wealth producing wealth. Investors lend money for profit and it will always seek the greatest return. Monopoly capital and finance capital are similar up to a point. “Hot money” is the behavior of finance capital.

In the later stages of capitalism finance capital dominated industrial capital. The industries are now at the mercy of banks, finance houses and more lately by various kinds of funds including hedge funds. Their “worth” now rise and fall with the movement of finance capital. “Bubble”. Just like Henry Sy “earned” S1.1B in the first 9 months of the year and his fellow taipans “lost” hundreds of millions of dollars.

Finance capital can also be exported. And withdrawn. And that is the problem of national economic planners. In the development of a country more and more its planners and its legislatures are no longer the dominant factors. Their economies shrink and expand and their exchange rates change with the movement of “hot money” finance capital. The size of this money dwarfs the national savings of nations.

And that is the reason why our exchange rate is on the downslide. “Hot money” is being withdrawn. Our equities and stock market earned 30% per year from 2003 ton 2007. All because of the “bubble” created by the inflow of “hot money”.

Our local economy was not responsible for that “prosperity” (but it certainly helped Mrs. Arroyo survive). But woe to those that do not understand this kind of “investment”. They will have to be content with the 3-4% interest the bank gives for time deposits which is not even enough to cover inflation.

In the competition of nations, we will be left by Vietnam, a country ravaged by war not so long ago. Our $1B direct foreign investment (DFI) per year is but a fraction of their $7B. And we better learn how to kowtow to China which receives $1B a day at its peak. They will be our investors and buyers in the future.

How do we catch this elusive “hot money”? It is simple as long as one country’s economy can guarantee it will earn handsomely. That is why former developing countries like China and India are fast becoming powerhouses. They will not be left holding the proverbial empty bag because they have real wealth–their manufacturing sector, export market, capital market and technology is own the way to development and they can now absorb flights of “hot money”.

“Hot money” without outlet is a dangerous thing. Arbitrageurs and fund managers became too “creative” in inventing new kinds of investment vehicles and this led to the “sub-prime” woes in the US. They have to show enough “profits” so that they wont lose their (finance capital) investors. After all their earnings are based on percentage and on the rise of their own shares.

And this is the reason for the rise of Madoff schemes (seems Madoff is on the way to replacing Ponzi in the dictionary). We can just speculate how many Madoff schemes are out there in the world.

Whatever financial conflagration that will happen finance capital will find a way to seek profits in all parts of the globe. It won’t even matter if it is a conflict area, a dictatorship for as long as there is reasonable guarantee they will get their money back with interest.

So this crisis, in essence, is just a temporary thing. The world economy will “recover” when finance capital gains enough “confidence” again. But it is gullible, the suckers and the small fries that will bear the brunt of their activity.

Is this what is meant by greed?

[photo credits:huffington post, wired newyork]