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Oct 04th
Home Sections Ecology and the Environment How to Fund the Filipino Version of "The Manhattan Project" (Part5)
How to Fund the Filipino Version of "The Manhattan Project" (Part5) PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Ecology and the Environment
Saturday, 05 May 2007 03:56
             This writer suggested to the incumbent Philippine President and her three predecessors about the need to do another EDSA and doing it as an evolution (without the R). I suggested that EDSA become the acronym for “Economic Development and Social Advancement,” so as to solve the homeland’s pressing problems. Even if no President acknowledged receipt of it, I continued to write about the concept in several Filipino-American hardcopy and online magazines. I did the “Reinventing the Philippines” series from 2003-2005. And now this series on the Filipino version of the “The Manhattan Project (TMP)” that the Filipino Image magazine of Washington, DC, published last year and which we are updating in the 


There is an extreme necessity to do a Filipino version of TMP, on such a massive scale and urgency as was done in developing the A-bomb.  


The ABC network’s 20/20 Program featured on Aug. 30, 2006, the “Last Days on Earth.” It broadcast that the number-one cause might be the rise of the sea due to global warming. The 20/20 Program might be right. Some scientists say that global warming may raise the sea level by five feet as early as 2020. Some of them predict the sea level will go up by 40 feet in 2100. At a five-foot increase, the City of Manila and its suburbs will be under water. Many locations in Metro Manila – including the Laguna de Bay – are below sea level. A 20-foot rise in sea level will inundate perhaps more-than half of the Philippine archipelago, even at low tide.  


Filipinos should launch a massive movement to fight global warming. We must act to prepare for the inevitable. We should construct new higher-elevated housing complete with environmentally-sound utilities including sewer, viable food-production infrastructures and sustainable energy-producing farms, among other needs. Modern versions of the Banaue rice terraces are needed to grow rice and other staples to feed 85 million (and counting) Filipinos. Do you get now the urgency for a Filipino version of the “TMP?”


How do we fund the suggested Filipino version of the “TMP?” I said in Part III of this series that Filipino Americans earn collectively per annum more-than $42-billion (spelled with a B) and they remit annually to the homeland at least $7-billion. I told in Part IV of this presentation the idea of coming up with a Filipino mutual fund that – for want of a better name – I dub now the “Overseas-Filipino Monetary Fund (OFMF).”


If the Overseas-Filipino contract workers and immigrants (OFCWI) contribute to an OFMF at even half of the $10-billion (or more) they are remitting annually to the Philippines, the fund should have $25-billion in five years. Just think of what a billion dollars in investment per Philippine region in five years can do for the economy and the environment? There are 15 regions in the Philippines.


Then the remaining $10-billion can be used to buy Philippine debt papers that are now in the hands of foreign banks and multilateral lenders. The $10-billion perhaps can buy $15-billion to $40-billion worth of Philippine government’s IOUs to foreign lenders. The debt papers are being sold in financial markets at 15 cents to 50 cents for a dollar’s worth of indebtedness.


In short, it is possible that the proposed OFMF may be able to retire all the Philippine debt papers in less than 10 years. The Philippine government and the Filipino private borrowers will still have to pay the interest (plus the principal) for the foreign loans, which interest-expense currently now hovers at $5.5-billion per year. But under this proposal, the interest payments will not have to be remitted abroad, as the OFMF can reinvest the interest-income in the Philippines on projects geared to fight climate change and to build new infrastructures that may be located in mountainous areas, safe from the projected new sea level forecast for 2100. The OFMF development budget may exceed $50-billion in less than 15 years if all things go right.


The Philippine government will then be able to retire the loan principal by using (and collecting) corporate and individual income taxes resulting from the multiplier effects of doing the Filipino version of TMP.


We will discuss next the particulars of the viable ways of fighting global warming and other-related moves that the OFCWI may do, using the OFMF vehicle and the I2D2 idea of James Robinson III, as I mentioned in Part I. # # # 

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Last Updated on Saturday, 14 March 2009 16:37

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If a man will begin with certainties,he shall end with doubts;but if he will be content to begin with doubts,he shall end in certainties.-- Sir Francis Bacon, 1561-1626