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Oct 02nd
Home Sections Revotelution Funding the Filipino Socioeconomic-Empowerment Fight (and the "ReVOTElution of Hope")
Funding the Filipino Socioeconomic-Empowerment Fight (and the "ReVOTElution of Hope") PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 21 January 2009 09:57



Part II of a Series on Overseas-Filipino Advocacy


T he long-delayed attempt of and by Overseas Filipinos (OF), especially Filipino Americans, of changing the Philippines for the better – be it in the fields of socioeconomics or politics – will never succeed unless and until the proponents of change will be able to generate the right political will. And the willpower will never be had without ample funds and logistics.

1.0       Funding for any advocacy or campaign is paramount for “an army marches on its stomach” (Napoleon Bonaparte) and “there can be no power without resources” (Machiavelli). Yes, even an army of volunteer social workers would need ample resources to do its work.


1.1             Theoretically, the Overseas Filipinos can easily put up a billion dollars or even more to finance the empowerment drives in selected foreign countries and in the homeland. For Filipino-American households alone earn collectively in the range of 48-billion to 62-billion dollars (even in this economic recession). But it is easier said than done. In fact, a proposal like this presentation has never been attempted to our limited knowledge.


2.0             The empowerment dream must be reduced to business plans and feasibility studies (both pre-feasibility and full-blown versions), so as to open the wallets and deep pockets of Overseas Filipinos, American friends (read, investors) of the Philippines and their friends.


2.1             Like any investment – whether it is money, executive time and/or in-kind contributions or a combination of all – must answer the question that has been asked since time immemorial. The question is: “What’s in it for me?”


2.2             This presentation, therefore, will enumerate the returns that the supporters, partners, investors and the prime movers will derive in investing in successful empowerment campaigns or even in a “revotelution,” that this writer has coined.


2.2.1       The first return on investment (ROI) is the poignant lift that people get when they do something good and positive for their fellow human beings, community or country. Wall Street cannot match the emotional ROI of seeing impoverished people freed from the bondage of poverty, ignorance and corruption, so that they (prime movers, investors and people) get to look good, feel good and proud of their investments and work.


2.2.2       In fact, for the bigger contributors and/or investors, the uplifting feeling can be increased when “naming rights” are given to them for scholarships, streets, facilities, village medical centers, tree farms, baseball fields or sports centers and the like. (More on this “Recognition” aspect in another follow-up presentation.)


2.2.3       There will be moderate to huge financial returns, as will be explained hereunder, especially when benefits like full-time employment, health coverage, etceteras, etc. trickle down to their kin and friends in the homeland, as the Philippine economy – and not just the government – becomes of the people, for the people and by the people.


2.2.4       Even for foreign governments or international institutions that provide resources and/or charitable donations, the ROI comes in form of more geopolitical stability, repayment of loans plus interest on projects guaranteed by their respective export-import-banks (EXIMBANK) and boost to their respective economies. These will be in addition to having the Filipino people do more in the international fights against global warming, terrorism, mass poverty, ignorance, lack of universal healthcare systems, etc.


2.2.5       Individual returns in form of professional fees and whistleblower-type rewards for Overseas-Filipino CPAs, lawyers and other professionals in helping recover vast amounts of money and public assets looted by past and incumbent government officials of the Philippines.


3.0             Business and Income Opportunities for US-based and OF-led consortiums (consortia) that can be formed to make operational the “reinvention” of both the government and economy of the Filipino people. All of the proposed investment operations will have to comply strictly with international laws and regulations such as the “Foreign Corrupt-Practices Act” of the United States. Mandatory also is the compliance with the ATIC tenets. ATIC, as this writer coined, means “accountability, transparency, integrity and credibility.”


3.1             The new national government will have the mandate to examine and cancel the onerous and corruption-tainted contracts and loans negotiated and signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. With the People’s Republic of China alone, the Arroyo Administration signed for projects worth in excess of 33-billion dollars. All of these contracts can be cancelled and new public biddings can be done.


3.1.1       At 20% mark-up, there can be a profit of $6.6-billion for the OF-led consortium – assuming that it wins most, if not all, of the contracts in the re-bid process. And international investors will jump at these business opportunities and enter into joint ventures with the OF-led consortium, knowing that they do not have to pay any bribe to a new OF-led government.


3.2             The proposed “Vegas-Caribbean of the Orient" mega-resort projects in Sorsogon Province, Bicol-Leyte-Samar Regions and Northern Luzon – as part of the OF-led political alliance’s socioeconomic platform – are huge undertakings that can merit the support of the EXIMBANK of the United States, which can reduce the capital needs required from the OF-led consortia. A new provincial government of Sorsogon (elected on May 6, 2013) for instance can implement parts of this position paper in generating immediate cash flows for its nearly-bankrupt coffers.


3.2.1       There are other projects such as the ceramic industrial complex/marble processing zone for the Caramoan Peninsula of Camarines Sur, cement plant in Balatan (also in Cam. Sur) and other viable projects that can welcome the participation of the OF-led consortium or consortia. These will all be presented in due time and incorporated in the socioeconomic platform, so that all regions in the Philippines will have the fair-and-honest full development of their economic potentials.


3.2.2       In fighting global warming alone, the Philippines needs to construct new dwellings in upper elevated sections of the country. This means the construction of roughly 20-million new detached homes, condominium units, town houses and retirement complexes and their support infrastructure. Overseas-Filipino architects, engineers, builders, interior decorators and contractors and their partners in the Philippines will find this a golden opportunity to help the environment and make decent returns on their investments and skills.


3.3             Even for Filipino medical professionals, who are the pride and role models of the Filipino-American communities, they will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to “reinvent” the Philippine hospital and healthcare industries. As proposed way back in 2003 by this author, the Philippine medical infrastructures can be privatized and owned by the Filipino and OF medical professionals and patients’ advocacy cooperatives, so as to introduce a national “health-maintenance organization” (HMO) that can be viable and rewarding – both from the emotional and financial bottom lines.


3.3.1       In fact, the “reinvention” of the Philippine medical industry can turn the homeland into a “Mecca of Medicine” and serve as a pilot project that can be copied in many developing and even industrialized countries.


3.4             A new OF-led government can and will invite OF-led “bounty hunters” to run after the tens, if not hundreds, of billions in dollars that were looted by Filipino politicians, their crooked cronies, illegal drug-and-gambling partners and other scalawags, shenanigans and culprits.


3.4.1        Several Filipino and Filipino-American CPAs and private investigators have said that – in tandem with their Filipino counterparts – it would be easy to determine the amounts stolen by conducting exhaustive infrastructure and financial audits and running after the looters by following the paper trail. Even at 30% to 50% share of the recovered loots, the payoff for the OF-led “bounty hunters” can run into billions of dollars. All that is needed is generate the political will and the new OF-led government can have billions of dollars (from the recovered loots) to finance new infrastructures – all awarded to reputable contractors on an honest-to-goodness public bidding that is monitored by international agencies to comply with Philippine and foreign laws on money laundering, etceteras, etc.


3.4.2       There are other business-and-income opportunities that will be made available by a new honest, pro-people and principled national government of the Philippines. A follow-up article will be presented, after additional inputs are made by the recipients of this presentation.


4.0             Conclusion.


4.1             As many friends and supporters of this author have said, “Money is the least of the problems – if all the homework is done.” When and how to ask for contributions to a Filipino Empowerment Fund will be made and explained during teleconferences and conferences such as the planned Overseas-Filipino Summit in August 2013 in Los Angeles, California, or even in those that can be held in Sorsogon Province or other venue in the Philippines. But all the contributions will be lawful, insofar as Philippine and American election-and-lobbying laws and other regulations are concerned.


4.2             What is now needed is to finalize the formation of a grand strategic alliance and make operational the five-pronged approach to the socioeconomic and political empowerment of the Overseas Filipinos (beginning with Filipino Americans and their supporters in the homeland and in third countries) and the Filipino people. # # #


(To be continued . . .)


Editor’s Note: To read Part I of this series, please click on this hyperlink,

Why Overseas-Filipino Advocacies in the Homeland Are Often Exercises in Futility. But . . .



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Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 July 2012 09:45

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