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Mar 16th
Home Sections Revotelution The Non-traditional Arithmetic of the 2010 National Elections (Part Two)
The Non-traditional Arithmetic of the 2010 National Elections (Part Two) PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Bobby M. Reyes   
Saturday, 04 April 2009 13:39

A pundit in Redwood City, California, and Pavia, Iloilo, Nat John Duenas, has written wisely about the truth of traditional politics, as had been practiced since the late 1950s in the Philippines. This article will now present an alternative to the traditional arithmetic of Philippine national elections. 


To read again Mr. Duenas’ piece, please click on this link: The Traditional Arithmetic of the 2010 National Elections (Part One)   People know that the Overseas Filipinos (OF) and Overseas-Filipino workers (OFW) constitute not only the middle class of the Philippines but its best hopes for achieving fundamental structural reforms. But in order for the reforms to take place, the OF and the OFW must put their acts together. Or else, as I have warned colleagues and friends, if the OF-OFW coalition bungles this 2010 political exercise, the Filipino traditional politicians (Trapos) will hang them separately, unless they can hang them together.       


The reality is that the 2010 national elections will be a repeat of the 1992 elections where the winner, Fidel V. Ramos, garnered less-than 28% of the total votes cast. The winning party or coalition needs only to garner 30% to 35% of the votes cast, with the number of voters estimated to total around 45-million. The other five to seven presidential slates will divide the remaining 65% to 70% of the votes. Translated into votes, a presidential candidate needs only to garner anywhere from 13.50-million to 15.750-million votes to win.                                         



The OF and the OFW communities can count on more-than nine-million (and counting) people of Filipino descent spread in more-than 100 countries. While only some 500,000 of them will be able to register for as “overseas-absentee voters (OAV),” Mr. Duenas talks of each of them being able to influence at least three individuals that he calls the “affinity voters.” What if half of the 9.0-million were to influence at least five voters in the Philippines? The OF-OFW communities can rally easily some 22.50-million voters – by writing, or sending text and/or video messages or e-mails to them. But of course, it is easier said than done. The Philippines-based voters can be persuaded to rally to the NAU candidates by “threatening” fewer shipments of Balikbayan boxes or lesser remittances if they refuse to help accomplish the Reform Agenda (platforms).      



From the viewpoint of being omnipresent in almost all of the 42,000 barangays (villages) in the Philippines, it is widely believed that each barangay has at least a handful of Overseas Filipinos and/or Overseas-Filipino workers. These OF and OFW volunteers can, therefore, establish the all-pervading presence in all the country’s villages, towns and cities by simply recruiting their kin in those places.                                                     



There is no magic formula for political victories, aside from the traditional steps that the Trapos do year in, year out that Mr. Duenas has explained. However, the OF-OFW Coalition can undertake non-traditional steps that can be started by forming what this writer has called—for want of a better name—the National Alliance for Unity (NAU).        



Here is the non-traditional arithmetic of winning the 2010 elections: As politics is the art of addition and that it is all local in issues, the NAU must attract specific constituents to its cause and honest-to-goodness platforms, the first and foremost is to make the people, especially the civil servants, stakeholders of the Philippine government. It is granted that all the OF’s and OFW’s relatives in the Philippines (who depend on their overseas kin for financial support or assistance) are automatically stakeholders of this proposed NEW GOVERNMENT.                            



1.0             This writer has said that the number-one constituents to target are the rank-and-file men and women of the Philippine military, the Philippine national police and the teachers plus all the other national-government employees. How to do it? All of these government employees will support a national slate that will pledge to use all the present money allocated for the congressional-and-senatorial pork barrel as IMMEDIATE SALARY INCREASE for all of them.


1.1             Once the congressmen, the senators and all the local-government officials will realize that the days of the pork barrel are over, how many of them will spend anywhere from P50-million to 100-million pesos for re-election or election -- knowing that if the OF-led political alliance wins, there will be no more pork (and even pork barbecue for pulutan)?


1.2             Even the richest Trapos like former Amb. Eduardo Cojuangco and Senator Manny Villar AND all the other traditional politicians cannot give to ALL the national-government employees immediate salary increase of Pesos 29.8-billion (spelled with a B -- and not 7.2-B as originally written per commentary of Mar G. de Vera, as shown in the User's Comments below) per year. (The congressional pork barrel amounts to 29.8-billion pesos per year, which the Trapos will not give up.) Just imagine the economic-multiplier effect of Pesos 29.8-billion going to national-government employees as immediate salary increase – starting July 1, 2010, and every year thereafter.


1.3             Doing this first step will also prevent, if not minimize election irregularities because generals and Cabinet secretaries cannot cheat if the junior officers and rank-and-file bureaucrats will not participate in the commission of the fraud.


2.0             Then the NAU should pledge also to abolish the Value-Added Tax and the Individual Income Tax, as additional economic stimuli. The proposals are found in this article, An Overseas-Filipino Political Party’s Rx for the "Great Economic Depression" in the Philippines and the NAU will pledge further to do all the fundamental structural reforms mentioned in it and the other components of our platforms of government and socioeconomics, as partially described in


2.1             Once the Overseas Filipinos realize that the Filipino-American supporters and the American friends of the Philippines will be able to raise the bulk of the $200-million NAU budget proposed for the 2010 elections, their contributions will swell the NAU’s resources and double or triple its funds. The excess funds could be used to start consumers' and/or producers' cooperatives in all the Philippine provinces.     


2.2             The NAU can literally buy its way in. But the difference is that it will not recover any of the $200-million or more (in campaign funds) by stealing from the government coffers but by the Overseas Filipinos investing in business, farms and industries in the Philippines.           


2.3             To understand better the arithmetic of the NAU’s 2010 election strategy and where its funds will come from and how it will finance the government operations – after it wins the 2010 elections – and change the country for the better, please read again the article, Funding the Filipino Empowerment Fight


2.4             Once the ordinary voters realize that the NAU is for real, no Trapo will be able to beat its slates. And they cannot cheat because the army, the police and the teachers will not permit the cheating. The Trapos cannot deliver to them what the OF and OFW can promise in a written Covenant to fulfill from the first day of the NAU Administration.       


2.5             There are other proposed fundamental structural reforms in the Philippine economy, governance and society that the NAU can implement pursuant to its published platforms. These will the subject of the succeeding parts of this series.



In summary, the Filipino voters are not stupid. The Filipino government employees are not stupid. All that the NAU has to do is to use non-traditional ways and means of reaching out to the voters, signing a Covenant with them and explaining to them the viable ways and means of achieving the goals of the reforms. Yes, the Philippines can still be a country where not only the government but also the national economy is OF the people, FOR the people and BY the people -- just like what it is in the United States, Canada and most of the European countries.



It is time to let the little guys and little people in our homeland KNOW that there is something for them – and not just the politicians and their families and their warlords, gambling lords, drug lords and their goons will get the goodies the elections. The NAU will win because it will answer the poor people's question, "What's in it for me (for us)?" This is the gist of its offered “ReVOTElution.” Yes, right NAU, oops, now.  



(To be continued . . .) # # # 


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 October 2009 16:50
Comments (1)
1 Wednesday, 14 October 2009 16:46

Your arithmetic is wrong. The congressional pork barrel per year amounts to Pesos: Twenty-nine-billion (spelled with a B) and 800-million. Here are the computations:

250 members of the House of Representatives, including party-list members @ Pesos 100-million each = Equals Pesos 25-billion. (As one billion is equals 1,000 million; ergo, 100 congressmen @ Pesos 100-million each = Equals one-billion.

24 senators @ Pesos 200-million each per year = Equals 4.80-billion.

Your estimate of Pesos seven-billion and 200-million is way off. You were mistaken by the number of zeros in a billion: nine. Hundred million has only eight zeroes.


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