Monday, June 21, 2004

spare a buck, anyone?

Since I started blogging and finding my way around, there are a few things that I noticed. First, Filipinos have the capacity to put any technological breakthrough to its fullest advantage. Ex. cell phone texting. While I was in Canada a few years back, I noticed that they have not yet caught up with the Filipino fad. They need to talk to someone, they call. Never texted. Another example is blogging. Just like texting, it is becoming a fad as more and more Filipinos here and abroad get into the habit of putting their musings on this electronic journal. Lastly, that most of these bloggers are young and extremely intelligent. The blogging community is rife with young intellectuals who can make a big difference in the future.

A big part of why the economy is at a downfall is because of our monstrous debt. It is so huge I cannot imagine how many roomful of money is needed to pay our debt. To even think that the Philippines can ever pay it is now unthinkable. I have reason to believe that we will only need to borrow some more to be able to pay a part of it. The economy is so bad that it has often been said that even my children's children already has a burden of paying the country's foreign obligations.

Now comes my idea. Our country is one of the most populated countries in the world. What if we start collecting a peso from each individual to help our country pay its debt? Surely, anyone can spare a peso. With our depleted economy, a peso amounts to nothing anymore. If I can make this work, surely, there would be more and more individuals who can donate more. Bayi, Cathy and Batjay, that will be $1 each for the three of you. Sorry but while the magic number 1 is constant, the monetary sign is not. That goes with other expats as well. Doc Emer pwedeng magbigay ng Php100, ha. hehehe

In one of my exchange of ideas with Chris in Sassy's comment box, I asked him this question. "What can we do?" Bloggers, I don't know how to set it up or if it's even possible. Maybe you have better ideas. I'm willing to listen and abandon this if yours is a better one. Right now, I urge you all to think. Our predecessors, especially our leaders, have failed us. It is time we help ourselves.


Dr. Emer said...

Hello, Tito Rolly!

Nice idea. Siguro maganda nga yan. Stratify natin. For example, kung surname mo Zobel or Sy, siguro nasa range ng thousands ang donation mo. If we can be as patriotic as the Koreans and the Japanese during the 1997 financial crisis, there might be hope for us. Pero me mga problema din yan:
- who will handle the money?
- how do we make sure they will use our money to pay the nation's debts?
- ok fine, we have paid our debts. what measures will the government do to avoid financial hemorrhage from happening again?

I have posted a similar solution last February 22, 2004. You can check it out here:

I believe in your idea, Tito Rolly. Problem is, how many Filipinos believe in us?

cathcath said...

am willing to donate, pero hindi dollar. puwede bang 99 cents lang. I contibuted a cent's worth of advice to one blogger. hehehe

great idea by the way.

Anonymous said...


Talagang good idea. Ang kaso mo, paano ang management naman ng funds. Also, baka pag bayad na ang ating utang, matutuwa na naman ang ating mga politicians na umutang. Bakit kaya di na lang brains ang ating icontribute on how to improve our taxation system? Doon talaga nagmumula ang ating sakit ng ulo eh?

Matapoor said...

nice idea as long as hindi mapasukan ng corrupt sa grupo or org na mag ma manage nung funds.

Jet said...

Great idea Rolly. From our side of the fence, it's just a question of logistics and I don't think that would be a problem. All you would need to do, I think, is set up a site or some kind of portal where people can sign up with their credit card nos. and voila!

Ang problema e, gaya nga ng nasabi na ng iba, kanino sa gobyerno mo yan iaabot? Sino ang mapagkakatiwalaan natin? Kung puwede lang sana nating i-deretso sa World Bank or IMF.

Sassy Lawyer said...

Yah, but since we cannot pay directly to the creditors, we have to turn it over to the Philippine government first. Eh, di nanakawin din?

I'd love to help BUT I already pay my taxes (under protest). I just feel it might backfire. Like, ok, people are paying off the debts, we can loan some more... and more... and drop them into our pockets.

joyce said...

sir, tama ka diyan...problema lang, kanino nga i-iintrega yung pera? e baka kilohin pa at sabihing kulang sa timbang!

rolly said...

Hi guys,

Problems: isa-isahin natin:

Sino ang hahawak ng pera? I was hoping an organization of some sort na diretso bank after a week's collection.
Si Sassy sana e... basta wag ako. Kayo kaya ni Batjay, doc?

Close monitoring. We will have to make sure that the money is used to pay our debt. I'm sure maraming ra-ride na politiko if this one spins off. What I'll say is, "sorry, trapos are hands-off. Pihado magpapagalingan na naman ang mga yan. Mahiya naman sila no."

At, we will forbid borrowing again unless it is really needed, like if there's a calamity or something.

Sassy, since we can't pay directly to the creditors, when the money is complete, we will have the central bank governor accompany us to the World Bank. That is the only time a government person will ever see the money.

Sayang, di pala pwedeng dumiretso sa creditor. Sarap sanang ipamukha sa kanila na "hoy mga gunggong, babayaran namin utang na kinurakot nyo at tutal inutil kayo, wag na wag kayong makialam samin." Malay mo magising yang mga hinayupak na yan.

Anonymous, as I said, I'm listening to all the ideas. HOw do we improve the tax collection?

BatJay said...

Tito Rolly. Hehehe... Tito ka na pala ngayon sir.

How do we improve the tax collection and government collection in general?

We can improve collection if we can make all payments online, by phone or by ATM (like what we do in singapore). Taxes, Fines, Traffic Tickets, Bills, etc. We can install paying stations all over the country so people without computers can use these machines. Let's make interaction with government people as minimal as possible.

Let's make it mandatory: all students who study in UP and all public colleges and universities for that matter, serve the government for two to four years. let's pay them the equivalent salary that they will get in the private sector during this time. let's send them to the usual corrupt govt. offices: police department, DECS, DPWH, BIR so it'll be filled with intelligent people who are idealistic.

Let's do an honest to goodness assessment of our people in government. Let's just focus on 4-5 government offices so it'll be realistic: let's start with BIR, DPWH, DECS, POLICE, Telecomms. Fire all the people who are not useful then... Let's target to eliminate corruption here by 25-50% in the first 5 years. 50% by 10 years. 100% in 20 years. Let's use the money we save on corruption and spend it on basic services.

Let's also focus on our politicians. Let's outlaw political dynasties. Let's eliminate trapos by making people who are interested in running for public office automatically disqualified. Let's get the next batch of politicians from the people who are not interested in public office. I'm sure we can do a talent search somewhere.

Tapos, we can start sending all people proven to be executed if they are proven to have enriched themselves using our money.

ayan, pwede na ba akong presidente.

rolly said...

Bosing, pwedeng pwede. Ang dami mo na palang ideas. Kaya lang, start muna tayo sa barangay captain para unti-unti tayong makilala, hane. MAhirap yung diretsong presidente ka kagad mangangampanya. Di pa tayo kilala ng husto e.

Anonymous said...

Tito Rolly,
Naisip ko lang siguro mas maganda kung magka-isa tayo para makabuo ng isang unique organization kung saan makakapamili tayo ng mga taong susuportahan para magpatakbo ng ating gobyerno. Base kasi sa mga nababasa ko rito sa mga comments di lang sa internet pati na rin sa mga dyaryo, siguro marami tayong mga kababayan na talagang gustong magkaroon ng tunay na pagbabago para umunlad naman ang ating bayan. Yon nga lang nanatiling puro lang tayo komento at wala naman tayong ginagawang hakbang para nga mapansin o di kaya ay masunod kung ano man ang gusto nating mangyari.
Isa pang mahirap kasi kung sino yong mga matatakaw o gahaman sa kapangyarihan, sila ang masigasig kumilos kaya sila ang nasa puwesto.
Panahon na siguro para tayo talagang magka-isa (hindi puro politika).
Kung anuman ang nanaisin nyo at meron kayong isasagawang proyekto o adhikaing kapakipakinabang asahan nyo, sama ko diyan.
- Santi

rolly said...

Well said, Santi. Actually, the whole point of this blog is to challenge everyone to think of ways that we can do to help our country. My idea is just the start. I don't think it's even mathematically possible. There are how many filipinos? About 18 million, right? We could only be paying the interest of our debt with 18 million if my idea of a buck per individual. But it's a start, a wake-up call for us to unite and start working.

bayibhyap said...

It comes as no surprise to me that such a good suggestion has come from the likes of a doctor (Dr Emer) and and educator (Tito) instead of the politicians and economists, including the esteemed President, who has escalated the national debt with her continuous borrowings.

During the financial meltdown in 1997, I believe the Philippines was in a better position than some of her southeast asian neighbours like Thailand, Indonesia and perhaps even Malaysia. It was around this time that I believe that the Philippines managed to break herself free from the shackles of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In a matter of a few years, I see the IMF knocking the doors of the Philippines soon if no action is taken to check the growing national debt. The national debt cannot continuously grow faster than the national income (hope I've got this right) and at some point in time, the spectre of a default looms and the IMF will come calling. In our own different ways, we are trying to avoid this but find ourselves helpless as the national expenditure is not controlled by us.

In Thailand, there was a call for sacrifices to be made to boost the country's national reserves and lo! what a surprise. Not only did people contribute money, there were those who contributed land (titles surrendered to the country), cars, jewelry, antiques, gold bars, etc. In the rural areas, some of the Thais even tried to contribute livestock and perishables!

Beyond this collection exercise, this became a rallying cry for patriotism and united all the Thais at one of the lowest ebbs of the country's history. It united the hearts of all the Thais and made the economic rebound quicker and endurance of the hardship a little easier.

The entry of the IMF is often humiliating as the body dictates the "solutions" as a condition for lending money to the debtor and the "solutions" are often painful, causing prices of essential commodities to spiral and many people to lose their jobs when companies go out of business in the face of increasing rates of interest and hence, the cost of doing business.

Discuss further and put this plan into action. Even if it does not take off successfully, it will cause many more Filipinos to be aware of the severity of the national debt problem.

As for me, count me in. Malaysia has always practiced the principle of "Prosper thy neighbour".

baguiogirl said...


It is overwhelming to know how much buried we are in debt. I am no longer in the Philippines, pero 'ika nga, I left my heart in the Philippines. Nahihiya ako to admit, but leaving the country was my only way to have a better life. Medyo gumanda naman ng konti ang buhay ko.

Okey, suggestions, let's put our acts together. This is the time we need our computer geeks. I used to work for a non-profit organization and we used to manage USAID funds (dahil nga di nila trust ang government natin). Bakit di rin natin i-tap ang isang IGO to oversee this project..recommendations? Siguro, Meralco Foundation? San Miguel? Lopez? with the idea na these foundations will not link this to any political party..puwede ba huwag na nating haluan muna ng politics. It would be nice kung sana lahat ng contributions, like monetary or non-monetary e voluntary, walang pipilitin. Pero teka muna, saan natin gagamitin ang ating computer geeks? Well, di ba the world is going computerized na puwera lang ang ating gobyerno which took how many days to determine kung sino ang naging presidente? Una, we need them to make a mass e-mail blast to all Filipinos abroad or in the Philippines to let them know of this project. O jokes nga mabilis pa sa apoy kumalat. Let's create a website..sana with a big main frame din para maverify ng mga tao kung accounted nga ang kanilang contribtuions. Sa website na eto, puwede mong ma monitor kung magkano na ang naraise na funds, pag malaki-laking nakikita nila, the more na enticed sila to contribute more. 2.) Before we go into websites, let's talk to an IGO muna willing to take the risk with us..their prize? puwedeng malagay sa Guiness Book..he-he. Yung suggestion nga ng isa sa atin, let's make it convenient for everyone, ideposit sa bank directly, o wala na sigurong makakaisip na magwithdraw sa account na eto, kasi public knowledge naman, lesser interaction sa corrupts.., sa abroad, ganoon din, let's open an account and doon nila lahat i-deposit ang contributions nila?

so 3 things:

1.) Computer Geeks to maintain website for us
2.) An IGO
3.) A bank who's willing to maintain the account

Sa IGO and the bank, sana their contribution will be in the form of sponsorhsips..

ooopppsss, teka nga pala, we also need an able lawyer to help see us through..o di va sassy?

Tito, huwag na tayong mag-umpisa sa barangay..let's appeal as mere Filipino citizens na lang to all Filipino citizens..tutal ang e-mail naman is not within barangay level kundi cyberspace.

rolly said...

Hello Baguiogirl,

The real point with my blog, as I have mentioned, is to put everybody's mind in complete gear. See, I was right. There are a lot of great ideas out there, yours included. Now, if only we can put these ideas in motion...

Don't pay too much attention to the barangay thing. It was said in jest for Batjay who always has a ready smile to everything. Of course, Batjay's ideas are even better than any presidentiable in this last election.

Thanks for dropping by and hoping to see you more.

baguiogirl said...

Hello Tito,

This idea got me all perked up. Anything I can do to help my country, I will do..I am just a small voice though. Mind you, I thought I was just a small voice but I just realized that I was able to make 2 significant things happen lately 1.) A high school reunion held in San Francisco and of the 62 who graduated from our batch, 25 made it to the reunion 2.)I was part of a family committee gathering 100++ to a reunion in the East Coast. I wish I could contribute in my own small way to make this happen.

Sir, you have a way of drawing minds together and I like the way you moderate things on your site. Sana matuloy eto kahit interest man lang ang mabayaran natin. Small things mean a lot..remember??

baguiogirl said...


Naisip ko lang habang nasa trabaho ako(naughty mind boggling). If we had to appeal to all Filipino citizens "past & present" (lol) sino kaya sa ating mga politicians ang magcocontribute ng kusing nila knowing na alam naman nila kung saan galing yung mga kusing na yon (oopss! di naman nilalahat)..naughty..naughty talaga.

Sassy Lawyer said...

Kasi, ang borrower ay "Philippines". And pwede lang makipag-transact sa creditors "official representatives" ng Philippines. Sila lang ang may legal personality.

Unless we overthrow this government, take over and declare ourselves as the "true representatives"... baka, ni hindi tayo harapin ng IMF or WB.

Anonymous said...

So Sassy, are you saying that we cannot do anything anymore? Howabout exploring the value of an MOA (Memorandum of Agreement)?. What kind of suggestions can you possibly think of for the citizens to make this workable with the government? (let's forget about the fact that we all pay our taxes muna) ie: a left and right transaction (meaning, we hand the money to the government, and the government will right away hand it to IMF. Di naman siguro throwing the government out of their place in this world kung ganoon di ba? At least we can say we've done our best before we finally give up.

bayibhyap said...

Given the amount of publicity for such an exercise and the strong patriotism exhibited by the organisers and the donors, the government would be foolish to try to divert the money for "other uses".

I say go for it, rolly.