Saturday, September 10, 2016

Attack the West to Appease the East

In today’s spectrum of Philippine diplomacy, there is a great shift from being aligned to the west to something aligned to the east. And this is something that everybody shall be watched for. The following notes are those of Bernard Ong and cannot be reflect to the standpoints of this blog site.
THE INSIGHT (Perspective of Bernard Ong) [link here]
It's all about diplomacy and states craft.
In the latest installment of Duterte’s rants, he praises China for their “generosity” to the Philippines – something about promised materials for rehab centers. Then he attacks the US for selling only 2 FA-50 fighters without bullets or missiles plus says the US only “gives you principles and nothing else.”
Let's check the facts before his statements become gospel truths.
1. The two FA-50 fighters were bought from South Korea not USA. Duterte is misinformed. Or he is deliberately misinforming.
2. In the aftermath of super-typhoon Yolanda, China pledged a total of $2M in aid, dwarfed by furniture-maker IKEA that pledged $2.7M. US initially pledged $20M in aid, but delivered $90.9M. Among the first responders to Tacloban were helicopters of the US military that helped restore operations at the airport to allow aid to flow thru. So much for "principles and nothing else"
3. ODA (official development aid) grants portfolio of the Philippines stood at $3.19B in 2014. Of this total, 36.1% of grants were from USA. 5.2% by Japan and only 0.18% by China. USA grants were 200x more than China. Many of the USAID projects are in health, education, community development – the precise interventions into the root causes of drug abuse
4. Excluded from these ODA is the military assistance which is increasing. USA and Japan are once again the biggest donors.
5. Based on 2015 data, Japan is our biggest merchandise export market at $12.5B. These are followed by US at 8.6B while China’s export market is at 7.3B. We have a trade surplus with Japan of $6.5B and US at $0.6B. We have a trade deficit with China of $1.9B
6. US is our biggest service export market via BPO industry. BPOs are estimated to generate $25B revenues in 2016 ($55B by 2020). 77% of our BPO market is US-bound. That $30B growth in BPO from 2016 to 2020 is greater than any manufacturing or export-led growth possible.
BPO is the sunrise industry for the Philippines where we have clear competitive advantage (language, adaptability, time zone) versus the rest of the world. US is the main market now & in the future
7. Philippines received $25.8B in remittances in 2015. Biggest contributor was USA at 31.2%. China meanwhile is at around 0.2% only. US remittances are 127 times bigger than China.
8. In terms of net foreign direct investments, USA contributed 34% of all FDI in 2011-15. Japan came next at 23.7%. China was far behind at only 0.8%
9. In 2015, the Philippines earned P227.6B from international tourism. Of this amount, the top visitor was South Korea at 29.2% followed by USA at 18.6%. China was only 4.5%. Not even close.
10. China is a clear top contributor in one aspect. The trade value of illegal drugs in the Philippines was estimated at $8.3B in 2013. 96% of this is shabu, sourced almost exclusively from China.
Statistics on remittance.
1. Duterte’s rants are not rooted on large-scale data but selective nitpicking & twisting of facts to fit his narrative
2. US is our main economic partner now & in the future. Our competitive advantage (BPO) fits perfectly with their market. Runner-up is not even China, but Japan. Piss off the US, and its ally Japan, to get close to China - that's economic hara-kiri. This strategy of attack the West to appease the East is strategically flawed. We will lose more than our shoals. We will lose our main markets
3. China leads in only one area - supplying illegal drugs to the country. Whatever donation China makes is dwarf by the damage caused by its drug syndicates. Materials for drug rehab will be peanuts compared to the billions siphoned off. Duterte should ask for the Chinese to ship him the Triad drug lords, not construction materials.
Duterte's gratitude to the Chinese, and hostility to the Americans are clearly misplaced.
CONCLUSION (In Key Summary)
The overall point is that the United States contribute more than what China supplements with regards to the development of the Republic of the Philippines. Not to mention that the U.S. is the Philippine's key ally who supports the stance with regards to the West Philippine Sea issues. With the latest rhetoric coming from the Philippine President, it is clear that appeasing the Chinese can be seen as the shift from the traditions of sticking to the west to the Asiatic ideologies of the East. Not also to mention that rehabilitation centers for drug addicts inside military bases will be built by the Chinese. It can be seen as an opportunity for the people to see the change based on their conformity where on the other see this as a Trojan Horse endangering national security of the whole nation.
What remains to be seen is this: The Philippines is at the balancing act between two huge powers that determine the fate and direction of the whole nation in general. Three months may be not enough, but it is not until six months or a year since he rise up to power we judge his performance with regards to foreign policy besides drug elimination.


  1. "Many of the USAID projects are in health, education, community development..."

    As well as military assistance.

    IIRC, i've seen an old picture of an M41 Walker bulldog light tank with a USAID logo on it's turret when the US gov't transferred 7 of it to the Philippine Army in late 1950's


    1. ^ correction, it's early 1960's. My bad... :(


    2. Yes, agreed. That is deemed the proof that the Americans support the Philippines even from the beginning...

      Can you show it to us those old photos for everybody to see?

    3. I did not have it, just only saw the picture on a newspaper clip posted by a timawan less than a decade ago. But of course as you know, I can't provide the specific link due to obvious reasons (even the wayback machine couldn't help that much). :\


  2. Simple guys this people have no idea both the traitor President and supporters


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