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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The so-called Philippine “Elite”: failure of leadership

There is something wrong with some of our country’s so-called “thinking” elite. They don’t use their heads sometimes. They are supposed to guide the members of the public down the right path but much of what they say makes any one with half a brain scratch their head in confusion and disbelief. It’s no wonder that there are Filipinos who have become skeptical about the opinions of our “thought leaders” or simply do not believe what they say anymore.
Take Solita Collas-Monsod, popularly known asMareng Winnie. She is a Filipino TV program host, economist, professor, and writer. She is a formidable figure in Philippine broadcast media. As a popular (thanks to her TV exposure) economist, most Filipinos regard her fearless economic forecasts and candid political views very highly. Unfortunately, the fence sitting position she took during the campaign for the May 2010 presidential election regarding the then presidential candidate, Noynoy Aquino (P-Noy) was too disappointing to say the least.
Even before the official presidential campaign season kicked-off early this year, there was an email circulating around titled “Why I will vote for Noynoy by Winnie Monsod” which contained a lot of strong allegations of corruption against the other presidential candidate, Senator Manny Villar, who was P-Noy’s top contender in the race at that time. The letter was eventually exposed as a hoax because Monsod denied ever writing a letter endorsing a candidate. A fake letter like that, which served to damage Villar’s reputation can only come from a P-Noy handler, proves that P-Noy’s supporters are not above using dirty tactics just to win. But I digress…
Sadly, Monsod’s disownment of the letter was a little too late because a lot of voters were by then most likely already hooked into the perception that P-Noy was heavily endorsed by a leading economist of the country. This has a lot to do with the fact that even while she denied ever endorsing P-Noy, the voters never really heard her give a strong unbiased opinion about P-Noy’s capacity or incapacity to lead the country. As someone who once served in Cory’s administration, the only thing Monsod had to say about P-Noy in an interview with TIME Magazine before the election was, “Noynoy doesn’t have his father’s charisma, but he has his mother’s sincerity. Whether that’s enough, I don’t know.” Don’t you think that her statement was a bit lame and lacked conviction, considering her on-screen persona can be very feisty on her television show?
Anyway, her statement above is quite a contrast to what she is saying now about P-Noy in her latest article “Time for self-examination” published on the Inquirer.net. In the article, she admits that P-Noy has committed one too many gaffes in less than a hundred days in office. To quote:
ALL RIGHT, let’s face it. P-Noy’s administration has fumbled and bumbled and stumbled since Day 1: issuing orders that had to be revoked and or amended almost immediately (the one which would have crippled the bureaucracy, and which, alas, has still not been properly corrected); making the wrong conclusions about the government’s budget and cash situation; unreservedly touting “private-public partnerships” as the solution to the government’s resource scarcity problems; appointing people whose integrity and/or competence are questionable; doing a Gloria (the Cito Lorenzo-JocJoc Bolante case is almost identical to the Robredo-Puno situation in that the undersecretary was appointed before the secretary, and effectively shoved down the latter’s throat); and of course the latest series of blunders with regard to the hostage crisis.”
As someone who was close to the Aquino family and as someone who supposedly possesses above average thinking skills relative to the regular Juan, how could Monsod fail to recognise early hints of a likely failure in the leadership of P-Noy? More importantly, why didn’t she do her best to prevent P-Noy from winning the May 2010 presidential election (and have us see a better man in power under whose watch this sorry situation we are in could have been averted)? She is very influential after all (unfortunately). It could be a case of the all-too-familiar padrino system at work – criticize every body else specially those allied with former president Gloria Arroyo (GMA) but go easy on close friends.
Filipinos are quick to judge GMA on the basis of allegations of corruption even if none of it had been proven in court. But it is my opinion that the greatest lapses in judgment committed by most Filipinos in politics are brought about by their penchant for granting favors to their family and close friends. Perhaps, Monsod is not an exception to this rule.
In the same article, she justifies her role now as a (reluctant) critic of the Aquino government. She even goes on to divide P-Noy’s critics into two distinct groups: the unfriendlies and the friendlies. To quote:
Unfriendlies, including the political opposition, who point out the shortcomings (some very much imagined) with malicious glee in an attempt to prove that he was the wrong choice and to position themselves for the next elections. And the Friendlies, well-wishers and supporters who either have taken to heart his invitation for them to participate (they are his bosses), or who are anxious for him (and the country) to do well, and cannot count on getting through his cordon sanitaire who they feel are part of the problem rather than the solution.
I wonder if she can group GMA’s critics the same way? More importantly, why is there a need for her to come up with such a grouping? I’m sure she would like to be seen as being one of the “friendlies”; an attempt to reduce the likelihood of her falling out of favor with the Aquinos even as she turns up the heat or continue with her astute observation of P-Noy’s growing list of gaffes. As far as I’m concerned, a critic is a critic – full stop. Whether it is a genuine or misguided concern about the country that motivates people to speak out against a politician, at the end of the day, criticism will still be a hard-hitting assessment of someone’s work.
Her analysis about P-Noy’s critics is wrong. There is nothing malicious about pointing out that critics who warned voters about P-Noy’s incompetence during the campaign were right about him all along. Besides, everybody wishes P-Noy well, his critics in the “unfriendlies” camp included. There is nothing “imagined” about what P-Noy does to himself and the people who will be affected by his actions. In fact, it is P-Noy who keeps giving his critics all the material they need to continue criticizing him.
Why would anyone wish him ill anyway? To wish P-Noy ill is tantamount to saying that his critics wish all Filipinos ill. Her statements, in that regard, just don’t make any sense. I hope that she is smart enough to realize that none of us wished that a desperate ex-policeman would go berserk and hijack a bus load of tourists just to make P-Noy look like a fool.
There are many members in Philippine society who can be considered to be part of the “thinking” elite. They, it should be noted, belong to two distinct groups: The Delusionals, including majority of the country’s public officials who were elected just because they were popular; some members of the Media, and the technocrats. They all contribute to the dumbing down of the electorate with their irrational reasoning — like voting for “the chosen one” — which, unfortunately, makes perfect sense to the vacuous electorate. And then there are The Realists, including a few public officials, a few members of the Media and a few technocrats and professionals. They use their training and expertise to analyze situations in a more realistic fashion and make no further ado about nothing.
Unfortunately, it is not easy for the general public to distinguish between the two groups, so the public tends to regard The Delusionals as more credible because they so conveniently appeal to their emotions — much to the detriment of society.

About the Author

 has written 89 stories on this site.
Ilda is agent provocateur. She wants to help people realise that things are not always what they seem.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

DOT advertising agent on a rampage!

In yet another display of failure of the Philippines’ so-called thinking elite, Harvard graduate and chairperson of the infamous advertising agency, Campaigns & Grey, Yoly Villanueva-Ong, recently wrote a scathing attack on those who criticized the Department of Tourism logo and slogan, “Pilipinas, Kay Ganda!.” She described the critics as “net-dicts who fancy themselves divas of righteousness.” Whoa! But I haven’t even put my two cents in on the tourism slogan yet; which means I am not even one of those critics she is describing. Dang!
Why, oh why did I not bother to write about this much hated and talked about slogan?!? The answer is quite simple: because I already saw enough public outrage expressed about it. I am not one to kick a horse when it is already down. But I do fancy myself as someone who is fond of telling people to get off their high horse. And this Ms Villanueva-Ong, is so high up her fancy white horse that she can’t even hear the people who are talking below her very clearly.
Ms. Chairperson Ong can’t even accept the fact that her company came up with a dud of a campaign slogan. I’m pretty sure that when she and her staff were still in the drawing board, they probably thought that their idea was going to be a massive hit. Which is what usually happens when you drink too much Kool-Aid with your buddies. Unfortunately, the public has spoken and they have rejected the entire campaign ad right down to the dot. Even her idol President, Noynoy Aquino (P-Noy) likewise echoed the sentiments of the public. But then in her article, Ms Ong contradicts herself. To quote:
In the advertising business, rejection is par for the course. Recommendations get turned down everyday. It’s a client’s prerogative to follow the execution he deems best suited for a product that he knows best. It’s also a cutthroat industry. A thick hide and Pacman resilience are necessary survival tools.
If she is really so used to getting turned down everyday, then what is so different about the rejection she got from members of the public, whose taxes were used to pay her company? Obviously, Ms Fuming-Mad Ong has taken this very, very personally and even used her connection with the media to publish an article in her own defense.
She even predicted the reaction to her own article when she said that, “…whatever I say may be considered defensive or worse, prolong and intensify the attacks. True that, Ms. Ong. You are definitely defensive and you just prolonged the attacks. Now you even have my two-cents in. You should have listened to your “protective family and friends” advise “to steer clear of the contentious subject at least until the furor blows over.
Sadly, there was nothing in her article that would clear any of the issues that were brought up in the past few weeks after the so-called “preview” of the slogans were launched. The matter of whether or not the logo was plagiarized wasn’t even directly answered. The only thing she had to say about it was:
One accused us of being irresponsible for allowing the client to make us party to supposed plagiarism. That could have passed as a high-minded comment if his own brother wasn’t sued by a leading ad agency and ordered by the Adboard to cease and desist from airing a TV ad that was judged copied from Coke!
Then there was a former Creative Director for an airline account who mocked my Harvard degree as ironic under the circumstances. How quickly he forgot that he was fired by his Agency for allegedly receiving kickbacks from production suppliers!
Did she or did she not confirm that they committed plagiarism? It seems to me that she also showed an ability to deflect the blame to other people. Even the former administration was not off the hook with her when she mentioned the ZTE-NBN scandal. It’s like she was on a rampage and told herself, “If I’m going down, I’m taking everyone with me!” Everyone, it seems, including the public who should instead be lauded for voicing their opinion before the slogan hit foreign shores.
She can even pass as a gossip columnist for her use of blind-item descriptions. We, and the people on the streets don’t even know who that “one” is she was talking about, so why was there a need for her to mention that the brother of this “one” was sued by a leading ad agency?!? And I don’t really see the need to take a jab at someone who mocked her Harvard degree. Did she just want to mention that she has a Harvard degree just in case people missed it?
I’ve seen this kind of behavior before. Some members of the Philippines’ so-called elite always get too sensitive when they perceive a mocking of their fancy education. To be fair, in a country obsessed with credentials, flashing diplomas isde rigueur. It’s basically just a manifestation of that “I am better than you” typical mentality. Unfortunately, because they keep harping about their credentials, people expect more from them but when the proverbial brown stuff hits the fan, the practice tends to work against them.
Most ironic of all, Ong revealed the real reason why she was compelled to write her feelings at the end of her tirade. She insinuated that she was moved by the resignation of Undersecretary Vicente “Enteng” Romano, “When Undersecretary Vicente “Enteng” Romano exited with grace, he demonstrated a miracle of public office never witnessed in this country: a government official taking full ownership of a tempest-in-a-teacup-blown-up-into-a-Category-5-hurricane.
How noble of her to admit that Enteng did the right thing, something that not many of the new administration’s staff would have done. But then she did not take the cue to do the right thing by admitting her company’s own hand in the fiasco.
Ms Ong, when you said “tearing down is more fun than building up,” I’m sure you were talking about how much fun you had tearing down other people. Otherwise, you would’ve stuck to the topic of the ill-fated tourism campaign slogan you helped develop.

About the Author

 has written 89 stories on this site.
Ilda is agent provocateur. She wants to help people realise that things are not always what they seem.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Philippine Tourism and The Philippine Leadership’s Lack of Strategic Thinking

The tourism slogan is an amusing distraction given the gradual destruction of an independent judiciary and the oligarchy’s continuing capture of the Philippine economy. The “It’s more fun in the Philippines” blurb also fueled the nationalist sentiments of Pinoys to the point where the culture of denial blatantly glosses over the festering sores of poverty and inequality just to promote the slogan. We ought to see the slogan for what it is – a government program to generate revenue for the tourism businesses – and raise more taxes aka “government revenue” from the tourism sector.
The question is – are we doing this right?
What is Tourism?
Here are some definitions from Wikipedia
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people “traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes”.[1]
Tourism brings in large amounts of income in payment for goods and services available, contributing an estimated 5% to the worldwide gross domestic product (GDP), and it creates opportunities for employment in the service industries associated with tourism.[2] These service industries include transportation services, such as airlines, cruise ships and taxicabs; hospitality services, such as accommodations, including hotels and resorts; and entertainment venues, such as amusement parks, casinos, shopping malls, music venues and theatres.
In general, tourists visit in order to: 1) experience attractions, food, culture 2)visit friends and relatives and 3)attend and participate in events.

Where is Philippine Tourism coming from?

I recall that during the Ramos presidency (1992-1998) the battle cry was to promote investments, trade, and tourism. These three were always together as part of a continuum of economic development. The model we used can be encapsulated in the following manner:
1. Tourism serves as a “demo”, an opener into the Philippines. It gives people an idea of what the country can offer. What it’s like to live here, albeit temporarily.
2. Trade is bolstered by tourism. When tourists get to know more about the stuff that’s being done here and the stuff that can be sold here as well – more trade opportunities are opened up.
3. The sustained interaction of tourism and trade creates sustainable conditions for long term involvement with the economy leading to investments.
4. More foreign investments leads to more foreign tourists and more trade – and the cycle continues.
It was a good model, we created the buzz and put the Philippines right back into the radar screen of global business. Unfortunately, after we primed foreigners to tour and trade and got them on the verge of investing – the Constitution put on a dampener on foreign investments.
I realized that the model’s flaw is that it did not factor in the role of the restrictive constitutional provisions. In doing so, the Philippines missed out on leveraging tourism inflows to increase economic growth – BIG TIME.
And given that Filipinos were resistant to opening the economy to competition; bought the nationalist protectionist line hook, line and sinker; and did not want to tamper the constitution – there wasn’t really much we can do, except offer fiscal incentives. Obviously, we we wear easily beaten by the more liberal economies of Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Today, we are still taking a beating.
Then the ASEAN financial crisis hit and tourism arrivals declined during Estrada’s term, and continued into the earlier part of Arroyo’s term.
Still, it does not take rocket science to figure out that prior to Arroyo, foreign tourist arrivals averaged two million (2M) per year. By 2004, tourism arrivals were increasing. The 3,000,000 tourist arrivals per year was breached in 2007 and has stayed at the 3.5M range in Nov 2011.
I wonder how the tourism arrival figures will look like by the end of 2012. Will there be an increase? Will there be a decrease? How will it look like two years from now, three years from now, at the end of Aquino’s term? Here’s what I know though, the Philippines is struggling to hit the 3M per year level while its neighbors in ASEAN exceed 20 M foreign tourist arrivals per year. For instance in 2008, Malaysia had 22,052,000, Thailand had 14,536,000, even tiny Singapore had more than twice the foreign tourist arrivals of the Philippines at 7,778,000.
If it’s really more fun in the Philippines, how come more are going elsewhere BUT the Philippines? Not only that, how come tourism arrivals are going lock step with the investment growth in these areas?
Shouting harder does not make your product any better.
At times, we get too stuck up with the slogan instead of letting the product speak for itself. Thus, instead of arousing curiosity, attraction, and fascination – we get the push back. The problem is we get angry when we get a sales objection and try to overrun it with slogans when we ought to be listening to the market and satisfying it.
With the kidnapping of foreigners and tourists taking root as a cottage industry as Aquino throws the Philippine economy into a ditch, it begs the question on how this will affect foreign tourist arrivals.
The typical Pinoy answer would be to put the onus on government to improve tourism. I am not sure if that is the right answer because government has this habit of creating more problems as a solution to another problem.

Is Sloganeering Enough?

I would prefer a market-driven solution, one that involves both foreign and domestic providers, on equal footing.
Being an archipelago, the Philippines faces a disadvantage – the lack of contiguousness of its attractions. These however, is not insurmountable and in fact the lack of contiguousness should be turned into an advantage – a Unique Selling Proposition even. The upside of being an archipelago after all is that geographically separate islands tend to develop diverse customs, traditions, food stuff, and the like.
Access to these attractions will always be paramount – and the question is whether to limit the providers to Filipino businesses only, or to expand the providers so in order to increase market share. Of course, the current Filipino predisposition to have Filipinos only, distribute Filipino attractions misses out on the wider market covered by non-Filipino travel agencies. Indeed one of the issues has been of cost. Is it because the products are rare? Or is it because there are only few suppliers? Instead of telling Pinoys and their foreign guests to make do with what’s available – what’s keeping us from letting anyone in who can make what’s available, even better? Supply-side economics and the restrictive Philippine constitution’s economics obviously don’t mix.
Filipino tourism groups should also start stepping up to the plate and stop using tax money to pay for their promotions. Rather, the industry should start looking at more tax breaks for promotions expenses, staff training, capital outlays instead of hitting on subsidies from taxpayers.

Reality Check

In closing, I look back at the time when I was still with the “Invest In Davao” project and we were on a mission to generate more trade, investment, tourism arrivals for my hometown of Davao. So there I was delivering my spiel – why Davao is the place to be – no typhoons, stable peace and order, access to water, stable electricity, literate work force. I was also bragging about the tourism growth in Davao of more than 25% compared to the previous year.
Then I asked our host about their tourism. Our host at that time were the people who constructed Orlando International Airport. They told me that tourism arrivals in Orlando were 25 million. Sheesh.. I was bragging about Davao’s 150,000 tourist arrivals – and these guys were talking in the millions. These guys were operating in a different place of consciousness… lol.
And the past couple of days reminded me of those darn days in 1997. It’s more fun in the Philippines? Really? Let me clue you in
Orlando welcomed a record-breaking 51.455 million visitors in 2010, up 10.5 percent from 46.6 million in 2009. Domestic visitation accounted for 47.78 million visitors, a 10.3% increase over 2009; and international travel totaled 3.675 million, an increase of 12.6% from 2009.
Mocking and contempt aside, for Filipinos who have already left, the only reason why it’s more fun in the Philippines is family and friends. And even that – is starting to look.. not fun. Not when you see the poverty and chicanery that’s being pulled over their heads. Tourism is not an end itself – but it can be. But just because it can be, should it then remain a silo? I assert that tourism is but one of many tools that can be harnessed for economic well-being under a framework of free markets and limited government.
As the Philippines faces a confluence of issues that in my opinion are driven by economics, we need to look beyond slogans – and give importance to the product. After all no slogan can beat a satisfied customer’s testimonial. And no slogan can whitewash an irate customer’s wrath.
Maybe when the Philippines tops the Orlando foreign visitor arrivals of 3.675 million million in 2010 (and Orlando is not even a country!), I’ll believe that it’s more fun in the Philippines.

About the Author

 has written 440 stories on this site.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Toilet Papers Seen as a Big Factor in Philippine Tourism Drive

OK. Bad news: The volume of tourists coming in is shrinking. But the solution to that may have been finally found at last: House Bill 1245 or the Philippine Toilet Paper Availability Assurance Act (TPAA).

The credit goes to a previously unknown party list group, the Palikuran Party List, who won the last position, surprisingly came-up with a very simple yet seen as an intelligent approach to revive the dying tourism in this country

This bill, according to the proud proponent, was not a result of a guessing game but actually a product of a month-long government-funded study conducted on several key tourism areas. A telling conclusion came out showing at the top of the list what keeps tourists not completely satisfied while on stay was that most toilets are insufficiently-equipped, most of them noticeably lacking toilet papers. Thus, House Bill 1245 is now submitted to the House Tourism Committee for initial deliberation which is expected to come-up with a get-go order for bill final deliberation.
In a privilege speech delivered by the Palikuran Representative, he never failed to emphasize why his colleagues must support the bill and he expected they will. All it took was for him to say a seemingly compelling rhetorical question which says, “If a tourist called by nature, after discharging a substance causing inconvenience to him or her, finds out there is no toilet papers to wipe his or her….thing or whatever part, would anyone in this House expect the disgusted tourist would ever come back to that toilet, much less to be in this country again?”
The bill has only one purpose. And that is to make it sure that toilet owners in identified tourist areas must ensure toilet paper is available in their facilities 24/7. The Department of Tourism website will post an advisory that tourist will  expect no more toilet paper shortage in all toilets all the time. Last thing the  DOT officials would want to see is a pissed-off tourist cursing toilet owners for lack of toilet papers.
In line with the country’s tourism banner to entice tourist, the “It’s More Fun in the Philippines”, the availability of toilet papers may now give one more attractive reason why tourist must choose Philippines as their next vacation destination.
Toilet paper is now seen as an important factor to sustain a positive tourism drive. The tourism authority officials are now hoping the President would be delighted after the latter gave them a week to come-up with a reliable solution to the tourism problem or else they would be kicked-out from their job.
This landmark bill is overwhelmingly expected to get unanimous vote of approval from House members and the President is likewise expected to sign it into a law in no time. With this, we may expect to see a rare scenario wherein in lawmakers are unified in one honorable intention to act for the benefit of the tourism industry and the economy as a whole. All it would take is a tourism bill of toilet papers.
With this recent development, the country’s Party List system may not be a waste of people’s money after all. On a press conference, the author of the bill have hinted, given the high probability of success once the bill passed, the toilet paper program may be extended to all toilets all over the country. The lawmaker sounded so positive about it.

Disclaimer: Go figure it out yourself.
Author of this post is the owner of MonkeySocietyblog

About the Author

 has written 6 stories on this site.
Libertarian Buddhist

Saturday, October 27, 2012

CHED and Aquino: Expanding the Miseducation of Filipinos

So what if K12 is being implemented in the Philippines? Will it lead to more productive, critical thinking empowered Filipinos? Or, will it just lead to more domestic helps that can be deployed overseas – who will send remittances so that SM’s Henry Sy can maintain being number one in the Philippines Forbes 40 richest Filipinos?

What’s the point in extending the years of being educated when the content of Philippines public education remains uncompetitive? Extending the number of years learning the same old concepts – using the same old methods of rote learning just leads to more zombies, cannon fodder for people power, warm bodies who will sell votes, and domestic helps in the Middle East and Hong Kong.
We have focused too much on “protecting” Filipino schools. Have we, however, “protected” the Filipino students or have we left them as prey for the operators of Filipino schools?

Remove the Middle Men

Don’t you find it amusing that the top professors of UP, AIM, Ateneo, De La Salle, and what not – are sent for schooling overseas – Harvard, Stanford, Cambridge, Oxford, and the like. Then these same “scholars” return to the Philippines and regurgitate the content in the Filipino schools.
Why should Filipino students settle for regurgitated content when they can get the content direct? The thing is – they can’t get the content directly, because the Philippine constitution restricts foreigners from owning schools in the Philippines – allegedly to “protect” Filipinos.
“Protect” Filipinos from what exactly? From “evil” foreign influences? Really? Let me tell you straight up buster – evil influences are not a monopoly of foreigners – Filipinos can be just as evil, scheming, and manipulating – you don’t have to go far, it’s just in your own backyard.

What’s not being said

The unsaid component of K-12 is that by extending the length of stay in the schools: 1) “protected” Filipino schools make more money from unprotected students; – and, 2) students are delayed from entering the job-scarce labor market of the Philippines.
These exposes a cocktail of interrelated challenges that have in its root – a flawed constitution that protects Filipino businesses at the expense of Filipino consumers. Think about it – should a consumer be protected from getting better service at lower prices? The notion is ABSURD!

Education is a service – not an entitlement

Education, just like any other market for services will be affected by the government regulations – in the form of preventing the increase of suppliers in the market. Note that CHED has routinely prevented the opening of degrees under the guise of preventing “over saturation”.
“Oversaturation” means the sectarian schools behind Bro Luistro are averse to facing competition – and instead of improving their course offerings and redesgining their service delivery mechanisms – these school operators have instead lobbied for restrictions – at students and taxpayers expense.
The better solution is to open the education market – allow foreign investors to own majority shares in locally registered companies that own and operate schools. The impact of this policy is to increase supplies and drive prices down for consumers.
It also reduces the need to allot more tax money for public schools and state universities – which also leads to a reduction in corruption because there is less tax money available for pilferage by CHED, Congress, and the vested interests.

Rethink “Public” Education

We need to rethink the fundamental assumptions about public education. Does public education mean that education needs to be funded by public funds? Or does it mean allowing the public to access education services in the manner which reflects their personal values and preferences?
The former ensures that incompetent government policy reverberates throughout the education market. The latter allows people to regain control of their education.
Lastly, allow me to address the myth that private schools are expensive – or if they are low cost the services are inferior – by providing a video from TED talks which shows how private schools are serving the poorest of the poor at costs which are lower than public schools – and with better outcomes.

Low Cost Private Schools – The Elephant in the Room

Seminal research in the slums and shanty towns of Asia and Africa shows not only the numbers of low-cost private schools around the world but why, how and by whom they are run and patronised. Dr. Pauline Dixon looks at parental choice, the comparison between government and low-cost private schools as well as innovative initiatives that are currently underway in India and Ghana such as vouchers and chains of private schools. The talk also considers what the wider world can learn from this market success story.

Stories such as those narrated by Pauline Dixon need to be celebrated. Government however will put these stories in a back burner because it highlights the monumental failure of government intervention in markets. As pointed out in an article in the Freeman Online
National governments are threatened by the existence of this counterrevolution in private education, for if they can’t get basic education right, then people might wonder: what can they do? Aid agencies might wonder whether they have been backing the wrong horse for decades. And development experts feel ideologically snubbed: they believe that the poor need aid channeled through government schools; they’re offended that instead, the poor seem to have their own ideas about how educational needs can best be provid­ed. But poor parents know what they are doing. They want the best for their children and know that private schools are the way forward. The question is: will anyone with power and influence listen to them?
Filipino students or consumers of education services deserve better or do they?
Related Reading:

About the Author

 has written 440 stories on this site.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Panoramas and 3D Tours of the Most Beautiful Places Around the World!


This is just fantastic. Pick out any interesting location around the world and click on it. A page will come up with a photo. In the center is a circle with a triangle. Click on the triangle. Now you get a full picture. If it's not a full screen, click on the 4 dots in the lower right corner.  Now with full screen, place your cursor anywhere on the screen and slowly drag the picture in any direction you want. Left, right, up, down, slow or stop. Try the Egyptian Pyramids in Egypt or Moscow, Kremlin to get started. This is a one e-mail you will want to save. Enjoy.

Click on the below City Names; Enjoy!

Victoria Falls, Zambia   •  Venezuela, Surroundings of Angel Falls, Venezuela   •   Angel falls,Venezuela  •  Kalyan Minaret, Bukhara, Uzbekistan   •  Miami, USA   •   Las Vegas, USA   •   Lake Powell, USA   •   Manhattan, New York, USA   •  Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, USA   •   Millennium UN Plaza Hotel, New York, USA   •   Oahu, Hawaii, USA   •   Las Vegas, Nevada, USA   •   Millennium UN Plaza Hotel, New York, USA   •   Golden Gate Bridge, USA   •   Statue of Liberty, New York, USA   •  Manhattan, New York, USA   •  Hollywood, California, USA   •   San Juan and Colorado rivers, USA    •  Goosenecks, Utah, USA   •   Mono Lake, California, USA   •  Millennium UN Plaza Hotel, New York, USA   • Chicago, Illinois, USA   •   Los Angeles, California, USA   •   Kiev, Ukraine   •   Ay-Petri, Ukraine   •   Dubai, UAE  •  Dubai, Islands, UAE   •   Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, UAE   •  Bangkok, Thailand   •   Sankt-Moritz, Switzerland   •   Cape Good Hope, South Africa   •   Cape-Town, South Africa   •  Moscow, MSU, Russia  •  Moscow, Kremlin, Bolotnaya Square, Russia  •  Moscow, Russia   •  Moscow Kremlin,  Russia   • .748765;37.540841, Russia   •   Moscow City, Russia   •  Kremlin, Moscow, Russia   •   Moscow City, Russia   •   Trinity Lavra of Sait Sergius, Russia   •   Saint-Petersburg, Russia  •  New Jerusalem Monastery, Russia  •  Saint Petersburg, Russia   •  Novodevichy Convent. Moscow, Russia  •  Ramenki, Moscow, Russia   •   MKAD, Moscow, Russia  •  Moscow, Russia   •  Moscow, Russia   •   Krokus Expo Center, Moscow, Russia  •  Moscow Region, Russia  •  Moeraki Boulders, New Zealand   •   Fiordland, New Zealand   •  Nepal, Nepal   •  Maldives, Maldives  •  Kuala-Lumpur, Malaysia  •  Grimsvotn, Iceland   •   Amsterdam, Holland   • Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany  •   Egyptian Pyramids, Egypt   •   Hong Kong, China  •  The Iguassu Falls, Brazil   •  Twelve Apostles Marine National Park, Australia   •   Sydney, Australia   •   Buenos Aires, Argentina   •  Egyptian Pyramids, Egypt