Which Yardstick?

I first encountered the Asian Development Bank study entitled “Philippines: Critical Development Constraints” over the weekend at Ellen Tordesilla’s blog entry, (thanks to leelock.) Despite the much hyped 7.3% growth in terms of GDP by the Arroyo administration, (which the report acknowledged,) the study notes that “both public and private investment remain sluggish and their share in gross domestic product has continued to decline.”

An article at Inquirer.net yesterday on the same report summarized the “‘constraints to private investment and growth’ in the Philippines” which included:

  • Tight fiscal situation due largely to weak revenue generation.
  • Inadequate infrastructure, particularly in electricity and transport.
  • Weak investor confidence due to governance concerns, particularly, corruption and political instability.
  • Inability to address market failures leading to a small and narrow industrial base.

The article is actually the second on the same report released last week. The other one focused on the exodus of skilled workers looking for greener pasteurs. The phenomenon raises doubts on the sustainability of the economic growth last year harped on by the current administration as the country is losing “not only human capital but it is also losing a lot.”

Curiously the timing of the statement of the US State Department as quoted by Philippine ambassador to the United States Willy C. Gaa couldn’t have been more perfect. According to the article mentioning the post on the Philippine embassy’s website:

Gaa thanked the State Department for expressing its continued confidence on the Philippine economy and democracy in its recently released US State Department 2009 Congressional Budget Justification Report.

So which is it really? Sans the numbers and technocratic jargons, my guess is that it’s the one a lot of us knew all along. The presence of the former just stresses the latter, (just as it should.)

Food for Thought

A recent Time article takes a look at the effect of the rise of food prices worldwide especially among poor nations. Growing demand for food among fast growing economies such as India and China, rising oil prices affecting other agriculture commodities in turn, and global warming affecting harvests because of changes in climate, were among the main reasons raised in the material. That as images of riots related to basic commodities in poor nations in Asia and Africa are mentioned to depict a worsening global problem.

Now I wouldn’t have written about this were it not for a local problem related to the issue. Last week, leelock wrote about another Arroyo-China deal “allowing the lease of 1,000,000 hectares of our land to Jilin Fuhua Corporation.” Towards the end of the her entry, she posted a question of why we won’t grow food from our own land.

Given the global basic commodity problem international organizations express concern over and a largely unaddressed overpopulation problem, it all the more makes sense to support agriculture domestically. If the trend on global food and basic necessities Time reports and the growth of the Philippine population are indications, it would be worse to become more dependent on the global market for agriculture.

Who Am I? – Moomai

MoomaiOne of the many things in my long list of things I could afford to put off for tomorrow would be to check out Syndeo Media’s Moomai. The close of the semester couldn’t have been more timely.

Moomai is basically another networking site which, unlike other networking sites, have something new to offer. Leave it to Luis to prep cool online stuff as he puts:

…it’s a social-network, and that at its core, it takes its cues from the looking-glass theory, as originally posited by the sociologist C.H. Cooley over a century ago. Yeah, I’m pretty old-school that way.

Anyway all the time I had then afforded me to just skim over some of its features: the ratings, invites , moods and friends functionalities of the site. Right now I’m still looking forward to try out other features especially the Quilts functionality. The idea of a community contributing pixelized works to an overall quilt somewhat reminds me of the threeway back at hifi then.

Its ratings system is all about a unique set of words forming a descriptive sentence based on the rating set by contacts. So far my friends think that I’m a:

  • loaded, omniscient awkward turtle who doesn’t exercise very much
  • sophisticated, ripped barfly who solves friends’ Calculus problems for kicks
  • wealthy, pedantic barfly who is quite huggable
  • prodigious, middle-class barfly who likes to get the most out of his buffet money
  • twiggy, middle-class keeper of the groove who lives in the future
  • swoon-worthy, diplomatic, cerebral softy with a good credit rating
  • yummy, financially-capable prodigy who loves his friends

I haven’t played much with the moods functionality for the same reason why I’ve been on a hiatus for months here. Anyway, it’s a pretty easy way to inform your network in the internet world about your general mood on certain days. The provided timeline there says pretty much everything about one’s mood swings.

As with other networking sites, the friend and invites functionalities serve their purpose well. That is, one gets to see his/her friends moomai updates easily and invite other non-member friends to join the community just as easily.

So to those interested, I still have around 40+ invites to give out.

Creeping Normalcy

Now that’s something creeping I don’t mind at all. From pretty active blogging to abruptly vanishing in the blogosphere, school left me with no choice but to give in to its pretty fat demand of having to take away a serious chunk of my time. In the course of it all, the blog never saw me drop an entry for Christmas, the New Year, the NBN/ZTE updates involving Lozada this time around and a whole lot of other not so big incidents I used to normally write about despite having my share of time management issues then.

But school held my time hostage. It was the last of the exams that had me feel how dead tired I actually am from all that I have been subjecting myself to for the past few months. Nearly sleepless nights and weekends spent tapping away the keys of my notebook not to blog but to come up with something due soon; the keystrokes aren’t that from fingers pressed to beat deadlines or to cope with streams of thoughts but from the finding the feel of what it used to do then.

I’m still not out of the woods yet as I have to keep my fingers crossed for the time being, hoping for a favorable outcome for the sole exam for a major subject. I’m taking that over the creepy and heart stopping wait for the finals date though. It’s been years since I last had to squeeze tons of information into my just-recently broken-in brain for school. Now it’s time to bum around and take things easy on the weekends again.

After I get my well-deserved sleep like normal people, that is. 😀