Labor expert: We are unready for AES


TWO AESes are poised to damage our country forever.

One is the “Automated Election System” that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) bought for billions of pesos from the Venezuelan businessmen who own Smartmatic.  This Smartmatic AES–with its use of the Precinct Count Optical Scan machines–caused us to have opaque, un-transparent ballot counting in our precincts in the 2010 and 2013 elections.
With the PCOS machines no one can prove that his vote was not counted correctly or even not counted at all.  The Smartmatic AES cum PCOS machines system was carried out illegally in the last two polls. The Comelec did not and the system could not comply with the provisions of the law on automated elections.  For instance, the precinct count results, made in the bowels of the PCOS machines without passing any form of either machine or human verification, were transmitted to the municipal canvassing centers without being signed by the teachers forming the Board of Election Inspectors.

That the PCOS machines are an instrument of fraud is immediately proved by the fact that there were precincts that the PCOS results showed with impossible counts.

But at this writing, the Comelec commissioners have shown no interest in junking the proved-to-be error-prone PCOS machines.  We Filipinos are chained by the Comelec to Smartmatic and its PCOS machines which can ignore the true will of the citizen-voters and dictate who are to become our “elected” leaders and lawmakers.

The Asean AES

The other AES is the Asean Economic Summit, organized by the Financial Times. It was originally scheduled to be held in Bangkok last March and because of problems there has been rescheduled to November 12 in Singapore.

It is not actually the FT AES that could prove to be as injurious as the PCOS machines to our development but the most likely decision that the summiteers will reach.  This is to go ahead, carry on with the implementation Asean Economic Integration after the end of 2015.

The birth of another solid economic bloc of countries, similar to the European Economic Community, will be a boon to the world economy.  Suddenly all the 10 countries that are members of Asean will become a single market, doing free trade with each other as if each separate country were just a province of the Asean unity.

There will be no more tariff or any kind of protection for the weaker states. The weak sectors in these weak states in Asean will be most particularly hit.

The economically stronger countries–within Asean and outside–will surely benefit. They will be able to sell more efficiently, market their products and services more cheaply and effectively, to the countries of an integrated Asean.  But weak and incompletely developed nations like the Philippines will suffer.

Labor and industrial relations expert Dr. Rene Ofreneo of the University of the Philippines worries that our country is not yet ready for the impact of Asean integration.

Speaking recently at a forum in Davao City, he reminded the audience that ours is an unequal economy suffering from imbalance.  Our wealth and apparent strength come largely from a large Business Process Outsourcing industry and the ever increasing remittances from overseas Filipino workers.  Meanwhile our manufacturing is weak and ours is a severely damaged agriculture sector.

With Asean economic integration Philippine-made manufactured products will not be able to compete with the cheaper products from the more efficient and industrially stronger Asean countries. Before long our industries will die.  Our agriculture will also not be able to complete with the lower prices of produce from our neighbors.

Dr. Ofreneo said we need to “rebalance” our economy fast. Our present economy is not sustainable.  The agricultural sector has to develop and grow so that Philippine produce will at least be affordable to Filipino consumers.  And our manufacturing must match the efficiency of those of our neighbors.

Some quarters in Malaysia have also expressed fears about the effect on them of Asean economic integration.

Can our government and our private sector business leaders delay the birth of the integrated Asean economy until we have become stronger than we are now?


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  1. The effect of integration will be most people will work in service industries like hotels, entertainment and back-office jobs. Salaries will be depressed. Less jobs for university/college grads. Pinoys will migrate to Thailand to work in agriculture. Filipinos will be seen as taking jobs everywhere. There will be pogroms and Anti-Pinoy Riots. We have alraedy seen this against the Indians and Pinoys in Singapore. That is just a start. At the same time our country will fall so far behind taht we will institutionalize “Medicancy”. We will have Caste system like India. Trash collecting, street cleanin etc will be run by these Filipino Lower castes. We will have slums side by side 5 star hotels. It is already happening with Slums along canals/rivers, under bridges, floating slums along Manila bay…

  2. The effect will be more Filipinos migrating/working overseas. Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand will be swamped with Pinopy doctors, nurses, engineers, architects, maid, laboureres. Right now the seaman/shipping industry of Singapore is almost 100% pinoy, Malaysia is fighting back, Thailand offshore oil is getting more Pinoys. Their Health industries will prefer Pinoys which will cause friction within the locals.
    Yes, these ARC is boon for big business but the local populations of each induadual states will suffer with less good jobs, more competition, less choice.
    What we are seeing is like this: One factory instead of 10 producing for all. The effect will be to lay off the workers of these 9 other factories. The idea was to lower cost. But looking at our example, prices did not come down it actually went up – so more profits for the multinational. Now this idea is really dumb in the long run. As we have seen in the US. There will be less consumers in the end because more people will be out of work !!!

  3. Nagtataka pa kayo!!! Ito lang mga plying voters hindi nila mapigil!!
    Hindi ba sila nagtataka kung bakit maraming nagpapakamatay para magparehistro at halos magtulakan dahil ito ang ginagawa nilang. hanapbuhay!! Sapagkat ang. mismong baranggay captain ang. mga gumagawa nito!!
    Ang comelec ang dapat bantayan
    Hindi Sila ang magbabantay!!hindi natin nilalahat pero meron sa Mga ito ang nagpapabayad para mapanalo ang isang kandidato!
    Ang nakapagtataka bakit hindi madetect ng computer amy may dalawa o ilang beses ng bomoto!!

  4. The PCOS machines deprive or isolate the people from participating. Only the very few technical men are involved. In a country like ours reputed with rampant electoral fraud, the people should have a chance to participate. As Thomas Jefferson once said: ” There can be no SAFE DEPOSITORY for the ultimate power of the people except in the PEOPLE themselves.”