THE question that should be asked each of us is how much we, as Filipinos, love the Philippines.
Of course, we would not know. As a matter of fact, we can never quantify love of country unless we incorporate the Philippines as a stock corporation and list its shares on the Philippine Stock Exchange.
How about listing PH and making it truly public?
Making the Philippines truly public and not allowing her to be ruined by unscrupulous and corrupt politicos may be one of the ways—if not the only way—for us to realize that she is the only country we’ve got and we have to love her despite the damage she suffers from the hands of the national leadership and elected officials throughout all these years.
Selling the shares of stock of an imaginary Philippine Holdings Inc. (PHI) to Filipinos through an initial public offering (IPO) would make each of us owner of a piece of our country. Because PHI shares would be our biggest individual asset, owning them should make us proud to be Filipinos despite the deficit and the debts that have accumulated because the dirty politicos have long been feasting on the country’s assets.
The government’s deficit could have, in fact, hit P200 billion due to too much corruption and politics. On the other hand, the country’s outstanding debt, according to published reports, has already ballooned to P5.9 trillion, a number that would be too difficult to count even for Due Diligencer.
These negative financials should be the least of our worries if only the Philippines were a real, publicly listed stock corporation, because as such, PHI could just opt to convert its debts into preferred shares of stock, then redeem them gradually after the company has fully wiped out its deficits by undergoing a quasi-reorganization.
As for the pricing, let the IPO begin.
Let us offer PHI shares exclusively to Filipinos at P1 par value per share. A public offering of 1 billion shares would easily raise for the company P1 billion. The company’s management should be careful in protecting the money by not turning the IPO proceeds over to the national government to avoid another DAP (Disbursement Acceleration Program) anomaly. Remember, legislative bribery.
We would know the value of our individual PHI holdings when big investors start accumulating PHI shares before the actual listing. In over-the-counter trade, speculators would usually offer premium over the IPO price. Should we, as individual stockholders, decide to sell our holding, we should wait a little longer for the stock to appreciate and command a better price. If no attractive offer comes along in the run-up to listing day, then hold on to them and pray that the shares would at least spur more investor interest on its trading debut and onward.
Then you might ask: If you sell your PHI shares, will that not be tantamount to treachery? In more direct terms: Wouldn’t selling our PHI shares make us traitors?
Of course not. Like any other listed stock, PHI shares could always be bought back on the market, which would give us a chance to regain our nationalism at a more affordable cost. That’s how the market works.
The next question on this important dream market would then be: What benefits would we get by owning PHI shares?
The answer: prestige.
Would you not be proud to own a certificate of stock that bears the signatures of the president of a republic, a chairman, as well as members of the board? For posterity, you could have that certificate placed in a nice frame, hang it on your wall, and let it serve as a reminder that when the situation called for it, you could always join a formidable group of stockholders that would move to get rid of unfit politicians from the board of directors and elect good (business) men who could rehabilitate the country corporation from the plunder and destruction wreaked by the elected robbers who had pretended to be public servants.
Finally, has Due Diligencer run out of topics to write about that it suddenly deviated from the usual corporate stuff and came out with such a scenario from out of this world?
No, this writer never runs out of topics to write about for the readers of The Manila Times. For a change, a mix of corporate and political issues has become an irresistible subject for a writer frustrated over the mismanagement of this country by elected officials, led by Malacanang’s temporary chief occupant who claims honesty in his government because he and his men are members of the Liberal Party.