• On why Mr. Banayao is alone in his IT niche

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    Mr. Ronquillo, good column. The reason we have no great successes in IT like Mr. Banayao is that our policymakers and private-sector leaders during the Cory Aquino regime stupidly believed the then World Bank and International Finance Corporation mantra to GLOBALIZE OR PERISH! This ideology meant that the economically inferior countries should concentrate their resources on their SERVICE INDUSTRIES and export these so that they can GLOBALIZE. Therefore, the financially inferior countries like ours would have to abandon INDUSTRIALIZATION and AGRICULTURAL MODERNIZATION and expensive efforts to become SELF-SUFFICIENT in rice and food products, Anyway, we were told wrongly, Filipinos could buy all the factory-made products and food products cheaply from abroad.

    Now, 30 years later, the World Bank et al. are blaming the persistence of Philippine massive unemployment and pandemic poverty on the policy to abandon manufacturing and agriculture and agri-business.

    It’s INFURIATING!

    If we had not abandoned manufacturing and agricultural modernization in the 80s, our IT scientists and wizards would have, like India, local industries and agri-industrial corporations to work for and do research for. There would have been many new Mr. Banayao’s.

    Of course, the other side of this bad coin is that our OFWs–more than 10 million Filipinos–are working abroad and sending US dollars and other foreign currencies home, making our central bank one of the strongest in the world. This is one reason we allegedly have so-called “sound fundamentals.” And this is why we are being given good credit ratings by Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s. And why we have great GDP growth rates.

    But it is also why our poor are getting poorer and increasing in number.

    Anima A. Agrava
    Felix Huertas,
    Santa Cruz, Manila
    animaaagrava@gmail.com

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