Bet on the Philippines

September 24th, 2009

Within a month, the political landscape entirely changed. We witnessed Sen. Mar Roxas do the unexpected, which was to give way to Sen. Noynoy. We also saw Noynoy accept the challenge to run as president for the Liberal Party. And, just the other day, Mar Roxas decided to run as VP of Noynoy. All these would have not happened if Tita Cory did not pass away. But, these are uncontrollable events. They are part of our destinies.

Sen. Manny Villar and the rest have all, for now at least, dropped in ranking. If the numbers are correct, the Noynoy brand is now very strong. With the Lacson-Erap feud, this will definitely affect Erap’s rating as the accusations of Sen. Ping Lacson are pretty damaging. Looking back, we had Vice Pres. Noli De Castro leading the survey for many months even close to a year. Then, we saw Villar take over that lead. In some other surveys, even Erap was in the lead, but all that has changed.

Lakas is left with very little alternative, as Noli did not join the selection process for reasons known only to him. Sec. Gilbert Teodoro became the best choice for the administration. When I asked Gabby Claudio why Gibo, he mentioned that he is one of the new leaders we have today who are visionaries and who will take politics into a different level. Well, the biggest challenge is how Gibo can develop the Gilbert Teodoro brand in just seven months, a brand that is already handicapped by wrong perceptions.

Today, PGMA is still the hardest working president for me. She and has done well for our economy, and for once, we have industrial peace. Don’t you notice that newspapers do not have in the headlines the labor strikes that used to plague our country? Give that to Former President Ramos and PGMA. While corruption has been the issue that erased most of PGMA’s efforts in making our economy great, I do hope that history will be kind to her as she really has done a remarkable job for the economy of this country. Even if Gibo loses the election, at least the administration has fielded a young leader with promise.

Hopefully, this is the start of the new Philippine politics – less of the mudslinging and more of the debate on political platforms. A name is like a brand. How are you able to position yourself properly realizing the needs of the Filipinos today? The answer is key to developing brand strength to become a market leader or to top the surveys and eventually win the election.

As an entrepreneur, I would place a big bet on the Philippine economy next year. I see the election down to basically a Noynoy-Mar tandem and Villar with a VP still to be determined. My guess would either be Escudero, Noli, Loren or Pia. Ideally, his VP should be a woman. I see the rest backing out of the race, as funding will be a problem. Seeing the Noynoy-Mar ratings that high, people will support winnable candidates, while Manny Villar can support his own campaign. Both candidates will be good for the country, and that is why I would place a big bet on our economy. Definitely, they would not be inheriting a mess like Obama did. We are indeed lucky. Visit America today and you can feel the depressing environment, as consumer credit has totally dried up and homes continue to be foreclosed. Cost of living is quite high and America is not competitive anymore, while the stock market reflects a bullish outlook. I have my serious doubts that this may be short-lived and the real state of American economy will eventually come out.

Asia is really the future. It has the biggest potential for growth and the Philippines can really follow as the next most promising country, like Indonesia. The choices we make with our president will always help create the right climate for people to invest in the Philippines. We have seen this with the president of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, re-elected last July. Indonesia has been less affected by the global financial crisis compared to its Asian neighbors. President Yudhoyono even forecasted an increase in inflation to 5% in 2010 for Indonesia. The country has even been upgraded because of its economic resilience. It still continues to develop, with a president who has definitely set his eyes on economic growth, among other priorities for his country. We have this chance in 2010.

As mentioned, at this point, the Noynoy-Mar brand is quite formidable, but no one can say as no one knew a month ago that this would happen. Many things can change in the next months ahead. The next deserving president is someone who can really inspire the Filipino people who fall below the poverty line. They must know that they are not destined to be poor and they do have a chance to move up in life. I believe that poverty is the Philippines’ biggest problem. While PGMA has done her part, the task is huge for the next president. He has to do better than PGMA.

GO NEGOSYO, IN OUR HUMBLE WAY, IS TRYING TO FIGHT POVERTY BY INSPIRING FILIPINOS THAT NO FILIPINO IS DESTINED TO BE POOR AND THAT EVERY FILIPINO CAN DO IT. OUR NEXT PRESIDENT SHOULD BE SOMEONE THAT HAS THE BEST SOLUTION IN FIGHTING POVERTY.


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Last Tuesday, I met a bunch of young kids from UP Diliman upon the request of a parent and entrepreneur Kenneth Lao known for Kenneth and Mock Designs, Inc. His daughter Michelle, taking Biology, is definitely lucky to have her parents as mentors. I use Kenneth and Mock Designs for our house in the beach and I have to say, aside from quality, they have superior service. The students are all bright, with a great future ahead. I shared with them how lucky they are to be in a good school and to have parents who live with them and mentor them daily.

Just imagine those who are going to public schools. They don’t have the same level of quality education and the constant training given to the teachers at private schools. Many of the students also have one or both parents who work overseas. This is the focus of Go Negosyo, with efforts in helping kids who are born into that predicament. One day, when they become successful, they too should help the youth.

Filipinos are not destined to be poor. Being poor for the rest of your life is a decision you make. I also told the kids that what we do in Go Negosyo is to plant the seed of inspiration, for people to nurture, grow and one day harvest it. After my conversation with the young kids, I hope that they now have a better understanding of how fortunate they are to have their parents physically present as mentors and to belong to UP Diliman as one of the best government schools in the country.