Sunday, December 31, 2006

2007 Prayer for Prosperity in the Philippines...

Real economic freedom by...
Repeal all taxes except VAT...
Simplify business start by limited liability corporations, limited liability partnership - an alternative to sole proprietorship...
Simplify property ownership title...

Goodbye, 2006; Hello, 2007 !!!

Started 2006 in Disney with my number one apo.
In November, my number two apo was born...

Thank you, LORD....

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Yes, Philippines' economic climate turn around!

Business Week asked...
'Is the Philippines Finally Turning Around?'
Growth is up. The deficit is down. President Arroyo has survived impeachment threats. The service sector is thriving. Yet much remains to be done.
by Assif Shameen'.
Yes, my friend it is. Like everything else, everyone adjusts locally and globally to life's changes. And Filipinos in the Philippines and diasporic Filipinos 'turn around' for better Philippines.
Much work must be done, still. Smaller government, privatize government owned businesses - Landbank,DBP,unsubsidize PNB, simplify titlement of properties, simplify business start up by doing away with all requirements except name registration. Filipinos are independently inclined. We must be free to make mistakes as well as free to succeed in all that we do.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Milton Friedman...

from my favorite and funniest online pundit, author of America Alone, Mark Steyn...
'Free to lose' isn't good philosophy for the right wing
If Milton Friedman had to die, then a week after the defeat of a Republican Congress that had apparently forgotten every lesson Friedman taught in Free To Choose is eerily apt timing. As it happens, had ill health not intervened, Professor Friedman would have been disembarking round about now from a National Review post-election cruise with yours truly and various other pundits and commentators.
Instead, we were obliged to sail without him, and in the days that followed I found myself wondering what the great man would have made of the most salient feature of our deliberations: On the one hand, there are those conservatives for whom the war trumps everything and peripheral piffle like "No Child Left Behind" can be argued over when the jihad's been seen off. On the other, there are those conservatives for whom the war is peripheral and, insofar as it exists, it doesn't begin to mitigate the abandonment of Friedmanite principles on public spending, education and much else.

from disciples...
A Charismatic Economist Who Loved to Argue by Austan Goolsbee, economics professor, University of Chicago Graduate School of Business
One of Mr. Friedman’s major impacts on economics was in establishing a basic worldview. Economics is not a game or an academic exercise, in that view. Economics is a powerful tool to understand how the world works. He used straightforward theory. He gathered data from anywhere he could get it. He wanted to see how well economics fitted the world. That view now holds sway throughout much of the profession.

from critics, liberals and alike...
The Great Liberator by Lawrence H. Summers, economics professor, Harvard, Treasury Secretary Clinton administration.
This all would be enough to mark Milton Friedman as a great man. But beyond Milton Friedman the economist, there was Milton Friedman the public philosopher. Ask reformers in any one of the countries behind what we used to call the Iron Curtain where they learned to contemplate alternatives to communism during the closed era before the Berlin Wall fell and they will often tell you about reading Milton Friedman and realizing how different their world could be.

Reluctantly from The Economist with unnecessary negative tones...
One of the most influential economists of the 20th century
It is another mark of his greatness that so many of the ideas that seemed crazy when he came up with them—from blaming the Depression on bad central-bank policy, to school vouchers and the volunteer army—have gained mainstream acceptance. But Mr Friedman always recognised that his success was fragile; free markets and stable money have lots of enemies, particularly among politicians. He has left us a staggering legacy of economic theory and public-policy prescriptions—but is that inheritance growing or shrinking?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Milton Friedman...

Milton Friedman, A Modern Galileo By Michael Strong
Milton Friedman, whose life I fondly commemorate with this article, was probably responsible for more human happiness and well-being than any other individual in the 20th century. And yet his tireless efforts on behalf of humanity were, for much of his life, greeted with taunts, ridicule, and abuse.

Every Filipino politician, business leader, academic and bureacrat read Capitalism and Freedom and Free to Choose.

Milton Friedman By Mark M. Alexander
Speaking of the need for free markets for freedom, Friedman argued that "the tide of ideas isn't local. It's international; it's worldwide." Indeed, his influence has been felt worldwide. Friedman's "Chicago Boys" provided economic leadership in countries around the globe: Thatcher's Great Britain, Chile, the Czech Republic, Portugal, South Korea and Spain, to name a few. By enacting Friedman's free-market ideas - hammering inflation, reducing trade barriers, inducing foreign investment and cutting public spending - these economies went from dormancy to dynamism within a matter of years.

Milton Friedman's Love of Life by Claudia Rosett
Milton and Rose Friedman were family friends. One of the finest evenings I can remember was a dinner at my parents’ home in Chicago, more than a quarter of a century ago, where Milton traded witticisms with one of the best, the late Nobel laureate and free-market economist George Stigler — another great believer in the importance of individual freedom. It’s been too long to remember the lines*, but in thinking about it tonight, I went looking on the internet for the photo posted above. It shows diminutive Milton and tall George strolling together near their offices at the University of Chicago — a scene that someone at the time dubbed “Two Giants of the Chicago School.” It captures, perhaps, a halcyon moment in the modern history of ideas.

Milton Friedman...

according to Thomas Sowell in Opinion Journal
Freedom Man: Milton Friedman had both genius and common sense.
Friedman’s own personal background made him familiar with the problems of those who begin life without the privileges of the elite--and of the importance of education as a way to advance beyond their beginnings. Born in Brooklyn in 1912 to immigrant parents, he grew up in New Jersey, living over his family’s store, and worked his way through Rutgers University. Later, he went on to postgraduate work at the University of Chicago. The rest, as they say, is history.

Friedman's Sampler: A selection of writings from The Wall Street Journal.
On the Free Market
What most people really object to when they object to a free market is that it is so hard for them to shape it to their own will. The market gives people what the people want instead of what other people think they ought to want. At the bottom of many criticisms of the market economy is really lack of belief in freedom itself.

On Jobs
The real problem is to establish an economic environment in which there is a demand for workers at wages that those workers not only regard as satisfactory, but are qualified to earn: Better qualified workers and better wages--not simply more jobs--is the real problem.

On Hong Kong
By some accident of officialdom, the colonial office assigned John Cowperthwaite, a Scotsman and a disciple of Adam Smith, to serve as financial secretary of Hong Kong. Cowperthwaite's free market policies are widely credited with producing the subsequent economic miracle that led to a phenomenal rise in the average level of living despite a nearly 10-fold rise in population.
It is hard to conceive of a more severe test of free market policies. Hong Kong is an island devoid of any significant natural resources other than a great harbor. When the Communists took over China, refugees came streaming over the borders with only the possessions they could carry. They and their successors produced a rapid rise in population. Hong Kong received negligible if any foreign aid to assist the assimilation of the refugees.
Under these adverse circumstances, the salvation of Hong Kong has been its complete free trade and free market policy. No tariffs on imports, no subsidies or other privileges to exports. (The only restrictions are those that Hong Kong has been forced to impose by pressure from other countries, including the U.S., as under the multifiber agreement.) There is no fixing of prices or wages; few if any restrictions on entry into business or trade; and government spending and taxes have been kept low. The top tax rate on personal income is 25%, with a maximum average rate of 15%. . . .
What a contrast to the experience of most of the colonies to which Britain gave their freedom after the war. And what a striking demonstration of how much better free trade and free markets are for the ordinary citizen than the protectionism of Mr. Buchanan and the "fair trade" of President Clinton. "Fair" is in the eye of the beholder; free is the verdict of the market. (The word "free" is used three times in the Declaration of Independence and once in the First Amendment to the Constitution, along with "freedom." The word "fair" is not used in either of our founding documents.)

Filipinos pray for application and implementation of free market and free trade principles of Adam Smith (probably a Catholic, Christian) and modern day apostle - Milton Friedman - in the Philippines. May their spirit sprinkle dust of capitalism to Filipinos.

Friday, November 17, 2006

work hard, save, invest...

principles for peace and prosperity in climate of Economic freedom. Economic freedom led to political freedom according to Milton Friedman. Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, capitalist and libertarian of every color, mourn the death of the patron saint of free market and inflation focus central bankers (BSP bankers included), today.
Mr. Friedman believe inflation result from too much money chasing too few goods. Government regulations restricts freedom to trade. Less freedom to trade led to few goods to buy. He believe concentration of power in government is the great threat to freedom.
Government is necessary to preserve our freedom, it is an instrument through which we can exercise our freedom; yet by concentrating power in political hands, it is also a threat to freedom.
Introduction, Capitalism and Freedom, 2002 ed, pb, p.2.
Milton Friedman's autobiography

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Philippines, the Iraq of 1900...

a blast from our past...
From US Library of Congress on Philippines in 1902
July 1, 1902
The first organic act, known as the Philippine Bill of 1902, was passed by the U.S. Congress. It called for the management of Phillipine affairs, upon restoration of peace, by establishing the first elective Philippine Assembly and the Taft Commission comprising the lower and upper house, respectively, of the Philippine Legislature. The passage of the Act may be attributed in part to José Rizal and his stirring last farewell to his beloved country immortalized in his poem, Mi Ultimo Adios, that he wrote in his cell at Fort Santiago on the eve of his execution by the Spaniards on December 30, 1896. At first, there was strong opposition to the passage of the bill from misinformed members of the House, some of whom referred to the Filipinos as "barbarians" incapable of self government. Thereupon, Congressman Henry A. Cooper of Wisconsin took the floor and recited Rizal's last farewell before a skeptical House. Silence soon pervaded the floor as Cooper, eyes moist with tears and voice deep with emotion, recited the poem stanza by stanza. Soon after his recitation, Cooper thunderously asked his colleagues might there be a future for such a barbaric, uncivilized people who had given the world a noble man as Rizal. The vote was taken on the bill, and passed the House.
July, 1902
War ended in the Philippines, with more than 4,200 U.S. soldiers, 20,000 Filipino soldiers, and 200,000 Filipino civilians dead.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

200B money remittances to developing countries!

According to World Bank study, click here for pdf article, are due to:
increased scrutiny of money flow after 9/11
reduction in remittance costs & expanding networks of the remittance industry
depreciation of US dollar
growth in migrant stocks and incomes.

DtPhp little contribution includes:
Meager fee of $7 per transaction below $350 and 2% thereafter.
$ to Php rate within 1% of average rate of previous day's close (+-)10c.
"The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?" Hebrews, 13:6

Friday, November 10, 2006

Acetaminophen alert!!!

Millions of bottles of Acetaminophen, generic name for Tylenol, manufactured by Perrigo Co recalled. There's no recall and no shortage of Tylenol.
Perrigo toll free - (877) 546-0454.
For batch list click here.
click here for article.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Some info about hvr-a1e here, and here,
Weighing just 670 g, the new Sony HVR-A1E is an ideal choice for a wide range of professional users seeking the quality and convenience of the HDV format in the smallest, lightest package yet with full 1080 line resolution. Building on the strengths of the acclaimed HVR-Z1E, the new camcorder joins the professional Sony HDV line-up. Thanks to its highly compact design, it offers an ideal solution for applications where space is limited or complete mobility is required.
Like other professional HDV products from Sony, the HVR-A1E provides a ‘bridge’ between the worlds of HD and SD production, thanks to its ability to capture and playback in HDV, DVCAM and DV formats. Like the successful HVR-Z1E, the HVR-A1E incorporates features that have designed with professional users in mind, including:
Built-in down-conversion to Standard Definition
2-channel Audio XLR inputs
Time Code Preset
16:9 Viewfinder (Black & White, Colour switchable)
2.7-inch 16:9 Hybrid LCD monitor
In addition, other new functions include:
Still image capture - Maximum pixel size for still images is 2.8M (1920x1440) pixels in Memory Mode. Users can record 1.2M (1440x810) pixel images in Tape and Play/Edit Mode.
Histogram Indicator - Users can check the brightness of an object and easily adjust exposure by viewing this graphical presentation.
Tele Macro - This feature enables users to capture a macro image from a distance. This is especially useful for shooting smaller moving objects, and it also provides the ability to make subjects more prominent against a backdrop and to suppress shadow projection.
The HVR-A1E incorporates a new 1/3-inch primary colour 3 Megapixel CMOS sensor. Teamed with Enhanced Imaging Processor technology, this provides wide dynamic range, lower power consumption and a high quality image for professional results.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


Information about PAL, NTSC & SECAM, click here.
The system used in America & Canada is called "NTSC". Western Europe and Australia use a system called "PAL", and Eastern Europe and France use "SECAM". Without standards conversion, it is impossible to view a video program that is recorded in a foreign country without first converting it.

You need a converter to switch from one to the other.
This 2004 article in explains...
As far as camcorders are concerned, NTSC video is characterized by a frame size of 720x480, and produces images at a rate of around 30 frames per second. PAL video is slightly different in that there is a bit more image quality - the frame size is 720x576 - but it only produces 25 frames per second.
When a miniDV camcorder sends data out from its DV port (known similarly as firewire, i.Link and IEEE1394), it doesn't matter what format the video was shot in. As far as the computer is concerned, it's just a bunch of ones and zeroes. In fact, if you do some basic math, you see that NTSC and PAL have a common bandwidth that makes data transmission work:
NTSC: 720 x 480 x 30 = 10,368,000
PAL: 720 x 576 x 25 = 10,368,000

Website also has a message board. Click here for HVR-A1E discussed.
From Wiki, the free encyclopedia, click here.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Sony camcorder & camera...

List of Sony camcorder and camera included in class action suit. Click here for legal information from Sony website and this for other information as well as FAQ .
TO: All persons nationwide who purchased, not for resale, any of the following camcorder OR digital still camera products ( hereafter, the "Settlement Class" ) :

CCD-TRV118; CCD-TRV128; CCD-TRV318; CCD-TRV328; DCR-DVD100; DCR-DVD101; DCR-DVD200; DCR-DVD300; DCR-HC20; DCR-HC20 M; DCR-HC30/S; DCR-IP5; DCR-IP55; DCR-PC101; DCR-PC105; DCR-PC120BT; DCR-TRV18; DCR-TRV19; DCR-TRV19M; DCR-TRV22; DCR-TRV240; DCR-TRV25; DCR-TRV250; DCR-TRV260; DCR-TRV27; DCR-TRV33; DCR-TRV340; DCR-TRV38; DCR-TRV39; DCR-TRV460; DCR-TRV50; DCR-TRV740; DCR-TRV840; DCR-TRV950; DCR-VX2000; DCR-VX2100; DSR-250; DSR-250/1; DSR-PD150; DSR-PD170; and DSR-PDX10.

Digital Still Cameras
DSC-F717; DSC-P10/S; DSC-P2/S; DSC-P31; DSC-P31M; DSC-P32; DSC-P32M; DSC-P51; DSC-P51M; DSC-P52; DSC-P52 M; DSC-P7; DSC-P71; DSC-P71M; DSC-P72; DSC-P72M; DSC-P8/L; DSC-P8/R; DSC-P8/S; DSC-P92; DSC-P92M; DSC-U10/S; DSC-U20/B; DSC-U20/LJ; DSC-U20/S; DSC-U30/H; DSC-U30/LJ; DSC-U30/S; DSC-U60; DSC-V1; MVC-CD250; MVC-CD250 M; MVC-CD400; MVC-CD500; MVC-FD100; MVC-FD100 M; MVC-FD200; and MVC-FD200 M.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Clouds of Heaven

a view from Cathay Pacific flight Hongkong to Manila on Oct 4, 2006

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Ph peso gaining strength!

From Bloomberg today...
The peso has strengthened 5.2 percent in the past three months, making it the second-best performer among the 15 Asia- Pacific currencies tracked by Bloomberg. A gain in the currency makes goods more expensive abroad compared with regional rivals. Exports helped the economy grow at the fastest pace in a year in the second quarter.

However, central bank and high government officials intervened again... ay, pastilan!
Less government intrusion, less taxes, less regulation for all Filipinos!!!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Like Mexico, Philippines depend on remittances too...

DtPhp as a foreign money remitter strongly believe that money remittance have negative effect to overall economic development and prosperity of the Philippines, as this study in Mexico show in today's
In a 2005 study, that bank found a negative link between development and remittances — the more remittances, the less overall development. The bank even went so far as to suggest poverty was caused by the dependency, not the other way around.
Because most cash sent back is used for consumption, and not investment, it gives only a short-term boost to GDP.
"Evidence also suggests that members of recipient households have fewer incentives to search for alternative sources of income," the bank noted, describing a burgeoning private welfare culture.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Freedom & Faith prospers in small governments

FreedomWorks Chairman Dick Armey says...
Small government meant that all Christians could practice their faith as they saw fit. Big government violates those rights by meddling in our lives, misusing our hard-earned money, and dictating cultural norms to us. We were and are rightly outraged when government imposes wrong-headed values through its monopoly of schools, government-funded "art," and taxpayer funded "family planning."

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Vonage, my business & me

Thanks to internet phone (voip), I travel anywhere there's internet high speed access and personally answer the phone. Conversations end up longer than usual. 'What did you say? you're in Manila? Didn't I call your business line?, etc, etc, etc.'
Thank you, Vonage. For Vonage website, click here. Write Dollar to Phpeso as a referring friend.
You can purchase Vonage equipment at most electronic stores. We don't get Referral benefits though, only orders direct from Vonage.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Calling all researchers!

Publish science and medical research online on this site.
For all other research ideas, publish here.
or at this...

peso broke 50 mark today!

Bloomberg reporting
pent up demand of the peso? due to Milenyo?
All Filipinos in private and public sector working together for the miracle of prosperity.
Less government regulation by eliminating half of government departments & cabinets. Sell all government businesses not related to security of the nation.
Simplify all business applications and property ownership title.
Lower taxes for individuals and businesses.
Self responsibility, self reliance and independence

more Milenyo/Xangsane...

from AP/
About 20 typhoons and storms lash the Philippines yearly, but many people seemed overwhelmed by the extent of damage caused by Xangsane, which blew out of the country Friday.
Many Manila residents crammed hotels and malls to escape the heat and inconvenience in their powerless homes. Some gasoline stations closed due to delays in supply deliveries and panic buying, officials said.
They said Internet and cable TV were still out in some areas, and users have complained of sluggish cell phone services.
The typhoon, the worst to hit the bustling capital in over a decade, left many villages still littered with fallen trees and debris after bright sunshine returned Sunday.
About 2,000 soldiers were helping clear fallen trees, billboards and power poles in Manila, the military said.
In a desperate bid to hasten the cleanup, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Bayani Fernando announced a cash prize for residents who help clear fallen trees and turn them into artworks.
The storm affected more than 1 million people in 17 central and northern provinces and in metropolitan Manila, and nearly 105,000 remained in 198 emergency government shelters, the National Disaster Coordinating Council said.
As authorities grappled with Xangsane's aftermath, government forecasters on Sunday found a new tropical depression swirling in the Pacific Ocean about 630 miles east of southern Luzon with winds of up to 34 miles per hour, officials said.
It was moving at 7 mph toward the northern tip of the Philippines and Taiwan, and was expected to strengthen in the new few days. The depression, locally named Neneng, was not expected to hit the Philippines unless it changes course, forecaster Peter Kindipan said.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Filipinos blogs the devastation of Milenyo

Filipino bloggers are a godsend for visual news of typhoon Milenyo.
Some photos and amusing storytelling in this...
I was in Valero, Makati that morning. Since my appointment was cancelled, I headed towards Buendia walking amidst the howling winds and horizontal rains that opening an umbrella seems a futile effort. I was in a sidewalk when two ladies was heading opposite my way, one had an un-opened umbrella over her head but continued to totter along but not looking ahead, then suddenly in front of me she bumped on a sign pole. Okay I almost laughed which is mean of me really but it was a funny sight. But good thing she laughed as well finding she’s alright. I guess in the midst of the storm laughter can be a relief.

More photos on this and this...
Thank you

Friday, September 29, 2006

Major typhoon in Luzon including M.Manila

Filipinos call this typhoon 'Milenyo' but it is called 'Xangsane' in this US base news article.
From Manila Bulletin Online...
Strong winds, rains lash Metro
Billboards, lampposts, windows destroyed
Strong winds accompanied by intermittent rains brought by typhoon "Milenyo’’ lashed Metro Manila yesterday and toppled lamp posts, uprooted trees and destroyed windows in many areas.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Philippine Banking sector weak

According to this Business World Online news article, click here.

BofA & DtPhp, LLC

BofA was one of the first major bank in NJ that had a comprehensive application process for money remittance small business when local and national law enforcers strongly implemented the USA Patriot Act, Bank Secrecy Act(BSA)and Anti-money Laundering (AML)laws.
After being asked to take our small business account somewhere by VNB, Chase and Wachovia, BofA accepted our small all check deposits checking account. Our mutually beneficial banking relationship lasted until December, 2005.
Today, most major bank in NJ do not accept accounts from small money remittance like me. Not Citi, PNC,North Fork,BofNY...
This news article in Business World Online do not explain why BofA close all their money remittance accounts except maybe Western Union.
Bank of America settles money-laundering probe
New York -- Bank of America Corp., the no. 2 US bank, has agreed after years of investigation to pay $7.5 million to settle charges that it had failed to prevent money laundering, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said on Wednesday.
Bank of America failed to detect that Brazilian companies were using a money transfer business’ bank account to launder money, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said in a statement.

This add misery to our small money remittance business on top of Western Union fines in Arizona.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Keeping Family Business Meetings Productive

Keeping business meetings productive is always challenging, but for family businesses the task can be even more daunting. Here are some suggestions to make sure the next family business meeting you organize stays on track:
1. Always schedule the meeting for a fixed period of time, use an agenda, and stick to it. The meetings should be held in a comfortable, neutral location, away from work and everyday demands.
2. Appoint someone to take notes.
3. Use a formal set of ground rules to guide the interaction. You can distribute the ground rules during the meeting. These ground rules should include an agreement to listen closely to each other, refrain from interrupting, and demonstrate respect toward others even though you may not agree with them.
4. Understand the difference between consensus and agreement. I have seen many misunderstandings develop from the incorrect belief that everyone must agree in order to pursue a course of action. To the contrary, people don't have to see things the same way (agreement) in order to concur on a course of action (consensus).
5. In order for the meeting to be valuable, there must be considerable trust and positive intentions among the family members in attendance. One way to establish trust is to make the first meeting an opportunity for everyone's voice to be heard. If attendees can leave the first meeting feeling listened to, you are on the way to building trust.
These guidelines for structuring a meeting are simple and straightforward, but do not underestimate the value that structure brings. While the initiative for having a family business meeting should come from members of the group, the structure must come from the organizer—it takes discipline to stick to your guidelines, but straying from them will reduce the likelihood of accomplishing the goals that you set for yourself.
David Lansky, Ph.D., Founder, Family Business Innovations, Highland Park, Ill.
Courtesy tip from Business Week

The Growth of a United States of America, a model for all nations

The Growth of a Nation by Michael Barone
Demography is destiny. The framers of the Constitution recognized this when they mandated for the first time in history that a census be conducted at regular intervals, and that representation in the lower house of Congress be based on its results. The growth that the Census Bureau has reported over the ensuing two centuries has been unique among nations: from 3.9 million in 1790, mostly clustered along the Atlantic coastline, to 50 million in 1880, 100 million in 1915, 200 million in 1967 and now 300 million in October 2006.

Bill Clinton, potential despot in any other country

If Bill Clinton had been a president of another country with a shaky constitution he would have been despotic or dictatorial - ala Ferdinand & Imelda Marcos.
George Will said it best.
BECAUSE of his political monomania, and because he is a perpetual preener who can strut even while sitting, Bill Clinton relished being president. The pomp, the cameras, the microphones make that office a narcissist's delight. But other than by soiling the office, he was a remarkably inconsequential president, like a person who walks across a field of snow and leaves no footprints.
It is axiomatic: Some people want public office in order to do something, others in order to be something. Clinton was the latter sort. Which is why he never seriously considered dealing with America's most serious policy problem, and why he was an unserious president.
Perfect description of Marcos too.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Economic Freedom Index 2006

From Heritage Foundation, the Philippines is 'Mostly Unfree' category!
Wealth comes from the actions of people, not the actions of government, and the freer people are to direct their efforts to where they are most productive, the greater the wealth created.

Summary analysis:
The government is slow in promoting privatization, as the state still owns a majority of Filipino corporations. The chief obstacles to stable growth remain high tax rates, poor infrastructure, extensive government ownership of business, low foreign investment, and entrenched government corruption.

Social Security Benefit calculator...

For Social Security benefit calculator click here.
55 years old and younger, click on image below...
Federal Social Security Calculator

Economic Freedom more important than...

In a democracy, economic freedom is important for peace and prosperity.
From Cato Institute...
Economic Freedom of the World
The foundations of economic freedom are personal choice, voluntary exchange, and open markets. As Adam Smith, Milton Friedman, and Friedrich Hayek have stressed, freedom of exchange and market coordination provide the fuel for economic progress. Without exchange and entrepreneurial activity coordinated through markets, modern living standards would be impossible.
Potentially advantageous exchanges do not always occur. Their realization is dependent on the presence of sound money, rule of law, and security of property rights, among other factors. Economic Freedom of the World seeks to measure the consistency of the institutions and policies of various countries with voluntary exchange and the other dimensions of economic freedom. The report is copublished by the Cato Institute, the Fraser Institute in Canada and more than 70 think tanks around the world.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Filipino Muslims led the way

Filipino Muslim leaders led the way to peace and understanding through 'Faith and Reason' advocated by Pope Benedict XVl.
"It is our honest belief that it was never the intention of His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, to hurt or offend the feelings of Muslims like us," the Muslim leaders said in their manifesto.
They said that they made their manifestation after consultation with their religious leaders and further "manifest our support for further inter-faith dialogue instead of recriminations so that we can attain peace that Islam and Christianity like to obtain all over the world."
Courtesy of Manila Times Online.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Citgo boycott going on...

Not buying any gasoline from any Citgo dealer. Citgo locator here.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

49.60, Sept 19, 2006

Pope Benedict & Third Secret of Fatima, my interpretation

My own interpretation of current events.
One of the Pope's title is Bishop of Rome.
Today's Bishop of Rome, Benedict XVl, is the 'Bishop dressed in White' with other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain'in the Third Secret of Fatima visions of Lucia in 1917 and revealed by Pope John Paul in '00.
The steep mountain is Western civilization who ignore, deny and nullify God with Islamic fascist as their soldiers who fires bullets and arrows at him and his men and women religious.
This is the Third Secret in Sister Lucia's words.
The third part of the secret revealed at the Cova da Iria-Fatima, on 13 July 1917.
I write in obedience to you, my God, who command me to do so through his Excellency the Bishop of Leiria and through your Most Holy Mother and mine.
After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: ‘Penance, Penance, Penance!'. And we saw in an immense light that is God: ‘something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it' a Bishop dressed in White ‘we had the impression that it was the Holy Father'. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God. Tuy-3-1-1944.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Jihadist among peace loving Filipinos

Manila Bulletin Online reports today, Tues, Sept 19, 2006

1,000 kilos bomb chemicals seized
ZAMBOANGA: Philippine police Monday intercepted a 1,000-kilogram (2,200-pound) shipment of chemicals believed to be intended for bombing attacks by the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf militants.
The shipment of ammonium nitrate was divided into 20 sacks and hidden in the hold of a ferry that docked in the southern port city of Zamboanga from the nearby island of Jolo, an Abu Sayyaf stronghold, police said.
Ammonium nitrate is a highly volatile chemical compound largely used in making fertilizer. It is the main ingredient used by the Abu Sayyaf to produce powerful bombs, an official said.
“We had received information that the chemicals would be used by the Abu Sayyaf for their terrorist attacks,” said the port police chief, Maj. Frank Clavencillas.
He said there had been fears that the Abu Sayyaf could stage bombings on October 12, when the largely Catholic enclave of Zamboanga is to mark an annual festival.

Thank you, LORD, for alert Filipino police.

Pope Benedict XVl said...

The Heart open to God, purified by contemplation of God, is stronger than guns and weapons of every kind.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Pope Benedict will not, should not apologize...

From this article by Samir Khalil Samir, S.J., Egyptian Jesuit who is very familiar with both the pope and the Muslim religion,written for and published by Asia News.
When Civilizations Meet: How Joseph Ratzinger Sees Islam
Yes to reciprocity, no to “do-goodism”
The pope’s position never falls into the justification of terrorism and violence. Sometimes, even when it comes to Church figures, people slip into a generic kind of relativism: after all, there’s violence in all religions, even among Christians; or, violence is justified as a reply to other violence… No, this Pope has never made allusions of this kind.
But, on the other hand, he has never fallen into the behaviour found in certain Christian circles in the West marked by “do-goodism” and by guilt complexes. Recently, some Muslims have asked that the Pope ask forgiveness for the Crusades, colonialism, missionaries, cartoons, etc. He is not falling in this trap, because he knows that his words could be used not for building dialogue, but for destroying it. This is the experience that we have of the Muslim world: all such gestures, which are very generous and profoundly spiritual, to ask for forgiveness for historical events of the past, are exploited and are presented by Muslims as a settling of accounts: here, they say, you recognize it even yourself: you’re guilty. Such gestures never spark any kind of reciprocity.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Pray for Pope Benedict XVl today and everyday on...

These news articles are very disturbing...
Religious Leaders Across Mideast Rage Against Pope's Comments on Islam

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is right. Pope Benedict's message is Faith and Reason.
"It is an invitation to dialogue between religions and the pope has explicitly urged this dialogue, which I also endorse and see as urgently necessary," she said Friday. "What Benedict XVI makes clear is a decisive and uncompromising rejection of any use of violence in the name of religion."
In the United States, a Muslim group, the Council for American-Islamic Relations, asked for a meeting with a Vatican representative and urged more efforts at improving understanding between Muslims and Catholics.

Muslims worldwide are wrong to assume Christians, Pope Benedict XVl in particular do not understand Islam. The fact that he quoted a conversation in a book about 14th century displays the depth of his research and thought process to convey his message that reason is important to understand faith, not the sword.
Pray for Pope Benedict XVl today and everyday.
Our Lady of Fatima intercede for the Bishop in white, thrown with darts as he climb the mountain of faith.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Corrupt Filipinos!

This Business World Online article today implied by World Bank...
Anti-corruption drive lagging - World Bank
The Philippines needs to step up its anti-corruption campaign if it intends to keep sourcing financial assistance from international lending organizations, World Bank’s, Mr. Daboub, warned. Philippines must step up anti-corruption campaign and push ahead with dramatic economic reforms.

World Bank suggested solutions...
Eliminate red tape and nontransparent regulations...
World Bank propose sharing corruption blacklists and crackdown on erring governments in an anti-graft strategy...
Reducing size of state, reduce chance of funds misuse while raising activity of private sector and civil society.
Government and the people must improve governance, increase transparency and accountability of state institutions.

Amen, amen, amen...

Monday, September 11, 2006

Path to 9/11, Reminder for Filipinos...

Path to 9/11, Philippine connection. Click here for Al Qaeda's Global context...
1994-1995 - Ramzi Yousef, suspected mastermind of the 1993 WTC attack, hides out in the Philippines with Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, believed to be his uncle. The two reportedly plan a number of potential terrorist attacks.
Details in this 2002 London Times article.

December 1994 - Bojinka Plot - A Test Run
Ramzi Yousef plants a small bomb on a Philippine Airlines plane. The bomb explodes during the second leg of the trip and kills a Japanese businessman. Authorities later discover the bombing is a test run for the planned Bojinka attack.

January 1995 - Bojinka Plot Discovered
Following an explosion in a Manila apartment, Philippine police uncover a plot -- code-named Bojinka or “Big Bang” -- to blow up 12 airplanes bound for the U.S. Authorities arrest Abdul Hakim Murad, a Pakistani who is an associate of Ramzi Yousef. Yousef flees to Pakistan. Investigators also discover that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed had visited the apartment frequently. His name is found on documents inside a computer that contain details of the Bojinka plot.

Jan. 20, 1995 - Planes as Weapons
In the Bojinka investigation, Manila police interview Abdul Hakim Murad. According to their report, Murad describes his discussions with Ramzi Yousef about hijacking a commercial aircraft and flying it into the headquarters of the CIA. Yousef and Murad also reportedly discuss the idea of using a small airplane loaded with explosives to bomb targets in the U.S.
Hambali. Indonesian. Learned radical Islam in Malaysia. Co-planned Bali resort bombing (200 killed); financed Jakarta Marriott bombing; tried to assassinate Philippine ambassador; involved in bombing 30 Indonesian churches on Christmas eve.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

CPR has easier rules now!

Just renewed my several years expired BCLS.
No more hard to push and hard to ventilate Annie dummy, no more chest thump, many no more! Simple, simple and easier to remember! Everyone who can should take CPR.
Call 911 or tell someone else to call 911 and get AED (Defibrillator)
Tilt head, lift chin, check breathing, give 2 breaths if not breathing.
Position hands in the center of the chest, firmly push down 15 times.
Continue 2 breaths and 15 pumps until...
CPR new guidelines from American Heart Association 'Push hard, push fast'

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Western Union paid $3M penalty to Arizona regulators

According to this article.
Concerned about illegal immigration and other smuggling activities, Arizona officials in recent years have stepped up their scrutiny of financial institutions.
In 2004, a new state law made it easier for state prosecutors to seize money paid to migrant smugglers through money transfers.
Rotellini said the department, working with attorney general's investigators, found that Western Union and its agents collected hard-to-read or otherwise unusable information on the identity of senders or receivers of money transfers at some locations.
Also, Western Union's record-keeping was lax and the company did not properly supervise its agents as required by the state.
"We will have a zero tolerance for those transmitters who are facilitating illegal immigration by failing to comply with the GTO and Arizona law," Rotellini said in a statement.

Update: Western Union fighting back Arizona regulators, Bloomberg news reports:
The seizure warrant mandated the funds be held in a ``detention account'' for review before being sent on to recipients in Sonora, according to Western Union's Sept. 22 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The company said in a Sept. 19 federal court complaint that Arizona had seized money before, and then ``interrogated'' senders and recipients.
Customers Fingerprinted
First Data said in July that U.S. proposals to tighten immigration rules cut Western Union's revenue from migrant workers, who feared authorities might use money-transfer records to track them down. Gold said today customers in Arizona who received $500 or more from nine states were fingerprinted by authorities at the company's stores, under a previously issued warrant by Goddard's office.
``The real issue is they have put a seizure on any transaction over $500, and that's assuming that something is wrong with every transaction,'' Gold said. ``It's really problematic for us, because our brand is all about trust, convenience and reliability. Our consumers really don't understand why if you send a transaction from California to Mexico, you'd have to call the attorney general in Arizona first.''

Friday, September 08, 2006

Grand Canyon photos

atr's received 2 free round trip tickets to Las Vegas for a week stay at his sister. They took us for a day trip to Grand Canyon, AZ. Here's some photos. I prefer to take pictures so I don't have to stand and pose with my back facing the Canyon, standing at the ledge or a railing.

Baby Shower for my favorite daughter...

Sent out invitations today for those that live in the tri-state area. The rest can wait until a week before the Baby Shower date.
What else do I have to prepare? Give away gifts for guest? Games?
Gosh, the baby I last give a baby shower is now 15 years old.

45 days to Register Property in Manila...

According to this World Bank study. Cost over 7% of property market value and almost 15% of capital gains tax, just to register a property. Who can afford time and pesos to register a property? Not the poor and the middle class. Upper middle class, those who can afford and those who must register, bribe and corrupt the person involve in registering property to facilitate transactions.
Registering Property in Philippines
Property value: 3,477,427
City: Manila
Registration Requirements:
1. Prepare deed of sale and ratification by Notary Public
Time: 1 day. Cost: 3% of property value.
Comment: Seller obtains a certified true copy of latest tax declaration from Assessor’s Office (Manila).
2. Obtain a certified true copy of latest tax declaration from Assessor’s Office, (Manila).
Time: 1 day. Cost: PHP 10 (per copy)
Comment: Seller files Documentary Stamp Tax return and Capital Gains Tax return with Authorized Agent Bank in Revenue District (Manila).
Done within 5 days after close of the month when taxable document was signed or within 30 days after sale, whichever is earlier.
Taxes are paid at authorized bank to account of BIR.
Capital Gains Tax is 6% of capital gains based on selling price, fair market value or zonal value, whichever is higher.
Documentary Stamp Tax is 1.5% based on selling price or fair market value, whichever is higher.
Documentation shall include:
Original copy and photocopy of notarized Deed of Sale of Building (obtained in 1)
Certified true copy of Transfer Certificate of Title (in the name of seller)
Certified true copy of latest tax declaration (in name of seller)(obtained in 2)
3. Payment of Documentary Stamp Tax and Capital Gains Tax at an authorized bank
Time: 1 day. Cost: 1.5% of property value (Documentary Stamp Tax) + 6.5% of capital gains (Capital Gains Tax)
Comment: After paying taxes (in 3), Seller must obtain tax clearance (or Certificate Authorizing Registration) from BIR.
Certificate will authorize registration of property.
Documentation shall include:
Certified true copy of Transfer Certificate of Title (in name of seller)
Certified true copy of latest tax declaration (in name of seller)(obtained in 2)
Tax Identification Numbers
4. Obtain tax clearance (or Certificate Authorizing Registration) from BIR.
Time: Up to 14 days. No cost
Comment: Seller, after paying any due amounts, obtains a certificate of updated payment of taxes from Treasurer’s Office of Local Government Unit (Manila).
Documentation shall include:
Original of official receipt evidencing payment by seller of realty taxes.
5. Obtain a certificate of updated payments of Real Estate Taxes from Treasurer’s Office (Manila).
Time: 1-3 days. Cost: PHP 50
Comment: Transfer tax must be paid at Treasurer’s Office (Manila).
Documentation shall include:
Certificate Authorizing Registration from BIR (obtained in 4)
Realty tax clearance from Treasurer’s Office of Manila (obtained in 5)
Official receipt of BIR (for documentary stamp tax) (obtained in 4)
6. Payment of transfer tax at Treasurer’s Office of Manila
Time: 1 day. Cost: 0.75% of property price
Comment: Apply with Assessor’s Office (Manila) for issuance of new tax declaration over building in name of buyer.
Documentation shall include:
Photocopy of notarized Deed of Sale of Building (obtained in 1)
Certified true copy of latest tax declaration (in name of seller)(obtained in 2)
Certificate Authorizing Registration from BIR (obtained in 4)
Realty tax clearance from Treasurer’s Office of Manila (obtained in 5)
Photocopy of official receipt of transfer tax payment (original copy to be presented) (obtained in 6)
7. Apply with the Assessor’s Office of Manila for issuance of new tax declaration over building in name of buyer
Time: 3 days. Cost: PHP 100
Comment: Buyer applies for registration with Register of Deeds (Manila).
Following internal steps take place after application is submitted:
1. Entry clerk receives and enters all documents in primary Entry Book (Judicial form No. 39) and notes therein day, hour and minute of reception of all instrument in the order in which they are received.
2. Documents are then brought to Registrar of Deeds (RD) or Deputy Register of Deeds for assignment.
3. Documents/Titles are assigned by RD to Land Registration Examiner (LRE) who prepares computation, order of payment of registration fees.
4. Pay registration fee to Cashier, who shall issue Official receipt. Fixed fees are computed based on a schedule of Fees approved by the Department of Justice.
5. Upon payment of Fees, document is forwarded to LRE who reviews the same and determines whether or not it is ready to register. The Owner’s copy of title is compared to title on file, produced by Records Officer/Vault keeper.
6. If instrument is not ready to be registered, LRE recommends its denial to RD. If instrument is ready, LRE likewise recommends to RD registration of document through a routing slip.
7. RD reviews examination, and once same is approved, assigns documents to clerk for action, with instruction on route slip.
8. If transaction involves issuance of title, records Officer/Judicial Form Custodian records transaction in logbook releases sets of title forms (judicial form) and assigns corresponding title control number to set of titles issued to action clerk.
9. Assigned employee acts on documents, as instructed.
10. Final registration – RD signs titles and documents.
11. Release of documents – by releasing clerk to buyer who should be armed with ID and copy of Official Receipts of registration fees.
Documentation shall include:
Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws of buyer
Secretary’s Certificate containing resolution of board of directors of buyer approving sale
Original copy of Owner’s duplicate of Transfer Certificate of Title (in Seller's name)
Certificate Authorizing Registration from BIR (obtained in 4)
Realty tax clearance from Treasurer’s Office of Manila (obtained in 5)
Official receipt of transfer tax payment (obtained in 6)
Official receipts of BIR (for capital gains tax and documentary stamp tax)(obtained in 3)
8. Apply for registration with Register of Deeds of Manila
Time: About 10 days. Cost: PHP 8,796 for properties with a value up to PHP 1,700,000 + PHP 90 for every PHP 20,000 (or fraction thereof) in excess of PHP 1,700,000 (=PHP 8010)
Comment: Seller must obtain an extract from Land Registry, which will be presented to the notary later. The extract discloses owner or perpetual usufructor of real estate. Also discloses whether there are any mortgages or other encumbrances over real estate.
According to new legislation, Property Registry shall be maintained in electronic form. Process of migration of registry into computer system (started in Sept '04) is pending. The request will eventually take 1 day (if the real estate is registered within the computer system) or up to 7 days (if the real estate is registered within hardcopy documents only). So far, 7 days is the most appropriate time period.

Something, someone has to change for peace and prosperity.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Expensive & Time Intensive to be an Entrepreneur in PI

According to recent study by World Bank. Click this for details. Those figures and timeline are just for Starters. Money and time spent before the doors are open for business for the entrepreneur.
Starting a Business in Philippines
Minimum Capital Requirement: 5,000
City: Manila
Registration Requirements:
1. Obtain bank certificate of deposit of the paid-in capital.
Time to complete: 1 day
Comment: Fees vary from bank to bank. Some banks in Manila do not charge any fee, some banks charge up to P105 for each certificate.
2. Register incorporation with the Securities and Exchange Commission
Time to complete: 3 days
Cost to complete: PHP 40 reservation fee of company name (30 days) + filing fee for articles of incorporation: 1/5 of 1% of the authorized capital stock, no less than PHP 1,000, plus Legal Research fee of 1% of filing fee, no less than PHP 10 + PHP 210 bylaws fee + PHP 150 - stock and transfer book registration fee + PHP 75 - membership book registration fee
Comment: Documents to be submitted: corporate name verification slip, articles of incorporation and bylaws, treasurer's affidavit, statement of assets and liabilities, bank certificate of deposit, authority to verify bank account, tax account number of incorporators, registration data sheet defining personal information regarding directors, officers, stockholders etc, and written undertaking to comply with the reporting requirements of the SEC.
SEC provides online registration through SEC-iRegister, the web-based Company Registration System. One can reserve a company. Forms for registration may be downloaded from the SEC website. One can search and research company name and register the company with the SEC on-line but payment must be made at the SEC itself. Same day payment is not possible.
3. Apply for a Barangay (district) clearance
Time to complete: 2 days
Cost to complete: PHP 800
Comment: No city or municipality may issue any license or permit for any business or activity unless a clearance is first obtained from the barangay where such business or activity is located or conducted. Some barangays collect a fee for the issuance of a barangay clearance. The fee is based on the area (size in sq. meters) of the place of business and the location of the place of business.
The fee charged by the barangay depends on the paid-up capital of the corporation and the land area it occupies—P500 minimum plus P300 for the barangay clearance plate.
4. Obtain mayor’s permit/municipal license to operate at the Licensing Section of the Mayor's Office
Time to complete: 11 days
Cost to complete: The fees vary depending on the local government unit (city/municipality) issuing the mayor’s permit (PHP 300, sanitary permit fee + 0.2% of capital for license fee + PHP 2000, permit fee for businesses engaged in retail + PHP 1,500 garbage collection fee + PHP 360, occupational tax + PHP 705, occupational police clearance/health clearance + PHP 750, plumbing inspection fee + PHP 100, electrical inspection fee + PHP 100 building permit fee + PHP 100 sign board permit fee)
Comment: Required documents: accomplished application for business permits and licenses in duplicate copies with sketch of location of building at the back; certification issued by the corporate secretary to the effect that the company has been duly authorized to engaged in the business; amount of paid-up capital; certificate of registration; receipts of payment of due fees; lease contract; Barangay Clearance/Permit.
5. Buy special books of account at bookstore
Time to complete: 1 day
Cost to complete: PHP 200-300
Comment: Special books of account are required for the purpose of registering VAT. The books of account are sold at bookstores nationwide. One set of journals consisting of four books, namely, the cash receipts account, disbursements account, ledger and the general journal, may cost about P200, or about US$4.
Procedure 6. Secure a tax identification number, register for VAT
Time to complete: 2 days
Cost to complete: PHP 500
Comment: After the taxpayer obtains the TIN, the company is required to pay the annual registration fee of P500 at any duly accredited bank by using the payment form (BIR Form 0605)
A Tax Identification Number (TIN) must be obtained from the nearest Revenue District Office having jurisdiction over the head office. Need to have "Barangay" clearance, mayor's permit, and copy of SEC registration certificate. Other documents may be required, e.g. homeowner’s clearance, contract of lease. There is a community tax, a local tax, VAT, and income tax. When a company registers as a taxpayer, it must indicate in the application for registration the types of taxes it expects to be liable for, including VAT. The Authority to Print Receipt/Invoices must be secured by the printer before the sales invoices/receipts may be printed. Philippine law does not require a company to have its official invoice forms printed at designated print shops. If a company has secured an Authority to Print Receipts and Invoices, it can ask any authorized printing company to print its official invoice forms. However, if a company wants to print its own invoice forms (i.e., it uses its computers to print loose-leaf invoice forms), the company must obtain a special permit from the Bureau of Internal Revenue for this purpose.
7. Payment of Documentary Stamp Taxes
Time to complete: 1 day
Cost to complete: no charge
Comment: Section 174 of the National Internal Revenue Code, as amended, requires the payment of documentary stamp taxes on the original issuance of shares of stock at the rate of P1.00 on each P200 or a fractional part thereof, of the par value of such shares of stock, within 5 days after the close of the month when the registration certificate is issued by the SEC or the shares are issued by the corporation.
8. Obtain the Authority to Print Receipt/Invoices with the Bureau of Internal Revenue
Time to complete: 14 days
Cost to complete: included in procedure 6
Comment: The Authority to Print Receipt/Invoices must be secured by the printer before the sales invoices/receipts may be printed. Philippine law does not require a company to have its official invoice forms printed at designated print shops. If a company has secured an Authority to Print Receipts and Invoices, it can ask any authorized printing company to print its official invoice forms. However, if a company wants to print its own invoice forms (i.e., it uses its computers to print loose-leaf invoice forms), the company must obtain a special permit from the Bureau of Internal Revenue for this purpose
9. Print receipts and invoices at the print shops
Time to complete: 1 day
Cost to complete: PHP 2250 (median of PHP 1,500 and PHP 3,000)
Comment: The minimum number to print is 25 booklets.
10. Submit receipts and invoices to the BIR for approval, have receipts/invoices and books of accounts stamped by BIR
Time to complete: 1 day
Cost to complete: no charge
Comment: In practice, the books of accounts are presented for stamping right after the application is filed. Books can be obtained from BIR. To register books of account and invoices, present the following documents: all the required books of accounts, VAT registration certificate, SEC registration certificate and BIR Form W-5.
11. Register with the Social Security System (SSS) and enroll with the government healthcare benefits system
Time to complete: 11 days
Cost to complete: no charge
Comment: For the social security application, file employer's Data Record, report of Employee-Members (those are 2 standard forms), and articles of incorporation, copy of SEC registration certificate. Obligatory for firms with 50 or more workers to register with the Department of Labor and Employment. The Philippine government healthcare system is administered by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation ("PHIC"). Enrollment with the PHIC is done through the Social Security System ("SSS"). If a company is enrolled with the SSS, it is automatically enrolled with the PHIC, but contributions for participation in the government healthcare system must be remitted to the PHIC. Enrollment with the SSS normally takes one to two weeks.

Our personal experience establishing a corporation is 100% more expensive and time intensive than this study.
In the name of the LORD, we plod on.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Tiger Woods in the lead again

on the first round of Deutsche Bank Championship.
Good Tiger Woods stats here.
Woods speeds past Singh to capture fifth straight title Sep. 4, 2006
GolfWeb Wire Services
NORTON, Massachusetts -- Tiger Woods matched the lowest final round of his career Monday and won the Deutsche Bank Championship for his fifth straight victory.

Europe here comes Tiger Woods in one week...

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Peso at 50 level

I posted this question on Philippines events
'What did you do to strengthen the peso? Tell your story.'
Here's some of the response:
I bought some like I do every month.

I replied:
Absolutely! As more people, Filipinos or otherwise buy pesos, the price of pesos gets better! Just like a stock price.
I sent and remit up to 90% of my income to the Philippines. I don't bring products from here when I go for vacation and I told my friends to do the same. I bring and introduce our products to Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. I promote tourism of our country and has even made one presentation here in my company about the Philippines. Things like these, that I can do by being an OFW.

My reply:
90%! Wow! that's a lot! Commendable stuff you're doing to strengthen the peso. However, the primary purpose must be what is best for you as an individual. Doing what's best for you, will benefit your family and indirectly the nation as a whole. Too much remittance money coming in the Philippines without the equivalent increase in available goods and services is inflationary. If you are sending that much money in the Philippines, make sure it is to produce goods or services, not just to consume or buy goods and services. Inflationary means on the next buying cycle of your remittance money for goods and services, the price for those goods and services will be more than the acceptable level of below 10% because a lot more people has money than the available goods and services.
You're right. Not all this 90% is being spent. How can a man spend this much of his income for necessities though? Only 12 percent is being spent for daily necessities while the rest is being infused to my small family business and real estate investments.

Snotty Someone ask...
What did you do Ate Mely? Nagbakasyon ka na ba sa Pilipinas? Bumibili ka ba ng mga Pinoy products na nasa US? Nanghihikayat ka ba sa mga kasamahan mo sa trabaho na maging turista sa Pilipinas? To all Filipinos living abroad, we can do alot for the Philippines by promoting our country as one of the most beautiful tourist destination in the world. Share pictures of beautiful places of the Philippines to your friends, officemates,or relatives. Share your stories and experiences of the beautiful tourist spots of the Philippines. Iyon mga hindi pa nauwi for 5 years, aba eh its time to visit the Philippines na po. Enjoy na kayo sa bakasyon, makaktulong pa kayo sa ekonomiya ng pilipinas. Tayo na kabayan, balikan natin ang matatamis na mangga, lanzones, kaimito, buko at ibpa. Mga kamag-anak at kaibigan na matagal ng di nakita. Makipagpuyatan tayo sa mga gimikan sa mga siyudad. Manguna sa mga banyagang turista sa pagpunta sa magagandang tanawin at pasyalan. Panahon na para magbakasyon sa Pilipinas!!

The following post became heated a little bit.
I am a recent convert, practicing capitalist! I own a business involving pesos. I am minority partner in a corporation in Manila which took almost a year to set up. I have dual citizenship to facilitate corporation application but did not really facilitate. Strong, weak, up or down of peso price does not affect my business.
Researching for my business mission statement, I stumbled into economic theories of Adam Smith, Hayek and Milton Friedman.
More Filipinos must be capitalist. Friedman wrote in 'Free to Choose' that in capitalism true economic freedom are achieve because of voluntary exchange between individuals guided by price, labor and profit only. Economic freedom is necessary for political freedom. Filipinos rally in the streets because they don't have political freedom. We have freedom of speech. Our political freedom is limited if our economic freedom is limited. To acquire economic freedom, more than a few Filipinos must use capitalism as an economic model. To be a capitalist, we must compete with other individual real or pseudo capitalist.
more coming...

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Tiger Woods wins again...

Four in a row, at WGC-Bridgestone in a play-off.
previous post, Tiger Woods watch...
1. British Open
2. Buick Open
3. PGA Championship
4. WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Akron, Ohio, August 24-27,2006
Tiger Woods focused his brain to command his body to take the lead when Cink and Furyk physically faltered on the back nine, allowing Casey to lead. No way will Tiger Woods let a European Ryder Cup player win this tournament, a WGC tournament he can win blindfolded, a tournament he won in the dark. No way will Tiger Woods booster a European Ryder Cup player's confidence weeks before Ryder Cup team competition.
Tiger Woods will not break golf record 11 tournament wins in a row until Byron Nelson's passing.
He will break Nicklaus record 18 majors first with 4 consecutive majors in the same year, a real Grand Slam, plus 2 more majors before his 33rd birthday.
Next tournament at Deutsch Bank Championship next week, in New England.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Tiger Woods said it again...

at after his third round interview Saturday. He bogeyed four holes in a row and still end up one shot from the lead at WGC-Bridgestone
“My body took me out of the tournament, and my mind will bring me back in it,” Woods said. “That’s what I tried to do today. I didn’t hit the ball good, and my speed wasn’t good early. That was all physical mistakes. “But the mind is powerful enough to tell the body what to do, (and) it’ll do it.”

Brain power too needs practice, practice, practice 'to tell the body what to do'.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Tiger Woods says...

Tiger Woods interviews are illuminating. Every PGA tour pro competing against him should read his physio-psychological analysis of his actions. Full of tid-bits on how he manages autonomic responses of his body to crisis and stress at hand.
Transcipt of Tiger Woods Press Conference: WGC BRIDGESTONE INVITATIONAL, Wed Aug 23, 2006 here.
TIGER WOODS: Well, I think that your mind will carry you. The mind controls the body, so if the mind tells the body what to do, it'll do it; just a matter of getting the mind under control to make your body respond. And under the most extreme circumstances when the competition is that fierce and that heightened and my concentration is that high, yeah, I feel like I can make things happen. It doesn't always happen, though, but yeah, I feel like I can.
Over the course of my golf career I've had it happen enough times where I can always say to myself, "I can do this, I've done it before." That in itself gives you a lot of confidence.

In other words, practice, practice, practice. Practice golf swing, strokes and winning. Every win is practice for the next tournament win.
A model for everyone, golfer or otherwise.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Steve Centanni, Fox News journalist abducted 8/14/06

Steve Centanni bio here abducted on August 14, 2006 with cameraman, Olaf Wiig. by masked Palestine gunmen. No news has been released since by Fox News or any media outlet except blogs.
Michelle Malkin request a blogburst today.
LORD God, shield them from harm.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Tiger Woods watch!

Successive tournament won...
1. British Open at Liverpool, England, July 20 - 23, 2006
2. Buick Open Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club, Grand Blanc, Mich., July 31 - August 6, 2006
3. PGA Championship, Medinah Country Club, Medinah, Ill., Aug. 17 - 20, 2006

Dean Barnett, a political blogger FAQ on Tiger Woods here
'the secret to his success is what’s between his ears.'
What’s special about Tiger is the way he stands up to the maddening game of golf. That’s why serious golfers almost uniformly love Tiger – he refuses to bend to the games disappointments and various sundry cruelties. Golf aficionados appreciate this, and are consistently astonished by it.

Tiger Woods website here.
Tiger Woods Foundation website here.
next tournament Akron, Ohio. WGC-Bridgestone, Aug 24-27, 2006 as defending champion.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

too many holidays in Manila!

Monday, August 21 is a non-working holiday (whatever that means) in Manila.
What is the difference between a working holiday and a non-working holiday?
For a business owner, do you pay your employees on non-working holiday?
What does that say about productivity?
Human nature dictates that our body and brain also goes on extended holiday every one declared holiday. Thus the popularity of 3 day weekend holiday attachment.
Business survival, profit and loss motivates business owners to reactivate their body and brain after a holiday.
Employees by job retention and paycheck.
How many working holidays and non-working holidays are there in the Philippines?

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Tiger Woods watch on wins in a row

Successive wins on tournament he enters.
1. British Open at Liverpool, England
2. Buick Open Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club, Grand Blanc, Mich., July 31 - August 6, 2006
next is PGA Championship, Medinah Country Club, Medinah, Ill., Aug. 17 - 20, 2006

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Unacceptable passing rate for Filipino nurses!

This news article in The Manila Times Online is disturbing. Less than 50% of nurse examinees passed the board. Even with leakage of exam questions, only 17,871 passed, out of 'some 43,000 graduates'.
What does that tell you? More would have failed without the leakage?

All nursing schools with failure rate over 10% must be close immediately! High failure rate is a disservice to the nursing profession, individual nurses, Philippines school system and the nation as a whole.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Leakage leaves examinees sitting on pins and needles By Francis Cueto

For two successive days last June, some 43,000 graduates of various nursing schools in the Philippines trooped to the testing centers throughout the country to take the board examinations supervised by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC). The PRC announced the results of the exams on July 19. Only 17,871 passed.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Better than WTO!

Forget about DOHA! GFTA is better

Global Free Trade Alliance

Much like free trade itself, a GFTA would be beautifully simple. No one has to sign a treaty, because the alliance is voluntary. Countries join by passing laws that guarantee their commitment to free trade, open investment, property rights and minimal regulation. Congress would give GFTA members access to the U.S. market -- with no tariffs, quotas or other trade barriers -- provided they grant the same access to the U.S. and other GFTA members.

Best of all, a GFTA wouldn't compete with the WTO. Both encourage countries to embrace free trade. But as the WTO expands, it has become more difficult to get a deal, since each country has a form of veto power.

Instead of forcing dozens of countries to green-light identical language before a deal takes effect, a GFTA puts the language out there so willing nations can meet those conditions. As new members join, the organization would grow increasingly attractive; neighboring countries would see the benefits of belonging and say, "I want to join, too." That would encourage non-member countries to make market-friendly reforms.

Plus, unlike bilateral or regional free-trade agreements, a GFTA wouldn't be limited to a small number of partners or a specific region. In theory, it could include all nations. However, unlike the WTO (leader of the Doha Round), it would be based on true free-market practices rather than a slow decrease in trade barriers.

We live in an innovative country and an innovative era. If we want poorer countries to enjoy the prosperity and promise of globalization, we need to think creatively about expanding free trade.

Winston Churchill switched parties in 1904 -- joining the Liberals when the Conservatives wavered in support for free trade. Today's conservatives also should be willing to change their approach. It's time for a Global Free Trade Alliance -- one that enables any country to join us in our race to the top.

Ed Feulner is president of The Heritage Foundation and co-author of the new book “Getting America Right.”

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Few pregnant women in Italy?

Our daily game in our sojourn was count how many pregnant women we encounter. The most was 3. Where are all the pregnant women? Work? home? Hope so. For a society to survive, it must be replace in the womb.
Holy Mother protect all pregnant women especially the one close to our heart, ARK. Send the Holy Spirit to guide the growth and development of God's creation in the womb.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

$ diplomacy instead...

Did not encounter any anti-Americanism at all with our sojourn in Portugal and Italy. Not in the pizzeria, gelato and trains.
Even with Nor's insistence for an American coffee instead of expresso and flavored it with sweetened International Delight creamer she brought from Ca. Waiter probably just rolled his eyes upward and brought her what she wanted. Especially when at the end of our meal, she tip the usual American amount. Nobody else in the other table did.
The only sign we can be Americans is we spoke English all the time because of my apo and we were in group of three not a crowd of Asians.
The best anti-American program is benign assimilation of American culture in each individual, even non-Americans, by tourism economy.
'When in Rome, be a Roman' the mantra for tourism economy.
Anti-Americanism prompts push for "citizen diplomacy"
Wed Jul 26, 2006 8:11am ET
Parallel to the grassroots effort to spread the message that there is more to the United States than wars, superpower arrogance and tourists clad in shorts, a business-backed group called Business for Diplomatic Action (BDA) is lining up corporate support for public diplomacy by business travelers.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

US$ to Euro

$100 equals 76-80 Euros.
A 3 star hotel cost 160 euro. Euro 3 star hotel is not comparable to US 3 star hotel in amenities and service in a comparable US city.
History, ancient history and God's grace drive Americans to go to Europe.
For vacation respite, any US city and resort gives your money's worth.
Our cheapest dinner for 3 cost 25 euro and our most expensive 115.
A cup of capuccino or expresso coffee is cheaper than soda. However, coffee is served in small cup and soda is served in can or bottle.
Europe is expensive, especially for tourist with American taste. Yet, Rome is full of American tourist in the Vatican, Sistine museo, colosseum and other sites. In all our train travel, metro or eurostar and equivalent, there's always someone with an American accent.
I am not going to Italy anymore until someone assure me I will not be pickpocketed.

Rome, not pickpocket capital of the world but...

Pickpocketed in a crowded bus from Trevi Fountain Metro stop to Termini at 10pm on our way to a sleeper train for Milan.
Don't carry a wallet anymore since my pickpocket incident in 1996 on the train from Naples to Rome.
Skillful lady pickpocketer took my datebook with 3 different credit cards - amex, mc, visa - and an atm card. An envelope of 76 euros was with the datebook as well as my apo's birth certificate. Pickpocketer and male accomplish got off the last stop before Termini.
I text my hubby right away with my unlocked cellphone with Vodafone SIM card I bought at Lisbon airport, to block credit card accounts. He called my cell phone right away to check on us, his first and only time he phoned.
'It could have been worse', my apo says a few times waiting for the delayed train to Milan.
Our Lady protected us in our journey at all times.
Thank you, LORD.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Official website of Our Lady of Fatima Sanctuary

Fatima sanctuary website here.

It would have been nice if there's a cheaper and convenient public transportation from Lisbon Airport to Fatima besides expensive taxi or rent a car.

Hotel Fatima

is a few steps to the Fatima compound. Same hotel we use in 1996. No major change or improvement.
Restroom is labeled WC.
Nor and Jess were amazed at the many pilgrims especially at night Rosary procession and mass.

Pilgrims, we were to Our Lady of Fatima, Portugal

Nor, Jess and me.
Plane inside setup and space looks the same as the last time I rode the same airline in 1996. Every time the guy in front of Jess reclines his seat, Jess has to reposition her long legs. Airline served dinner and ham sandwich snack before landing in Lisbon. Unlike AA on Nor's flight from LA. Did not even served any snack in the 5 hour flight.
Bus ride from Lisbon airport to Fatima is 15 euro each. It was a walk from the airport and two bus ride. One from the airport to the main bus terminal then to Fatima.
Decided to take a taxi instead for 126 euros. Prepaid with credit card. The lady (Sandra) at the information booth accompanied us to the taxi and made sure we boarded safe. For peace of mind, it probably was worth the extra euros.
The scenery of the cab ride was modern. Many constructions, new buildings and housing development along the highway. Looks up to date than when I last came to Portugal.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Competition, a good thing!

Compete is to strive or contend with another (Am Heritage Dictionary '83ed). Voluntary natural selection process with several levels of intensity, visibility and effectiveness.

From Foxnews, SmartMoney article - Competitive Edge by D. Luskin
According to the research of William Lewis, a retired partner at business consultant McKinsey & Co., the most important element is competition.
For a nation's economy to succeed, competition among domestic companies, and between domestic companies and foreign rivals, must be both fierce and fair. Lewis thinks that from the bloody battlefield of competition comes productivity and growth.
Lewis's book "The Power of Productivity" documents over a decade of painstakingly detailed country-by-country and sector-by-sector research by McKinsey's business analysts. The work proves definitively that, when a nation exposes itself to the rigors and risks of competition, it forces itself to adopt world-class business practices and achieve world-class productivity. It's simple, then: to compete is to grow.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Essay Competition at IFC/World Bank

First Annual Private Sector Development Research Competition
Entry to the First Annual Research Essay competition is now closed. We are very pleased with the response we received this year. Applicants from over 80 countries applied.
The winners will be informed via email sometime before September 1, 2006 and a select group of winning essays will be published on the Web site after September 17, 2006.
We invite you to visit us again for the next round of the competition that will be announced in November - December 2006. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email us at

next year, am in.
Click here for competition Terms and Conditions. International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group website here.
2005-06 Competition announcement here

Kristelle, busy reporter for Albuquerque Tribune

Summer intern reporter for Tribune, experiencing journalism first hand, take a break and splash at the Y, my beloved neice.
YMCA's pool makes a splash with young and old
By Kristelle Siarza
Tribune Reporter
July 6, 2006

For all of Kristelle's articles at The Albuquerque Tribune, click this.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Lola's Child

Children too are a gift frOm the LORD, the fruit of the womb, a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children born in one's youth.
Psalm 127:3-4

In womb, she floated through freshman yearend in college, a summer office temp job and first Europe trip; Paris then Annecy, France specifically, then back to US soil to hello world an American citizen.
No other citizenship in the world equal in worth. A citizenship cherished, aspired for and shed blood with to hold, behold and uphold.
Jessica was popular baby girl name that year.
Statistics posited more Filipinos, male and female, involve themselves outside their ethnicity than any group in America.
United States of America is THE nation model, freedom and democracy the atmosphere, immigrants and natives the clay.
Model definition is
'a miniature representation of an existing object. A preliminary pattern. A tentative description of a theory or system that accounts for all of its known properties. A type or design. An example to be emulated. One who poses for an artist or photographer

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Freedom is the Keyword !!!

'Filipino CPA's, lawyers, engineers, computer programmers, mathematicians, statisticians, teachers, biologists, soldiers, journalists, and bankers taking up nursing' is a market force. Any government regulation to curb or slow it down are additional curtailment of Filipino freedoms - economic freedom, political freedom, freedom of speech and freedom of religion.
(hat tip:beyond borders) Read the blog

Dinesh D’Souza wrote in What's So Great About America that
America’s founders solved two great problems which are a source of perennial misery and conflict in many other societies—the problem of scarcity, and the problem of religious and tribal conflict. They invented a new regime in which citizens would enjoy a wide range of freedoms—economic freedom, political freedom, and freedom of speech and religion—in order to shape their own lives and pursue happiness. By protecting religion and government from each other, and by directing the energies of the citizens toward trade and commerce, the American founders created a rich, dynamic, and peaceful society. It is now the hope of countless millions all across the world.

Click here for article in The American Enterprise. (hat tip:

SWIFT, Western Union & small foreign money remittance business

Thank you, SWIFT and Western Union for your cooperation.
I am a tiny Western Union competitor in a specific remittance market (US & Philippines). I am licensed (NJ) foreign money remitter. My clients funds are transferred from a NJ bank to a Philippine bank through SWIFT.
After 9/11, foreign money remittance businesses are scrutinize minutely in the War on Terror by federal and state regulators under USA Patriot Act, BSA and AML laws. Commercial banks, unable to establish monitoring system for foreign money remittance accounts close or do not accept remittance accounts.
Maybe exposure by NY Times on this previously secret monitoring will illucidate banks that FBI have other ways and means to tract terrorist finances and reinstate my business account as a small foreign money remitter.
BoA are you paying attention?
The F.B.I. began acquiring financial records from Western Union and its parent company, the First Data Corporation. Using what officials described as individual, narrowly framed subpoenas and warrants, the F.B.I. has obtained records from First Data, which processes credit and debit card transactions, to track financial activity and try to locate suspects.
Similar subpoenas for the Western Union data allowed the F.B.I. to trace wire transfers, mainly outside the United States, and to help Israel disrupt about a half-dozen possible terrorist plots there by unraveling the financing, an official said.

NY Times article here. (registration required)

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Speedy Action, I hope so !!!

Press release from Philippine government website say so.
Investors assured of speedy action on investment proposals
MADRID (via PLDT) – Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Peter Favila has assured European investors that delays in the processing of investment proposals, a common complaint of people doing business in the Philippines, will soon be a thing of the past.
Upon her return from her investment mission to Italy and Spain, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will issue an Executive Order eliminating kinks in the processing of investment proposals, Favila said.

Took us 11 months to process our corporation papers, Dollar to Peso Money Remittance & Exchange Corp in Paranaque with minimum 5 investors. Required TIN number, birth & marriage certificate, citizenship papers of all parties of our corporation took 4 months to complete.
We paid a gopher to stay in line each time we need to be in a line in a government office. Refused entry at BSP for inappropriate outfit. Many annoying stuff which saps our capital but we will persevere for we love the Philippines and we are Filipinos at heart, even if we've been overseas many decades ago.
Click here for article.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Capitalism, Benign Assimilation of the highest order

Adam Smith, the non-American founder of the experiment called United States of America in 1776.
One overlooked "founder" offers enduring answers: Adam Smith. Smith published the Wealth of Nations in 1776, the same year the Continental Congress declared American independence. By the time of the Constitutional Convention 11 years later, his ideas had been incorporated into the thinking of the new nation's leaders.
Smith's great revelation was that political freedom would most likely emerge and persist under conditions of economic freedom, what we now call capitalism. Our democratic system as defined in our Constitution incorporated respect for this economic system.

Read USA Today article. (hat tip:

Milton Friedman and Rose Friedman also wrote in Free To Choose...
The story of the United States is the story of an economic miracle and a political miracle that was made possible by the translation into practice of two sets of ideas - both, by a curious coincidence, formulated in documents published in the same year, 1776. One set of ideas was embodied in The Wealth of Nations, the masterpiece that established the Scotsman Adam Smith as the father of modern economics...

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Jessica's art work

Anime style, click here, here, here

Quinnipiac U poll - NJ high property tax, hear my voice

On 6/08 at 9:16pm, Quinnipiac Univ on the caller id, I answered the phone.
A pleasant sounding male voice on the other end asked if I was over 18 years old and if I was willing to answer a few questions...

Taxes No. 1 gripe in New Jersey By Donald Lambro THE WASHINGTON TIMES,June 18, 2006
New Jersey voters say the most serious problem confronting their state isn't the war in Iraq, immigration or the budget deficit, it is taxes -- on their property, purchases and at the gas pump.
This was the overwhelming response to an open-ended poll question that allowed respondents to give any answer they chose. No other issue -- not the economy, education, crime, health care, government spending or even the tide of illegal immigration -- even came close, according to the Quinnipiac University poll.
When asked, "What do you think is the most important problem facing New Jersey today?" 46 percent replied taxes -- a percentage that was higher than any problem listed in any previous Quinnipiac statewide or national poll, the survey group said. The 46 percent included 19 percent who complained about all taxes, 26 percent who said property taxes, and 1 percent who said gas taxes.

Washington Times article here.