Considering Mar Roxas

Updated 11 March 2016 at 1320 hours
MANILA: Thank you, Get Real for your essay, "Comparing promises: Roxas vs Duterte" (getreal, 08 March 2016, getreal.rocks). I got my image from your website, and I got my inspiration to go beyond what you did. This is what your composite image says in text:

MILLION JOBS FOR Filipinos. * RA 8756, RA 8748, RA 8759 (all authored by Roxas) played big role in making the IT-BPO a lucrative industry. * IT-BPO generates $258 and employs 1.3M workforce. * Roxas has records to show he did.

3-6 MONTHS TO CURB CRIME & ILLEGAL DRUGS. * Never been done in Davao City by Duterte himself. * Not doable (Sen Ping Lacson). * Intellectually insulting to Filipino voters.

I believe all that.

So, we have in the Philippines and both running for President who to me are fathers: Mar Roxas, Father of The IT-BPO Industry; and Rodrigo Duterte, Father of the Thug as Politician. One is creditable, the other discreditable.

In a previous essay, I lamented the lack of Vision of all the presidential candidates (see my "Vision Is The Greater Part Of Statesmanship," 05 March 2016, A Magazine Called Love, blogspot.com). But then Get Real inspired me to make a paradigm shift.

According to Get Real's research, "(The record) shows that Mar Roxas played a big role in making jobs not only in one city but (in) the whole country." This is The IT-BPO industry. I agree to properly call him Father of The IT-BPO Industry, not that he set up the first call center or BPO office, but that he fathered all these laws that, combined, created a rich soil for the call center industry's seeds to grow and its plants to prosper:

RA 8748.  01 June 1999, amending the Special Economic Zone Act. To encourage social acceptability, which is necessary for establishments to operate in a zone, RA 8748 rewards any municipality or city 2% of the 5% gross tax from establishments operating in its ecozone. That's incentive for the residents to welcome ecozone denizens lurking in their territory.

RA 8756. 23 November 1999, which encourages multinationals to set up in the country their bases that will perform core services for their affiliates, subsidiaries or branches. How good is the package meant to attract outside investors? This act encourages foreign firms to set up in the Philippines their regional or area HQs, regional operating HQs, or regional warehouses. As an example, on 07 March 2006, 10 firms were reported setting up regional operating HQs in the Philippines: Paypal Asia Services Ltd., Jinchuan Group, Naxos Global Distribution Ltd., NP Regional Headquarters Phils., Lindberg A/S, Manulife Data Services Inc., Branders.Com Inc., Blue Frog Mobile Inc., Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, and Hilo Fish Co. Inc ("10 firms set up regional operating HQs in RP," BusinessWorldgmanetwork.com).

RA 8792.  14 June 2000. This is the Electronic Commerce Act. "The State recognizes the vital role of information and communications technology in nation building." Says Digital Filipino of the E-Commerce Act (digitalfilipino.com):

It is a landmark legislation in the history of the Philippines. (This act) made the country a legitimate player in the global marketplace.

Without an e-commerce law, the Philippines cannot grow in the global marketplace. It was Roxas who saw its need and pursued its fulfillment. That should make him a true statesman.

So, Roxas promised a million jobs each year, and Duterte promised zero crime rate in the Philippines within half a year after he becomes President.

So we have in Roxas a global perspective and in Duterte a parochial view. With Roxas, the Philippines is an international player; with Duterte, the Philippines is only Davao City enlarged.

Roxas was Secretary of the Department of Trade & Industry in 2000; it was he who brought the it-BPO Industry to the Philippines. The laws mentioned above, all authored by Roxas, welcome BPO companies. To illustrate, one company, People Support, an outsourcing center based in the US, moved its operation to the Philippines and generated more than 8,000 call center jobs. (One of my daughters was an early recruit.)

On 27 February 2016, Mar Roxas promised to create 1 million jobs every year if elected President (Llanesca T Panti, "Roxas promises 6 million jobs," manilatimes.net). This will be in agriculture and the manufacturing industry. He said:

I see, more or less, a million jobs every year. I have done this before in DTI when I was able to make the call center industry grow. Now, millions of our workforce (are) employed in this sector. That happened because we had a plan, not a wish. It didn’t happen overnight or by chance.

So how did that happen? "We stuck with our strategy," he said. "We sought the help of the private sector, enlisted the help of schools to help us in training… that’s why we were able to mount a concrete action."

In 2015, the call center industry remained the largest and fastest-growing industry in the Philippines, with projected revenues of $20 Billion for the year (ANN, 21 October 2015, asianjournal.com). In fact, it generated $22 Billion (Kristyn Nika M Lazo, 03 February 2016, "BPO sector revenue exceeds 2015 target," manilatimes.net).

Roxas knows the value of public-private partnerships; Duterte knows the value of public single-mindedness. Roxas knows the value of brains; Duterte knows the value of brawns. One is broad in his methods; the other is crude.

I'm still looking for a Presidential Vision. Now then, following my formula of visioning (see my essay, "Vision Is The Greater Part Of Statesmanship," A Magazine Called Love, blogspot.in), although he does not call it that, Mar Roxas' Vision is:

A million jobs every year.

To repeat, Roxas promised to replicate the public policies and partnerships that give rise to the huge call center industry in the country. From "Mr Palengke" to "Mr Trabaho." If elected, on to "Mr Agriculture" and on to "Mr Manufacturing."

A million jobs a year in agriculture and manufacturing? I can almost see how it's going to happen – people using the Internet. Their number will include what my son Jomar refers to as Virtual Career Professionals/Virtual Assistants (see my essay, "For A 1st World Philippines, Virtual Professionals need the help of Congress," 18 November 2015, A Magazine Called Love. blogspot.com) – with the President's help, new virtual careers in the Philippines will sprout like mushrooms after a rain with thunder and lightning. I like it because that means that Mar Roxas is going to make sure that the Internet runs superfast, not superslow like today.

Personally, I have a simple want: An Internet connection that is scalable beyond world standards. Having done the above analysis, I have just convinced myself; so, I will be one of the millions who will vote for Mar Roxas as President!



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