Thank you very much again,
Sonny Africa, Executive Director of Iban Foundation
for joining us. So in the previous
episodes, you talked about your
foundation, you talked
about your own life experiences
when you're studying London School of Economics in London
and how the plight of our fellow
Filipino people really shook
your conscience or awakened
your conscience and how you dedicated
fighting for economic justice,
which is, we always talk about political
liberties, but we tend to forget about
economic rights and economic justice. That's very
important. And that for me
is a big explanation in my own books and works
while populists and Marcos
in fact returned because there was no economic
justice after the fall of Marcos' dictatorship.
But I think this is a good segue for our
discussion today because we want to talk about industrial policy
because you cannot have
an advanced, inclusive,
growth-creating economy if
you do not have a strong manufacturing sector.
And all the examples we
have in history show that you need
to have a strong state to build the foundation
for a strong manufacturing
sector. Now, the last
time we had something close to a strong
state, we can debate about how do you
define strong state? You can look at
its tax generation capacity,
you can look at its ability to
to gather data, etc.
But I think the last time we had
semi-developmental state experiment
was really during the Marcos dictatorship.
And the fundamental argument you were
making in the previous episode is
that rightly, we got
rid of the dictatorship, but we
threw out the baby with the bathwater. We also
threw out any appreciation of the role
of the state in building
a strong economy, building
foundations of modern manufacturing
and industry. And then what
happened since then is more like moralistic
economics. All we have to do is just to deal
with corruption and everything will be fine.
When in fact, many of our neighbors are still corrupt
until today, but they're doing far more growth than us.
Before I go to you, I just want to add another thing.
those people who have this illusion
that markets on their own will get it right
and that states are bad. I mean, just look at China.
I'm no fan of China's political system, but
my God, they just launched the fastest
internet on Earth. They're going to
launch the fastest computer soon.
They're already ahead of the West in developing
5G and now 5.5G network,
if not 6G network. Look at the
latest Huawei phones. They're way better than
the iPhones we have, right?
The Mate phones. Look at
EV cars. They're trouncing
the Japanese and already knocking at the
door of Tesla. You think that came out
of what? That came out of
public policy. That came out of
a conscious strategy by the Chinese state
to make sure they dominate the next
generation technologies. And now
a developing country like China with
a per capita income of barely $10,000
is scaring the heck out
of the Germany and the US
and Japan's of this world. I was in Germany last year
and I was in Munich, right?
And the guy said,
in 10 years, they're going to trounce us.
Even the car auto industry where we're really
strong. The Americans are already so scared of the Chinese.
They're imposing all sanctions
on Huawei and all their big industries.
And the Japanese, they're pulling out all of their
cars because everything is being
absorbed by China. So we
discussed forced technology
transfer. But forced technology transfer happens
because of state strategy, right? So
we're not here to glorify China's horrible
political system. But I think we
have to give credit when it comes to economic public
policy. I think China really has a
lot to teach the rest of the developing world
and not to mention what China is doing. It's also
nothing historically unique. I mean, a lot of
late developing countries did things that China is doing
today except on a far smaller scale.
Having said all of that,
Sonny, just to set the tone, right?
In short, the Geely and BYD
and Huawei that you're saying, that didn't
come out of just entrepreneurial spirit.
No, that came from state-back
policy, alright? Just to
get the facts right here.
Now, Sonny, the question I always say is
bakit hanggang ngayon yung mga ibang
oligarchs natin, ilan dekada na,
none of them have built anything
like even VinFast of Vietnam,
a baby oligarch Vietnam just built
few years ago. And that guy right now
with the support of the Vietnamese state, already
has one of the biggest EV
car industries in the world, at least based on
the NASDAQ numbers we saw. At some point,
it was third biggest in the world, just behind Tesla
and BYD, ahead of Porsche,
in short, Vietnam envy.
Bakit sila may VinFast?
Bakit even Vietnam, such a
late, late, late developing country, is building
brands in the Philippines?
Hanggang saan na lang tayo? Hanggang
Ginebra lang yata tayo? I mean, hanggang
Emperador Bayo? I mean, like,
why don't we have those
world-class manufacturing tech
companies? Why not? Let's start with
Marcos. Let's start with Marcos because Marcos
had 21 years to build that.
Why didn't Marcos manage to build
those global industries with 21
years in power? Because our neighbors
were able to do that in that period. Korea,
Taiwan, Japan, within one
generation, a half a generation, they built world
also did that. Okay. Wala na.
Na-excite na ako so much. With that
long introduction, Sonny, you can
see how passionate, I mean, how
many people are so passionate
about industrial policy.
I should get the gold
award for the most industrial
policy fanatic guy in the world. Because for
me, it's a matter of pride. As a Pinoy,
I want to see Filipino car brands.
I want to see Filipino electronics brands.
Bakit wala tayo na? Why didn't
Marcos after 21 years
didn't do that? Why? What is the reason?
So this brings us to industrial policy.
Sonny, go ahead. The floor
is yours. Sorry ang dal-dal ko, but I just want
people to know saan galing itong
passion ko for this topic. It
doesn't sound sexy, but it's very important
Well, alam mo, syempre, it's all
about government policy.
I mean, it's so basic. Kasi even our
businessmen, they will react to
any environment. And actually,
businessmen are the most predictable
folks in the world.
They want to make a profit.
So ganun kasimple lang. And I think
the problem actually with our
economic policy, they
aren't creating the right sort of incentives
for those businessmen to go into
manufacturing, where there's a small
little, you know, cheap consumer
goods, or a laptop, or high-tech
semiconductors, or whatever
fourth generation, fourth
industrial revolution technology.
Businessmen are practical folks. They will
work with what's there. And the problem is,
so I'm going to go back pa ng konti,
it's not so much that the
businessmen are telling the
government to, you know,
open up the economy,
all of that, because some of them
to be open because it affects
their interest. I think the primary
problem is the government has never had a view
to use all the tools at their disposal
Filipino capital and capitalists
to go into manufacturing. And the last
40 years is so important kasi may
instruments naman eh. There's that
in principle, the bias for Filipino
manufacturers, whether big
or small, using state
enterprises to provide subsidized
whatever, energy, transport,
support to industrial projects
calculation are important to actually
develop. Protection from foreign
cheaper foreign goods.
All the other financial
stuff like industrial financing,
foreign exchange support,
other incentives. And nabagit mo
internet, science and
technology R&D support. So actually, all
those things were well known
even as early as the 18th,
19th century. But none of
our governments actually
took it to heart.
To do that, even yung Filipino
first, it was never about supporting
Filipino industry. It was
supporting about business based
on the Philippines, including
American manufacturers, that's a parity rights
counted as Filipino. So even
Filipino first, of course
in the periphery, may mga ilang mga
small Pinoy firms, sapatos, etc.
Nakapasok sila. But the main
beneficiary of Filipino first were actually
American manufacturers here. Pero
setting that aside. So, sobrang
simple nang actually. Tama ke.
The high point of
interventionist powers in the economy
was nung time nung
Marcos' dictatorship. But the thing is,
tail end na yun eh. Kasi sa toko lang,
30s, 40s, 50s, the 60s,
70s, actually virtually
every country in the world had those same
measures naman eh. So,
naging problema kay
under the Marcos' regime,
late 1960s, early 1970s,
nanguna pa siya to roll back.
Those intervention measures.
Nanguna pa siya to give
stuff to foreign investment just to make them come.
Nanguna pa siya to take away tariff barriers.
So, like countries like Malaysia, Thailand,
well, of course, Vietnam, may gera, pero
nang tagtagumpay socialist.
When other countries here in the region
were still protecting their own
manufacturing sectors, were still
subsidizing to a fault,
lahat ng mga even
innovation producers nila, nauna
yung Philippines to roll that back. And I think
that's actually our problem kasi
yung the momentum
of taking away those measures
really took flight
after the Marcos dictatorship.
Kasi nga, he used nga all these mga instruments
for yung self-interest.
Which actually a big problem for us sa neto kasi
from this whole range of measures,
if you look at the most recent Philippine development plan,
all the most important policy measures
to develop Filipino industry, wala.
They will say, we want to attract foreign
investment in manufacturing, let's give them
that. But it's not industrialization eh.
Para nga yung naging kwento natin kanina,
you can have foreign investors in the
country. Most foreign investment in the
last 20 years has been in manufacturing.
They base here, they
bloat our manufacturing figures,
but it's not Filipino industry. It's not
developing Filipino technology, Filipino
capacity. They're actually not
hiring that many Filipinos.
Actually, they're importing most of
their inputs, not creating opportunities
for local manufacturers, etc.
etc. So sa amin, it's
the government's lack of vision. And I think,
embrace of the religious
that the only role of the government
is to fix market failures.
Hindi ka nga eh. And there's no, again, there's no
example of any country in the world
in economic history
that developed on the basis of the free market.
40 years ng global industrializing
country, because the market does not deliver
development, the market doesn't deliver industrialization.
Kasi ganoon ka-basic lang sa amin. It's lack
of fundamental vision by our
technocrats, by our politicians.
Of course, you can say, sebak,
eh, they're the ones na susupport
ng mga oligarchs natin eh. They're the ones na
will get the big war chest
to buy. Yeah, that's
there, but if you look back, actually,
hindi naman kailangan
ng democratic process to industrialize.
like you said kanina, it's such a brutal
Okay, let's, you know, let's talk about it.
Yeah, we might end up justifying
I'm not, I'm not.
No, no, because we always heard
that the Likwan new model, I heard that
a lot during Duterte time. Bakit yung mga
katupin natin, except we had dictatorship
and it was horrible, developmentally speaking.
appreciate where you're coming from. Your idea is that the
agent of development is ultimately
the state. Dapat, we have to,
we have to curb our enthusiasm
businessmen doing the heavy lifting.
So, in short, the heavy lifting should come from the state.
I completely agree with you.
But I would slightly disagree
it's not like we don't have an established
history of oligarchic
elements trying, I mean,
regulatory capture, I think it's not
totally myth. I think there is
an interest on the part of many oligarchs
to control the state
in a way so that they can be in charge of,
commanding heights of the economy. I mean, just look at
key sectors, utility sectors
among others. We don't need to name names.
So, I agree with you that
the heavy lifting should be by the state,
but I would also maintain that
not only the Philippines, but in many examples
around the world, including the US,
we have examples of big pharma,
you know what I'm saying, Wall Street
trying to influence legislation
and state regulation, Koch Brothers
for instance, influencing
environmental regulation to push for their
interest. But I do agree, yes, the
first heavy lifting, the big
part really should come from the state, so we
create the market conditions
industrialization. So, in that sense, I agree
with what you're coming from, yeah.
Pero, exactly, yung
difficulties natin sa
internet service right now. I mean,
self-interest of certain
ipapotent talaga nila yan, diba,
against foreign investors.
I think big business,
again, case in point, the most recent
yung talaga pangahawakan natin, South Korea
and Taiwan, they're all
very short-sighted naman eh.
They have to make the profit in that 5-year,
10-year period. So,
whatever lobbying they do is also within
that parameter na
what can I expect to
can I expect? Kasi, may pag-a-vicious
circle. It's true
or not? For termism,
business interest nila.
But the thing is, that's because wala nga yung
government with the convincing, with the credibility
to say, ito ang aming 25-year plan.
Whatever little lobbying you do now,
plan. Of course, it means kailangan
may enough political forces actually
pushing that. But actually, I would also
shift now to the secondary
If you don't have a domestic
entrepreneurial class or enough oligarchs
with that vision as well,
may kayong short-sighted din sila. So, I think
yun ang may kayong vicious circle. Parang masipalagi
dun sa government leaders to have that
vision to create that 25-50
year. Kailangan parang China, di ba?
50 years, 100 years is the future dapat yung planning.
But also, secondarily,
may kata nagsimula yan sa
to be historically correct. Yeah, this started
with Stalin, right? Yung mga 5-year plan,
then 10-year plan, then so on. I mean, the
industrialization. But obviously, again, baka
tagtayo. Again, we're against
their political systems. But
you can always separate the baby from
the bathwater. I think when it comes to public
policy innovation, when it comes to economic policy,
I have a lot of respect for
a lot of countries that may not share
my political values and ideologies.
Now, Sonny, let's go to the last part, which I think
is very important.
What should be the
Marcos strategy? Because
this whole performative
not gonna do it. Because the average
Filipino people, even us, the middle class,
we're all hurting. I mean, for me, it's cheaper
to be in Europe, parts of Europe, not
all, than in the Philippines for my daily expenses.
To be honest, I was saving money when I was in
Madrid earlier this year
than in Manila. So
Madrid is cheaper than Manila in many ways.
That's ridiculous. Because Madrid has
like six times more per capita income
than Manila. So there's something
really troubling with the status quo.
So if the middle class like us is
complaining, my goodness,
kung mga konyo nga nasasaktan
na ngayon, imagine mo yung mga
ordinary na ating kababayan. I mean,
5,000 grocery rate now is
normal. I mean, 5,000 is
a third of the income of many
of our kababayans. This is a crazy situation.
So this is not sustainable. And this could
backfire politically for Marcos Jr.
So whoever is the Filipino president,
hindi pwede business as usual,
complacent economics. Something
drastic has to be done. So
Sonny, what is your take?
What should be the industrial trade,
industrial and trade strategy
of this administration when even
in the United States, Biden and Trump
are competing in terms of support for
labor unions. And recently,
of course, the auto manufacturer labor union
in the U.S. had a big win because both
Biden and Trump are supporting them, right?
So even in the heartland of
neoliberal economics, neoliberalism
is not cool anymore. Industrial
policy is back. Made in America
is back. Make America first is back.
I see that in Germany.
Germany 4.0 industrial strategy.
China has its own version. Lahat
may industrial strategy ngayon. Vietnam,
Malaysia, Philippines lang hanggang
Marlika Fund na lang tayo.
Hindi pwede yan. We have to do something.
So let's go for it.
The floor is yours, Sonny. What should be the
industrial trade strategy for real
development in the Philippines?
with a little bit of a footnote,
U.S. was a heartland of pushing
for neoliberalism, but they're
very hypocritical about that. They're a double standard.
They only opened up as far
as it was their interest. And like you said,
yung defense industry nila,
industrial policy, even
at the height of the globalization era,
huge subsidies for
biotechnology, internet, and all
of that. So ano lang. Important
lang to clarify na they were never
actually practicing the free market even
within. They were only going as far as
it was in their interest.
Are you talking about imperial hypocrisy?
I'm very shocked by that. Of course
Anyway, actually, okay.
it's so basic lang eh.
In terms of a strategy,
it starts with thinking that
we have to have that strategy.
And unfortunately right now, the
Philippine government is not
of the view that industrialization is
important. They're of the view that
there's a track for investment. If they're
manufacturers, good. May bragging rights tayo.
Kasi we can say na we're one of the world's
leading high-tech exporters. Pero sa amin,
strategy, have to embrace the
reality. We need industrialization
policy to develop
the skills and technology, create the jobs,
get the economic surplus, formalize
the economy, use our resources
for our own benefit, instead of exporting
it to the road, et cetera, et cetera. And I think
actually, malaking struggle na yun eh.
But step one yun. If we don't get
there, there's no point about talking
about strategy. Ang difficulty
siguro right now in terms of talking about strategy,
it's always nice to look on roadmaps.
the last great industrializers
were actually South Korea and Taiwan.
China, dagdag mo na rin, pero
sui generis talaga yung China.
there's actually no roadmap
to look on. Kasi things have changed in the
last 40 years. Halimbawa,
in terms of yung ginawa ng
South Korea and Taiwan, they're very
export-driven. Because Cold War,
the U.S. wanted to support South Korea and Taiwan,
bulwark against Chinese communist
expansion, inopen up yung markets dun.
Pero that's not the way right now.
The world is in a long period
of global stagnation since the
2008-2009 crisis, made worse
by yung COVID. So actually,
that export environment that
was wielded well by South Korea
and Taiwan, walanin ngayon.
Isang problem yun. Second context,
that was not even a period of financial
liberalization or globalization
in general. Right now,
global finance has a much stronger control
flows ng finance.
The power of finance to create profits
even without production,
it's so compelling.
So now, we actually have a problem raising
industrial finance, which wasn't the case with
again, the last great industrialized
South Korea and Taiwan. Third,
yeah, let's talk about global
value chains and stuff. Actually, the real problem
with that is, there is an
illusion of manufacturing capacity in the
third world, slash developing countries,
slash non-industrialized world right now.
But the thing is, that layer of,
um, shallow industrialization,
the manufacturing capacity,
they're in our countries, like the Philippines,
they're in Laguna, they're in Batangas,
they're in Cavite, they're in Baguio, but they're not
actually domestic manufacturing
navigate unexplored territory?
we have to want to go somewhere.
At sa amin, ganun ka ba?
The reason of the last 20 years was from state intervention
cities. Don't think it's important.
There's no point talking about strategy.
In the same manner, once they think
it's important, they have
the resources to develop strategy.
But siguro, next point ko na lang doon,
once you decide that you have to
industrialize, once you
accept na the last 40 years of globalization
have changed, kami, hindi sa amin
issue yung mga free trade agreements,
WTO, that's all legalist.
I mean, they always back out of those agreements.
The U.S. can just ignore it.
So sa amin, hindi major issue yung
legal infrastructure, whether
But once that decision is made,
then the state can develop, can focus its
resources to fill
in yung problems na yun.
rely on export markets,
let's rely on the domestic market.
Oh, but we're so poor. Yeah, we're poor
because, one, we're so unequal,
we're not taxing the rich and distributing wealth.
Let's do that. Distribute wealth, distribute income,
expand the domestic market.
Also, financing, oh my God,
may concentration of financing naman sa Pilipinas.
So, let's actually tap that,
use the state to wield, you know,
ibalikin tradition, develop and banking.
Pero third, may problem tayo in terms of
technology. Well, how do you start
developing technology? By doing.
Research and development. Let's invest in
research and development.
Even for mga micro-small
enterprise, mas nimble sila. They can experiment,
they can make a mistake.
mahal naman laking in law and technology. And I think,
in three things na yun, we get the markets,
we have the financing, we have the technology,
don't give everything to foreign investors.
Parang that's like digging a deeper hole
than we're already in right now. Focus
properly, and then even yung mga big business natin,
they realize, okay, this is where we're going to go.
My long-term state lies. I'm going to support
whatever Philippine state is doing for the
Philippine economy. Tapos, yun nga, we have
to feel our way through it kasi
super bagong mundo talaga to. Not even
talking about the wars, not even talking about
a new financial crisis. I mean,
other stuff's gonna happen. Not even talking
about yung mga fourth
industrial revolution technologies. AI,
biotech, quantum computing.
But yun nga, Sonny, that's precisely
why we cannot use the 20th
policy strategy for the 24th
century. In fact, not only 21st century, but
the post-American 21st
century. This is an era of rise
of China. This is an era of rise of all
sorts of different new technology
superpowers, right? Rise of India even
to a certain degree. So we cannot
use the same template as before.
We have to have a 21st century industrial
policy that takes these new realities
into consideration, including artificial intelligence
and the impact it will have on business
process outsourcing in many sectors of us.
Kaya nga sabi ko eh, whether you want it or not,
we need to change. We need to come
with a radical economic strategy because
the status quo is unsustainable. It's just
not going to work for the 21st century.
Call centers, they're going to be threatened by
But the thing is,
pero may basic pa rin sa economy.
We need to industrialize. And actually,
industrialization nga, hindi naman kailangan ng mga goods
you can pick up and drop on your foot. It could be actually
knowledge intensive ng mga industrial
products, maybe even services. Pero,
baga ba't nag-change yung mundo
in terms of the exports, finance, and technology?
Actually, maganda yung point about China.
But that also means, nashot na yung door eh.
Kasi in a lot of ways, industrialization
is a positional good eh. Like, how do you compete
sa mga lower value-added goods? Parang,
is there a point for you even to try to compete?
Siguro wala nga. Kaya nga, focus domestically.
Tapos, super underestimated,
industrializers in the past,
they had a strong sense of nationalism,
hindi na sa vision ng mga tao,
ng leaders nila, even sa
public. And I think, yung nga eh,
you have to invest in that. I mean, that sense of
nationalism, saan come from anywhere,
it has to be prodded.
And glorifying FDI,
diminishing of what Filipinos
can do, that's not the way to go eh.
So, parang sa amin, ang daming
elements na sa FDIP would put in place,
exacto. With changed global conditions,
you can do the roadmap from what South
Korea and Taiwan did. But what
hasn't changed, you have capital,
it has to produce,
it needs technology,
it needs a market, the state
can support certain capitalists
to produce for the
domestic market. And then,
what do we have control over?
Our own country lang eh. We have to grasp
that eh. We have to have a sense
beyond territorial sovereignty
over mga intrusive foreign powers.
We have to have a sense of economic sovereignty
as well. At yun ang nakaka-
glorify FDI. Parang magic bullet
siya. But to clarify din,
even China, we have more
FDI as a share of GDP.
Wait. We have more FDI
as a share of GDP than China.
We have about 23-24% equivalent
China, mga 12-13% lamang.
So, ano na yun? Shares,
puputampayan instead of going
That's funny. This is similar to the
debate over corruption. Obviously, I mean,
corruption is a really bad, evil thing. No question about it.
No, this is a debate in terms of what kind
of FDI you're bringing in. Because if this is a kind
of FDI that brings good quality jobs,
this is an FDI that comes with some
R&D collaboration. This is some
FDI that comes with a certain degree of
inbuilt and not so inbuilt
technology transfer. Why not?
So, I'll get your point.
should be interrogated.
But I don't think we should also throw out the baby
with the bathwater in the sense of all FDI is
bad. So, bring in the
quality investments. And this
is what Mahatir told me. Because I want to end
on this note. Because I think we can have more and more
discussion about this in the future, hopefully under better
conditions. No, no. I mean,
my thing is like when I was talking to Mahatir and he was
talking about Chinese investment, he said, we're not against Chinese
investments. We're against the bad Chinese
investments. We want the high quality Chinese
investment. And I think that should apply to everything. And in the
Philippines, I know you're not inside China,
you know, debt trap, all of those stuff
which I never believed in. Because you can only
have debt trap when there's actual investments.
We already had more of a pledge trap.
But we're at the same time not...
It's up to us to make
investments that come in good.
They're not bad on its own.
They're predictable. They're there to make money.
Make money from us. But we also need
It's all about setting the terms.
It's all about exercising agency.
It's all about having a sense of national development
over the next 50 years.
How does the Philippines survive in the
first century? A serious question.
As climate change, artificial intelligence,
all of these things are coming up. So I appreciate
what you're saying here. What you're saying, Sonny, is
yes, many new things are coming up. New fancy
things. But don't forget the basics.
Which is exactly why we're having this conversation.
The basic is create industries
that provide quality jobs
on a long-term basis for
more and more Filipinos that doesn't have to
require perfect American English
like in call centers. It doesn't
require connection with
ganitong may-ari ng business. Because only
the manufacturing sector, if you look at the studies
by Danny Roderick, Ha-Jung Cha,
there's so much literature on really
the secret to upward mobility
for all countries in history
with the exception of Gulf, Arab-rich
oil countries or some of these
exceptional cases, is through
manufacturing. Do not forget that.
And guess what, Sonny? Even in India right now, that's
a conversation. I've been in conversation with some Indian
friends. We had a forum in
Vietnam earlier this year. And
they were saying in India, that was our mistake. We
over-relied on services and call centers.
To generate the growth. That was never
enough to take care of our middle class.
Never mind, you know, taking care of a billion
people. So now they're trying to get
into manufacturing. But as
just you said, we cannot do it like
before. Because the world is different right now. We should
have done this in 1980s and 90s.
Right? Sabi niya. But we have to
do a catch-up and we have to be creative about it.
So on that note, thank you very much
Sonny. Don't worry about it. I
do genuinely believe. I hope this is just the
beginning of it. So maybe every month or so, babalikan
kita. Let's continue this conversation.
I think we can also bring in other
friends, hopefully, on better internet conditions.
Lelo, among others. People who think outside
the box. Because I think in the Philippines,
the problem is that the economic discourse is still
So, you know what I'm saying?
So, you know, it's
still that classic orthodox, new
liberal, Chicago school stuff. Hindi pa
sila nag-upgrade eh. No? I mean
you go to New York University of Schiller
talking about institutions, behavior, economics.
You go to many parts of the
world. They're already talking about industrial policy, industrial
strategy. Hindi pa na. So, actually
our economists, a lot of them are good students, but
good students of outdated textbooks.
If ever those textbooks were really
reasonable. On that note,
Go ahead. Any last words?
Any last words before we close this episode?
But hopefully just the beginning of a new series of
conversation on an economic
strategy for the 21st century for the Philippines.
para sa politics natin, let's assume
everyone wants the best
for our country, even our economists.
So, sa akin lang, it's an appeal.
Be more open-minded.
Be more open-minded beyond the
textbooks. I know the appeal,
the lucidity, the
coherence, the endorphin rush
na things fall into place
in the textbooks. But in the real world, hindi talaga
ganon. So, sa akin, I do
start from a notion that even
our technocrats, even our intellectuals,
even our schools of economics,
we all want the best for the country.
So, sobrang basic lang.
Let's accept the positive experiences
of so many industrialized countries over the
centuries, and then adapt to
21st century conditions. And I think yung nga,
mag-usap tayo, let's move
forward. And I think unless
that conversation is there,
the free market, the gospel of neoliberalism,
hindi sa talaga mayali nige. So, super welcome
yung talk na ito, interviewing Richard.
Thank you very much.
Thank you, Stanley. I actually
like that intervention. Just to be clear, I mean, there are
many economists in the Philippines.
I highly respect, including, actually,
Arsenio Balisac, and I think, you know, he could be
a good source for agricultural
economics, among others. He has done a good job, in my opinion,
at least in NEDA, considering everything.
Emmanuel de Joss, Medalla,
I mean, there's so many great economists.
My own professor, Munsud, yung
daughter ni Jokno, naging professor natin.
I mean, so, there are many people I can
talk about. Si Justine talaga.
Justine, yeah. Even Jokno himself,
back in the day, was really the industrial, export
oriented kind of guy. So, you know,
I hope people don't take it for granted.
I hope people don't take it wrong. Ako medyo karinyo brutal ako.
But I do that also to my own profession.
I do that to also people of my background.
People who do foreign policy. People who do West
Philippine Sea. People who do media.
You know, people who do political science and
economics. You know, this is from a position of
love because we have many smart, great
economists and all. Many of them are patriots.
right, Sonny. We're not here to
alienate people. Although, I'm sorry, minsan,
medyo karinyo brutal ako. But actually, this is
to build bridges and interdisciplinary
public policy discussion.
And no one should have a monopoly over this.
So, yeah, all due respect,
you're right to the economics profession
and all. We're just talking about a certain subset
of problematic approach to
economic policy, which I hope we'll get rid
of and move forward because everyone
else is doing it across the region.
So, thank you so much, Sonny, for saving my skin there
because I think I really also had to make that caveat
very clear because madali ako ma-misunderstood
mahilig ako maging spicy.
So, thank you, Sonny,
for saving my skin.
But I'm genuine. I honestly say, yes,
I have a lot of respect. That's why I may drop because
these are people I deeply respect.
Emmanuel DiGiul's works have been a great
inspiration. Fabelia's works have been great.
Medali is actually a Facebook friend.
He's a fantastic guy.
You know, the Joknos,
marami tayong minamahal dyan sa Jokno family.
So, please don't get it at the personal level.
This is more of a general. In fact, even with Jerry Sikat,
this discussion with Lelo about how
Jerry Sikat also tried to push for industrialization
but his argument is, by the time
na nagsimula sila, medyo late na under Marcos.
Now, they should have done that in the 60s pa.
But anyway, we can have a long discussion.
So, I'm fair. This is not a
personal attack on anyone. I hope, please,
don't take this personally. Because when people
attack people on foreign policy
experts or people attack, you know, I don't know,
journalists and all, I don't take it personally.
Easy na. Easy na.
Because, you know,
Because I criticize.
I said, you know, so this is not
impersonal. This is really about us moving it.
Because I don't have to say this is about the country.
And please, if there are people who have
other data, alternative data or analysis
that shows the paucity of my
analysis or Sonny's point of view, please
go ahead. More than happy to talk to our economy's friends
among others. So, yun lang. Yun lang. But
I just had to come a little bit forcefully
and strong, Sonny, because you can see
I'm passionate about this. And you can see
something has to be done.
Something has to be done. And a photo
up with Elon Musk, it's not enough.
Right? Something has to be done with that.
But I hope we get the Tesla
here in the Philippines more
once we fix electricity and all of the
basic infrastructure problems. Because
ano naman, Silvio, may Tesla ka, mahal naman
na electricity, di ba?
On that note, thank you very much, Sonny. I hope you
appreciate also, you know, what we're doing here
under imperfect condition.
And this is just the beginning of the conversation,
God willing. So, maraming salamat, Sonny.
And talk to you soon. And guys, don't worry.
Final version of this, we're gonna get it out
in the coming days.
Hopefully, mas maganda yung finalized version.
Hindi ganon ka-choppy.
But I think the latter part of our discussion
was pretty clear enough
despite all the challenges. Salamat, Sonny.
God bless and talk to you soon.