Monday, October 16, 2006

Protectionism: the Fine Art of Shooting Thine Own Foot

I agree with the Palace proposal to amend the following provisions of the 1987 Constitution so as to allow and encourage the entry of global media organizations into the country, including "foreign ownership" of such media assets as tv and radio networks, newspapers and magazines, and other forms of mass media.
Article XVI - General Provisions - Section 11
(1) The ownership and management of mass media shall be limited to citizens of the Philippines, or to corporations, cooperatives or associations, wholly-owned and managed by such citizens.
The Congress shall regulate or prohibit monopolies in commercial mass media when the public interest so requires. No combinations in restraint of trade or unfair competition therein shall be allowed.

(2) The advertising industry is impressed with public interest, and shall be regulated by law for the protection of consumers and the promotion of the general welfare.

Only Filipino citizens or corporations or associations at least seventy per centum of the capital of which is owned by such citizens shall be allowed to engage in the advertising industry.

The participation of foreign investors in the governing body of entities in such industry shall be limited to their proportionate share in the capital thereof, and all the executive and managing officers of such entities must be citizens of the Philippines.
No provision in the Constitution is so futile or self-defeating. Even a cursory survey of the Media Scene in the Philippines shows how utterly nonsensical these "nationalist" and "protectionist" provisions have been. They have certainly worked to keep "foreigners" out as who would invest in a country that won't allow you to OWN anything (except through the very lucrative DUMMY system but that's messy), or even to MANAGE the same with the personnel of your choice.

The result of this protectionism is a desultory and weak media industry, dominated by a very few, if noisome, players, peddling largely inanity, sensationalism, sex and violence, along with the daily horror stories of the politicos and other famous social personalities.

The Government-owned Media is an execrable example of what the whole protectionist manifesto begets...a harkening back to the days of Pravda and Izvestia in the old Soviet Union.

Now of course, the mere entry of new players into the Philippine media industry will not guarantee any improvement in the usual content of crass commercialism and entertainment. Indeed one would expect a general increase in such brain-fluffy content. But one would also expect an increase in better content as well as greater access to many more sources of news and information for the Filipino consumer. That has not happened under the current regime because the whole secret lies in the freedom to choose what to read or watch.

Even the militants who fear that allowing foreign ownership of media will allow foreigners to control our minds should see the upside of such a change for their own propaganda efforts since the first foreign media likely to come here will be the international leftist media. Others are more business savvy. But the more the merrier, I say!

By the way, merely passing the amendment won't guarantee a sudden influx of foreign investment either. It's not like foreign media conglomerates are breaking down our doors to get in. Not after Manila Hotel. Not after Naia-3. Not after...

BADGER BLOG ALLIANCE Filipino Americans in the US State of Wisconsin (Go Badgers!) have awakened to the presence of one JocJoc Bolante in their midst. All US taxpayers should know that in the neat lil town of Kenosha, Wisconsin, there hides the fertilizer fun scamster, in the very bosom of the people that donated at least part of the P728 million peso ($12 million) fertilizer fund through its PL480 agricultural subsidy program for the Philippines. (via Marcus Aurelius).

Nurse Ratched's Place is a blog by "Mother Jones" a Registered Nurse, who writes today:
I know a place where nurses are nymphomaniacs. They work in shady places, wearing tight, white wiggle dressing, and exposing their voluptuous breasts to power hungry doctors. The doctors are lecherous womanizers who are healers by day and adulterers by night. They exploit women to fulfill their savage desires. These are the men and women of medical pulp fiction.
Anybody know any good Filipino Nurse Blogs?

Gov. Manuel Pinol of North Cotabato has just told ABSCBN News that "as soon as we have buried our dead" murder charges will be filed against the mastermind and perpetrators of the recent Makilala bombing in Central Mindanao. That mastermind turns out to be a known member of the MILF, a certain Basit Usman. To be charged with him are Bali Bombing suspects Indonesians Dulmatin and Umar Patek, who together have an 11 million dollar reward on their heads. A SIM card recovered from the cell phone detonator of that deadly blast has apparently been deciphered and found to contain highly incriminating evidence in the form of text messages and cell phone numbers against members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). He says there is also evidence of cooperation with and participation of Jemaah Islamiyah in the recent bombing incident in his province. But when Eid Kabalu came on the program to taunt the Governor with the MILF's "Relax ka lang Gov!" message (also on their website), Governor Pinol was rightly angry and indignant at the flippant attitude, considering half a dozen dead innocents from the joint MILF-JI attack on Central Mindanao. I'm just calling a spade a spade! Three bombs in a 24 hour period exploded at midweek, and at least two more bombs have been found and defused since.


Anonymous said...


Just saying hi to my first bloogging mentor and my fellow LSGH alumnus.

been out of the circulation adjusting to the call center biz.

maybe it is about tme we stop shooting our selves in the foot and kicking our selves in the Ass.

Rizalist said...

Nice seein' ya Karl. We all have to take time off. Welcome back. Hope things are good with you!

manuelbuencamino said...

So you think Rupert Murdoch is the right antidote?

Rizalist said...

always looking at the down side! he he. I was thinking more along the lines of Smooth Jazz radio stations or maybe you'd like the BBC around here.

I think the problem is convincing them to invest here at all. Just like any other business, they won't come just coz they can.

manuelbuencamino said...

Hahaha. I'm with you DJB - as long as you and I can exercise veto power over potential investors, if any.

john marzan said...

I agree with the Palace proposal to amend the following provisions of the 1987 Constitution so as to allow and encourage the entry of global media organizations into the country, including "foreign ownership" of such media assets as tv and radio networks, newspapers and magazines, and other forms of mass media.

kung yan lang at mga economic-related provisions ang babaguhin, no problem sa akin yan.

problem is, buong constitution ang gustong baguhin, pati sistema ng gobierno at ang definition ng free speech ay gustong baguhin rin.