Friday, May 06, 2011

Willie, Petroleum Prices, RP Commandos


I was watching the news, and I saw a Filipino general (or a colonel) talking about the precision of the US Navy Seal’s team that neutralized Bin Laden. He was talking about the Philippine commandos learning from the Seals to upgrade our Special Forces capabilities. I was thinking…these people cannot even neutralize a lone gunman inside a bus in the middle of a park in the middle of the city,  how much more neutralizing an enemy inside a heavily fortified compound in a hostile enemy territory? He was talking about learning how to conduct an operation that requires the coordination and the meticulousness of neuro-surgeon.

Let's be realistic men, master the boy scout skills first. (My apologies to my fellow scouts).
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So Willie Revillame’s show Willing Willie was suspended for a month by the MTRCB. Aside from the suspension, the show was also put on indefinite probation; the show has to secure MTRCB’s permission per episode that it will air. Wilie should not defy MTRCB and the state. Once he becomes too hot to handle, his politician friends will throw him out like a hot dog poop.

This time he antagonized well meaning, well respected and influential artist like Leah Salonga and Jim Paredes and others. Revillame even threatened to sue them but later changed his mind and withdrew. He must have realized that he is being overly and superbly unintelligent He cannot go on making enemies out of good, concerned and influential people in the industry that feeds him. Also, the way he is doing his show is hmmmm...manipulative. He is changing the way live TV show is done--a not so good change. Leah Salonga is right when she said that dole outs will not do any good to anyone (to that effect).

Will this be the end of will?

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Prices of petroleum products are continuing to rise and no amount of protest, noise barrage and interviews can stop this. Blaming the government, again and again, will not accomplish anything.  What do we expect the government to do? Put a price control on oil products? I don’t know how price control could bring down the price of petroleum products. If the oil companies are forced to lower their prices beyond their profit threshold, they would simply stop operation. Business operates by profit; remove profit and you have no business. That’s the law of capitalism and free enterprise.  If the oil companies, especially the giants, stopped operating, we’ll all be in worse predicament than before. Unfortunately, all this Marxist-socialist oratories about socialism and state control will accomplish nothing. Isn’t it obvious that with the USSR’s demise and China’s adoption of a capitalist’s economy proved beyond reasonable doubt that the communist class struggle is already dead? Marx is now confined to the classroom, to be studied as one philosopher among others whose idea had come and gone.

Regulating petroleum products prices by a subsidy is unintelligent. During the Aquino administration there was this dinosaur called the OPSF or the Oil Price Stabilization Fund which was created “to reimburse the oil companies for possible cost underrecovery incurred as a result of the reduction of domestic prices of petroleum products.” The fund was supposed to work the other way also i.e. the oil companies were supposed to pay the government back for any over recovery. But since when do the prices of petroleum products go down? So, in reality, OPSF is the government paying the oil companies tax money so that they could sell their products at a lower price to the tax payers. What is wrong with this? It is still us who are paying for the difference in the supposedly low fuel prices. Another problem with subsidies, like the OPSF, is that those who do not use petroleum products are subsidizing those who do. This is also the argument for the removal of subsidies for MRT and LRT commuters in Metro Manila? Why would the Visayans and Mindanaoans pay for the train fare of the Metro Manilans when the money could be used for their own regional needs? Subsidies are not good for it is discriminatory.

Until we find alternative sources of energy, we are hostage to the continuous increase in the prices of petroleum products.
 

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