uring trying times such as these, it helps to ponder the positive rather
than dwell on the negative. Below is an article by Gregory L. Domingo written a
few years back, while serving as Undersecretary for the Department of Trade &
The positive outlook to the Philippines
(including the press, business people and myself) tend to dwell too much on
the negative side and this affects the perception of foreigners even the
ones who have lived here for awhile. The negative perception of the
Philippines is way disproportionate to reality when compared to countries
like Columbia, Egypt, Middle East, Africa, etc. Let us all help our country
by balancing the negative with the positive specially when we talk to
foreigners whether based here or abroad. Looking back and comparing the
Philippines today and 1995 (the year I came back), I was struck at how much
our country has progressed physically.
Consider the following:
1. The great telecoms infrastructure that we have now did not exist in 1995.
1995 was the year telecoms was deregulated. Since then billions of dollars
have been invested in both fixed line and cellular networks producing a
system with over 5,000 kms of fiber optic backbone at a world competitive
cost. From a fixed line capacity of about 900,000 in 1995 we now have over 7
million. Cellular practically did not exist in 1995 now we have over 11
million lines capacity.
2. The MRT, many of the EDSA flyovers (including the Ayala Avenue flyover),
the SKYWAY, Rockwell and Glorietta 4, the Fort, NAIA terminal 2 and most of
the new skyscrapers were not yet built in 1995.
3. If you drive to the provinces, you will notice that national roads are
now very good quality (international quality asphalt roads). I just went to
Iba, Zambales last week and I was impressed that even a not so frequently
traveled road was of very high quality.
4. Philippine exports have increased by 600% over the eight years. There are
many, many more examples of progress over the last eight years.
Some additional tidbits to make you prouder.
1. Intel has been in the Philippines for 28 years. The Philippines plant is
where Intel's most advanced products are launched including the Pentium 4.
By the end of the year, the Philippine operations is expected to be Intel's
biggest assembly and testing operations worldwide.
2. Texas Instruments has been operating in Baguio for over 20 years. The
Baguio plant is the largest producer of DSP chips in the world. DSP chips
are brains behind cellphones. TI's Baguio plant produces the chip that
powers 100% of all NOKIA cellphones in the world and 80% of Erickson
3. Toshiba laptops are produced in Laguna.
4. If you drive a Benz, BMW, or a Volvo, there is a good chance that the ABS
system in your car was made in the Philippines.
5. Trend Micro, makers of one of the top anti virus software PC-Cillin (I
might not have spelled this correctly) develops its "cures" for viruses
right here in Eastwood Libis. When a virus breaks in any computer system in
the world, they try to find a solution within 45 minutes of finding the
6. By the end of this year, it is expected that a majority of the top ten
U.S. call center firms in the U.S. will have set up operations in the
Philippines. This is one area which I believe we are the best in the world
in terms of value for money.
7. America Online (AOL) has 1,000 people in Clark answering 90% of AOL's
global e-mail inquiries.
8. Proctor & Gamble has over 400 people right here in Makati (average age 23
years) doing backup office work to their Asian operations including finance,
accounting, HR, and payments processing.
9. Among many other things it does for its regional operations here in
Manila, Citibank also does its global ATM programming locally.
10. This is the first year ever that Philippines will be exporting cars in
quantity, courtesy of Ford Philippines. Next time you see business
associates tell them the good news. A big part of our problem is perception
and one of the biggest battles can be won simply by believing and by making