« Ted’s dead: Ted Heath (1916—2005) | Main | Musée des Beaux Arts by W. H. Auden »

July 19, 2005


Jon Limjap

I think this kind of debt behavior can be seen from the richest (pure pinoy) capitalist to the poorest palista-naman-sa-tindahan-ni-aling-nena of the poor.

It's a really baaaad Filipino culture thing.


Yikes, that is really frightening. If you ran a household budget like that, the spouse would revolt for sure!


Yep, it's a culture thing. Filipinos are known to promote "utang". According to my officemate, as long as he is able to loan, he will loan...it doesn't matter whether he will be able to pay it off thinking his debts will be erased when he dies.

Filipino parents should encourage their children to practice thriftiness and proper financial management. The state of a country is a reflection of the people living on it.


Ah reckon ah should buy mahself ah nice shotgun and prepare for them thar end of days...


when fiscal reforms were being implemented and the new e-vat law was passed and signed, did the credit rating agencies upgrade the country's ratings? it looks like they didn't.


Ha, ha, Manolo.

Very good comments from everyone, thank you. I was interested that so many people offered a cultural explanation for the government's debt woes. As a foreigner here, I'd be wary about advancing that explanation, for obvious reasons, but I think there is something in it. When I first arrived in the Philippines, a member of my staff had got herself into a horrific "borrow from Peter to pay Paul" situation, borrowing from those 5/6 gougers. Coming from a Presbyterian Scottish background the whole situation was just incomprehensible and terrifying to me -- I could not understand how she could live with the pressure. It seems less so now, as perhaps I have just become used to the utang culture. I guess anyone who is integrated into Filipino society at all has personal knowledge of people who borrow recklessly with no thought of tomorrow or the eventual day of reckoning. Jon is right, this kind of behaviour can be seen at all levels of society.

As for that member of staff of mine, I helped her as far as I could but her debts were just so enormous, running into millions of pesos, that she did the only thing possible and fled the country. It has a happy ending though as she now works happily for an international organization in Geneva. In all those years she has never come back here, even for a visit. I think her life would probably be at risk if she did.


Leogre -- that's a good question. I guess the answer would be that even with EVAT in place the outlook would never have been better than "stable"; in fact "stable" seems a singularly inappropriate word for the Philippines, come to think of it.

Also, if you recall the chaotic process of passing the legislation--with both houses passing different versions of the bill -- it was not something that would inspire confidence.

I think we may have been lucky to get away with "stable" for so long actually.


I lost hope in the Philippines :-(

carlos celdran

You've lost hope? So why did you move here Sidney?


speaking of culture, i find myself glad that my parents encouraged us siblings to be thrifty. they're good examples: they've never taken out a loan or used a credit card. =)


Anyone soft-hearted or gullible enough to lend money to the philippines deserves to lose their shirt. Pinoys and pinays, I love you! Please go on taking the world - and especially the US! - for a ride for as long as they're willing to go on paying the barfines.


web design manila

This is a Filipino behavior,though we've marked for being like that.lol

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad