■Manila Report (16th Sustainable Shared Growth Seminar) Max Maquito @ Atami (September 22, 2013)
The 16th Japan-Philippine Shared Growth Seminar “Rural-Urban Gap and Sustainable Shared Growth” was held at the College of Engineering, University of the Philippines on August 23, 2013.
At 8:45 AM, as scheduled, the seminar was opened with the Philippine and Japanese flag ceremonies. The Hi No Maru (Japanese flag) was borrowed from the Japanese embassy in the Philippines, and the national anthems of both countries were clips with English translations downloaded from YouTube. As I have reported in the Kawaraban of March of this year (Essay #368: Manila Report, Winter 2013), the holding of the flag ceremonies of the two hosting countries of this seminar was the result of consultations with the seminar organizing committee formed by Philippine nationals, based on a hint obtained in discussions with Professor Toru Nakanishi of the University of Tokyo. As you might know, at the end of the Second World War, Manila experienced devastation that would be comparable with that of Berlin and Stalingrad. While the Japanese army surrendered relatively quickly in other South East Asian cities, it is really perplexing that in the Philippines resistance was all out. When I was consulting the organizing committee about this matter of the flag ceremonies, a number of members shared their families’ experiences at the hands of the Japanese army during the war. I was worried that my proposal would be rejected. In the end, there was overwhelming acceptance of the proposal. “We should not forget that war, but we should also move on”
In his opening remarks, so as not to invite any misunderstanding, Prof. Nakanishi gave a moving talk about the significance of the flag ceremonies. When receiving the Japanese Embassy’s permission to borrow the Hi No Maru, I was to go with Prof. Nakanishi to receive the flag. Since we were going to the embassy anyway, I also proposed that we call on the Japanese Ambassador, but we were instead invited for dinner by the ambassador in honor of Prof. Nakanishi. Together with a fortunate group of members of the organizing committee, we were treated to the most delicious Japanese food in Manila at the Ambassador’s residence.
This seminar broke previous records. There was a doubling of participants (over 200), presentations (25), co-sponsors (Kajima Philippines, Agricultural Training Institute, Maria B. Valencia and Associates, Daniel B. Briones Construction, United Architects of the Philippines [Diliman Chapter]), and cooperators (Japanese Embassy in the Philippines, and Commission on Higher Education). I would like to express my gratitude for their kind support and cooperation, as well as for the hard work put in by the members of the organizing committee, the co-organizers (College of Architecture [University of the Philippines, Diliman], Philippine Center for Water and Sanitation, and PHILAJAMES), and the College of Engineering [University of the Philippines, Diliman --especially the Department of Mechanical Engineering]).
The seminar was broken down into the following five blocks: “Other KKK” (Block 1), “Social Services and Livelihoods in Urban-Rural Communities” (Block 2), “Sustainable Agriculture” (Block 3), “Sustainable Cities” (Block 4), and “Urban Green and Gray” (Block 5). There was on the average five 15-minute presentations for each block. A total of 25 presentations were made, taking up the whole day. (See the link below for the final version of the program) The Philippines was right in the middle of the rainy season, and during the week of the seminar, there were floods all over the country. Some presenters had to cancel. But owing to the earnest efforts of the organizing committee, we had about 220 participants.
My apologies to the presenters for not being able to mention their names as well as talk about all the presentations, but readers who are interested in knowing more could refer to the list of abstracts. All presentations pushed our mission of KKK (Kahusayan, Katarungan, Kalikasan OR Efficiency, Equity, and Environment) for the Philippines. In Block 1, various definitions of KKK were raised: from rather broad ones, such as “happiness”, “environmental ethics”, and “shared growth learned from Japan”, to narrower more concrete cases such as “malling”(a favorite among Filipinos) and the “health policy” of the Aquino administration. In Block 2, the presentations focused on the diffusion of water and hygiene to the country side (WASH: Water Sanitation and Health), and the implementation of systems in the highlands that are in harmony with Mother Nature (KISS: Kapangan Indigenous and Sustainable Systems). Following lunch boxes, Block 3 focused on the discussion of a project being implemented in Negros, which I have referred to in my research as the DIRI (Downstream Integrated Radicular Import-Substitution) Model. As in Block 2, attempts towards attaining sustainable shared growth were discussed. WASH, however, is NGO-led, and KISS is government-led, while DIRI is firm-led. There is a diversity of approaches. In Block 4, the focus was on how to get away from a development that was centered on Metro Manila. Various models in other regions and another country (the Netherlands) were discussed. At the same time, there was discussion about how to better utilize the strategic location of the Philippines in East Asia. In Block 5, the green and gray aspects of the city was reported on. In the former, the topics were on malls, public spaces, and urban agriculture that put emphasis on nature. The latter aspect focused on the poor people who handled urban waste, and the importance of getting them into the mainstream of society.
A question flew from the audience. “What do you think of the prospects of the Philippines achieving shared growth, and how do you think it could be achieved?”
For the past several years I have been looking at manufacturing and, more recently, at agriculture for ways that will contribute to the Philippines achieving shared growth. In particular, I have been looking at manufacturing that would enable the sharing of growth with small- and medium-scale enterprises, workers, and the East Asian region, and sustainable agriculture that would make achievable KKK. I have come to the conclusion that without support and guidance of a state strategy, it would not be possible to achieve such possibilities. We have made various attempts, but I have come to feel that not much progress has been made. This, I think, is due to the Philippine society becoming severely addicted on remittances from OFWs. Even without a potentially difficult implementation of an industrial or agricultural strategy, OFWs will remit foreign reserves. So, I find it rather hard to paint a bright picture, with respect to this question.
This was how I would have ended up answering this question, except that two weeks prior to the seminar I discovered a possible path for the Philippines. Together with Prof. Hitoshi Hirakawa of Kokushikan University, Prof. Norio Tokumaru of Nagoya Institute of Technology, and Dr. Yoshizumi Endo of Soka University, we did a brief survey of the IT industry in the Philippines. Thanks to the one week of visiting IT organizations and heavy discussions with the three visitors, I have come to feel that the Philippine IT industry may just have enough dynamism to draw out the potential of manufacturing and agriculture.
During my presentation, I threw a question to the audience. “How many are interested in our learning from Japan?” Happily, around 2/3 of the audience raised their hands. To those who did not raise their hand, I told them that I shall talk about shared growth as I learned it from Japan, and show from an economics perspective how we can learn from Japan. To those who remained unconvinced after my 15-minute talk, may I refer you to a book series “Shared Growth Lessons from Japan for the Philippines”, which we are now attempting to write.
I have decided to co-author this book series with a colleague with whom I am in good rapport regarding this topic. He asked me when should we come out with the book, to which my quick answer was “five years ago”. Perhaps it was his extensive involvement in government policy making/implementation and developmental projects, which quickly made him recognize the importance of this research. For many years, I have been trying to persuade a close economist friend. But it seems that mainstream economics (i.e., market fundamentalism) has become deeply rooted even in the Philippines. We will write in detail about the vision underlying the Manila Seminars, and in so doing hope to introduce a different brand of market-based economics to the Philippine setting.
I have been greatly re-energized this summer during my stay in the Philippines. We are already planning to hold the 17th Sustainable Shared Growth Seminar on February next year. Surely there are cries within the organizing committee that we might be going too fast. Fortunately, the majority, if not all, of more than 20 members appears to understand the importance of our mission to help the Philippines achieve KKK. The 17th Manila Seminar will be held on the 11th of February, Japan’s Foundation Day.
Related Links １．Philippine Anthem (with English translation) ２. Japanese Anthem (with English translation) ３．Seminar Program (OR Seminar Report – now being prepared) ４．Presentation Abstracts 5. Nihongo Version of this Manila Report 6. Manila Seminar 16 Report
■ NAKANISHI, Toru "On Sharing the National Flag and National Anthem"
It is my great honor to be given a chance to talk about sharing and respecting the National Flag and National Anthem between the Philippines and Japan as a Japanese. The idea of this opportunity comes from an informal discussion with Dr. Max, Ferdinand Maquito, Program Organizer of this conference.
Frankly speaking, however, I could say that I have not loved HINOMARU and KIMIGAYO for a long time. I think many Filipinos may be surprised to hear this, but such a feeling is not so unusual among the Japanese people. Such tendency may come from the stance of mass media or the elementary and secondary level education in Japan. Some of us insist that HINOMARU and KIMIGAYO were symbols of the militarism in Japan during the World War II, so that respecting them so much will call back such militarism.
Indeed, the Japanese invasion caused huge damages to the other Asian countries like the Philippines. When I was a high school student, I read Without Seeing the Dawn, translated in Japanese, written by Stevan Javellana. This book inspired me to study the Philippine society. In this book it is eloquently described how the Japanese invasion violently changed the peaceful and happy days in a charming village in Panay Island into cruel and hopeless nights.
On the other hand, many Japanese youth were forced to serve in the so-called Kamikaze suicide squad that executed the suicide attack on the US warships, even if they did not want to die in such manner. Even as the bereaved families tried to understand the tragic loss of their sons, they have been condemned for long time after the War as if their sons were willing offenders. The ordinary people, mga tao, always lose loved ones in all wars everywhere.
From the historical point of view, it is true that the World War II had been a nightmare in the long history of Japan. If we, Japanese, really understand the history of the nightmare, none of us will repeat or participate in such tragic and sad mistakes ever. HINOMARU and KIMIGAYO were not created for the World War II but had existed since the Meiji or Edo era during the 19th century. Our history of invasions of the Asian countries has to be understood and accepted as our serious mistakes which disgraced the long history of Japan.
Furthermore, to tell the truth, I have had a basic question: can Japan really pay due respect to the national flag or the national anthem of another country, if she does not pay due respect to those of her own country? Such a question was elicited by one of my experiences in the Philippines about 5 years ago. (By the way, as introduced I have been coming back and forth to the Philippines more than 30 years now.)
I have been involved in some scholarship program for the students living as informal settlers in Malabon since 2006. The aim of this program is to assist students with good grades in the early high school level to take and pass the entrance examinations of the high standard universities, like the UP, and to assist them until their university graduation. About 5 years ago, I went to register some of my scholars for the entrance examination in a private university. I was doing this task for my wards, because their parents did not have enough money to do so.
After I queued up for long line I was finally in front of the registration window to submit the registration forms. I could get my turn at last. However, at this moment, the officer suddenly stopped working. I could not understand what happened to her and asked her why. Then she pointed to the window behind me without saying anything. When I looked back, everyone was silent in the room and were looking at only one thing: the national flag raising with the accompanying singing of the Philippine National Anthem. Immediately, I also paid due respect to the occasion. To pay due respect to the national flag and the National Anthem is very common everywhere in the world. This scene, however, is rarely seen in Japan! This was a very valuable experience for me, because I confirmed that Japan has not shared such an inspiring global standard.
Both HINOMARU and KIMIGAYO already existed long before the World War II started. If the Japanese still think that they are so sinful and therefore scarlet with shame, there must be a strong movement to change the National Flag and the National Anthem in Japan. However, we have not found such movement in Japan until now. I think all Japanese accept HINOMARU and KIMIGAYO positively or negatively. If one says this proposition is not right, I suppose that he would not face up to the history of Japan or he would like to get the absolution for the sins of the World War II by disguising to hate them.
Based on the above narration, the meanings for me as a Japanese of the honor to share the Japanese National Flag and National Anthem with Filipinos are the following three points: First, HINOMARU and KIMIGAYO continue to warn us against militarism. It can be said that for most of us Japanese to accept HINOMARU or KIMIGAYO gives us some pains to some degree or another. In general, Japanese have a feeling that to positively accept HINOMARU or KIMIGAYO means to have an abnormal thought, though to negatively accept them is not. I am confident, however, that we need some more positive deed, that is to say, to accept the whole of our history by squarely or directly confronting our stigma. HINOMARU and KIMIGAYO show our history itself. They always continue to remind us they are symbols of our long history and yet warn us of our historical events and warn us against futile and destructive military adventures.
The second point concerns a global standard of social custom. According to my understanding, there are no countries where many people have a negative image on their own National Flag and their own National Anthem, except Japan. I believe that we should pay due respect to the social custom based on historical traditions. HINOMARU and KIMIGAYO have a long history as repeatedly mentioned. Therefore, if I do not pay due respect to HINOMARU and KIMIGAYO, I must have not a global standard but a double standard. I am confident, finally, that the Japanese should pay due respect to HINOMARU as our National Flag and KIMIGAYO as our National Anthem.
Finally, all the program board members willingly consented to our, sort of test, for jointly honoring both our countries by this gesture through the initiative of Dr. Max. I know the relatives of many of you have grievous experiences similar to those described in Without Seeing the Dawn. On this point, the word “absolve” in a Catholic sense to which Dr. Max referred is very impressive to me. Here I confirm to be determined that Japan would never repeat the mistake in the World War II. Though our trial balloon today is very small step, I feel confident that it will give us a further push to fostering deeper friendship between the Philippines and Japan. Thank you very much for your kind attention.
(Professor, The University of Tokyo)
Manila Report Winter 2013 By Max Maquito, Michael Tomeldan (Nihongo Version)
With a total of 87 participants, three corporate sponsors (thanks to the efforts of Architects Michael Tomeldan and Steph Gilles of the College of Architecture of the University of the Philippines), and a Radio Program Extension two days after the seminar (courtesy of Dr. Aliza Racelis of the College of Business Administration of the University of the Philippines), SGRA’s 15th Sustainable Shared Growth Seminar, held last February 8, 2013 (Friday), showed that the seminar could be a smashing success and at the same time be highly self-reliant. For the first time in the seminar series, the Philippine flag ceremony signaled the start of the seminar. Based on prior consultations with the Philippine organizing committee, it was unanimously decided, after members of the committee shared their family experiences of World War II, that the Japanese flag ceremony is done, as well. In deference, however, to the request of the senior representative of the Japanese entourage, it was decided to forego with the Japanese flag ceremony at this seminar. We are planning, however, to do the flag ceremonies of the two countries mainly responsible for the seminar series in the next seminar. The earnest wish of the organizing committee is for these two countries to get over, without forgetting of course, the horrors of the past war, and move on towards genuine and deeper Philippine-Japan relations.
Seminar 15 was also significant in terms of providing a more concrete link between the two sub-themes of the seminar series, namely “Manufacturing and KKK” (Seminar 15’s theme), and “The Urban-Rural Gap and KKK” (Seminar 14’s theme). [Note: KKK is short for Kahusayan, Katarungan, Kalikasan] One link was in the morning presentation of Mr. Nonoy Moraca and Mr. Ramon Uy which talked about import-substitution in sustainable Agriculture. Dr. Max Maquito and Dr. Joe Medina are now working with the two authors on formulating a model for their approach, called the Downstream Integrated Radicular Import-Substitution (DIRI) model.
Another link was in the afternoon session conceptualized by the U.P. College of Architecture which focused on the role of bamboo in providing social enterprise and housing. We actually started talking a couple years ago about the possibility of bamboo in the Philippines. Despite problems in developing the topic then, it was nice to see in this seminar that there is actually a wide resource and interest on this topic. Architect Ning Encarnacion-Tan pointed out that bamboo craftsmanship appears to be a 2,600-year old gene in Filipinos. Ms. Corrina Salzer spoke of how this endangered tradition could be preserved and improved using scientific methods. Dr. Florentino Tesoro gave an orientation on the biology of bamboos, including an estimate of the supply deficit of bamboos in the Philippines. Architect Beth Ochoa Regala also spoke of a supply deficit in social housing, and the need for a party to work towards the setting of standards for unconventional mass-housing building materials including bamboo. Mr. Francis Osorio showed an example of large-scale Vietnamese bamboo lumber manufacturer but proposed a backyard approach for the Philippines. Architect Raymond Sih spoke of an environmentally-friendly Japanese-based approach to concrete, which is still one of the most popular building materials at present.
Another concrete link between the two major sub-themes of the seminar series was in the extension of the Giant-Leap-And-Small-Step (GLASS) effect discovered by Dr. Max Maquito since Seminars 13 and 14, which were under the sub-theme “Urban-Rural Gap and KKK”. The extension came in confirming the presence of the GLASS effect in the OFW flows. This extension found substantial foreign exchange savings from attenuation of the GLASS effect. Thoughts on the subject were shared by OIC Cheng Veniles and Ms. Reina Marie Calvo of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas.
The remaining presentations were very much related to the labor issue, since the co-host, the UP SOLAIR, was one of the premier labor institutions in the Philippines. Dean Sale, in the keynote speech, proposed the intriguing hypothesis that employment was not significantly improved by the IT industry. Prof. Benji Teodosio lamented about the pathetic lack of trust in labor relations. Dr. Aliza Racelis stressed the need for a study on the ethics of Philippine corporations. Another set of studies related to labor was the survey conducted by Prof. Hitoshi Hirakawa and Dr. Shin Kawai for Vietnamese manufacturing firms, and Dr. Max Maquito and Prof. Hirakawa for Philippine manufacturing firms. The Vietnamese study was focused on how Vietnam could avoid the middle income trap, while the Philippine study was on how the Philippines could free itself from this trap. This joint project between Prof. Hirakwa and SGRA was responsible for making this research possible and bringing a research team from Japan.
With only plenary sessions, the seminar participants were able to enjoy a truly multi-disciplinary, multi-sectoral, and even multi-national seminar. Indeed, the ability of the SGRA KKK seminars and the Philippines, for that matter, to achieve KKK lies in its breaking through the often jealously-guarded barriers among disciplines, sectors, and nationalities.
Already there is talk of holding Seminar 16 in August 2013! Of course, talks will only become serious after SGRA’s First Asia Future Conference (AFC) in Bangkok (March 8 to 10, 2013). A 15-strong Philippine delegation, mostly presenters in Seminar 14, will be participating. Should you wish to volunteer for the organizing committee of Seminar 16, however, do let us know after the AFC (e-mail: email@example.com)
Special thanks go to Dr. Aliza Racelis, Architect Mike Tomeldan for moderating the sessions and to Architect Josie Santos De Asis for keeping the sessions on track. Of course, everyone was missing SGRA Chief Representative Junko Imanishi who is always behind the seminar. Preparations for the 1st AFC regrettably made her unable to attend this seminar.
Some additional news related to the Japan-Philippine Shared Growth Seminars are as follows.
Dr. Medina and Fr. Vergara, who participated in the 15th Japan-Philippine Shared Growth Seminar, made presentations at the International Symposium on "Environmental Friendly Agriculture Based on Community Resources: A Strategy for Sustainable Development and Biodiversity" held on March 2, 2013 at the University of Tokyo. Maquito presented the DIRI model in Japan. SGRA's participation was made possible by Prof. Toru Nakanishi who is doing research on the urban poor and sustainable agriculture in the Philippines. For details, please see the link below http://www.aisf.or.jp/sgra-in-english/2013/03/sgra_at_university_of_tokyo_sy.html
The following papers, which were briefly presented in the 14th Japan-Philippine Shared Growth Seminar, were honored to be chosen as one of the Best Papers in the 1st AFC:
"Community-Life School Model for Sustainable Agriculture Based Rural Development" by Rowena Baconguis and Jose Medina
"The Migration Link Between Urban and Rural Poor Communities: Looking for Giant Leaps and Small Steps" by Ferdinand C. Maquito
At the same time, the following presentation, which was also briefly presented in the 14th Japan-Philippine Shared Growth Seminar, was chosen as one of the Best Presentations:
"Barangay Integrated Development Action in Kapangan Towards WASH" by Jane Toribio, Delfin Canuto, Roberto Kalaw
The following paper, which was briefly presented in the 15th Manila Seminar, was presented at the 20th anniversary symposium of the Vietnam Asia-Pacific Economic symposium (also celebrating the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Vietnam) held in Hanoi on March 12, 2013: "Patterns in Overseas Filipino Worker Flows: In Search of the Giant Leap and Small Step Effect" by Ferdinand C. Maquito. SGRA's participation in this symposium was made possible by Prof. Tran Van Tho, who has always invited Maquito as a specialist on the Philippines. Prof. Tran indicated his agreement with Maquito's basic recommendation of bringing back home as much as possible the OFWs in order to power the domestic economy.
The online portal for the seminar could be found here
For photos of the seminar, please look at the SGRA Photo Gallery or the SGRA Ph Facebook
Information on the 1st AFC could be found here
For photos related to this Manila Report, please take a look at Manila Report Winter 2013