29 Jul

OPTIMISM



I was moved more by the fact that the GM of Intel counted himself
as a Filipino! The following was written by INTEL General Manager Robin
Martin
about the Philippines:

Filipinos (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 a while. The
negative perception of the Philippines is way disproportionate to reality
when compared to countries like Colombia, Egypt, Middle East, Africa, etc.
Let us all help our country by balancing the negative with the positive
especially 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 by how much our country has progressed physically.

Consider the following:
1. The great telecom infrastructure that we have now did not exist in 1995.
1995 was the year the telecom industry 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 phones
practically did not exist i n 1995; now we have over 11 million line
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 of good quality (international quality asphalt roads).
I just went to Iba, Zambales last week and I was impressed that even a
not so frequently travelled road was of very good quality.

4. Philippine exports have increased by 600% over the past eight years.
There are many, many more examples of progress over the last eight years.
Philippine mangoes are now exported to the US and Europe.

Additional tidbits to make our people prouder:
1. INTEL has been in the Philippines for 28 years. The Philippine plant
is where Intel’s most advanced products are launched, including the Pentium
IV.
By the end of 2002, Philippine operations are 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 the brains behind cellphones. TI’s Baguio plant produces
the chip that powers 100% of all NOKIA cellphones and 80% of Erickson
cellphones in the world.

3. TOSHIBA laptops are produced in Santa Rosa, 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 may have mispelled this) develops its “cures” for viruses right here in
Eastwood Libis, Quezon City. When a virus breaks in any computer system in
the world, they try to find a solution
within 45 minutes of finding the virus.

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 in which I believe we are the best in the world
in terms of value for money. (my comment: One is InterContinental Hotel’s
Group headed
(& corp hand-picked) by a Filipino expat.)

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 back-up office work to their Asian operations including finance
accounting,
Human Resources and payments processing.

9. Among many other things it does for its regional operations network
in the Asia-Pacific region here in Manila, CITIBANK also does its global ATM
programming locally.

10. This is the first year ever that the Philippines will be exporting cars
in quantity
courtesy of FORD Philippines.

Next time you travel abroad and meet 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 others believe.

This message is shared by good citizens of the Philippines who
persevere to hope and work for our country.

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