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Strategic Analysis and Research by the

cenSEI

CENTER FOR STRATEGY, ENTERPRISE & INTELLIGENCE

T H E

In the spirit of the Code of Conduct [in the South China Sea], let's not take actions that would unduly provoke or increase tensions while we're discussing these sensitive matters ~Presidential Communications Secretary Ramon Carandang commenting on reports that China built a radar on Subi Reef islet, 19 km from the Philippines-claimed Kalayaan Islands

Report

Volume 2 - Number 28 • July 16-22, 2012

BUSINESS

China urges the Philippines to adhere to the principle of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, and not to take action that may lead to complication and escalation of tensions ~ Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin responding to a reported Philippines plan to offer oil exploration contracts in the South China Sea

3 How Blue Is Your Ocean?

iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Facebook. In today’s technology-driven world, the biggest winners have been never-before products that create explosive markets where there were none. Blue ocean strategy is the name of the game that offers huge rewards — and equally immense risks

NATION

9 A Place To Live

Back in the Marcos era, no less than First Lady Imelda Marcos headed the Ministry of Human Settlements. The need to provide shelter to the growing population has again revived the idea of a Cabinet-level Department of Housing

WORLD

15 Running on Carbon Fumes

From clean air and water to diverse flora and fauna, Asia’s natural capital is rapidly dwindling in the region’s breakneck race for development. That’s the warning by a new study that calls for serious efforts toward sustainable growth • Natural capital balance sheet: Loss of biodiversity costs more than we think • The world's ecological footprint: The planet is not big enough to sustain current consumption patterns

TECHNOLOGY

23 From Lab Table to Kitchen Table

A bottle where ketchup doesn’t get stuck. Invisible teeth braces. Ear thermometers. Scratchproof lenses. Here are some everyday gadgets and innovations that began in advanced scientific research

POINT & CLICK

HEALTH/LIFESTYLE

27 Big Names for Giant Causes

What do Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan and NBA superstars have in common? Answer: using their big names to plug social concerns. Here are the winners and warnings in using celebrities to boost public support for good causes • KC, Leah and Chin Chin: Three Philippine celebs who are doing their bit for the needy and nature

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NATION WORLD TECHNOLOGY

You can access online research via the Internet by clicking phrases in blue

HEALTH/LIFESTYLE

Center for Strategy, Enterprise & Intelligence provides expertise in strategy and management, enterprise development, intelligence, Internet and media. For subscriptions, research, and advisory services, please e-mail report@censeisolutions.com or call/fax +63-2-5311182. Links to online material on public websites are current as of the week prior to the publication date, but might be removed without warning. Publishers of linked content should e-mail us or contact us by fax if they do not wish their websites to be linked to our material in the future.


The Magic and Curse of Enterprise “To boldly go where no man has gone before.” That motto of the Starship Enterprise, the futuristic vessel in the popular TV and movie series Star Trek, expresses not just an imaginary science-fiction quest, but the real-life imagination and innovation which has driven global progress and built human civilizations over millennia. That creative pursuit is not just for voyages to uncharted places, factual or fictional, but the any challenges and aspirations filling 6 billion lives on the planet. From entrepreneurs dreaming up new ventures to governments establishing agencies by legal fiat, enterprise is the cutting edge of human advancement. That is why the search for productive new ideas and innovations is one of the driving principles and goals of the Center for Strategy, Enterprise & Intelligence. CenSEI believes that our clients, readers, and society itself are served not just by knowledge of strategic importance, but a constant search for initiatives that work where current measures fail. In every issue The CenSEI Report explores such unheard-of options in the hope of stumbling upon something more effective, efficient, enlightening or edifying. This week several articles, in fact, expound on the enterprising drive, whether in government, business, technology or even celebrity. The Nation section covers a major public sector initiative for a very public need. With the Philippines’ burgeoning shelter requirements, the Department of Housing Bill seems long overdue; our report assesses why and how to revive the home building agency last seen in the Marcos-era incarnation, Ministry of Human Settlements, led by no less than the imperious First Lady Imelda Marcos. That striking out in new directions inevitably encounters problems demanding even more inspiration and perspiration, is the very topic of the Business study on ‘blue ocean’ products for which there are no known or established markets. Technology’s article, meanwhile, shows how even simple, everyday devices, like a bottle where ketchup doesn’t stick, require out-of-the-box designs prototyped and validated by painstaking work. The last story on celebrities lending their names to good causes, may seem hardly innovative in today’s world of media-genic, Facebooked and twittered entertainers, sports stars, and mega-politicians. But in fact, celebrity publicity has always been done to generate fans and funds for themselves. Happily, more and more are devoting their good names for good causes. And just in the nick of time: the world will need everyone’s help in mobilizing the planet for the most universal cause of all, as reported in the World section: saving Mother Nature threatened by humanity.


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The Blue Ocean Strategy: Value Innovation over Competitive Advantage

Establishing new markets and exploring uncharted territory By Marishka Noelle M. Cabrera

STRATEGY POINTS The Blue Ocean strategy encourages businesses to create new markets as opposed to competing in saturated ones Creating new markets involves risk management, innovation, and constant improvement because applying the blue ocean strategy is a dynamic process

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very now and then the business world goes agog over a new idea, one that promises to help firms outperform their competition, add value to their products and services, and, ultimately, drive profits and growth, by setting one’s business totally apart from the competition. In 2005, Harvard professors W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne published their bestselling book, “Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant.” In their assessment of more than 150 strategic moves in over 30 industries, the authors present a strategy called the “blue ocean strategy,” which centers on companies breaking out of the competitive market space to create an uncontested one,

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thereby making the competition irrelevant. The strategy also encourages companies to reconstruct their market boundaries in order to find new opportunities for growth. The book discusses, among many others, Cirque du Soleil as an example of a blue ocean company. Instead of directly competing with the Ringling Bros. and other circuses in an industry experiencing a long-term decline because of rising costs and decreasing audiences due to alternative forms of entertainment (television, video games, sporting events), Cirque du Soleil turned to a new set of consumers. These consumers were adults who enjoyed watching the opera, ballet, and theater, and who were willing to pay more for premium entertainment.

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The blue ocean strategy: Value innovation over competitive advantage

As one Cirque du Soleil tagline goes, “We reinvent the circus.” In the case of social networking site Facebook, David Kirkpatrick, author of “The Facebook Effect,” says, in an interview, that what set Facebook apart from the beginning was that it was based on the genuine identities of its users. Before Facebook, other social networking sites were worlds of anonymity and role-playing. Critics of the idea argue that the blue ocean strategy tends to be “naïve,” as one academic puts it. In his 2006 blog entry, Grant McCracken, anthropologist and author of “Culture and Consumption: New Approaches to the Symbolic Character of Consumer Goods and Activities,” says the concept undermines the hard work that comes with finding that uncontested market, and that the “kind of good fortune happens to a handful of companies,” which, according to him, would explain why Kim and Mauborgne’s book is thin on examples. McCracken does point out that their book does tell readers just how much marketing “has become a game of ideas, imagination and innovation.” He adds, “Indeed, it is increasingly a game in which advantage goes to those who can step out of received wisdom and current assumptions, and see the world new.”

Blue oceans, on the other hand, represent the limitless possibilities of an untapped market—the unknown market space untainted by competition. In the Harvard Business Review Paperback Series of the book by Kim and Mauborgne: “In blue oceans, demand is created rather than fought over. There is ample opportunity for growth that is both profitable and rapid.” There are two ways to create blue oceans, according to the strategy. First is to create new industries altogether, such as what online auctioning site eBay did. But in most cases blue oceans are “created from within a red ocean when a company alters the boundaries of an existing industry,” such as in the strategic move of Cirque du Soleil. Based on a presentation from Blueoceanstrategy.com, the red ocean represents an arena where players are pushed to compete in existing markets, beat the competition, exploit existing demand, make the value-cost trade-off, and align the whole system of the company’s activities with its strategic choice of differentiation or low cost. Meanwhile, the blue ocean strategy involves: creating uncontested market space; making the competition irrelevant; creating and capturing new demand; breaking the value-cost trade-off; aligning the company’s activities in pursuit of differentiation and low cost.

Blue vs. Red Ocean. In business, there are two distinct kinds of market spaces, say authors Kim and Mauborgne: the blue and the red oceans. The red represents all the industries in the conventional market space, where industry boundaries are defined and the rules of competition are understood. In this arena, rival companies try to outperform one another to grab a greater s

The decline of the competitive advantage strategy? Hence, it can be assumed that the blue ocean strategy replaces the conventional strategic management concept of competitive advantage with value innovation—or the simultaneous pursuit of differentiation and low cost, according to Blueoceanstrategy. com. As elaborated in the groundbreaking

hare of the demand. Nevertheless, as markets tend to be overcrowded and profits are reduced, competition eventually turns the water “bloody.”

1979 Harvard Business Review article by economist and Harvard professor Michael E. Porter, sustaining long-term profitability entails responding strategically to competition.

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5 Further, the interplay of the five competitive forces—established rivals, customers, suppliers, aspiring entrants, and substitute offerings— shapes company strategy. In a 2008 update of this article, Porter writes: “The extended rivalry that results from all five forces defines an industry’s structure and shapes the nature of competitive interaction within an industry.” But should there really be a distinct choice to be made between the two strategies? The

study “Blue Ocean versus Competitive Strategy: Theory and Evidence” attempts to “provide a methodological synthesis of the theories enabling us to bring statistical evidence to the debate” by analyzing data from the Dutch retail industry. Authors Andrew Burke of Cranfield University in the United Kingdom, André van Stel of the Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands, and Roy Thurik of the University of Amsterdam found that strategic managers need not be

THE FOUR ACTIONS FRAMEWORK FOR VALUE INNOVATION Reduce Which factors should be reduced well below the industry's standard? Eliminate Which of the factors that the industry takes for granted should be eliminated?

A New Value Curve

Create Which factors should be created that the industry has never offered?

Raise Which factors should be raised well above the industy's standard? Source: Blueoceanstrategy.com

FIVE FORCES THAT SHAPE INDUSTRY COMPETITION Threat of New Entrants

Bargaining Power of Suppliers

Rivalry Among Existing Competitors

Bargaining Power of Buyers

Threat of Substitute Products or Source: Harvard Business Review

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The blue ocean strategy: Value innovation over competitive advantage

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faced with an either/or decision with regard to the strategies. “[M]odern strategic management does not appear to make a discrete choice between using blue ocean or competitive strategy but rather faces the more difficult challenge of finding an optimal blend of these two strategies across both short and long-term horizons,” the study notes. In an interview, Burke says that, based on their research, there are a lot more opportunities in existing markets than previously thought, and that competition is a weak force in terms of eroding the benefits from innovation in an established market. Innovation, Burke notes, does not have to be radical, rather, it can be more incremental and adaptive. Creating new markets. Finding and creating new, untapped markets is the crux of the problem. An article from Qn, a publication of the Yale School of Management, says “[I]t requires convincing an array of customers, partners, and other constituencies to see the world differently.” The article focuses on insights from leaders who were able to create new markets in the fields of technology, finance, and real estate. Peter Meyer, author of “Creating and Dominating a New Market and Warp-Speed Growth,” recounts in his 2003 article found on the website Small Business Advocate the key elements of creating a new market: identify problems that need solutions; follow one of two lower risk paths since the risk of failure is high; be willing to ignore the call of new opportunities, and instead stick to the market concept that was decided on; and start with cross-functional teams and leadership. In the Harvard Business Review blog, author Alessandro Di Flore, CEO of the European Centre for Strategic Innovation, writes, “The best market opportunities are often to be found in the least likely customers. If you want a big profit, go for the marginal users, not the ones all your competitors are chasing as well.”

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The

In an update of his 1979 article, Harvard professor Michael Porter talks about his Harvard Business Review article on the five competitive forces that shape strategy. Video from YouTube

Professor Andrew Burke of the Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurial Performance and Economics at the Cranfield School of Management at Cranfield University, says innovating in existing markets prove to be an effective strategy. Video from YouTube

He cites the case of a European leader in the consumer electronics industry that was looking for new growth opportunities. The company’s previous marketing budget focused on affluent consumers who were also early adopters, but all its competitors were doing this as well. In the new strategy, the company started targeting a new segment: housewives. Investing in this new market – mainly through in-store education and post-sale technical support and customer service-- paid off with nearly a 60% increase in new target segment revenues. As with most strategies, applying the blue ocean strategy entails a fair amount of risk especially for businesses that are more traditional in

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The blue ocean strategy: Value innovation over competitive advantage

their values and have banked on competitive advantage for their growth. Blueoceanstrategy. com, nonetheless, explains the six risk factors in strategy formulation and execution that companies need to face: search, planning, scope, business model, organizational, and management risks. A dynamic process. Another issue is that of long-term sustainability. Eventually, blue oceans will turn red because other companies will want to get a piece of that pie. However, Robynne Berg of Australia-based Berg Consulting emphasizes in her article that if a company makes a blue ocean move, it should be difficult to replicate, and by the time the competition catches up, the company would have already proceeded to its next strategic move. “Any company who makes the mistake of thinking one Blue Ocean strategic move will provide them with lasting sustainability will one day be irrelevant as have many behemoths of the past,” she cautions. Berg also cited the case of BlackBerry, which “rested too long in the glory of their original blue ocean smartphone.” Now, BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) is trying to reel itself from quarterly losses and is counting on its upcoming phones and its “very loyal” customers, according to a GMA News report. Hence, it is important to note that the process of applying the blue ocean strategy is not static, rather, it is dynamic. Meanwhile, a study by professors Dennis Pitta Ph.D. and Elizabeth Pitta from the University of Baltimore in Maryland focuses on the factors affecting the success of new product development and how the blue ocean strategy comes into play. “Applying a blue ocean strategy to avoid competition early in the product life cycle promises to reduce dangerous competition to allow the product to succeed,” the paper finds, “However, the gains

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will probably not extend indefinitely.” In order to achieve sustainability, constant improvement is required. Blue oceans in today’s economy. Kim and Mauborgne note in an interview found on the website of business school INSEAD that in today’s business climate, established market spaces or red oceans are “shrinking steadily” due to technological advances, the fall of trade barriers between nations, and declining demand. “In overcrowded industries, differentiating brands becomes harder both in economic upturns and in downturns,” the authors say. An article by Siddhartha Roy of India’s Tata Group on emerging markets and the blue ocean strategy points out that both the five forces model and the blue ocean strategy “base themselves largely on the experiences of developed economies.” As such, if these strategies are to be applied within the context of emerging economies, certain issues must first be resolved, such as: how often do firms identify blue ocean opportunities; the nature of its value innovation; and the sustainability of the proposition. The article also provides examples of industries like laundry soaps and detergents, shampoo packaging, automobiles, and microfinance, where the blue ocean strategy can be applied. As far as buzzwords go, the blue ocean strategy as a concept is nothing new when it was first coined in 2005 by the two Harvard professors, if only because finding that unmet need and creating (and sustaining) a demand for it have been the basic elements of any winning business marketing strategy. Then again, in a rapidly changing business environment, it is still important to remember the values comprising the bedrock of successful businesses across generations: hard work, intuition, imagination, and innovation.

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NEWS ON THE NET Business

EU targets effective implementation of future free-trade deals with PHL A high representative for foreign affairs and security policy of the European Union (EU) assured that Brussels is seriously addressing the euro-zone financial turmoil to effectively implement the free-trade deals set to be negotiated with the Philippines and other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean). Lady Catherine Ashton told the foreign ministers of Asean that the EU supports the centrality of the economic and political integration process of the bloc as she assured that the EU “will remain open and inclusive.” “More than anything, I want the Asean nations to see the EU as a reliable partner. The decisions that have been taken recently at the European Council to address the financial and economic pressures in the EU are vitally important not only for us, but for the world economy and, in particular, for the Asean,” said Ashton in a statement at the just-concluded Asean-EU foreign ministers’ meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Saturday. The EU is seeking free-trade deals with key Asean members such as the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, and Malaysia in pursuit of wider trade and investments in the region. Ashton and Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario signed the Partnership Cooperation Agreement (PCA) on July 11 at the sidelines of the concluded weeklong Asean foreign ministers’ meeting. The agreement moves the Philippines to negotiate a free-trade agreement with the EU. Ashton said relations between the Philippines and the EU continue to grow and diversify amid many challenges, such as conflict in Mindanao, building capacity to address chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear challenges.

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The PCA, a prerequisite to a free-trade deal with the EU, improves trade, tourism and investments and better access to products to both countries. The agreement, the result of two years of negotiations, covers trade and investments, peace and security, and migration and development. The EU is a vital economic and political partner of the Philippines, with trade reaching $10.396 billion in 2011. The Philippines received a total of ₧2.5 billion in development assistance from the EU in 2011.

Slower growth ahead? Economic growth could fall below government expectations from 2012 to 2014, Standard & Poor (S&P) said Thursday last week, as continuing volatility in Europe and the United States drags down exports and investments. “The economic uncertainties in the [euro zone] continue to affect AsiaPacific. Despite Asia-Pacific’s better economic performance than other major economies, export prospects and investment appetite have dampened... since late 2011. More recently, the weakening US recovery has further fueled economic uncertainties,” S&P said in a report on the region. In its base case scenario of slow growth this year and a recovery for Europe and the US in 2013 and 2014, the Philippines is estimated to grow by 4.3%, 4.5% and 4.8%, respectively. These projections fall short of the government’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth goals of 5-6% this year, 6-7% in 2013 and 6.5-7.5% in 2014. The forecasts for the Philippines, nevertheless, are better than those of Australia, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan. The country was also put on almost level terms with Malaysia and Thailand while China, India and Indonesia and Vietnam enjoy the rosiest outlooks. In the downside scenario, with a “soft landing” in China worsening the situation in Europe and the US, Philippine growth could drop to a dismal 3% in 2012, 3.2%

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in 2013 and 3.5% in 2014.These would be even lower than the disappointing 3.9% posted last year when agriculture, trade, services and government consumption all underperformed

More banks, firms to tap capital markets in second half of 2012 More capital-raising activity is expected in the second half as banks raise capital to comply with the higher capital requirements of the Basel 3 standards while companies raise funds for expansion, a capital markets expert said. "Banks need more capital particularly for the implementation of Basel 3, so we expect more fixed-income securities to be issued moving forward... We also see more of the most robust industries such as the property sector raising funds from equity," said Vicente B. Castillo, Philippine Dealing System Holdings Corp. (PDS Group) president and chief executive officer, said Thursday last week. Under the Basel 3, drafted after the 2008 financial crisis, banks are required to set aside more buffers against financial and economic shocks. Several local banks have tapped the local capital market this year to raise fresh capital for lending and expansion. The latest was BDO Unibank, Inc., the country’s largest in asset terms, which raised ₧43.5 billion after a stock rights offer in June. "Given our strong macroeconomic fundamentals -- the very good inflation management by the central bank and the country’s fiscal discipline -- more corporates are expected to raise funds either through fixed-income instruments or through equity," Mr. Castillo said. The local economy posted 6.4% growth in the first quarter, second-highest in the region after China, and well-above the 4.9% registered in the same period last year. Inflation remained manageable, as it eased to 2.8% in June from 2.9% the month before. The central bank hopes to keep inflation between 3-5% this year.

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A Home for Housing Can the proposed Department of Housing solve the country’s mammoth shelter problems? By Pia Rufino

STRATEGY POINTS Legislation creating a national housing body is making its way through Congress, but there are those who wonder whether such a department would solve major housing problems The government’s decentralized approach has resulted in inconsistent land laws, and exposed a lack of clear land-use preferences Even if a public-private partnership produces more housing, some wonder whether a good portion of the country’s urban population will be able to afford such housing

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he Philippines needs to meet its “enormous” housing demand – a growing housing backlog compounded by the steady addition of new households — which is projected to reach about 5.8 million housing units in 2016, per figures from the Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016 as shown below

HOUSING DEMAND IN THE PHILIPPINES 2011

1,380,537

2012

1,173,456

2013

997,438

2014

847,822

2015

720,649

2016

612,552

TOTAL

5,732,454

Source: TCR compilation of data from Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016, National Economic Development Authority

However, the present arrangement of the agencies tasked to address the housing needs in the country has inherent institutional

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weaknesses that constrains overall urban development and housing strategy, according to Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., Chairman of the Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement. In a May press release, he also noted that the present housing coordinating body in the country, the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), has limited resources and authorities. Given these drawbacks, Marcos said there was “an urgent need” to pass Senate Bill No. 3199, which proposes the creation of a primary administrative entity that will regulate housing and urban development in the country. Last month, the Senate approved the bill on second reading, as reported in Business World. The Department of Housing, Urban and Development Act of 2012 would form the Department of Housing and Urban Development (DHUD) by merging the functions of the HUDCC and the planning and

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A home for housing

regulatory functions of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB). The DHUD shall “be the sole and main planning and policy-making, regulatory, program coordination, and performance monitoring entity for all housing and urban development concerns, primarily focusing on the access to and affordability of the basic human needs,” the bill states. The bill will have its third and final reading at the Senate when the third regular session opens this month, while a counterpart bill is awaiting second reading at the House of Representatives, according to the report. Private sector participation. With the help of the private sector, the proposed DHUD will implement affordable housing programs for the

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underprivileged and homeless Filipinos, the bill says. Section 5 of the bill states the department shall encourage the private sector to addressand serve a large part of the country’s housing needs. According to a UN Habitat 2011 Study titled “Affordable Land and Housing in Asia,” the government strategy in the Philippines over the past 25 years has been to boost homeownership for the poorer 50% of the country’s population through a range of approaches, including encouraging the private sector to produce socialized housing under the decentralized and participative approach. The government urges the private sector to roll out low-cost housing to cater to the lower socioeconomic classes, with income tax holidays for such projects. Section 18 of RA 7279 (the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992) requires

TOTAL HOUSING NEED, 2011-2016 (NUMBER OF UNITS) REGION

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

TOTAL

Philippines

1,380,537

1,173,456

997,438

847,822

720,649

612,552

5,732,454

NCR

418,328

355,579

302,242

256,906

218,370

185,614

1,737,039

CAR

10,035

8,530

7,250

6,163

5,238

4,453

41,669

I - Ilocos

48,323

41,075

34,913

29,676

25,225

21,441

200,653

II - Cagayan Valley

29,582

25,145

21,373

18,167

15,442

13,126

122,834

III - Cen. Luzon

112,675

95,774

81,408

69,197

58,817

49,994

467,865

IV-A CALABARZON

158,723

134,915

114,677

97,476

82,854

70,426

659,071

IV-B MIMAROPA

27,696

23,542

20,010

17,009

14,457

12,289

115,003

V - Bicol

66,307

56,361

47,907

40,721

34,613

29,421

275,329

VI - Western Visayas

90,111

76,594

65,105

55,339

47,039

39,983

274,171

VII - Central Visayas

78,934

67,094

57,030

48,475

41,204

35,023

327,761

VIII - Eastern Visayas

44,759

38,045

32,338

27,488

23,364

19,860

185,854

IX - Zamboanga Pen.

30,199

25,669

21,819

18,546

15,764

13,399

125,396

X - Northern Mindanao

54,446

46,279

39,337

33,437

28,421

24,158

226,078

XI - Davao

67,911

57,724

49,066

41,706

35,450

30,132

281,989

XII - SOCCSKARGEN

47,291

40,197

34,168

29,043

24,686

20,983

196,368

XIII - CARAGA

38,025

32,321

27,473

23,352

19,849

16,872

157,893

ARMM

57,191

48,612

41,320

35,122

29,854

25,376

237,476

Figures from the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council indicate the magnitude of housing need, estimated to exceed 5.7 million units by 2016. The National Capital Region (Metro Manila) and Regions 3 (Central Luzon) and 4A (CALABARZON) will account for about half of the total housing demand Table from Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016, Chapter 8, Social Development, National Economic Development Authority, p. 242

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11 every developer of subdivision projects to develop an area for socialized housing equivalent to at least 20% of the total subdivision area within the same city or municipality, whenever feasible, or 20% of the total subdivision project cost, at the option of the developer. The Bureau of Investments (BOI) Investment Priorities Plan (IPP), which contains the list of promoted economic sectors eligible for government tax incentives, defines mass housing as housing units that cost more than ₧400, 000 but not exceeding ₧2.5 million. The BOI, an attached agency with the Department of Trade and Industry and the primary investment arm of the country, has been listed mass housing as a priority sector since 2007 because of its huge economic multiplier impact and strong jobs generation. “Statistically, (₧2.5 million) is the price that can be considered mass, affordable housing. It’s what can be considered by 80-90 percent of the working population to be affordable housing. It’s what we believe will benefit the mass to middle market,” BOI managing head Cristino Panlilio said in a Philippine Daily Inquirer report in July last year. Still not affordable for urban households. However, what private developers produce is often not affordable for the poorest 30% of urban households, which consist mostly of informal

AVERAGE ANNUAL PUBLIC EXPENDITURE ON HOUSING, 2000-2007 Country Public Housing Expenditures

(% of GDP)

Nepal

1.482

Singapore Mongolia

Indonesia Sri Lanka Thailand

Malaysia

Bangladesh Philippines

2.089 1.206 1.012 0.758 0.742 0.383 0.354 0.089

Source: Housing policy for the poor: revisiting UDHA and CISFA, Marife Ballesteros, Philippine Institute for Development Studies, Policy Notes 2009-04, November 2009, p. 6

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settlers, as mentioned in the United Nations Habitat 2011 report “Innovative Land Tenure in the Philippines.” (The report is available for free download through the link to the title) Alongside the basic market issue of affordability, the Philippines has spent relatively less on housing compared to other South and Southeast Asian countries. According to figures cited by Marife Ballesteros in her November 2009 Policy Notes on housing legislation for government think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), Philippine public expenditure on housing from 2000 to 2007 averaged 0.089% of gross domestic product, compared with Singapore‘s average of 2.089%, Indonesia‘s 1.012%, Thailand‘s 0.742%, and Malaysia‘s 0.383%. Protest against private-sector involvement. The combination of low public expenditure on housing and the high overall demand for houses has resulted in a de facto public-private partnership to produce mass housing, and there are representatives of the urban poor who have taken issue with this partnership. “The government housing agencies and the private sector collude, to extract as much profits and kickbacks as possible from what is supposed to be a social service especially to the poor, making mass housing costly for poor informal settlers,” Gloria Arellano, national secretarygeneral of Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap told Bulatlat.com in October, on the occasion of urban-poor groups protesting impending evictions of informal settlers in Quezon City. For his part, Anakpawis party-list Rep. Rafael Mariano said, “The very idea of eroding government involvement in the delivery of housing infrastructures and services, and encouragement of greater participation of the private sector will most likely turn mass housing into a profit-making enterprise for big companies instead of providing service to the poor.” Meanwhile, the creation of the DHUD will result in the privatization of housing, which

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will jeopardize the interests of the urban poor, said Erwin Lanuza, president of the Quezon City Hall Employees Association, and member of the Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees, the leading umbrella organization of public-sector unions in the country told Bulatlat.com in June.

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The study noted that the activities of the shelter agencies in the country—including Home Guaranty Corporation, HLURB, National Housing Authority, National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation, PAG-IBIG (Home Development Mutual Fund), Social Housing Finance Corporation--are not always coordinated nor do they have a clear strategic focus.

“Because if we let the private sector It is more crucial to create an organization that handle housing programs, we all will manage the funds for grants and subsidies to know that they will be motivated provide housing services to the poor rather than by the desire to earn more in their every business venture. So, therefore, a housing department, a Philippine Institute for this will result in higher costs of Development Studies discussion paper suggests housing,” he said. Lanuza further said the creation of DHUD will result in displacement of many government employees, as The creation of a housing department: not the duplication of functions may arise when shelter critical? However, an older but still thoughtstrategies are merged and put under a single entity. provoking discussion paper by Marife Ballesteros for PIDS in 2002, “Rethinking Institutional A Department of Housing is a must. The Reforms in the Philippine Housing Sector,” creation of a housing department is not only suggests that it is more crucial to create an imperative, but long overdue, said Charlie A. organization that will manage the funds for grants V. Gorayeb, the president of Chamber of Real and subsidies to provide housing services to the Estate and Builders’ Associations Inc. (CREBA) poor rather than a housing department. This is in a May column in The Manila Bulletin. CREBA because programs and strategies of the government is the country’s largest umbrella organization of in providing subsidies tend to be inefficient because stakeholders from the allied industries of housing, of limited funds of the government and that subsidy construction, and real estate development. mainly goes to higher income households instead of the poor, the study observed. “CREBA perceives that since the abolition of the Ministry of Human Settlements in the wake of The study also said that creation of a housing the Martial Law regime’s downfall, the housing department was “not critical,” because legal and effort has suffered in terms of prioritization at the regulatory problems regarding land and financial highest levels of Government. Since shelter is one markets are handled by the existing finance and of the three most basic needs of man, provision of environmental departments. the same should enjoy a priority at least equal to tourism and other government services, and should These legal and regulatory problems that restrict the be similarly addressed by a full-fledged Department supply of housing include: inconsistent land laws in rather than just a mere Coordinating Council,” the country, lack of well-defined societal preferences he said. regarding land use, and inadequate or poor land administration infrastructure. Meanwhile, financial According to a July 2009 study by the PIDS, market constraints include limited sources of long“Toward a Strategic Urban Development and Housing Policy for the Philippines,” there is a need to establish a stronger mechanism to harmonize all shelter and urban development policies, guidelines and standards at the national level.

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term funds in the country. According to the study, low- to middle-income households have been largely dependent on limited government funds because they cannot

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A home for housing

afford housing investment, while banks make loans to high-income households to minimize risks. Informal settlers. Based on the aforementioned 2011 UN-Habitat report, unregulated urban growth and poverty have caused the severe housing problems in the country. Of the roughly 10 million Filipino families living in cities where employment opportunities exist, an estimated 3.1 million live in government-owned lands, idle, privately owned properties, and danger areas such as riverbanks, bridges, and railroad tracks as they suffer from lack of security of tenure, according to the UN study. Out of the 580,000 informal settler-families in Metro Manila, some 105,000 live near disasterprone areas such as creeks and waterways, according to a Manila Bulletin report in April on Vice-President Jejomar Binay’s speech at the Conference for National Informal Settlement Upgrading Strategies. In his speech, Binay, who also chairs the HUDCC, revealed a government plan to build medium-rise buildings for the relocation of informal settlers leaving near danger areas in Metro Manila, which he believed to be more practical because it would save space and cover more families. Some 20,000 housing units a year in the next five years would be built for informal settlers, particularly the victims of natural disasters, he said. However, not all informal settlers are income-poor, John Francis Lagman reveals in an analysis titled “Anatomy of the Nation’s Housing Problems,” in the 2010 annual issue of the Philippine Human Rights Information Center. “While around 44 percent of the urban population in Metro Manila lives in slums, 25%

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are not necessarily income-poor. Surveys and anecdotal evidence show that from the time they settle illegally on unoccupied tracts of land, some informal settlers will have acquired non-land assets that allow them to gradually improve their conditions and status,” Lagman says. The proposed DHUD “will manage and oversee the development of proclaimed housing sites, including the use of land assets as resource mobilization strategy to raise alternative funds in developing new town housing projects which will serve as central relocation sites for the informal settlers.” Likewise, according to the bill, urban or rural poor dwellers shall not be evicted nor their dwelling demolished, except in accordance with the law. Budget for affordable housing. For this year, the government has set aside ₧5.6 billion from the 2012 national budget for the resettlement of the families residing along danger areas and those affected by calamities, as well as slum upgrading. Meanwhile, from the ₧2.006-trillion proposed Budget for next year, an estimated total of 103,000 households will benefit from a ₧26.63-billion outlay for affordable housing and community mortgage programs, according to a June 10 press release from the Department of Budget and Management. It might well be time for the government to organize, harmonize, and rationalize previously separate strategies administered by different agencies, and yet, given the magnitude of the country’s housing problem – a housing backlog growing amid concerns that poor households will still not be able to afford what is regarded as “low-cost” housing – the biggest problem might still be how to make “low-cost” genuinely affordable.

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NEWS ON THE NET Nation

No Cha-cha in any form – Aquino President Aquino maintained that he is not in favor of amending the Constitution at this time, even as the two leaders of both Houses of Congress have expressed their interest in introducing economic amendments to the nation's charter. Aquino believes that economic growth is still achievable even without amending the Constitution. Senate committee on constitutional amendments, revisions of codes and laws chair Senator Miriam DefensorSantiago adds that the proposals on charter change might not be considered for lack of material time since there are other legislative measures pending before Congress including budget deliberations and also because the 2013 elections is fast approaching. Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, for his part, said that the Lower House will find time to discuss the matter on the amendments on economic provisions. He recognizes that there are other priorities that Congress has to work on other than charter change.

Tight watch against enterovirus Philippine airport officials exercised precautionary measures to prevent the entry of a deadly virus believed to have killed 61 children in Cambodia during the past weeks. Airplanes with connecting flights or direct from Cambodia were quarantined and sprayed with disinfectants to stop the spread of the deadly EV-71 virus. The Department of Transportation and Communications has also assured the public that the airports are equipped with thermal scanners that can detect passengers carrying the virus. The enterovirus is a virus that enters the body through the gastrointestinal tract and stays moving on to attack the nervous system. Its infections

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are manifested by high fever, and impairment of respiratory and neurological functions. Experts associate it with Hand, Foot and Mouth disease, and often manifests as large outbreaks primarily affecting children.

Aquino backs national artist honor for Dolphy While President Benigno Aquino favors the conferring of the National Artist Award to deceased king of Philippine comedy, Rodolfo "Dolphy" Quizon, he said that there is still a process that has to be observed. The National Commission for Culture and the Arts, which screens nominations for the award, acknowledged the comedian's contribution to the country's film and television industry, and said that it would nevertheless award the Dangal ng Haraya lifetime achievement award, the highest award given by the commission to those who have made a significant contribution to Philippine culture and arts. Quizon was nominated for national artist in 2009, thus the NCCA said that this nomination could be carried over to this year’s nominations, the deadline for which will be in November. It should be remembered that the awards system touched off a controversy a few years ago, when the National Artist award was conferred to director Carlo J. Caparas. Quizon passed away Tuesday at the age of 83.

EO tightens mining policy and sets review A new executive order was signed by President Benigno Aquino III and released Tuesday which imposes stricter measures to ensure responsible mining and environmental protection and higher revenue sharing scheme for the government through legislation.

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Executive Order No. 79 also provides for the comprehensive review of all mining operations, in order to ensure compliance with mining and environmental laws as well as a stricter regulation of small-scale mining. The Mining Industry Coordinating Council shall be the primary agency tasked to form the plan for the implementation of the executive order. The executive thus hopes for a new legislation that will ensure that the government gets “optimal revenue” share from mining activities. It received support from the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry as it believes that more investors will be enticed to do business in the Philippines.

SC allows fixed wages for public utility bus drivers to proceed The Supreme Court ordered anew the implementation of the fixed-salary scheme for bus drivers as it recalled its earlier order providing for the stoppage of the new scheme while waiting for the comment of bus operators. It earlier issued a status quo ante order, which enjoined the Department of Labor and Employment and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board from implementing the fixed salary scheme and allowing the bus companies to go back to their previous salary schemes pending the resolution of the case. The fixed salary scheme, which was supposed to start last July 1, provided for bus drivers and conductors fixed salaries not lower than the standard minimum wage rate, 12 regular holidays with pay, one rest day a week, overtime pay, night-shift pay, 13th-month pay, and other statutory social-security benefits. However, bus companies challenged its constitutionality, saying it impaired existing obligations in contracts, while bus drivers thought that their income would be smaller with this new scheme.

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WORLD

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Running on Carbon Fumes

As Asia-Pacific economies rapidly expand, the region’s natural capital is dwindling fast. What should Asians do? By Victoria Fritz

STRATEGY POINTS According to a new study of the Asian Development Bank and the World Wide Fund for Nature, the Asia-Pacific region is losing natural resources at an alarming rate Loss of natural ecosystems and biodiversity is more than just an environmental issue, given that natural ecosystems provide socially and economically valuable services that are not quantified

As

countries in the Asia-Pacific region continue to experience accelerated growth, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) find that the region is running at what it calls “a significant natural resources deficit.” In short, the region is consuming natural resources at a rate faster than they can be regenerated. Their joint report, “2012 Ecological Footprint and Investment in Natural Capital in Asia and the Pacific,” released in early June, examines the impact of accelerated growth on the environment, specifically the supply of our natural resources. (The link is to an article summarizing the report’s highlights, click here to access the report.) The report emphasizes that loss of natural ecosystems and biodiversity is more than an environmental issue. Natural ecosystems provide socially and economically valuable services like food and fiber resources, clean water and climate regulation that have not been adequately quantified in conventional accounting.

ANNUAL CHANGE IN FORESTS 3000 2500

x1000 hectares

2000 1500 1000 500 0 -500 -1000

Change in total area of forest ('000 ha)

Forest area protected for biodiversity ('000 ha)

Forest area protected for soil and water ('000 ha)

Chart from “2012 Ecological Foot Asian Develop

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Running on carbon fumes

For example, fisheries exports from the Coral Triangle – an ocean region surrounding Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Solomon Islands, and TimorLeste – amount to US$3 billion a year (page 6). The Triangle itself does not have a stated net worth, but over 40% of the region's coral reefs and mangroves have disappeared in the last 40 years, resulting in declining fish stocks (page 12). Meanwhile, the value of primary forest products in the Asia-Pacific region was estimated to be about US$34 billion in 2008 (page 34), but this value will not be sustainable if countries continue to allow forest cover to disappear. The report reminds us that there is a need to maintain natural capital to support long-term social and economic prosperity. On a global level, an estimated US$45 billion of annual investment in conservation efforts will serve to protect ecosystem services worth US$5 trillion (page 13).

Biodiversity’s effects on the natural capital To further understand biodiversity, a group of 17 Western ecologists released a paper just before the Rio + 20 Summit on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June, summarizing more than 1,000 ecological studies in the 20 years since the first Earth Summit. Their review of the evidence indicates that the loss of biodiversity reduces the productivity and sustainability of earth’s ecosystems, and decreases their ability to provide services such as food, wood, and protection for humans and crops against certain kinds of pests and disease. Also, it decreases the ability of nature to regulate climate. On the other side of the coin, biodiversity increases the yield of commercial crops, and enhances wood production in tree plantations. Forests with more tree species are more effective at absorbing greenhouse gas. The scientists want to push the message that loss of biodiversity affects people’s health as well as their pocketbooks. The nest step is translating ecosystems goods and services into an economic value that people can easily grasp. At the Rio + 20 summit, some participants proposed including environmental profit and loss in corporate and government accounting, as reported in a Reuters story published in Scientific American. Accounting practices so far have failed to account for creations, use and degradation of air, water, trees and other natural assets.

OF ASIA EXCLUDING OCEANIA

Increase in forest cover 1990-2000 2000-2010

Pavan Sukhdev of Conservation International estimates that, the top 3,000 companies (in the U.S., as implied) failed to account for US$2.1 trillion of charges related to the use or pollution of natural assets. The figure nearly doubles to US$4 trillion when the world’s entire corporate sector is included, he added. Carbon emissions will be included in basic information provided to a company’s shareholders, and implementation of this plan will be within about seven years.

Decrease in forest cover 1990-2000 2000-2010

Forest carbon (million tonnes) Primary forest change ('000 ha)

print and Investment in Natural Capital in Asia and the Pacific,” ment Bank and World Wide Fund for Nature, June 2012, p. 36

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The

"You could get 10, 20, 30 percent extra to your GDP because you'd be finally measuring the services of nature," Sukhdev elaborated, adding that there would probably be losses as well because of the need to account for natural capital lost.

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Ecological footprint. The report stated that in the Asia-Pacific region, each person currently uses an average of 1.6 global hectares (gha) of biologically productive area of land and sea annually for their consumption needs. However, only 0.9 gha of biocapacity is available per person in the region. The shortfall (0.8 gha per person) represents a “biocapacity deficit” that can only be made up by importing natural resources or by continuing to deplete natural capital. This deficit has significant economic and environmental In the Asia-Pacific implications, including region, each rising commodity person uses an prices and shortages annual average of of key resources.”

1.6 global hectares of biologically productive land and sea ... However, only 0.9 gha of biocapacity is available per person

The main measure for assessment is the ecological footprint developed by the Global Footprint Network. The ADB-WWF report added that globally, this ecological footprint started exceeding available biocapacity in the early 1970s, with the main reason being the increase in the carbon component of the Footprint. This total footprint is comprised of several parts: 1. Carbon Uptake Footprint Calculated as the amount of forest land required to absorb CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels, land-use change and chemical processes, other than the portion absorbed by oceans

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4. Fishing Grounds Footprint Calculated from the estimated primary production required to support the fish and seafood caught, based on catch data for 1,439 different marine species and more than 268 freshwater species 5. Cropland Footprint Calculated from the area used to produce food and fibre for human consumption, feed for livestock, oil crops and rubber 6. Built-up Land Footprint Calculated from the area of land covered by human infrastructure, including transportation, housing, industrial structures, and reservoirs for hydropower The regional average gha of 1.6 can be seen broken down by individual countries, in the following chart, with data derived from the Global Footprint Network. Equally important to gha is each country’s ability to provide the resources it uses. Although Australia has a big ecological footprint, it also has vast natural resources to support its consumption. The Philippines is shown with a slight deficit, with Singapore leading the pack of biocapacity debtors, or those who use more natural resources than are generated within their own borders.

2. Grazing Land Footprint Calculated from the area used to raise livestock for meat, dairy, hide, and wool products

Closely related to the supply of natural resources is biodiversity. Despite the rich natural capital in the region, the ADB-WWF report found that biodiversity is in decline in all types of ecosystems: forests, rivers, oceans, etc. The rate of species loss was found to be “about twice the global average.”

3. Forest Footprint

Specific situations. The ADB-WWF report

Calculated from the amount of lumber, pulp, timber products, and fuel wood consumed by a country each year

focuses on four ecosystems in the region, and the actions being taken to mitigate the major problems in each of them.

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Running on carbon fumes

ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT OF PEOPLE IN ASIA AND THE PACIFIC, 2008 Built-up land

7

Fishing land

6

Forest Land

5

Grazing Land

4

Cropland Carbon

3 2

Timor-Leste

Bangladesh

Pakistan

Nepal

India

Philippines

Indonesia

Cambodia

Sri Lanka

Lao PDR

Korea DPR

Vietnam

Asia Pacific

Myanmar

People's Republic of China

Thailand

Papua New Guinea

World

Malaysia

Japan

New Zealand

Republic of Korea

Australia

0

Mongolia

1 Singapore

Ecological Footprint (global hectares per capita)

8

Chart from “2012 Ecological Footprint and Investment in Natural Capital in Asia and the Pacific,” Asian Development Bank and World Wide Fund for Nature, June 2012, p. 24

PER CAPITA ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT FOR COUNTRIES IN THE ASIA-PACIFIC REGION, 2008 footprints in gha per capita

0-1

1-2

Philippines India

Nepal Pakistan Bangladesh Timor-Leste

2-4

14.5-16

10-11.5

Myanmar

Papua New Guinea

Republic of Korea

Australia

Vietnam

Thailand

New Zealand

Singapore

Democratic People's Republic of Korea Lao PDR Sri Lanka Cambodia Indonesia

PRC

Japan Malaysia

Mongolia

Chart from “2012 Ecological Footprint and Investment in Natural Capital in Asia and the Pacific,” Asian Development Bank and World Wide Fund for Nature, June 2012, p. 24

BIOCAPACITY CREDITORS AND DEBTORS IN ASIA AND THE PACIFIC, 2008 10

-6

Singapore

Japan

Malaysia

PRC

World

Thailand

Asia Pacific

Sri Lanka

Korea,DPR

India

Philippines

Pakistan

Vietnam

Indonesia

Myanmar

Lao, PDR

Timor-Leste

Guinea

-4

Papua New

-2

New Zealand

0

Australia

2

Bangladesh

Cambodia

4

Nepal

6

Kora, Republic of

8

Mongolia

Biocapacity deficit (global hectares

12

-8 Chart from “2012 Ecological Footprint and Investment in Natural Capital in Asia and the Pacific,” Asian Development Bank and World Wide Fund for Nature, June 2012, p. 28

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19 Coral Triangle The Coral Triangle is a 6-million squarekilometer area spanning Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste and the Solomon Islands. The acknowledged global center of marine biodiversity, it nurtures 76% of the world’s coral species and at least 2,228 reef fish species. Overfishing is happening in about 64% of reefs in the Coral Triangle. Blast and poison fishing is also a threat to 50% of the reefs. According to the ADB/WWF report, more than 40% of the coral reefs and mangroves have disappeared over the last 40 years. To address the situation, the six countries have banded together to form the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI-CFF) in 2007. CTI-CFF’s five goals are: strengthening the management of seascapes, promoting an ecosystem approach to fisheries management, establishing and improving effective management for marine protected areas, improving coastal community resilience to climate change, and protecting threatened species. They have made in “better management and conservation of these valuable ecosystems and resources.”

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landslides, deforestation, low crop yield, eroding biodiversity, etc.. This mountain range is straddled by Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan, who fashioned a joint Framework of Cooperation in Nov. 2011 in order to implement regional cooperative action to build resilience to climate change in the southern watersheds of the eastern Himalayas. Their action programs include: ensuring energy security and enhancing alternative technologies; securing the natural freshwater systems of the Himalayas; ensuring food security and securing livelihoods’ and securing biodiversity and ensuring its sustainable use. The Heart of Borneo This ecosystem, which straddles parts of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, and Malaysia, is one of the most important yet little-studied ecosystems on earth, Asia’s largest remaining rainforest. According to the ADB-WWF report, it is losing an average of 850,000 hectares a year due to palm oil plantations, mining and timber production. As described in www.naturalcapitalproject.org, the three countries fashioned a joint Heart of Borneo Initiative in order to cooperate to improve the management of forest resources, promote people’s welfare, and promote the conservation of a network of protected areas, productive forests and other sustainable land uses.

Eastern Himalayas The eastern Himalayas comprise an ecologically

With the support of the WWF and Natural Capital Project, an organization called Heart of Borneo Project, formally established in 2010 to conduct a natural capital assessment for the area, now works to protect this rainforest from further destruction through a mixture of exploration, research, community projects and education.

sensitive area, and likewise confronted with a range of problems driven by overpopulation. It is experiencing accelerated soil erosion, rain water runoff, increasing incidence of

Greater Mekong sub-region The Greater Mekong sub-region (GMS) spans Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand,

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Running on carbon fumes

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The world’s ecological footprint According to “Living Planet Report 2012,” produced by the World Wide Fund for Nature in cooperation with Global Footprint Network and the Zoological Society of London, the planet’s ecological footprint has been getting bigger since 1961, to the extent that by 2008, it took the equivalent of 1.5 planet Earths to sustain mankind’s collective lifestyle. Put another way, it would take planet Earth 1.5 years to regenerate the natural resources that it uses in a year.

Ecological Footprint (number of planet

GLOBAL ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT BY COMPONENT, 1961-2008 2

1

0

1961

1070

1980

1990 Built-up land Fishing

2000 Forest Grazing

2008 Cropland Carbon

Chart from The Living Planet Index 2012, World Wide Fund for Nature, Global Footprint Network, Zoological Society of London, p. 38

Around 1970, the human race began to consume more than the earth could sustainably provide. The biggest culprit is carbon generation. In terms of global hectare (gha) per capita, the figures are as follows:

TRENDS IN GLOBAL FOOTPRINT AND BIOCAPACITY PER CAPITA, 1961-2008 3.5

Global hectares per

3 2.5

OVERSHOOT

2 1.5 1 0.5 0 1961

BIOCAPACITY = Area x Bioproductivity (SUPPLY) ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT = Population x Consumption x Footprint per person

1970

1980

Year

1990

intensity

2000

2008

Chart from The Living Planet Index 2012, World Wide Fund for Nature, Global Footprint Network, Zoological Society of London, p. 40

The decline in biocapacity per capita is due to an increase in population, with more people having to share the Earth’s resources. The increase in the Earth’s productivity is not enough to compensate for the demands of this growing population.

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Running on carbon fumes

Vietnam and the southern Chinese province of The six GMS countries held their first Yunnan. Economic development jeopardizes summit in November 2002 in Cambodia, the connectivity between the important and developed a Ten-Year Strategic biodiversity hotspots in the region. Poorly Framework for developing a well-integrated, planned hydropower projects may cause a drop harmonious, and prosperous Greater in fish production of anywhere from 150,000 to Mekong sub-region. They held a second 480,000 tons per year by summit in China in 2005, 2015, compared to 2000 which produced the GMS Economic growth levels. Forest cover has Core Environment Program jeopardizes links fallen from over 55% in and Biodiversity Conservation between major the early 1970s to 34% Corridors Initiative (CEP-BCI), today. a landscape-based conservation biodiversity hubs. program carried out under Ill-planned dams WWF’s work here the institutional framework can cut annual fish includes species of the GMS Economic conservation, sustainable Cooperation Program. output by up to forestry and nonA fourth summit was held half a million tons timber forest product in Myanmar in 2011, which managements, climate produced a new 10-year change adaptation, and strategic framework the sustainable use of freshwater resources, (2012-2022) to emphasize the importance including hydropower development. It supports of coordination and linkages between sectors. a 10-year delay in the approval of lower The framework also calls for a second phase Mekong river mainstream dams to ensure a of the CEP-BCI from 2012 to 2016 to comprehensive understanding of the overall consolidate and enhance gains from the first impact of their construction and operations. phase of the initiative.

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NEWS ON THE NET World

Myanmar and must not be harmful to the environment of this resource-rich nation.

Syrian opposition reports massacre of 220 civilians

Clinton and Burma leader Thein Sein in business meeting

Violence in Syria continues to escalate as some 220 Syrians, mostly civilians were killed in the village of Tremseh in the rebellious Hama region, according to opposition sources. Reports say the village was bombarded by helicopter gunships and tanks, after which militiamen stormed in and slaughtered some families. Syrian state television said there had been fighting in Tremseh and accused “armed terrorist groups” as being responsible for the massacre, but did not give a death toll.

Following democratic reforms in Myanmar, also known as Burma, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is due to meet President Thein Sein at a business forum in Cambodia. Secretary Clinton is expected to introduce the president to American business leaders at the conference in Siem Reap. While the U.S. welcomes positive reforms in the once-reclusive nation ruled by the military junta, Clinton’s move does not mean that Washington is “satisfied that reforms are complete or irreversible.” The U.S. imposed an arms embargo and bans on investment and finance due to what the American government saw as a general disregard on the part of the ruling military junta for human rights. Burma-specific sanctions began following violent suppression of popular protests in 1988. On July 11, the White House formally eased sanctions on the impoverished Asian country. However, it will not allow investment in entities owned by Myanmar’s armed forces or its Ministry of Defense. For his part, President Thein Sein reiterated that reforms in his country are not reversible. He continued to urge Western countries to scrap all sanctions against Myanmar. While the country badly needs outside help to boost its ailing economy, he said the investments must benefit the people of

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In a statement, U.N. special envoy Kofi Annan condemned the atrocities and was “shocked and appalled” by news of “intense fighting, significant causalities, and the confirmed use of heavy weaponry such as artillery, tanks and helicopters” in the village of Tremseh. No independent accounts of the killings could be obtained because U.N. monitors in Syria are confined to the capital Damascus because of the mounting violence. If verified, the recent atrocity could be the worst in 16 months of fighting between the forces of President Bashar al-Assad and rebels, which began in March 2011 when about 40 people joined a protest in Old Damascus to challenge the ruling Baath Party. The world remains deadlocked as to how to put an end to the violence, while China and Russia have opposed the clamor from Western and Arab powers for Assad to step down immediately.

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ASEAN talks fail over China territorial dispute After days of heated diplomacy, the annual Southeast Asian talks held last week ended in disappointment as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) failed to issue its customary joint communiqué at the end of the annual forum due to deep splits over China. Members have been wrangling to hammer out a diplomatic communiqué, which has held up progress on a separate code of conduct that aims to ease tensions in the contested areas in the South China Sea. China claims sovereignty over most of the resource-rich sea, while several ASEAN members— the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Brunei—have competing claims as well. In a statement, the Philippines deplored the non-issuance of the communiqué and took “strong exception” to Cambodia, chair of this year’s meeting, as it resisted the inclusion in the joint communiqué of the armed standoff between the Philippines and China. The Philippines maintains that divisions undermine ASEAN's goal of tackling disputes as a bloc "and not in a bilateral fashion -- the approach which its northern neighbor (China) has been insisting on.”

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TECHNOLOGY

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Everyday Technologies That Have Made Their Way from Space Labs to Homes Practical items that started out as ambitious scientific inventions

By Tanya L. Mariano

STRATEGY POINTS Many everyday technologies trace their roots to ambitious scientific projects. TCR presents some of the more popular ones that have crossed over from megaindustries, such as space travel and the military, to everyday use For those seeking new products and innovations to bring to market, the science and technology reports may offer some very lucrative tips

W

hat do invisible braces, spray lubricant WD-40, and memory foam pillows have in common? They all trace their origins to technologies intended for use in the military, space exploration, and other largescale industries. Products of ambitious scientific projects have a long history of spilling over into commercial markets to be used by ordinary folks. From older innovations that trace their roots to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) space program, to a more recent invention, “LiquiGlide,” from a group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), here are some everyday items that were originally developed for aerospace, industrial, or military application. Coming soon: LiquiGlide to help you pour ketchup out of a bottle. What pushed Kripa Varanasi, professor of mechanical engineering at MIT, and his students to develop the slippery coating was not the frustration over how hard it is to get viscous condiments out of a bottle. In an interview with CNN, Varanasi says, “We were all focused on [solving] the big problems, like water and energy,” saying he envisioned the product being used to de-ice planes and keep water droplets off steam turbines in power plants. But the buzz around LiquiGlide is mainly due to a video that went viral, showing how ketchup can easily slide out of a bottle that has been coated on the inside with the non-toxic, flavorless material.

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Everyday technologies that have made their way from space labs to homes

Another video shows mustard being poured out of a normal bottle (bottom left) and one that has been treated with LiquiGlide (bottom right). LiquiGlide is made entirely from food materials. “You could literally scratch it off and eat it…It’s that safe,” assures Varanasi. According to the CNN report, LiquiGlide should be on supermarket shelves within two years. Scratchproof lenses. In 1972, the Food and Drug Administration issued a regulation that required all prescription lenses and sunglasses to be shatter-resistant, according to the nonprofit space awareness and education promoter Space Foundation. Because glass was very brittle, manufacturers started using plastics. While they were cheaper and had better ultraviolet radiation-absorbing properties, plastics were also prone to scratching. NASA’s Ames Research Center developed an abrasion-resistant coating to protect plastic surfaces of aerospace equipment, including the visors of astronauts’ space helmets, and in 1983, a license to the technology was granted to eyewear manufacturer Foster Grant. Ear thermometer. This device owes much to NASA’s experience in “remote measurement of the temperature of stars and planets by reading

No more wrestling with the ketchup bottle. Researchers from MIT have developed a slippery coating that could help you pour ketchup effortlessly YouTube

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their emitted infrared radiation,” according to the Spinoff website. Developed by Diatek Corporation and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at NASA, and made available on the commercial market in 1991, the infrared ear thermometer measures temperature in less than two seconds, can be operated with one hand, reduces the risk of cross infection by avoiding contact with mucus membranes, and can be safely used to take the temperatures of the critically ill, newborns, and incapacitated patients. Memory foam. Temper foam, a high-energy dissipation cushion also known as “memory foam” due to its ability to match the contour of an object pressing against it then return to its original shape when the object is removed, was a result of a NASA project contracted to Stencel Aero Engineering Corporation (SAEC) in the 1960s. Charles Yost, staff engineer at SAEC, continued work on the foam after he left the company, eventually founding the high-performance cushion manufacturer Dynamic Systems, Inc., according to the company’s website. The material, an “open-cell, polymeric ‘memory’ foam material with unusual viscoelastic properties,” was then incorporated by NASA’s Ames Research Center into an airplane seat design that both enhanced passenger comfort and

Mustard pours out faster from the bottle on the right, which was coated with LiquiGlide

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Everyday technologies that have made their way from space labs to homes

increased impact protection, says an article on the NASA Spinoff website, which showcases NASA technologies that have crossed over into commercial markets. Today, aside from being used to make pillows and mattresses, memory foams are used to enhance the safety of race cars, amusement park rides, and aircraft, and are also found in human and animal prosthesis, and full-sized body casts for clothing design. Invisible braces. These are made of translucent polycrystalline alumina (TPA), a shatter-resistant material developed in the 1980s by NASA and Californiabased Ceradyne, according to another article on the NASA Spinoff website. Ceradyne, a manufacturer Invisible braces are made of translucent of advanced polycrystalline alumina (TPA), a material that is ceramics also found in military equipment used to track for defense, heat-seeking missiles. aerospace, Photo from NASA Spinoff Database electronics, and industrial uses, originally employed TPA in infrared radomes that were used by the military in tracking heat-seeking missiles. TPA was an ideal material for use in orthodontics because of its strength and translucence, offering a more aesthetically pleasing alternative to traditional metal brackets. Cordless tools. NASA and power tools manufacturer Black and Decker developed cordless tools that were lightweight and energy-

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efficient and would enable astronauts to extract core samples as much as 10 feet below the moon’s surface. Refinements to the original design produced a small cordless vacuum cleaner called the Dustbuster, drills, grass shears, and shrub trimmers. Today, Black and Decker remains a trusted brand when it comes to cordless power tools, manufacturing not just tools for domestic use but also cordless tools for use in automobile and construction industries, as well as orthopedic instruments. WD-40. This popular solvent that’s found in garages around the world was invented by the Rocket Chemical Company in 1953 for use in the aerospace industry as a rust-preventer and degreaser. Aerospace contractor Convair was one of the first to use the product, utilizing it to protect the outer covering of the Atlas Missile from corrosion and rust. According to the company’s About Us page, “A few years following WD-40’s first industrial use, Rocket Chemical Company founder Norm Larsen experimented with putting WD-40 into aerosol cans, reasoning that consumers might find a use for the product at home as some of the employees had.” Previously, several employees had been sneaking out cans of the product to use at home. WD-40 officially the hit the shelves in 1958 in San Diego, and today is used in a variety of ways, from the ordinary – lubricating squeaky hinges, protecting tools from rust, removing road tar from automobiles – to the unusual – police officers reportedly used WD-40 to remove a naked burglar who was trapped in an air- conditioning vent, and a bus driver once used it to disentangle a python snake from the undercarriage of the bus. On its website, the company lists more than 2,000 official uses for their product.

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NEWS ON THE NET Technology

Video gallery: What you need to know about the Higgs Boson particle In this collection of videos, ReadWriteWeb brings together different sources of information that explain (or rather, in the case of the first video, try to explain) what the “most important scientific discovery of the 21st century” is all about. On July 4, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) announced that the latest results of their experiments strongly indicate the presence of a new particle, believed to be the long-sought Higgs Boson. TheHiggs, named after British physicist Peter Higgs, is a particle proposed to be the fundamental component of the Higgs medium, a mechanism that exists everywhere in space and gives massto particles it interacts with, according to CERN. In the following video, Peter Higgs speaks with invited journalists a few days after the CERN announcement.

Physicist Peter Higgs, after whom the Higgs Boson is named after, speaks to journalists a few days after CERN announced the discovery YouTube The discovery of the particle, which has also been dubbed the “god particle,” has sparked debates over science and religion, The Huffington Post reports, and has caused physicist Stephen Hawking to lose $100 in a bet.

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Watch the 2012 Olympics on your mobile device You can now live-stream the Olympics on your iOS or Android devices. NBC and Adobe have teamed up to create two apps that are now available on both platforms, PC Magazine reports. The first app allows users to stream over 3,500 hours of Olympic content, and the second offers in-depth information on the games, the athletes, and other relevant topics. Definitely not another nail in the coffin for TV, though: most live streaming content can only be accessed by U.S. viewers with a pay-TV subscription. Instead of replacing the TV, the mobile devices are expected to act as a second screen to enhance the user’s viewing experience. In this video, Rick Cordella, Senior Vice President for Digital Media at NBC Sports and Olympics, talks about how the app will enhance the 2012 Olympic viewing experience. Likewise, the BBC has also launched its own Olympics app for iOS and Android to provide both live streaming and ondemand content, reports Redmond Pie. Much of the content cannot be viewed outside the UK, but an international version of the app will help make content available to worldwide users.

Analyst: June quarter iPad shipments hit 20M; could exceed iPhone shipments soon Needham & Company analyst Charles Wolf, who previously said Apple would ship about 13 million iPads over the quarter, has issued a note to investors

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increasing his June iPad shipment forecast to 20 million units. Says Wolf, “The iPad is invading the business market at a much faster pace than the iPhone. In addition, the iPad will launch in China on July 20th. This should provide a significant boost in sales now that Apple is providing Chinese languages and services on its iOS platform,” reports Apple Insider. If Wolf’s predictions prove correct and Apple sells all 20 million units, it would have more than doubled sales in just a year, having sold about 9.5 million iPads over the same quarter last year.

How to check if you're affected by the Yahoo security breach Yahoo has become the latest victim of a cyber attack, resulting in the online leak of log-in details of about 450,000 users. Just last month, professional social network LinkedIn was hacked and 6.5 million user passwords were exposed. A group of hackers that go by the name “D33Ds Co.” publicly posted the paired usernames and passwords (mostly for email accounts) online after infiltrating Yahoo’s Contributor Network site. The hack exposed a major security failure on Yahoo’s part: the login credentials were apparently stored in plain text instead of being cryptographically masked, as is the norm. To check whether your account may have been compromised, use this online tool from Sucuri Labs. Just to be safe, CNET recommends changing your Yahoo ID password and other passwords for associated email accounts as “there's no way to know if your password might have been cracked and displayed elsewhere -- at least not until it's too late.”

• July 16-22, 2012

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Fame and Philanthropy: Do They Mix? Celebrity involvement in philanthropic works around the world has heightened the call to address the global challenges hampering social and economic development By Jerome C. Balinton

STRATEGY POINTS Celebrity involvement in development works brings spotlight to social and economic issues with heightened attention, and to their image and career Prominence and wealth are powers that can initiate change Change is achievable in holistic approach, including celebrities in the sphere. But the public should not be dependent on celebrity endorsement to act More than celebrity publicity, sound public policies are crucial to addressing national and international challenges

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elebrities are the new face of development advocacy. From humanitarian efforts to causes for animals, the likes of Angelina Jolie are in the frontline calling for involvement and action. Where they go, the camera follows, and actors, with their prominence and influence, have heightened the attention on poverty and hunger, HIV/AIDS, conflicts, environment, and animal abuse. Their involvement has made these global issues more popular. They grab the spotlight, in a totally different way, and share it with the marginalized, thereby setting what the public should think about. Celebrity activism had its presence in addressing global problems as far back as the First World War. According to Transnational Celebrity Activism in Global Politics: Changing the World?, a collection of essays edited by Liza Tsaliki, Christos A. Frangonikolopoulos and Asteris Huliaras (as reviewed on YaleGlobal Online by Susan Froetschel), celebrity activism has its roots in the 14 Points addressed by Woodrow Wilson on bringing World War I to a close. As recounted by Froetschel, in 1918, Woodrow encouraged citizen diplomacy, and the first of his 14 points stressed that “diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the public view.� Decades later, the United Nations would formalize roles for entertainers, artists, athletes

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Fame and philanthropy: Do they mix?

and royalty as goodwill ambassadors and messengers of peace. Celebrity activism is a culture that gives new face to development advocacy. It became leverage for development workers – humanitarian organizations and animal-rights groups – to realize their mandates. In this article, The CenSEI Report reviews the roles of celebrities in bringing promoting progress, if not change, through their involvement in causes outside their immediate sphere of operation. Rooted in different motivations. Celebrities’ involvement in philanthropic works is rooted in different motivations. Some of them, such as Christopher Reeve and Michael J. Fox, get involved for personal reasons. According to Forbes.com, after Reeve was paralyzed in a horseback riding accident in 1995, he became connected to the American Paralysis Association. Eventually, the association became the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. For his part, Fox started his foundation for Parkinson's research after announcing in 1998 that he had the disease, according to USA Today. As Adlai Wertman observes, celebrities involved with charities because they or a loved one has suffered from the illness that the charity supports or because their friends and colleagues currently support or have supported that charity in the past. Adlai is a former investment banker who is now chief executive of Chrysalis, a Los Angeles-based charity that helps the homeless. In other cases, it is the charity in need of an endorser that approaches a celebrity. Sometimes, these organizations pay the luminary to appear at gatherings. And this is something which is criticized by some, like Rachel Weingarten, a New York-based publicist and event organizer who heads GTK Marketing Group. According to a CNN report, Weingarten is discouraged by what she calls

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“the Hollywoodization of doing good,” in which a name is required to get attention for the cause. Weingarten said that society’s reliance on celebrity should not be celebrated. “I have real issues with the fact that people with great ideas, who do good things -- if they don't have a [celebrity] name attached, they get lost," she said. What's worse, she added, is when the celebrity factor overwhelms the cause. She mentions one event she worked on in which the charity had hoped to benefit several hundred children. In the end, because of overhead for celebrity demands, the money raised only supported one-tenth that many. Nonetheless, celebrity status does help publicize a charity or a humanitarian mission on a bigger scale. As expressed in the CNN report: “The new media is complicit in this: If you want attention, get a name, if you want coverage, get a glamorous name.” Benefits of international celebrity activism. Meanwhile, Jacquelyn Amour Jampolsky discussed two reasons why celebrities involved themselves in social issues in a review of the benefits of international celebrity activism in her article Activism is the New Black! Demonstrating the Benefits of International Celebrity Activism Through James Cameron’s Campaign Against the Belo Monte Dam, published in the Colorado Journal of International Environmental Law and Policy’s Winter 2012 issue. First reason Jampolsky discussed is that the nature of entertainment industry has changed. Celebrities no longer fear jeopardizing their jobs by speaking out about controversial issues. According to Jampolsky, celebrities have gained new leverage in the entertainment industry, which affords them the “autonomy to adopt pet causes, policy initiatives, and make their publicity missteps.” Second, celebrities seek philanthropic outlets to shape a positive

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29 personal image. Marshall Stowell, the charity manager for Population Services International, who works to secure celebrity supporters, describes celebrity philanthropic interests this way: “They want to find something that’s

movement of ideas and information and makes it easier for stars to mount their respective ideas. Jampolsky added that studies shown that citizens are increasingly relying on “soft news” sources, which report on pop and celebrity news and reach a much broader audience than “hard news” sources.

The celebrity gets attention, but it’s the substance of the organization that actually makes the sale somewhat proprietary and are interested in who else might be involved. There’s a personal interest there but also professional interest, as they are trying to build their own brand.” On one hand, the involvement of these celebrities is mutually beneficial to them and to the organizations they are supporting. Their involvement to development works brings a ripple of effect. In today’s celebrity-driven culture, advocacy groups turn to celebrities to garner more attention, according to an article by Rachel Mansky in Celeb Life. According to Mansky, people like the celebrities with very privileged position of wealth and influence possess what George Clooney calls a ‘credit card of celebrity.” This “credit card” is a sure way to help others who are in need, particularly those inhabiting the developing nations. “The celebrity gets attention, but it’s the substance of the organization that actually makes the sale,” Mansky quotes Dr. Leslie Lenkowsky, a professor with the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, as saying. Celebrities can bring attention to a cause. They can motivate a political action or encourage donations. Celebrities are particularly effective in raising public opinion and interest. This is to a large extent of massive sharing of information in a more technology-driven intertwined traditional and new media. According to Jampolsky, the Internet facilitates the

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As Douglas Kellner states in “Barack Obama and Celebrity Spectacle,” as published in the International Journal of Communication in 2009: “…when daily cable news, presidential campaigns and major media events are presented in the form of media spectacle it is likely that the media attention and often spectacle produced by celebrity activism will publicize their issues, and make such celebrity diplomats more public perhaps effective advocates for their causes than normal diplomats.” Celebrity activism, likewise, seriously affects the financial stability of organizations. They have been successful in mobilizing resources from private companies and the general public. As Mansky puts it in her Celeb Life article, the powerful force of celebrity can move countless individuals to untie their purse strings. In turn, that opens doors that are closed to the rest of us, when research is enabled through increased financial support. Staying in the limelight. For celebrities, this new leverage is a way to build their own brand: The cause enhances their career and image in a different way, while keeping them in the limelight. From the public relations point of view, it is building their brand that portrays them as people capable of entertaining, but who also care for other people. As Mmoma Ejiofor put it in a May 2006 Forbes feature on “Generous Celebs”: “Behind every modern-day celebrity is a roster of important relationships. Each star needs to be

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Fame and philanthropy: Do they mix?

connected with an agent, a manager, a personal trainer, a full-time assistant and a significant other … (T)hen there is the crucial affiliation with a charity.” "The obvious benefit is the feel-good aspect of helping others," Paula Greenfield of The Celebrity Source, a Los Angeles-based agency that links celebrities to charitable causes, is quoted as saying in the Forbes feature. "And, of course, they benefit from a public-relations standpoint. The more good they do, the more the public loves them." However, celebrity activism is also a subject of debate and criticism. Jampolsky, in her article, says that scholars, the public, and international politicians remain deeply divided as to whether celebrity activism is good or bad for global policy and problem-solving. The three major fronts of the criticism are: celebrity competency to handle global issues, their motives behind endorsing specific issues, and their inability to actually make change.

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According to Jampolsky, critics point out that celebrities are often not intellectually, emotionally, or politically capable of seriously advocating for global causes, and tend to oversimplify the issues. The inability of celebrities to fully understand and aptly convey risks the promulgation of a bad policy. Jampolsky raises the case of George Clooney. In 2006, Clooney spoke to the United Nations Security Council, imploring them to intervene to stop the war in Darfur, and launched a large-scale public campaign calling for the involvement of UN troops. She cites other research in recounting that the public pressure garnered by Clooney motivated the US government to impose UN peacekeeping too quickly, and too aggressively, which, in turn, “undermined slow-maturing efforts to find a comprise that would end the war.” For her, this “demonstrates the ability of celebrity to influence global politics, and the danger of that influence being implemented without an accompanying educated strategy.”

Angelina Jolie’s message on the occasion of World Refugee Day 2011

A refugee is someone who fled his or her home and country owing to “a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion”, according to the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention

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31 Furthermore, critics also attack the dualistic nature of celebrity motivation for getting involved in social issues. An example cited by Jampolsky is the case of Bono’s band, U2. The band grossed $389 million in concert ticket sales, and sold nine million album copies of the concert album following its last tour, amounting to the second most lucrative tour in history (according to a Bloomberg report). Critics are suspicious as to how U2 concert and album sales might motivate the fervor of his social campaigning; Bono’s

Filipino celebrity activists KC Concepcion – KC has built a name for herself outside of being the daughter of Sharon Cuneta and actor Gabby Concepcion. She's an actress, singer, and TV host, and on top of all that, she's also the National Ambassador for the United Nations World Food Programme (UNWFP). Her work for WFP has brought her to many places in and out of the country. She also holds regular clothing auctions for the benefit of the cause. Lea Salonga - This Womanity Awardee for the Arts has been making Filipinos proud ever since she earned critical acclaim for her first international role as Kim in the West End musical Miss Saigon--she's won Tony and Olivier awards for her work in musical theater. She is currently a Goodwill Ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Chin Chin Gutierrez - Because of her dedication to the environment, TIME Magazine named Chin-Chin an Asian Hero in 2003. She was also a TOWNS (The Outstanding Women in Nation's Service) awardee in 2004. She is the founder and president of Alaga LAHAT Foundation, a non-stock, non-profit organization aiming to promote "environmental consciousness and conservation."

TCR compilation from the Philippine Entertainment Portal

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Fame and philanthropy: Do they mix?

refusal to disclose if any concert proceeds go to the charitable organizations he has set up underscores these suspicions. Finally, Jampolsky cites a concern expressed by others to the effect that celebrities have failed to make actual, positive change through their activism. “Highlighting a problem is not the same thing as solving it, however—and the celebrity track record at affecting policy outcomes could best be characterized as mixed,” she quotes Daniel W. Drezner, writing in “Foreign Policy Goes Glam,” as saying. It is valid to say that celebrities have brought global problems to public attention. The organizations that they themselves form to help other in need can be of great help in addressing problems that governments cannot solve. Celebrities and humanitarian organizations can help mitigate the impact of manmade and natural disasters, while calling attention to ineffective and unsustainable global and national policies. Their endorsement or even active involvement in a specific issue, however, might not be enough to solve a problem. From social awareness can come change, if not necessarily instant progress, but in the end, all celebrities can do is help to inform us of issues that we might not have known about before. Some issues and organizations might require just our financial support, while others might require more personal involvement. Change is holistic, and in the process of raising consciousness about the need for change, the celebrities can be helpful. But the public should not be complacent and assume that a celebrity‘s cause is automatically worthy of support, or that writing a check for a celebrity’s sponsored cause is all that is needed to effect change. A celebrity’s call to act might turn out to be just the first step for many of us to get involved.

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NEWS ON THE NET Health/Lifestyle

Digital cadaver table puts surgeons at cutting edge

more than 49 hours a week gained an average of about 1.9% of their weight over a two-year period – or about 1.3 kilograms for a 69-kilogram woman. Those who worked part-time had an average weight gain of 1.5% – or about 1 kilogram. The study, published in the International Journal of Obesity, which examined women aged 45 to 50, found those who worked long hours, defined as 41 to 48 hours a week, or very long hours, more than 49 hours a week, were also far more likely to smoke, drink at unhealthy levels, sleep less and not exercise.

A virtual cadaver in 3D on a digital scanning table Medical students at Imperial College in London are using a digital scanning table which creates virtual cadavers in 3D to study human anatomy. The anatomy imaging software, called the Anatomage table, uses a combination of graphics and computed tomography (CT) scans to replicate a real body, allowing students and surgeons to see what's beneath the skin before they make their first incision.

Watching TV less and standing more can extend life

According to a BBC report in May, USB sticks and other devices can be attached to the table, which can hold up to one terabyte or equivalent to about 1,000 patient cases. The Imperial College purchased the table, which has already proved very useful in real-life surgery, at a cost of £60,000 (US$92,680) in 2011, based on the BBC report.

Reducing the amount of time you spend sitting each day and cutting back on TV watching could add years to your life, according to a new study. Researchers analyzed data from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for 2005-06 and 2009-10 concluded that if adults limited the amount of time they spent sitting each day to less than three hours, they might increase their life expectancy by an extra two years. Restricting TV viewing to less than two hours per day might extend life by about 1.4 years. The findings were published online July 9 in the journal BMJ Open.

Women who work long hours 'more Tight jeans cause likely to gain weight' testicular problems Middle-aged women who work longer have less healthy lifestyles and are more likely to gain weight, a study revealed. Based on a study of more than 9000 women, those who worked

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Tight-fitting trousers are causing twisted testicles, bladder weakness, and urinary tract infections, according to medical experts in UK. Based on a new study by TENA Men,

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one in 10men has experienced an unpleasant side-effect as a result of wearing skinny jeans. Surveying 2000 men, they found that of those suffering from wearing the jeans, half had experienced groin discomfort and over a quarter had bladder troubles. Findings from the study also show that one in five had suffered a twisted testicle. Further, wearing tight-fitting clothing over a prolonged period of time can lead to urinary tract infections leading to over-activity of the bladder – a type of bladder weakness as well as a low fluid count and fungal infections, according to Dr. Hilary Jones, who is working with the TENA.

Research could help advertisers read your mind

Measuring brain waves could result in more effective advertising campaigns

Researchers at City College of New York have shown that measuring human brain waves could help advertisers develop more effective campaigns. The team monitored brain wave activity in volunteers while watching Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film "Bang!” to determine what types of film scenes prompted universal responses. Researchers say their data shows that the method could be far more effective than conventional market research techniques.

• July 16-22, 2012

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TCR Volume 2 Issue No 28  

July 16 - 22, 2012

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