October 11, 2004 (STAR) By Wilson Lee Flores - An election win by US President George W. Bush on Nov. 2 can be more beneficial to the Philippines for the following reasons:

Kerry vows to stop outsourcing. A Kerry presidency will threaten the booming call centers and other outsourcing opportunities in the Philippines. He has made his vocal opposition to outsourcing as one of his campaign promises. This narrow-minded protectionist policy will be a big blow to this industry, which is now creating so much new job opportunities for our youth. This outsourcing shift will make US firms more globally competitive and force the American labor force to go up the ladder in terms of higher wages and higher skills. Kerry’s anti-outsourcing policy is counter-productive, myopic, an anti-free enterprise populist ploy pandering to the US masses.

Outsourcing is not just beneficial to the Philippines and Asia; it is essentially a win-win business strategy for all. Outsourcing can be beneficial to the US economy in the long-term, forcing better efficiency and better allocation of its human resources. If US firms cut costs and increase over-all efficiency by outsourcing jobs overseas, these savings can be reinvested in research and other corporate initiatives that can benefit all.

More US aid with Republicans. If I were a US resident, I might vote for Kerry due to the Democratic Party’s track record of isolationism and focusing more on domestic concerns. However, since we live in the Philippines, we believe that the Bush and Republican bias for a robust US role in geopolitics will naturally translate into more US economic, military and other aid to perceived allies like the Philippines.

Perhaps Bush might be controversial in his almost neo-imperialist foreign policy, but let’s be practical, developing nations like the Philippines and Pakistan can benefit so much from all that. In fact, it is sad to say, but we have more confidence in those US military forces fighting those MILF rebels and Abu Sayyaf terrorists than on our own very military and police who are led by many allegedly corrupt and inept officers!

Last year, US government assistance and payments to the Philippines as a whole as well as to individual Filipinos who received benefits from the American government totaled $824,450,037. The Philippines received about two-thirds ($521,717,987 or 63.3 percent) of this amount as direct assistance in the form of grants, gifts in kind, technical assistance and benefits paid. The remaining one-third of the amount ($302,732,050 or 36.7 percent) benefited the Philippines in the form of loans, export credit guarantees and insurance.

Our unsolicited advice to President Gloria M. Arroyo: For the sake of Philippine strategic interests, please repair strained relations with Bush ahead of the Nov. 2 election. Last year, Bush designated the Philippines as a "major non-NATO ally," placing the country in the same class as Australia, Japan, Israel and Egypt. The Philippines should leverage America’s war on terror to seek help in once and for all wiping out the Abu Sayyaf terrorists and MILF insurgents from the face of the earth!

Bush has traditional moral values and Kerry is a liberal. Bush seems to share the traditional pro-family moral values of the Philippines and Asia more than the liberal Senator Kerry. Though this writer strongly advocates family planning, we share the Bush administration’s unwavering opposition to abortion. In contrast, Kerry has openly supported abortion in direct conflict with the official stand of his Roman Catholic Church for years. We believe abortion is tantamount to the murder of babies, because a child is already alive at the moment of conception and no human being has the right to kill another human life.

Based on an agency of the US federal government, the Division of Reproductive Health of the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, the number of legal abortions in America averages at almost a million babies each year from 1995 to 2000. Its data showed about 46 million women have abortions worldwide, or representing 22 percent of 210 million pregnancies that occur yearly.

Bush is right on Iraq invasion. War is usually unpopular, especially when the military conflict drags on and casualties increase daily. The unilateral US invasion of Iraq has fanned furious controversy, there were no weapons of mass destruction, but we agree with Bush and British leader Tony Blair that the world is better off today with dictator Saddam Hussein in jail. Don’t forget that this was the same Saddam Hussein who launched bloody wars against fellow Muslim nations Iran and Kuwait, the same Saddam Hussein who rewarded cash to families of suicide bombers who murdered civilians in the region’s only true democracy, Israel. Saddam Hussein had also attempted to develop nuclear weapons, which were quickly crippled by Israeli air attack.

Bush was right in kicking out the barbaric and terrorist-coddling Taliban regime in Afghanistan, whose leaders blew up the world’s biggest ancient Buddha shrine, enslaved women and had allowed their land to be a breeding ground for terrorists like Osama Bin Laden. Democracy is dawning in Afghanistan. Bush may have made errors in his handling of Iraq, but we believe he will eventually be proven right in seeking to democratize Iraq and stop the spread of extremist Islamic tyranny in the Middle East.

Bush has stronger character and leadership than Kerry. Despite his seemingly lesser intellectual and oratorical skills, Bush seems to have stronger character and more decisive leadership style than the more cerebral Kerry. Right or wrong, a leader should make tough decisions and not waffle.

On August 27, USA Today published this quote from President Bush: "They’ve seen me make decisions, they’ve seen me under trying times, they’ve seen me weep, they’ve seen me laugh, they’ve seen me hug. And they know who I am, and I believe they’re comfortable with the fact that they know I’m not going to shift principles or shift positions based upon polls and focus groups."

* * *

Thanks for all your messages on the RP movie industry column, including interviews by DZMM and DZRH radio. Comments and suggestions are welcome at wilson_lee_flores@yahoo.com or wilson_lee_flores@hotmail.com or wilson_lee_flores@newyork.com or P.O. Box 14277, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved