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Apr 16

After the election, the deluge

I wonder, with there being an improvement in the condition of the President’s husband, are the gloves already off? Seems that way from Patricia Evangelista‘s Sunday column.

Weekend news was dominated by the Pacquiao win (complete with his being introduced by the emcee as a congressional candidate, and cheers for his candidacy); and general jubilation was the order of the day, though perhaps not the mania that accompanied previous bouts, perhaps because, as Chino Trinidad said in his blog, the whole fight was a mismatch.; his trainers said he took his sweet time in administering the coup de grace.

Anyway, I found the live report of the fight nifty; as was Joey Alarilla’s blogging about it.
Two MNLF camps are overrun, the Organization of Islamic Conference pleads for peace; an American Peace Corps worker is missing; and the President is poised to appoint yet another Supreme Court Justice. The Philippines makes a cameo appearance in a Slate article on trafficking in human organs.
My column for today is After the election, the deluge, which takes a look at the administration’s infrastructure plans, including 21 flagship projects. Even as economists sound a cautionary note on government growth projections in general, some existing projects, such as the Clark-Subic expressway, are delayed. The reasons for the expressway’s delay are particularly instructive. It’s a cause for local officials expressing moderate anxiety. And that’s because a lot is at stake, and will be at stake for people whose hopes will be raised by the announcement of such projects. As will the need to pump-prime the economy by spending more on infrastructure.

My argument is that these flagship projects haven’t really been affected -and can’t be affected- by partisan politics; that their delays, to date, are signs of problems that won’t go away and which can’t be blamed on anyone else by the administration; and that the administration, already boasting of a solid victory in local races plus the House, is inviting even more pressure to deliver over the next three years. But if you read the opinions of economists, etc., the question is: can the spending be achieved, without going back to the heavy deficits of the past, and can the political will be mustered, to accomplish the necessary infrastructure projects to achieve the government’s political aims for 2010?

Dan Mariano suggests that OFWS are the administration’s lifesaver. The Peso is at a six year high vis-a-vis the US dollar. Good or bad, I wonder, politically, in terms of the OFWs?

Jarius Bondoc has a bone to pick with all voters. Bong Austero has some things to say on media projection.

In the blogosphere, my entry yesterday in Inquirer Current continues an ongoing debate with John Nery. Placeholder reflects on authoritarianism and what, if anything, it has to offer. Armchair Generalist on the US Army recruiting among video gamers.

Day One and Day Two of iBlog 3, courtesy of Janette Toral. More from The Jester-in-Exile.

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  1. UPn student

    The Dan Mariano article provides additional whys/wherefor’s about cutting-back on payments to overseas creditors (in order to provide more funds for citizenry education and health care):

    “…Even the assassination of former Sen. Benigno Aquino did not immediately lead to Marcos’s downfall. What did, according to Gatmaitan, was the Philippine government’s decision in 1985 to declare a moratorium on its debt payments, which caused the value of the peso against the US dollar to plummet. The moratorium succeeded in making the economy grind to a halt.

    Gatmaitan did not go into the details of Estrada’s downfall, but the EDSA 2 uprising that removed Erap from Malaca­ñang was also preceded by a precipitous depreciation of the peso and a spate of financial scandals, including the biggest scam the local stock market has ever seen involving the now infamous BW stocks.”

  2. UPn student

    In his Inquirer article, Q3 asks :
    “By what means are the governed to be controlled?”
    A reasonable answer is by appealing to the self-interests of the governed. This, of course, leads to the allocation of infrastructure projects in region-ABC versus XYZ being dictated by the respective regions’ ability to contribute to the general economy as well as the regions’ importance in upcoming elections. Nonetheless, appealing to the self-interests of the governed is much better than governing by intimidation.

    A follow-up question is “By what means are the governors to be controlled?” Among the answers being promulgated by the United Nations is professionalization of the civil service plus “compartmentalization of public moneys”. The latter is about keeping public money out of reach of the whims and “special needs” of Malacanang and Congress. Everyone agrees that SSS- and GSIS- (and Overseas Workers WelfareAdmin funds) should be out of reach for campaign-needs of both Malacanang or any of the Congress residents. “Compartmentalization of public money” also means keeping such funds out of reach of the clamor of the mob. Many should remind themselves that during the early stages of the Lebanon crisis, at least one in 4 bloggers (and probably 1 in 3 “regular” Filipinos) were asking for the use of the OWWA-funds to fund the evacuation of Filipinos out of Lebanon.

  3. The Ca t

    Good or bad, I wonder, politically, in terms of the OFWs?

    I still have to hear an OFW whining because of stronger peso.

    Let’s see, an OFW sending 500 dollars a month would have 25,000 at an exchange rate of 50. With the current exchange rate of 48., that is one thousand pesos less. So he compensates by sending 20 dollars more which is not much.
    That is equivalent to my hair cut here excluding tips. Hardly enough to binge in an eat-all- you can buffet in a seafood resto with 28 dollars per person for dinner.

    Besides when peso depreciates, the prices of commodities also increase.

  4. JotaDe

    “Besides when peso depreciates, the prices of commodities also increase.”

    but when the peso appreciates hindi naman bumababa ang presyo ng bilihin…so parang wala ding epekto…no improvement…cosmetic lang yata parang pabango lang…

  5. Janette Toral

    Thank you MLQ for taking time to share your knowledge at the iBlog3 event. You raised a lot of interesting points that awakened a lot of the bloggers in expressing their thoughts and opinion on what is happening in the country today.

  6. The Ca t

    but when the peso appreciates hindi naman bumababa ang presyo ng bilihin…so parang wala ding epekto…no improvement…cosmetic lang yata parang pabango lang

    Your thought reveals your cluelessness as to the effect of appreciation and depreciation of currency. I forgive you.

  7. UPn student

    SDE-TOPIC : Virginia Tech

  8. UPn student

    Side-topic : Have received a text message which read:
    “Gunman on campus. I’m in my dorm right now. It’s on news.”

  9. The Ca t

    I blogged that already. 32 were killed by a lone gunman.
    Initial reports said that it was an Asian. He was among killed.

  10. The Ca t

    Sad, isn’t it? The shooting started at 7:15 am in a coed dorm.While the victims were being brought to the hospitals and investigations conducted, there was no warning to the whole campus of a gunman on the loose. At 9:45, another shooting occurred,this time in a classroom,killing a professor. The rampage continued up to past 10:00 morning here in the East Coast.

  11. indiro ni emilie

    “but when the peso appreciates hindi naman bumababa ang presyo ng bilihin…so parang wala ding epekto…no improvement…cosmetic lang yata parang pabango lang…”

    that is why economics is a dismal science. i don’t forgive you for understanding the reality.

  12. Bencard

    “Journalist” Patricia Evangelista asserts she is not one of those who wish the worst for FG Arroyo. This after she harps the same diatribes her colleagues in the media regularly heap upon the first family, especially on the presidential husband. If Evangelista did not say anything about her being not one of those who wished him ill, I would have believed it, or would have not cared one way or the other. But there’s just no way she could have fooled me.

    She calls the FG “arrogant”. Is it arrogance to seek redress in court for what he thinks are malicious acts of defamation perpetrated against him? Her report that FG challenged a “prosecutor” to a fistfight is news to me. I wonder who this prosecutor was.

    I’m dissapointed with this Evangelista. She is fast becoming another dubious spin doctor for the anti-GMA club. It must be the company she keeps.

  13. inidoro ni emilie

    spin doctor? on the contrary, i think she represents well the sentiments of the thinking youth. it must be the company that gma keeps.

    patricia has already claimed that she is an opinion writer (good move, after her snafu on newsreporting about non-existent math contest in australia sometime back). if she thinks fg is arrogant, she is entitled to express that.

  14. ricelander

    It is said that life-threatening illnesses transforms a man if not into ashes into a better man. I am holding my breath…

    Else, I would be one of those singing ‘sana maulit muli’.

  15. hvrds

    It is sad some people still do not know how to think in critical terms in the English language. Opinion piece writer Ms. Evangelista is not a journalist. She seems to be a highly evolved soul in a young womans body. Her writings speak of her as a very mature person.

    She very nicely piece by piece ripped apart the facade of private citizen Mike Arroyo and using testimony about him from some of the closest people to GMA reveals the husband of GMA to be the premier political operative, hatchet person and de-facto chief of staff of GMA. He is her go to Czar. Her wing man so to speak in ruling this country. So much for his claim of being a private citizen.

    May Mike Arroyo live to be a hundred and fifty. May he be reborn again and again for all eternity.

  16. Acero

    Bencard,

    I think Patricia only mixed up her modifiers when she said “prosecution lawyers”. It was in fact a defense lawyer (Paul Arias) of Malaya publisher Amado Macasaet whom FG challenged to a fistfight. I can forgive Patricia for that snafu, but the point is, isn’t it really arrogance on FG’s part to challenge a lawyer (prosecution or otherwise) to a fistfight while in the process of cross examining him re the case? In fact he later apologize to the lawyer.

    He was lucky he got away with nary a reprimand from the judge for his rude behavior.

  17. Bencard

    iniduro, the thinking youth? Yeah, right, like the insolent graduate who took advantage of the graduation ceremony to publicly heckle and curse the President, evidently taking a cue from the leftist hate-mongers at UP. But of course, we have other kinds of “thinking youth”, the real hope of our motherland.

    ricelander, and who will judge that one is transformed into a “better man”, you? I’ll bet you’ll be singing your song, no matter what.

    hvrds, since you would’nt give PGMA the credit for the right direction the country is going, would you then give it to FGA, whom you and Patricia claim to be the “Czar”, the “wingman”, the real power behind PGMA?

    acero, as a trial lawyer myself, I could appreciate how a witness sometimes react to a cross-examination he perceives to be abusive. The lawyer ordinarily ignores it because, if the judge has allowed the “abusive” questioning to continue, he (the lawyer) is doing his job. A counter-reaction would be unprofessional.

    My point is, if FGA is the bad guy he is portrayed to be by his enemies, he would not have challenged an attacker to a fistfight, fair and square. He could just as easily ordered somebody – if he really has the power to do so – to fight his fight (as even a run-of-the mill local politician would do at best, or hire a gunman at worst).

  18. inidoro ni emilie

    ricelander,

    sing the song with the complete orchestra.

    bencard,

    hire a gunman? how stereotypical can you get. arrogance is arrogance–it doesn’t have to be criminal.

  19. Bencard

    hrvds, I don’t exactly know what you mean by “think in critical terms in the English language”. I hope you don’t mean the ability to produce miles of mostly irrelevant, boring and obscure dissertations in this blog, sprinkled through and through with cut and pasted excerpts from the works of renowned authors.

    By the way, it was Evangelista herself who called herself a “journalist”, not “opinion piece writer” as you tried to point out. Read again the penultimate sentence of her article.

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