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May 21

The machinery broke down

You know it’s a mess when it takes time to figure out if a province voted at all (or for details on how mangled the voting process was). And where the results are so suspicious they’ve been thrown out of the quick count. Although there’s public pressure on Namfrel, too. Read RG Cruz’s report from Lanao on how Namfrel’s been fighting for election returns. Personally, I think Namfrel’s working hard to restore the luster of its reputation.

My column for today is Machinery gave up the ghost. Yesterday’s Inquirer editorial explains why regardless of the results, some candidates are victors in the public mind.

Rasheed Abou-Alsamh reports on how Filipinos in Saudi Arabia voted. Randy David points the way to really move on:

First, the administration restrains its operators from further fiddling with the May 2007 election returns. Second, the present Comelec commissioners immediately resign their posts, and, in their place, the President appoints individuals of proven integrity and capability. And lastly, Ms Arroyo affirms a previous statement she made years back in a moment of candor-that her presidency has brought so much divisiveness to the nation’s life, and pledges to completely withdraw from public life at the end of her term in 2010, or sooner.

Even Tony Lopez surprisingly (Palace booster that he is), wrote,

It is now abundantly clear the May 14 election was a referendum on the administration of President Arroyo.

This is as far as the senatorial race is concerned where the President has just been dealt a massive defeat. With 10 percent of the votes cast tabulated, there are 10 possible opposition winners (including two independents) against two for her Team Unity (Edgardo Angara and Joker Arroyo, both of whom are not genuinely proadministration).

If you count Angara and Arroyo as opposition people in administration garb, then it’s actually 12-0! No sitting president before her has suffered so sweeping an electoral debacle.

Well, no. One President has: Elpidio Quirino. Lopez also feels a cabinet reshuffle is in order.

But the real news since the weekend’s been on the economic front.

John Prestbo, editor and executive director of Dow Jones Indexes, points to markets doing well globally, following the lead of the US bourse. Records have been set globally (including our own market), but Prestbo, at least, suggests its a kind of mania and global, too:

Two thoughts come to mind. First, this rash of records makes me itchy. I really do believe there is solid economic growth worldwide, but this spring’s record romp seems to me propelled by investors wearing deep-rose glasses. Though the global stock-buying spree is far less irrational than the exuberance of the late 1990s, it’s still worrisome…

Second, geography is a less and less effective way to diversify a stock portfolio. These markets are moving in tandem — up for now, but they could fall together, too. Remember what that sudden sell-off in China triggered in late February?

Meaning, we’re caught up in a global trend. The exuberance of the stock market then, is understandable in terms of this global trend, and in terms of the country reaching the elections, which is like a runner finishing a lap of the race: it sets the stage for the country going on to the next lap, 2010. Read what the traders themselves say, and it has nothing to do with the President:

Astro del Castillo, managing director of First Grade Holdings Inc, said: “The euphoria is there because of the strong overseas markets. This inspired investors to be more aggressive today.”

So before we start attributing a flourishing stock market to the President, let’s take a look at what the rest of the world is doing. Where the President directly affects the economic news, it’s not so rosy.

Last Friday, Standard & Poor’s affirmed the country’s current ratings, with this accompanying statement:

The revenue shortfalls evident so far this year highlight this ongoing weakness, which, in the absence of further revenue generating steps, will put a question mark over the administration’s ability to create the fiscal base necessary for attaining its goals.

Maintaining the S&P rating where it is, was a disappointment that caused Philippine bonds to fall: the day before the announcement still reported that the Palace was chirpy. Today, an article in BusinessWorld, No new taxes: Officials react to Standard & Poor’s call, had officials not being chirpy, and admitting they face a problem:

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Romulo L. Neri ruled out new tax measures in the quest for an improved credit score, which would lower the country’s borrowing costs, and legislators indicated they would only back efforts to widen the revenue base and promote collection efficiency.

S&P on Friday said…”The outlook could be revised to positive if there are additional revenue measures early on in the life of the new Congress, including possibly the passage of existing fiscal initiatives that are currently on hold in the legislature.”

“Conversely, the outlook on the ratings could again come under pressure, if fiscal correction is endangered by stalling reforms, making the government’s balanced budget goals unattainable or requiring continued expenditure cuts at the expense of future growth prospects.”

Sought for comment, Mr. Neri said “We admit that there is really a problem on tax collection. To address this, what we need to do is collect what we need to collect.”

“New tax measures are impossible because we just raised taxes last year when we expanded the VAT [value-added tax],” he said in a phone interview…

…Mr. Neri’s deputy, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) director Dennis M. Arroyo, called for passage of two bills, the rationalization of fiscal incentives and the simplified net income taxation.

“It would take time to pass these bills although having majority of pro-administration [legislators] in the House [of Representatives] would give us a good headway,” Mr. Arroyo said.

University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) economist Peter Lee U, in a separate interview, said that while it would be economically better for the government to pass tax measures, these would be politically hard to push through.

“The main concern of S&P is if we can maintain the rate of collection and as S&P sees it, there is a need for new taxes because we’re not yet quite out of [the] fiscal problem. But you need to strike a balance between political and economic aspects,” Mr. U said…

…The Philippines is under pressure to root out endemic tax evasion and corruption after it missed its first-quarter deficit goal by 14%. On Friday, the government said it recorded an April surplus of P12 billion, below last year’s P17.6-billion surfeit, putting the full year goal in doubt.

The government wants to limit its budget deficit this year to P63 billion, or 0.9% of gross domestic product (GDP), versus 1% in 2006 despite higher spending allocation for the country’s decrepit infrastructure.

Analysts want Mrs. Arroyo and Congress to agree new fiscal measures to raise tax collections. Last year, the government introduced a broader and higher national sales tax but there have been no new initiatives since then…

…The government wants to balance the budget by 2008 and has pencilled in surpluses for 2009 and 2010. But Finance Secretary Margarito Teves has said the government could settle for just a balanced budget or small surpluses beyond 2008 because it wants to continue increasing its capital spending.

These plans would require sustained improvements in the revenue base, which at present was still hobbled by lingering uncertainty on collection and tax administration, S&P said.

The Philippines also showed higher vulnerability to economic shocks or negative policy changes than its peers in the BB- rating category because of its huge debt load, S&P said.

A report in The Business Mirror points to the collection problems: Low tax take from 2 areas alarms DOF, specifically,

the government’s fiscal arm has raised the alarm over the “incredibly” high contraction in the tax collections from two sectors: 84 percent off from expectations in insurance and 75 percent off the mark in franchises, or the firms that run tollways, airlines and ships.

So there you have it. If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck…

In the blogosphere, Torn & Frayed makes an interesting distinction between Gringo Honasan and Sonny Trillanes:

I would draw a distinction between Trillanes and Honasan. Honasan seems to me the classic loose canon, firing off at will and in all directions. Trillanes, on the hand, is a much more targeted character and, importantly, he hasn’t killed anyone. Whereas over 100 people died in Honasan’s 1987 amd 1989 putsches (oh, sad and pointless deaths), Oakwood was a purely symbolic event. Its main raison d’être, to expose corruption in the military, was proved to be 100% correct shortly afterwards when Major General Carlos Garcia was found to have accumulated a fortune worth over $1 million, despite having a salary of about $600 a month. The fact that Trillanes and his posse were proved to be so spectacularly right is surely an important reason for his support.

I couldn’t agree more.

See big mango for his analysis of the election results thus far. See The Bystander, too.

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  1. umberto

    if the economy is doing great, credit it to global trend.

    if the economy is going to the dogs, blame GMA.

    how convenient.

  2. toniong pagod

    as hard as it is to accurately determine the reasons behind any economic trend, especially in this age where things are more interconnected than is apparent. you can’t really make the call either way.

  3. cvj

    My guess is what is happening in China’s stock market right now is a bubble similar to the dotcom bubble ten years ago. It should be a cause for worry, not euphoria.

  4. cocoy

    is the philippine economy actually doing good? when you look at neda’s year to date it says agriculture did 4.1, industry did 4.8, services did 6.3. that’s average performance at best.

    when we look at how expenditures— we still have a deficit. anyone who’s employed or who runs a company knows, you can’t leak money or your company will die. and we’re still spending more than income. though the country is on its way to controlling it, which is good really.

    then look at our power situation. it remains one of the more expensive ones in asia. everything now runs on computers, on factories— if power is expensive and if i was an investor, why would i invest in the philippines, if you can get the same business somewhere else at lower operating cost?

    the premise that the philippine economy is rising on the progress being made worldwide isn’t far fetched. almost everyone has a relative abroad who sends money home, and the country has become a suburb of the world. people raise families in the philippines, but work elsewhere.

    in fact, i submit that a lower peso as opposed to US$ would be more beneficial to millions of OFWs, not to mention local exporters and real estate (because the filipino dream is owning your own house). ofws and their families will get more bang for their money.

    the only benefit for a stronger peso are for the imported materials— like oil. heck, even consumer electronics are far cheaper elsewhere, so consumers don’t benefit from the stronger peso.

    then there is the figure that neda always sends out. look at the unemployment figures: 7.8% and when you add in underemployment— 21.5%, doesn’t that give you pause and ask… is it rally that great?

  5. Nick

    CVJ, China is growing despite the Chinese government’s attempt to slow it down.. The fact is that China’s infrastructure cannot catch up with its growth.

    They have two main concerns in the coming ten years.

    Energy and The Environment.

  6. supremo

    There are still 2 things that this administration can do to get more money.

    1) Don’t renew land reform (CARP).
    2) Tax every square meter of land that was not covered by the land reform.

  7. The Ca t

    when we look at how expenditures— we still have a deficit. anyone who’s employed or who runs a company knows,

    Since time immemorial, the country has been on deficit because it has adopted budget deficit system.

    US has a larger budget deficit.

  8. mlq3

    re: impeachment.

    before we discuss it further, we should all remember each congress passes its own rules. the 14th congress doesn’t have to adopt the 13th congress rules, which proved favorable to the president’s side. a valid point made by the admin people at the time, was that the rules were passed with the full agreement of the opposition.

    this time around, the first test for any oppositionists who even want to attempt impeachment, is to pass rules more in conformity with, say, the procedure followed during the quirino and macapagal and even estrada impeachment efforts, and not the 2005 and 2006 impeachments. if the same rules as 05 and 06 are passed, there’s no point even trying.

  9. umberto

    mlq3:

    hanggang ngayon ba impeachment pa rin ang issue? it seems like we’re time-warped, stuck in the past.

    the opposition congressmen tried it twice, they failed. goodness, let’s move on!

  10. mlq3

    umberto, welll this is what happens when a large portion of the public doesn’t get satisfaction. do not pass go. do not collect $200. whether you like it or not, that issue won’t go away by itself. it could happen, see randy david’s column i quoted above. but what are the chances the president or her people would do that?

  11. Amadeo

    It is an accepted truism even in the most highly industrialized nations that when the economy is rosy, credit can be claimed by the sitting administration. But when it sucks, blame is rightfully assigned to the same party by the people.

    But in reality, the less government intervention in economic activities the better for the overall economy. In the US, business would much prefer to have a government in gridlock, and thus unable to tamper with the essentially unhampered conduct of its activities.

    Admitting though that in smaller countries with still nascent economic institutions, government action could significantly affect or influence the overall economy.

  12. supremo

    Impeach the commissioners of the COMELEC first followed by the Ombudsman then the President.

    BTW, ‘Let’s move on!’ only for cowards.

  13. The Ca t

    China’s stock market jitters could be attributed to China’s exports issues. The death of thousands of people due to intentional mislabeling for a toxic product that was imported from China; the Dried apples preserved with a cancer-causing chemical,frozen catfish laden with banned antibiotics,scallops and sardines coated with putrefying bacteria and mushrooms laced with illegal pesticides that find its way in the US groceries and the highly publicized contamination of U.S. chicken, pork and fish with tainted Chinese pet food ingredientsand the contaminated pet foods make US take a second look on the trade issues. In the meantime, the activists see to it that these incidences are published for the public to know.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/19/AR2007051901273.html?referrer=email

  14. toniong pagod

    Amadeo:

    less government intervention, as in the case of the US economy, is supported by legislation and the necessary infrastructure in the executive branch of the government that promotes competition and discourages (and punishes) monopolies.

    something which (especially in the energy and telecommunications sector) is definitely not the case.

  15. Nick

    Supremo, exactly the point of many individuals..

    “let’s move on”??

    It means that wrongs are not made right, and that we push ahead in an environment of lies.

    How are we to look forward, when the current situation is holding us back? Whether you like it or not, if we cannot prosecute the wrongs of our leaders, this issue will keep resurfacing, whether it is Gloria or other politicians who think they are above the law…

    To move forward means to change the culture of corruption..

  16. UPn student

    q3: Can you name 2 or 3 “rules for the new congress” that will be better for impeachment?

    Then my sentence can change from “…GMA can’t be impeached because…” to “..GMA can be impeached when…”

    Thanks!

  17. UPn student

    Nick and Supremo:

    My understanding of the words “… let’s move on” is for the population to delegate to a chosen few the task of pursuing the impeachment. [The most logical will include the senators and congressmen; editors and columnists from TV and newspaper; ten or fifteen NGO’s… if I were to guess on a number of people using 30% or more of their time on impeachment, I’ll say about 2,000 and definitely less than five thousand.]

    A much larger number (larger than the ones focusing on impeachment) should focus on strengthening the institutions of government. If you say that about a million Filipinos should spend at least 25% of their time on this task, I’ll say “too many”, but definitely more than 5,000.

    The majority are then to focus on the mundane tasks of earning a living, going to school, getting training and an education, growing their businesses…..

    The majority are then progressing — moving forward, moving on.

    Tomorrow does not wait.

  18. camry

    If the coming congress will dwell on impeachment, the country will remain as a “car that got stuck in the mud”.

    I foresee that amending the constitution might overshadow the impeachment issue coz those in position are looking for the perpetuation of their terms as elected officials.

  19. Nick

    Upn Student, I understand your point. Thanks for the clarification on that.

    I definitely wouldn’t want the entire nation to stop for the sake of the work that our politicians should be handling.

  20. mlq3

    uPn:

    Please refer to

    http://opinion.inquirer.net/inquireropinion/columns/view_article.php?article_id=15653

    Where I discussed the old system versus the kind adopted in 2004.

    The other method is something related to your other comment:P a special prosecutor with subpoena powers, to put together an investigation and a case then submitted and argued before the House. Sen. Pangilinan at one point wanted to file a bill setting up such a system on the American model.

  21. supremo

    “If the coming congress will dwell on impeachment, the country will remain as a “car that got stuck in the mud”.

    What do you usually do when the car is stuck in the mud?

    1) Other Filipinos leave the car and hitch a ride probably hoping that they can get a tow truck to take the truck out of the mud. OFWs are like this bunch.
    2) Other Filipinos just stay put hoping for the mud to dry. This is the move on and forget everything bunch.
    3) Other Filipinos will push the car out of the mud after telling the driver to get out of the car because he/she is pabigat.

  22. devilsadvc8

    “if the economy is doing great, credit it to global trend. if the economy is going to the dogs, blame GMA. how convenient.”

    – if u’ve alrdy forgotten, that didn’t happen in FVR’s time. when the economy was robust, no one said it wasn’t bec of FVR. point is, credit will be given if it is due and deserving. and any blame untrue, will always be proven for the lie that it is. truth will always unmask lies. the fact that admin apologists squirm everytime they talk should clue you in to this fact…

  23. manuelbuencamino

    “credit will be given if it is due and deserving. and any blame untrue, will always be proven for the lie that it is. truth will always unmask lies. the fact that admin apologists squirm everytime they talk should clue you in to this fact…”

    good one devilsadvc8 ! And “squirm” is an apt description.

  24. baycas

    a “car that got stuck in the mud,”

    following supremo’s cue…

    I would like to propose what I think is the preferred bunch…
    4) The bunch that will ask the driver to get out of the car, replace her with a competent one, and then will ask her to dig mud away in front of the trapped wheel and compel her to lie down under it (to serve as traction) before pushing the car to safe ground. (Please remember that she was the one responsible for the car to be stuck in the mud in the first place! She deserves the most important role in bringing the car back to safety.)

  25. ay_naku

    Again, contrast the country’s supposedly flourishing economy with hunger in the country remaining at all-time highs (19%) — see sws.org.ph for details. From the SWS media report: “The record-high incidence of household hunger of 19.0% was first set in November 2006. Hunger has been at double-digits since June 2004.”

    The rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, to the point of going consistently hungry? Really, is that the flourishing economy that some are harping about, just because they belong to the “rich getting richer” part of the population? Ay naku.

  26. vic

    So often we may have the misconception of what we termed as the “culture of Corruption” as if Corruption is some kind of culture. In statutory laws of most countries, corruptions is a crime, and we so always mistakenly call it a culture because it is tolerated to happen or becoming a way of life in countries where institutions are weak and Judicial System is dysfunctional.

    In the Philippines it is never a Pilipino culture, otherwise we would have been bringing them everywhere we move as culture is part of our being Pilipino. Ask ourselves, why it is prevalent in Philippines society and almost absent in Pilipino communities somewhere else? Maybe the answers, could offer solutions to resolving the issue…

  27. UPn student

    mlq3: thanks! The first time I read that August-2006 article that you pointed me to, it was primarily a quaint history lesson to me (about two gentlemen-bodies — the Executive and Legislative of Quirino era — agreeing to cooperate to move an investigation forward). The second reading, especially with your comment that Pangilinan wanted a law to authorize a Special Prosecutor for the Philippines becomes reminder of a critical weakness in the Philippine judicial system.

    I am sure that there are lawyers and judges in the Philippines willing to risk their lives to get to the bottom of “Garci”, Oakwood plus the missing UP Students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño, but foolish for them to volunteer for the job because without the law that Pangilinan had sought to emulate from US jurisprudence, then whenever he Executive Branch or the Legislative Branch refuses to cooperate, there is no investigative body in the Philippines with enough powers to (a) compel witnesses to testify; (b) compel witnesses to tell the truth.
    .
    I guess this means that the Ombudsman does not have authority to investigate “Garci” nor Oakwood.

  28. supremo

    baycas,

    Nice! Very detailed. No room for misinterpretation.

  29. cvj

    “China is growing despite the Chinese government’s attempt to slow it down. The fact is that China’s infrastructure cannot catch up with its growth.” – Nick May 21st, 2007 at 9:14 pm

    What i don’t understand yet is the relationship between the Chinese stock market and the real economy. I know that one may tend to reinforce the other, but in China the growth of their stock market seems out of proportion even to the growth of their real economy. I suppose the problem of the Chinese leadership right now is how to deflate the Chinese stock market bubble without wiping out the savings of the millions of ordinary citizens who have chosen to take their money out of the bank and put into the stock market.

    “I definitely wouldn’t want the entire nation to stop for the sake of the work that our politicians should be handling.” – Nick May 22nd, 2007 at 1:29 am

    Nick, i don’t think disciplining our politicians can be left just to the politicians. Related to my discussion with devilsadvc8 in the previous thread, i think what is lacking is not only good people running for office, but more importantly, a public sphere that constantly monitors the work of the politicians. Sure, it can take some of our time at the outset, but as in all work, this is something we could get more efficient at with time.

    “…let’s move on” is for the population to delegate to a chosen few the task of pursuing the impeachment. [The most logical will include the senators and congressmen; editors and columnists from TV and newspaper; ten or fifteen NGO’s…”- UPn Student May 22nd, 2007 at 12:52 am

    That’s what you call free-riding. It also leads to the ‘bystander effect’, where you see a crime committed in a public place and no one reacts (just like what happened to JayJay Burgos). Getting Gloria (and whoever next tries to imitate her) out is the one of the best gifts our generation can give to the next one so why delegate to a few people? It’s time we get rid of such dichotomy.

    “A much larger number (larger than the ones focusing on impeachment) should focus on strengthening the institutions of government. If you say that about a million Filipinos should spend at least 25% of their time on this task, I’ll say “too many”, but definitely more than 5,000.” -UPn Student May 22nd, 2007 at 12:52 am

    I don’t know where you get your numbers, but strengthening our institutions (which includes focusing on impeachment) is the task of our every individual.

  30. watchful eye

    There’s a serious discrepancy between Namfrel’s tally and the Comelec’s especially at the tail end of the magic 12 and it seems no plausible explanation is being offered by either, and not much of a hell raised by anyone. Aren’t Namfrel and Comelec supposed to be looking at the same data?

    Have I missed something?

  31. jude

    Despite the hyperbole and the attempts to minimize obvious economic achievements over the past couple of years, the fact remain that no knockouts were scored during the past election and that the administration still retains its base. A 6-4-2 senatorial slate can hardly be called an overwhelming mandate or rejection, from whatever point of view one looks at it.

    Secondly, other Asian countries quickly recovered from the financial crisis of 1997. The Philippines and Indonesia lagged behind because of poor leadership and political instability. When those countries had a change of leadership, only then did they start to make some headway. The economic upswing was felt in other Asian countries during Erap’s time, but the Philippines did not catch on. So this global or regional phenomenon mumbo jumbo is obviously just a ruse. Despite all the spin Mr. Quezon and his armchair tacticians try to put on it, it is an undeniable fact that the present leadership played a large role in the economic improvement of the country. Even if they get blue in the face denying the present administration’s achievements, the facts are too obvious.

    If Mr. Quezon and his Monday morning quarterbacks continue to look toward the avenue of impeachment as a solution, they will only continue to be frustrated. No less than Digs Dilangalen, Erap’s attorney, sees the futility and self-destruction it involves. But then, Mr. Dilangalen is made of sterner stuff than these incompetent dilettantes who have no real achievements to show for themselves.

  32. mlq3

    watchful, namfrel refuses to accept and count the maguindanao results.

  33. Jon Mariano

    Namfrel and Comelec are looking at the same data but not the same ERs at the same time. They’re reporting on different cities/towns/provinces. And as MLQ has mentioned, Namfrel hasn’t received the their copy of ERs from Maguindanao (or have they already?).

  34. Jeg

    Last I heard they received their copy of the ERs after demanding them but the entries seemed to be written by one person and the thumbprints were from really tiny people with really tiny hands.

  35. Shaman of Malilipot

    “What i don’t understand yet is the relationship between the Chinese stock market and the real economy.” – cvj

    You may want to look at the “hot money” pouring into the Chinese stock market from the outside. The Internet is teeming with “financial advisories” touting Chinese stocks.

  36. watchful eye

    Neither Namfrel nor Comelec is supposed to be partisan. But one tally is showing 8-2-2 and the other 6-4-2. The ranking of Ralph Recto is obviously weird. Can we say that one or the other is “trending” and therefore playing with fire?

  37. toniong pagod

    watchful:

    i think namfrel excludes some returns they can’t read, which is the case with some of the returns in mindanao. blame it on expired carbon paper i guess.

    vic:

    nice comment. i’ve seen many filipino communities abroad that are law abiding and don’t brook corruption. unfortunately alot of these communities also have the penchant to look down on they’re “corrupt countrymen” back here.

  38. watchful eye

    . . . it is an undeniable fact that the present leadership played a large role in the economic improvement of the country.

    Whose economic improvement? What’s the unequal distribution of income when GMA first assumed power, for instance? What is that distribution now? And economic improvement compared to whose admin in the Phil or which country’s economy? To Erap’s short reign? To Malaysia’s economy? Indonesia’s or Vietnam’s?

  39. cvj

    Jude’s post reminds me of the Rowan Atkinson character in the movie Johnny English.

  40. cvj

    Thanks Shaman, what gets me worried is that my colleague from HK early this year was telling me about those Chinese stocks. When even the man on the street becomes an expert stock trader, it’s usually a sign that the market is at (or is near) its peak. The one who wins is the one who is able to get out with all that cash just before the market heads south. Of course i don’t have the spare cash to dabble in the stock or any other market so that’s never been my problem.

  41. devilsadvc8

    “Despite all the spin Mr. Quezon and his armchair tacticians try to put on it, it is an undeniable fact that the present leadership played a large role in the economic improvement of the country.”

    Jude, here:
    http://forums.mukamo.com/index.php?s=&showtopic=23640&view=findpost&p=1202069

    I posted that verbatim in the earlier thread “Cost of Political..”

    Summarized, it is this: The economy is doing better INSPITE and DESPITE of GMA and whatever she “claims” she did. Secondly, if we would take ur statement as true that
    “other Asian countries quickly recovered from the financial crisis of 1997. The Philippines and Indonesia lagged behind because of poor leadership and political instability. When those countries had a change of leadership, only then did they start to make some headway. The economic upswing was felt in other Asian countries during Erap’s time, but the Philippines did not catch on,”
    then it would be much truer in today’s times than before. Look, the credit measures this admin touts endlessly as the cause of the stock market surging isn’t the real cause of it. We all know deep down what is. REMITTANCES. The influx of this MONEY is the single biggest factor driving economic growth. Real estate (housing, construction)dollar reserves (to blunt inflation), CONSUMPTION, all the things the GMA gov’t claims, isn’t theirs to claim. Yes, credit outlook did somehow improved, but what did that all do? lower interest rates, that is all. For what? Lesser borrowing rates or lesser loan payments for our debts?

    The fact of the matter is, if a better president was in Malacanang, our economy wouldn’t just “grow,” it would take off like a rocket considering this SPRINGBOARD (remittances) we’re jumping from. GMA is the one holding the economy back, not the other way around.

    If there is one thing I agree with what u said, it is this, “When those countries had a change of leadership, only then did they start to make some headway.”

    There, we both have a starting point for moving on.

  42. Equilibrium

    Manolo,

    The way you wrote things is a bit unfair (or biased), it seems that if a writer seems to favor the admin side you degrade the poor writer to the point that it would make him look stupid, isn’t there a better way for us to look on both sides or at the very least appear as someone who is fair and just? Can we give credit whenever credit is due (even if it’s for GMA which clearly you hate so much with passion I must say) we choose what we want to see and believe and clearly you made your choice

  43. ay_naku

    watchful eye said: Whose economic improvement? What’s the unequal distribution of income when GMA first assumed power, for instance? What is that distribution now?

    Totally agree. Again, it’s worth repeating, from SWS data:

    The percentage of families experiencing involuntary hunger at least once in the past three months stayed at the record-high 19.0%, or an estimated 3.4 million households, in the First Quarter 2007 Social Weather Survey, conducted over February 24-27.

    The record-high incidence of household hunger of 19.0% was first set in November 2006. Hunger has been at double-digits since June 2004.

    Let’s not lose sight of the fact that 1/5 of the population are going consistently hungry. Those are our countrymen, those are human beings, let’s not keep ignoring them. Again, economic improvement for whom?

  44. Bencard

    “if a “better president” was in Malacanang, our economy would’nt just ‘grow’, it would take off like a rocket…” – devilsadvc8

    This is one of the most childish and simplistic statement I have read anywhere in this blog. No man, dead or alive, in the Philippines could make the economy take off like an antiquated DC3 after Erap had left it in shambles. No one could have withstood the unrelenting onslaught of the forces of hate, putting every obstacle on the path of progress, as if the fury of nature and the devastation it causes were not enough.

    The country is still poor and many are still in dire poverty. It is a miracle that the country is surviving in spite of itself. When over half of the entire population is pre-occupied with nothing but the ouster of the sitting president by any means, fair or foul, or by a consuming passion to sabotage her best effort for the country, how can the economy move, let alone take off?

    The ofw remittances are a big help, no doubt about that. But they are a drop in the bucket in relation to the gargantuan economic problems of the country that accumulated over the years. It takes intelligent management and exceptionally imaginative but effective economic programs just to survive and avoid becoming another Ethiopia.

    We should never sweep our problems under the rug but I think, if we care for what is good for us, its about time we should focus our attention to what we, individually, could do rather than what our government should do. Self-reliance … the timeless virtue we should live by.

  45. lee

    Kung mandaraya naman ang TU, hwag naman masyado halata. Wala naman maniniwala na mag-to-top si Chavit sa Maguindanao. Eh sarili nga niyang lugar kulelat siya eh.

    Ano naman klaseng reasoning yung pabayaan ng mandaya at mangurakot yan eh maganda naman economy. Parang panahon ni Marcos yan ah. In the first place, maganda ba talaga economy? Sige pagdudukutin na ang mga pesteng aktibista na yan, tutal maganda naman ang economy. Ganun ba? Marami pang job opportunity…sa Korea…and call center..Hek…hek

  46. devilsadvc8

    “This is one of the most childish and simplistic statement I have read anywhere in this blog. No man, dead or alive, in the Philippines could make the economy take off like an antiquated DC3 after Erap had left it in shambles.”

    Bencard, childish, it is not. Though simple, it may be. A man, and yes, he’s living, was able to make the economy take off, even after the Marcos and Cory admins left it in much worser shambles than Erap did. I leave it to you to discover who this childish and simple ME is talking abt.

    “No one could have withstood the unrelenting onslaught of the forces of hate, putting every obstacle on the path of progress, as if the fury of nature and the devastation it causes were not enough.”

    Nice poetry, but aside from that, does it contain anything else? Allow me to dissect it point by point.

    No one could’ve withstood the unrelenting onslaught… (then why is GMA still in power?)
    of the forces of hate (and why wouldn’t ppl hate her and her gang?)
    putting every obstacle in the path of progress (the path GMA is treading and trying to make is not progress)
    as if the fury of nature and the devastation it causes were not enough (this line, u shud speak to GMA. As she is worser than any natural calamity ever to visit us)

    Let me repeat it. GMA and her gang is blunting the better effects of the benefits brought about by the GARGANTUAN remittances. As if that isn’t enough, they’re claiming all of it is bcoz of them.

    You will realize this, when this PROP suddenly disappears beneath us. Imagine a Philippines where every OFW family has left, and no one is returning, and no one is sending back anything since every OFW family has migrated… There you will see all the unjust structures collapsing beneath the weight it perpetuates…
    You know why? There won’t be ENOUGH money to go around.
    And our PESO will be just as worthless as used toilet papers…

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