Noynoy Aquino cannot take all the credit for the Philippines’ economic gains

Can the Philippines Afford a Single Aquino Term in Office? This was the question posted by The World Post blogger, Daniel Wagner recently and a question a lot of Aquino supporters have been passing around lately. Not only is the question idiotic, it is also pointless. It is idiotic because it assumes that President Benigno Simeon (BS) Aquino is the only person out of 100 million people who has the capability to keep the country moving forward. It is pointless because the Philippine Constitution prohibits the incumbent President from seeking another term. Filipinos will have to spend billions of pesos to remove the term limit just to allow a mediocre President to run again. The thought of it is enough to make a lot of people shudder in disgust.

President BS Aquino created his own crisis to justify the DAP.
President BS Aquino created his own crisis to justify the DAP.
Most rational people know the answer to the question is a definite YES, the Philippines can afford a single Aquino term. In fact, considering the first Aquino Presidency also performed below average and even suffered a tumultuous term, Filipinos didn’t really need another Aquino as their President. There were better, more qualified and more statesman-like candidates who were vying for the Presidency during the 2010 Presidential Election. Unfortunately, they didn’t have a popular mother who passed away before the election so they didn’t get the majority of the sympathy votes.

One can’t help but wonder what Wagner’s agenda is about. He had no basis for promoting a second term for BS Aquino in his article. He simply cited the country’s notable GDP growth, which should not be credited solely to the current government. As Asia Editor of the Financial Times David Pilling mentioned in his previous article, improvement in economic fundamentals already started during former President Gloria Arroyo’s term and that some of the macro-economic improvements have been the fruit of policy changes outside BS Aquino’s administration, particularly at the central bank:

Much of what the government of President BS Aquino had achieved over the last four years is primarily attributable to Arroyo’s legacy…
In truth, some of the macro-economic improvements have been the fruit of policy changes outside his administration, particularly at the central bank. Although his predecessor, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, was deeply unpopular and accused of overseeing a corrupt administration, much of the improvement in economic fundamentals can be dated to her government.

Of course we can’t expect members of the media allied with BS Aquino to highlight that important information. They want to give all the credit to their patron saint and keep painting the previous administrator as “evil” – someone who did nothing good for the country.

As mentioned before, BS Aquino’s economic policy of government spending to stimulate growth is simply a continuation of the previous administration’s policy initiated in 2008 to “counteract” the effects of the Global Financial Crisis that ravaged global markets. BS Aquino however, had to use spending to stimulate the economy after he created his own crisis when he deliberately put on hold infrastructure projects the previous administration had initiated. The effect of his decision to stop the projects slowed the economy in 2011. That gave birth to the President’s unconstitutional Disbursement Acceleration Program or DAP. PhilSTAR columnist Alex Magno summarized the gravity of what BS Aquino did in his previous article:

In order to pool mammoth amounts of “savings,” the Aquino administration cancelled infra projects wholesale. The Belgian-assisted dredging of Laguna de Bay, the French-assisted construction of modern ro-ro ports, the Chinese-assisted Northrail project, the rehabilitation of our airports, the Japanese assisted flood control and many others were arbitrarily junked. The massacre of major infra projects in 2010 and 2011 resulted in a sharp drop in our GDP growth rate in 2011.

All these were major infra projects. They might have broadened the asset base of our economy to underpin future growth. Their multiplier effects are massive.

The DAP mechanism converted economic investments into politically configured consumption. The money taken from infra projects was converted into pork barrel slush funds designed to strengthen the grip of the Liberal Party over our politics.

The profoundness of the crime committed cannot be overstated. It has substantially diminished the opportunities for sustainable growth of the next generation of Filipinos.

Sadly, only a handful of BS Aquino’s critics in the media highlight the gross incompetence in his neglecting the economic impact of putting projects on hold during his honeymoon period. In short, prior to his justification that the DAP “helped stimulate the economy” three years after putting government projects on hold, he was actually against spending or at least spending on projects initiated by GMA. Some consider his move vindictive. It is unfortunate that only a handful of people understand what really happened and how the DAP came about.

BS Aquino simply can’t take the credit for the country’s stable economy because it is being propped up by Filipino Overseas Foreign Workers (OFW). And the policy of sending workers abroad has been in place since the early 1970s, during the Marcos years. To quote David Pilling of the Financial Times again on the country’s economic growth:

Nor is growth being driven purely by policy. Very healthy levels of remittances from abroad and strong domestic demand mean the economy is shielded more than most from external shocks. The country, where half the population is 24 or under, is entering the sort of “demographic sweet spot” that saw other Asian nations prosper.

BS Aquino and his minions have a penchant for emphasizing only the good news from foreign media. When foreign media writes something good about BS Aquino, his minions are quick to quote the article. When it’s bad, they’ll say it is baseless. An example of this was when Malacanang Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr called a New York Times article “inappropriate”. This was after they published a scathing editorial and advised BS Aquino to uphold the Constitution, stop butting heads with the Supreme Court and gracefully step down when his term is up.

Hopefully, when BS Aquino steps down from office, he will bring patronage politics with him. It was during his term when the size of pork barrel funds and lump sum funds ballooned. Now that they have been declared unconstitutional, members of Congress will be forced to do some real work for a change.

Filipinos should consider it a good thing that they are not beholden to the possible Presidential candidates for 2016 Election. Since it won’t be another Aquino, they will not treat him like a saint and they won’t hesitate to impeach him.


Post Author: Ilda

In life, things are not always what they seem.

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27 Comments on "Noynoy Aquino cannot take all the credit for the Philippines’ economic gains"

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That Wagner article isn’t much of an article as it left only the GDP to within the BS’ term to speak for itself, while failing to analyze the real situation in a more in depth analysis. He added some incomplete bits and pieces about how BS stands against corruption but also failed to site that he is part and parcel of one of the Philippines history’s greatest graft case. He also failed to say that poverty and unemployment is on the rise and that the Philippine economy is just mainly relying on export labor. In simple words, it is just… Read more »

Noynoy spent his whole life on cruise control. Never had to steer through crisis. Never had to worry about raising a family. He is your fair weathered friend. There for the good times but gone in the bad. Always there to take credit but will never accept blame. Always me, me, me, mine, mine, now. Do we expect a self entitled brat to act any differently??

When a government is headed by the least qualified person that is called kakistocracy. PNoy is one not a good president at all. A good president takes full accountability, has vision, track record of success, a true statesman, honest and effective communicator. He does not pass the blame to others but solve the problem and never grabs credit for the success of any given plan. PNoy is an awful president. Wagner says PNoy must seek one more term because our GDP is high. That is all crap. PNoy should have not became president in the first place more so to… Read more »
There are better barometers to measuring the economic health of a country than GDP figures alone. The problem with GDP is that it does not measure income inequality, income distribution, economic sustainability, poverty incidence, education, health, employment and standard of living. What benefit does GDP growth provide if most of that economic growth is enjoyed by the richest 10% of the population, and if most of that growth is centered on unsustainable ventures like real estate and consumerism funded by OFW remittances? The country barely makes anything, barely exploits its natural resources and has weak manufacturing, on top of a… Read more »
Thomas Jefferson
The dictator BS Aquino III has a laid back personality. The last SONA of BSA revealed deception and black propaganda lies intended to manipulate the minds of the gullible and the ignorant. Many of those watching the SONA saw through the window dressing and the lies. Many others thought that the “accomplishment report” that is the SONA is the accomplishment of BSA. The rising unemployment, cost of living, poverty, rising criminality and corruption are just the tip of the iceberg. Add the manipulated surveys and you have a false picture of what is really happening. The economy is not even… Read more »
Hyden Toro9
Aquino has now hired foreign Disinformation Agents, to sing praises to him. And, the local YellowTards are quick to point out these false and idiotic blogs as truth. How can a foreigner know about the true condition in the Philippines? He just have to visit those living around the Garbage Dumps, and in the Squatters area. And his GDP claims will vanish like Bubbles. Aquino wants to become a Dictator. He bought Congress and the Senate with Pork Barrels. He stole Public Funds thru DAP, PDAF, etc.. he is like a Kleptomaniac. He enjoys stealing. He has also Depression and… Read more »
Sea Bee

Macro economics aside, the steep rise in electricity prices, food, and transportation costs have hit myself and my friends HARD. The 2000p I used to spend in the grocery store before Aquino; now costs 5000p.

john c. jacinto

Bring back Erap and GMA!


Just let pnoy savor the glory in the waning days of his presidency. then let justice take its course. to the winners belong the spoils of war.


The current state of the economy has nothing to do with gloria or noynoy. Global situation has brought record low interest rates to this country and with it the greatest speculative period ever. Now, the geatest bust will follow. Give it 18 to 24 months. The cause, a return to ‘normal’ aka high local rates. It’s a house of cards this country.


By being at the helm, he gets credit.