It’s the economy, student! – by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

The following is a copy of the essay ‘It’s the economy, student!’ written by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during her house recuperation, re-hospitalization and hospital detention from October to December 2011.

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IT’S THE ECONOMY, STUDENT!

By Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, PhD

[I wrote this article on and off in my spare time during my house recuperation, re-hospitalization and hospital detention from October to December 2011.]

The economy I turned over

Countless studies have shown that rapid increases in average incomes reduce poverty. Policy research, notes economist Stephan Klasen, has shown that “poverty reduction will be fastest in countries where average income growth is highest.”

When I stepped down from the Presidency in June 2010, I was able to turn over to the next Administration a new Philippines with a 7.9 percent growth rate. That growth rate capped 38 quarters of uninterrupted economic growth despite escalating global oil and food prices, two world recessions, Central and West Asian wars, mega-storms and virulent global epidemics. Our country had just weathered with flying colors the worst planet-wide economic downturn since the Great Depression of 1930. As two-thirds of the world’s economies contracted, we were one of the few that managed positive growth.

If you look around you in our cities as you drive by the office towers that have changed the skyline, if you look around you in our provinces as you drive over the roads, bridges and RORO ports where we made massive investments, that is the face of change that occurred during my administration.

By the time I left the Presidency, nearly nine out of 10 Filipinos had access to health insurance, more than 100,000 new classrooms had been built, 9 million jobs had been created.

We built roads and bridges, ports and airports, irrigation and education facilities where they were sorely needed. To millions of the poor, we provided free or subsidized rice, discounted fuel and electricity, or conditional cash transfers and we advanced land reform for farmers and indigenous communities.

No amount of black propaganda can erase the tangible improvements enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of families liberated from want during my decade at the helm of the nation. But these accomplishments have simply been part of the continuum of history. The gains I achieved were built on the efforts of previous leaders. Each successive government must build on the successes and progress of the previous ones: advance the programs that work, leave behind those that don’t.

I am confident that I left this nation much stronger than when I came into office. When I stepped down, I called on everyone to unite behind our new leaders. I was optimistic and I was hopeful about our future.

However, the evidence is mounting that my optimism was misplaced. Our growth in the 3rd quarter of 2011 was only 3.2 percent, well below all the forecasts that had already been successively downgraded. The momentum inherited by President Aquino from my administration is slowing down, and despite his initial brief honeymoon period, he has simply not replaced my legacy with new ideas and actions of his own.

The politics of division

In the last year and a half, I have noted with sadness the increasing vacuum of leadership, vision, energy and execution in managing our economic affairs. The gains achieved by previous administrations — mine included — are being squandered in an obsessive pursuit of political warfare meant to blacken the past and conceal the dark corners of the present dispensation. Rather than building on our nation’s achievements, this regime has extolled itself as the sole harbinger of all that is good. And the Filipino people are paying for this obsession–in slumping growth, under-achieving government, escalating crime and conflict, and the excesses of a presidential clique that enjoys fancy cars and gun culture.

Vilification covering up the vacuum of vision is the latest manifestation of the weak state that our generation of Filipinos has inherited. The symptoms of this weak state are a large gap between rich and poor — a gap that has been exploited for political ends — and a political system based on patronage and, ultimately, corruption to support that patronage. Recently, politics has seen the use of black propaganda and character assassination as tools of the trade.The operative word in all of this is “politics” — too much politics.

I know that the President has to be a politician, like everybody else in our elected leadership, whether Administration or Opposition, and we must all co-exist within this system. But what really matters is what kind of politics we espouse, not how much. The enemy to beat is ourselves: when we spread division rather than unity; when we put ego above country and sensationalism above rationality; when we make everyday politics replace long-term vision in our country’s hour of need.

Everyday we draw nearer to what may be our country’s hour of greatest need, because an increasingly ominous global environment is aggravating our self-inflicted weakness. The leadership’s palpable deficiencies in vision and execution are hurting our economy at a time when the rest of the world faces the ever more real threat of a double-dip recession, one that we may have escaped the first time during my term, but might not be able to avoid again.

Our dream of growth

In order to avoid such a grim outcome, we must pursue the economic growth of our country as the permanent solution to our age-old problems of poverty and even corruption. Every postwar Administration to my recollection has sought to advance the economic growth of our country as a matter of highest priority. Only by enlarging the economic pie can there be more and bigger slices for everyone to enjoy.

It is in poverty that we find the material roots of the problem of corruption — because the political system based on patronage–and ultimately, corruption to support patronage–is made possible only by the large gap between the rich and the poor. This will persist until and unless we enlarge the economic pie. Unfortunately, the present Administration has chosen to turn the problem upside down, anchoring their entire development strategy on one simplistic slogan: “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap.” If there is no corruption, there is no poverty–this is a proposition that also tells us that the undeniable persistence of poverty to this day therefore means the continuation of corruption under this Administration.

The Economist commented earlier that: “…The President’s approach to fighting corruption…is to punish the sins of the past rather than try to prevent crime in the future. Mr. Aquino has proposed few reforms to the system.”

Meanwhile, most analysts are downgrading their growth forecasts for this year and the next. The Dutch bank ING cited the government’s “under-spending in the name of good governance” as the reason for lowering its growth forecasts.

Now more than ever, as the rest of the world faces renewed threats of financial and even sovereign defaults as well as economic recession, it is high time for us to return to the commitment to growth that has been the primary objective of every administration in the past.

Sunshine industries

Returning to this mainstream commitment to growth enables the country to tap the opportunities of the 21st century. In line with this, during my time we promoted fast-growing industries where high-value jobs are most plentiful.

One of them is information and communication technology or ICT, particularly the outsourcing of knowledge and business processes. My Administration developed the call center industry almost from scratch: in June 2010 there were half a million call center and BPO workers, from less than 5,000 when I took office. It was mainly for them that we built our fifth, virtual superregion: the so-called “cyber corridor”, the nationwide backbone for our call centers and BPO industry which rely on constant advances in IT and the essentially zero cost of additional bandwidth.

These youthful digital pioneers deserve government’s continuing support — by upgrading instead of downgrading and politicizing CICT, the government agency that oversees our digital infrastructure; by continuing to fund related voc-tech training programs; by wooing instead of alienating foreign companies seeking to set up shop here. As countries like China and Korea rapidly make their own way up the value-added ladder of outsourcing, we must work harder to stay ahead of them.


No. of IT / BPO employees (‘000)
Source: BPAP

I had coffee with some call center agents one Labor Day when I was President. Lyn, a new college graduate, told me, “Now I don’t have to leave the country in order for me to help my family.” I was touched. With the structural reforms we implemented to promote ICT and BPOs, we not only found jobs but kept families intact.

We created appealing employment opportunities by focusing on the development of priority sectors, such as BPO. We need to create more wealth and keep people working here at home. That is why I remained so stubbornly focused on the economy. Many times during my tenure I expressed how much I longed for the day when going abroad for a job is a career option, not the only choice, for a Filipino worker. My economic plans were designed to allow the Philippines to break out of the boom and bust cycle of an economy dependent on global markets for agricultural commodities, and pursue consistent and sustainable growth anchored on a large domestic market and the resiliency of Filipino workers at home and abroad.

My successor flattered me by parroting what I said, but tried to frustrate me by distorting what I did. Instead of acknowledging his debt to his predecessor, he accused me of doing the opposite of what I had achieved, by describing my government as “…[one] that treats its people as an export commodity and a means to earn foreign exchange”. Then he promised to install what I had already established and which he appears bent on dismantling: “… a government that creates jobs at home, so that working abroad will be a choice rather than a necessity; and when itscitizens do choose to become OFWs, their welfare and protection will still be the government’s priority.”

Indeed, it’s so easy to claim achievements that have already been accomplished by others, and take credit for what is there when the one who did the work has gone. Just make sure she is forgotten, or, if remembered, vilified.

The President’s words were brave indeed–and yet his government has consistently failed to back them up: by failing to rescue our countrymen from China’s death row, or promptly evacuate them from national disaster in Japan, or comprehensively secure them from political unrest in Libya and elsewhere in the Middle East. Now we are facing a new challenge of “Saudiization”, as the government of our largest OFW market, Saudi Arabia, sets out to implement a massive program of replacing OFW’s with its own nationals, starting next year.

Will this government have the will and the skill to properly navigate such uncertain waters? Protecting our overseas workers will urgently require contingency planning and continuous backdoor diplomacy with their host governments, while creating alternative jobs at home for them will require–again–the kind of commitment to economic expansion that I cannot overemphasize.

Infrastructure

Infrastructure strengthens our competitiveness and enables us to attract new levels of jobcreating foreign direct investment. Infrastructure investment not only drives economic growth, but also creates a more efficient, competitive economy, by improving productivity and lowering the costs of doing business.

I am alarmed that the pace of infrastructure build-out has slowed dramatically under this Administration, with some projects even being cancelled outright for no good reason–such as the earlier-noted flood control projects in Central Luzon–and our country being sued by investors. At a time when we should be wooing their money, we are inviting litigation from them instead. This kind of flip-flopping may help explain the tepid investor response to the Administration’s flagship public-private partnership (PPP) program, where only one project has been awarded after all of eighteen months.

I was heartened to hear the President announce recently his willingness to resume government infrastructure spending next year. However, one cannot help but notice the timing, so close to the upcoming 2013 election campaign.

Land productivity

In my first State of the Nation Address in 2001, I said that the first component of our national agenda should be an economic philosophy of free enterprise appropriate to the twenty-first century, while the second should be a modernized agricultural sector founded on social equity.

Within a couple of months after taking office in January 2001, I personally conducted Cabinet meetings to implement the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act of 1995, which had never been implemented for lack of funds. After several discussions with selected department secretaries as well as heads of government banks, we uncovered budget items and available credit to channel more than P20 billion a year to provide fertilizers, irrigation and infrastructure, extension services, more loans, dryers and other post-harvest facilities, and seeds and other genetic materials to our farmers and fisherfolk. This was perhaps the biggest reason for the decline in poverty that was posted during my first few years in office.

The current Administration originally fixated on the single goal of achieving self-sufficiency in rice by 2013. I too wanted to achieve rice self-sufficiency, but I knew the odds were tough. Since the Spanish period we’ve been importing rice. While we may know how to grow rice well, topography doesn’t always cooperate. Nature did not gift us with a mighty Mekong River like Thailand and Vietnam, with their vast and naturally fertile river delta plains. Nature instead put our islands ahead of our neighbors in the path of typhoons from the Pacific. So historically we’ve had to import 10% of our rice, and so I took care to keep our goals for agriculture wideranging and diversified.

Recently the Administration seems to have retreated from the original objective of rice selfsufficiency by 2013. In its place, do they have an alternative vision in mind for our all-important agricultural sector?

The real challenge in this century is broader. The real task at hand is to make the finite land that we have planted to agriculture ever more productive, through agricultural modernization founded on social equity.

Higher productivity from farm lands is critical for our development. By making more food available at lower prices especially to our poor, we are effectively bringing down the required level of real wages in our country–already among the highest in the world, according to UP Professor Manny Esguerra–and helping to make our manufacturing industries globally competitive again.

As for social equity, being the daughter of the late President Diosdado Macapagal, the father of land reform in our country, I am gratified by the evaluation of one of my favorite Economics teachers, UP Professor Gonzalo Jurado: “The Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, to the extent that it is a land distribution program, can now be described as having almost completely succeeded in attaining its goal. [CARP] should now be a developmental program aiming explicitly to raise farm productivity…so that the country as a whole will benefit from the tenurial rearrangement.”

And of course it is the landowners who must set the example of compliance with the law in order to allow the rest of us to move forward–such as the Arroyos in my husband’s family, who voluntarily submitted long ago to land reform even without an order from the Supreme Court to do the right thing.

Our children

For Filipinos, family is everything and the future of our children is sacred. That is why I invested so much time and effort in rejuvenating our education system. I met with teachers and other educators to get a first-hand look at the improvements that we need to make. I listened to what these fine public servants had to say, and in response to their advice, I increased the country’s total budget for education by nearly four times: from Ps 6.6 Billion in 2000 to Ps 24.3 Billion in 2010 when I stepped down. Those funds went into the following critical areas of educational spending:

Click to enlarge

– We built 100,000 new classrooms, more than the three previous administrations combined.

– We supported one in every two private high school students–a total of 1.2 million students– with the GASTPE financial voucher program.

– In 2009 alone, we doubled TESDA’s budget.

For the long term, key recommendations were also submitted by the educational task force I created in 2007–comprising representatives from the major educational and private sector bodies under the leadership of former Ateneo president Fr. Bienvenido Nebres–in order to fashion a new educational roadmap with special attention to the needs of the youth and our growing knowledge-driven industries.

The task force report is the only document I personally handed to President Aquino, when we were together in the car being driven to his inauguration last year. Unfortunately that report seems to have landed in his circular file, making our schoolchildren yet another casualty of the ongoing vilification being waged against me.

I’m now saddened by news reports that the administration has been under-funding state colleges and universities without offering alternatives to the more than ten percent of our student population who attend these institutions.

Moreover, to my knowledge, any major educational reforms implemented by this administration have been limited only to adding another two years to basic education. I do not know how sound this is, or how widely supported among education professionals.

The poor

I often said during my Administration that we need to continue translating our economic and fiscal achievements into real benefits for the people. We must continue to invest in what I like to call the three “E’s” of the Economy, Environment and Education. These include such pro-poor programs as enhancing access to healthcare, food, housing and education, as well as job creation. They are central to lifting our nation up.

Over the past decade–fuelled by the windfall from our mid-term fiscal reforms–I initiated or expanded a raft of social programs for the poor. We increased PhilHealth insurance coverage, set up nearly 16,000 Botika ng Barangay outlets to deliver affordable medicines to the poor, ordered the drug companies by law to reduce their prices, energized 98.9 percent of our barangays, provided water service to 70 percent of previously waterless municipalities. And of course, we also introduced “Four P’s”, the highly successful conditional cash transfer program aimed at encouraging positive behavior among the poor in exchange for cash assistance.

But perhaps more than our social services, what the poor benefited the most from was the low inflation and the low unemployment we made possible through effective management of the economy. Despite the global food and oil price spikes of 2008, domestic inflation slowly declined on my watch, bottoming out at 3.9 percent by the time I stepped down in June 2010. And unemployment, which had peaked at nearly 14 percent under President Estrada, was averaging only around 7.5 percent toward the end of my term in office.

The problems of the poor are serious indeed, and they deserve serious thinking and serious solutions–not empty slogans, not the bloating of the cash transfer program for patently political ends, and certainly not the inability of this administration to keep the price of rice affordable or create more jobs by continuing the growth agenda. The moment that agenda is compromised, it is the poor who will feel first and the hardest the dire consequences.

The environment

No nation can aspire to become modern without protecting its environment.

On my watch as President, the country’s forest cover increased from 5.39 million hectares in 2001 to 7.17 million hectares by 2009. And we registered 40 projects abroad to reduce greenhouse gases–the sixth largest number of such projects among all countries.

I also signed a large number of laws to codify environmental protection–including new legislation to promote Ecological Solid Waste Management, Wildlife Resource Conservation and Protection, Clean Water, and Biofuels. And I tried to set the example for our countrymen by dedicating every Friday to environmental concerns.

I created the Presidential Task Force on Climate Change in 2007, which was later enhanced into the Climate Change Commission under the Climate Change Act of 2009. Under the law, the Chief Executive chairs this Commission, just one of only a few bodies headed by the highest official of the land. And yet President Aquino to date has not convened the Commission even once. The country can ill afford his lack of interest in this matter, now that climate change is causing calamities at the most unexpected times and places, such as the December typhoon floods in Cagayan de Oro and my home town of Iligan City.

Presidential drudgery

As my father, the late President Diosdado Macapagal, used to say: “The Presidency of thePhilippines is a tough and killing job that demands a sense of sacrifice.” At the end of the day, it comes down to plain hard work. A president must work harder than everyone else. And no matter what he thinks he was elected to do — even if that includes running after alleged offenders in the past — he must not neglect the bread and butter issues that preoccupy most of our people most of the time: keeping prices down, creating more jobs, providing basic services, securing the peace, pursuing the high economic growth that is the only way to vault our country into the ranks of developed economies.

Good management begins with planning ahead, not pointing fingers and blaming others after the fact. It means spelling out your vision quickly and clearly so your team grasps their mission at once and immediately starts to execute it.

Unfortunately, planning and preparation seem to be absent from this administration, whether it’s for taking OFWs out of harm’s way on short notice, or evacuating flood victims–or rescuing foreign tourists held hostage by a crazed gunman. By comparison to that incident, not a single life was ever lost in all the coup attempts against me that I had to put down by force. There is no secret behind this: it against any crisis, implemented with hands-on leadership from the very top.

Once the plan is in place, the leader must proceed to hands-on execution. There is no room for absenteeism, nor for coming to work late and leaving early. There is simply not enough that can be done if the Cabinet meets only four times in an entire year.

The last major task for good management is to exercise control without fear or favor. This was the principle I was following when I brought AFP controller General Garcia up on charges in 2005, and cancelled the NBN/ZTE deal in 2007.

These days–alas–there is absolutely no fear in the administration when they’re running after me or my allies. But there is definitely a lot of favor involved when they excuse — and even defends — their friends even from misdeeds committed in full view of the public.

This is not the kind of ethics that should be practiced by one who claims to have a genuine reform agenda. Neither will it attract capital from investors who desire regularity and a level playing field. Nor do our people deserve to be consigned to economic stagnation, government lethargy, and nobody-home leadership.

Neither the President nor anyone else can truly expect to govern the next five years with nothing but a sorry mix of vilification, periodically recycled promises of action followed by lethargy, backed up by few if any results, and presumptuously encouraging gossip about one’s love life in which no one can possibly be interested. Given the electoral mandate that he enjoyed in 2010– the same size as mine in 2004, as predicted by every survey organization at that time–our people deserve more, and better, from him.

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[Download sites for the above document can be found on BlogWatch.tv here.]

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75 Comments on “It’s the economy, student! – by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo”

    1. We elected a happy-go-lucky bachelor whose interests range from women to guns to cars to video games;

      Whose managerial experience is heading a security agency;

      Whose legislative record is found wanting;

      Whose academic record is far from sterling;

      Whose main claim to fame is being son to Cory and Ninoy and brother to Kris;

      WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?

      1. I’m not a Pro GMA nor a Pro Pnoy. As what I understand, GMA turn-over 7.9% of econnmic growth to the new administration, For Almost 10 yrs. in power, and now GMA claims that as of 2011 this administration have 3.2% of econoimic growth. Hey PNOY is just 1 yr. in power he has 5 more yrs. to go. Meaning to say during GMA’s reign she only has 1.26% of economic growth per year. Ano ba talaga ang totoo dito…. ? I think the government should develop a system for corruption to go along with economic growth. As what Gov. T. of Iloilo said, during my meeting with him. “Alam mo, marami ang nagagawa ang corruption dito sa Iloilo, Tingnan mo.. Lahat makinabang, Yung engineer sa construction may purcento yun sa project. pag marami siyang pera.. Iinom yan sa mga bar, Magka pera ang mga GRO natin at ang may-ari. Pag palagi silang iinum, magka kasakit yan, magka pera nanaman ang hospital o di kaya ang Funeraria, Ganun lang yan”

        1. Why not start from the 7.9%? What happened to that? Bakit naging 3.2% nalang? Don’t you get it? Yun ang punto nya. Sad, yes, but true – we are in deep shit! 5 more years to go? Crap! Don’t remind me, I wonder how much shit will be piled onto us by then!

        2. and when the bridge breaks after being built from substandard materials (as a result of corruption)killing a lot of people, makikinabang din ang Funeraria. Indeed corruption is the way to go.

        3. not to mention that that 7.9% growth was attained during recession while other countries were experiencing deficits.

        4. @Jimbox

          Meaning to say during GMA’s reign she only has 1.26% of economic growth per year.

          Hahaha…Tanga! Rate yan (i.e. slope—remember your calculus?—kung baga “instantaneous rate”) You don’t divide that over the whole 10, 9, or 6 whatever years tulad ng iniisip mo—maaaring per quarter yan or kahit sabihin mo pang per annum. That [slope] may variate in the course of her term but the overall trend is generally upwards—yun ang “momentum” when she left her post, but has dramatically & significantly slowed down (i.e. the slope plunged steeply downwards) right after AbNoy & cohorts have done their evil ways to the Philippines, the effects of which we are now experiencing.

          Abad or sino pang hudas yan can’t save AbNoy. Eh yun figures na pinagmamalaki nila sa SONA mali-mali pa…hahaha! Don’t trust the AbNoy admin when it comes to objectivity—puro SWS and Pulse Asia hokus pokus to the rescue…hahaha. Kundi kamag-anak, cohort ang nagpapatakbo nyan mga surveys na yan—Talagang basta KKK mo ang nagbibigay ng grades sa report card mo siyempre parating mataas…hahaha…pero bagsak when it comes to objective yardsticks especially from the international community…hahaha. Manigas nalang kayo sa mga surveys na yan!

        5. @Jimbox:

          ganito lang yan, kung si GMA nag start ng -2% growth rate nung time ni Erap, and after a year of take-over ni GMA nag post ng +4.7% growth rate, ilang % dapat ang total growth rate nya na attian? diba dapat 6.7%. Sabihin natin the succeeding 8yrs ni GMA, na attain nya ang ave. growth rate na 4%, so ilang % of growth rate lahat ang na attain 9 yrs? jimbox pag nakuha mo ang result niyan, saka mo i devide ng total years of stay ni GMA..baka magkamali ka ng formula o equation mo? careful.

          LIVE MATHEMATICS..wag tsimis..

  1. there is a lot of good articles in this site than that of hers. even abs-cbn claims its the same as her sonas before (im not a writer, but i believe that reiterating what was in her sona, can remind the people what happened then).. but because of her status this is a good boost for what we believe is really happening.

  2. I find it funny that GMA always boast about the economic growth that we had during her term. What’s the use of having 38 quarters of uninterrupted growth if there is no improvement on the people’s STANDARD OF LIVING? As an economics graduate, I was taught that there is a very big difference between ECONOMIC GROWTH and ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. Growth numbers are useless if there is no corresponding improvement on people’s lives.

    1. A reporter interviewed people on the street asking how things were after Pres. Aquino took the seat. The common response was, “mas-lalong humirap.”

      And from what I know, economic growth and economic development usually go hand in hand. You have poor growth, you’re going to see a lot more jobless.

      And you have a regime whose solution for poverty is to give dole outs. Completely lame.

    2. As an economics graduate, perhaps what you did not learn is that it requires successive GDP growth of at least 7% for 3-4 years before the actual impact tickles down (felt).

      Objectively speaking, GMA just wants us to realize that Pnoy did not have to start up the economy from scratch because she has already laid the foundations. She did not say our lives were at their best during her watch. Had those been continued, perhaps our economy would not have been lagging behind our neighbors.

      1. c’mon guys,, magnanakaw yung tao(hinde na nga tao ang tingen ko sa kanila),.. at dahil dun almost harapan na din ang pagnanakaw ng iba pa…. ang pagnanakaw nya ay nakaepekto sa buhay ng milyong tao. kung iba ang naging president maaring magawa ang parehas na bagay,, mag grow ang economy natin at hinde sya magnakaw.– umangat ang economy natin nasaan????? naramdaman ba natin ang mga numbers na yan. mga malalaking kumpanya lang nakaramdam nyan di po ba.

        1. C’mon trollfag. You’re just an EMO prick.

          Speaking of the “mga malalaking kumpanya”, do you have any idea about the fact that most of them are also friends with the Aquino-Cojuangco family?

          lel what a loser your are.

    3. i agree with you…i also learned not to immediately trust what i read…whats the amount of truth in her words…and this improvement in our economy? who did it really help? more of the those who were already rich, didnt it? and not those who really needed the better standard of living…i am not pro GMA nor pro pnoy. With regard to BPO’s… compared to india…i believe that we are the better option in terms of service but even if that is the case..they still get higher pay than us..shouldnt it be the other way around ..if we are the better choice in overall quality…shouldnt we be paid better?…reality is we are “CHEAP” labor…is this how we really improve our economy? by selling ourselves short? she also mentioned about health insurance being available to 9 out of ten…i doubt this data and furthermore health insurance does not equate to actual health care received… but truth be told i still dont understand why i feel like there has been no improvement in our country that is truly worth mentioning… i know we had a hard transition from the very beginning..and that it is hard to become president of country like the Philippines…but id like to hope that our country will change for the better but still …its feels hopeless…

    1. Butch Abad is a troll. Good governance alone never leads to progress. Just take a look at what happened to the Cory regime. Peace and stability? Maybe it’s TOO DARK to enjoy anything due to constant brownouts. 😛

    2. Budget Secretary Florencio Abad is a dyed in the wool communist. Recall Cory’s time when he wanted zero retention to be imposed on all land owners. He does not know what he is talking about.

      1. According to the UN, good governance consists of 8 elements: accountability, transparency, rule of law, participatory, consensus-oriented, responsiveness, equity & inclusiveness, and effectiveness & efficiency.

        I agree that former PGMA did well in the last three elements listed: responsiveness (EVAT to counter the effects of the global financial meltdown), equity & inclusiveness (‘Pantawid Gutom’ and PhilHealth cards) and especially on effectiveness and efficiency of the
        economy.

        But her administration was wanting on the first five elements enumerated.

        http://www.unescap.org/pdd/prs/ProjectActivities/Ongoing/gg/governance.asp

        1. @Phil Manila
          But her administration was wanting on the first five elements enumerated.Amidst the hype the Aquino admin and his media buddies have been making, the Aquino admin is more wanting in those aforementioned criteria, including those 5. Accountability, transparency, rule of law….really?—Only their enemies are being accounted for. There is really no transparency. Yang si anak ng Tupas na yan, at si Carpio—ilabas rin mga itinatago ng mga iyan! Rule of law? Even De Lima and Aquino himself cares little about the rule of law. “Equity and inclusiveness” only applies to his KKK (basta included ka, meron kang equity siguro). Consensus oriented?—courtesy of SWS and Pulse Asia bandwagon creation engine nila AbNoy and Co.—there indeed is consensus to let the Philippines slide even farther down the crypt.

        2. I’ll betcha the current admin will fail on all. We should focus on them, they’re the ones in power now.

    3. Abad should not forget that at some point he was part of PGMA cabinet. If he claims GMA to be a failure during her entire rule, then it follows he was also a huge failure which brings forth the question, why was he recycled from the bin then?

    4. @Phil

      “It’s all about good governance, Teacher!”

      Oonga…While other countries esepcially the middle east are tearing down their dictatorship governments, the Philippines is heading towards the opposite direction and raising it back to life thanks to Aquino, Abad and the rest of the babol gang. Dictatorship (perpetuated through black propaganda & disinformation) to Abad is good government pala.

        1. vincenzo wag ka ng makisali sa usapan…ang gagaling ng mga komentaryo dito…alam mong matatataas ang pinag aralan…halatang tayong dalawa lang ang tanga dito…dun ka sa site ng abs cbn…kagagaling ko lang dun….kapareho mo mga comment…walang sustansya!

        2. Vincenzo kung buhay kapa, nakalaya na si Arroyo. Wala na rin ang idiot mong idolo sa pwesto.

          4 na taon na, nganga parin kayong mga noytard hahaha

  3. Fighting Corruption is different from political-obsession.

    No doubt, its good to persecute those who had a hand in whatever corruption the previous administration has done. But, being obsessed with persecuting them is already a different case. Say all of them are guilty? Then what? What about the economy? education? the Filipinos?

    As the leader of the land, ‘he’ must be able to at least set his priorities straight (not generally speaking). Putting forth ‘his’ obsession with ‘his’ foes, prioritizing his politicking and setting aside what is important– economy, education, poverty, employment. Is this a good sign of a good/great leader?

  4. Most people would say that by vigorously pursuing justice against corruption, it will uplift the people’s lot. Yes it’s true, anyone who sees such efforts would be more relieved to see it.

    However there seems to be a problem in our case, our lord and master may have concentrated all his efforts to pursue justice at the expense of neglecting the average person’s needs and wants. It seems that our government expects the people to be satisfied with efforts of theirs.

    While such ideals may satisfy the people, in the end the grumbling complaints of an empty stomach is what really matters to the people. Regardless of what you think of GMA she does have a point.

    Of course don’t get your hopes to high that Pnoy can address our basic needs.

    1. The thing is, what’s the assurance that the people “vigorously pursuing justice against corruption” aren’t corrupt themselves?

    2. What PNoy is doing, is exhausting his time and effort to get rid of those who are in his way of whatever “tuwid na daan” he’s talking about. And because of this, he is neglecting the more important issues that should be his main concern.

  5. @ Felipe,

    I hear you, but I could not listen well to your arguments because of the following reasons:

    1. Accountability – The case of Joc Joc Bolante et al

    2. Transparency – ‘I’m sorry’ acceptance.

    3. Rule of Law – General Palparan et al.

    4. Participatory – The strang case of the aborted MOA with MILF etc.

    5. Consensus Building – lowest poll rating among the presidents

    As I said, I admire the way former President GMA handled the economy, especially in the face of the global financial crisis. I really wanted her to succeed.

    But there were so many questions unanswered. . .

    1. @Phil Manila

      Not even claiming it was all that good as I am not a pro-GMA advocate—the problem is that the present admin is claiming to be better in terms of “good governance” (and perhaps the economy because of perception-based credit ratings)!—How obvious would you rather have it be before realizing that the current admin is simply worse?!? Until nothing can be done?

      What do you think “I’m sorry” proves?—That AbNoy and cohorts are honest?—simply BS.

  6. admit is or not GMA’s term is better… with the Government spending a lot for infrastructures many jobs were generated, and many investors and BPO companies boomed

  7. One essential thing i learned in life…”if there is nothing wrong with the system, don’t change it”. This could also be applied in politics, economics, and other systems in which a nation evolves. It would be easier to continue reforms already in place and working than finding faults and looking for ways to “put down” a predecessor. Each presidency is unique but it should also acknowledge good points that have been established. After all, the people has voted for these people in governmental positions to work for the common good of the nation not for self-gained nor for revenge.

  8. Good God so this is where the real thinkers go to! Am I glad i clicked on a friend’s share link to this website!

    It saddens me how people blindly take the crap dished out to them by the yellows and its media partners.

    For the record, i never voted for the guy, never crossed my mind. Looks like i was right… AGAIN! Because i was rooting for, and voted for GMA last time… sure, rough spots, some unanswered questions, but you can’t deny the economy went well.

    1. Welcome to the site =).
      Just beware of that troll vincenzo as he consistently spews out yellow sh!t and has no basis for all of his stupid comments.

  9. By comparison to that incident, not a single life was ever lost in all the coup attempts against me that I had to put down by force.

    I remember being passed one of those kooky LaRouche articles about how FVR was planning a coup against GMA.

    Turns out all those fizzled (I literally slept on the MRT ride throughout the whole Manila Peninsula ’07 thing, tru story bro), and FVR’s buddies ended up backing her chosen successor.

    XD

    1. And this adminisration has in its pockets those coup people who were (and still likely are)willing to kill soldiers and cops to make their point.

  10. If this essay is to convince the people that they made a mistake then, I would say she is in a big disappointment. I’m really impressed at how smart she is at playing with people’s minds. She forgot that the most important quality of a leader is honesty. A quality she has none.

    1. @humorMe (which translates to) “niloloko mo bako?”….you still believe there are still honest leaders left in this country?” They are all corrupt! As mentioned here, even the engineers earn a percentage from the projects. I don’t care how much they got, just as long as they do good for the country. Compare Marcos to Cory. Ano ba nagawa ni Cory? Democracy??..Democracy abused so much by the media!

    2. Oh man, another moron. 😛

      Another quality of a leader is a ‘shut-your-mouth-and-do-your-job’ despite of the criticism and the allegtations either.

      So what do you call Noynoy, honest? He is not even honest either because of his incompetence; he continuously blaming Gloria for everything… WHILE DOING NOTHING. In fact, you love being a coward because you’re afraid to take responsibilty, just like your stupid president.

      ‘Real leaders never play the blame game.’

      1. Newbie here! ‘Real leaders never play the blame game.’So true! Instead of engaging in witchunting activities, he should be moving forward doing his job keeping this country afloat — he is the captain of this ship afterall — many of our countrymen are still honeymooning with him — they haven’t woken up to the fact that the honeymoon is over and their lot in life has not improved! Unfortunately, I am biased but I have lost respect for the man ( if he is one ) I cannot forget how “unpolite” he was when GMA visited his mother’s wake. He lost all my sympathy and respect after that.

  11. One of the many problems with PNOY is that he and his admin are mirroring the exact problem they are trying to abolish…how does one get rid of corruption when he himself evidently practices it?

    Another is the reality that he’s not as hands-on a leader as Arroyo is to have any clue of what’s going on. With all the flaws we hurl at Arroyo for being corrupt, there’s no denying that she does her work really well, and knows WHAT the country needs from the down up.

    In contrast, and I don’t really have to point it out to everyone here, PNOY’s awareness–or his dismal lack thereof–of the Filipino condition. He’s clueless to the fact that the Filipino is mostly tired, hungry, and displaced. What the Filipino condition is in HIS head, meanwhile, is that we desperately need to be on “the right path”, or that we are lost to corruption.

    Now that’s a dangerous train of thought there. He’s underestimating the needs of the stomach and is just representing his idea of “idealism”.

    Don’t get me wrong, the straight path is a path that we also share and desire for the country, heck who doesn’t want a corrupt-free government? But frankly, we cannot be in a position to zealously and EFFECTIVELY chase this idealism yet. Idealism and the moral road is lost when your stomach cry loudly for food, too tired of working hard for little return, and displaced if you long to stay in the country but have to go elsewhere.

    Like it or not, Arroyo started to address that, and if we had maintained and worked with what she has established, we could have an easier time swallowing PNOY’s slogan, and probably, we would believe his gameplan. But no, no, no–some of us are still not too hungry to be stupid and not notice the flaws and the falseness of his idealism.

  12. “One of them is information and communication technology or ICT, particularly the outsourcing of knowledge and business processes. My Administration developed the call center industry almost from scratch: in June 2010 there were half a million call center and BPO workers, from less than 5,000 when I took office. It was mainly for them that we built our fifth, virtual superregion: the so-called “cyber corridor”, the nationwide backbone for our call centers and BPO industry which rely on constant advances in IT and the essentially zero cost of additional bandwidth.” Is this why the ZTE-NBN deal came into reality? But when its legality is questioned, then as if no deal was ever entered to by the government.

  13. “Philippine GDP grew 7.3% in 2010, spurred by consumer demand, a rebound in exports and investments, and election-related spending. The economy weathered the 2008-09 global recession better than its regional peers due to minimal exposure to troubled international securities, lower dependence on exports, relatively resilient domestic consumption, large remittances from four- to five-million overseas Filipino workers, and a growing business process outsourcing industry.” – http://www.forbes.com/lists/2011/6/best-countries-11_Philippines_CHI112.html

    I’m thinking. Is it the former president’s economic savvy or the efforts of every “masinop at masipag na” Filipino (local and abroad) that makes our economy afloat?

  14. “MANILA, Philippines – The country’s debt has risen to P4.2 trillion during President Arroyo’s prolonged incumbency, surpassing the debts incurred by her predecessors, latest data from the Department of Finance show.” http://www.philstar.com/article.aspx?articleid=497399 Don’t you think with the debt the government incurred, it should equate also to economic progress?

  15. She was not perfect but she was indeed hardworking. Lesser evil from the other presidentiable candidates her time -Yes. We here in the metro may not have felt the improved economy she claimed but from a rural POV, sobrang nakatulong sila – and I mean joined effort of the government her time – sa road improvements which made it more convenient to transport goods from the provinces. Ano meron tyo ngayon, inflation rate na lumolobo!
    The growth rate is low add increased rate in inflation, patay ang taumbayan.
    Rare will we find an honest politician, but I would rather have someone who invests his/her ill gotten wealth inside the country kasi kahit papaano hindi outflow ung resources natin. There is a lot to criticize about her admin, but we must admit, mas solod and effective ang economic programs nya..nagyon anong meron?

    1. naramdaman ba ng milyon na tao ang numbers na yan o ng malalaking kumpanya na lalung yumaman pa..????? hinde ko matangap na me nakakatuwa pa sa ke GMA, sya at lahat sila ay magnanakaw, hinde barya yun.

      1. What about today’s admin you retarded failipino? Did you even feel it? O baka naman iyang feeling na ginamit mo e yung sa drama queen?

  16. The dumbed-down filipinos (noytards) will nnever understand… they’re just here to worship the aquunos. Tbey don’t care whether the autistic president is performing or not as long as he keeps speaking the dumbed-down filipino language like “edi wow”… we are all in deep trouble…

  17. I’m happy she’s now free!
    I have felt the economic stability during her time.

    Speaking about NBN now, Australia just grabbed this… If only they believed in her, Philippines would have had it before Australia.
    Slow Internet still obliged to pay? Think deeper again folks..
    Tsktsktsk!
    I love my country, The Philippines, and now have high hopes in the new President Duterte.

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