Non Sequiturs are poor policy, and even worse credit references

front20130326If there is one thing that has been thoroughly regrettable about the apparent economic progress of the Philippines in the Aquino 2.0 era, it is that it has led the Administration to believe that what it is doing is actually working. Perhaps we should not judge them too harshly for that – after all, far sharper minds than those currently wandering the halls of government also occasionally confuse correlation for cause – because for the most part, the country has found ways to progress economically in spite of the government.

The frustration for the rest of us, of course, is that we must sit by and watch enormous opportunities slip through our grasp as the Aquino Administration receives ill-advised affirmation for pursuing an economic strategy entirely based on non sequiturs. To be fair, the mission statement has been refined somewhat in the past three years: What started out as “when there is no corruption, there will be no poverty” during the 2010 campaign has been upgraded to the smarter-sounding “good governance and a level playing field will lead to inclusive growth.”

Clearly, the Aquino Administration has no idea what any of those three key ideas: good governance, the “level playing field,” and inclusive growth actually mean, and apparently, neither does the Board of Directors of the World Bank, who last week approved a $300 million (P12.26 billion) Development Policy Loan to the government “to support the Philippines’ critical reforms for accelerating inclusive growth,” according to the World Bank’s press release.

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Read the rest of the article here, and enjoy it, since The Manila Times will be taking a holiday break for the rest of the week.

4 Replies to “Non Sequiturs are poor policy, and even worse credit references”

  1. Of course President Aquino doesnt have any idea what is an investment grade ratings. It just happens Ben, how is that for a moronic bitch?

    1. He (and most if not all of the people who work for him) has no idea what it’s actually good for, but of course we already knew that. But it doesn’t just happen – your government spends a lot of money to make it happen. The ratings agencies obviously do not like to disclose what borrowers pay for ratings service, so it is brutally difficult to track down the information. In general, though, ratings are charged a percentage (from about .05% up to about 0.25%) of the amount of outstanding debt or proposed debt, such as rating a bond issue.

      The ratings upgrade comes just at the time the government announced (Mar. 26 press release) that government debt decreased to P5.334 billion as of the end of January. Use your imagination.

  2. If the current occupant of Malacañan wanted a level playing field, he could at least start with what is considered “the third rail” of Philippine politics, viz. Constitutional Reform. Protectionist policies can–and will be–economic murder in the long run, as foreign investors would just flock towards freer markets.

    If ever a trade partner demands reciprocal trade access–parity rights–I would not be surprised if the average Juan would go “WTF?!”

    1. It’s going to happen — ASEAN Free Trade Agreement becomes fully-operational in 2015. As it stands right now, the Philippines is not going to do well in that.

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