“Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.” – Oscar Wilde
The government of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is set to shift to deficit spending to the tune of hundreds of billions of pesos in investments in infrastructure for this financial year alone. This follows decades of underspending and a steady decay in existing infrastructure and a failure to develop new works where they were much needed spanning successive previous administrations.
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Key to the success of this spending spree is the political will within the Duterte administration that emanates from the very top. The infrastructure requirements of the Philippines are no-brainers. The size and quality of transport infrastructure for so long has not added up with the reality of the the way the country is spread across a vast archipelago of more than 7,000 islands. Thus it is not surprising that the bulk of spending will be on expanding the Philippines’ land, sea, and air traffic handling capability.
Though seen to be not fully “hands-on” in the management of the national economy preferring, instead, to let the “bright boys” of his economic team run the show, Duterte seems to be solidly behind the bold push into mega-expenditure…
His economic chiefs are pinning growth plans on infrastructure works to create jobs, stimulate the economy and attract manufacturers put off by high power prices and poor roads and ports that create transportation bottlenecks that eat into profits.
The government has targeted infrastructure spending of 5.4 percent of GDP this year, rising to 7.4 percent of GDP by 2022, through highways, bridges, ports, ports, airport upgrades and rural and city train lines.
Indeed, Malacanang reports Duterte had attracted almost $2-billion dollars worth of investments during his recently-concluded official visit to Middle East countries during the Easter break demonstrating his commitment to do his part to make good on what Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia described as the coming “golden age of infrastructure”. It is noteworthy that the Inquirer Editor himself, normally critical overall of the Duterte administration, had described Duterte’s meeting with Middle East leaders as a “productive trip”…
The list of signed business agreements is impressive. According to Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, a total of $469 million in deals were signed in Saudi Arabia, $250 million in Bahrain, and $206 million in Qatar. That adds up to almost a billion dollars. The agreements covered different sectors, Lopez said, including property development, medical tourism, ports, warehouses, agri-industrial economic zones, and “pharmagenerics.” When implemented, the deals would generate 26,000 jobs, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said.
While Duterte’s “war on drugs” attracts the most media mileage owing to the simplicity of the emotional hooks surrounding this issue that lend well to “influencers” who like stirring irrational social media hysteria, his economic programme — which requires more deliberate critical analysis — will likely be his greatest legacy. Nonetheless, holes are already showing all over the logic in his critics’ rabid focus on the easy target that is Duterte’s unusual methods applied to his drug war. The quintessential failure of thinking in his critics’ monomanic harping on Duterte’s alleged “human rights violations” is encapsulated in the following statement issued by University of the Philippines Student Regent Raoul Manuel…
“Honors are not deserved by a president whose regime killed thousands of citizens and leaders of progressive groups,” Manuel said. “Honors must not be given to a president that declares all-out war against his people to quell their struggle for just and lasting peace, and reimposes death penalty to legitimize the killing of the poor.”
The fact is, there is no direct evidence that supports any claim that Duterte’s “regime” had “killed thousands of citizens and leaders of progressive groups.” Interesting, nonetheless, that on this single non-logical pillar rests the entire activist sloganeering campaign of the anti-Duterte mob. Nebulous at best, fraudulent and intellectually dishonest at worst — specially when considering the above example comes from a “student regent” of the country’s premiere state university.
The economic programme of the Duterte government, on the other hand, is fully transparent, Duterte’s backing of it clearly evident, and the results judiciously reported and cited even by mainstream media outlets known to be biased against the Duterte “regime”. While the war on drugs may impact the lives of a small proportion of the Philippines’ population, Dutertenomics is expected to benefit tens of millions of Filipinos.
[Photo courtesy Inquirer.net.]
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.
11 Replies to “#Dutertenomics heralds the dawn of a ‘golden age of infrastructure’ for the Philippines”
The gargantuan spending is proportional to how daring the president would use all his power to fix the country.
People have eyes; most have brains…this is what the Duterte critics and the mainstream media do not understand…
The Age of Information Technology, has overshadowed the Age of Political Propaganda. Fortunately, we are not like North Korea or any other country, that feeds its people: Fake News or Political propaganda.
Infrastructure is the artery of any country… The late President Marcos, Sr., invested in Philippine infrastructures. The succeeding regimes, like the Aquinos, invested on themselves, thru DAP, PDAF, Pork Barrel Bribery, Gold reserve theft, Typhoon Yolanda Funds theft, etc…
Food production and industrialization can help the country. However, infrastructure is very important in the development of the country !
I believe also in the expansion of the irrigation system for food production.
Our educational system must not be politicized. The Aquinos politicized the educational system, by putting themselves, as heroes , in history books. Textbooks, must be upgraded, from time to time !
In other words, they’re going to spend money they don’t have on things they don’t need. Filipinos are so predictable.
Infrastructure does not, in and of itself, magically create economic growth. That’s typical third-world thinking. How many African countries have build shiny new four-lane blacktop with IMF loans, and then discovered that nothing uses them except donkey carts and rustbucket trucks taking stolen rainforest timber to Chinese buyers?
There is one and only one thing Duterte needs to do to unleash the economy: implement a free and sensible tax system. No business will set up shop in a country where tax laws are confusing, contradictory, predatory, backward, and fundamentally illogical. If the government takes only what citizens can afford, from a broad tax base (instead of trying to squeeze out every last centavo from soft targets) then they will have enough cash in hand for public projects. If they can refrain from stealing it. Every other country on the planet knows this. Only Filipinos are arrogant enough to think they can make 1+1=3.
The stolen gold reserve in the Bank of Thailand, can finance the infrastructure. Instead of the thieves like : Aquino, Mar Roxas, Porky Drilon, Leila de Lima, the Aquino Cojuangco political axis, etc… owning this gold reserve; we can use it for better use.
Infrastructure is the “artery” of development; along with industrialization and food production. Birth Control must be implemented; and people with skills; talents and technical educations, must be given incentives to stay…
Innovations and resourcefulness are lacking in Filipinos !
I am optimistic on Filipinos…most do well in foreign countries. Some even earned PhDs; not the Honorary PhDs, bought by Aquino and Leni “The Bobo” Robredo, to award for themselves !
Marius, my doubts about this Dutertenomics things also include something that Filipinos are very good at, and show no sign of changing even under Duterte: they count their chickens before they hatch.
THIS IS EXACTLY HOW GREECE LOST ITS INDEPENDENCE and is now a failed state whose every centavo goes to pay the Rentiers. They started spending money they did not have and became indebted to countries they could never possibly pay back, next entered the Rentiers(Goldman Sachs & Rothschilds i.e.,IMF) that repackaged the loans and made them payable to the IMF and when that failed the State was forced to sell their national assetts, land and every other public utlility/holding that is worth anything, unemployment skyrocketed and Women are now forced to sell their ass’s for less than $10/POP.
Everyone is now clapping for Dumbass Duterte but when the bills come due on these high interest loans (that will go to the Oligarchs in the form of Gov’t. contracts and the projects will be lcuky if ever getting half completed), and they surely will, and the country can not pay, HA! Greece will look like a prosperous country compared to what will happen next in the Philippines)Yes,I KNOW..it already does). It is the same shit, every frikkin time, in one country after another….indebtedness leading to economic slavery………
We have several tons of gold reserve in the Bank of Thailand. This gold reserve was stolen by: Aquino, Mar Roxas, Porky Drilon, Leila de Lima , and their YellowTard cahoots.
We don’t have to borrow money , from the IMF, or any country. The gold reserve is several metric tons in weight. It is enough to finance infrastructures…
Those who say: “it cannot be done”…. How do you know, if you don’t try ?
Greece and other African countries are in different situation. Seize also the assets of Aquino, Mar Roxas and all YellowTards, who were involved in stealing public funds !
Yeah, the corrupt Yellows will steal them and bring high debt to the country like what idiot Cory Aquino did when she did not pay to the World Bank then blame it in Pres.F Marcos neither did she improved the economy and just closed/gave them Government Establishments to her cahoots and oligarch/elite friends free of charge.
Getting into debt is not good – but manageable debt is ok as long as it’s payment is planned. Investment in infrastructure has the potential to invite investors as well as tourists. The country is old and has dilapidated facilities, transportation, etc. If taxes are cut and roads are built, there could be thousands of truck driving jobs created ( assuming business expands), because goods and materials would need to be transported.
Just think of Leyte; imagine how a road system could expand commerce and allow distribution of goods, etc. Right now, the infrastructure is so inadequate there; there are so few roads and the ones that exist are old. I have taken a van from Northwest Leyte to Tacloban, North Leyte to Ormoc City, etc. Public transportation could be modernized to include train and bus systems.
Road travel in the Philippines is too risky and crazy now.
how much more negative and crabby can some people be? instead of rallying behind the president with strong political will, guts, and balls, these losers choose to focus on the bad side of things, gosh!
The golden age has not passed; it lies in the future.