While his critics called him a “dictator”, Duterte has been good for the Philippine economy

The Philippine Opposition suffered another loss as President Rodrigo Duterte’s “net satisfaction ratings went up by 10 points to 58% in the last quarter of 2017”, according to the latest survey results by survey firm Social Weather Stations (SWS). It has been a bad year for the President’s critics particularly members of the Liberal Party, indeed. Staunch critics like Senator Antonio Trillanes were confident when they predicted that Duterte’s popularity will go down by the end of the year, but they based their opinion mostly on hubris, not facts.  

Most of Duterte’s critics were hoping the general public will believe their claim that Duterte is a fascist and a dictator and that his ultimate agenda is to be some kind of supreme ruler of the Philippines. Unfortunately for them, what they are saying doesn’t match the reality, which is why their credibility is now in tatters. The fact that they can still criticise Duterte and call him all kinds of unflattering names without suffering or getting in trouble already proved them wrong.

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The members of the Opposition are the same people who are against Duterte’s declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao. We recall that Martial Law was declared in response to the Islamist Maute terrorist takeover of Marawi City in May of this year. The implementation had been twice approved for extension by Congress with the latest granting Duterte another full year. Majority obviously agreed that the region is still volatile and that Martial Law is needed to quell an insurgency. The threats come not just from Islamist terrorist groups, but also the communist New People’s Army. The latter has been terrorising members of the public and government forces and wreaking havoc through intimidation, extortion and deadly ambushes. It’s baffling why there are still people who support them and make them look like they are the victims. Some of their vocal supporters are even in government. They should be investigated for conspiracy and conniving with enemies of the state.

Duterte’s critics claim that he betrayed them since he cancelled all peace talks with the communist group. They accuse him of pretending to be a socialist and then going on to attack the communists. It seems these people don’t even understand their own ideology. Being a socialist is different from being a communist. A socialist allows capitalism to exist while a communist want to get rid of capitalism. I don’t recall Duterte saying he is a communist. A lot of capitalists actually like him because he is in favour of building industries in parts of the country that have been neglected for decades.

Communists want all industries to be state-owned. No member of the public can own property under communism. Can you imagine that? They probably think that they are only after the interests of the public and want everyone to have equal opportunity for all, but that will only happen in an ideal world. The reality is, a lot of people who get a taste of power tend to get overcome by greed. Throughout history, those who promised to distribute wealth, instead, kept most of the wealth to themselves, leaving the public in even worse condition because they do not own anything. Likewise, those in power prefer to keep the power within their own family and circle of friends. They can do this by appointing their own children and allies as successors. The public will have no choice but to accept the decision of the communist party because there are no elections under communism. The people will not have a say in who runs the government in this scenario. And with Philippine society’s penchant for patronage politics, such a system will not even raise eyebrows. This will not help foster an egalitarian society at all especially when the general public can only have what is given to them. This scenario will not foster excellence because there is no competition. Only in an environment where people compete can innovation thrive.

Communist Party leader Joma Sison is an old fossil who had long been out of touch with his own ‘revolution’.

Duterte is doing the right thing in focusing his army on stamping out communist groups in the Philippines. They have committed atrocities for decades. The government should not be negotiating with terrorists in the first place. The only time these communists will be satisfied is when they are already in power. Their leader Joma Sison doesn’t even have the guts to fight with his comrades. He is enjoying life in the Netherlands within the embrace of political asylum. He is stuck in a time-warp. The ideology he is espousing has already been debunked. It doesn’t work. It is against human nature. People have to be free to choose their own destiny. You cannot force hardworking people to give up their possessions and redistribute it to others who have not worked for it. People need motivation to do their best. It is not fair for others to take something when they have not worked for it. It will create a mendicant society.

Once terrorist groups like the communist group the New People’s Army has been disbanded or eliminated (whichever comes first), the economies in the regions they have used as havens will thrive.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the Philippines became the second fastest-growing economy in Asia next to Vietnam and ahead of China in the third quarter of 2017:

 Manufacturing, trade, real estate, renting and business activities were the main drivers of growth for the quarter, the statistics agency said.

Among the major economic sectors, industry recorded the fastest growth at 7.5 percent followed by services which rose by 7.1 percent.

Sustained growth in exports and improvements in public spending also helped prop up the economy.

Who would have thought Duterte would be good for the economy? The Opposition certainly did not see this happening. They were predicting all doom and gloom. Deep inside they wanted the economy to crash just to prove they were right about Duterte. All good news is bad news for them because they will remain out of power for a while.

14 Replies to “While his critics called him a “dictator”, Duterte has been good for the Philippine economy”

  1. 7.5% of virtually zero is still virtually zero.

    What, specifically, do you think Duterte has done to improve the economy? There are tonnes of low-hanging fruit just waiting to be picked in this area – for example, the disastrous amount of paperwork and “permits” required just to open a sari-sari store, the antiquated banking system, and the predatory and inefficient tax/customs/social security systems. These are just matters of procedure that could be fixed in a matter of months by (a) hiring competent, honest people to run them and (b) firing all the Filipinos involved in running them at present.

    I doubt these things will be touched simply because they allow such a kaleidoscope of options for the thievery that, in reality, is the only thing that keeps money circulating.

    1. You are correct, and Dueterte will not touch these area’s of thievery because he would be denying the thieves their spoils and it would lead to him getting whacked. The economy is still a train-wreck and NOTHING has, or will ,change just because the Mayor of Davao is now the President of the country….NOTHING !e.xcept a few thousand dead street level Drug-Dealers…PPFFFF….

  2. Here’s some 2016 GDP data in million USD. PH economic size was in the 300B USD league already, along with
    33 Hong Kong 320,668
    34 Israel 318,386
    35 Denmark 306,730
    36 Philippines 304,696
    37 Singapore 296,967
    38 Malaysia 296,359
    39 South Africa 294,132
    40 Ireland 293,605
    (source wiki)

    The goal would be to reach that of Japan’s (5 Trillion USD), as we have comparable populations:
    3 Japan 4,936,543

    If we grew 7% this year, that would add another 21B to our figure. Still a far cry from Japan’s, but inching our way there with much better iron-fisted visionary (IFV)-class leadership under Duterte and the steady removal of key stumbling blocks to growth – in particular the pestering NPA malaise.

    Through inclusive growth with Duterte’s key initiatives, communism in PH will simply die a natural death as it would be far more rewarding to be a PH soldier (with double the pay starting 2018) than continue as a commie living like a sewer rat in the jungles.

    1. Zaxx: GDP numbers are almost meaningless. As I’m sure you’re aware, you can increase GDP by (for example) selling off your natural resources at the expense of the environment. That is, in fact, exactly why Malaysia has a superficially impressive GDP figure.

      More important is what the average man in the street experiences. Does he bump up against bureaucracy and corruption when he wants to start a small business? If so, the economy is going nowhere, because small businessmen provide 80% of the power behind dynamic, useful economies.

      As you imply, Duterte’s approach to fixing the country’s problems basically amount to bribing state employees not to commit treason. While there’s nothing wrong with paying people what they’re worth, this doesn’t address the underlying reason why communism has such enduring popularity here: the average Filipino thinks it’s his divine right to have society at large fund his parasitic lifestyle. In those few countries where people have a genuine sense of social duty and national pride (Sweden, for example), communism works reasonably well.

        1. Actually I’m a bit disappointed I only got one thumbs-down. I can usually get a least three for pointing out something obvious.

  3. All the opposition did when they were in power were: graft, corruption, extortion, laglag bala at the international airport, approving the the dengvaxia vaccine for enormous commision fees, etc…they failed, when they were in power. They were all greedy, as their Aquino Cojuangco politicical axis leaders.

    The Maoist NPA communist ideology is an obsolete ideology. It has failed to produce the worker’s utopia, as featured in their communist manifesto. Jo Ma Sison is living a lavish lifestyle in Amsterdam, Neatherland. The NPA is nothing more than the Italian Cosa Nostra, and the American Mafia. It survives thru , protection racket ,extortion and intimidation.

    As long as we keep on the right track, we will progress as a nation !

  4. OK, let’s look at the facts……SWS surveys are as fickle as a fart, they go in the direction of nearest wind….let’s take a look at the economic outlook for the average NON-OFW household in the country and its overall improvement since Dueterte took office, AND WE SEE THAT NOT MUCH HAS CHANGED FOR THEIR LOT….THE ‘MASSA” REMAIN POOR AS SHIT…OK, and let’s examine the countries RIDICULOUSLY, some would say, OUTRAGEOUS, electricity rates…YES, still the HIGHEST ELECTRICITY RATES IN THE WORLD…. NEXT UP, ;et’s take a quick look at the improvements in manufacturing in the country since Roddy took over,SHALL WE? YEP, anothe BUP-KISS, ZIP, ZERO, ZILCH, FRIKKIN NADA improvement.

    SO, as Dueterte’s ‘POPULARITY’, Foreigner’s call it HILARITY (as in ‘That frikkin guy is HILARIOUS’), seems to be ‘SKYROCKETING’, as the SWS states, there doesn’t seem to be much of a reason for it other than Filipino’s need something to cheer about. The FLOOD season is here AGAIN and CDO is underwater and like PNOY AQUINO b4 him, Dueterte is nowhere near the affected area, so where is the difference since this Man has taken OFFICE ? and to call the leader of the Communist Party an ‘OLD FOSSIL’ , well yes he is, BUT does the author need to be reminded that Duetrte is a mere 5 years the junior of this Man she vilifies ?

    There is not much more to it than the direction of the wind that explains Dueterte’s alleged popularity, BUT MARK THESE WORDS…….in 4 & 2/3 years, Filipino’s will be in the same sad sack of shit situation they were in before he took office and every day since. YOU CAN BET ON IT !For the Filipino lacks the courage to do what needs to be done since 1965 !

  5. “based their opinion mostly on hubris, not facts.”

    As I read the first paragraph of this article, I find it amusing how this Ilda and the rest of GRP find SWS surveys as reliable facts. During Noynoy Aquino III’s Presidency or the preceding President before Duterte, you even went to vilify this survey as a paid hack and a rubber stamp of Aquino whenever Aquino got a high approval rating or any member of liberal party for that matter, and now you Ilda consider this a fact? Ha Ha Ha! the level of INCONSISTENCY AND HYPOCRICY is shimmering and splending in this article.

    When you were once an opposition to Aquino from 2010-2016, you did not believe any studies that favor positive news to the economy of the Philippines under Aquino’s watch, now that you like the current president, how could you using data from other sources as facts and truth when it favors Duterte administration? It clearly shows how bias and partisan you are. I don’t really think you want genuine change for this country, you are no different to the one you criticize: Aquino and his allies. You have the same colors as you have agendas that serve your interest, your hidden demonic agenda to further create disharmony and disunity to the FIlipino people. Why don’t you leave us ALONE. You are not writing and making this blog to help us, you are not creating bridge to mend us, you are here to further destroy us! Hence, you have no right to criticize ordinary Filipinos and their culture as you YOURSELF is UNRELIABLE.

    1. @PinoyCitizen: Lol! What are you, naive? Of course we’d use these bullshit SWS surveys whenever convenient. Haven’t you heard of this saying “it cuts both ways”?

      In truth, as I said earlier, these “surveys” are utterly BS. But, as evident in the way Yellowtards treat them as gospel truth, it is always a joy to use the very instrument of their elation to highlight their own folly.

      Try not be too literal, dude, and do a bit of reading between the lines. That’s where most of the real insight in our brilliantly multi-layered articles lie — out of the reach of lazy and sloppy thinkers such as yourself.

      1. Thank you for confirming to us your ZERO credibility. Now that you agree to what I stated above that you are like bamboo tree and “balimbing” fruit – you will go whenever you are convenient and you will favor whenever you think you benefit – your right to criticize the corrupt politicians and the Filipino people turns into BALONEY.

        In the past, you portrayed yourself always with a serious tone in your articles couple with anger inducement and high level of standards when it comes to serious matters in life that need to change, attitude is one thing, credibility is another. But now, the opposite reveals. It is glaringly bright how nonsense you are! As I said, with your level of inconsistency that you revealed later, it backfires to you all the things you have said that you think are WRONG. Who would want to believe the non-credible PREACHER like you? That’s why you are losing commentators because of your insanity.

    2. @PinoyCitizen: Nah, we remain the most consistent community of writers in the Philippine blogosphere. As is evident above, you not only fail to read between the lines, you also latch on to a literary device in an article and proceed to build a sweeping argument on top of that extending beyond the article out to a bizarre generalisation of our work.

      Indeed, all you present here are quaint ad hominems and not much else. That’s not surprising of course coming from someone like you who uses a personally-crafted notion built upon sloppy thinking to mount a lame attempt to deliver a counterargument to a piece you evidently fail to wrap your pointed head around.

      Hey, that last sentence was quite a brilliant ad hominem too, wasn’t it? Yeah. For you, only the best.

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