There’s NO Philippine economy “in the time of Marcos and Duterte”. Only The Philippine Economy. Period

JC Punongbayan is an aspiring doctor of economics, writes for Rappler and contributes to the blog Usapang Econ.

As I write this, there is some sort of symposium conducted by “PhD Candidate” JC Punongbayan of the UP School of Economics dubbed “Numbers don’t lie, people do: Dissecting the Philippine economy in the time of Marcos and Duterte” currently in progress. One does not really need to attend this event seeing the title and the person conducting it clearly have a political agenda. Is this really “economics” as it is supposed to be presented? Real economics does not distinguish between presidential terms. Specially in the Philippine setting where presidential terms are too short to to be of true strategic consequence, any effort to correlate movements in economic indicators to specific presidents is intellectually dishonest at best.

The key principle that debunks the premise of this quaint soiree is the flawed notion that causation can be concluded from mere correlation. The title of Punongbayan’s symposium aims to lure its audience into arriving at that perverted conclusion — that economic indicators that marked the administrations of Ferdinand Marcos and Rodrigo Duterte constitute proof that they caused the economic conditions these indicators described. This is bald dishonest use of data — feeding it into a patently rigged algorithm or evaluation method and publishing a conclusion that is not subject to critical evaluation by qualified people.

In short, Punongbayan uses the age-old mass-persuasion methodology of none other than mainstream news media — where data is cobbled together by unqualified “analysts” into a “report” which then gets passed off as “news”. Did we mention that Punongbayan writes for Rappler? Food for thought there.

The trouble with Punongbayan is that he is an aspiring “doctor” of “economics”. You’d think one could expect a bit more mathematical rigour of a doctor of a “science” of sorts. In implying causation between a set of factors and the ebbs and flows of a national economy, there really are far more data points needed to establish a model that one could rely on to arrive at conclusions with an acceptable level of confidence. Punongbayan implies that he only needs two such data points: (1) whoever happens to be president over a given period and (2) inflation and GDP movements over said period. You would need a lot less than a 30-by-40 cell spreadsheet (the default dimension of an Excel spreadsheet when first opened on a standard-size monitor) to come up with a model for Punongbayan’s thesis.

What Punongbayan is essentially leading Filipinos to believe is akin to the construct that given that Typhoon Haiyan struck in November of 2013 and Noynoy Aquino happened to be president at the time, Filipinos should avoid electing an Aquino at all costs. Like a national economy, the weather has lots of variables. But humanity only needs guys like Punongbayan to assure them that “wisdom” to guide their fortune-seeking is only an “economics” symposium away.

For that matter, why even limit a discussion on the Philippine economy to “the time of Marcos and Duterte”? Step back far enough from petty Yellowtard politics and you will find that what ails the Philippine economy has nothing to do with politics and a lot more to do with the character of Philippine society. At the very heart of the matter is the Filipino’s lack of a tradition of scientific and technological achievement and a sorry record of accumulating capital. Stated simply, Filipinos are (1) incapable of scientifically thinking their way out of paper bags and (2) cannot save (much more invest) for a rainy day if their future lives depended on it.

Prosperity is driven by advancements in thinking and problem solving. It began when man found a way to tame fire and use it to cook, keep himself from freezing to death, turning the heat it generates into mechanical energy, and, eventually, finding other processes that generate heat, like nuclear energy (after realising that fire fouls up the air he breathes). Thus, in order for a national economy to grow sustainably, it needs to be backed by that all-important capital-building enabler: the scientific method.

What hope do Filipinos have if even “economists” like JC Punongbayan cannot be bothered to apply a proper scientific approach to arriving at sound conclusions much more properly frame the problem they are trying to solve first?


15 Comments on “There’s NO Philippine economy “in the time of Marcos and Duterte”. Only The Philippine Economy. Period”

  1. “the scientific method”
    But where does one get this scientific method? Isn’t it going to school and getting an education?

      1. Seems nobody is interested in what you say here, DR, let me reply to you. Well… nothing much, since we know that’s another fact of the country.

        Anyways… you can go back again to being “invisible” in this comment section. Ciao.

      1. The power of authority is what he seeks, a title of PhD will elevate him high above the ordinary people who have lesser or with no education at at all, so comparing himself to the ordinary people his words will have more weight, as the ordinary people will easily give in and agree without argument. This is just how the elite does it, systematically deprive people of education by making it not affordable and less a priory in life, makes the ordinary people dependent on those few who have achieve a “higher” education.

        1. PhD (Philippine Doctors) go to America and downgrade to Nurse so they can be employed. Because Filipino PhDs cannot pass medical exams to be USD.

  2. Punongbayan is nothing but an Aquino Cojuangco running dog, there to sell us the “economics politics” of vodoo economics.

    Why is he pointing at Marcos era and the Duterte era ? Why not the Aquino Cojuangco era ? People who have some ” carabao sense” , will question his “vodoo economics”.

    His claim of being a candidate for a doctorate degree is immaterial. His being biased in his presentation of economics; and his inclination to cover up the economic mismanagement of the the Philippine economy by the Aquinos is very much obvious.

  3. Having a doctorate in economics is about as useful as having a doctorate in astrology. It’s a pseudoscience, and its errant conclusions seem to be behind a lot of modern misery.

    But yeah … The Philippine Economy. There really isn’t any such thing. A fairly fundamental underpinning of (say) markets is a desire to trust each other and engage in mutually-beneficial trade. Since the Filipino isn’t inclined to engage in mutually-beneficial anything, the whole concept just falls at the first hurdle.

    1. That seems a trend/norm in Philippine Society.

      Pinoys are not fond of building large-scale, integrated systems that run like clockwork.

      Instead, they have numerous “tingi-tingi” elements, call their accumulation a “system”, and allow the chaos to run things.

  4. PUNONGBAYAN styles himself as an ECONOMIST ? AHA! HA! HA! HA!

    1. How can a person be an economist in the absence of statistical data?
    1.a. There is no statistical data on condominium occupancies
    1.b. All condominiums are “SOLD OUT” but how many units are LIVED-IN ? How many units are bought but VACANT?
    1.c. How many units are listed in AirBnB? For Rent?
    1.d. Why do they buy condominiums and not lived in? To park their money than park it in CDs? Because condo prices rises faster than Makati Stock Exchange cherry picked stock indexes? NOBODY HAS THAT ShiT!
    1.e. Who are buyers of condominiums? Are they OFWs? Are they employed Filipinos who got extra cash? Are they foreigners married to Filipinos? NOBODY HAS THAT Sh1T !!!

    How in the fucking world can I know which I to invest if these idiots do not have data. Of course, there are data but not for public viewing. Because the lesser Filipinos not have these data the better for oligarchs to get ahead of everybody else.

    There are data points they can mine …. they have BIR income taxes to determine how many filers earn … BUT FILIPINOS DO NOT HAVE THAT STATS !!!!


    If U.P. Ateneo and la Salle communists wanted Filipinos to be rich … THEY SHOULD MINE MORE DATA SO FILIPINOS CAN INVEST IN STOCK M ARKET in Makati Stock Exchange … or maybe they can invest in Livestock Stock Exchange in POEA Slave Market Trading.

    1. What Punongbayan should do before he begins is SHOW US STATS … stats that is readily avaialble in Philippine Fake Newspapers … without statistical and financial data … ECONOMICS AND ECONOMISTS DO NOT EXIST !!!!

      SEC SUCKS !

      1. @Oratio Imperata:

        Ordinary Filipino like us, don’t understand Statistical Data, much more Statistics. Besides, data can be placed there, to make the Statistics look bad or good.

        Look at the false surveys, shown to us, by Fake Poll surveys.
        During the Aquino era; Pnoy Aquino was featured that his performance , went up , up and away thru the roof…

        The job performance poll surveys did not matched up with the results of his true performance, as Presidents.

        Poll surveys that show, who among the candidates are in the magic winning slots, and who are out; only have the purpose to Condition our minds, to vote and not to vote for certain candidate.

        Same as Punongbayan’s economics. Its purpose is to condition our minds to blame the long dead Pres. Marcos Sr. and the sitting Pres. Duterte. It is also to remove/cover up, the blame of the economic mismanagement of the Aquinos; Cory Aquino and Pnoy Aquino !

    It is not complex.
    It is simple.

    I DO NOT NEED SERMONS FROM PU NONGBAYAN ON Philippine Voodoo Economics !!!

    Talking about Economics calculus without statistics available to Filipinos is simply VOODOO ECONOMICS !!!! Booooo !!!!

  6. It is suppose to be a Capitalist economy but Pilipinos obviously do not have the knowledge to handle it, so therefore the capitalist system of economy is not the right system for the Pilipinos, it’s a failure, just like communism and socialism.

  7. When one says that they agree with a thing in principle, they mean that they have not the slightest intention of carrying it out in practice.

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