Where is the substance in the drivel Ka Tonyo Cruz writes? Numbers he cited in his Manila Bulletin piece “P10,000 aid for all is needed — and possible” comes from none other than his comrade IBON Foundation Executive Director Sonny Africa. That biased “source” makes everything he writes suspect from the very beginning. Predictably he writes…
Only in the Philippines is there a pushback against aid. Not a few have claimed we don’t deserve aid, especially the poor who are routinely blamed for being poor. Some of those who are vehemently opposed to aid are the persons who show a certain level of entitlement that can only be satisfied by the continued work of the poor and the lower middle class: Having food delivered to them whenever they please; have public markets, groceries, gas stations, banks, and other essential services kept open; a steady food supply; and medical services, of course.
The think-tank Ibon Foundation has taken a look at the facts and figures, and they have calculated that Filipinos deserve to demand and to receive aid.
Tonyo displays a glaring lack of a basic grasp of economics and public finance. The fact is, any revenue shortfall of the government is financed by borrowings; external and internal. The ideal is to have a balanced budget. Government is not a business that’s run for profit. It’s easy for Tonyo to say the monies are there without taking into account the budget deficit, debt service and funding extraordinary contingencies arising from fortuitous events such as the projected COVID-19 Delta variant surge.
Even more laughable, Ka Tonyo deigns to compare the Philippines with the US which is a rich country and has the dollar as fiat currency. Has he looked at the current US budget deficit? The inflationary pressure tax-and-spend is putting on the US economy? Is he even aware of Philippine banks’ real estate exposure? If the economy is locked down again and there’s an increase in the non-performing loans (NPLs) of the banks, where will the government get the funds to prevent them from failing?
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Managing an economy is not as simple as Tonyo thinks it to be. This is why he and his comrades are not good for anything beyond agitating and exploiting the poor. The mendicant culture they promote is not an option in the pandemic environment. Every Filipino has to do his part. Tonyo’s attitude is typical of leftist-militants. They have no idea what their ideology is. Is it liberal capitalism with safety nets or is it socialism with even bigger safety nets?
As it is, the poor are already benefiting from free education from primary to tertiary levels. The administration of President Rodrigo Duterte has spent the highest amount on social services compared to previous administrations. It is easy for Tonyo and his cohorts to demand. But where to get to pay for what they want they are silent on. How convenient. How typically traditional opposition.
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