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Sep 22nd
Home Columns Dissenting Opinion With Nothing Else But “Wangwang”, “Aquinomics” Is More Bust than Boom
With Nothing Else But “Wangwang”, “Aquinomics” Is More Bust than Boom PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - Dissenting Opinion
Written by Ado Paglinawan   
Saturday, 23 July 2011 14:39


Dissenting Opinion

By Ado Paglinawan of Washington, DC


A quinomics sounds more like Purisinomics to me.


Where is the man? We hear his finance secretary, why doesn't Benigno Simeon Aquino, III say it himself? When that happens, then we can say "Simon says..."


Yet Secretary Purisima has accidentally explained President Noynoy’s presidential sterility.


The “toy President” does not do anything but "Wangwang" in a year, but the economy improved, and the hunger index reduced. How can this be to his credit? 


I was discussing this boner with a friend in Chicago last week. He was of the idea that all President Noynoy has to do is minimize or remove corruption, and the nation will move forward. I said I do not know if that is happening because already there are signs left and right showing that corruption is still viciously with us.


I had my clerk pay small taxes last April and when I came back this June to review my books, what was in the receipt was hardly what I paid for. I am no millionaire, so I said just massage his imagination to project the corruption


Besides, you read in the newspapers many done-deals during the Arroyo Administration being investigated, some being renegotiated; Danding Cojuangco getting the better edge than Peping Cojuangco; and this matter of "KKK" phenomenon as a clearing house for political patronage, while Gloria Arroyo is still not handcuffed to the wall. So I said the election debates are over so let's stop talking about promises that are not being implemented.


I do not want to make Customs Commissioner Angelito Alvarez pee in his pants, but making smuggling an unprofitable business and shameful crime but the success of a lot of PureGold outlets out there, and similar operations, belie his principle. My friends in the customs bond business says that smuggling is only made rampant to the public eye when the customs people make apprehensions and arrests, but otherwise the mill continues insidiously. By the way, when was the last real series of customs apprehensions? Definitely not under President Noynoy.


I ended the discussion saying that running after corruption is the job of the Ombudsman and our system of prosecution, not the full time job of the presidency.


For the President Noynoy that he is, I said I am not about to give him more credit than he deserves. So I said the "pa-pogi" should stop with the "Wangwang" policy of his, not any further.


Credit the 10-million Overseas Filipinos who have stuffed our foreign reserves with up to $30-billion. Credit the hundreds of thousands of call-center and economic zone workers who burn the midnight oil, to service the needs of countries on the other side of the International Date Line abroad. 


Credit the sound financial fundamentals that were left there by former Foreign Secretary Bobby de Ocampo in 1998, after four balanced budgets of, not Aquino's, but the Ramos administration.


Credit the weakening dollar, but where will this drag us if the United States does not make its debt-ceiling deadline, balance its budget and reduce deficits? Our economy has set itself glued to the American dollar.


Credit mainland China's investment in the Philippines, like those new skyscrapers and soon the North and South Rails linking Clark Air Base through Manila to the Port of Batangas, but at the rate our demagogues are pillorying the Chinese in the international court of public opinion on the issue of the Spratlys instead of leaving the matter to quiet and responsible diplomacy, our good neighbors might just vomit towards the China Sea to our direction sending a tsunami to wipe us altogether.


So let us flesh out the rhetoric.


Aquinomics (or more appropriately Purisinomics) has four pillars, according to Cesar Purisima.


O ne is fiscal sustainability and macroeconomic stability. In this Secretary Purisima says the country is on track, with reserves at historic highs and borrowing costs down, a balance of payments surplus, moderate inflation, and deficit targets within range.


But by his own admission, this is already a given. In fact our economy despite Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's plunder sustained itself and in fact grew.


What he is actually saying is that President Noynoy will toe the line. That is not we want. We want him in fact to risk some so that many, the people, will benefit. That is not macro that microeconomics. And there, we want him to lead. Now where the programs? Without the programs, this pillar sounds like more like less of status quo than innovation.


The second pillar is the private-public partnership or PPP program. Secretary Purisima says this has stalled a bit, with seven instead of 10 projects scheduled for bidding within the year, as “We’re resisting the temptation to rush into half-baked projects.”


Again, there is no evidence of leadership here. These projects did not just happen within the year. These 10 projects have been in the minds of the private sector even before President Noynoy assumed office. Governments shoot themselves in the foot stumbling about projects, but investors do not just rush into proposals. This has not just stalled a bit, but sounds like additional bureaucracy has been applied, instead of loosening free enterprise.


And this is why Purisima's next pillar is a double talk.


A third pillar, he adds, is ease in doing business, for both local and foreign investors. Last week, for example, the Securities and Exchange Commission signed an agreement with the Land Bank of the Philippines, allowing the bank’s branches nationwide to accept incorporation papers. The SEC and Department of Trade and Industry will soon be combining their data.


So what if there's another window for incorporation papers? If PPP has slackened a bit, again by his own admission, what's the need for Land Bank? It only makes facile the filing procedure but not the actual investment. Who will file if there are no investors? He should have been consistent if he stayed with investor promotions.


Obviously this pillar is a non-essential just added on to ice the cake, to fatten the subliminal.

Purisima says the fourth pillar is investment in people – giving Filipinos health care, education and the skills necessary to become “productive participants in the economy,” Purisima said

So is this why President Noynoy ramming down our throats the Reproductive Health Bill? Is that his notion of healthcare? Is this also why there is talk of extending the primary and secondary education to what, two more years? What specifically is Secretary Purisima saying? Are these his programs? These two sounds more like mid to long term balms, but they have become too controversial, they have already politically divided the nation, with sides stonewalling their defenses. That is how bad they have gone.

Mr. Purisima, and I will start my closing here, where are the programs for national productivity that will actually make that proverbial wheel of commerce move to provide more food on the Filipino table and more money in the pockets of ordinary citizens?

That is what we are asking for from your President.

Ngayon dahil wala naman talaga, what I suggest President Noynoy do is review the programs of the first three years of the Gloria Arroyo administration, except of course the scams feeding her fraudulent 2004 reelection, and maybe his cluelessness and gutlessness will be reduced a bit.

As for Cesar Purisima, why have you released this before the State of the Nation Address of the Toy President?

Pa-pogi ka rin, ano?

You had to make sure that if any of these are reflected on President Noynoy's July 25 speech, sa iyo ang credit, di ba?

Sus, muntik na naman tayong mabola.

Bilog na bilog na
sir, tama na please! Pinapag-praktisan niyo lang kami.

Good governance is leadership with genuine creativity and incontrovertible results.


Here are excerpts from the "SKETCHES" by Ana Marie Pamintuan, as published in the Philippine Star:


A year into the administration of Benigno Simeon Aquino III, “Aquinomics” is the buzzword of his economic team.


At the heart of this, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima told us the other night, is that “good governance is good economics.”


The focus is not so much on the amount of government resources but how it is deployed, or “how we are able to squeeze out more” from what’s available, Purisima said.


This means, among other things, better tax collection rather than new taxes. It also means, according to Customs Commissioner Angelito Alvarez, “making smuggling an unprofitable business and a shameful crime.”


Aquinomics aims to create an environment that will give the private sector confidence to put in their money, generate jobs, accelerate economic growth and sustain it, Purisima explained.


At the start of the Aquino administration, Purisima and his team visited The STAR to explain the financial goals and strategies of the new government.


The other night they returned to The STAR for a chat on what has been achieved and what’s in store . . . (Snipped) # # #


Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of Ado Paglinawan do not necessarily represent those of the editorial board and staff of this online publication.


Last Updated on Saturday, 23 July 2011 14:47

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