Arroyo’s economic achievements hit (2:37 p.m.)-A A +A
Saturday, June 12, 2010
MANILA -- A research group said the Filipino people should not be in celebratory mood as President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo would only trumpet her administration’s hollow gains in the economy Saturday afternoon.
“The Arroyo administration will be remembered for lost ground on important measures of development and progress in the face of economic growth. Filipinos are worse off today than when President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo came to power nine-and-a-half years ago,” said Ibon Foundation in a statement.
Ibon made the remark in time for Arroyo’s last Independence Day speech where she is expected to report on her 10-point legacies to the people, and will be highlighted by an 11-float civilian and military parade.
The President is scheduled to deliver her last report to the people at around 4 p.m.
Arroyo earlier said in various interviews that she wanted to be remembered as the leader who stabilized and modernized the economy that created job opportunities for the people.
But the group said that despite having the highest recorded average growth in the post-Marcos era, the Arroyo government failed to translate these gains in improving the poor conditions of the country.
Ibon characterized the Arroyo administration as a time where severe unemployment occurred, poverty has risen, greater gap between the rich and the poor ensued, slow uptick in real wages, and little effort to modernize the economy.
Official reported growth in gross domestic product (GDP) during the Arroyo administration (2001-2009) averaged 4.5 percent annually compared to 3.9 percent under Corazon Aquino (1986-1991), 3.8 percent under Fidel Ramos (1992-1997) and 2.4 percent under Joseph Estrada (1998-2000).
The group also hit Arroyo’s free trade policies, the escalating budget deficit, weak tax collection effort, and huge public debt that stood at P4.36 million last February.
It advised incoming President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to “overturn” the legacies of Arroyo and focused on tackling corruption; modernize the manufacturing and agricultural sector; and “meaningful” distribution of wealth.
“Much more progressive governance is needed to able to overturn the dark legacies of the outgoing Arroyo administration,” Ibon said. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)