San Pedro: Economic disconnect?-A A +A
Check and Balance
Sunday, February 10, 2013
FORMER ambassador to Greece and columnist Rigoberto Tiglao, a known supporter of Rep. Gloria Arroyo of Pampanga's 3rd District, had been saying that there had been an apparent great disconnect between the 6.6 percent economic growth announced by the Aquino government and the amount of foreign direct investments (FDI) that entered the country.
Malacañang had earlier announced that the Philippine economy grew by 6.8 percent in the last quarter of 2012, which brought forth a full year growth of 6.6 percent in 2012 way over the government's official target of 5 to 6 percent. Drumbeaters of the Aquino administration noted that this was anchored on the economic reforms introduced by the current leadership.
Supporters of President Aquino had been quick in saying that "good governance" resulted to "good economics."
An email from the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson further said: "The administration's vision for the economy has always been to ignite a virtuous cycle of growth and empowerment -- to enable business and enterprise to flourish; to open doors of opportunity for each citizen; and to invest in them so that they can truly take hold of their own destinies. The continued growth of our GDP is proof positive of our ability to sustain a united march forwards along the straight path toward equitable progress. Rest assured that while our administration is encouraged by these successes, we will continue to work even harder to maintain our economy's upward trajectory."
But Tiglao insisted that the 6.6 percent economic growth "does not match with reality" because neighboring Asian countries like Myanmar and Cambodia had overtaken the Philippines in terms of actual FDIs received by each country. Cambodia posted $1.8 billion in 2012, a 104 percent increase from 2011 while Myanmar (Burma) had $1.9 billion, a 90 percent increase from 2011. The Philippines reportedly generated $1.3 billion in FDIs in 2012.
Tiglao added that annual average inflow of net foreign direct investments under the Aquino administration amounted to only $1,360 million, compared to the $2,171 million under Arroyo from 2005 until June 2010, and the $1,746 million during the administration of former president Joseph Estrada.
Well, instead of locking horns over cold economic statistics - why not support the efforts to drum up interest of local and foreign investors to locate in the Philippines? Tiglao noted that the Philippines is not even an emerging economic "tiger cub" to the consternation of other conscionable individuals who want to better the lives of Filipino people.
Perhaps it would be better if we will paddle the boat in one direction to avoid stalling midway in the treacherous high seas.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on February 11, 2013.