How not to attract investment, Philippine-style

Ej Lopez

Ej Lopez

The act of Congress to take to its own turf the responsibility of investigating the Judicial Development Fund (JDF) purportedly for the alleged inadvertent disbursement of the Supreme Court is “usurpious’ if not suspicious and downright politically stirred act; in fact is highly anticipated after the high court’s unanimous declaration of Disbursement Acceleration Program’s (DAP) unconstitutionality. No matter how much these political interest groups would rationalize and deny their vengeful motive for such actions, their deed runs smack into the independence of the judiciary.

Obviously, some sectors are out to protect, rationalize or even to right the wrong
of some unconstitutional exploit, to escape responsibility from DAP misspending.

This vengeful move follows a particular pattern; much like the ouster of the former
CJ Renato Corona who incurred the ire of the President resulting into his ouster.

But in as much as it is remote to remove the 13 justices who voted against the legality of the DAP, the least to be done is to push the justices against the wall by questioning issues about the JDF; in the hope that that they will finally yield and overturn the earlier ruling. Yet these JDF issues that were trivial in the past were highlighted despite inappropriate and unwinnable because of lack of case to indict the high court.

Only a political fanatic who has lost objectivity and wisdom would not believe that political vendetta is the objective behind the attack against the judiciary; surely these are frantic moves that will not prosper. This action of some is a desperate move to inflict and cast doubts on the credibility of the high court even going to the extent of threatening to impeach the SC Chief. Filipinos, reasonable and rational as they are should not allow vested interest groups to twist our constitution and lawful society just to advance political and personal interests.

In the final canto, these people will paint a picture of the Supreme Court that they themselves will be petrified, impinging into a territory not their own and interpreting a law not their proficiency. Amongst our midst are lick boots who would do extreme measures and risking careers just to please and spare their “Boss” from the peoples’ rage and passion.

Unyielding traffic in Metro Manila
The current traffic jam that has punished Metro Manila’s people and the economy remains unresolved; in fact has gone from bad to worse. Initial relief from this stressful situation was felt when a total truck and bus ban was in imposed Metro Manila was imposed arbitrarily by authorities. Though it has somehow eased the operational aspects of traffic in the city, it brought nightmares to businesses that draw their income from exports.

Whereas before it will take an average of 5 days to release their importations from the local ports, now the least is 10 days, some less than a month! In economics this is what you can call as “legal & high level economic sabotage!” How would you expect the country to be the melting pot of investments when basic protocol to investment liberalization is not address? This even violates the basic principle of economics on supply and demand.

Still economic authorities would wonder why inflation rate last June has accelerated to almost 5 percent, the highest in two years. This was further aggravated by the continued exchange of barbs between the LTFRB against the MMDA and the city mayors; unless settled sooner will do more harm than good to our economy.

The entire economy will be in a quandary unless immediate measures are done to address this nagging dilemma that has affected primarily our economic well-being.

The government in this scenario should strike a balance between the interest of the people and the business community. We may be convenience with the absence of traffic indicators; but how do you address the business sectors that are adversely affected by local rulings that discriminate the businesses (like truck ban). This results in price increases resulting from the unavailability of goods that were hampered by the ban, worse unemployment and inflation will ensue.

Are we going to trade convenience of no-traffic with unemployment and inflation? Take your pick . . .

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  1. Jose C. montemayor, Jr. on

    Excellent Analysis. Simple, easily understood in the context of economic theories, concepts and perspectives. Thank you, Sir.

  2. I come from england & we have had our share of traffic problems & sometimes still do. There are ways to limt them & the uk has adopted many ways. We give priority to public service vehicles & not to cars. Here its just the opposite, why because the people in charge dont use public transport & so dont want any inconvienience to themselves. Years ago the actual city of london ( its only 1 sq mile ) was totally congested all day long. We now make a charge to go into that 1 sq mile & every vehicle that enters must pay. It worked, there now isnt congestion there at all. But you wouldnt do that here as every car that went there would have to pay that charge & pay it every time. The charge covers you for the whole day. I think its from 6am to 6pm. Its free before & after those times. Its free weekends & bank holidays.
    Now we also in many cities have bus only lanes which means buses use them but cars arnt allowed into them, if you do you will be fined. There are cameras everywhere. By having these rights for public transport you reduce the ammount of cars on the roads & move people around a lot quicker. The philippines needs to learn from other countries & cities. The longer you leave it the worse things will get.

  3. Horacio B. Freires on

    Congress this time is un-civilized. . So is the one dictating to it what to do to a non-political independent Institution as the Supreme court. .