Huwad na Bayani: The DAP, the GDP and Aquino

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In 2007 the Gross Domestic Product growth rate was a globally envied high 6.62%. In 2008 (which was when the Global Economic Crisis and financial slump, from which the world economy—specially the euro zone, Japan and the US–has still not completely recovered) our GDP growth rate was 4.15% while others had minus or single-digit growth rates. In 2009, when the crisis did affect us, our GDP rate was 1.15%, but this was still good compared to the negative rate of other countries including our richer neighbors.

In 2010, our GDP growth rate was a whopping 7.63%.  President Aquino was already in power for six months at the end of 2010. But this astounding GDP growth rate was the result of the work done by President Arroyo and her administration’s economic managers.

But in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) in July 2010, he complained that he had found very little money in the government coffers with which to run the government until the end of the year. He told the people and the world in that SONA: “Our budget for 2010 is PhP1.54 trillion. Of this, only PhP100 billion—or 6.5% of the total budget—can be used for the remaining six months of the current year. Roughly 1% of the total budget is left for each of the remaining month.”  He asked: “Where did the funds go?” and accused the Arroyo administration of corruption.

Did he not know that the funds went to projects and programs that would bring about by yearend the excellent, admired-by-the-world GDP growth rate of 7.63%?


Maybe he knew and was just being dramatically mendacious.  But some analysts have written that President Aquino really did not know, that he was shockingly ignorant of the true state of the government’s finances and cash-flow situation. For he had ignorantly thought that “budget” means “hard cash in hand.” That is indeed the meaning in colloquial Tagalog of the word “budyet.”  But in fact a budget is a schedule of “planned expenditures to be made for which there are funds.”  He saw—or was told by someone—that all the planned expenditures had been allotted, appropriated, for the projects Congress had approved. So, he thought or was told, only 6.5% was left for him to use from July to December.

Laboring under this grossly mistaken and ignorant notion, he then ruthlessly cancelled many projects that were about to be launched and suspended the work on projects already ongoing. Among these was the P18.7 billion Laguna Lake Rehabilitation and Development project, which was contracted to a 150-year-old Belgian dredging company, one the world’s best. As a result of this cancellation Belgium filed a suit against the Philippine government and diplomatic ties with that old-friend-country soured.

DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson in 2010 cancelled 19 approved negotiated projects worth P934.1 million, funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.  Because of the cancellation local government officials complained that their areas suffered from severe flooding and millions of pesos in crop damage.

Other major projects were cancelled or suspended in 2010.  The billions that Congress had properly appropriated for these projects of the Macapagal-Arroyo presidency was then turned into DAP funds and allocated for projects that in President Aquino’s mind were priority activities.

Because of the cancellation and suspension in 2010 of projects that had been launched earlier by the Gloria Arroyo administration there was a lull in spending–from the time shortly after President Aquino assumed the presidency until after he and Sec. Abad made their DAP operational. That lull in spending is what made the GDP growth rate sink from 7.63 % in 2010 to 3.64% in 2011.

Later, with money available from the cancelled projects re-assembled into the DAP funds, government spending for big projects was again in full swing just as during Macapagal-Arroyo times, so that in 2012 the GDP growth rate rose back to the high levels set by President Arroyo—6.82% in 2012 and 7.16% in 2013.

What does this truthful narrative of our GDP growth tell us?

It tells us that President Aquino and Sec. Abad’s claim of being heroes who cured our sick and dying economy by giving it the DAP “medicine” or stimulus is an egregious lie.

For the truth is that they were the ones who starved our robust, strong and healthy economy (7.63% GDP growth rate in 2010 thanks to the Macapagal-Arroyo administration’s work) and made it sick and weak (3.64 % GDP growth rate in 2011).

The Aquino administration, in effect and in truth, caused the Philippine economy to be very sick in 2011, then restored our sick economy to better health–and beat their breasts in triumph for being the rescuers.

He and Mr. Abad are false heroes, Huwad na Bayani (as in the title of the famous play by Virgie Moreno).

President Aquino is like a man who kicked his little daughter from a boat into the sea, the child swallows a lot of water and nearly drowns, and he jumps into the sea to save her life.  Photos are taken of his rescue effort and he gets headlines for being a heroic father.  But of course God and the daughter know who kicked her into the sea and nearly killed her in the first place.

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15 Comments

  1. Horacio B. Freires on

    IN GOOD FAITH NAMAN DAW ATA KAYA NIYA PINAGGAGAWA UN E. . .. .If all the future presidents of the Republic of the Philippines will follow this definition of SAVINGS by Pnoy, they will just cancell the projects of the previous administration to create SAVINGS. . .and play with them at his own SAINTLY DISCRETIONS. . .TO STIMULATE THE ECONOMY AND CREATE PROGRESS. .

    To summarize the technology of Pres. Benigno Aquino d’3rd in allegorical manner to govern the nation towards economic progress. . .is to throw your own child daughter into the ocean. . .save her. . .and announce to the world that you are a hero. . .

    WHAT A GENIUS SA KATARANTADUHAN. .

  2. PNoy average GDP 2011-2013 – 5.9%; GMA 2002-2010 – 4.9%. #realtalk
    Source: PSA

    REPLY TO DARK KNIGHT: tHE 2002 TO 2010 period under GMA included the highest rates of growth, like 6.62% in 2007–when the Global Economic Crisis began– and 4.15% when the Global Crisis was raging. In 2010 it was 7.63%. The 2002-2010 average was pulled down by the 1.15 rate in 2009 when the Global Economic Crisis finally hit the Philippines hard. If President Aquino had not cancelled and suspended the ongoing and large-to-be launched projects in 2010, the 2011 rate of GDP growth would not have plunged to 3.64%. It would have shoot up to more than 7.73%. After DAP, the increase of growth from the downed rate of 3.64% caused by the President was to 6.82% % in 2012 and to only 7.16% in 2013. It has not caught up with Arroyo’s 7.63% in 2010.

  3. Well explained, it is crystal clear that Pnoy is ignorant on what he is always claiming that he improve the Phil economy, I am sure Valte, Coloma and Lacierda will not believe on what the author presented, they will keep on shielding Pnoys ignorance on economics, or Pnoy deliberately deceived the Filipino people since he also had a good background in Economics, he should know that he is telling lies. So what we really have now is an arrogant and lying president.

  4. Sana magbago na tayo!Gawin nalang natin ang maganda sa ating kapwa. Huwag na tayong magsisihan.After all isa lang ating bansa.Kung si Pnoy man ay nagkulang tayo ay magdasal na sana maliwanagan siya at kanyang mga kasama. Diyos ang maging sentro na ating buhay at huwag ang pera at kapangyarihan dahil wala tayong pupuntahan. Matutu tayong magpatawad at lahat ng bagay na gusto natin ay mapapasa atin bastat ang Diyos ang unahin natin sa ating buhay.Sana may panahon pa.

  5. I totally agree and hopefully history would judge GMA favorably due to her economic interventions. Sadly, this government has the same mantra as his mother take credit for everything and blame the last administration. Now, they’re calling to support and stand by him that’s why I never supported him in the first place and now those people who elected him I hope they’re having a good night sleep now that most Filipinos are still suffering especially the people of Tacloban.

  6. Nagmana din yan sa ugali ng Nanay niya na hindi pag operate ng Bataan power plant dahil sa gawa yan ng kalaban niyang si Marcos kahit alam niyang nakakatulong ang said power plant sa power needs ng bansa for the coming days at hindi sana naranasan ang power crisis noon. Si Pnoy din, lahat ng magagandang post Arroyo projects na makakatulong sana sa pag-unlad ng bansa ay dinis-continue niya not minding its negative impacts and the beneficial effect to the lives of the public because of his pride and arrogance.In short pure hipocrisy prevailed during Cory and now Noynoy administration using the DAP as the tool kunwari to make it appear that the economy is better than any in the previous regimes. Sana ginamit nalang ang DAP sa agarang pagtayo ng mga power plants, pag subsidize sa mga farmer’s needs, sa education, sa pag eliminate ng gov red tapes, pag create ng employments, pag rehab sa mga typhoon damaged areas, etc not on giving moneys to senatongs and tonggressmans, selling gov properties and utilities to greedy oligarchs!

  7. aquino did not even understand why his self created DAP was declared unconstitutional so i am not surprised why he didn’t understand that a credit should be given to a person for a job well done because he did not have the brain to understand, only a thick face to go on a spending spree on people’s money and wants to make that constitutional. oh great. we have a calloused nerve person efffing up the country and all crooks allied to him are all hell bent in spinning the truth just to cover his anomalous activities.

  8. Fully understood. Itong dalawang kalbo na ito ay salamangkiro. Akala nila ay malilinlang nila ang mga tao sa lahat ng oras.

    Tama nga “Tuwid na daan” sa maling paraan.

    Kasalanan din ng taong bayan – ibinoto ang isang bobo sa pagkapangolo.
    Ito naman isang kalbo na ito A bad sickcretary sa budyet ay binola niya ang isang
    bobo at kapwa nyang kalbo – Ayun ang nangyayari sa atain.

    Tuwid na daan sa maling paraan.

    • aquino knew that his election funders paid a person 500M pesos to do the dagdag bawas strategy to make him the winner because they knew that he will not win over Manny Villar so your assertion is wrong. majority did not vote for him. he also knew that a pcos machine was specifically designed to dothe cheating and the same pcos machine was used to cheat the results that unfortunately elected the crook candidates under the LIEberal party in 2013 and of course with the use of the DAP funds that only he and abad knew about worked well for him but i heard that someone who speaks to Father GOD will use her power to make all crook candidates of aquino lose in the 2016 election or will make aquino step down the soonest.

  9. A very clear and well-presented explanation of what happened to the Philippines GDP in the last 4 or 5 years including 4 years of Pnoy’s term. A very well-written editorial. Congratulations!

  10. So Arroyo had spent 93.5% of the budget by July 2010. Maybe Pnoy had only spent 6.5% of the 2011 budget by July 2011. So he created DAP. He caused the problem and corrected it by illegal means. He is truly incompetent. He can’t understand anything but the simplest. He does understand how to bribe. He has continually raised the amounts of the bribes, until most agree.

  11. Carlo L. Adan on

    A fine editorial, Manila Times. It makes me wonder why there has been no Palace response to this issue raised by getrealphilippines’ benignO, your columnist Makabenta and now this editorial.

  12. This narrative is excellent proof that before electing any person to key government offices, it is our duty to check on the mental capacity and capability of the person. Like in these time, hard times, we should elect men and women with brains. We cannot go on committing mistake after mistake in electing a mentally-challenged dude in the likes of PNoy.