• ‘Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap’

    12

    So was, and still seems President Aquino’s slogan. . . .

    The slogan was invented in the 2010 campaign by an advertising executive, who of course brainstormed the catchy sentence in the way she dreamed up ad copies for commercials for detergents and deodorants. Never mind whether it’s realistic or rational, just as long as it sticks in people’s minds. Never mind if no country on earth actually developed just through an anti-corruption drive.

    After three years in power, Aquino’s campaign slogan haunts him. One is even tempted to argue logically from it: “There is more poverty now; therefore, there is more corruption? “

    The poverty incidence—percent of population poor—has hardly improved, from 28.6 percent of the population in 2009 to 27.9 in 2012, the last available data. Subjective surveys of the Social Weather Stations do not indicate any improvement in poverty incidence after that.

    Source: Computed from NSCB data.

    Source: Computed from NSCB data.

    But the rate masks the worsening lot of Filipinos under Aquino. There were 26.3 million poor Filipinos in 2009, now there are 800,000 more: 27.1 million. Among these are the extremely poor, barely managing to keep body and soul together: 9.7 million.

    That means one in four Filipinos are poor, one in 10 barely managing to survive.

    For all of Aquino’s boasts—and he will make many today, many even false ones— his administration hasn’t dented at all the country’s poverty problem. And that is the bottom line of any government’s performance: whether or not, it improves the lot of its citizens.

    Aquino’s track record is dismal if one notes that during President Arroyo’s term, the 28.8 percent poverty rate in 2006 was reduced to 28.6 in 2009.

    That was despite the slowdown in the gross domestic product’s (GDP’s) growth rate from 5.2 percent in 2006 to 1.1 percent in 2009 because of the Global Financial Crisis that was at its worst in 2009, a recession worse than the Great Depression of the 1930s, which severely cut down our exports. But Arroyo launched, just when the crisis appeared on the horizon, a P330 billion Keynesian type of response called “Economic Resiliency Plan” that shielded the poor from the global slowdown.

    In sharp contrast, GDP in 2012 grew by 6.6 percent. But that hardly dented our poverty profile, which was at 27.9 percent of the population.

    Aquino can’t make the excuse that growth doesn’t spread to the poor automatically.

    Indonesia’s GDP growth rate last year was 6.2 percent, lower than the Philippines’ 6.6 percent. But Indonesia’s poverty incidence went down from 13.3 percent in 2010 to 12 percent last year. Thailand’s GDP growth was 6.4 percent in 2012; its poverty incidence went down from 17 percent in 2010 to 12.8 percent.

    Quite obviously, Aquino’s growth has been mostly for the elite, aptly symbolized today in metropolitan Manila by images of towering condominium buildings with shanties in the foreground, and street beggars tapping on the windows of Audis, asking for loose change.

    The world of Aquino’s elite has started to impinge on and directly worsen the poor’s world, a recipe for social and political unrest. Resort developments in such areas as Tagaytay and Batangas are ending the poor’s decades-old lease arrangements with absentee landlords, creating a new angry mass of squatters.

    A type of local vicious cycle is being strengthened, its impact affecting the nation. The Communist and Islamic insurgencies in such provinces as Samar, Negros Oriental, Leyte, Apayao, Ifugao, and southern and central Mindanao provinces have been feeding on poverty in those areas. The intensified insurgencies worsen poverty in those areas as businesses flee the fighting, and the entire country becoming for the global community a politically unstable one.

    Source: NSCB

    Source: NSCB

    The national poverty figures actually mask the reversal of gains in reducing poverty in many provinces achieved by Aquino’s predecessor, President Arroyo. In nearly half of the country’s provinces, the reduction of poverty achieved from 2006 to 2009 was reversed under Aquino, the incidence of poverty rising. (See table)

    Even in such a minuscule province as Batanes, the fiefdom of Aquino’s ideologue and Budget secretary Florencio Abad, the poverty incidence more than doubled, from 14 percent in 2009 to 37 percent. No wonder, Abad’s wife nearly lost—winning by only 200 votes—in the recent congressional contest. The poverty rate in Capiz, home province of Aquino’s would-be successor Mar Roxas, went down to 29 percent from 2006 to 2009; it increased to 30 percent in 2012.

    The impoverishment in several provinces under Aquino’s watch is actually alarming, with the poverty incidence at rates seen only in war devastated countries:

    • In six provinces, half of the population have become poor, down from the 2009 levels: Occidental Mindoro, Negros Oriental, Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, North Cotabato, and Northern Samar;

    • In four provinces, two out of three Filipinos are poor: Ifugao, Eastern Samar, Lanao del Sur, and Maguindanao.

    On Wednesday: Why poverty won’t be solved under Aquino.

    tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com
    www.rigobertotiglao.com and www.trigger.ph

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    12 Comments

    1. Philip Rasco on

      I hope people understand that poor families have bigger tendencies to have more children.

    2. The ad executive in question did not craft the slogan. From what I know, the slogan came from a staff member of a senator’s office. The staff member had it emblazoned on some banners. Another senator saw it and asked if he could use it in his campaign. His ad agency is the same one that claims to have come up with the slogan. The ad executive merely “stole” the slogan and says it was their doing. They’re the same agency that came up with the first DOT slogan which was pure crap.

    3. Jonathan Edwards J. Olabre on

      Supremo. Am I not the same example of Kung Walng Corrupt Walang Mahirap? You set the example and I followed. We are those who believed in serving the country no matter what. We were those who served with all our intellect and strength to serve the country? I was in the middle of an FPJ rally protesting the results of the 2004 elections to monitor it. It was because I believed you that we won fairly and I knew we worked hard for it. At great personal cost I defended our position and I have brought you to talk to certain people during a critical time of the GMA Administration? It was not because I wanted to earn. I earned my salary by being a part of the government. Trabaho lang! But I also used my intellect in rationalizing things that was done because these were what was needed for the Republic to survive. Hindi po ba Matuwid yun? I believe you and I never got rich. For the past few months I subsist on Lucky Me Noodles. I remember the times I had 2 cars and even had a MR2 Toyota Sportscar to drive adide from a Safari to drive home. Thanks to you, I experienced having breakfast at Manula Polo Cub, lunch at Manila Golf Club, dinner at Circles and that was almost everyday. This is beyond us. The Motherland cries out for rescue. How are we to be a part of it? Guidance po Supremo.

    4. It is after all a political campaign slogan patterned to attract the innocent and ever hoping Filipino masses. We Filipinos are always victims of our own doings we tend to depend our fate to these unscrupulous politicians except for some. We ended up voting for them every election time hoping they would be caretakers of our dreams and hopes but usually they end up filling their own bellies. Have we ever wondered why these politicians spend millions of pesos, just for sake of servitude as they all say and profess during election time? Are they truly after to serve the people? Yet the worse of all is we the Filipino people, are the ones even condoning what these politicians are doing. We often comment on a certain politician that he is of a wealthy family so he would be a good politician cause he will not be after the money of the government, but is this really happening? Some would even comment that this politician is a fighter of corruption so better to elect him in office, but is he really a fighter of corruption now or also interested with the pork barrel he receives from the government? There are so few politicians who can hardly say he or she will not accept his or her pork barrel and much more less politicians will not ever accept their salary or donate them to the poor. Where now are these politicians, who during the election time shouting for the betterment of the masses? How wealthy they have become and how poorer are their constituents at present? They always shout for their achievements but have their constituents taste of any kind of betterment? It is always easy to blame somebody else but never easy to accept one’s failure. We should understand that it is by our own doings that these things are happening to us. We should be more vigilant, more sincere and most of all we should put an end to these politicians who only serve their own benefit. Do not be fooled by their so called achievements when in reality it’s only them who have gained and not the masses.

    5. Poverty does not depend on the government alone. The people involved has also their fair share in the reasons why they are poor.

    6. kung ang pondo ng gobyerno mapupunta sa dapat kalagyan,kahit papaano mababawasan ang kahirapan.Sinong gagong foreign investors ang papasok sa bansang rampante ang kurapsyon.criminalidad at bulok na sistema.PDAF ng mga senador at congressman na napunta sa non-existing na mga NGOs;POLICE na involve sa Hold-ups,kidnappings,KAYA MGA MAHIHIRAP WALANG KUKURAP,MGA HINALAL NATIN AT MGA KAWANI NG GOBYERNO NATIN ANG MISMONG KURAP.

    7. A man with no dependent family like wife children and a lot of money inherited from a family heirloom, does not have to steal. But his minions do. For him is the glory and power at his hands that gives him his kicks…notice how he manipulates the senatongs and the tonggressmen?? Lastly, his inherent vindictiveness past on by his father and mother that he can inflict on his perceived enemies.

    8. mylene valentino on

      Nice read Mr. Tiglao! I only wish you can publish this in tagalog so that the poor will better understand why their condition did not improve a bit.

      Cheers!

    9. First of all if we want to create jobs, that means we need more engineers to start industrialization. Most of the jobs in the country are call centers, retail, which are not good quality and high paying jobs. Our educational system should be geared to produce more engineers and scientists.and not just commerce and nursing.

    10. Voice from the Wilderness on

      This propaganda slogan of this present inept administration of “kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap” is too simplistic and naive which is a reflection of the present Regime. Many naive people equate corruption with the stealing and misuse of government funds as the main culprit. But they forget that another form of corruption is also in our midst and that is, the administrator has all the necessary resources and plans at his/her disposal but he/she is not moving and just being content loafing around like a road roller biding his/her time anyway, no one can take issue against him/her because he/she had not stole or misuse any government funds.

    11. Hindi naman talaga niya masolusyunan ang kahirapan ng bansa kasi wala naman siyang balak na palawakin ang parte ng agrikultura na halos 70% ng mga Pilipino umaasa. Kaya wala rin yan kung hindi ka negosyante hindi ka aangat sa buhay mo.

    12. rodante pagalan on

      mr. tiglao sir. i will bet my 1 peso if you can come up with evidence that benigno pnoy aquino did mention even (once) to go hard on illegal drugs/drug lords…if none ,what do you think?