Just before Christmas Day, a Moody’s Investors Service analysis of the Philippine economy was released. It says that domestic growth is being hamstrung by the Aquino administration’s weak use of its budget.
Moody’s says because the administration is not spending as much and as fast as it should, economic growth is constricted. And Philippine gross domestic product (GDP) likely grew by only 6.3 percent this year, below the government target of 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent.
Among the opportunities that the administration did not take advantage of to spur economic growth is the reconstruction of areas that were badly hit by Super Typhoon Yolanda. This alone proves that the Aquino administration is motivated more by its political goals than doing the best for the people.
After Yolanda hit the Philippines in November last year, it was obvious that its impact would be deep and vast. Moody’s points out that Philippine growth momentum in the first quarter of 2014 was adversely affected by the destruction caused by Yolanda. But the Aquino administration dilly-dallied on the reconstruction of the areas hard hit by the typhoon. The misery of the victims obviously mean nothing to the President and his men.
The Moody’s report says government consumption and public construction, which includes infrastructure development, fell by 1.6 percent year-on-year over the first three quarters of the year.
Moody’s says the government’s real GDP growth target of 7 percent to 8 percent for 2015 will be difficult to achieve if budget releases and use are not improved.
The economy is expected to grow by 6.5 percent next year, with the report saying that any benefits from infrastructure development will be reaped only in the medium- to long-term.
Manila Times commentaries have long faulted the corrupt and incompetent Aquino administration for not spending the money that it has the power to disburse legally—appropriated by Congress and allocated for the projects for which the budgets were created. But rather than do its work —according to the law and the rules—the President and his Budget Secretary have been choosing which projects to actually release money for. When they could not be sure that what they want to happen would or could, they choose to freeze the projects.
They insanely invented what they called the Disbursement Acceleration Program to justify their transferring money from allocated project appropriations to those they like because these are favorable to their political aims.
But the DAP, patently illegal and unconstitutional, was declared so by the Supreme Court. Since then they have been blaming the High Court’s correct and high-minded ruling to cover up their incompetent and malfeasant unwillingness to spend money—which would have created jobs—on good projects they don’t like.
Will this negative Moody’s report—which we have forecast in our columns and commentaties—at last trigger some action in the Aquino administration?
If the Aquino administration wants to at least look good next year, it should immediately put into full swing the reconstruction efforts of areas that were badly affected by Yolanda.
Because Tacloban City—more than half of which Yolanda destroyed—is the bailiwick of the Romualdez clan, Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas and the President have been cruel to it and its citizens whose homes and businesses were devastated. Their neglect of Tacloban, most of all, is ground for the PCOS-machine created President Aquino to be impeached.
But the gods of politics and bad governance have been allowed by the true God Almighty to favor Mr. BS with control over Congress\ and the affection of friends and relatives who control the popularity surveys and the largest mass media. So Mr. Aquino and his administration can continue being as incompetent and as uncaring of the common good without being punished.
We pray that reports by foreign organizations, like this one by Moody’s, knock some good sense into the President’s and his key associates’ heads.