THANK God, as far as statistics go, there has been a slight decrease in poverty in our country.
The report on the Philippines (p 112) of the latest World Bank East Asia Pacific Economic Update says: “After many years of slow poverty reduction, poverty incidence among the population declined by 3 percentage points between 2012 and 2013 to 24.9 percent, lifting 2.5 million Filipinos out of poverty.”
The WB noted that “This significant reduction in poverty in 2013 came after many years of weak poverty reduction” of only 0.2 percent between 2006 and 2012.
The WB’s recommendations to the Aquino administration are, however, almost exactly the same as what it recommended in the previous years.
The Philippines needs more “structural reforms” and invest more in human capital to sustain growth rates above 6 percent.
These key structural reforms include protecting property rights, promoting more competition, and simplifying regulations, it said. In other words, just as it has been saying during the past four years of the presidency of Benigno S. C. Aquino 3rd, the Philippines must become more business-friendly, it must have less red tape, it must not be protectionist, it must be more competent, economic growth must be inclusive.
The WB has again urged the government to increase spending and collect more revenue so it can afford to give more services to the people, create jobs and make the economy more dynamic and reduce poverty.
The WB is using the exact same words.
What that means is that President Aquino was lying whenever he boasted of having made great reforms since he took office and being the rescuer of the Philippine economy from collapse as the “sick man of Asia.”
If the condition of the Philippines has been the same since mid-2010, when Aquino took office as president, up to now (except for the small decrease in poverty, which surveys disprove because more respondents say they are poorer now than before), then why do the World Bank-IFC, the ADB, WEF and other multilateral and international institutions, including leading media abroad, all publish the untruthful press releases of Aquino?
Why have they been agreeing that Aquino has reformed the Philippine economy and launched an honest and effective anti-corruption program?
And why have the local correspondents of the largest foreign newspapers not contradict Aquino’s lies? (Of the major dailies abroad, only the Financial Times has published a contrary view about Aquino’s so-called successes.)
Why have the foreign media been agreeing with Aquino that a massive anti-corruption program is in effect, crowned by the arrest of former President Arroyo and the ousting of former Chief Justice Renato Corona? Why are they covering up the fact that the conviction of CJ Corona was the result of huge bribes paid to the members of the House (with the shining exception of a very few) and to all but three senators?
Just two weeks ago, the topmost head of the World Bank Group praised President Benigno Aquino 3rd for placing transparency and good governance at the top of the Philippine government’s agenda. Robert Zoellick, president of the World Bank, said that when he comes to the Philippines late this year it will be to learn more about the government’s reforms.
He will be disappointed. But maybe the WB people in the Philippines will hide from him the corruption of the PDAF and the DAP, the selective prosecution of corrupt lawmakers, the bribery of the House and the Senate, the massive increase of smuggling under Aquino’s watch, the surge of criminality and the involvement of police directors in gangsterism and in the drug trade, the scandals in the Department of Transportation and Communications, the incompetence of the MMDA officials, Aquino’s refusal to punish his corrupt friends and allies, etc., etc.