19 January 2011
Debt & Public Finance
– The draft Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP) 2011-2016, which will serve as the economic blue print of the Aquino administration, is a rehash of the failed economic strategy of past administrations that has brought ruin and misery to Filipino people, according to the Freedom from Debt Coalition.
Ricardo Reyes, FDC president, stressed the need to assess and debate on the economic development framework and strategy the government has taken in the past and will take in the future.
“Otherwise, the ongoing MTPDP consultations will only be an empty ritual and a waste of time,” Reyes said.
“Once again, the draft MTPDP prescribes a development path that has been laid out by the legacies of our colonial past and pursued by massive debts and IMF-World Bank conditionalities and hardened by accepting global regimes such as the WTO and steadily dismantling state control and regulations over more and more areas of the economy – a strategy we in FDC call neo-liberal, and to which I add neo-colonial,” stressed Reyes.
According to FDC, such strategy has brought about the following features of the economy:
- It is becoming more and more a service economy (now more than 50 percent of GDP: 2009) with our industry and agriculture declining over the decades;
- Export of labor, denied as a policy but which has become structural and a convenient instrument to help buffer our economy from crisis;
- Inequality in income and assets that is high by regional standards and a poverty incidence that remains alarmingly and scandalously significant;
- A pervasive low wage, low income and high unemployment/underemployment regime in many sections and areas of the economy;
- A consumption-driven rather than an investment-led growth; and,
- A degraded environment and human settlements which can ill adapt to climate change and thus, claim huge resources and loss of lives.
“Is this the economy we want? Definitely not. And yet, our economic managers insist on more of the same which is bound to produce the same results,” said Reyes. (30)