Posted August 09, 2010 05:29:00(Mla Time)
Philippine Daily Inquirer
THE AQUINO administration, it is now clear after the State of the Nation Address, really believes its central campaign slogan—no corruption, no poverty—and is prepared to pursue it.
But former President Erap Estrada has a point: there were graver corruption cases during the Arroyo regime than what President Aquino’s SONA exposed. Former President Fidel V. Ramos’ observation is also relevant: the SONA did not define a road map out of poverty.
However, P-Noy, like Ramos and Estrada and past Philippine presidents—except Elpidio Quirino, Ramon Magsaysay and Carlos Garcia—failed to focus on the strategic cause of mass poverty in the Philippines: treason-based corruption, specifically the blind acceptance of the debt conditions imposed by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on the Philippine economy. Basically these conditions have been and still are liberalization, deregulation, privatization and level playing field. Trapped in this economic paradigm, no Third World country can make a breakthrough without resorting to extraordinary measures. It is like pitting a mouse against a tiger.
Presidents Quirino, Magsaysay and Garcia are excluded because during their time, the decade of the 1950s, they adopted and pursued an import-substitution strategy of development which, especially during the Garcia regime and under the influence of the nationalist Sen. Claro M. Recto, became the “Filipino First” industrialization policy. This policy developed in our country what the World Bank then rated as the second most dynamic economy in Asia, next only to Japan’s. Under the protection of import and exchange controls, hundreds of Filipino-owned factories, led by Iligan Integrated Steel Mill and FilOil, emerged all over the country. That economy, which could have started industrialization in the country, was torpedoed by President Diosdado Macapagal who, upon the advice of the WB-IMF, instituted decontrol and devaluation in 1962.
Among the countries which have effected a breakthrough are South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, Brazil and Argentina. Will the Philippines during P-Noy’s anti-corruption regime make it? It will, if, in its fight against graft and corruption, it includes treason-driven acts of corruption like the privatization of the National Power Corp. and the deregulation of the oil industry.
—AMADO GAT INCIONG,
Unit 301 Union Square Cond.,
145 15th Avenue, Cubao, QC
Copyright 2013 INQUIRER.net and content partners. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.