utang na loob

09 May 2008

say ni senator nene pimentel, his con-ass cha-cha proposal to shift to a federal form of government needs to be discussed because it is what’s best for the country — federalism will stimulate economic growth in the regions and therefore the insurgency will dissipate and disappear. as in, no problem.

ano ba yan. sounds like a fairytale. why not speak the truth na lang, the truth that what congress really wants to do, intends to do, is to tinker with, amend, junk, if possible, the economic provisions of the constitution because they think, they are so sure, that the limits to full foreign ownership are the reason why we aren’t getting as much foreign investments as thailand and indonesia and vietnam, thats why daw we’re not growing.

i suggest that we all read walden bello‘s latest essay “In the shadow of debt: the sad but true tale behind a quarter century of stagnation,” posted both in the inquirer and freedom from debt coalition websites.

bello’s research and analysis confirm my pet theory that the key to economic growth — yung totoo, yung mararamdaman ng buong bayan, hindi lang ng mga kapitalista — is to STOP being a “model debtor country” and instead do as other heavily indebted countries have successfully done:

Thailand…pushed down interest payments from eight percent of government expenditure in 1980 to two percent in 1995 and raised capital expenditures from 23 percent to 33 percent. . . . Argentina’s five-year string of 10 percent annual GDP growth is due principally to President Nestor Kirchner’s courageous act of unilaterally writing down-that is, paying about 25 cents of every dollar owed to bondholders-on most of that country’s foreign debt and channelingthe money saved to domestic investment….

“Contrary to doctrinaire free-market economics, institutional economists argue that government financial resources devoted to building physical or social infrastructure or shoring up domestic demand ‘crowd in’ rather than ‘crowd out’ private investment, including foreign investment. For instance, one key study of a panel of developing economies from1980 to 1997 found that public investment complemented private investment, and that, on average, a 10-percent increase in public investment was associated with a two-percent increase in private investment….

“There is no doubt that government capital spending crowded in foreign investment in Thailand and the lack of it crowded out foreign investment in the Philippines. And there is no doubt that, as KunioYoshihara asserted, ‘This difference in the flow of foreign investment from [Japan, Korea, and Taiwan] produced a significant disparity in growth performance of the two countries during this period.

“Like all clear-thinking investors, the Japanese were not going (are not going) en masse to a place where infrastructure was (is) decaying and where the market was (is) depressed and poverty was (is) increasing owing to a political economy shackled by structural adjustment and battered by the priority given to repaying the foreign debt. They were (are), in short, not stupid.”

so there. hindi charter change ang dapat nating pinag-uusapan. not at all. ang dapat nating pinag-uusapan ay ang pagbabago ng debt policy natin. we spend on the average half of the budget on bayad-utang and bayad-interes para lang makautang uli. ano ba yan. enough na please of the model debtor strategy that has only made a basket case of our economy.

of course there will be resistance, as usual, but these are unusually hard times, the interests of a few cannot must not prevail any longer over the interests of nation. this could be a matter of survival, a matter of life and death. if the palace and congress are truly after what’s best for the country, then this, not charter change, is the way to go. they owe us.

Posted in advocacy, cha-cha, debt, money

4 Responses to utang na loob

  1. May 9, 2008 at 9:37 am

    Angela,

    You should have change the title of this post to “utang sa labas” hehehe, anyway yes I agree our economic problem will not and ever will be solved with political restructuring of power sharing among minority ruling elites.

    If ever there is a need for political solution maybe we are better off addressing the state of our fraudulent prone electoral process. Leveling the political playing field rather than changing the form of governance that I suspect will only strengthen patronage and pesonality errr personality politics and worse give rise to warlordism. It seems that our politicians does not realize that we are still a semi-feudal society thus the tendency for our criminal minded politicians to easily become a warlord is a glaring reality that has a bigger probability to happen in a parliamentary system.

    What a waste of time and energy to debate on a non-issue when we are faced with an impending calamity on food shortage and continuous economic slide with no hope in sight.

  2. May 9, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    Angela,

    I think you hit the nail on the head: that the limits to full foreign ownership are the reason why we aren’t getting as much foreign investments as thailand and indonesia and vietnam, thats why daw we’re not growing.

    I couldn’t quite understand why the federalism issue was being ‘tabled’ again but you are right!

    And I agree completely with you: dapat nating pinag-uusapan ay ang pagbabago ng debt policy natin. we spend on the average half of the budget on bayad-utang and bayad-interes para lang makautang uli. ano ba yan.

    And to cap it all, there’s blatant, absolutely willfull, deliberate mismanagement of the meager assets by this harebrained govt, a heinous crime in my book!

  3. May 13, 2008 at 3:21 am

    Do these big lenders give the president of a country incentives or commissions for paying early? Gloria says we need to take advantage of the strong peso by retiring most of our debts earlier. Fishy, no? Doesn’t she really know that her 2007 GDP can never be repeated so that it is totally foolish to throw that one-time surge of dollars away to debt service.

    Anna started by “I think you hit the nail on the head.”

    I will close by saying “I think you better hit the nail into Gloria’s head”.

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