On the same day that Senator and His Most Incompetent Putchist Antonio Trilanes launched his ill-fated “coup” at a five-star hotel, the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) announced that the Philippine economy grew by 6.6 percent. The incident seems to remind us just how the dynamics of the Philippine economy has decoupled from our rambunctious politics. Nice trend, shall I say.
The numbers says it’s actually a pretty broad-based growth, with agriculture, industry, and services contributing altogether. With a 7.3 percent growth in the first quarter, 7.5 percent in the second, and a possible surge in the fourth quarter, we may yet grow close to or higher than 7 percent.
We sneer at these growth numbers, of course. They have yet to translate into lower poverty numbers. True. But we have been at this growth rates quite recently, after hovering at 5-6 percent in the last three years. Experience by the Asian tigers showed they grew 5-7 percent consistently for ten or twenty years before they started licking poverty. This means we have to growth at this rate or higher in the next ten years before we can see substantial reduction in poverty. So it’s a start, and its better late than never.
GMA has nothing to do with this. These improving growth numbers are legacies of the first wave of reforms done following the Edsa Revolution. So the credit goes elsewhere, especially Cory and FVR, and of course, to OFWs, the farmers, business, and entrepreneurs. Had GMA proved to be a better president, we could have achieved higher growth rates, probably at par with Vietnam and India (7-8 percent).
Certainly, she should go, and go to jail (for scandals like NBN, fertilizer scams etc), but can’t we wait two years for the 2010 election? That’s a better option than “taking over” a hotel and making us the laughingstock of the world.
Now that Trillanes is in jail, the latest rumor says he is planning to write a book entitled How to Stage a Coup Like a Jackass!