Tuesday, July 31, 2007

In "The Explainer" with Manolo Quezon and Ciel Habito

It was my first TV appearance and that one really scared the hell out of me. I was in Manolo Quezon’s “The Explainer” six pm today (July 31) discussing the “disconnect” between government statistics on economic growth and the people’s perception of their quality of life, together with former Neda secretary Ciel Habito. Ciel was the main guest and I was there to react and comment.

I said yes to the invitation from the ANC Channel not knowing that I was to react to Dr. Habito, whom I worked with when I was still doing consulting jobs with the USAID and the World Bank. Who am I to react to an esteemed economist from Harvard? Too late for me to change my mind and I found myself with Manolo and Ciel in front of the camera feeling like an idiot. Ha ha! I really hope I did contribute something to earn the gift certificate for a book they gave me. But I felt I did badly as I tend to speak quite fast, probably a no-no when you are on TV.

Ciel of course was in his usual best and I have nothing but praises for his insights. He characterized the performance of the Philippine economy as “narrow, hollow and shallow” as it’s largely determined by external forces. I agree with him but I do feel that those growth rates are real, and a positive development—something that we could work and improve on as we continue searching for a deeper and more broad-based pattern of development.

For Manolo, a lot of thanks for that experience. And hey, a lot of thanks for plugging this blog in your TV program. Really appreciate it!

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