Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Economy In The Eyes Of Gloria

Gloria keeps bragging about how our economy is taking off. She's boasts of how her economic reforms has led to the peso's strength and the booming stock market. Fuel and LPG costs have also been dropping. As if to put icing on the cake, the NAPOCOR announced that they will be lowering their generation charge. She said that this is the start of the trickle down effect which the people will finally feel.

Either I'm stupid or Gloria is telling the truth. The dollar had been dropping in the world market. Our OFWs have also been breaking records in terms of monthly and annual remittances. The dollars which they have been sending home has propped our economy through the increased spending of their families. Based on consumerism, our economy is humming along. But while there is in an increase in spending, these are spent on mostly imported goods which does not benefit our local manufacturers.

The spark in our stock market is mostly due to bargain hunting which had resulted in the rise in stock market gains and activity. Its mostly paper trading and very few companies actually use their earnings in stocks to expand their businesses. Most use it to strengthen their portfolio or to add liquidity to their companies. Franchising is what gives some companies room to expand. Taking royalties while their "new" partners pick up the tab. Even telecom companies now expand through the use of agent outlets. The movement of the stock market does not affect the poor anyway. Its those who have excess funds who gain from it. To put it bluntly, the rich gets richer while the poor stay poor.

Oil and LPG prices have been on a steady decline since last year. Oil companies have been adjusting their prices on a weekly basis. With the drop in the dollar rate coupled with the dropping prices of oil in the world market, its but natural that it would affect our local prices as well. NAPOCOR really will have to adjust its prices too.

The EVAT which was imposed last year has greatly increased the government's spending purse. Its additional cost for the people but an added funding for government. Of course, with higher taxes, its but natural for the government to have a deeper pocket. The additional taxes have somehow increased the cost of living of the ordinary Filipino.

So what is Gloria really bragging about? All these gains were brought about by outside forces which she does not control. She has this nasty habit of claiming credit for things she has nothing to do with. What if things were reversed? Can she still boast about an improving economy? The flight of our labor force is the best indicator that there is nothing the government can offer. It shows a people's desperation to make their lives worth living. This is Gloria's biggest contribution, the slavery of the Filipino, a shameless way to address the unemployment.

The cycle became more vicious under her regime. The former OFWs are forced once more to take that familiar path of seeking work abroad. The twist is that now, the children they are sending to school are aiming for the very same path their parents are taking, the road to a distant promise land.

Until such time when Filipinos are no longer traded as commodities, until such time when children can attend school, until such time when every Filipino has access to quality health service, and until such time when families eat three times a day, Gloria and her ilk can shove it. I'd like to hear what what her Team Unity has to say when they debate on the economy. I'd like to hear how they will convince the ordinary Filipino that their lives are improving.

Gloria, oh Gloria... when will you ever learn? Honesty, integrity and genuine love for country makes a good president. "Bogus ka na nga, sinungaling ka pa."