Inept and ineffective

SEARCH FOR TRUTH - Ernesto M. Maceda - The Philippine Star

Former Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Benjamin Diokno has labeled the Aquino administration as “inept, ineffective and uncaring administration.”

Diokno based his conclusion on the failure of the Aquino administration to meet its growth targets.

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director-General Secretary Arsenio Balisacan announced a six percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the third quarter, way below the government’s growth target of 7 to 8 percent.

Although, this quarter’s services sector performance is the highest since the 7.4 percent growth recorded in the third quarter of 2013, the country must achieve a 6.9 percent GDP for the fourth quarter to achieve the full-year target growth.

Diokno predicts a 2015 full-year GDP growth at 5.8 percent, again, way below the government’s 7-8 percent GDP forecast.

Diokno also highlighted the anemic growth of the agricultural sector in the past five years.

Diokno noted the fourth quarter is almost over, with October and November finished. He disagrees with Balisacan’s prediction of a 6.9 percent growth in fourth quarter, even if our country expects strong demand to pick up, noting that growth usually speeds up during the holiday season.  

Diokno said we have to “fix our crumbling infrastructure, modernize agriculture, invest in human capital, and streamline the bureaucracy so it can provide public service efficiently and effectively.”

We agree fully with Secretary Diokno.

The former budget secretary added if only the government had spent according to what Congress has authorized the Executive Department to spend, one million individuals could have been lifted out of poverty through meaningful jobs. Filipinos bear the brunt of government underspending.

He further said that investment in infrastructure makes a lot of economic sense because it creates jobs and facilitates the movement of goods, services and people.

 The Philippines has the lowest gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, has the highest unemployment rate, as well as the lowest foreign direct investment, compared to the rest of the ASEAN-5 (Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia).

The Philippines also ranks last among the five in quality of air transport, port infrastructure and electricity.

Back to normal

The traffic nightmare is back to normal. The Aquino administration has failed to solve the traffic mess.

It had five years to build EDSA overpasses, as they did in Bangkok. They did not. Even the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx)-South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) connector is unfinished. The airport overpass failed to finish for APEC and up to now.

The bad news also is that none of the present crop of presidential candidates has presented a credible program of solution to the traffic problem.

Even the so-called Mabuhay Lanes have not been cleared.

Once again, you have traffic congestion on Edsa, SLEx, Macapagal Avenue, C-5, Shaw Boulevard, Quezon Avenue in Quezon City and around the airport.

Secretary Diokno shared the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) should also be subsidized as it creates positive externalities like reducing traffic and increasing inefficiency.

Davao leaders shift

Davao Liberal Party (LP) leaders led by former Tagum Mayor Rey Uy and Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario have shifted from Mar Roxas to Mayor Rody Duterte.

The latest Pulse Asia survey puts Duterte in front place at 34 percent ahead of Grace Poe, who is at 26 percent.

It is clear that Duterte’s entry is a game changer that will adversely affect Mar Roxas and Grace Poe.

Meanwhile, Senator Miriam Santiago claims she tops a Facebook survey with 48.36 percent.

Binay in Davao

Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay was the only presidentiable to show up at Kusog Mindanao Dialogue With national candidates in Davao City, hosted by Fr. Eliseo Mercado Omi.

Binay unveiled his agenda to develop Mindanao. He noted that the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey reported that Mindanao’s poverty incidence remained at 70 percent.

Binay also made the rounds of Sarangani province and General Santos, accompanied by Rep. Manny Pacquiao.

NPA ambush

Sgt. Christopher Campos and Corporal Chelito Edera died; and Lt. Gerwin Ladera, Private First Class Rey Calabroso and Private First Class Jack Macatantan were wounded in an ambush staged by suspected New People’s Army (NPA) in Catbalogan, Samar. The rebels took the P1.8 million in food allowance intended for soldiers of the 14th Infantry Battalion.

Chinese businessman Philip Jacinto Lim, 53, was shot dead in the business district of Zamboanga City.

An M2K grenade was thrown at Dr. Roberto Climaco’s house in Zamboanga City.

Christopher Villamor, 21, was shot dead at a canteen in Malabon.

Barangay Councilor Teresa Yap, mother of actress Angelica “Pastillas Girl” Yap, was shot dead in Caloocan City.


Two FA-50PH jet fighters arrived from South Korea at Clark Air Base.

Mayor Rody Duterte admits he has three wives. He was officially proclaimed as PDP-Laban official candidate for president at the Century Sheraton Hotel yesterday.

The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) warden in Bataan complained that the food allowance for prisoners is being cut by BJMP higher-ups.

Three people were killed, a police officer and two civilians, and nine were wounded at a shooting at Planned Parenthood Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA. President Barack Obama called for tighter controls on military-style weapons.


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