By David L. Balangue
The Philippines registered a gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 5.3 percent in the third quarter that ended on Sept. 30. It dropped from 6.4 percent in the second quarter; nevertheless, it is second only to China’s 7.3 percent in the region. While the growth rate is commendable (despite the drop), for which the government rightfully deserves credit, the criticism continues that economic growth is uneven and the marginalized sector has not benefited from it, with the gap between rich and poor even getting worse. (This is consistent with the Philippines’ 45.8 Gini score—or a measure of the inequality of the distribution of wealth: the higher the score, the higher the inequality—which makes it the 35th country with the most uneven distribution of wealth in the world.)
By Amando Doronila
A recent survey in which 4.8 million Filipino families said they experienced hunger in September—about 1.2 families more than in the previous quarter, as hunger has risen in all regions except Mindanao—delivered a powerful message on the deficiency of the Aquino administration’s antipoverty program, if there is one.
By Randy David
In his interview with ANC’s Lynda Jumilla the other night, Vice President Jejomar Binay said that he made clear his intention to seek the presidency in 2016 as early as when he took office as vice president—unlike Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, the presumptive candidate of the ruling Liberal Party, who, he sneered, has been “hypocritical” about his plans. Clearly, Binay wishes to project the image of a straight-talking politician who has nothing to hide. But, a statement like that is double-bladed: It also gives the impression that political ambition is all that consumes him, and that, as a public official, he has little time for governance.
If the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) poll is any indication, it is clear that public satisfaction with the Senate is on a resurgent, upward swing attributable to the chamber’s performance in pursuing policy reforms—a fact intimately known to the senators themselves. After admitting that the Senate’s image was shaken by political scandals, Senate President Franklin Drilon himself declared that the only way to restore the Senate’s good public standing is by “working hard and instituting reforms with public accountability as the primary goal and transparency.”
By Mahar Mangahas
In the first three quarters of this year, there were moderate changes in public satisfaction with the job-performance of both President Aquino and Vice President Jojo Binay, according to the Social Weather Surveys (BusinessWorld, 10/10/2014 and 10/13/2014). Between March 27-30 and June 27-30, the net rating (i.e., percent satisfied minus percent dissatisfied) of P-Noy changed from […]