REPUBLICAN VICTORY: U.S. POLICY SHIFT MAY HAVE GOOD & BAD EFFECT ON RP


MANILA, NOVEMBER 6, 2010
(STAR) By Paolo Romero - The strengthening of Republican ranks in the United States Congress would create a shift in US policy that would have both good and bad repercussions for the Philippine economy, particularly on immigration and business process outsourcing, a lawmaker said.

Voters anxious about the struggling US economy pushed Democrats from power in the House of Representatives and narrowed the party’s majority in the Senate.

Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone said that on the upside, Republicans would block efforts to limit the outsourcing of jobs in the US because of their orientation of staying out of the activities of private businesses.

“The Republicans do not normally step into the business of private businesses and this is the upside of their electoral gains,” he said.

The downside of the results of the elections, he said, would be the tightening of immigration rules, which would make it harder for illegal Filipino immigrants in the US to be legalized.

“Democrats are generally more receptive of immigration reforms that would set the path toward the legalization of illegal immigrants,” he said.

“We cannot expect immigration reform that would be supported by Republicans.” President Aquino said the shift of power in US politics will not affect its foreign policy in Southeast Asia.

“The Americans have a resilient economy, their democratic processes have (been) really firmly institutionalized so we believe there will be no major changes as far as their involvement in Southeast Asia is concerned,” he said.

Cavite Rep. Jose Emilio Abaya said, however, that the outcome of the elections could be a warning for Mr. Aquino’s Liberal Party, which has a majority in Congress.

“(It is) up to us to show that we won’t follow the same track,” Abaya said.

Malacañang, however, said it is premature to assume that Mr. Aquino will suffer the same fate as US President Barack Obama, whose party lost to the Republican opposition.

US-based risk consultancy firm Pacific Strategies and Assessments said Mr. Aquino will likely suffer the same loss of confidence from voters because he still has not come up with concrete solutions to the problems he identified.

“There are a lot of things that we need to do. Just like in the first 100 days, there was judgement, there were criticisms but there were also praises,” said deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. also believes it is not likely that the same will happen in the country’s political landscape.

“We have no problem here. The majority is solid,” he said. – With Delon Porcalla, Aurea Calica


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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