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BUSINESS HEADLINES THIS PAST WEEK...
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

YEARENDER 2015: THE BIGGEST MONEY STORIES OF THE YEAR


DECEMBER 25 -Philippine President Benigno Aquino speaks at a closing press conference for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit at the International Media Centre in Manila on November 19, 2015. Asia Pacific leaders called on November 19 for more global cooperation in the struggle against terrorism, as a wave of deadly attacks claimed by the Islamic State group dominated the final day of the regional trade summit. AFP PHOTO / Punit PARANJPE November 19, 2015| Credits: PUNIT PARANJPE In more ways than one, the biggest economic story of 2015, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit, came as a surprise despite the year-long announcements and preparations. The Philippines hosted the two-day summit conference of 21 APEC member economies last November. Following the year-long hosting duties conducted in various venues throughout the country, the APEC Summit 2015 was culminated with the two-day leaders' meeting on November 18 and 19 in Manila. With the arrival of the 21 top-tier officials and some 10,000 delegates came an array of problems. Major streets were closed to regular traffic. Countless commuters had to walk more than 10 kilometers just to reach their respective offices, particularly employees of the business process outsourcing industry. Hundreds of commercial flights were canceled – some way more than 1,000 – to give way for the arrival of APEC heads of state. The security preparations were unprecedented, involving 18 government agencies and an estimated 30,000 police, military and civilian personnel. Back to normal It was back to normal after the APEC summit, which meant the usual daily gridlock plaguing the streets of Metro Manila. The traffic jam is costing the Philippines at least P2.4 billion a day and is likely to reach P6 billion by 2030 if left unnoticed, according to the Japan International Cooperation Agency. What is out of the ordinary, and also a hot topic since the beginning of 2015, is the imminent threat posed by the El Niño phenomenon. Expected to peak in the first quarter of 2016, the accompanying extreme drought may cause the Philippines to miss its inflation target and force the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to raise its policy rates sooner than expected, said the banking and financial services giant HSBC. In the financial markets, the peso remained soft against the US dollar throughout the year, and the top gainers on the Philippine Stock Exchange were not necessarily blue chip stocks. Even if the peso trailed the dollar, Philippine companies took advantage of the low cost of money – as interest rates remained low – and made major acquisitions overseas to enhance their future bottom lines. READ MORE...

ALSO: Palace appeals for understanding over LRT Cavite extension delay


DECEMBER 29 -DOTC, Light Rail Manila Consortium ink agreement for P65-B LRT extension project The government and the Light Rail Manila Consortium (LRMC) sealed the deal for the much delayed P65-billion Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) Cavite Extension Project. The LRT Line 1 extension will bring the much needed transportation services to people living south of Metro Manila and nearby provinces, Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) Secretary Emilio Abaya said during the signing of concession agreement for the project held at EDSA Shangri-La Hotel in Mandaluyong City. "This extension took over a decade to be planned, approved and tendered out. Having made it to this point, the DOTC is committed to the infrastructure development of this country," he said. Published October 2, 2014 3:38pm By DANESSA O. RIVERA, GMA News
Malacañang on Tuesday asked the public for understanding following the delay of the implementation of Light Rail Transit (LRT) Cavite extension, which is supposed to connect Baclaran to Bacoor and provide service for about 250,000 passengers.
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said that when President Benigno Aquino III promised in 2013 that the project would be completed in two years’ time, the bidding process was just about to take place. “Noong binanggit ng Pangulo ‘yung paghahangad na magkaroon ng extension na katulad nito, ayon kay Secretary Abaya, binubuo pa lamang noong panahong ‘yon ‘yung bidding para sa proyekto at natapos o naganap ‘yung buong proseso hanggang sa pag-a-award noon lamang September 2015, nito lamang nakaraang Setyembre, at ito nga ay papangasiwaan na ng consortium ng Ayala at Metro Pacific na with partnership sa Macquarie Investments,” Coloma told reporters in a press briefing. “At doon sa konsepto, sila ang magsasagawa ng operations and maintenance of the existing LRT Line 1 from Monumento to Baclaran; sila na rin ‘yung magsasagawa ng disenyo at ‘yung pagtatayo ‘nung extension from Baclaran to Bacoor. At meron pang ikatlong segment, from Bacoor to Imus, pagkatapos hanggang Dasmariñas, at ito naman ay inilahad na ng DOTC para sa public bidding kahapon lamang o noong makalawa,” he added. READ: What happened to Aquino’s ‘ready to be run over by train’ quip? During a campaign sortie of the Team PNoy slate in 2013 in Cavite, Aquino said he and Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya were ready to be run over by train if the extension would not push through within two years. READ MORE...

ALSO: The consequence of failing to deliver - On Aquino’s vow to be run over by a train


DECEMBER 29 -PHOTO FROM KICKERDAILY NEWS ONLNE Filipinos are talking about Pres. Noynoy Aquino’s infamous promise: if the LRT-1 Cavite Extension Project is not concluded within the year, he will go and stand in front of a moving train. The deadline is almost up, and through social media, citizens are reminding the chief executive of his promise. Their reminder has become too loud that Malacañang was forced to respond. As many astute observers have commented, Aquino sealed the promise by invoking the good lessons that his parents taught him. Malacañang decries that the promise must not be taken literally; however, that does not mean it should not be taken seriously. Filipinos are talking about the promise not because they think that the president will literally let himself be run over by a train. Their anger is not particular to the LRT-1 Cavite Extension Project. Rather, it is merely symptomatic of widespread dissatisfaction and anger regarding the MRT-LRT-PNR in general, and even the whole public transportation system, all of which got worse under Aquino. Filipinos are critical and angry towards Aquino’s bold promises – in this area among many other fields of governance – and after six years, his massive failure to deliver. READ MORE...

ALSO: In November Abaya assures improved MRT services by 2016


FLASHBACK NOVEMBER 2015 -Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya admitted that the failure of procurement and biddings caused the delay of the improvement of the MRT.
PHOTO FROM www.dotc.gov.ph Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya on Monday assured that commuters will experience an improvement in the services of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) by 2016. "There will be improvement in service come first quarter," Abaya said during the Senate subcommittee on public services hearing on the MRT. Abaya added that additional trains will be operational by next year, which will increase the MRT's capacity. "For the first quarter of 2016 what we can expect is the first set of Dalian trains will be moving. Getting a better experience is all relative. But in terms of capacity, we will have additional capacity," Abaya said. The transportation chief admitted that the state of the MRT could not yet be improved due to failed biddings. According to MRT 3 General Manager Roman Buenafe, the bidding for elevators conducted three weeks ago failed due to the eligibility of documents submitted by the suppliers. Meanwhile, the bidding for escalators is undergoing the pre-procurement stage. READ MORE...

ALSO: RECAP, PHILIPPINE ECONOMY FROM CORY's 1987 TO PNoy's 2015


JANUARY 4 --Cory Aquino Administration (1987-1992)
The Cory Aquino administration takes over an economy that has gone through socio-political disasters during the People Power revolution, where there was financial and commodity collapse caused by an overall consumer cynicism, a result of the propaganda against cronies, social economic unrest resulting from numerous global shortages, massive protests, lack of government transparency, the opposition's speculations and alleged corruption in the government. At that point in time, the country had debt that began crippling the country which slowly made the Philippines the “Latin-American in East Asia” as it started to experience the worst recession since the post-war era. Most of the immediate efforts of the Aquino administration was directed in reforming the image of the country and paying off all debts, including those that some governments were ready to write-off, as possible. This resulted in budget cuts and further aggravated the plight of the lower class because the jobs offered to them by the government was now gone. Infrastructure projects, including repairs, were halted in secluded provinces turning concrete roads into asphalt. Privatization of many government corporations, most catering utilities, was the priority of the Aquino administration which led to massive lay-offs and inflation. The Aquino administration however, was persistent in its belief that the problems were caused by the previous administration. Growth gradually began in the next few years of the administration. Somehow, there was still a short-lived, patchy, and erratic recovery from 1987 to 1991 as the political situation stabilized a bit. With this, the peso became more competitive, confidence of investors was gradually regained, positive movements in terms of trade were realized, and regional growth gradually strengthened. Ramos Administration (1992 -1997) The Ramos administration basically served its role as the carrier of the momentum of reform and as an important vehicle in “hastening the pace of liberalization and openness in the country”. The administration was a proponent of capital account liberalization, which made the country more open to foreign trade, investments, and relations. It was during this administration when the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas was established, and this administration was also when the Philippines joined the World Trade Organization and other free trade associations such as the APEC. During the administration, debt reduction was also put into consideration and as such, the issuance of certain government bonds called Brady Bonds also came to fruition in 1992. Key negotiations with conflicting forces in Mindanao actually became more successful during the administration, which also highlighted the great role and contributions of Jose Almonte as the key adviser of this liberal administration. By the time Ramos succeeded Corazon Aquino in 1992, the Philippine economy was already burdened with a heavy budget deficit. This was largely the result of austerity measures imposed by a standard credit arrangement with the International Monetary Fund and the destruction caused by natural disasters such as the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. Hence, according to Canlas, pump priming through government spending was immediately ruled out due to the deficit. Ramos therefore resorted to institutional changes through structural policy reforms, of which included privatization and deregulation. He sanctioned the formation of the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC), which served as a forum for consensus building, on the part of the Executive and the Legislative branches, on important bills on economic policy reform measures. The daily brownouts that plagued the economy were also addressed through the enactment of policies that placed guaranteed rates. The economy during the first year of Ramos administration suffered from severe power shortage, with frequent brownouts, each lasting from 8 to 12 hours. To resolve this problem, the Electric Power Crisis Act was made into law together with the Build-Operate-Transfer Law. Twenty power plants were built because of these, and in effect, the administration was able to eliminate the power shortage problems in December 1993 and sustained economic growth for some time. CONTINUE READING...RELATED, Government won’t use P64-B CCT funds for LP campaign -Palace

ALSO Right-of-way issue stalls NGCP repairs: Longer blackouts loom in Mindanao


JANUARY 1 -“Failure to restore the tower will further aggravate the supply deficiency in the region. Longer rotational power interruptions may be expected,” NGCP warned. STAR/File photo
Mindanao faces the prospect of longer rotational blackouts at the start of the year as worsening right-of-way (ROW) issues continue to stall restoration work on bombed towers, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) said.
The grid operator said Tower 25 along Agus 2- Kibawe 138kv line in Ramain, Lanao del Sur remained toppled due to failed negotiation with the owner of the property where the facility is located, keeping two units of the Agus Hydroelectric Power Plant (HEPP) isolated from the Mindanao grid. “The landowner refused NGCP entry to repair the toppled tower alleging that government failed to pay his claims long ago,” NGCP said. The said tower was bombed last Dec. 24, causing Agus 1 and 2 HEPP, with as much as 150 megawatts (MW), to be cut off from the Mindanao grid. “Failure to restore the tower will further aggravate the supply deficiency in the region. Longer rotational power interruptions may be expected,” NGCP warned. To prevent aggravating the power situation in Mindanao, the grid operator is appealing to the public, local government, PNP, and AFP to help monitor the safety of the towers so that transmission services remain uninterrupted. The company also appeals to local community leaders to help identify the perpetrators of the bombings to prevent longer power interruptions. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

YEARENDER 2015 The 15 biggest Money stories of the year


Philippine President Benigno Aquino speaks at a closing press conference for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit at the International Media Centre in Manila on November 19, 2015. Asia Pacific leaders called on November 19 for more global cooperation in the struggle against terrorism, as a wave of deadly attacks claimed by the Islamic State group dominated the final day of the regional trade summit. AFP PHOTO / Punit PARANJPE November 19, 2015| Credits: PUNIT PARANJPE

MANILA, JANUARY 4, 2016 (GMA NEWS NETWORK) Published December 25, 2015 4:48pm - In more ways than one, the biggest economic story of 2015, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit, came as a surprise despite the year-long announcements and preparations.

The Philippines hosted the two-day summit conference of 21 APEC member economies last November.

Following the year-long hosting duties conducted in various venues throughout the country, the APEC Summit 2015 was culminated with the two-day leaders' meeting on November 18 and 19 in Manila.

With the arrival of the 21 top-tier officials and some 10,000 delegates came an array of problems. Major streets were closed to regular traffic. Countless commuters had to walk more than 10 kilometers just to reach their respective offices, particularly employees of the business process outsourcing industry.

Hundreds of commercial flights were canceled – some way more than 1,000 – to give way for the arrival of APEC heads of state.

The security preparations were unprecedented, involving 18 government agencies and an estimated 30,000 police, military and civilian personnel.

Back to normal

It was back to normal after the APEC summit, which meant the usual daily gridlock plaguing the streets of Metro Manila.

The traffic jam is costing the Philippines at least P2.4 billion a day and is likely to reach P6 billion by 2030 if left unnoticed, according to the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

What is out of the ordinary, and also a hot topic since the beginning of 2015, is the imminent threat posed by the El Niño phenomenon.

Expected to peak in the first quarter of 2016, the accompanying extreme drought may cause the Philippines to miss its inflation target and force the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to raise its policy rates sooner than expected, said the banking and financial services giant HSBC.

In the financial markets, the peso remained soft against the US dollar throughout the year, and the top gainers on the Philippine Stock Exchange were not necessarily blue chip stocks.

Even if the peso trailed the dollar, Philippine companies took advantage of the low cost of money – as interest rates remained low – and made major acquisitions overseas to enhance their future bottom lines.

READ MORE...

Grupo Emperador Spain S.A., a unit of Andrew Tan's Emperador Inc., bought Beam Suntory's brandy and sherry business in Jerez for P13.8 billion in cash. The acquisition includes the brands Fundador Pedro Domecq, Terry Centenario, Tres Capas, and Harveys.

Key to 2016

Instant noodles maker Monde Nissin bought Quorn Foods for £550 million or $831 million. In going for the British meat substitute company, the Philippine firm noted an increasing demand for healthy food.

While Filipino companies were on a shopping spree abroad, Australian telecommunications giant Telstra Corp. Ltd. was looking for a business opportunity in the Philippines.

Telstra took note of the "lousy" Internet service as an entry point to partner with diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. It may invest up to $1 billion to acquire 40 percent of a proposed joint venture.

With a new administration set to take over next year, the Aquino administration sees the economy growing at 8 percent in the next six years.

"Key is to ensure that perception of this country is not going to deteriorate. Confidence in economy should continue to improve," said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan. – with Jannielyn Bigtas/Jon Viktor Cabuenas/VS, GMA News


INQUIRER

Palace appeals for understanding over LRT Cavite extension delay By: Yuji Vincent Gonzales @YGonzalesINQ INQUIRER.net 07:11 PM December 29th, 2015


DOTC, Light Rail Manila Consortium ink agreement for P65-B LRT extension project The government and the Light Rail Manila Consortium (LRMC) sealed the deal for the much delayed P65-billion Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) Cavite Extension Project. The LRT Line 1 extension will bring the much needed transportation services to people living south of Metro Manila and nearby provinces, Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) Secretary Emilio Abaya said during the signing of concession agreement for the project held at EDSA Shangri-La Hotel in Mandaluyong City. "This extension took over a decade to be planned, approved and tendered out. Having made it to this point, the DOTC is committed to the infrastructure development of this country," he said. Published October 2, 2014 3:38pm By DANESSA O. RIVERA, GMA News

Malacañang on Tuesday asked the public for understanding following the delay of the implementation of Light Rail Transit (LRT) Cavite extension, which is supposed to connect Baclaran to Bacoor and provide service for about 250,000 passengers.

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said that when President Benigno Aquino III promised in 2013 that the project would be completed in two years’ time, the bidding process was just about to take place.

“Noong binanggit ng Pangulo ‘yung paghahangad na magkaroon ng extension na katulad nito, ayon kay Secretary Abaya, binubuo pa lamang noong panahong ‘yon ‘yung bidding para sa proyekto at natapos o naganap ‘yung buong proseso hanggang sa pag-a-award noon lamang September 2015, nito lamang nakaraang Setyembre, at ito nga ay papangasiwaan na ng consortium ng Ayala at Metro Pacific na with partnership sa Macquarie Investments,” Coloma told reporters in a press briefing.

“At doon sa konsepto, sila ang magsasagawa ng operations and maintenance of the existing LRT Line 1 from Monumento to Baclaran; sila na rin ‘yung magsasagawa ng disenyo at ‘yung pagtatayo ‘nung extension from Baclaran to Bacoor. At meron pang ikatlong segment, from Bacoor to Imus, pagkatapos hanggang Dasmariñas, at ito naman ay inilahad na ng DOTC para sa public bidding kahapon lamang o noong makalawa,” he added.

READ: What happened to Aquino’s ‘ready to be run over by train’ quip?

During a campaign sortie of the Team PNoy slate in 2013 in Cavite, Aquino said he and Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya were ready to be run over by train if the extension would not push through within two years.

READ MORE...

“Maybe the two of us can be run over by a train if this project won’t materialize,” Aquino said in Filipino.

READ: Aquino ready ‘to be run over by train’ if LRT project misses 2015 deadline

Asked about Aquino’s remarks as the deadline nears, Coloma maintained that the President’s statement should put into context and not be taken in a literal sense.

“Baka naman mas lohikal o mas makatuwiran na hindi naman maging literal ‘yung interpretation natin, at unawain natin na gustong-gusto talaga ng Pangulo na mapahusay ‘yung serbisyo doon. Seryoso siya doon sa determinasyon na mabigyan ng isang mahusay na mass transport system,” Coloma said.

“Unawain lang ng ating mga kababayan na hindi ganoon kadali ‘yung pagbubuo ng ganyang proyekto ngunit dahil desidido ang pamahalaan ay buo naman ‘yung determinasyon na maipatupad ito at makumpleto ito,” he added.


KILUSANG MAYO UNO

PRESS RELEASE FROM KILUSANG MAYO UNO (kilusangmayouno@gmail.com) Press Statement 29 Dec. 2015

The consequence of failing to deliver: On Aquino’s vow to be run over by a train


PHOTO FROM KICKERDAILY NEWS ONLNE

Filipinos are talking about Pres. Noynoy Aquino’s infamous promise: if the LRT-1 Cavite Extension Project is not concluded within the year, he will go and stand in front of a moving train. The deadline is almost up, and through social media, citizens are reminding the chief executive of his promise. Their reminder has become too loud that Malacañang was forced to respond.

As many astute observers have commented, Aquino sealed the promise by invoking the good lessons that his parents taught him. Malacañang decries that the promise must not be taken literally; however, that does not mean it should not be taken seriously.

Filipinos are talking about the promise not because they think that the president will literally let himself be run over by a train. Their anger is not particular to the LRT-1 Cavite Extension Project. Rather, it is merely symptomatic of widespread dissatisfaction and anger regarding the MRT-LRT-PNR in general, and even the whole public transportation system, all of which got worse under Aquino.

Filipinos are critical and angry towards Aquino’s bold promises – in this area among many other fields of governance – and after six years, his massive failure to deliver.

READ MORE...

The deaths of his mother and father were mourned by many Filipinos. Aquino is ending his term with Filipinos anticipating his being run over by a train. Literal or not, the message is clear: Filipinos long to be rid of Aquino, and this time, without even a trace of mourning.

Under Aquino's presidency, ordinary citizens have been brutally sideswiped by his Daang Matuwid; now, they rightfully demand Aquino's turn to suffer the consequences.

Reference: Jerome Adonis, KMU secretary-general, 0999-4499794


PHILSTAR (FLASHBACK NOVEMBER 2015)

Abaya assures improved MRT services by 2016 By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated November 9, 2015 - 3:07pm 3 100 googleplus0 0


Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya admitted that the failure of procurement and biddings caused the delay of the improvement of the MRT.
PHOTO FROM www.dotc.gov.ph

MANILA, Philippines - Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya on Monday assured that commuters will experience an improvement in the services of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) by 2016.

"There will be improvement in service come first quarter," Abaya said during the Senate subcommittee on public services hearing on the MRT.

Abaya added that additional trains will be operational by next year, which will increase the MRT's capacity.

"For the first quarter of 2016 what we can expect is the first set of Dalian trains will be moving. Getting a better experience is all relative. But in terms of capacity, we will have additional capacity," Abaya said.

The transportation chief admitted that the state of the MRT could not yet be improved due to failed biddings.

According to MRT 3 General Manager Roman Buenafe, the bidding for elevators conducted three weeks ago failed due to the eligibility of documents submitted by the suppliers.

Meanwhile, the bidding for escalators is undergoing the pre-procurement stage.

READ MORE...

Abaya clarified that the Department of Budget and Management should not be blamed for the delayed improvement of the MRT as the agency has already released the budget. He explained that the failure of procurement is also one of the causes of the delay.

"These things happen, and a failure of bid is a reality," the transportation chief told Sen. Grace Poe, who heads the Senate subcommittee.

Poe recalled that in 2014, DOTC Director for Operations Renato San Jose said that the elevators and escalators would be completed by the third quarter of 2015.

The last Senate hearing on the MRT was in February. Last September, Poe inspected the prototype trains delivered from Dalian, China.

RELATED: MRT upgrade projects stalled despite allocations


WIKIPEDIA

RECAP PHILIPPINE ECONOMY FROM 1987 TO 2015

Cory Aquino Administration (1987-1992)

The Cory Aquino administration takes over an economy that has gone through socio-political disasters during the People Power revolution, where there was financial and commodity collapse caused by an overall consumer cynicism, a result of the propaganda against cronies, social economic unrest resulting from numerous global shortages, massive protests, lack of government transparency, the opposition's speculations and alleged corruption in the government.

At that point in time, the country had debt that began crippling the country which slowly made the Philippines the “Latin-American in East Asia” as it started to experience the worst recession since the post-war era.

Most of the immediate efforts of the Aquino administration was directed in reforming the image of the country and paying off all debts, including those that some governments were ready to write-off, as possible. This resulted in budget cuts and further aggravated the plight of the lower class because the jobs offered to them by the government was now gone.

Infrastructure projects, including repairs, were halted in secluded provinces turning concrete roads into asphalt. Privatization of many government corporations, most catering utilities, was the priority of the Aquino administration which led to massive lay-offs and inflation. The Cory Aquino administration [Marcos era] however, was persistent in its belief that the problems were caused by the previous administration.

Growth gradually began in the next few years of the administration. Somehow, there was still a short-lived, patchy, and erratic recovery from 1987 to 1991 as the political situation stabilized a bit. With this, the peso became more competitive, confidence of investors was gradually regained, positive movements in terms of trade were realized, and regional growth gradually strengthened.

Ramos Administration (1992 -1997)



The Ramos administration basically served its role as the carrier of the momentum of reform and as an important vehicle in “hastening the pace of liberalization and openness in the country”.

The administration was a proponent of capital account liberalization, which made the country more open to foreign trade, investments, and relations. It was during this administration when the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas was established, and this administration was also when the Philippines joined the World Trade Organization and other free trade associations such as the APEC.

During this administration, debt reduction was also put into consideration and as such, the issuance of certain government bonds called Brady Bonds also came to fruition in 1992.

Key negotiations with conflicting forces in Mindanao actually became more successful during the administration, which also highlighted the great role and contributions of Jose Almonte as the key adviser of this liberal administration.

By the time Ramos succeeded Corazon Aquino in 1992, the Philippine economy was already burdened with a heavy budget deficit. This was largely the result of austerity measures imposed by a standard credit arrangement with the International Monetary Fund and the destruction caused by natural disasters such as the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo.

Hence, according to Canlas, pump priming through government spending was immediately ruled out due to the deficit. Ramos therefore resorted to institutional changes through structural policy reforms, of which included privatization and deregulation. He sanctioned the formation of the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC), which served as a forum for consensus building, on the part of the Executive and the Legislative branches, on important bills on economic policy reform measures.

The daily brownouts that plagued the economy were also addressed through the enactment of policies that placed guaranteed rates. The economy during the first year of Ramos administration suffered from severe power shortage, with frequent brownouts, each lasting from 8 to 12 hours. To resolve this problem, the Electric Power Crisis Act was made into law together with the Build-Operate-Transfer Law.

Twenty power plants were built because of these, and in effect, the administration was able to eliminate the power shortage problems in December 1993 and sustained economic growth for some time.

CONTINUE READING...

The economy seemed to be all set for long-run growth, as shown by sustainable and promising growth rates from 1994 to 1997. However, the Asian Crisis contagion which started from Thailand and Korea started affecting the Philippines. This prompted the Philippine economy to plunge into continuous devaluation and very risky ventures, resulting in property busts and a negative growth rate. The remarkable feat of the administration, however, was that it was able to withstand the contagion effect of the Asian Crisis better than anybody else in the neighboring countries.

Most important in the administration was that it made clear the important tenets of reform, which included economic liberalization, stronger institutional foundations for development, redistribution, and political reform.

Perhaps some of the most important policies and breakthroughs of the administration are the Capital Account Liberalization and the subsequent commitments to free trade associations such as APEC, AFTA, GATT, and WTO.

The liberalization and opening of the capital opening culminated in full-peso convertibility in 1992.[49] And then another breakthrough is again, the establishment of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, which also involved the reduction of debts in that the debts of the old central bank were taken off its books.

Estrada Administration (1998-2001)



Although Estrada’s administration had to endure the continued shocks of the Asian Crisis contagion, the administration was also characterized by the administration’s economic mismanagement and “midnight cabinets.”

As if the pro-poor rhetoric, promises and drama were not really appalling enough, the administration also had “midnight cabinets composed of ‘drinking buddies’ influencing the decisions of the ‘daytime cabinet’”[50]). Cronyism and other big issues caused the country’s image of economic stability to change towards the worse. And instead of adjustments happening, people saw further deterioration and hopelessness that better things can happen.

Targeted revenues were not reached, implementation of policies became very slow, and fiscal adjustments were not efficiently conceptualized and implemented. All those disasters caused by numerous mistakes were made worse by the sudden entrance of the Jueteng controversy, which gave rise to the succeeding EDSA Revolutions.

Despite all these controversies, the administration still had some meaningful and profound policies to applaud. The administration presents a reprise of the population policy, which involved the assisting of married couples to achieve their fertility goals, reduce unwanted fertility and match their unmet need for contraception.

The administration also pushed for budget appropriations for family planning and contraceptives, an effort that was eventually stopped due to the fact that the church condemned it.

The administration was also able to implement a piece of its overall Poverty Alleviation Plan, which involved the delivery of social services, basic needs, and assistance to the poor families. The Estrada administration also had limited contributions to Agrarian Reform, perhaps spurred by the acknowledgement that indeed, Agrarian Reform can also address poverty and inequitable control over resources.

In that regard, the administration establishes the program “Sustainable Agrarian Reform Communities-Technical Support to Agrarian and Rural Development”.

As for regional development, however, the administration had no notable contributions or breakthroughs.

Macapagal-Arroyo's Administration (2001-2009)


The Arroyo administration, economically speaking, was a period of good growth rates simultaneous with the USA, due perhaps to the emergence of the Overseas Filipino workers (OFW) and the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO).

The emergence of the OFW and the BPO improved the contributions of OFW remittances and investments to growth. In 2004, however, fiscal deficits grew and grew as tax collections fell, perhaps due to rampant and wide scale tax avoidance and tax evasion incidences. Fearing that a doomsday prophecy featuring the [Argentina default] in 2002 might come to fruition, perhaps due to the same sort of fiscal crisis, the administration pushed for the enactment of the 12% VAT and the E-VAT to increase tax revenue and address the large fiscal deficits. This boosted fiscal policy confidence and brought the economy back on track once again.

Soon afterwards, political instability afflicted the country and the economy anew with Abu Sayyaf terrors intensifying. The administration's Legitimacy Crisis also became a hot issue and threat to the authority of the Arroyo administration. Moreover, the Arroyo administration went through many raps and charges because of some controversial deals such as the NBN-ZTE Broadband Deal.

Due however to the support of local leaders and the majority of the House of Representatives, political stability was restored and threats to the administration were quelled and subdued.

Towards the end of the administration, high inflation rates for rice and oil in 2008 started to plague the country anew, and this led to another fiscal crisis, which actually came along with the major recession that the United States and the rest of the world were actually experiencing.

The important policies of the Arroyo administration highlighted the importance of regional development, tourism, and foreign investments into the country.

Therefore, apart from the enactment and establishment of the E-VAT policy to address the worsening fiscal deficits, the administration also pushed for regional development studies in order to address certain regional issues such as disparities in regional per capita income and the effects of commercial communities on rural growth.

The administration also advocated for investments to improve tourism, especially in other unexplored regions that actually need development touches as well.

To further improve tourism, the administration launched the policy touching on Holiday Economics, which involves the changing of days in which we would celebrate certain holidays. Indeed, through the Holiday Economics approach, investments and tourism really improved.

As for investment, the Arroyo administration would normally go through lots of trips to other countries in order to encourage foreign investments for the betterment of the Philippine economy and its development.

Benigno Aquino III's Administration (2010-2016)



The Philippines consistently coined as one of the Newly Industrialized Countries has had a fair gain during the latter years under the Arroyo Presidency to the current administration.

The PNoy government managed foreign debts falling from 58% in 2008 to 47% of total government borrowings.

According to the 2012 World Wealth Report, the Philippines was the fastest growing economy in the world in 2010 with a GDP growth of 7.3% driven by the growing business process outsourcing and overseas remittances.

The country marked slipped to 3.6% in 2011 less emphasis on exports and the government spent less on infrastructure. Also the disruption of the flow of imports for raw material from floods in Thailand and the tsunami in Japan have affected the manufacturing sector in the same year.

"The Philippines contributed more than $125 million as of end-2011 to the pool of money disbursed by the International Monetary Fund to help address the financial crisis confronting economies in Europe.This was according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, which reported Tuesday that the Philippines, which enjoys growing foreign exchange reserves, has made available about $251.5 million to the IMF to finance the assistance program—the Financial Transactions Plan (FTP)—for crisis-stricken countries."

Remarkably the economy grew by 6.59% in 2012 the same year the Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona was impeached for a failed disclosure of statements of assets, liabilities and network or SALN coherent to the anti-corruption campaign of the administration.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index ended in the year with 5,812.73 points a 32.95% growth from the 4,371.96-finish in 2011.

BBB- investment grade by Fitch Ratings on the first quarter of 2013 for the country was made because of a resilient economy by remittances, growth despite the global economic crisis in the last five years reforms by the VAT reform law of 2005, BSP inflation management, good governance reforms under the Aquino administration. [AS OF JANUARY 4, 2015 FROM WIKIPEDIA]

PHOTOS OF THE PRESIDENTS FROM 'ARALINGPILIPINO (MYHOMEWORKS)' BLOGS.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Palace: Government won’t use P64-B CCT funds for LP campaign By Aurea Calica, Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 29, 2015 - 12:00am 0 87 googleplus0 0


Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda also justified for the nth time the implementation of the program to lift the marginalized sector from the cycle of poverty.

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang assured the nation yesterday that the government will not use the P64 billion allocated for the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program to bankroll the campaign of Liberal Party candidates, particularly presidential aspirant Manuel Roxas II.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda also justified for the nth time the implementation of the program to lift the marginalized sector from the cycle of poverty.

“The CCT program has been implemented by the Aquino administration since the start and over the years, we have expanded the number of beneficiaries from 800,000 families to 4.4 million families. It is a program envisioned to implement the President’s credo that no one should be left behind,” he said.

“To allow our poorest brothers and sisters the opportunity to break the inter-generational cycle of poverty cannot even be remotely described as misuse and perhaps those who accuse as such are, for all intents and purposes, doing a disservice to our people who have benefited from the program.”

United Nationalist Alliance spokesman Mon Ilagan had said the budget for the CCT program could be misused and that LP stalwart and Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice himself stated it would ensure “an easy win” for Roxas next year because the funds were being given directly to the poor.

READ MORE...

Meanwhile, LP vice presidential aspirant Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo might just pull a surprise in the 2016 elections and win against well-entrenched and more popular rivals, her allies in the House of Representatives said yesterday.

In the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey, Robredo’s ratings surged to 19 percent that put her in second place with Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in the vice presidential race, according to Marikina City Rep. Romero Quimbo.

“Leni’s surge sends a clear message that the electorate wants a VP who is unblemished and that they are tired of the ‘usual’ politician who’s been around for some time,” he said.

Quimbo said the LP has always been certain that Robredo’s poll ratings would pick up, having the highest voter conversion rate among vice presidential candidates.


PHILSTAR

Right-of-way issue stalls NGCP repairs: Longer blackouts loom in Mindanao By Danessa O. Rivera (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 1, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


“Failure to restore the tower will further aggravate the supply deficiency in the region. Longer rotational power interruptions may be expected,” NGCP warned. STAR/File photo

MANILA, Philippines - Mindanao faces the prospect of longer rotational blackouts at the start of the year as worsening right-of-way (ROW) issues continue to stall restoration work on bombed towers, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) said.

The grid operator said Tower 25 along Agus 2- Kibawe 138kv line in Ramain, Lanao del Sur remained toppled due to failed negotiation with the owner of the property where the facility is located, keeping two units of the Agus Hydroelectric Power Plant (HEPP) isolated from the Mindanao grid.

“The landowner refused NGCP entry to repair the toppled tower alleging that government failed to pay his claims long ago,” NGCP said.

The said tower was bombed last Dec. 24, causing Agus 1 and 2 HEPP, with as much as 150 megawatts (MW), to be cut off from the Mindanao grid.

“Failure to restore the tower will further aggravate the supply deficiency in the region. Longer rotational power interruptions may be expected,” NGCP warned.

To prevent aggravating the power situation in Mindanao, the grid operator is appealing to the public, local government, PNP, and AFP to help monitor the safety of the towers so that transmission services remain uninterrupted.

The company also appeals to local community leaders to help identify the perpetrators of the bombings to prevent longer power interruptions.

READ MORE...

In other locations, NGCP said its line personnel will continue to restore the transmission facilities damaged by Typhoon Nona this holiday season.

Linemen in North Luzon and Visayas are working round the clock to restore the Cabanatuan-San Isidro 69-kv line in Nueva Ecija, Bangabon-Baler 69-kv line in Aurora and Palanas-Cara-Catarman 69-kv line in Northern Samar, it said.

The three lines suffered the most during the passage of Typhoon Nona, leaving 342 transmission structures either washed-out, toppled, leaning, or with broken parts.

Transmission repairs were slowed down by flooding and landslides, especially in North Luzon. Going to the transmission sites poses a challenge as roads were unpassable due to landslides.

“NGCP remains committed to restore the lines the soonest possible time. We are working 24/7, even during the holidays to ensure that we will finish the repairs before the year ends,” NGCP said.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

 


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