DAILY TRIBUNE OPINION

EDITORIAL ON BBL: TRUST DISAPPEARING FAST IN TALKS 

Efforts to salvage the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) appear fruitless because of a fundamental split in the view of the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on the territory to be created to appease the Muslim rebels. The government talks of a political entity, the concept for which is somewhat a hyped-up version of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), which Noynoy refers to as a failed experiment. The MILF’s view of the Bangsamoro, however, appears totally different as it is, assiduously pushing for an amendment in the Constitution to allow the creation of a substate. The negotiating panels of both parties had committed to submit to Congress in one week or on Aug. 18, a mutually acceptable version of the BBL.

Put another way, the panels failed to come up with an agreement on contentious portions of the Palace-revised BBL since this was the objective of the supposed 10-day workshop among the peace negotiators in Davao City.
The Palace-controlled House and the Senate are expected to approve the BBL but the controversial law is expected to be challenged before the Supreme Court (SC) and many groups have already indicated that the suit will be filed once the law is enacted. The negotiating panels were reconvened after the MILF expressed displeasure over the Palace-rehashed BBL which the rebel group described as having departed 70 percent from the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) which was the basis of the drafting of the bill. The legal johnnies-come-lately of the Palace could have realized that the proposed law would not have a chance of hurdling the SC, based on the CAB. Had the negotiators been advised earlier that the terms they are surrendering to the MILF will violate the Constitution, the current problem would have been avoided. * CONTINUE READING...

ALSO Tribune Editorial on the economy: Still worst in Asia  

In the past few years, the economic officials of Noynoy had been making a lot of noise, along the line of inclusive growth and good governance is good economics sound bites, about the demographic sweet spot in the economy when the huge portion of the population consisting of the youth will reach working age. That in theory would be a huge asset for the nation since labor resources are what most of the booming economies lack. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), in a report, however, believes that the Aquino administration is blowing the opportunity, saying in a report that the emergence of young Filipino workers is not being exploited to the advantage of the economy. “Favorable demographics are a missed opportunity if the economy cannot effectively absorb the growing working-age population,” the IMF said in its periodic report.

A rising number of new graduates is either unemployed or quickly absorbed by economies overseas looking for skilled labor. Many of the unemployed, however, are in that state by choice due to the fact that the opportunity they are looking, which is commensurate to the years they had invested in school, can’t be found locally. The IMF report said that the inadequate use of labor resources is reflected not only in elevated unemployment but also in high underemployment, the IMF said. The report, nonetheless, said that Filipinos seeking work abroad tend to accept less skilled jobs overseas in response to large wage differences and limited employment opportunities at home. It noted the significant brain drain that results from the limited choices available to young Filipinos. Lately, the administration of Noynoy has included in the budget, funds for the improvement of the manufacturing sector that should have been done at the start of his incumbency. Coming this late, the amount may just go to waste since the next administration would likely have its own priorities that may not be aligned with the just initiated program. The country remains with the highest unemployment and poverty rates in progressing Asia, which negates all the bluster of Noynoy about a fast expanding economy. * CONTINUE READING...

ALSO Tribune Editorial on 2016: Mar’s survival instinct  

The trial balloon which was the One More Term for PNoy inanity clearly was launched by the Liberal Party (LP) which is completely devoid of any decently acceptable bet for the 2016 polls with perennial presidential wannabe Mar Roxas likely dreaming of another shot at the vice presidency. In proposing an extension of the President’s term, Mar simply refused to see reality, even to the extent of disregarding Noynoy’s message. Or maybe he refused to comprehend two messages Noynoy conveyed in his last State of the Nation Address (Sona). First, Noynoy, at least in his address, said he is not interested in another term or in staying another day longer in Malacañang. The President made it clear by saying it was his fifth Sona and only one is left; and that the people should now think of who shall be the President come 2016. He even laid down the criterion: one who will continue the transformation he claimed he has started. He stressed his role is only to begin the process and he is satisfied with what he has accomplished.

He said: “This my fifth Sona; only one remains. In 2016, you will be choosing new leaders of our country. What I can tell you is this: if you wish continue and even accelerate the transformation of society, there can only be one basis for choosing my successor: Who will, without a shred of doubt, continue the transformation we are achieving?”
The speech was more of wishful thinking and a lot of lies on his transformation and reform claims, but Noynoy was clear in conveying he will step down by the end of his term. If Roxas and overreaching mouthpiece Edwin Lacierda are still unconvinced then another indication of the 2016 plans of Noynoy is found in his speech: “I am content because I am sure that when I’m gone, many will take my place and continue what we have started. Maybe this is what I meant to do: to start this.” The reality is that Roxas, Noynoy and his Liberal Party’s anointed, may not likely be Noynoy’s candidate in 2016. The LP recognizes this and is now floating either Speaker Sonny Belmonte or Senate President Frank Drilon, or perhaps their tandem as a likely alternative. * CONTINUES READING...

ALSO by Ninez Cacho Olivares: Clear LP demolition job on VP   

Of course it is a demolition job that the Palace and the Liberal Party (LP) camp of Mar Roxas, through Senators Sonny Trillanes and Koko Pimentel are into against Vice President Jojo Binay, no matter their denials. It doesn’t make any sense for senators to hold an inquiry over the alleged overpriced Makati building which is being called by Binay’s detractors as an overpriced “parking building,” and worse, since TG Guingona does not appear to want the probe done by his yellow ribbon committee claiming to be so busy (with what, since not even the Malampaya fund scam is being touched with a ten foot pole by Palace and LP toady TG) and assigning this inquiry instead to an illegal “sub committee” headed by yet another political foe, Koko Pimentel, who has had a falling out with Binay in 2010.

But there is a reason for this demonization of the VP: TG is with the LP, and the Palace operators and the Mar camp are making sure they do not get identified with the demolition job on Binay, which explains the participation of their allied toadies, Trillanes of the Nacionalista Party and Koko of the near defunct PDP, now that Binay has quit the party. What else a logical reason can there be for the Senate to conduct a probe on a very old case with which Binay’s foes are charging him, after such a long time, if not because of a ordered demolition job against the VP, to blacken his reputation and dim his electoral chances at victory, the same way they did their demolition job on the three targeted opposition senators whom they have framed with plunder and graft and who are now detained in jail.

This Senate demolition group certainly know that, as they cannot summon a president for a hearing — unless it is an impeachment trial — why should they now think that they have the power to summon a vice president to the Senate for a hearing? Trillanes claimed that since Binay is running for the presidency, this is a good reason to conduct an investigation on the allegations of corruption, so the people will know, adding that he has witnesses who will come forward to testify against the VP. That is a virtual admission from Trillanes that it is going to be a demolition job on the VP. Trillanes and Pimentel, as well as the LPs have reason to fear a President Binay adminisration come 2016 because they will be out of power and position — even in the Senate. And they fear that which they had done to their colleagues and Binay will also be done to them.* CONTINUE READING...

ALSO Editorial: Taking IMF, WB for a ride   

In the recent reports of both multilateral agencies World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Noynoy’s claimed three percent reduction in poverty level came up mainly as a supposed reflection of the success of the anti-poverty conditional cash transfer program. The claim is that 3 million Filipinos were pulled out from extreme poverty based on the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) data comparing 2013 and 2012 that showed 24.9 percent of the population were considered poor compared to 27.9 percent a year earlier. The NSCB Web site, however, indicated that the latest poverty figures were computed using for the first time, “income data from the Annual Poverty Indicators Survey (APIS).
Previous reports were based on the Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES) conducted triennially.”
Economists said that the data using different formulas can’t be compared, since that would be like comparing apples and oranges. Socio-economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, however, wrote The Tribune recently to defend the figures saying it came from a formula which is globally accepted.

The point, however, is the comparison of figures using two different formulas that had resulted in an instant 3 million reduction in the number of poverty-stricken Filipinos. The NSCB, which is now the Philippines Statistics Authority further issued a clarification on the formula shift: “Official poverty statistics released by the former NSCB has always been based on the income data generated in the FIES, which is conducted in two visits by the former National Statistics Office (NSO), every three years. However, recognizing the clamor for more frequent release of official poverty statistics, the PSA, through the recommendation of the National Economic Development Authority Director General Arsenio M. Balisacan, used the 2013 APIS as a tool for collecting income information similar to the FIES. The APIS, which is conducted in July in between FIES years by the former NSO, is a nationwide survey originally designed to provide non-income indicators related to poverty at the national and regional levels.” Despite the magic of statistics, the 24.9 poverty rate in the country remains the worst in the region with countries like Cambodia and Vietnam which have less-developed economies than the Philippines faring better. Singapore has zero poverty, Indonesia, 12 percent; Malaysia, 1.7 percent; Thailand, 13.2 percent and Vietnam, 20.7 percent. How can Noynoy claim then that the Philippines has the strongest growing economy in Asia, and sometimes during one of Noynoy’s speeches, it was referred to as fastest “in the world.”

The change in the methodology has created a stir mainly after Noynoy trumpeted to the world that his “tuwid na daan” philosophy had led to a three percentage point reduction in the country’s poverty incidence during his State of the Nation Address last month. Diokno said the two numbers are not exactly comparable.* continue reading...


READ FULL REPORTS HERE:

Trust disappearing fast in talks

MANILA, AUGUST 18, 2014 (DAILY TRIBUNE) Written by Tribune Editorial - Efforts to salvage the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) appear fruitless because of a fundamental split in the view of the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on the territory to be created to appease the Muslim rebels.

The government talks of a political entity, the concept for which is somewhat a hyped-up version of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), which Noynoy refers to as a failed experiment.

The MILF’s view of the Bangsamoro, however, appears totally different as it is, assiduously pushing for an amendment in the Constitution to allow the creation of a substate.

The negotiating panels of both parties had committed to submit to Congress in one week or on Aug. 18, a mutually acceptable version of the BBL.

Put another way, the panels failed to come up with an agreement on contentious portions of the Palace-revised BBL since this was the objective of the supposed 10-day workshop among the peace negotiators in Davao City.

The Palace-controlled House and the Senate are expected to approve the BBL but the controversial law is expected to be challenged before the Supreme Court (SC) and many groups have already indicated that the suit will be filed once the law is enacted.

The negotiating panels were reconvened after the MILF expressed displeasure over the Palace-rehashed BBL which the rebel group described as having departed 70 percent from the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) which was the basis of the drafting of the bill.

The legal johnnies-come-lately of the Palace could have realized that the proposed law would not have a chance of hurdling the SC, based on the CAB.

Had the negotiators been advised earlier that the terms they are surrendering to the MILF will violate the Constitution, the current problem would have been avoided.

* The MILF in its search of a Bangsamoro homeland is expected to ask for no less than a substate in which it will wield virtually complete power. That much seems to have been assured with a 70 percent share in income and resources within the substate while the CAB provides for the creation of a separate parliamentary system of government for Bangsamoro, both of which are unconstitutional, given the past experience under a previous administration.

The high court had earlier struck down the so-called Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MoA-AD) which made almost the exactly same commitments under the CAB.

The statement issued after the end of the Davao workshop provided little clue on the progress of the draft BBL.
It, however, mentioned, wide discussions on fiscal autonomy and administration of justice.

“The panels have reached agreement on substantial portions of the document, and have developed a shared understanding of the remaining challenges and unsettled issues, which they will bring back to their principals for further guidance” was the only message that provided indications on the status of the BBL.

The well-crafted message, however, can’t hide the fact that the negotiations remained at a deadlock which explains the need for the members of both panels to get “further guidance.”

A crucial element, thus, seems to be fast disappearing for the peace negotiations to succeed, which is trust between the two panels.

The Palace, in taking apart the BBL and handing down to the MILF its preferred version started the erosion of confidence between the two sides.

From the start, the MILF had indicated that a constitutional amendment was needed to accommodate the Bangsamoro substate that it wants while the Palace had insisted that the agreement will not need any changes in the Constitution although a provision in the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro provided the Bangsamoro Transition Commission an option to seek Charter change.

With doubt present, a solid agreement would not be achievable.

Still worst in Asia Written by Tribune Editorial Monday, 11 August 2014 00:00 font size decrease font size increase font size Print 1 comment

In the past few years, the economic officials of Noynoy had been making a lot of noise, along the line of inclusive growth and good governance is good economics sound bites, about the demographic sweet spot in the economy when the huge portion of the population consisting of the youth will reach working age.

That in theory would be a huge asset for the nation since labor resources are what most of the booming economies lack.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF), in a report, however, believes that the Aquino administration is blowing the opportunity, saying in a report that the emergence of young Filipino workers is not being exploited to the advantage of the economy.

“Favorable demographics are a missed opportunity if the economy cannot effectively absorb the growing working-age population,” the IMF said in its periodic report.

A rising number of new graduates is either unemployed or quickly absorbed by economies overseas looking for skilled labor. Many of the unemployed, however, are in that state by choice due to the fact that the opportunity they are looking, which is commensurate to the years they had invested in school, can’t be found locally.

The IMF report said that the inadequate use of labor resources is reflected not only in elevated unemployment but also in high underemployment, the IMF said.

The report, nonetheless, said that Filipinos seeking work abroad tend to accept less skilled jobs overseas in response to large wage differences and limited employment opportunities at home.

It noted the significant brain drain that results from the limited choices available to young Filipinos.

Lately, the administration of Noynoy has included in the budget, funds for the improvement of the manufacturing sector that should have been done at the start of his incumbency.

Coming this late, the amount may just go to waste since the next administration would likely have its own priorities that may not be aligned with the just initiated program.

The country remains with the highest unemployment and poverty rates in progressing Asia, which negates all the bluster of Noynoy about a fast expanding economy.

* Also the rising inflation rate is expected to negate whatever gains that majority of the Filipinos are deriving from the supposed economic growth as high prices eat up their income from work.

The biggest loser always of lethargic governance is the poor majority who depend on the state to lift them from their marginalized condition.

Noynoy had only the dole-out program which is increasingly taking up a huge portion of the yearly budget and his multifarious catch phrases as an anti-poverty program.

The result is that more than 25 percent of the population or about 25 million Filipinos continue to live in uncertainty each day.

Lately the statistics office had started arguing about the poverty statistics cited by Noynoy in his State of the Nation Address in which he claimed that 3 million Filipinos were pulled out from their hand-to-mouth existence although some economists including former Budget Secretary Ben Diokno said the improvement in the figures was more the result of a change in the formula used in computing the poverty incidence.

Arguing about the poverty rate or the unemployment rate, which seems to have gone down lately to seven percent due to the sudden decision of state statisticians to exclude the provinces hit by supertyphoon “Yolanda” last year in the labor survey, however, is pointless.

As it is, with the jobless rate at seven percent and the poverty rate at 25 percent, the condition of the majority of the population admittedly remains the worst in Asia.

What is there to argue about?

ALSO Tribune Editorial: Mar’s survival instinct  Written by Tribune Editorial Saturday, 09 August 2014 00:00



The trial balloon which was the One More Term for PNoy inanity clearly was launched by the Liberal Party (LP) which is completely devoid of any decently acceptable bet for the 2016 polls with perennial presidential wannabe Mar Roxas likely dreaming of another shot at the vice presidency.

In proposing an extension of the President’s term, Mar simply refused to see reality, even to the extent of disregarding Noynoy’s message.

Or maybe he refused to comprehend two messages Noynoy conveyed in his last State of the Nation Address (Sona).
First, Noynoy, at least in his address, said he is not interested in another term or in staying another day longer in Malacañang.

The President made it clear by saying it was his fifth Sona and only one is left; and that the people should now think of who shall be the President come 2016.

He even laid down the criterion: one who will continue the transformation he claimed he has started. He stressed his role is only to begin the process and he is satisfied with what he has accomplished.

He said: “This my fifth Sona; only one remains. In 2016, you will be choosing new leaders of our country. What I can tell you is this: if you wish continue and even accelerate the transformation of society, there can only be one basis for choosing my successor: Who will, without a shred of doubt, continue the transformation we are achieving?”

The speech was more of wishful thinking and a lot of lies on his transformation and reform claims, but Noynoy was clear in conveying he will step down by the end of his term.

If Roxas and overreaching mouthpiece Edwin Lacierda are still unconvinced then another indication of the 2016 plans of Noynoy is found in his speech:

“I am content because I am sure that when I’m gone, many will take my place and continue what we have started. Maybe this is what I meant to do: to start this.”

The reality is that Roxas, Noynoy and his Liberal Party’s anointed, may not likely be Noynoy’s candidate in 2016. The LP recognizes this and is now floating either Speaker Sonny Belmonte or Senate President Frank Drilon, or perhaps their tandem as a likely alternative.

* Earlier, it appeared that even neophyte Sen. Grace Poe was considered after what seems to be a Palace-commissioned survey appeared comparing the chances of Mar and Grace with an endorsement from Noynoy and only among Noynoy devotee-respondents since nationwide, she only scored 12 percent.

The LP, in all its hallucination, believes that Noynoy set the criterion for the choice in 2016 in the Sona citing his words: “Who are the ones that no doubt will continue the transformation that we started?”

The LP then believes it is one of its members among the people he said will continue what he claimed he began, even when there has been no transformation.

There are those who are in the political field. Would there be any doubt that Senate President Franklin Drilon at Speaker Belmonte will bring us to the right path?

Still, Roxas’ suggestion of an extended term, which is improbable since it would require a change in the Constitution this late in Noynoy’s term, is meant to enable him to save face because he already knows he won’t be the LP candidate, so the next best thing he can wish for is another term for P-Noy where he can serve as maybe Vice President, that is, if by a stroke of blind luck his political stars change.

In all likelihood, however, the “One more term for PNoy” was borne out of desperation to overturn what appears imminent which is a Jojo Binay presidency.

The fear, primarily for Roxas, is to descend into political ignominy at least for a long six years of his political prime--which he messed up--when the inevitable happens.

Clear LP demolition job on VP  Written by Ninez Cacho-Olivares Thursday, 14 August 2014 00:00


by Ninez Cacho-Olivares

Of course it is a demolition job that the Palace and the Liberal Party (LP) camp of Mar Roxas, through Senators Sonny Trillanes and Koko Pimentel are into against Vice President Jojo Binay, no matter their denials.

It doesn’t make any sense for senators to hold an inquiry over the alleged overpriced Makati building which is being called by Binay’s detractors as an overpriced “parking building,” and worse, since TG Guingona does not appear to want the probe done by his yellow ribbon committee claiming to be so busy (with what, since not even the Malampaya fund scam is being touched with a ten foot pole by Palace and LP toady TG) and assigning this inquiry instead to an illegal “sub committee” headed by yet another political foe, Koko Pimentel, who has had a falling out with Binay in 2010.

But there is a reason for this demonization of the VP: TG is with the LP, and the Palace operators and the Mar camp are making sure they do not get identified with the demolition job on Binay, which explains the participation of their allied toadies, Trillanes of the Nacionalista Party and Koko of the near defunct PDP, now that Binay has quit the party.

What else a logical reason can there be for the Senate to conduct a probe on a very old case with which Binay’s foes are charging him, after such a long time, if not because of a ordered demolition job against the VP, to blacken his reputation and dim his electoral chances at victory, the same way they did their demolition job on the three targeted opposition senators whom they have framed with plunder and graft and who are now detained in jail.

This Senate demolition group certainly know that, as they cannot summon a president for a hearing — unless it is an impeachment trial — why should they now think that they have the power to summon a vice president to the Senate for a hearing?

Trillanes claimed that since Binay is running for the presidency, this is a good reason to conduct an investigation on the allegations of corruption, so the people will know, adding that he has witnesses who will come forward to testify against the VP.

That is a virtual admission from Trillanes that it is going to be a demolition job on the VP.

Trillanes and Pimentel, as well as the LPs have reason to fear a President Binay adminisration come 2016 because they will be out of power and position — even in the Senate. And they fear that which they had done to their colleagues and Binay will also be done to them.

* Recall that under Noynoy, as allies of the yellow president, they have been protected, not only by Noynoy and Butch Abad, but also the Commission on Audit under yellow toady, Grace Pulido-Tan, Leila de Lima and Conchita Carpio-Morales.
 
Already, it has been exposed by the Tribune recently that the holier than thou Alan Cayeteno, who keeps on saying that his three detained colleagues are guilty and that the evidence is strong (hearsay evidence is strong? C’mon, Alan, as a lawyer, you do know that’s not so) has also been found by the CoA to have misused his special release allotment orders (SAROs), with ghost purchases to boot, not to mention his wife’s gross misuse of government funds and her 3,500 ghost employees. No clean hands, they.

As for Trillanes, remember his claiming to spend millions for travel expenses, when he was detained and couldn’t travel?

There should be more misuse of his SAROs too, which will all be known after Noynoy steps down from Malacañang.

But Trillanes is casting a moist eye on the vice presidency, and perhaps also hopes to be taken in by the administration as a VP bet with Mar Roxas as the standard bearer.

He knows neither he nor Alan Cayetano will make it going solo under the Nacionalista Party banner because the NP is not that strong a party and neither does it have grassroots organization. The loss of Manny Villar in 2010, landing a poor third in the race, already proves this. And money was no problem for Villar.

As for Pimentel, he is raring to get even with Binay for leaving the party he founded. Without Binay, the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban is nothing and certainly the PDP under Pimentel can only be regarded as a paper party.

Editorial: Taking IMF, WB for a ride  Written by Tribune Editorial Thursday, 14 August 2014 00:00

In the recent reports of both multilateral agencies World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Noynoy’s claimed three percent reduction in poverty level came up mainly as a supposed reflection of the success of the anti-poverty conditional cash transfer program.

The claim is that 3 million Filipinos were pulled out from extreme poverty based on the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) data comparing 2013 and 2012 that showed 24.9 percent of the population were considered poor compared to 27.9 percent a year earlier.

The NSCB Web site, however, indicated that the latest poverty figures were computed using for the first time, “income data from the Annual Poverty Indicators Survey (APIS).

Previous reports were based on the Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES) conducted triennially.”

Economists said that the data using different formulas can’t be compared, since that would be like comparing apples and oranges.

Socio-economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, however, wrote The Tribune recently to defend the figures saying it came from a formula which is globally accepted.

The point, however, is the comparison of figures using two different formulas that had resulted in an instant 3 million reduction in the number of poverty-stricken Filipinos.

The NSCB, which is now the Philippines Statistics Authority further issued a clarification on the formula shift:

“Official poverty statistics released by the former NSCB has always been based on the income data generated in the FIES, which is conducted in two visits by the former National Statistics Office (NSO), every three years.

"However, recognizing the clamor for more frequent release of official poverty statistics, the PSA, through the recommendation of the National Economic Development Authority Director General Arsenio M. Balisacan, used the 2013 APIS as a tool for collecting income information similar to the FIES. The APIS, which is conducted in July in between FIES years by the former NSO, is a nationwide survey originally designed to provide non-income indicators related to poverty at the national and regional levels.”

Despite the magic of statistics, the 24.9 poverty rate in the country remains the worst in the region with countries like Cambodia and Vietnam which have less-developed economies than the Philippines faring better.

Singapore has zero poverty, Indonesia, 12 percent; Malaysia, 1.7 percent; Thailand, 13.2 percent and Vietnam, 20.7 percent. How can Noynoy claim then that the Philippines has the strongest growing economy in Asia, and sometimes during one of Noynoy’s speeches, it was referred to as fastest “in the world.”

The change in the methodology has created a stir mainly after Noynoy trumpeted to the world that his “tuwid na daan” philosophy had led to a three percentage point reduction in the country’s poverty incidence during his State of the Nation Address last month.

Diokno said the two numbers are not exactly comparable.

* The APIS is based on a smaller sample (10,864 respondents) and shorter questionnaire (32 pages, 6 pages on expenditure and 19 pages on income). The FIES has a sample size of 42,618 and a lengthier questionnaire (78 pages, 47 pages for expenditure and 24 pages on income).

“Since the APIS results are based on a small sample, it gives the overall poverty picture for the entire country only. It cannot be used to analyze regional and provincial poverty incidence.

The FIES results, on the other hand, allow a more detailed poverty picture, down to the provincial level, and hence allows more focused and pinpointed policy intervention,” Diokno said.

“In the first place, two points don’t establish a trend. That’s elementary. The figures were very different in scope and depth yet these were used with the latest data compared with the previous one using the different formula,” he added.

That was the same window-dressing done on the unemployment figure, still high as it is, which was recently lowered to seven percent after removing that part of the population which was affected by typhoon “Yolanda” last year.

The unemployment data, many economists say, do not truly reflect the state of joblessness in the country since the formula used is too liberal in defining employment.

For instance, a person not actively looking for work is not considered unemployed.

The country, according to Noynoy and his economic team, is growing at the fastest pace among Asian countries yet the Philippines has the highest unemployment rate and the worst poverty incidence in the region.

Yet, Noynoy talks about inclusive growth or “no one should be left behind” in economic development as if he means it.

At least, Filipinos can claim that through Noynoy, the IMF-WB tandem got a screwing.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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