The 5.6-percent growth of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) for the first quarter of 2019 was the lowest in 4 years since the 5.1 percent recorded in the first quarter of 2015. It ended 15 consecutive quarters of at least 6 percent growth. The slowdown can also be attributed to the country's inflation, which accelerated in 2018, peaking at 6.7 percent in September or its highest level in nearly a decade. As a result, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas tightened monetary policy, raising key policy rates by a total of 175 basis points in 2018. The BSP has since cut interest rates by 25 basis points in May as inflation settled within the government's target range of 2 to 4 percent for the fifth straight month in June. Addressing food supply issues and rice tariffication helped bring down prices. Unemployment rate for 2018 was at 5.3 percent, its lowest level in more than a decade. It has continued to decline in the first half of 2019. The underemployment rate slightly increased to … [Read more...] about Economic indicators 3 years into Duterte presidency
Democratization is still essentially a work in progress in our country. We have yet to complete the process since not much change has actually taken place. The kind of government established by our colonial masters, even forcibly at that, sadly remains. The elites still control much of the country, its economy and its politics. We barely look up to our public institutions. We are in awe at the sight of many of our public officials, but we don’t necessarily trust and respect them. In fact, we tend to look at our officials as the public institution itself, not a representation of it. This means we assume that the public office is completely at the disposal of the official occupying it, instead of the office effectively defining what the official can and cannot do. This could have changed significantly if only EDSA 1986 was anywhere near a real revolution. EDSA simply restored elites in power. People power happened because so much change was wanted and expected. And that was not the … [Read more...] about OPINION: The Duterte enigma: 3 years hence
MANILA - Davao City Rep. Paolo "Pulong" Duterte, President Rodrigo Duterte’s eldest son, would be "unbeatable" if he runs for House Speaker in the 18th Congress. Albay Rep. Joey Salceda wrote in a Facebook post Tuesday that Rep. Duterte will get more than a majority vote from Congress if the House freshman runs. “Realpolitik: Paolo will get 300 and no need to share term. Surely, Martin will give way. The long and short of it: It's still the President who will wield the sword," Salceda wrote. Salceda is a known ally of Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, who is vying for the Speakership with Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco and Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano. According to Pampanga Rep. Aurelio Dong Gonzales -- an ally of Velasco -- nobody would beat Duterte in a Speakership fight. “We have no objection na lahat 'pag siya ang pumasok sa Speakership. Palagay ko wala nang lalaban at lahat kami, all the coalition partners, sasama diyan," Gonzales said. "We are … [Read more...] about ‘Paolo Duterte unbeatable in possible Speakership bid’
Duterte won fresh vote of confidence? TWO days after the last vote was cast and counted, it looks like the people have given President Duterte a new vote of confidence by electing all his favored candidates for senator. That is, assuming it was an honest election – not an automated deception. To me, the indicators of Duterte’s enjoying, or claiming, popular approval are senatorial wannabes Bong Go, Bato dela Rosa and Imee Marcos – who as of 8:20 p.m. yesterday looked secure in their assigned slots in the winning bracket. Without Duterte, these first-timers in the Senate race would not make it. They have nothing to commend them to the Senate. In fact, Bato, the top cop wonders aloud what he would do in the legislature. (Eh di mag -OJT [On the-Job Trainee] ka, Sir!) In his May 11 campaign speech in Pasig, President Duterte explained why he needed to pack them in: “I need men in the Senate. Kailangan ko ng mga tao sa … [Read more...] about Duterte won fresh vote of confidence?
With just 10 days to go, it is time the underlying aspect of the May 13 election – that it is also a midterm referendum on the Duterte presidency – be brought into focus to help the people cast an informed vote, especially on the 12 Senate seats at stake. Discounting personal reasons for preferring specific candidates, every vote cast for a senatorial candidate endorsed by President Duterte could be taken as a vote of confidence in him and a stamp of approval on how he has been running the country. And every vote for opposition Senate candidates, particularly for the Otso Diretso team, could register as a rebuke to Duterte, or at least serve notice that the voter wants a performance upgrade or a quick replacement. Some sectors say, with reason, that a vote for Duterte’s candidate may not always mean approval, but could just be a manifestation of the effects of propaganda. To correct the brainwashing, civic groups, the academe, media and other sectors have been engaged … [Read more...] about It’s a referendum on Duterte regime