Is ‘Aquinomics’ working?

Lala Rimando

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Pulse Asia survey shows 45% of Filipinos noticed no change in the state of national economy


MANILA, Philippines – The benefits of ‘Aquinomics,’ or the economic agenda of the Aquino government, has yet to be felt by majority of Filipinos, a recent survey showed.  

For 45% of Filipinos, the national economy has stayed the same from October 2010 to November 2011, according to a recently released results of a national survey by research firm Pulse Asia.  

The survey period covers a full 12-month period under President Aquino who came into power in May 2010.   

Of the 1,200 respondents, those who believe that the state of the economy has deteriorated increased to 38% from 16%, while those who say there was an improvement plunged to 18% from 30%.

These sentiments cut across economic classes and geography.

In Mindanao, however, the jump in the figure for those who noticed a deterioration was most dramatic. Majority, or 57%, believe the economy turned for the worse from 29% a year ago. In 2010, those who noticed positive and no changes dominated.

Among economic classes, those who belong to ABC and D either share this view (38%) or believe that the state of the national economy remained unchanged (43% versus 47%).
Majority of those pessimistic about the economy said they were “strongly affected” by it, the independent pollster added.

“Among those who say the Philippine economy is in a worse state now than a year ago, 66% were strongly affected by this perceived economic deterioration, 31% were somehow affected and only 3% did not feel the impact of the worsening economic situation in the country,” Pulse Asia said in a statement on Monday, Jan. 9, 2012.

On the other hand, most of those who feel that the economy is in a better shape now say they somehow felt the impact of this growth on their own lives (60%). It’s a sentiment shared by majority in all geographic areas (51% to 71%) and Classes D and E (56% to 63%).

Good governance

The growth of the Philippine economy likely slowed down in 2011. GDP grew at only 3.6% in the first nine months of 2011, a far cry from over 7% growth in 2010 and the 5% to 6% target for 2011.

While global uncertainties dragged down local economic growth, underspending by the Aquino government has also been blamed for the lackluster performance of the Philippine economy.

Key infrastructure projects – including airports, roads, bridges and schools – were delayed as basic governance checks were prioritized. Economic Planning Secretary Cayetano Paderanga Jr. had said the delays may have shaved off around 0.25% to 0.5% from the country’s GDP growth.

“Good governance is good economics,” Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima had stressed.
The economic managers are banking on ‘Aquinomics,’ which is anchored on good governance.

‘Aquinomics’ stress fiscal sustainability and macroeconomic stability, the private-public partnership or PPP program, ease in doing business, and investment in people.

Economic planning Secretary Cayetano Paderanga Jr. had said that the good governance and transparency efforts of the government would have long-term benefits and will bear fruits soon. –

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