Monsod: Economy was in total shambles under Marcos

Maiki Oreta of ABS-CBN interviewed Solita Monsod on Philippine economy:

“We were borrowing money like it was going out of style. And the projects those moneys were going to had no immediate, redemptive return value. They were not productive, that’s the problem.  Our foreign debt was about 95% of our GDP. Right now it is less than 50%.

From the time [former president] Cory Aquino came in in 1986, it took another 14-15 years before the Philippines was able to regain the real per capita income levels that it had lost since the international debt crisis.

But the good news, at least, [is that] poverty went down since 1986. Although it went down between 1997 and 2000 and it went up again between 2003 and 2006. It’s gone down just a tiny bit in 2009. So as far as poverty reduction is concerned we are slightly better off than we were when Marcos left the country.”

The news comes in context with the war of words between President Aquino, who says the Philippines could have been another Libya if 1986 didn’t happen, and Senator Marcos, who said the Philippines could be another Singapore under his late father.

Cocoy Dayao

Cocoy is the Chief Technology Officer of Lab Rats Technica, a Digital Consulting company that specialises in DevOps, iOS, and Web Apps, E-Commerce sites, Cybersecurity and Social Media consulting. He is a technology enthusiast, political junkie and social observer who enjoys a good cup of coffee, comic books, and tweets as @cocoy on twitter.

Cocoy is also the Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of the ProPinoy Project.

Cocoy considers himself to be Liberal.

  • J_ag ,

    One of the so called unproductive projects that Monsod was referring to was the BNPP. The 600 megawatt projects was meant to replace plants that were already aging.

    By the time FVR came into office we had a severe shortage of power.

    he then went into the IPP projects which were highly overpriced and guaranteed profits for the proponents.

    I was involved with studying some of these projects and all proposals came from the private sector and the government had no time to validate the project costs.

    WQe were in emergency mode and we are still suffering from that earlier mistake of Cory in shutting down the BNPP and not immediately looking for replacing the BNPP.

    That is just one of the major sins of Cory’s government that has had far reaching effects on the people of this country.

    At the very least Marcos governments had already plans for the long term development of strategic industries. All subsequent governments have none including the present one.

    • J_ag ,

      “From the time former president] Cory Aquino came in in 1986, it took another 14-15 years before the Philippines was able to regain the real per capita income levels that it had lost since the international debt crisis.”

      I am a little confused by Monsod. Did Marcos cause the international debt crisis or was the balance of payments blow out caused by external forces?

      Marcos toed the line of the World Bank then in its head then, Robert McNamara. The WB then imposed the Structural Adjustment Program of deregulation and liberalization.

      Plus the multinational banks then pushed to lend the surplus dollars from the Arab oil countries to the governments under the sway then of the IMF-WB. These countries were almost all in Latin America. The Philippines was the only country in Asia who was the recipient.

      Marcos originally had wanted a national industrialization program that was to be supported by a massive shift of assets in the country to establish a domestic market base but faced strong opposition from foreign and domestic vested interests. The plan in turn was turned around to an export industrialization process.

      The economic technocrats all dogmatic market fundamentalists led by Virata implemented the program.

      However apart from that the word then was experiencing a massive bubble in commodity prices so then Fed Chairman Paul Volker stepped in and raised interest rates to double digits and precipitated the most serious debt crisis in Latin America and the Philippines. It created a severed banking crisis in the States as all the loans were with large commercial banks in the U.S.

      The U.S. government called for the Plaza accords in the mid 80’s to devalue their currency and passed laws limiting imports of cars and semiconductor chips into the U.S. Reagan also then went to spending more for Defense and modernizing the U.S. military arsenal with smart weapons.

      In 1989 we signed on to the Brady package and WTO was born and we were one of the more early victims of the Washington Consensus that came crashing down with the numerous financial crisis in Mexico, Russia, Asia then Argentina and then back to the U.S. and the world in 2008.

      It is amazing that Monsod who prides herself as a practicing economist missed telling all this.

      Today the OFW remittances caused by the stupidity of following the diktats of the IMF-WB is all that is keeping this country from sinking.

      Poor Marcos he depended on this so called brilliant technocrats but they brought him down and the country.

      That set the stage for Cory Cory Cory.

      • UP nn grad ,

        I hope Bongbong doesn’t intend to use his father’s legacy as basis for his presidency-2016 campaign. Mar Roxas can’t use the Roxas-legacy for presidency campaign; GMA didn’t use her father’s legacy; Mikey Arroyo when he runs much later can’t use his grandfather nor his mother’s name.

        Only one — Noynoy — because Noynoy was Chosen. Only Noynoy can use the sentimentalities around his mother Cory and his father Ninoy, and one to be so lucky is really enough.

        Pilipinas should do away with this bloodline thing when it comes to presidency-selection. Track record and platform should be the basis (in my opinion).