Elitist politics and economics: the real Aquino legacy

Features Philippines Jul 22, 2016 at 3:54 pm

Towards the end of its six years in office, the Aquino government boasted its legacy of inclusive growth. Indeed for its neoliberal thrusts the Aquino administration may have achieved certain economic outcomes. But for the Filipino people, an unprecedented jobs crisis, using public funds to guarantee private profits, an even wider gap between rich and poor and economic subservience to foreign dictates highlight Aquino’s brand of governance and economics. This is what the past administration has left behind and passed on to the next presidency.

Aquino, poster-child of neoliberalism

Throughout President Benigno Simeon Aquino’s term, the Philippines has time and again been hailed as one of Asia’s fastest growing economies. The 5.9% average growth rate in the past five years is undeniably strong-looking compared to past administrations’, notwithstanding slowdown in the beginning of 2014.

Foreign direct investments (FDI) in the country, which are believed to deliver employment and growth, have risen through the years under Aquino: US$2.0 billion in 2011, US$3.2 billion in 2012, US$3.7 billion in 2013, US$5.7 billion in 2014, and US$5.7 billion in 2015. Official employment figures indicate an increase from 93.6% in April 2015 to 93.9% to April 2016. Government also recently reported having lifted 1 million poor Filipinos from poverty.

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