For one who claims he is unaffected by the “noynoying” protests, President Benigno Aquino III sure is trying hard to prove he has accomplished something in 21 months in office. He claims he has “statistics” on his side.
“Pumunta kayo ng mall, tingnan ninyo ang hila ng taong may dala-dalang packages na binili sila versus ‘yung namamasyal lang sa mall. At pati sila parang nadadama na mas marami nga ring may pera para pambili sa mga produktong ‘yon,” the President said.
“When you go around Metro Manila, or elsewhere sa mga sorties natin, pansinin ninyo ‘yung dami ng mga buildings, ‘yung mga fences na nakalagay kung ano ang tinatayo nila diyan. Tapos ‘yung ‘pag sa construction, kunwari sa Fort, doon ko nakikita nang madalas, hindi lang tumatakbo ‘yung mga crane ng Saturday, Sunday, pati gabi, nilalagyan pa ng advertisement ng construction company,” he said.
“I’ve been in office for 21 months and the record was broken 21 times,” Mr. Aquino said, referring to the stock exchange index.
Surely, the President cannot claim progress just because the stock market is up and because he thinks there are more actual shoppers than window shoppers in malls nowadays. Aquino’s claims regarding the economy betray a shallow appreciation of the economic difficulties many of our people face. If this is progress for Aquino, then the poor are in big trouble. It would appear no help is forthcoming.
The stock market has ceased to be an indicator of growth of the real economy as its rise is often triggered by speculative investments that have no productive output. As for his take on shoppers, it would be interesting to know what mall the President has actually observed to reach the conclusion that there are now more real shoppers than window shoppers.
Aquino has also gone on to justify his intransigence on the VAT on oil saying that making oil cheaper encourages consumption, implying of course that this is bad. We simply cannot have consumers buying more oil and using their vehicles more often which causes more traffic. Ah, there are endless reasons why the VAT should stay and why economic suffering is ok.
It is Aquino and his officials who appear to be living in a different world, a place where there are only happy mall-goers, rosy stock market indices and busy construction sites that point to economic growth. In this world, oil prices are not a problem no matter how high they get. Poverty is just a state of mind and unemployment is fiction.
Be thankful Mr. President that today’s protests are still tinged with humor. There might come a time when there will only be anger over your government’s inaction. ###
P.S. The truth has a funny way of biting you in the behind…as seen from this classic video.