Duterte’s culpabilities for soaring prices of basic goods and services and for the deterioration of the Philippine economy

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By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
October 13, 2018

It is fine that Duterte admits lately that tough economic times are ahead for the Filipino people who are now already reeling from the inflationary conditions. He contradicts his previous declaration in Bali that the Philippine economy is on an upward trajectory.

But he holds the narrow and deceptive view that rising oil prices is the only cause of the rising prices of basic goods and services in the Philippines. By this, he absolves himself from his culpabilities for the following:

  1. Train 1 and 2, which cut back the taxes on corporations and the wealthy and imposes the tax burden on the consuming public in the form of excise and value-added taxes;
  2. corruption in huge discretionary funds of the president and pork barrel corruption among members of Congress;
  3. overspending for the military, police and intelligence agencies but underspending for social services;
  4. lack of land reform and national industrialization and discouragement and decline of food production and local manufacturing;
  5. drastic fall of income from raw material exports and semimanufactures;
  6. rising import costs of oil and manufactures;
  7. rising interest rates on accumulated and new foreign loans;
  8. overborrowing for infrastructure projects (build, build, build) and bigger debt service on the rising public debt;
  9. wider budgetary and trade deficits; and
  10. declining peso due to inflation and worsening balance of payments problem.

Duterte is culpable for the aggravation of all the foregoing problems of his regime and has no solution to offer. Therefore, the regime will stink further from month to month and will ripen for rejection in the May 2019 elections or for ouster sooner than later.

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