joey salceda, the one who called arroyo as “luckiest bitch” says 9 years of eco growth did not reduce number of poor
we have always liked joey salceda. we think he is one of the smartest eco advisers of arroyo. he and neri engineered the good GDP showing of the arroyo administration. aside from his work, we like him for having the balls to refer to arroyo in this manner “She may be a bitch, but she’s the luckiest bitch around” (read below)
he is back with another statement. it is not as fabulous as that one but it speaks of the true state of the country’s economy – we had GDP growth that made the rich richer while the poor remained poor if not poorer.
Economic growth in 9 years did not touch poor
By Gil C. Cabacungan Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 19:08:00 03/07/2010
MANILA, Philippines — An economic adviser of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo lamented that the rich got richer while the ranks of the poor swelled even further amid heady economic growth in the last nine years.
“My biggest frustration as a presidential adviser is that 34 quarters of uninterrupted expansion in the past nine years did little to reduce poverty and the number of poor people,’’ said Albay Governor Joey Salceda in an interview.
While the Arroyo administration continued to crank out glowing economic growth data, Salceda said “these rosy figures cannot hide the fact that there are more poor people now than when the President started her term.’’
He cited data from the National Statistical Coordination Board, which showed that the number of poor Filipinos – five-member families living on barely over P1,200 a month — hit 27.6 million in 2006 from 25.472 million in 2001. Hunger incidence nearly doubled from 11.4 percent in 2000 to 20.3 percent in 2009.
“That is a lot of poor people. Given our average economic growth in the last four decades, it would take 37 years for this poor to get out of poverty,’’ said Salceda.
The government’s efforts to provide direct subsidies to the poor through power and fuel rebates, cheaper rice, medicine and healthcare benefits, Salceda said, were negated by what he termed as “structural constraints’’ to a more equitable distribution of income.
The Arroyo administration has boasted of having the highest average growth rate of 4.4 percent in gross domestic product of all presidents since 1966 but Salceda pointed out that the windfall earnings were enjoyed entirely by the country’s richest corporations and families.
Salceda said that profits of the country’s top 1,000 corporations jumped by 21 percent per year while the return on their equity or investments increased by 15 percent per year since the President took power.
“Their total earnings amounted to P3.1 trillion of which P2.1 trillion were pocketed as dividends or earnings of the stockholders and only P1 trillion were re-invested,’’ said Salceda.
Salceda said that he and the rest of the President’s economic management team “honestly believed’’ that economic growth would have been enough to lift the well-being of the destitute if not for the structural constraints that concentrated money in the rich and prevented benefits from trickling down to the poor. Not only did the population growth of 3.6 percent per year added more to the headcount of poor people, Salceda said that historical structural factors persisted and were tougher to get undone despite deregulation, liberalization and privatization. “The oligarchies were just too sturdy as the state was weak due to the “Hello Garci’’ case. The business sector really exploited it,’’ said Salceda who refused to elaborate.
(Salceda was referring to the 2005 political scandal when tapes of President Macapagal-Arroyo’s conversations with a Commission on Elections official about her one-million vote margin in the 2004 polls surfaced. Arroyo apologized to the public for her lapse of judgment in order to defuse the worst political scandal to hit her presidency. But she insisted she called up the official just to follow up on the status of her votes and not to ask him to cheat.)
With a new administration coming in, Salceda expressed hope that the incoming President would have a broader base of popular support to help him carry out pro-poor programs that were inclusive of the rural sector (74 percent of poor Filipinos are from the rural sector)
After ‘evil’ tag comes ‘she’s the luckiest bitch’
By Michelle Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 05:27:00 02/21/2008
MANILA, Philippines – Whatever she is, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is one lucky President, according to her economic adviser.
Albay Gov. Joey Salceda said that despite the slew of criticisms leveled at Ms Arroyo, the numbers proved that her administration was working hard to improve the economy to uplift the lives of more Filipinos.
“She may be a bitch, but she’s the luckiest b1tch around,” Salceda said at a socioeconomic forum held Wednesday at the Ateneo de Manila University campus in Rockwell, Makati City.
His remark elicited laughter from the audience, but he subsequently apologized for it, saying it could have been taken seriously by some people in the audience that included members of the media.