THE CHALLENGES OF BEING P-NOY
Philippine politics is likened to a motion picture and, its actors, crucial to box-office success. Naturally, all eyes are on the lead--President Benigno C. Aquino III. Will he bag the plum award for Best Performance? Too early to say, as current political trending is sending out mixed signals.
Though still perceived as a “good man at heart,” P-Noy must hurdle the following challenges: the rather sluggish implementation of reform measures; the apparent mix of good and bad eggs in his Administration; the burden of unbridled expectations on account of his political pedigree; and the burden of time,
talent and politics.
WANTED: GOOD GOVERNANCE FROM TOP TO BOTTOM
The 2010 Global Integrity Report rated the Philippines with an overall score of 57 (weak) in terms of corruption, a dip from the 2008 rating of 71 (moderate). In terms of civil service integrity, we scored 71 (moderate). There are good guys among the President’s men after all.
The President’s micro-management of bold initiatives to fight corruption is commendable. There is more transparency in some departments; he’s come up with unique and practical solutions to appoint worthy civil servants. But there’s much more on his plate--serious poverty, unemployment, food, and health issues--and he can’t wing it out on his own.
STRONG ECONOMY: A SHILED VS. INFLATION AND EXTERNAL RISK
There is much to be bullish about the economic fundamentals of the Philippines, specifically the substantial headway it has achieved in the fiscal, monetary and external policy fronts which are clearly investment and credit positives. This scenario is, however, tempered by risks posed by higher inflation, instability in the West, the Middle East and Japan which heighten investors' risk aversion sentiment.
The country experienced 7.6% growth in 2010, largely due to the IT and BPO industries, OFW remittances and portfolio capital flows. Together, these contribute to a growing middle class. If said growth continues, the next five to six years will see a stronger consumer market with money to burn on consumer durables, like low-cost, fuel-efficient cars.
MORE INVESTMENTS + GOOD GOVERNANCE = KEY TO SUSTAINABLE GROWTH
There is a need to build on the strengths of the Philippine economy which has attracted new investments in job-generating industries like the BPO, IT, tourism and infrastructure. From a macroeconomic perspective, it is critical to sustain market orientation of the economy which fosters competition, enterprise productivity and consumer welfare. Politically, investments will benefit from good governance which allows a pro-business environment that is anchored on the principles of transparency, integrity and equity.
SPREAD THE WORD RIGHT
Factor in a healthy alliance with the media. A good grasp of how the media thinks and works
boosts chances to make the decent guys on the beat listen up and air Industry news and issues
loud and clear.