ANALYSIS BY WINNIE MONSOD: “BEAT THE ODDS” WEIGHING ARROYO AND HER ADMINISTRATION (PART 1 OF 2)
Weighing Arroyo and her administration
By Solita Collas-Monsod
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:59:00 07/10/2009
Filed Under: Government, Economy and Business and Finance, Statistics, Poverty
(First of a series)
It will be President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyos ninth and last State of the Nation Address (SONA), notwithstanding the oppositions predictions to the contrary. Except for Ferdinand Marcos, who was at the helm of the government for more than 21 years (13 by force), she has served longer than any other Philippine president, and she therefore will have more to either answer for or to take credit for in what will be her valedictory (whether some doubt her departure or not).
Because this is a run-up to the national elections in 2010, more than the usual effort will be made by the administration to present its performance in the best possible light, while the opposition will be doing the opposite. One can safely predict that the opposition will find absolutely nothing good to say about the administrations performance, and concentrate on the latters failure.
From a non-partisan viewpoint, what can be said about the performance of the Arroyo administration? Lets start with broad strokes. If we set as our metric the broad goals of economic growth and poverty reduction, and use as a basis of comparison the performance of her predecessors, here is what we find:
In terms of the countrys economic growth, President Arroyo has done better than her predecessors. The average GDP growth rate of the country between 2001 and 2008 was 4.8 percent, higher than that achieved by the others—Aquino 1986-1992, 4.1 percent; Ramos, 1992-1998, 4.2 percent; Estrada, 1998-2000, 3.5 percent.
Ms Arroyo actually started quite well. Between 2000 and 2003, poverty incidence declined by the same amount that it increased under Mr. Estrada, so that it was back to what it was at the end of the Ramos watch. But then it increased between 2003 and 2006 by almost as much (1.6 percentage points) as the increase under Estrada. The final result was that, between 2000 and 2006, the decrease in poverty was negligible (0.02 percentage points). In absolute terms, the number of poor families increased by 900,000 families or 5.5 million people between 1997 and 2006—not only erasing all the gains made by the Aquino and Ramos administrations between 1985 and 1997, but actually increasing the number of poor families from their 1985 level by 200,000.
read more….Did she indeed beat the odds?
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Duration : 0:7:59