By DANNY O. CALLEJA
LEGAZPI CITY – Compared to the three presidents before him, Filipinos see better times ahead under President Benigno S. Aquino III, according to Albay Governor Joey Salceda.
Salceda, who is an erstwhile economic adviser of former President and now Pampanga Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, made this assessment based on economic considerations that the Aquino administration has been able to build on during its first 100 days.
Salceda said these considerations, used as yardstick in measuring and comparing President Aquino’s performance with the past three administrations, are a strong peso and radiant financial market that the national economy achieved in the past 100 days since June 30, 2010, when the only son of the late former President Corazon C. Aquino assumed the country’s highest post.
“It is under Aquino’s administration that the peso strengthened the most in the first 100 days at +.5.5 percent, followed by President Ramos at +1.85 percent, while all the other two posted negative — Arroyo at -3.53 percent and Joseph Estrada at -3.92 percent,” Salceda said.
The Albay governor claimed that President Aquino has brought back business confidence, a key indicator in economic growth with a positive +22 percent, followed by Ramos but still negative at -nine percent, PGMA at negative -18 percent and Estrada at -28 percent.
“P-Noy’s first 100 days exhibited a strong financial markets backed by ‘real peso votes’ while stock prices and currency movements are forward looking. These factors have been proven to be good predictor of economic trends,” Salceda said.
They discount the forward impacts of current policies and the overall world view of top management as they play out in the dynamics of international competition and global market trends, he added.
“Surely, contrary opinion would swiftly resort to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) remittances and higher risk appetite for extraordinary and miscellaneous expenses (EMEs) but these trends persisted throughout all four administrations.”
Salceda said that based on these objective measurements, President Aquino has performed best among the past four administrations.
“In short, markets uniformly and unequivocally point to better times ahead for Filipinos,” he said.
These yardstick measures indicate that at least, robust markets suggest there is fuel for Philippine growth, now it is the turn of the administration to rev up the engines to use such fuel.
He claimed that the first 100 days are affirmatively auspicious — the next 100 days are more critical in determining how the Aquino administration will convert strong financial markets into programs and projects that prompt positive consequences in the lives of ordinary Filipinos.