Bloomberg: Pnoy man behind Asia’s fastest growing Economy
by FFE PH News Staff
American finance, data and media giant Bloomberg has just taken president Benigno Simeon Aquino III under the lens and examined his administration’s economic achievements in the past three years of his presidency.
The firm’s assessment has been positive, as it noted that under president Aquino’s leadership, the government was able to double the Philippines’ annual growth from a consistent 3% in 1984 to 2009 to a 7.65% this year. In fact, the pace by which the economy grew in the first quarter of 2013 surpassed China’s.
The report written under Bloomberg Markets Magazine has highlighted some of the president’s policies up to the 3rd quarter of 2013 and lauded his decisions to steer the country away from a road to nowhere. They mentioned the president was able to pull this off by trimming down a $7 billion budget deficit in 2010 (when he assumed office) to $2.3 billion in the first nine months of 2013; curbing corruption; doubling spending on public works to $19 billion by 2016 and promoting industries where English skills are needed like casinos and call centres.
His central platform during the 2010 campaign was also mentioned: beat corruption to uplift poverty.
Bloomberg cited that under president Aquino’s term the Philippine Stock Exchange Index jumped by 86%. This made the Philippines the world’s best performing economy out of 45 emerging nations being monitored by MSCI Emerging Markets Index. It also mentioned the fact that the country’s credit rating was upgraded thrice this year by Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s.
It lauded the fact that one of the biggest results achieved under president Aquino’s term was the improvement of the Philippines’ rating in Transparency International’s 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index from 105th to 94th.
The magazine quoted Aquino as saying ‘I’m living a second life. I was saved for a certain purpose and will not squander that opportunity.’ It mentioned how Aquino had a close brush with death as his car was shot at by insurgents back in 1987 during the height of a military coup against Philippine president Corazon Aquino. The Noynoy Aquino still carries one of those bullets in his neck. But he has risen from the crossfire and led the Philippines to a brighter economic future.
Not all events in his 3 years in the presidency were, however, bent in his favour. The PSEI has fallen by 2.8% since typhoon Yolanda struck almost a month ago today.
Bloomberg recognised the sheer size of the task the president is left with after super typhoon Yolanda hit the Philippines on 8 November 2013. According to the latest estimates by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the damage brought by the storm is at Php35.2 billion.
But the American firm has its hopes up for the president as it mentions finance firm J.P. Morgan’s confidence in the Philippines’ ability to rebound from the impact.
Bloomberg also cited the International Monetary Fund’s praise for the Philippines’ current-account surplus that allows the peso to remain afloat as the American Federal Reserve recovers.
Under the president, Philippine bonds have likewise strengthened to become one of the best-performing among 10 local-currency Asian bond markets. Bloomberg cited Morgan Stanley Investment Management head of emerging markets Ruchir Sharma who said ‘The Philippines for decades was a lost country. Now, it could end up being among the fastest growing in the world in 2013. It comes from having the right leader at the right time.’
As the Philippines rebuilds typhoon Yolanda-devastated regions, Bloomberg said that the country’s economy would only get better. Although Aquino’s response after the storm and the issue with his office’s $568 million discretionary funds led to a drop in his popularity, Bloomberg sees no reason for the president to quit.
The magazine narrated how president Aquino had lived under the shadow of his parents, Martial Law hero Benigno Aquino Jr and former president Corazon Aquino. But Aquino eventually surpassed their legacy and won the job of leading the country by 5 million votes in the 2010 elections.
Finally, Bloomberg mentioned what Aquino thought about his administration and of the future of the Philippine presidency: ‘I didn’t have any ambition to be president. It was fate. The people found me.
‘I am sure they will be able to find another one out of 95 million.’