Martial Law Crybabies who just love to keep blaming the Marcos Years (which by the way weren’t the golden years of the Philippines either) for the current difficulty that the Philippines has. True, I want to really also say that the Marcos years did play a factor to why the Philippines. The oligarchy was even gaining its roots not only during the the Cory Years but during the Marcos Years — though we have to remember Carlos P. Garcia’s “Filipino First” policy also contributed to that decay. Do the names of Marcos cronies like Lucio Tan and Danding COJUANGCO ring a bell?
So what caused the Marcos Years not to be the golden years? We need to know some of the factors that actually caused the inflation. Let’s take a look at this inflation chart which would need some use of more common sense and some basic knowledge in economics to show what went wrong…
The “golden years” or the Marcos Years took place from December 30, 1965 up to February 25, 1986. The yellow years or the Cory Years took place from February 25, 1986 up to June 30, 1992. So let’s check the inflation rates where they went sour.
So what did Marcos do to really start the inflation during the 1970s especially during 1972? It’s all about excessive spending and lending. If it’s not just supply and demand — we also have to consider the interest rates were getting higher. Just think how can an inflation rate of 41% make the Marcos Years the golden years? Then it dropped to 99% but during 1979 it boosted up from 8.2% to 20.9% then in 1984 — it went up to 50.05% though it fortunately decreased to 23.1% the following year. While Marcos did have some good projects but one can’t deny that even a bogus hero like Ninoy Aquino still had the right to ask, “Can people eat those infrastructures?”
Now let’s think about it. What led to the Marcos Years’ decline? It’s all about the use of economic protectionism or crony capitalism as an economic policy. The OFW phenomenon didn’t start with the 1987 Constitution — although it doesn’t absolve said constitution of any blame either! The Marcos cronies were enriching themselves. Later, the Aquino cronies were also enriching themselves after the Marcos Years. Rather than correct the mistake of the Marcos Years — the 1987 Constitution ended up continuing and enhancing the unreasonable restrictions towards Foreign Direct Investors.
What if the 1987 Constitution chose to dismantle crony capitalism that Marcos established? We could have seen development of the Philippines in the ten years. Just imagine if there was a free trade Philippines. Remember that the inflation rates aren’t always the fault of the president since were were problems like the Asian Crisis from July 2, 1997 to 1999 as well as its after-effects. There was also the George W. Bush U.S. presidency (January 20, 2001 to January 20, 2009) during the time of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo which caused a shock to the world economy. Right now, I would even dare say that U.S. President Donald Trump himself has something to contribute to the current 6.4% inflation. After all, doesn’t the Philippine peso to U.S. dollar exchange rate also affect the inflation?
Would have the Philippines been under free trade then think of how lesser the impact of inflation will be. Remember that inflation is also determined by supply and demand. The Philippines could have had better inflow through foreign investment. That was why Fidel V. Ramos was pushing for constitutional reform which included removing excessive free trade policies.
Also, here’s what the Asian Correspondent has to say about policies that were added by previous presidents to make modifications towards the 1987 Constitution:
In 2000, Joseph Estrada dismantled the 40-year state protectionism of retail and provided incentives to multinational firms for establishing regional hubs in the Philippines.
In 2001, Gloria Arroyo signed the Electric Power Industry Reform Act, which deregulated the energy sector into four subsectors, unequivocally defining power generation as not public utility, hence escaping the 60/40 limitation.
Benigno Aquino III managed to pass at least 29 business and economic reform laws from 2010-16. Around the same time, the 16th Congress sponsored Resolution of Both Houses 01, introducing minor yet powerful constitutional amendments to provide flexibility to lawmakers as to which sectors needed regulation.
Estrada may have some severe lack of common sense issues but he at least dismantled the 40-year state protectionism during his time. Gloria herself started continuing some of Estrada’s said reforms and even started to fill the gaps for electrical crisis as a start. Noynoy as much as he’s got plenty of incompetent subordinates — actually did something to improve credit rating by passing 29 economic reform laws when he was president. Hmmm… did the Dilawans who are protectionist lovers consider that their beloved Noynoy (adopting Gloria’s policies) actually started to make economic reforms that would have improved investment confidence?
However, just imagine if the policies of removing economic protectionism started in 1987. Just imagine how much could have been done. A good example is that the Bataan Nuclear Plant may have become the Bataan Solar Plant or Bataan Geothermal Plant. You could have had the Cory years starting to help the Philippines recover while they are in search of the Marcos wealth. Just remember that Imperial Japan was bombed in 1945 and yet it started to rise again in 1955.
So why are we still stuck with solely blaming the atrocities of the Marcos Years instead of making long-term goal plans to correct those mistakes?