A veteran politician and a successful contractor of government projects told me that those congressmen who did not only swear to high heaven their support to lethargic presidential wannabe Mar Roxas but even campaigned for him whenever he barnstorms in the provinces will desert him 45 days before the May 9, 2016 election.
Why? Because the bidding of the projects awarded to the chosen and favourite contractors of these congressmen would be finished before that time as mandated by election law,” he told me.
As you know solons who are allied with the Aquino Administration move heaven and earth to look for hundreds of millions of pesos of projects at the Departments of Public Works & Highway, Social Welfare & Development, Education, Agrarian Reform, National Irrigation Administration, and others and then look for the intercession of Malacanang patrons like Roxas to funnel these to their districts.
With the projects budget already allocated at the Department of Budget & Management, their favourite contractors give them advance sum to be deducted to their kickbacks they call S.O.P from the 20 percent or more of say P100 million highway concreting projects so they can use the monies for their electioneering.
But with Roxas’ pathetic poll performance, these congressmen would just use him for the meantime and run to their popular presidential bet after they get their S.O.P so they can maintain their racket in the next administration.
Who said pork barrel was already abolished?
EconomyCompared the Ramos and Arroyo Administrations to the present Aquino Administration, which among them was the best in expanding the growth of our economy?
According to the December 7 Merrill Lynch’s report, President Benigno Aquino, Jr. was responsible for the 6.5 percent spike of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in his last five years against President Gloria Arroyo’s 4.8 percent growth GDP in the nine years in office and President Fidel V. Ramos’ 3.1 percent hike under his six years’ term.
But it doesn’t mean that Aquino was much better than Arroyo. The research penned by analysts Jojo Gonzales and Claudio Piron said.
“However, we argue that the fiscal reform and monetary policy path benefiting the Philippines today began seven to eight years ago, and was strengthened by the current government,” the research noted.
Merril Lynch said that what buoyed the economy under the Aquino Administration was the Value Added Tax (VAT) that was implemented under the Arroyo, the former economics professor of Aquino in college.
The study said VAT helped avert the country against a financial crisis at that time.
Merril Lynch credited the Aquino government with spending reform and enhanced revenue collection—practices that have taken root and should continue beyond 2016,” the research said.
“In this context, a longer-term GDP growth rate in excess of 5 percent per year is likely achievable.”
These economic perceptions were analogous to the military build-up of the country.
With the arrival of the aerial, land, and naval weaponries, many thoughts that the present dispensation was responsible for all of the procurement of these from other countries and solicitation of donations particularly from the United States.
Although Aquino was credited for the massive shopping of these armaments, some of them like the United States Hamilton Class Cutters now BRPs Gregorio del Pilar and Ramon Alcaraz, one C-130, seven Poland made Sokol combat utility helicopters, and others happened because they were ordered during the Arroyo Administration.
So what was the contribution of the administration of my friend FVR, a West Pointer, and my favourite interviewee the rabble rousing House Speaker Jose de Venecia to our defense despite their 3.1 percent GDP after they exited from their office?
They should be procuring a combat jet squadron or two of McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) F/A-18 Hornet or General Dynamics (now Lockheed Martin) F-16 Fighting Falcon during that time but went pfft. They said in the past it happened because of the crippling Asian economic crises that struck the country on that time.
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