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Friday, January 11, 2008

In the Hands of the President, Blooming or Dwindling Economy?

When I was in college, I love reading Time magazine. It gave me a chance to have an in depth analysis of things happening all over the world. Two of unforgettable issues include that of the attack in Iraq where they've featured a woman who suffered from Saddam Hussein regime and of course the "He's Out, She's In," issue featuring no less than former Pres. Joseph Estrada and then Vice- Pres. Gloria Arroyo.

It contains a detailed information about ousting of Pres. Estrada and the qualifications of Pres. Arroyo to govern the country. I was impressed! Who wouldn't? We were just headed by a president (an actor who fathered children to different women) who allegedly closed deals in Malacañang palace while drinking and countless others accusations that boiled down to only one thing- endless corruption.

Now, our image to the rest of the world was just so disgusting that I thought it would be a respite from all the bad publicity. A daughter of a former Phil. President, high school valedictorian, magna cum laude and Dean's list student in Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. (classmate of George Bush?), what else Juan De La Cruz would ask for? To top her qualifications was the Masters and PhD degree in economics.

The Philippine market was in terrible shape that time. Philippine peso was getting weaker each day and I was wishing so bad for someone properly trained to handle the office of presidency. After all, Malacañang Palace is not a stage where anybody can act and imperil the lives of the Filipinos.

Every night bad economy was being flashed in the evening news. Peso weakens each day and economy experts were predicting that the market would worsen to the point that peso-dollar exchange rate will reach 60. That would mean a threat to many companies. Most importantly, oil price hike will greatly affect the rest of the country's population, sort of domino effect.

So, the pledge of oath of Pres. Arroyo to the office of presidency was like the coming of a savior dressed in chivalry attire. Of course after that was the flood of controversies that come her terms with the "Hello Garci" being the most popular.

Notwithstanding the never-ending hullabaloo thrown to her, the president was able to strengthen the peso- dollar exchange rate which is one of the measurement of a strong market(?). If the current Peso-Dollar exchange rate would be the basis, then I guess we should congratulate the president for a job well done. Not yet...

According to the news, many Filipinos are being affected negatively because of the strong peso. That's absurd! For many years, we've been complaining about the weak peso. I even remembered one time a senator leading the call to Filipinos to change their dollar savings to help strengthen peso against dollars.

In the news, there are already export businesses which were forced to close because of a strong peso. Some OFW were also affected because that means their remittances become lower when they change them to Philippine currency. Some are even planning not to go abroad anymore since their income would almost be the same. Too bad.

From the forecasted Php60 to 1 dollar, it was down to only about Php41. I thought it's a good news. Economy is more complicated than I thought it to be.

So, with this latest news, are we finally having a blooming market or dwindling economy?

Oh, well, it's hard to figure it out when I myself is not currently earning.  


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