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In an interview with Business Nightly aired last week, Unang Hirit's resident political analyst Solita "Winnie" Monsod said the Philippine "economy was in shambles" after Ferdinand Marcos' regime in the 1980s.
Monsod, who served as a Cabinet member from 1986 to 1989 during Corazon Aquino's administration, said the inflation rate in 1985 was "something like 50 percent."
After the debt crisis in 1983, the Philippines was in "total shambles," Monsod told Business Nightly. "We had no money and no infrastructure projects in the pipeline because the Philippines was actually sending out more dollars than it was receiving in loans. So there was what we called a negative net resource transfer. It was as if we were sending aid to the developing countries."
"Marcos' excesses in terms of projects—overpriced projects—and diversion of funds, etc., had finally caught up with the Philippines. We were borrowing money like it was going out of style. The projects that the money was being devoted to had no immediate redemptive or return value," Monsod told Business Nightly.
She added, "Our foreign debt, if I recall precisely, at that time was about 95 percent of our GDP (Gross Domestic Product). Right now it is less than 50 percent."
From the time Aquino became President in 1986, "It took another maybe 14 to 15 years before the Philippines was able to regain the real per capita income levels that it had lost since the international debt crisis," Monsod told Business Nightly.
As for poverty reduction, Monsod said the country is "slightly better off" since 1986. "It went up between 1997 and 2000, and again between 2003 and 2006. It went down just a tiny bit in 2009."
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