What happened to PH economy 25 years after People Power?

In an article published today on ABS-CBN News, IBON Foundation reflected on how the Philippines developed 25 years after the People Power Revolution. "The explosion of optimism for change in 1986 was followed by decades of missed opportunities."

IBON research head Sonny Africa said "Outside of appearances, there has been scant progress towards this (political and economic) democracy over 25 long years."

Following the 1986 uprising, Africa said there should have been a "sweeping genuine agrarian reform," the start of an industrialization program, and the cancellation of the foreign debts of the Marcos administration.

"Instead, 25 years of five post-Marcos administrations embraced and implemented free market policies of neoliberal globalization-trade and investment liberalization, privatization and deregulation," Africa wrote. "Economic growth, foreign investments and exports were treated as ends in themselves rather than the mere means to development that they are."

Africa noted the increase in annual growth in gross domestic product, foreign direct investment and value of exports during the Arroyo administration compared to the first Aquino administration.

However, Africa said there has been "rising joblessness, persistently severe inequality and growing numbers of poor amid economic decline."

Like the explosion of optimism for change in 1986, Africa said there was also a "burst of optimism" last year when Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s tenure as President ended.

"Indeed the economic lessons are there to be learned and the next decades need not be more of the same. For now the optimism comes from the rising number of Filipinos wielding People Power not just in moments of revolt but also in daily and organized struggles for real social change," Africa wrote.

For more on this story, log on to ABS-CBN News.

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