BY ALEXANDER MARTIN REMOLLINO
Posted 7:15 p.m., July 28, 2008
Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo cannot make any realistic claim of progress today, a representative of the party-list group Bayan Muna (People First) said today at the rally against the State of the Nation Address (SONA).
In his speech at the rally in Quezon City, just a few meters away from the Ever-Gotesco Mall along Commonwealth Avenue, Rep. Satur Ocampo cited and then disputed Arroyo’s claim in her 2007 SONA that the Philippine economy has been at its best ever under her watch.
“She claimed that over seven years the gross domestic product (GDP) had consistently improved, and that the Philippines was on the verge of take off to becoming an industrialized country,” Ocampo said. “She then tried to regale Congress and the people with visions of faster growth through her ambitious, unrealistic “growth area” development plans that offer huge chunks of the national territory for exploitation by foreign investors.
“Recall that 12 years earlier, then President Fidel V. Ramos had boasted of the same claimed GDP growth, and prospect for the Philippines becoming a “newly industrialized” country or NIC. Recall also that the 1997 Asian financial crisis sent those claims and prospects crashing to the ground.