Monsod: Pre-Edsa 1 economy was in shambles

Posted at Feb 25 2011 10:55 PM | Updated as of Dec 21 2016 10:29 AM

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Solita Monsod served in the Cabinet of former President Corazon Aquino who took over an economy that was in shambles.

In an interview with Business Nightly's Maiki Oreta, Monsod said:

"The economy was in shambles. The Philippines was in the midst of the international debt crisis. It was the only country in Asia that was affected by the international debt crisis. It was pretty bad.

The Marcos regime, economically speaking, was essentially over a barrel with respect to the multilateral institutions because the government had been caught out doing some cosmetic accounting on the country's international reserves.

The inflation rate in 1985 was something like 50%. It was pretty bad. And the economy had actually contracted by about 15% per capita.

Since the debt crisis went upon us at the end of 1983.

We had no money. There were no projects, no infrastructure projects in the pipeline because the Philippines was actually sending out more dollars than it was receiving in loans. There was what we call the net negative resource transfer from the country. It was as if we were sending aid to the developed countries.

Marcoses' excesses in terms of projects - overpriced projects - and diversion of funds, among others, had finally caught up on the Philippines.

We were borrowing money like it was going out of style. And the projects those moneys were going to had no immediate, redemptive return value. They were not productive, that's the problem.

Our foreign debt was about 95% of our GDP. Right now it is less than 50%.

He (Marcos) had been there since 1966, so everything can only be attributed to him. We were the only country in Asia that was affected by the international debt crisis.

From the time [former president] Cory Aquino came in in 1986, it took another 14-15 years before the Philippines was able to regain the real per capita income levels that it had lost since the international debt crisis.

But the good news, at least, [is that] poverty went down since 1986. Although it went down between 1997 and 2000 and it went up again between 2003 and 2006. It's gone down just a tiny bit in 2009. So as far as poverty reduction is concerned we are slightly better off than we were when Marcos left the country."

 

 

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