‘From brightest star to falling star’
FROM “BRIGHT star to falling star.”
This was how opposition lawmakers on Tuesday described the country’s state, as they expressed concern over President Duterte’s “reckless utterances” as well as his recent incoherent policies that have impacted on the economy.
“During the Aquino administration, the worldwide perception is our country is one of the brightest stars. But I think, it has lost steam because of several reasons,” Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice told a press conference.
Erice cited “the reckless utterances of the President; the clashing statements of government officials, and the (seeming incoherency) in foreign policy.”
“This is a big thing. If the interest of foreign investors in our country has not only declined, it has stopped altogether,” said Erice, a staunch ally of former President Benigno Aquino III.
“What (Erice) means… from bright star to a falling star,” said Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman.
Another lawmaker, Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin, said the economy was “on perilous grounds.”
“While there are also “external factors” that have led to the decline of the peso “the big challenge is governance,” Villarin said.
Villarin said the lack of “clarity and coherence” in the Duterte administration’s policies have led to the “troubling indicators” such as the slow down in foreign direct investments (FDI) which are among a country’s key economic benchmarks.
The lawmakers said the latest foreign policy of the President to strengthen ties with China and Russia after “crossing the Rubicon with the US,” would certainly impact on the country’s economy.
“We should not be demeaning our traditional economic partners because they have sustained the economy of the country for so long a time,” Lagman said.
Erice said Mr. Duterte appeared ready to lose the Philippines’ long-standing allies and partners in the international community “as long as his war on drugs is not affected.”
“Because of our good credit rating, we have a low interest in our borrowings. But with a possible downturn in the economy, by December, November we have another credit ratings upgrade or downgrade, so it will also affect the capacity to pay the loans. What we are looking at is we are on perilous grounds, our economy,” Villarin said.
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