Thursday, June 10, 2004

Still on the elections

Still on the elections...It's been a month since we trooped to the polling precincts and still we don't know the winner. It's a sad testament to our ability to conduct honest elections, a gauge of mature democracy. The on-going COngressional canvass can be facilitated by the opposition stipulating to the authencity of all the COCs, except the 25 or so that they will contest. The majority should in turn allow the minority to open the 25 COCs' ERs and SOVs as they wish. This is all possible within the law and the adopted rules. If the majority is sure that they didn't manipulate the COCs then a respectable accounting firm can easily tally the ERs and the results should match the COCs. This is still doable within the June 30 deadline. The minority then should accept the results and life goes on. The majority's reluctance to even summon the SOVs and ERs, which should be there in the ballot boxes in the first place, gives the opposition a chance to cast doubts on the whole process. In the silly proceedings, it indeed seems that GMA and her lackeys are hiding something.

Tuesday, June 1, 2004

A pleasant surprise

It's a pleasant surprise that our economy grew more than expected. Analysts predicted a growth of above 4% but the economy actually grew by 6.2%. Government says the growth is fueled by increase in personal consumption expenditure brought by pre-election spending. Fine, understandable. Government-side spending for the election hasn't factored in yet in this growth. In fact, government spending growed slower in the first quarter. So it's not true that GMA spent a lot for the human billboards that disappeared right on the day after the election. The overly advertised government programs that GMA bandied about did not contribute significantly to this GDP growth, government says so. The government acknowledged, though, that the increase in government spending was for the printing of election paraphernalia and contractual services (and maybe the botched computerization). Moreover, centrifugal sugar exports grew by 60% this quarter. Last year, we actually filled our quota. With this growth in sugar export, we may have filled our quota this early. The traditional top export earners actually didn't post growth this time. Manufacturing is down. Our ability to sustain this growth(?) is doubtful.

The opposition says GMA spent a lot of government money for this election. The government, through its data, says it isn't so. Economic planners shoudn't be exactly happy with this growth. If government will not admit spending much during the first half of the year, it will be very hard to show that GDP will grow significantly by the 3rd quarter and by year-end. We have milked the data dry to show that GDP increased but not because of government spending.