Saturday, February 11, 2006

The eternal sunshine of the spotted mind.

This cute GMA administration is an ever optimistic lot. It never fails to see the silver linings. When the peso was down, it sees increase in demand for the exports, and better life for our OFWs, our fodder in the conflicted Middle East. Never mind that rise in local prices of imports which we are addicted and the brain drain. Our BOP will improve, so she says.

Now that the peso is improving, she is even more upbeat. Suddenly, she forgets her beneficiaries of devaluation. She salivates at the prospects of ratings upgrades. When it does not completely come, she sees it as a challenge, not as a rebuke. What does the rating do for the common Filipino? For GMA, it simply means she can borrow more at better rates. At least in the short run, the ordinary family should have lower prices of imported goods in the local market. Fuel and LPG prices should be down because even oil prices abroad are down after winter. But are they? Can small Filipinos borrow at better rates? That is if they can borrow from anyone at all, if they are not still neck-deep in debt.

Most people do not share GMA's enthusiasm on the stronger peso. The US$100 they get from their family member used to fetch PhP56+, now it's Php51. And still they are paying more for electricity, water, fuel, transport, credit card interests, etc. Tumaas pa rin ang lahat, pwera si GMA at ang kanyang rating.

If this cute administration cannot provide a trickle of its enthusiasm to the poor, it will be extinct sooner than the spotted owl.

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