iTalk by Ismael Amigo
iTalk

‘PH will be great again’

Sep 16, 2021, 12:27 AM
Ismael Amigo

Ismael Amigo

Columnist

News item: Inflation breaches gov't target anew in August, to hit over 2-year high.

Inflation or consumer price growth resumed its uptick to accelerate beyond government expectations anew in August on higher utility costs and pricier food items.

It is measured by the consumer price index. And this, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, went up 4.9% year-on-year in August and is faster than the 4% on-year clip recorded in July a chart by the Philippine Statistics Authority shows.

The uptick was the fastest since January 2019, far beyond BSP’s forecast range of 4.1-4.9% for the month. It marked another month that inflation breached the government’s 2-4% annual target after briefly returning within that zone in July.

Year-to-date, inflation averaged 4.4%.

But whatever, we may charge this to the sweeping pandemic, or what others call “mismanaged Covid-19 response.”

***

To some journalists of the Asian region, our dear Philippines is a rich country. A very rich country.

One particular scribe was a Japanese who happened to be in a similar conclave of international flavor.

He said that, unlike Japan whose assets are only its people and water, the Philippines is indeed rich in natural resources.

A quick check on various magazines and reading materials and it will show the fact was there. They say that "the country is rich in gold, copper, chromite, silver, nickel, cobalt, and other minerals. Coal and limestone are also abundant.

According to advertisements placed in The Financial Times in 1989: 'The Philippines is more densely mineralized than Australia, the tonnages are larger and the terrain is largely unexplored.'"

Perhaps this could be the reason why every administration, although we see it as sobrang malas natin sa kanila, seems not to care even if it keeps on borrowing from foreign lenders, the bulk of which may, I hate to this, may only fatten the pockets of the greedy and gluttonous powers-that-be.

A September 1 report claimed PH’s debt climbed further hitting P11.61 trillion at the end of July, according to the Bureau of Treasury (Btr), the bulk of which was, you’re correct, borrowings for its Covid response.

Quoting the BTr, the same reports said the country’s total debt in July increased by P444.43 billion or 4 percent from June due to the peso’s depreciation and as the national government borrowed more money from both foreign and local lenders.

“From the start of 2021, total outstanding debt has grown by P1.82 trillion or 18.53 percent,” the BTr noted.

Total debt also increased by P2.44 trillion or 26.7 percent from July last year.

But despite the seemingly gloomy situation, I agree with what a sensitive soul holds on that the Philippines -- the Pearl of the Orient -- is indeed a wealthy country.

It can pay off all our trillions of debt in our lifetime if we make use of our natural resources and under a bold and righteous leadership.

Repeat, under a bold and righteous leadership. Email ismaelamigo@yahoo.com  for comments and suggestions.


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