The opposition has vehemently denied it is destabilizing the government. Maybe they’re not, but there is a clear move to undermine DU30’s administration with false information to paint a picture of crisis and mismanagement in governance and the economy.
No less than Sen. Franklin Drilon peddled misleading information at a recent Senate hearing when he expressed “serious concern” over the sharp decline in foreign direct investments (FDI) that came to the Philippines in the first half of 2017 compared to the same period last year.
While the basis of his assertion wasn’t entirely false given that the source was Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), he disregarded the context behind data and substituted his own biased interpretation by saying the trend reflects the weakening confidence of foreign business in the Philippines.
Is there a truth to the good senator’s statement? For a clearer perspective, we urge you to take a look at BusinessWorld’s infographic comparing the country’s 2016-2017 H1 FDI performance based on BSP’s data. Look carefully at the graph and you’ll see a sudden spike on FDI in April 2016.
That unusual spike came from the acquisition of a 20% stake by Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. on Security Bank Corp. for P37 billion. That huge infusion was a one-time incident that rarely happened in the past and has not been repeated until now. The high base from April 2016 is the reason behind the 14% investment drop.
It can also be noted from the graph that except for April, all the other months of the first half of 2017 registered positive growths in investments, with the biggest increase happening in June which is 182.7% more. This shows that FDIs kept coming in and is even projected to reach $8 billion by yearend.
For a more objective analysis, we also urge readers to examine data other than the BSP report. The stock market is up more than 20% since the start of the year and its index breached the 8,400 level last week. Exports increased 12.1% while investment pledges in economic zones surged 94% to P196.4 billion in the first nine months of the year.
Despite the political noise, Forbes ranked the Philippines as the 10th fastest growing economy in the world for 2017. The trend is seen to continue as the IMF maintains its 6.6% growth forecast for the country this year. The World Bank’s forecast is 6.5-7.5% for the Philippines, still the fastest expansion among the ASEAN-5 countries.
What does this all mean? It means that Sen. Drilon has not been totally honest when he expressed alarm over the falling FDIs coming in the country. Instead of showing the entire picture, he gave it a negative spin to advance their political agenda of putting the Philippines on a bad light.
The agenda includes bloating allegations on extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations committed under the president’s war on drugs. All these noise are made to drown the more substantive news on the administration’s accomplishments in political and economic reforms, and massive infrastructure development.