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Bad Economics to Protect Erap

In the midst of a weakening economy and a political upheaval, Mr.
Estrada is adopting economic measures that will only throw us from the
frying pan into the fire. In just one week, the government has adopted
measures that have serious and adverse effects on the economy.

The Last Thing We Need Is Another “Interest Cure” Episode

We express our most vigorous opposition to the return of the “interest rate cure” to address the economic turmoil besetting the country in the aftermath of the explosion of the jueteng scandal. Recently, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) increased reserve requirements and jacked up its overnight borrowing rate by four percent. As an immediate result, prime lending rates have sharply increased, with some banks even charging prime rates above 20 percent. Worse, the BSP is contemplating a higher increase in interest rates to insulate the peso from further attacks.

Mr. President, for our country’s sake, please resign now

This time we speak from our heart and soul, and we do so very sadly. Recent revelations–the jueteng scandal– give us no choice but to ask you, President Estrada, to resign and save the country, the people from further harm. In the minds and hearts of the people, you have lost the credibility and the moral ascendancy to lead us.

Oil Exchange: A “Cure” Worse than the “Illness”?

The price of petroleum products has risen sharply two years into the
Estrada administration. The price of petroleum products for motor
vehicles has increased by around 50 percent. Fuel oil, an important
source of power generation, has increased by more than 100 percent. LPG, a principal household commodity, has increased by 90 percent. And there is no end in sight. Just this week the new industry entrants have started raising their prices by around P1 per liter. The big firms are expected to follow suit next week by at least at much. These oil price hikes have enraged the public; transport groups held strikes. Going by media polls, the strikes enjoyed public support.

Payola, Efficiency and Electricity Industry Reform

The legislation to privatize the National Power Corporation (Napocor)
along with the more sensational pay-by other earth-shaking news:
full-blown war in Mindanao, the kidnapping of Filipinos and foreigners,
the spate of urban bombings, etc. All these events have undermined
confidence in the Philippine economy. The Napocor controversy remains a
critical issue; a derailing of the electricity industry reform will be
interpreted as another blow to business confidence. In this light, the
Senate deliberation is very crucial.