1. Over-dependence on Global Economy
The growth of the Philippines economy drastically slowed to just 3.6% in the first three quarters of 2011, which is significantly less than the 7%-8% growth targeted by administration's Philippine Development Plan (PDP). Though the slowdown may have been due to the ongoing global crisis, it was markedly slower in comparison to other South-East Asian neighbors. Economic performance figures indicated a contraction in exports and a drop in FDI. Though the remittances from overseas Filipinos to the country grew in the first ten months of 2011, however the compensation that overseas Filipinos received actually fell, in peso terms, due to an appreciating peso.
In 2011 the Aquino administration sought a FTA (Free Trade Agreement) with the EU and join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The administration further allowed the US to even more directly influence Philippine economic policy making in its self-interest, by entering in a Partnership for Growth (PfG). These partnerships will consequently further the dependence of the economy on the global economy, whereas a regional arrangement between less unequal Southeast Asian countries is potentially useful. Greater attention has to be paid to addressing to the internal problems of the economy and enhancing domestic-oriented growth. A policy of removing structural impediments to growth has to be adopted with lesser focus on foreign investors and exporters.
2. Misplaced Fiscal Austerity
Practicing fiscal austerity just to get favorable credit ratings can be counterproductive. The Aquino administration, in 2011, pursued fiscal austerity and spent 2.1% less in the first 11 months than it did in the same period last year. This along with increased revenues brought down the fiscal deficit and subsequently international credit rating agencies Standard and Poor's, Moody's and Fitch upgraded the country's credit...