By Edvee Cruz | Good Morning Philippines
There’s something to be said about maintaining a positive attitude in life and that should include economic forecasts but I’m afraid investors would much rather hold on to their money than be “positively” broke. The Philippine Stock Exchange index experienced its worst one day performance in three years last Friday with a dip of 5.13 percent, a clear indication of fear of a looming crisis in the horizon. The European debt crisis is at the forefront of what threatens to plunge the global economy back into another recession. The most positive forecasts for the Philippines year-end performance is a lackluster 4.7 percent growth in GDP, according to the IMF and the World Bank, without factoring in yet the impact of a possible worldwide recession. And as we move further down to the grassroots level, the LGU’s are bracing themselves for a 4.8 percent reduction in their IRA’s based on revenue collections of the National Government three years prior as mandated by law. That’s the equivalent of P13.3Bless for them to spend on basic services for their constituents; yet we hardly hear any mention from this administration on how to assist local governments in what will surely be difficult times ahead for them in the coming year. The two loudest voices that have beenbellowing for help on behalf of the LGU’s are those of Senator “Bongbong” Marcos, himself a former head of a LGU as erstwhile Governor of Ilocos Norte, and Governor “Tet” Garcia of Bataan. The former has been urging the administration through Secretary Robredo to restore the impending 4.8% reduction while the latter is demanding payment of P500B in unremitted IRA due to alleged miscomputations since 1992. The administration should be listening to these two officials who know of the dire consequences that await LGU’s in the coming year to help avert more suffering by our people on the grassroots level due to acute shortages in basic services from LGU’s.