Aquino’s SONA Grounded on a Defective Development Plan
President Benigno S. Aquino’s first State of the Nation Address promises to be nothing new if his 2011-2016 Medium Term Plan is any indicator.
Dr. Rene S. Ofreneo, member of the National Economic Protectionism Association’s Board of Director, blasted the administration’s medium term plan as a rehash of 40 6years of medium term plans in a professiorial lecture sponsored by NEPA last July 17, 2011 at the UP School of Labor and Industrial Relations Auditorium.
“Without exception, all development plans since 1972 have featured a labor-intensive export orientation, and 40 years of failure is enough,” Ofreneo declared to some 300 UP students and NEPA members.
According to Dr. Ofreneo, the country’s economic planners notably that of NEDA Director-general Carlos Paderanga have been schooled in the Gerry Sicat – Ford Foundation type of economics. This type of economics features a labor intensive manufacturing and export orientation strategy that is heavily dependent on foreign direct investments.
“The Aquino administration is not served well by the likes of NEDA director general Carlos Paderanga. Those in NEDA shouldn’t even be in public service!” added Ofreneo.
“The Conditional Cash Transfer Program started by the Pres. Macapagal-Arroyo’s and continued by the Aquino Administration is a poor copy of its Latin American original. What made it successful in Latin America was that the conditional cash transfer is on top of several job generation programs,” Ofreneo added.
Salvador M. Enriquez, NEPA Chairman Emeritus and panelist to the professorial lecture bemoaned the lack of creative initiatives among cabinet members.
“I believe that Pres. Aquino is well meaning but his cabinet is not serving him well. There is a dearth of creative programs. Instead of CCT’s, the DOLE or the DSWD could have made jobs and productivity the precondition of cash transfers.” Enriquez added.
Dr. Ofreneo underlined the irrelevance of Paderanga’s NEDA by saying that the OFW and OFW remittances comprise the most significant aspect of the GNP and yet the medium term plan is curiously silent on the matter.
Ofreneo proposed that an India-type of economic planning commission be created in place of the mafia-type of organization NEDA is right now. This, he said, will provide for a broader perspective and participation.