Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Payback time comes early

In less than 100 days.

I wrote in April how it seemed that the presidential campaign of Noy had lots of spending money, despite what they said.  Actions spoke louder than words.  I also mentioned how perhaps there was a link to the B. Hussein Obama's administration advocacy on population control.

When the President came home from his trip to the United States, he carried with him pledges of investments worth $2.8B.  Neat!  

Also, he came home with $434M from the Millennium Challenge Corporation.

This is where we might see the link.  The MCC gives assistance to countries pursuing political and economic reforms in three areas: ruling justly, investing in people, and fostering economic freedom.

The criteria are described as:
• Ruling justly—promoting good governance, fighting corruption, respecting   human rights, and adhering to the rule of law.
Investing in people—providing adequate health care, education, and other  opportunities promoting an educated and healthy population.
• Economic freedom—fostering enterprise and entrepreneurship and promoting open markets and sustainable budgets.
In 2005, the Philippines met 13 of the 16 indicators, but "did not qualify because it scored “substantially below” the median on tests for health expenditures and fiscal policy, and that more recent trends indicated the fiscal policy situation was deteriorating further."

I guess they did not like that the Arroyo administration and Congress then could not pass a reproductive health law (the RH proponents filed their first proposed RH bill in the 10th Congress) and that even then the government was not spending much (more likely, not accepting "foreign" aid) for reproductive health concerns. 

In 2006, the Philippines was deemed to be below the median so it could not qualify again.  It seems that the country was bypassed again in 2007.  In 2008, the Philippines was once again in the list of possible recipients of a compact, but was passed on once again.  In 2009, MCC retained the Philippines in the eligible list, but could not be given assistance "until it passed the corruption indicator that it failed in FY2009."

Then suddenly, in September 2010, the Philippines gets its $434M.

Did the Philippines suddenly pass all the indicators?  Did the Arroyo administration have anything to do with that?  Maybe not, since "many" still think that the Arroyo administration never corrected itself of corruption.  Maybe not, since the Arroyo administration, until the very end did not push for the passage of the RH bill in Congress, that it controlled, and the main proponent in Congress even a staunch supporter.

So how is it that the President got this assistance so soon?

Even with only a catch-phrase that's supposed to make poverty and corruption history (Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap)?

What's left?  A reproductive health law.  It is no wonder that there is now a renewed effort to get one approved.  And with it, making a punching bag of the Church.  But that's another issue.

Truly, payback time is here.  And that, from an administration that's still, so far, high in promises, and not much to show for.  Obviously, it isn't even 100 days old.  

How do you think the US will react when the RH bill won't go to law?  That could be an even greater problem for us down the road.

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