If you have read the major broadsheets last Monday, I'm very much sure that you've come across an ad by our 'dear President Arroyo' that enlists all, if not some, of the benefits that we had gained from all of her trips in the past eight years of presidency. Lately, her foreign trips are being criticized by the opposition because it cost us more than 800 million pesos to fund her trips. Maybe, that's the reason behind the publication of this ad - paid by taxpayer's money.
All in all, the ad contains "14 benefits" that we have gained for the following: job generation, infrastructure development, protecting Filipino concerns, energy cooperation and agricultural development.
At a first glance, you would be somehow quite impressed because our 'dear' president had been able to get this and that. Although for me, ads like this does not impress me anymore - especially if this was paid using our money.
Anyway, the question is: Did we really get something substantial from her trips that had benefited all of us - especially those who need it most?
Some of the benefits listed are quite specific: $2.3 billion investment and job opportunities from South Korea, $2 billion investment from China, etc. But did those investments have actually flowed into the Philippines? Maybe not.
Let us take a look at 'Chinese investments.'
The President first went to China in 2004. If I remember it right, China had promised her more than $1 billion in investment for our country. But according to my little research, China had never been a 'top source of foreign direct investments (FDI)' for our country considering the number of 'infrastructure projects' that they are supposed to finance. Not even in a single quarter in the succeeding years (2005-2008) that they have been in the top spot. In fact, Japan is consistently our major source of FDI from 2004 till 2008. Taiwan would even sometimes land on the second spot as a top source of FDI for our country. But China, it never even registered a blip on our radar screens.
If you have doubts on my claim well you may check out the facts here at the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) website.
But what was really quite noticeable about the 'benefits' listed is that some of them are not concrete benefits that would readily benefit us. For example, we have this 'potential agreement' with Russia on energy, defense, etc. By definition, it is just a likely event but there is nothing definite yet and could actually not happen in the future. Another one are the MOUs with Brazil and Bahrain; so now that we have 'understood' each other, what happens next? Do these 'promises, understandings and agreements' materialize for our benefit?
Or our dear President is very busy selling off our country piece by piece. I just hope that it won't be the case.
It is really disgusting to know that in times like this, wherein the government's budget deficit is estimated to be at record high this year - a whooping 257 billion pesos - this government can still afford to place ads in major broadsheets, TV and radio. Ads worth millions of pesos funded by taxpayers' money that won't even feed a single hungry mouth in the slums.
Ads that tries to makes us look stupid not to know that such claims in their ads are just part of their fantasy.
What also pisses me off is the fact that this government is trying to look like a slut (I apologize for my term) by begging off for scraps from wealthier nations rather than supporting and developing our own industries. For example, this government would rather have our agricultural sector be developed by Saudi Arabia! What could a country that is almost a hundred percent desert can do to 'develop' our rich agricultural resources? Does this also mean that once they had develop this land, they now own it?
Maybe that's why her morons in Congress are pushing for ChaCha.
Extend her term and sell our country piece by piece and pocket billions of pesos - if not dollars - from it.
Take a look at the annoying ad below.
Have you noticed how the ad was filled with pictures of our 'dear President' handshaking with the leaders of the countries she had visited? So what is its significance? Maybe it could be much effective tool to deceive us if they had instead placed pictures of the projects that had been ongoing or completed because of her trips.
But maybe, they don't have anything to show because none had really materialized.
They should except that a lot would beat their asses off after the noon of June 30, 2010.
I can't wait.
Photo Credit: Philippine Information Agency