Kasarinlan: Philippine Journal of Third World Studies, Vol 5, No 1 (1989)

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A Time for Hard Decisions

UP School of Economics

Abstract


Social and economic reforms cannot be postponed. The latest coup attempt by military elements to seize power highlights this concern. In light of these things, this paper analyzes the economic and social problems besetting President Aquino’s administration and the immediate measures and intermediate policies it should adopt.

The paper identified severe transport crisis, power failures, lagging real incomes, ill-formulated salary standardization among government employees and increases in fuel prices as sources of dissatisfaction that the government should address to improve our economy and social conditions.

Immediate measures cited as important include structural changes in NPC, NEDA and addressing the transport crisis by deregulating imports of vehicles and parts for use in public transportation. The debt problem should also be addressed. Structural changes in the monetary, fiscal and industrial policy of the Philippines should be implemented like the abolition of the Board of Investments. Finally, progressive taxation of assets and income should be adopted. All these measures should be adopted wholly because these reforms are interdependent. A piecemeal reform would possibly cause possibly unforeseen outcome or, what is worse, outcomes which are socially unjust.

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