Some news that are printed on national dailies are maybe unfounded, and not only on few occasions. Like the one buzz item buried in the inside page wherein it said some BPOs are planning to leave the country and may do business elsewhere. It is being reasoned that our president cannot zip his cussing mouth in barking against the US, United Nations and the European Union. It’s shocking to many of the age old allies of our country. We don’t have to wait for bad consequences.
Don’t panic though. But it’s a cause for worry.
In Clark Freeport alone and in the adjacent city of Angeles thousands, and in many other cities like Cebu, Davao and elsewhere mostly young people and fresh graduates are currently employed in these BPOs and their money earnings cascade and enhance the business climate. No wonder you can find now in most urban areas in the country they have more banks, past food chains and high end restaurants.
Of course the news will send shivers to tens of thousands of workers now employed in the many outsourcing companies scattered all over the archipelago. And definitely if that will happen, it will have a great negative effect on our GDP( gross domestic product) and may further lead to a double digit unemployment rate. The projected GDP growth this year is 6.4 percent.
Some may take it, the threat mostly coming from west economies is a form of blackmail for President Duterte to take it easy on his anti illegal drug campaign which some observers are saying human rights abuses are getting too common under his watch. Or maybe it is some kind of a business politics inorder to pressure Malacanang to be more circumspect, and for our president to quit bad mouthing foreign leaders who seems cannot agree on the ‘gangster’ method of killing without due process drug suspects.
From day one since he assumed office, Duterte already felt the interference of leaders of other countries like the United States and institutions like the UN. The interference maybe unjustified but the response of our president is far from correct also. As if he always wanted to pick a fight whoever criticizes his human rights record. It’s quite alarming.
And Malacanang is basking in the glow of the satisfaction rating of President Duterte which remains to 83% satisfaction approval.
In a recent Senate hearing, Senator Panfilo Lacson computed that corrupt Bureau of Customs officials are getting a total payoff of P270 million a day. It is a P27,000 bribe given for every container. 10,000 containers are processed each day.
A whooping P100 billion is needed to subsidize tuition in state universities and colleges. Meanwhile, there are still children in peripheral areas who have to share a chair in a leaking roof of a school.
The working class of our country is bracing for a tax reform package which is anti poor. Excise tax on fuel and popular drinks consumed by the masses will be increased.
Editor’s Note: Formerly newspaperman of Daily Inquirer and other major dailies; former TV and radio Broadcaster. Former Director of various corporations like Clark Development Co.; and a former City of Angeles Councillor. Now a regular columnist of Sun Star Pampanga.