Essay about Corruption and Neoliberalism in the Philippines

2905 Words12 Pages
International Development
SIS 637-002
International Development Paper #2
November 17, 2013 Despite this year’s onslaught of devastating earthquakes, factional rebel sieges, and most recently, record breaking typhoons, the Philippines is doing surprisingly well for itself. In fact, The Economist Intelligence Unit reports that though the wreckage caused by last week’s Supertyphoon Haiyan will likely slow GDP somewhat, economic damage will not be significant, the Eastern Visayas region accounting for only two per cent of the country’s GDP. Economically, at least, the Philippines has had a good year: the first half of 2013 saw GDP growth at 7.3 percent, the highest growth rate in Asia; it saw seen record foreign direct investment
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Most recently in the news is the Pork Barrel Scandal, where President Aquino and the ombudsmen have charged 3 senators, 2 former lawmakers, and a businesswoman for misusing over $200 million in state funds (Hookway). Pork Barrel is a state allocation of funds set aside for senators to use on development projects of their choice, of which the president says the accused used for fabricated project proposals to take personal kickbacks. Public protests against the scandal have been massive, and the people are calling for not only the eradication of the Pork Barrel fund itself, but of the president’s own spending fund as well. President Aquino faces the dilemma of upholding his strict anticorruption agenda, appealing to the public, and maintaining support of powerful lawmakers and congressmen (Hookway). James Hookway argues that Aquino’s decision on the scandal will heavily determine foreign investor confidence in the Philippines, influencing the path of the country’s development. Indeed most development professionals agree that corruption and bad governance are inversely related to the development of a country. The worst indicators in the Philippine Failed States Report outwardly suggest governance issues are a threat to the state and a major cause of internal violence and conflict. Good governance has been the recent focus of many World Bank projects, the group stating that,
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