Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Belmonte's Constitutional Change itch

Speaker Sonny Belmonte has just filed a resolution seeking for the complete liberalization of the Philippine economy thru Constitutional change. Belmonte wants to change the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution, specifically, the 60-40% ownership of private property. He also wants to further allow foreign firms to own even public utilities.

What Belmonte wants really is to sell the remaining assets of this country to foreigners. Is this right?

The Speaker is using the "poverty" argument as basis for his resolution. He believes that foreign investors will be encouraged to permanently park or settle their monies here if they have the option of owning property. The more foreign capital here, the more jobs generated, hence, more Filipinos to benefit from it.

Bull. Crap.

Yes, we need foreign capital but up to a certain point. What we need is a vibrant economy. That would happen if the consumer market feels strong confidence on our economy and strong purchasing power. Local capital is enough to sustain growth.

Look at the landscape and we have hundreds even thousands of successful Filipino entrepreneurs who are actually conquering not just here but regional markets. If we allow more foreign capitalists here, we will be allowing more competition and possibly more chances of killing local capitalists. This constitutional provision actually protects local entrepreneurs, and gives them an advantage. Without this provision, how then will they compete with foreign capitalists who have more monies than them?

Poverty can be eradicated through efficient use of our resources. How can we efficiently manage our resources if we allow foreign ownership and management of these? Likewise, if we sell utilities and other things, how then can we develop industries?

I think Belmonte has this weird concept of neo-liberalization that puts this country at great risk. Complete liberalization of the economy is simply not necessary at this point because the state does not have a modern and fully developed infrastructure. We will be completely overwhelmed and over run by foreign capital should we allow full liberalization at this point in time.

Government should allow the development of industries so that our economy's backbone is strong against any and all threats coming from foreign competition. The more local capitalists we allow to grow, the stronger our own economy becomes. We need to lend a hand to these local capitalists so that they'll become global or regional giants.