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Monday, June 30, 2014

Did Marcos cause the downfall of the Philippine Economy? Click to compare presidential performance.

This article published on Our knowledge Asia offers a very interesting perspective about what happened during the Marcos years.  The information here is probably something Marcos loyalist will contest.  The author of this report Mr. Boom San Agustin also believes that  P-Noy may be riding a wave created by GMA.   The full text of Mr. San Agustin's article titled "Which Philippine President Caused the Downfall of the Philippine's Economy?" is shown below.
Ever since I could remember, my parents have always told me that Ferdinand Marcos caused the downfall of the Filipino economy. I have always believed them. However, lately, my children have been getting conflicting reports on just who is to blame for this fall. This is why I decided to do a little research on this. 
So, which president actually made us the “Sick Man of Asia”? I decided to take a look at one prominent analytic indicator… the Philippine peso - US dollar exchange rate. I particularly looked for the rise and fall of the Philippine peso from 1965 (the Year Ferdinand Marcos took office) to 2012. Luckily, I found a site ( that actually calculated for historical Foreign Exchange data. 
Here’s what I’ve found:

Click on the Picture to Enlarge | Source:

This chart seems to indicate that my parents were right. If you view the chart, you'll notice that between 1970 and 1972, long before Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial Law; the Philippine peso plummeted by a staggering 40%. So, was this the start of our downfall? It would seem so. However, I’ll let you be the judge of that. 
Yet, a question still lingers in my mind. If Ferdinand Marcos did cause our downfall, why haven’t any of the other five presidents after him done anything to bring our economy up? In fact, they've brought it down even further.  Well, Benigno “P-Noy” Aquino Jr. still has a chance to make it right. 
Yes, we've had a windfall in terms of foreign investments since early 2012; yet, somehow, it just doesn't seem to be enough. P-Noy can’t afford to rest on his laurels right now. He’s got a great big mountain to climb.


Guys, here's an updated chart (as of June 3, 2013) containing the following data:

  • Blue LinePHP-USD Exchange Rate (USD to 1-PHP / 1000)
  • Green LineGross Domestic Product - GDP (in billions USD)
  • Red LineDebt to GDP Ratio (percentage % of Debt / GDP)
  • Data Source for GDP: The World Bank via
  • Data Source for Debt-GDP Ratio: The World Bank via
  • Data Source for PHP-USD Exchange Rate History:

Looking at this new chart still seems to point at Ferdinand Marcos causing the country's downfall. During his term in office we hit our highest Debt-GDP Ratio of more than 90% (which is extremely bad) and our currency exchange rate plummeted by nearly 80% (really bad) during his term. Our GDP did improve during his term; but it was too little an improvement to cover for our massive debts and a falling peso.  
On the other hand, I think I owe GMA an apology. I openly accused her of bringing our economy down; but, after looking at the World Bank data, I may have been wrong.  
During GMA's term, our GDP rose to around 170 Billion USD from a mere 71 Billion USD when she took over. She also managed to bring down our Debt-GDP Ratio to 44% from a high 63% when she first held office. She even managed to improve our exchange rate a little bit. It might be a stretch, but I believe that the economic windfall we are enjoying today may have started during GMA's time. 
P-Noy may be riding a wave created by GMA. 
I suppose many are still wondering why haven't felt this economic boon. I have two suspects for you... population and corruption. I'm already looking for data on these two indicators and will post it here soon.
Well readers... What do you think of this new twist?

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