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Cha-cha or development? Written by Ken Fuller

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cha-cha or development?


The debate over Cha-cha (constitutional change) has opened in the pages of the Inquirer.

The University of Asia and the Pacific’s Bernardo Villegas (“Let’s talk about economic patriotism,” June 15) feels that the provisions restricting foreign ownership since 1935 have “just worsened the feudal and monopolistic character or our society,” handing “control of the national economy to an elite in whose hands the wealth is concentrated.” There is, he says, no evidence that the restrictions have released the masses from poverty or that the Filipinos controlling the economy have a greater interest in the common good than have foreigners.

Well, he’s correct in that second assertion, because what concerns most investors, be they Filipino or foreign, is not the common good but the bottom line. Lamentably few have the breadth of vision or farsightedness to set their sights on a Philippines where the whole society is transformed by that little thing called “development.” The same can be said, unfortunately, of many university professors. Villegas has in earlier pieces dismissed the possibility of industrialization and, indeed, in his recent column he reverts to the long-discredited “trickle-down” theory. Even Robert McNamara when, decades ago, became World Bank president, he debunked this.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/index.php/commentary/item/2259-cha-cha-or-development?

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