crunching numbers

What They Don’t Tell You -4

The World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index 2022 is the basis of Inconvenient Truth #8: The Philippines has the lowest score, and the lowest rank, among the ASEAN-5 as far as the Rule of Law is concerned. What is so galling is that eight years ago, in 2015, the Philippines had a score (0.53) higher than everyone else, except Malaysia (0.57). As you can see, Reader, the Duterte administration really brought down the Philippines Rule of Law score and ranking – from 0.53 to 0.47, and from 51 out of 102 to 97th out of 140. . One would have hoped that the BBM would see those scores and ranks going up, but judging from what is happening in the de Lima case and what happened in the Remulla fils case, that gleam of hope is fading. In the Philippines, the rule by law still reigns supreme.

What They Don’t Tell You -2

Much has been made about the Philippine’s income inequality decreasing from 0.46 in 1997 to 0.41 in 2021. But this pales in comparison to Malaysia and Thailand’s performance: Malaysia from 0.49 to 0.39, and Indonesia from 0.48 to 0.34.
What these all suggest is that the quantity of economic growth experienced by the rest of Asean-5 was not only much larger, but also the developmental quality of that growth was better – more equally distributed.

Do We Need the ICC?

The first piece of hard evidence is the assessment of the Philippine government itself on the justice situation in the PDP 2023-2028. It says, , “Despite… positive developments, several policy reforms and key legislations remain unattained, such as “Fragmentation of the criminal justice system remains a challenge”, “ Backlogs in resolving cases, delays caused by inefficient practices, and aging persist”, “ Limited resources weaken the justice sector,” and “Low public confidence in the justice system undermines the rule of law”, all expounded in the chapter.

What’s With the Sugar

The inability to import sugar was one of the major reasons that the year-on-year inflation rate for the item Sugar, Confectionery and Deserts for February 2023, as reported by the PSA (Consumer Price Index for subgroups), was a whopping 37%. That is the highest inflation rate for all items in the CPI. Not only that. Prices for this subgroup also rose between January to February this year. We, the people, suffered.

But we are now in a second scandal, with pre-emptive sugar shipments and admitting to ignoring the rules. This one may have more dangerous repercussions.

Shutting up his critics

Methinks the report aims, among other things, to silence the criticism Marcos Junior has received about his frequent travels.

However, it also has an unintended consequence: Why go through all the effort of changing the Constitution to remove the economic restrictions on FDI? All the country needs to get FDI is to send the President abroad, and voila!, we have all we want. So, shut up, ChaCha advocates.

But we still have to look at the numbers.

Management by Illusion

DA through the Food Terminal, buying onions at P140 million pesos of onions at P537 per kg. and selling them through the Kadiwa at P170, thus losing about P96 million. Whose brilliant idea was that? Selling at P170 was clearly to create the impression that Filipinos were now paying only that amount for onions, or the Kadiwa was doing a great job. “Management by illusion” is how the late Rafael Salas described the management style of PBBM’s father. Is this also true of the son?

Faster Than a Speeding Bullet

Our Criminal Justice, according to the 2022 World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index, has the lowest score among 8 factors that comprise the Index. We were given a score of 0.32 (0 is the lowest, showing weakest adherence to the rule of law, and 1 is the highest score showing strongest adherence). For context, the global average is 0.47 and the regional average, i.e. East Asia and the Pacific, is 0.53. That’s how bad our system is.