The Lowdown: A Time Machine To 2022
I’ve been so busy these past few weeks that I did not even notice that it’s the 30th of June already: the day Bongbong Marcos will officially take over the presidency after that brutal and miserable election season.
I did not watch the inauguration at all. One, because I don’t have a television here in the new house. Two, because I’m really caught up in very important things in my life and I need to focus on them so much that I don’t have any more time to argue with people about their support for the new president. After all, as BBM supporters always say, only you can help yourself to have a better life and not the government, even if the government makes things really hard for working-class people like us, which I should mention, are the real reason why this country still runs. So I will not engage in pointless banter if I can help it. The country made a choice and a democratic country’s leadership is a reflection of its people. There’s not much to argue about that.
But I am not here to speak ill of Marcos anymore. Instead, I am here trying to be hopeful about what’s about to happen in the next 6 years, assuming they’re going to honor the democratic process and pass the position to the next democratically elected president. I wish his administration focuses on actually creating more jobs and not just focusing on mindless populist agendas that were not properly thought through and would just bite us in the ass harder in the coming years. I hope that, unlike his father, his administration would uphold human rights, particularly freedom of speech, especially the right to free speech of those who criticize him and his administration. I hope that his administration really continues on the good things that the previous administration started, like infrastructure projects, and not do the same counterproductive things that the Duterte admin did (e.g. the Drug War that only focused on “small fishes”).
All bets are off now that he’s officially in charge. All we can really do is hope for the best.
This article was written to serve as a “time machine” to 2022, the year we elected Bongbong Marcos, the son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. This will serve two things: first, easy access to information to prove that all of BBM’s critics are dead wrong and should all go back to kindergarten, and second; easy access to information to prove that all of BBM’s supporters are a bunch of suckers that fell for a huge scam. So without further ado, here’s the current state of our country before BBM took over:
- The World Bank reports that the country’s GDP was about USD 394 Billion by the end of 2021. The country’s GDP increased by 8.3% in the first quarter of 2022 (Sources: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.CD?locations=PH, https://psa.gov.ph/content/gdp-posts-83-percent-growth-first-quarter-2022)
- The total outstanding debt of the Philippines is about Php 12.6 Trillion (Source: https://www.treasury.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/NG-Debt-Press-Release-March-2022_final_ed.pdf)
- The inflation rate is 5.4% for May 2022, making the average 4.1% as of June 2022 (Source: https://psa.gov.ph/statistics/survey/price/summary-inflation-report-consumer-price-index-2018100-may-2022)
- The exchange rate today is Php 55.021 to a US Dollar. (Source: https://www.bsp.gov.ph/statistics/external/day99.aspx)
- The average interest rate for lending is 2.5% (Source: https://tradingeconomics.com/philippines/interest-rate)
- The Free On Board (FOB) value of imports and exports of the country is 10,901.73 and 6,128.58 in million US dollars, respectively (Source: https://psa.gov.ph/content/highlights-philippine-export-and-import-statistics-april-2022-preliminary)
- The average price of gas today is about Php 81.00 here in Pampanga, while Diesel is about Php 87.00 (Source: https://www.doe.gov.ph/oil-monitor/prevailing-retail-prices-liquid-petroleum-products-lpp-key-citiesmunicipalities-140)
- The average farmgate price of palay (unhusked rice) as of April 2022 is around Php 17.23 per kilo (Source: https://psa.gov.ph/farmgate-prices-palay/node/167574) Please take note that palay needs to be processed first before it becomes rice, and the processing would only yield about half of the total amount of palay (Source: https://medium.com/@avaandearwin/bakit-nga-ba-mura-ang-palay-mahal-ang-bigas-at-mas-mahal-ang-extra-rice-sa-fast-food-1646dd9f444b)
- Poverty incidence is about 23.7% according to a study in 2021 (Source: https://cpbrd.congress.gov.ph/2012-06-30-13-06-51/2012-06-30-13-36-50/1439-ff2022-07-poverty-statistics-update-first-semester-2021)
- The unemployment rate is 5.8% while the underemployment rate is about 15% (Source: https://neda.gov.ph/ph-tallies-new-record-low-unemployment-rate-since-pandemic-neda/)
- The minimum wage in NCR is Php 570.00 and Php 533.00 in the non-agriculture and agriculture sectors, respectively (Source: https://www.dole.gov.ph/news/ncr-and-western-visayas-wage-boards-grant-minimum-wage-increase/)
- COVID-19 cases as of June 26, 2022: about 3.7M total cases, 4,634 new cases, of which 14 cases were severe and/or critical, and 51 deaths. 78% of the target population were fully vaccinated. (Sources: https://doh.gov.ph/nationalcovid19casebulletin06272022, https://www.covid19.gov.ph/)
- As of June 25, 2022, no Monkeypox cases were found in the Philippines (Source: https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1177533)
In conclusion, I would like to say something about BBM supporters. They all have different reasons why they voted for him. Some of the reasons I understand, some of them I don’t. But regardless of their reasoning, I would like to ask them this:
In the event that you see that BBM is not the leader you expect him to be, and when going just gets even tougher, will you be humble enough to admit to everyone that you were wrong?
In any case, I hope you enjoy the coming 6 years.