(1st UPDATE) The bulls reigned supreme during the Aquino years, as the Philippines achieved investment grade status. Here are some graphics showing the legacy of the late former president.
It was generally a good six years for investors under the tenure of the late former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.
Investors, position traders and so-called tsupiteros where day traders have been among the biggest winners of these years. The Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) started around the 3,000 level at the start of Aquino’s tenure in 2010, then climbed to the 8,000 level in 2015.
On July 1, 2010, the first trading day after Aquino’s inauguration, the PSEi closed at 3,315. Barely three months after the start of Aquino’s tenure, the PSEi surpassed the 4000 level.
The PSEi then passed several other milestones:
- 5,016 – 2 March 2012
- 6,044 – 7 January 2013
- 7,120 – 22 April 2013
- 8,053 – April 6, 2015
PSE data also showed that the index hit an intraday high 131 times and hit an all-time high at the close 119 times, with a seven-day high breaking all-time highs.
âI fondly remember the days when I personally sent stock market updates to President Aquino whenever the market hit new milestones. We must pay tribute to PNoy and his effort at good governance which has fostered political stability and transparency which have translated well into [the] strong market performance, âPES President Jose Pardo said on Friday June 25.
It was also during the Aquino era that the PES reached the highest net foreign purchases at 109.98 billion pesos in 2012.
The highest total turnover and average daily turnover were recorded in 2013 at 2.55 trillion pesos and 10.52 billion pesos, respectively.
The stock market gains came as the Philippines gained investment grade status under the Aquino administration, effectively lowering interest rates to 4%.
The fall in the cost of borrowing has encouraged the increase in personal, business, real estate and auto loans in a consumer-driven economy.
Improving credit ratings have created confidence in the Philippine market and growth of investments, especially in business process outsourcing.
The gross domestic product (GDP) of the Philippines grew on average by 6.2% during Aquino’s presidency, even reaching 7.6% in 2010 and 7.2% in 2013.
The problem, however, is that growth was still very uneven, which is why the poor still don’t “feel” the numbers.
Unemployment gradually declined during Aquino’s tenure as foreign companies expanded their businesses. From 7.4% in 2010, unemployment fell to 5.4% in Aquino’s last year in office in 2016. (READ: World Bank: Public health can end poverty in a generation)
But it was in the early years of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration that unemployment fell to an all-time low of 5.1% in 2019.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment climbed to 10.1% on average in 2020.
Aquino also continued the conditional cash transfer program of his predecessor Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, which lifted an estimated 7.7 million Filipinos out of poverty.
Aquino has also worked with the private sector on several key infrastructure projects.
Some of these public-private partnership projects include:
- Muntinlupa-Cavite highway (P 2.2 billion)
- School infrastructure projects (14 billion pesos)
- Automated fare collection system for Metro Rail Transit line 3 and Light Rail Transit lines 1 and 2 (1.7 billion pesos)
- Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 (P26.5 billion)
Duterte, who promised “the golden age of infrastructure,” adopted several of Aquino’s projects.
Public Works Secretary Mark Villar claimed that the Skyway project was part of Duterte’s Build, Build, Build program when in fact it started in 2014 or under the Aquino administration. This project was built with funds from the private sector.
Government revenues also improved during Aquino’s tenure, with around 60 billion pesos raised due to the reform of the sin tax.
According to think tank Action for Economic Reforms, the Sin Tax Reform Act of 2012 “created the momentum for sustained increases in tax rates over the years.”
âIn addition to reducing the prevalence of smoking, this law created fiscal space, increasing income and leading to rapid economic growth until the pandemic struck,â the group added.
Prior to Aquino’s time, improving macroeconomic fundamentals had already started under the Arroyo administration, in particular value-added tax reform and spending cuts. – Rappler.com