Two years more of hardships


A survey of captains of industry revealed that it will take two more years for our economy to fully recover from the beating it got from the pandemic. But some will actually not recover. Those whose livelihoods were totally wiped out. They will have to start all over again, from scratch.
For real recovery to happen, the government cannot do it alone. It should use all persuasion if not muscle to make the moneyed members of the private sector lend to MSMEs at recovery terms or rates. Six percent per annum, generous grace periods like payment to start one year after, and longer maturity periods, etc., should be good to get the economy roaring. Still some gestation period will be needed to feel the full effect.
MSMEs are the backbone of the economy, employing about 97% of our labor force. A strong support for them should also help in decentralizing or in equitably distributing economic opportunities.Some local governments have programs of lending to MSMEs in order to recover. Some of these do not even charge interests. Well and good. The heaviest requirement though is to have a co-maker with a stable business.
Why not come up with a government agency as co-maker. That can be government’s main project. Provide it with enough capital and it could remain solvent for a long time. It could even progress to provide a wider coverage.
Where to get the capital for such agency? Use the money being corrupted from government infrastructure projects as its operating capital. A big part of the budget for such find there way anyway to the pockets of politicians.
Giving the money to MSMEs will generate more employment compared to a government infrastructure project.
That strategy would be revolutionary. Many politicians would raise a howl. But that would be better than the people or the masses rising up in arms or staging a revolution due to hunger and poverty.
And the arrangement will not be permanent. It will just be for two years to speed up recovery.
Another key to recovery is to really come up and crank-to-the-max measures against corruption. It is looked at by so many prospective investors as the main hindrance to economic growth.
That had been said a million times and nothing happened. The need of the day is a leader who can put an end to it (corruption).
There was hope former President Duterte was it. But the Senate ended up recommending for him to be charged due to the Pharmally caper. Was that just the tip of the iceberg?**


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