In an interview with ABS-CBN News, Professor Emmanuel S. de Dios provides a perspective on the economic performance under the Marcos regime.

Some highlights:


“…[Y]ou cannot judge the Marcos regime only on the good side. You have to take the entire period,” De Dios said in an interview with the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group.

“You did experience high growth in the early years, but you also experienced the worst recession in the latter years.”

Debt-driven growth, De Dios said, is not necessarily bad as long as the money is invested in productive sectors that will fuel growth.

But it wasn’t so for the Philippines as the borrowings were invested in projects that yielded little or no cash returns—no foreign exchange to sustain the economy.

“A lot of them were white elephants,” he said. “A lot of them were not even investment projects but luxury spending.”

He cited as an example Imelda Marcos’s “hotel building spree,” which was part of a “huge effort that didn’t earn foreign exchange.”

For de Dios, the Philippine government at the time was akin to a person who goes on a spending spree using a credit card.

“You have a good life while you’re living on credit, but you suffer after that,” he said.

And suffer Filipinos did as a result of Marcos’s economic decisions. As the peso depreciated, companies closed down, prices went up and people could buy less with their incomes. Those who already had jobs felt the pressure to find additional work, but none were available.

De Dios said cronyism and corruption got in the way.

“The irony of it is that in the midst of the debt crisis, ’84-’85, namimili pa ng apartments si Imelda sa New York,” he said.

Based on “purely economics,” De Dios said the “last decade or so” was the best for the economy, spanning former presidents Gloria Arroyo, Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino and incumbent Rodrigo Duterte.

“[Marcos] is an interesting part of history, but he’s history. ‘Yung iniluwa mo, ‘wag mo nang kainin,” De Dios said.


Read the entire article here: