Salceda — Quo vadis in 2016?

Sharing a Facebook post from Atty. Oliver Olaybal regarding Salceda.


Richard M. Nixon was very good in foreign affairs, but he failed miserably on domestic issues. Carlos P. Romulo was noted worldwide, but not in his own country. Here is Joey Salceda whose brilliance shines more in other countries than in his home province.

Salceda failed to save Albay Electric Cooperative where Albayanos invested 120 million pesos in 2013 alone, by way of 5% contribution for capital expenditures, or around 1.2 billion pesos in the last ten years. Extrapolated backwards since the establishment of Aleco in 1972, Aleco consumers have contributed around 5 billion pesos by way of investment in capital expenditures.

Salceda never required Punong Barangay Jose Zamora of Polangui, Albay to explain what happened to the hundreds of million pesos in rehabilitation funds that should have rehabilitated Aleco after typhoon Reming. As governor of Albay Province, it is his duty to initiate official inquiries as to what happened to the rehabilitation funds, otherwise the electric utility would not have sustained losses totaling 4 billion pesos that paved the way for its takeover by San Miguel Group.

The law creating Aleco requires majority approval to sell or lease Aleco facilities. Aleco has around 200,000 members. Salceda campaigned in favor of allowing San Miguel to take over the facilities, but only around 7,000 members showed up. Salceda should have objected to the takeover, for lack of majority approval.

On the economic front, Salceda is the most qualified governor to have led Albay. He is like the elder George Bush who has the longest curriculum vitae among all US Presidents. But how did he parlay his credentials into performance?

Poverty incidence in the whole country is 32.3%, 34.1% in the entire Region V, 36.1% in Albay, 24.7% in Camarines Norte, 33.5% in Camarines Sur, 27.1% in Catanduanes, 44.2% in Masbate and 32.1% in Sorsogon.

Comparatively, poverty incidence in Albay was 32.3% in 2006, 33.9% in 2009 and 36.1% in 2012, while the per capita income in Albay was P6,855 in 2006, P8,732 in 2009 and P9,363 in 2012.

What happened? How come Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes and Sorsogon have less poverty incidence than Albay? And we have a topnotch economist for a leader, as compared with Sally Lee and Raul Lee of Sorsogon.

Now, the provincial government of Albay is proposing to spend P11 million pesos just to know who are poor and why they are poor. That is too late. You don’t fix the instrument panel of your car towards the end of the journey.

If we do not see steam emitting from the radiator, it is because the economy is not overheating.

We know we have gas because the car keeps on running. We know there is nothing wrong with the battery because the ignition does not stall and the horn keeps on honking.

What all of us inside the car know is that we have lost the race, with Catanduanes leading, with Albay as poor back-marker behind Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte and Sorsogon. Hopefully, Catanduanes did not spend P11 million pesos just to know who are poor and why they are poor, because all they have to do, and obviously they did, is to go over the statistical data of the Philippine Statistics Authority.

Every driver should know that instrumentation is to be attended to at the start, or before the journey.

Salceda had been to Congress for so long. What did he do in Congress to fix the economy at policy-level? He was economic adviser to President Gloria Arroyo. What did he do in Malacañang to fix the economy at the national executive level?

With this backdrop, would it not be more of the same should we send him back to Congress?

Salceda is now a regular fixture in the international scene. Let us support him in this endeavor where he works best. He has become an international figure, and we now have a Christine Lagarde in the making.

Like Salceda, what if IMF’s Lagarde also ran to become a deputy in the French parliament? That would be interesting, but the course of history would not have been the same had economist John Maynard Keynes replaced Winston Churchill as prime minister of Great Britain.

Here lies the difference between a technocrat and a statesman.


2 thoughts on “Salceda — Quo vadis in 2016?

  1. I think albayanos should neither send salceda to congress nor to the international scene. They should send him to hell

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