Friday, January 29, 2010

Rule of Law 6: Discussions in Facebook

I got an email interview from an academic friend who also works as consultant at the ADB. His 2 questions were,

1. What, in your view, have been the top three impediments to rapid and broad-based (inclusive) growth in the Philippines?

2. If you were the President, what top three concrete measures (i.e., strategic measures which you believe that once achieved, would lead other issues to fall into place) would you implement to achieve rapid and broad-based (inclusive) growth for the Philippines?

I emailed back my answers to him. Then just curious, I posted yesterday morning in my facebook status to see some friends' comments. See those comments below.

Nonoy Oplas:
A consultant of ADB asked, What's the top impediment to rapid growth in the Philippines? My answer: Lots of laws but no rule of law. Laws and prohibitions (no stealing, no killing, stop on red light, etc.) apply only to ordinary people but those in govt, especially the top leaders, are exempted from the law.

you bet.

Love it Nonoy!

Thanks. Half-implementation of the rule of law means govt. leaders can steal, can change rules and create new prohibitions arbitrarily, discouraging investments and job creation.

you hit the bull's eye, noy!

Funny that she started out carrying the motto "Strong republic" 'no. So, does this mean you're vouching for Bayani? ;)

but the worst is colonialism... all the energy of the country is bent on consuming american cultural goods....

mismo! :)

korek ka jan pareng noy!! happy valentines!!

And as somebody asked before, what needs to be done? :-)

My answer was high barriers to entry and lack of competition. But you're right - Philippine government sucks at implementation and is obsessed with mere formalism (i.e. getting an E.O. or R.A. passed)

Rule of law is a radical idea. No one is exempted from the law, no one can grant exemption from the law, and the law applies equally to unequal people. One implication is that the number of laws should be as few as possible. So, candidates who authored plenty of laws are dangerous.

the sad truth is, some are more equal than others... :(

bingo! nothing's changed then eh...

The ADB Know it themselves. The top impediment to rapid growth is red tape and corruption. Probably even in that order.

Yes, the ADB knows about the corruption and robbery, the absence of rule of law in the administration of public finance, happening in the countries they're lending to incl. the Phils., but generally keeps silent about it and just keeps lending.

See also:
Rule of Law 5: Lawless State, Corruption and Coercion, August 01, 2009

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