The su­per-rich had bliss un­der Mr. Aquino, heaven un­der DU30

Manila Times - - OPINION - Hara-kiri tira-tira Ron­quil­loA6

APOLL con­ducted in the last quar­ter of 2017 by Grant Thorn­ton stated the ob­vi­ous. Filipinos in busi­ness ranked 4th in global busi­ness op­ti­mism. A to­tal of 36 economies were polled, from OECD economies to emerg­ing ones, and that rep­re­sented a sense of a global per­spec­tive from the busi­ness side of things.

The global av­er­age on busi­ness op­ti­mism was 58 per­cent, a de­cent one, but Filipino busi­ness ex­ec­u­tives, ac­cord­ing to the poll, hit a high note of 86 per­cent, topped only by those in In­done­sia, Thai­land and The Nether­lands. Of course, that was be­fore the US Congress passed a “tax re­form” pack­age that was a give­away to the su­per-rich, which Mr. Trump promptly bragged about in a meet­ing with the lead­ers of US busi­ness. Post the pas­sage of the tax scam passed in the guise of a “re­form pack­age,” US busi­ness would have been polled as the most op­ti­mistic in the world.

The bullish­ness and the gid­di­ness will heighten this year for Philip­pine busi­ness, and why not? If Philip­pine busi­ness had bliss un­der Mr. Aquino, they have heaven un­der Mr. Duterte.

The pro­jec­tion that the coun­try’s largest cor­po­ra­tions, by and large pub­licly-listed, will soon be re­port­ing ban­ner net earn­ings is not an idle, but an ev­i­dence-based, state- ment. Cor­po­ra­tions that will re­port less than P5 bil­lion in net earn­ings for 2017 will be pray­ing that their earn­ings re­port may merit even three para­graphs in the busi­ness pages, to hide their shame. Those that will earn P1 bil­lion or less will be tempted to do a – for fail­ing to join the band­wagon of jumbo earn­ers. And we all know to which pock­ets the earn­ings will go.

Con­sid­er­ing the limited play­ers in the eq­ui­ties mar­ket, cross-own­er­ships and the le­gal boon­dog­gles that guar­an­tee that the ma­jor­ity own­ers get most of the cor­po­rate gain, there is this as­sur­ance that af­ter the div­i­dends have been paid off, the bulk of the gains will go to the ty­coons that con­trol these cor­po­ra­tions with uber earn­ings. The case of hav­ing your cake and the plea­sure of eat­ing it, too – that has been the story since Mr. Aquino as­sumed power.

The busi­ness pro­fes­sion­als sur­veyed just re­flected the Cloud 9 state of their prin­ci­pals in the Grant Thorn­ton poll.

yearly in­come gains goes to the top 1 per­cent – the rest of the 40 per­cent makes do with the (crumbs) – is a lit­tle bit out­dated, in the sense that the top 1 per­cent could get more in 2017, with an­other up­ward ad­just­ment this year.

Like Mr. Aquino, Mr. Duterte al­lowed the sta­tus quo on la­bor bar­gain­ing to re­main weak and in­ef­fec­tive. Even the pro- DU30 la­bor lead­ers will tell you that there has been a real ef­fort to prop up the dy­ing state of the trade

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