Fidel V. Ramos (1992–1998)
- CONDITION OF THE PHILIPPINES
Prior to the Ramos Presidency, there were many coup d’état attempts and uprisings during the Aquino administration. This lead to a destabilized government. Politics were shaken and people started to lose their trust in the government. During the Ramos administration, civil liberty and government stability was restored.
The Philippines was recovering from economical difficulties that arose from the lack of foreign investors during the Aquino administration. Because of the Coup attempts, foreign investors felt it was risky for them to invest in the Philippines, thus, economy wasn’t booming. (Aquino Administration) During the Ramos administration however, the Philippines took pleasure from economic growth and stability. Though the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997 struck, the Philippines wasn’t as badly affected as other Asian Nations. During this crisis, the Philippine Peso devaluated and dropped because of a fiscal deficit. The people of the Phlippines needed to be empowered to think economically for the betterment of the economy. Also, prior to Ramos’ policies and laws, the Philippines was experiencing frequent brownouts lasting up to twelve hours due to old and ancient power plants.
Peace was made with the Mindanao Hostiles. Ramos became instrumental in securing the peace agreement with the Muslims.
A strong campaign for nationalism in preparation for the centennial anniversary of the Philippines was present.
PRIMARY PROBLEMS Asian Financial Crisis
In 1997, the Philippine economy plunged because of the Asian Financial Crisis. The annual growth rate of the Gross National Product fell in 1998 as compared to 1997.
- Power Crisis
The Philippines was experiencing widespread and frequent brownouts because of the huge demand for electricity and the old and depreciated power plants.
- PROMISES DURING THE ELECTIONS AND INAUGURATION
• Restoration of Civic order
• Make politics serve the not the family, favored groups, or themselves, but the nation
• Restore Civility in political competition
• He will reach out to the factions of the political community to work out priorities and agendas
• He will reach out to the rebels to give up their armed struggle
• Request the Congress to convene and amend the constitution
• Nurse the economy and make it grow; generate productive employment
• Dismantling protectionist barriers and providing correct incentives and support for the industries
• Supply equal measure of agriculture
• To continue the reforms by Aquino
- LAWS AND PROGRAMS
- Republic Act 7638 (Charter of the Department of Energy)
This act was signed and implemented so that the department of energy would be created. This department rationalizes the organization and functions of government agencies responsible for the management of energy in the Philippines. Being that one of the projects of Ramos was the proper management, sourcing, and allocation of energy, this act had to be implemented in order to have a department responsible for it.
- Republic Act 7648 (Electric Power Crisis)
This act prescribes the measures that are necessary and proper to effectively address the electric power crisis in our country.
- First RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement
The effect of this agreement is that it allows the government of the United States to keep the authority over their military personnel that are accused of committing crimes in the Philippines. This agreement exempts the US military personnel from visa and passport regulations in the Philippines, from being tried in Filipino religious or military courts, materials exported and imported by the military from duties or taxes. This agreement allows unrestricted movement of vessels from the United States and aircrafts in the Philippines.
- Republic Act 7832 (Anti-electricity and Electric Transmission Lines/Materials Pilferage Act)
This act penalizes theft and pilferage of electric lines and materials.
- Republic Act 8179
This act further allows foreign investments. It supports Republic Act 7042, which promotes foreign investments and prescribes the procedures and actions foreign investors have to do when registering for a business in the Philippines.
- Deregulation and Privatization of Major Industries
- Protection of Migrant Workers
Ramos facilitated the enactment of Republic Act 8042 which is also known as the Migrant Workers Act. This act protects Filipino workers abroad.
- Philippines 2000
- Peace and Stability
- Economic Growth and Development
- Energy and Power Generation
- Environmental Protection
- Streamlined Bureaucracy
- Agrarian Reform Program
- Restatement of the Death Penalty
- BENEFICIARIES OF THE LAWS AND PROGRAMS
Agrarian Reform Program
• Agricultural Businesses
• Hacienderos (Because of CARP)
Migrant Workers Act
• The first Filipino to benefit from this is Sarah Balabagan. Because of the Flor Contemplacion case that the government failed to negotiate properly, upon learning the sentence of Sarah Balabagan, Ramos immediately ordered UAE Ambassador to facilitate the negotiations. Sarah’s case was lowered and she was released in 1996.
Republic Act 8179
Foreign investors benefited from this Act because the Philippine market was made opened to the world.
- HOLES AND SHORTCOMINGS OF THE LAWS
Despite the resolution of the power shortage crisis, the Philippines fell into large debt because with the implementation of the formation of the Department of Energy, Ramos was granted special authority to give licenses to independent power producers to construct powerplants. This would guarantee that the government would buy the power that the independent power producers produced in US Dollars. When the East Asian Financial Crisis entered, this became a problem to the Philippines because the value of the peso declined. Thus, another hole of the government was that the investments from foreign investors were sought as ineffective.
Despite the implementation of the Migrant Workers Protection Program, there have been cases where the lack of focus on the program occurred. One such is the Flor Contemplation Hanging.
- ISSUES AND CONTROVERSIES
- PEA-AMARI Scam Manila Bay Reclamation Deal
FVR Was accused of Corruption. This deal involved acquiring 158 hectares of reclaimed land on Manila Bay and it was supposedly going to be converted to what is called as “Freedom Islands”. The government was accused of corruption because they were said to favor Amari Costal Bay Resources and Filinvest Development by selling them a bigger portion for their own intentions. Ramos was accused that the deal was clinched to benefit the members of Lakas-NUCD, which was Ramos’ group.
- Centennial Expo and Conversion of Military Base in Fort Bonifacio for Private Development
The Centennial Expo was supposedly one of his notable contributions to the Philippines and the people. The government was charged of alleged corruption and the misuse of funds. The projects relating to the Expo site were said to be extravagant and showed the inefficiency of the administration. They said it was a convenient vehicle to effect election fund-raising for the Lakas Political Party of Ramos. The issue there was that there was a budget set for the entire project. However, not all the projects were completed but the entire budget was spent.
- SUMMARY OF GOVERNANCE
Tax reformation from 4% to 10%
• Organized Cooperatives
• Ended the power crisis
• Economies of scale enhanced the productivity of the farmers
• Revival of country’s economy
• Ended oligopolies in shipping, telecommunications, and banking
• Average income of families and households increased
• Achieved peace with Muslim rebels and military rebels (won 1997 UNESCO peace award, the first Asians recieved)
- GRADE (DLSU SYSTEM)
Ramos receives a grade of 3.5 because his term is considered one of the most orderly and productive presidencies in the Philippines. He pulled people to be more nationalistic through his Philippines 2000 campaign and he was able to establish foreign relations with many countries that in turn made the country rich because of the Philippine market opening to foreign businesses.