|The author (extreme right) after one of his interviews with the rabble rousing former Speaker de Venecia.|
By Mortz Ortigoza
Over gastronomic delights of lunch made of locally produced aquatic products. I asked recently former five-time House Speaker Jose de Venecia, Jr. his thoughts on some political and economic global issues at his swanky residence located at the coastal city of Dagupan. Excerpts:
A chance for United States President Barrack Obama to reverse his anemic political stocks and wins his re-election next year.
JDV said with a nine (9) percent unemployment rate haunting the U.S economy, Obama will have a hard time winning his reelection bid “unless he re-invent himself”.
I asked him if the U.S economy will have a respite after the U.S troops withdraw this month in Iraq.
He doubts if the troop’s withdrawal would be a breather for the sluggish U.S economy as many of these returning soldiers would add to the number of unemployed in America.
Would heavily debt haunted European countries Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain recover instead of exploding and drag the global economy.
JDV said there would be pain before recovery. He told me about a 50 percent debt write-off imposed by Eurozone leaders and the International Monetary Fund among themselves where a U.S $1 billion of loan extended before to Greece (to stave off a global economic crisis) could be repaid only by $500 million.
(Note: The debt write-off is Euro 100 billion for Greece. The purpose is to reduce her debt to 120 percent from the scandalous 180 percent against her Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – MCO)
“The former Greek Prime Minister Giorgios Papandreou is my friend. We were co-founder of the Gaddafi Foundation”.
The former Speaker said the repercussion to the Philippine economy incase the credit problem in Europe explode into a numerical proportion would be the jobs of our people who rely on the export business to the continent.
On the China Sea (Spratly) territorial conundrum the Philippines is embroiled particularly with the juggernaut Mainland China.
He said his consortium formula he modeled after claimant countries Germany, England, and Norway entered in the oil-rich North Sea territories in post World War II are the ultimate model the claimant countries could emulate to avert a military clash there.
I asked him that last year there was $76.5 billion foreign direct investment in South East Asia but the Philippines got a trickle of 2.5 percent only. “Why foreign investors shun this country?” I posed.
JDV blames the bureaucratic red tape in the Philippines. It takes time for foreign investors to get business permit and others.
He also blames the process of localizing the requirements of these permits in the Local Government Units (i.e. province, city, or town). He cites local officials’ tendency to extort before they expedite the processing. This practice he said discourage these investors.
For him to throw his hat in the gubernatorial race of Pangasinan by changing his residence from Dagupan City to neighboring San Fabian town.
He chuckled. He said he is too preoccupied hopping from one country to another country steering his Global Christian-Muslim Coalition and the International Conference of Asian Political Parties which he chaired.
He just arrived from South Korea two days before this interview.
(You can read my selected intriguing but thought-provoking columns at http://mortzortigoza.blogspot.com. You can send comments too at email@example.com).