The storm

The perfect storm is when everything in the universe conspires to align.

When natural disasters occur, we can only prepare for survival.  It is humanly impossible to challenge nature. This blog is not about the force of nature. The intangible is difficult to foresee.

Let’s talk about the tangible. Man made disasters can be averted when calculated risks are taken before decisions – whether life changing or minor ones – are made.

The Philippine economy has seen a dramatic free fall in the last few months.  As in my previous blog on WHY THE NUMBERS MATTER, the political environment has lately borne the brunt of the initial salvo of a storm.  The short discourse on my previous blog made mathematical sense, with no additional confounding factors needed, to arrive at the conclusion that if policy makers and economists running the country don’t get their shit together, we’re headed for that perfect storm.

I was telling a friend of mine, that in a country like the Philippines, where the poor and marginalised make up 3/4 of the total population – productivity, savings and consumption  – take a big hit during an economic tailspin that is politically driven.  These three factors affects the most vulnerable in society because they now have to spend more for basic necessities, when they have the least to spend. These factors are present regardless of who the sitting president is.  

The peso now teeters at P54.15 for every USD$1.  The domino effect results in increase cost of fuel at almost P60 per litre. Delivery of goods and services are driven by fuel, which indirectly raises the cost of goods, commodities, and services.  Coupled with inflation is the demand for higher wages and compensation. While some economists claim that the region is widely affected, it is without doubt that the greatest free fall currently is in the Philippines.

In a perfect storm, the casualties are high.  At what price will we pay for not heeding the signals early on?

The country and its people are the casualties of any political storm. There is no yellow or red army when the lives and livelihood of people are at stake. As a nation, we’re all in this together. The greater good should be what we all work for. And the president is correct when he says that corruption must be stopped. It is without doubt that the political noise must address this storm. And like the storm that nature brings, it is the periphery that brings most havoc.

When the people around him is the storm, the greatest destruction is only felt when the trail of the typhoon has left. The damage has been done. And the people will have a more difficult time rebuilding their lives.