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By Cielito F. Habito
The Philippine economy, according to the latest data, continues to grow faster than expected. With 7-percent growth posted in the third quarter, this is the fifth quarter in a row that the economy has grown by 7 percent or more.
By Cielito F. Habito
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: SMEs (small and medium enterprises) are the way to inclusive growth and development. The single most important strategy we could embark on to create ample jobs and foster broad-based growth is to widen and deepen the role of SMEs in our economy. In a country where workers are plentiful and capital is limited, it stands to reason that we generate more jobs where it’s cheaper to create one, and that is in the SME sector. It is the best antidote for “jobless growth.” Consider this: Our economy grew by more than 7 percent over the past year, yet jobs only grew by 1.6 percent; total production and incomes grew nearly five times faster than jobs did. This is a sure-fire formula for further widening income gaps. The only way this can change is for us to find a way to get more GDP growth out of SMEs, and not rely primarily on large industrial or service enterprises to propel that growth.
Please allow me to react to the news item that appeared in the Nov. 5 issue of the Inquirer titled “Coco tillers ask Aquino: What happened to levy fund?”
By Cielito F. Habito
Over the past year, our gross domestic product (GDP) grew by an impressive 7.5 percent (as of end-June). In the process, the economy saw a net increase of 620,000 additional jobs on top of the 37,555,000 jobs that existed in the economy last year. This means that the number of jobs grew by only 1.6 percent, or just about one-fifth of the rate at which the economy grew.
In the business centers of Jakarta, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok, there is a palpable excitement about the looming economic integration of the region in 2015.
By Neal H. Cruz
The rivalry between land developers SM Land and Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) is becoming bitter with Ayala emerging as the villain.
I am not an economist, but it seems obvious that the way things are usually done in this country has only led to more poverty (as the poverty statistics show).
Another woman rose to a powerful global position when US President Barack Obama nominated Janet Yellen to head the Federal Reserve Board.
The move of international credit watchdog Moody’s Investors Service to grant investment-grade status to the Philippines, announced days before President Aquino traveled to Bali to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, has cleared any remaining doubt on the economy’s financial health. All three major global credit-rating agencies—the others being Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings—now view the Philippines as credit-worthy.
The Aquino administration labored hard to make the economy one of the fastest growing in Asia. Now it is threatened by the wide-ranging pork barrel scandal and the armed conflict in Zamboanga City.
By Guillermo M. Luz
By now, everybody knows that the Philippines ranks No. 138 out of 185 economies in the world measured on the “Ease of Doing Business” by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank. This global report, due for release at the end of October, measures the basic steps and amount of time it takes for business enterprises to undergo a government process across the lifetime of a business—from the day it starts (e.g., incorporates) to the day it closes (e.g., files for insolvency or closure). The 10 processes measured also include access to credit information and the level of investor protection, particularly of minority investors. It even measures the time a business takes to go to court to file a case and get a court decision to enforce a contract.
The delays faced by the P60-billion Light Rail Transit-1 extension project, the P35-billion Cavite-Laguna expressway, the Mactan-Cebu international airport expansion, and many other vital infrastructure ventures have exposed the complicated nature of the public-private partnership, the flagship program of the Aquino administration.