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By Cielito F. Habito
It is not correct to say that the 40 richest Filipino families own 76 percent of our nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). I have recently been widely misquoted as having said so. What I did say, and had first explained in this space nine months ago (“Economic growth for all,” 6/26/12), was that the growth in the aggregate wealth of our 40 richest families in 2011—which Forbes Asia reported to have risen by $13 billion in 2010-2011—was equivalent (in value) to 76.5 percent of the growth in our total GDP at the time, which official data show to have risen nominally then by P732 billion, or around $17 billion. I found that this ratio was only 33.7 percent in Thailand, 5.6 percent in Malaysia, and 2.8 percent in Japan—suggesting that our income inequality is much worse than in our neighbors.
By Vinod Thomas
The economy of the Philippines stands out for its relatively robust 6.6-percent growth in 2012 amid lackluster economic growth in most places around the world. The crucial question, however, is how the country can sustain this performance to generate far more jobs and reverse the rise in poverty seen in the past decade. Domestic [...]
The Aquino administration should be commended for our country’s splendid economic performance. Once dubbed the “sick man of Asia,” it is now one of Asia’s emerging tigers.
Credit should also go to the past administrations of former President Fidel Ramos and, notably, former President Gloria Arroyo who piloted our country’s economic takeoff from a boom-and-bust cycle.
The mixed views on the higher-than-expected economic growth for 2012 announced by the Aquino administration last week indicated that much has to be done to make development sustainable and its fruits available to all.
By Conrado de Quiros
The newspapers said pretty much the same thing rather amusedly: Finally. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo had something good to say about P-Noy. After several years of finding his governance execrable, indeed after writing a paper entitled “It’s the economy, student,” where she flunked her student for failing to learn his lessons in her Economics 101, she finally complimented him for managing more than pasang awa.
By Cielito F. Habito
Since Monday, top officials and leaders of government, business, civil society, academe and external donor agencies have been meeting in Davao City for the regular Philippines Development Forum (PDF).
By Jose Ma. Montelibano
In a reversal that astounds, the Philippines has been the focus of positive and exciting news. It used to be that the most prevalent of commentaries heaped on both Filipinos and the Philippines centered on two societal cancers – corruption and poverty. Then, stemming from that corruption and poverty would flow a myriad of horror [...]
By Peter Wallace
With a scant eight session days to go, Congress has much it can do. Let’s hope it acts, as there’s been too many bills pending for too long.
My interest, of course, is business and the economy because these underpin everything else and, hence, are what I consider the most important for the government, all branches, to focus on to give Filipinos a decent life. Filipinos can only have a decent life if they aren’t poor. They can only be not poor by having an income. Jobs, either in a small personal business or working for someone, are the only way to provide that income. So an 8-day focus on job- and income-creating bills is what Congress should do.
WITH THE advent of the holiday season and as 2012 comes to an end, the Filipino people have a lot of blessings to be thankful for this year.
By Amando Doronila
The 7.1 percent Philippine economic growth in the third quarter “posted the fastest expansion” within the Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), gloated Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan. He said that the year-to-date growth was already 6.5 percent, prompting him to predict that the full-year growth would likely surpass the government’s target of 7 to [...]
THE GOVERNMENT’S announcement last week that the economy, as measured by the gross domestic product (GDP), expanded by 7.1 percent in the third quarter was indeed a pleasant surprise. The expectation of local and foreign economists and analysts was actually lower: anywhere between 3.9 and 5.4 percent.
By Cielito F. Habito
“PHILIPPINE ECONOMIC growth likely slowed in Q3,” blared a news headline about a forecast attributed to a large investment bank, just a few days before the official data came out—announcing the exact opposite. It can be hazardous indeed to make fearless forecasts on the economy, especially when released shortly before official data are due to come out. But then again, most financial institutions had actually predicted a slower third quarter, only to be proven wrong with the third-quarter data showing a surprising 7.1-percent surge instead. This is well beyond what was already considered a surprising 6.4-percent growth posted in the first quarter. Economics has never been a precise science, and not even the most sophisticated mathematical or statistical tools can help when there simply are too many unknowns in the equation.