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Despite the country’s 7.5-percent economic growth, joblessness and poverty incidence remain high.
By Mahar Mangahas
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is very often called the economic pie available to the people. When divided by the population, it becomes the so-called per capita GDP, which would be available if shared equally—an assumption which is only arithmetical, and not factual—among Filipinos.
The year 2013 was another banner year for the Philippines, though some would surely disagree. The fact is, despite the natural and manmade calamities that struck the country last year, such as the devastating Supertyphoon “Yolanda,” its economy still grew by 7.2 percent, with the manufacturing sector contributing much in the last quarter. The economic [...]
By Cielito F. Habito
I often point out that some of the most critical policy reforms for achieving broad-based and widely beneficial (i.e., inclusive) economic growth have long been known and well understood. Our policymakers have simply failed consistently to get them done through the years. I have seen too many policy prescriptions widely acknowledged for decades to be crucial, yet continuing to remain just that: as prescriptions that never become actual policies. This is because the key policymakers in both the legislative and executive branches of government simply could not muster the political will to go against the enemies of reform, who have vested interests to protect. In many instances, the policymakers are co-opted by the same vested interests, in a political and electoral system wherein the golden rule (“he who holds the gold makes the rules”) prevails.
I always fall into a state of disbelief every time I hear good news about the economy. Just like when news broke out that the Philippine “economy grew a stunning 7.8 percent.” Well, that could easily be taken as a good thing since that was the way it was reported. But most Filipinos probably reacted with raised eyebrows: “So?”
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 [...]