By Bernardo M. Villegas
A few analysts have been expressing doubts about the sustainability of the ongoing high growth of the Philippine economy. Taking a page from what happened in Thailand in 1997 or in China in the last two years, these doubting Thomases are spreading the “bubble” talk. They say there could be a bubble in OFW (overseas Filipino workers) remittances; or in the business process outsourcing sector; or in real estate. Let me treat each one of these present engines of growth.
For the past five years, the Philippines has dodged the recession plaguing the developed world mainly because of the billions of dollars sent home by some 10 million Filipinos living or working abroad. But the picture is no longer that rosy. Last week, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported that in March, remittances from overseas Filipinos grew at their slowest pace in nearly four years.
By Roberto F. de Ocampo
I had originally intended to compose a synopsis of a speech I delivered last Feb. 26 at the Second Annual Arangkada Forum of the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce, hoping thereby to make my life easier. However, the Management Association of the Philippines featured virtually the entire speech in the March 4 issue of the Inquirer, and while I felt honored, I also realized that my lazy ploy had been thwarted.
This is in reaction to Daet Bishop Gilbert Garcera’s remark about overpopulation benefiting the country in which he gave three reasons to support the statement (“Overpopulation good for Pinoys, says bishop,” Inquirer, 12/29/12). The first reason he gave was that as Christians, overseas Filipino workers are given the chance to take care of old people [...]
This is in reaction to Neal H. Cruz’s Jan. 4 column which made reference to the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG). He wrote “…In 26 years of hunting, PCGG officials probably pocketed more money in the form of salaries and allowances than what they have recovered.”