5 Moves the Philippines Should Make to Uplift its Economy
Dr. Bernardo M. Villegas, a Filipino writer, and economist shared in a talk titled “Prospects for the Philippine Economy” his perspective as to where our economy is at the moment, how it’s progressing, speculations as to where it will reach, and what will push it forward.
Overall, he said that the 20th century was known as the American Century; where three powers had the fastest growing economy: USA, Europe, and Japan. Because of a multitude of reasons, these powers declined in their growth.
Europe slowed down because of messy politics, multiple countries becoming burdens, and an aging population. Japan declined mainly because of its aging population and its resistance to accepting expatriates. The USA is experiencing stable growth. This means that they aren’t falling behind, but they aren’t growing as powerfully as the emerging markets.
After discussing the previous century, he stated that our current century, the 21st century, should be known as the Asian Century. This is because the three global powers that are in the lead come from Asia – these are: China, India, and the ASEAN.
He continued by discussing how the Philippines can surge past its neighboring countries by performing five key moves. These can be read below.
Strengthening Domestic Security
For Dr. Villegas, security isn’t limited to physical security. He believes that we need to heighten the security for food, water, financial, as well as other aspects.
Although it wasn’t his strongest point, he believed that by strengthening our security measures; people, both local and international, will start trusting our government more. Essentially, this may lead to more investors and tourists boosting our overall revenue.
There are multiple ways that Filipinos, both in the government and from the private sector, can improve the current state of our tourist attractions. The most recommended action we should make is, of course, leaving the nothing behind but our footsteps.
However, more than doing our part for the environment, proper investment can boost our tourism, which in turn affects our economic growth. The reason why investing wisely in tourism is a good move for any entrepreneur is because of the large number of tourists we have every year. This includes domestic as well as foreign tourists.
One of the most cost-effective ways people can invest is actually giving tourists affordable choices for their trips. Most people travel because of scenery, not their hotels. Charging exorbitant amounts for a place tourists barely care about has a negative side effect. The traveler will start telling his/her friends that they shouldn’t visit a place because of the price.
Improve Transportation Infrastructure
Currently, the Philippine government, along with private beneficiaries, have multiple projects to improve commuter experience. This includes roads, trains, and ferry systems.
Why is this beneficial for the economy? As long as at least half of the proposed projects push through, the financial transactions that take place are healthy for the economy. This would be the hustle and bustle created due to the increase of blue collar jobs and the movement of funds from owners to communities.
Dr. Villegas stated that without a doubt, the Philippines is falling behind in terms of agriculture compared to its neighboring ASEAN countries. To catch up, the farmers should receive support from the Philippine government as well as other institutions. This support should be in the form of technology, improved irrigation systems, and again, developing proper infrastructures.
Aside from this, farmers should become more strategic in their produce. They should plant more luxury crops that those abroad are sure to buy.
No to Population Control
This move is quite controversial. Most developed or developing countries have implemented population control systems either in the past or currently. Studies, according to Dr. Villegas, quite clearly show that there’s a correlation between the deceleration of economic growth and population control.
He pointed out that there’s a common denominator between the populations of China, Japan, Singapore, and a good number of European countries; more citizens are either seniors or nearing senior years as compared to those in their twenties.
While these countries have seen the damage of population control or even the disinterest of people in raising a child and are now executing measures to encourage their citizens to procreate – it’s a little late. The damage has been done and their economic growth is suffering because of it.
However, with our country, quite the opposite should be done. Rather than looking at large impoverished families as burdens to our nation, we should instead change our approach. Through proper support and guidance, these families can be a great asset.
Not only does a supportive approach give the impoverished opportunities to grow, this properly guided human capital will definitely help accelerate economic growth and eventually lessen or bridge the gap between the rich and poor, which is why we want to develop our economy in the first place.
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