A Paper on the Philippine Economic Development On Social Services, Resource Allocation, and Poverty Submitted in partial fulfillment of the course Introduction to Economics De La Sale University, Manila Submitted by: Nadine Bernardino Minima Muriel Precious Eng Hazel Veined Introduction In our everyday living, it is inevitably observable that, indeed, the Philippines could not seem to escape from the cruel hands of poverty.
The Philippines is not Just way behind the other countries in terms of developing as a whole. It is, in fact, experiencing a number of unresolved macro and micro economic issues, and barely enough improvement seems to have been recorded. Whether you are in another country, in your back yard, or even at the comfort of your own home, the drastic undeniable traces of poverty are Just screaming at you – crying for help and begging for some real action.
As foreign as they may seem, these screams actually come from people you commonly encounter – be it the filthy residents beneath the bridges of Manila, the old garbage collector at your subdivision, the breast-feeding mother Just across the dumpiest, or even the hungry street children you oftentimes shoo away. Regardless of whether we recognize them or not, these people are considered to be the living proofs of how the Filipino nation has been for the past few decades. Somehow, they tell stories that we should have paid attention to long ago – stories of how and why we should take statistics and economics very seriously.
Let’s be blunt and straight-forward. The Philippines is in deep poverty, and such situation will continue if there wouldn’t be any noticeable improvements on our economic growth in the next few years. According to the National Statistical Coordination Board or NCSC (Sacramento, 2011), extensive poverty continues to burden the Philippines despite its gradual growth and development. The Philippines was said to have had a 7. 3 percent Gross Domestic Product (GAP) growth in 2010, yet this has obviously failed to free us from poverty. Even more, over 23. 1 million Filipinos up to present are still receiving salaries below 2 U.
S. Dollars per day, which most likely is barely enough to sustain a decent living for an ordinary Filipino family. General Ormolu Viral room NCSC also adds that the government should d nave minimized the count poverty incidence by approximately 2 percentage points every year in order for us to drastically cut in half, if not eliminate, poverty incidence by 2015. The country not meeting its target is, however, not much of a surprise for some economic analysts because figures really show such prediction. One of the main causes that economists have pinpointed is the Philippines’ heightened unemployment rate.
Because of the country’s high unemployment and underemployment rate, our economic growth has continued to move on a flat yet unsteady scale. Reports from the National Statistics Office (NSA) states that there has been approximately 18. 7 percent of underemployment since 2010. About 2. 9 million of Filipinos were unemployed and about 6. 8 million were underemployed in 2010. On an additional note, “employment growth in the Philippines slowed considerably in the second quarter of 2010, despite the faster economic growth that was achieved in the first quarter. (Sacramento, 2011) These figures are observable representations of a major employment issue in our country. Primarily, unemployment is not necessarily because of a deficiency or unavailability of enough Job opportunities but rather because Filipinos are being offered substandard occupations. Such employment feeds on the vulnerability of desperate yet defenseless workers. Because the quality of Jobs available is suffering, he country is unable to produce substantial growth in its GAP.
The room for economic improvement is being hampered by the mere absence of a promising industry – something that primarily acts as the determining factor of a country’s success. Accordingly, therefore, unemployment is inevitably connected with poverty mainly because it is the root of a hampered economic growth and an oppression of the unarmed and powerless normalized families and individuals. With this, there appears to have a considerable need of patching up social protection programs in order for the Philippines to uphold the rights and respond to the needs of the poor.
Statement of the Problem Over the past ten years, the growth of the Philippines as a country has remained to range along five percent – a development statistically higher than what has been achieved for the previous two decades. Thankfully, though, the Philippines is slowly trying to recover and regain macroeconomic stability in order to establish a stronger foundation for possible external shocks. Gradually, the country is also moving on towards a more profound relationship internationally, resulting to better currency stability and a healthy structure of international reserves and global connections.
Despite the positive aspects, however, “inclusive growth that benefits the poor has been a continuing challenge for the Philippines. ” (The World Bank, 2012) The primary problem this paper is trying to present revolves around the barely tolerable negligence of people towards the poor and the need to actually give Justice to their rights prior to a count economy. Level NAS remained at the same level for the past few decades, and only about one-fourth of the population has gone below the poverty line. A good governance and a promising economy must, in all cases, be inclusive of all members of the population of a country – something that the
Philippines has failed to do. Even if statistics have shown that the country, although slowly, is actually progressing, failure to uplift the entire population’s way of life still equates to a bad governance. The main challenge now is to allocate goods “wisely’ – meaning effectively and strategically – despite the heightening scarcity of resources. Because the government has put business, infrastructure, and public-private partnerships as their top three priorities, investing capital in social protection for the poor – be it in terms of health, education, or security – becomes a mere option. The world sank, 2012) In other words, there is a call to promote and advocate for “equal access to development opportunities through better education, primary health care and nutrition, and other basic social services” especially for the poor. Even more, “establishing effective and responsive social protection to protect and enable those who do not have the capability to participate in economic growth process” is also of great significance to the study. The World Bank, 2012) A few years ago, before President Benign Aquinas Ill was put to his throne, we could recall that he has insisted on an agenda of transparency and accountability, civil society participation, and anti-corruption. Even more, he has also been accountable to reduce poverty level and to provide a provision of social services that includes not just the “majority’ but “everyone” to benefit from. However, according to Arnold Patella (2012), a Filipino activist and researcher, the Philippines, there seems to be a discrepancy between what he has promised and what is currently happening.
For instance, the original 2013 budget proposal by the government is said to be intended especially for the normalized with extensively wider allocation for social services and conditional cash transfer (ACT) budgets. On the contrary, looking at the data monitored by Millennium Development Goals (Meds) and at the measurable indicators such as those provided by the NCSC, it is very evident that the Philippines continues to fail meeting basic health and education needs of the Filipinos.
The reason behind this failure is because while the government struggles to uplift the coverage of public health and education, it neglects “to ensure the sustained and greater access of the poor to these services. ” While the Aquinas administration strives its hardest in increasing the allocation for social services and pushing for its 2013 edged proposal in the past two years, the real urgent and necessary social services needs of people are being disregarded. Social services remain insufficient for “inclusively’ everyone – meaning that the regardless of social status, all of the population should have access to the said resources. Patella, 2012) Problem Analysis In order to effectively understand the essence of our study, we must first and tremors emphasize on the three doctors that make up our central idea that social services, poverty, unemployment, and misapplication of resources are the primary causes of a bad governance and, eventually, a bad economy. Below are the following points we would like to address. A. Poverty The graph below depicts the poverty trend in the Philippines from 1985 to 2006. The data below is the latest available data on how the poverty level in our country has behaved for the past few years.
Basically, it shows a trend of “both the number of poor and poor citizens as a percent of the total population. ” (Ranged Philippines, 2010) According to our research, among the Association of South East Asian Nations (SEAN) countries, “the Philippines has the most persistent incidence of poverty (defined as living on less than US $ 1. 5 a day). By even pursuing with this kind of poverty trend direction, our country now has a higher poverty incidence even greater than Vietnam and Indonesia. (Ranged Philippines, 2010) On the other hand, the graph above shows the degree of hunger in households in the Philippines from 1998 to 2010.
This hunger, primarily, is characterized by severe hunger, an inadequate diet and malnourishment. This graph was obtained from a “September 2010 poll that counted 16% of households equivalent to some three million families – claiming to have had nothing to eat at least once in the past three months. (Ranged Philippines, 2010) In addition, the graph above portrays the slum population of the Philippines as part of its urban population. The graph not only shows that of our country but also of the neighboring countries included in the SEAN, namely India, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, and Thailand.
As we cent see from the graph, “the Philippines has the highest percentage of slum population as a percent of it urban population among six Asian countries. ” Like the other graphs, this is another proof that, indeed, the Philippines is and continues to be in poverty. (Ranged Philippines, 2010) B. Social Services A few good examples of social services that should be available to “everyone” inclusively is financial assistance, health insurance, and other security systems. The graph below shows how most Filipinos manage their financial problems through relatives who are better off in terms of financial capabilities. The SSL and ASS provide retirement payments and loans to public and private sector employees. Health insurance may not be that popular, but the government insurance coverage in the country have expanded to cover higher percentages of the population. As of the resent, these services are still being improved in order to be available and easily accessible to all of the Philippine population. (Ranged Philippines, 2010) The trend line below, on the other hand, pertains to the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philately) membership rates since 1997 up to 2010.
As we can see below, the Philately membership growth has developed stability since 1997. It has even reached “50% of the labor force in 2008 after a decade of operation. Likewise, benefits trot programs like these are based on the standards to developed countries. However, it remains to exclude the majority of the population which, armorial, is composed of the poor. (Ranged Philippines, 2010) Proposed Solution Fundamentally, the key problem that has been identified in the entire course of this paper is the inadequacy of social services because of poverty and the ineffective allocation of resources.
Accordingly, therefore, the solution we are proposing is rooted upon the assumption that everyone must have the right to a decent standard living. Analyzing the case of our current administration, the biggest reason we could infer on why the government could not provide sufficient and quality education, health, housing, and other basic necessities is cause the country’s public resources are being allocated for debt servicing which has concurrently amounted to more than PH 60 billion every month.
Basic human rights are also included in an individual’s right to the access of quality social services and the right to a decent standard living. Accordingly, the administration is obliged to exert all of its efforts in establishing an environment that frees the country from poverty, gives “inclusively’ everyone the universal access to all possible social services, provides quality Job opportunities, and allocates sufficient resources to fund public / common goods such as health, education, and infrastructure.
Furthermore, this right should never be used for selfish reasons such as unreasonable greed for money. Selfishly obtaining money after educating children is a total “distortion of the concept of human rights. ” Somehow, it also disrupts the right to social services and to a decent living by pushing the poor towards committing something bad against their will and eventually increasing societal evil. Whether it is on purpose or not, this so- called “societal evil” benefits only the rich sector of the community.
What gets left Enid is a feast for the poor – something that shouldn’t really be, because we should all aim for equality in the society. The key to resolve this problem is basically to increase not Just the number but also the quality and accessibility of our social services. We propose that the strategic planning and execution of programs used by the Asian Development Bank (ADS) could help the Philippines upgrade its social protection programs to make them more efficient and available most especially to the poor.
Even more, because DAB was moved by the situation of our country, they wanted to help us uplift our economic status. According to Mr.. Chris Spoor, Senior Education Economist at Dad’s Southeast Asia Department, “By addressing leakage, inefficiency, and misalignment under the current fractured social protection programs, the government can provide a better safety net against short term vulnerabilities, and break the longer-term vicious cycle of cross-cutting, and often inter-generational poverty. (Asian Development Bank, 2012) Conclusion country Regardless to ethnicity, race, religion, or culture, the primary goal to any is, of course, to achieve good governance and aim for the betterment of their countrymen. The current administration’s extensive attention for corruption is meant not only to uplift our international economic standing in terms of domestic and foreign investors, but also to improve the quality of social services being offered and at the same time decrease the country’s poverty level through a more transparent and accountable governance.
Underlying this so-called “transparent and accountable” governance is the assumption that for a country to achieve stability and economic confidence, its leaders should give voice to its people and have their opinion be heard and considered at all decisions. In order to address challenges on attaining inclusive growth, eliminating (or, rather, minimizing) poverty, and allocating goods “wisely,” the government should then use powerful media to communicate effectively with the citizens – be it about reforms, news updates, or even innovative cavities.
The government should be effective in providing employment opportunities, preserving equality in terms of social services, promoting a healthy competition, and establishing a responsive social protection especially to those citizens who do not have the capacity to contribute to the country’s “economic growth process. ” The goal, then, is to help the government pinpoint fundamental worth and longer policy reforms, rethink on a more strategically structured allocation of resources, and construct enhanced programs directed towards delivering and maintaining a strong social protection system.