Philippines: No Other Place But Up

The Philippines is considered one of the fastest growing economies in Southeast Asia. As of 21st century, the country is a member in several international organizations’ including the APEC, Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and World Trade Organization (WTO). In addition the Philippines also have a lot of trading partners and trade agreements. Though, the Philippines have suffered negative balance of trade for many years. In January of 2013, the Balance of Trade for the Philippines registered a deficit of $714 million from $1. 10 billion deficit in the same period last year. This was due to the 8. 0 percent downward trend of total imports from $5. 134 billion to $4. 725 billion in January 2013.

Furthermore, the country’s total merchandise imports for January 2013 declined by 8. 0 percent compared to same month a year ago from $5. 134 billion to $4. 725 billion. Accounting for 24. 4 percent of the aggregate import bill, payments for Electronic Products in January 2013 amounted to $1. 150 billion. Imports of Mineral Fuels, Lubricants and Related Materials in January 2013 ranked second with 19. percent share and posted the highest negative annual growth rate of 30. 0 percent among the top ten imports for January 2013. This shows that the Philippines trade deficit has narrow. Under the new Aquino administration, the government plans to open up the country to more foreign investment in industries such as business processing operations, mining and tourism. The Philippines liberalizing its trade can attract many foreign investors that can open many doors of opportunities to the Philippines citizens.

With countries investing more in the Philippines there would be many job openings that will be a great help to support the welfare of the people. Though, the Philippines can also suffer, due to the Philippines accepting the investment of other country their products would also be sold in our local market that can weakened the demand for our local products. In addition because factories would also be established in the Philippines territory the waste from those factories can affect our environment. In 2010, the Philippines have acquired debt totaling to US$60. 048 million dollars.

With that like any other government the budget that is supposed to be for education, health, agriculture and other development program of the Philippines is being spent to pay those debt. A great hindrance for the country’s sustainable development because those money are properly use in investing in the welfare of the Filipinos and not through paying the debt are country have the dependency of the citizens to the government may lessen. If the government would spend more money to the education of the youth in the Philippines they would be able to find easily or create their own welfare.

But we should not forget that the Philippines will not attain sustainable development just focusing on one sector. Philippines should also ensure to strengthen its funding in the health sector of the country, because without a healthy body how can we study and work. Given these reasons the Philippines is losing so much money that can help the Filipinos welfare. A report conducted by Moody’s Investor service, they reported that the Philippines credit rating has risen from two notches to just one notch.

With a new rating from Moody’s Investor Service, the Philippines expects to make the last step toward investment grade soon says Remo. Moody’s said the improved assessment of the creditworthiness of the Philippines was based on its healthy pace of growth, improving fiscal performance of the national government, stable banking sector and projected ability to keep a robust pace of economic expansion over the

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medium term. Purisima noted that Moody’s decision was the ninth positive action that the Philippines got from various credit rating agencies since President Aquino took office in 2010.

Moody’s said the latest credit rating of the Philippines, which applies to debts denominated in local and foreign currencies, was assigned a “stable” outlook. With the reserves, higher than the combined foreign debts of private firms and government entities, the Philippines can pay debts to foreign creditors as they come due. The rise of the peso and the decline in interest rates, both of which are credited for improved investor sentiment, helped cause the decline in the government’s debt stock over the years, according to finance officials.

The upgrade in credit rating came following the 10-notch jump in ranking from 76th to 66th out of 144 countries by the Philippines in the global competitiveness report that the World Economic Forum released last month. Even though the Philippines were able to acquire these outcomes the Philippines should not relax. The government must ensure that we won’t repeat history again as what happened to Thailand that brought forth the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997. Foreign Investors should not suddenly back out from their investment like what happened to Thailand.

Given these the government must also ensure that local produce from the country should not be completely ousted by foreign products from the country’s import because it may be a hindrance to the Filipinos instead of it helping them. Lastly, the government should also take measure on the country’s environment not just the country’s economy. Foreign direct investments (FDI) breached the $2-billion mark last year, the first time it did so in the past five years, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported yesterday. FDI register a net inflow of $2. 033 billion last year, up by almost 10 percent from $1. 52 billion the previous year. “The country continued to benefit from strong foreign investors’ confidence in the resilience of the domestic economy, given strong economic growth amid low and stable inflation as well as strong external payments dynamics,” the BSP said in a statement. Figures showed this segment reversed to a net outflow of $373 million last year from a net inflow of $311 million. The Aquino administration targets reaching investment grade this year in a bid to lower debt interest payments and attract more foreign investors to the country.

Though the Philippines benefits from TNC’s there is also the other side of the coin. Many Filipino workers for these TNC’s tend to exploited by not paying them the right amount of wage and not providing them sss, health care and other worker’s needs. Also as I always say the government should not endangered the Philippines environment just to make our economy stable this in regards in our trade agreement with Japan. The Philippines continues to rank relatively higher in human development than other ASEAN member countries and is also making progress in the attainment of the millennium development goals (MDGs).

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) cited the 2013 Human Development Report of the United Nations Development Program ranking the Philippines 114 among 187 countries, with a medium Human Development Index (HDI) at 0. 654 as of 2012. Wherein, the country is enjoying a satisfactory result of the literacy rate in the Philippines with 97. 8 % of the youth were able to read and write as of 2008. In addition access to clean water in rural area where almost 92 % percent indicating that almost all Filipinos were able to drink clean water. In 2010 it is recorded that the life expectancy of the Filipinos is 69 years old.

The government war able to achieve these feet because of the good governance our current government is implementing. A good example for this is P-NOY’s action in eradicating corrupt officials like former Chief Justice Corona removal and former Pres. Arroyo pending case. With the government’s money being used properly to aid those in need. The good name left by former Pres. Corazon Aquino and the governance his son is showing foreign investors tend to invest in the Philippines. To conclude, even though the Philippines is somehow at its peak in attaining a stable economy.

We should still be careful on trade agreements we sign because a lot of these more beneficial to our counterpart in the agreement. Though it provides the Philippines job openings we also acquire imports that endangers our local produce. Also for the Philippines to continue on going up the marginalized sector should also be able to feel it, because with foreign investor investing on things most likely only the rich can afford how would the marginalized people appreciate those investment. That’s when the marginalized people benefited from these investment I can say that the Philippines has reached sustainable development.

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