He says that without a strong family planning program that will address poverty, becoming a progressive country is just not possible.
He says that without a strong family planning program that will address poverty, becoming a progressive country is just not possible.Ramos cites another study, commissioned by the Asian Development Bank and released last year, that projected the Philippines to remain among a group of slowest-growing economies in Asia by 2050 given existing problems on poverty, weakness of institutions, and lack of investments, among others.A study recently published by multinational financial services firm HSBC says the Philippines, a middle-income country with about 26 percent of its population living below the poverty line, will be the 16th largest economy in the world by 2050.
De Vera opines that the problem of poverty, although a heavy burden, is easier to solve than the problem of not having enough people.
He says controlling population growth poses the serious threat of population aging and dwindling number of human resources, which many advanced economies now face.
“Our neighbors have been addressing the issue of poverty and investments.
At the rate we [the Philippines] are going, it is impossible for us to be more progressive than Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand by 2050,” says Pernia, who is an advocate of the RH bill.
Total investments, including those of locals, stood at only 15.6 percent of the Philippines’ gross domestic product in 2010.
This figure was inferior compared with Cambodia’s 17.2 percent, Malaysia’s 21 percent, Thailand’s 26 percent, Indonesia’s 32 percent, and Vietnam’s 39 percent.“The country’s biggest battle is not against terrorism; it’s against poverty,” the former chief executive opines.Winning the war against poverty will somehow alleviate tendencies for armed conflict, such as that seen in the southern part of the country, he explains.Some economists say the bill, which seeks to promote family planning, is long overdue and has been one of the missing pieces for faster economic growth; others thumb it down, cautioning against what they consider as its potentially adverse effects on the economy. The problem with the Philippines, he says, is that growth in its population is driven by poor households who cannot afford to provide education and other basic needs for their children.Consequently, he says, these children grow up finding difficulty in getting jobs and end up being poor themselves.Ramos says the study commissioned by the ADB should serve as a wake-up call for the Philippine government and the private sector to address pressing problems that continue preventing the country from catching up with its neighbors.War against poverty Ramos says the country, first and foremost, has to address the problem of poverty—adding that population management is a prudent way to do it—if it is to become one of the most progressive economies.Meantime, there are also economists who agreed with the HSBC’s claim that a growing population will help the country’s efforts toward progress.Bernardo De Vera, economics professor from the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P), an Opus Dei institution, which opposes the RH bill, says that before one harps on the significance of quality over quantity of population, the point that a sufficient number of population is needed to run an economy should first be established.This trend leads to the problem of inter-generational poverty, he says.‘Shoddy’ “It seems that HSBC, in drawing its conclusion, just considered the size of the population, completely ignoring the fact that for a labor force to become an asset, it must be educated,” Pernia says, describing the conclusion of the HSBC study as “shoddy.” Pernia says policymakers should acknowledge that resources—both of private households and the government—are just not enough to educate all Filipino children.