Tag Archives: Economy of the Philippines

[Press Release] PH economy at high risk from natural disasters -climaterealityproject.org

PH economy at high risk from natural disasters
Climate group calls for genuine sustainable development platform

Manila, Philippines – The emerging growing economy of the Philippines is at highest risk in falling out due to natural hazards according to the 2nd Natural Hazards Risk Atlas released by Maplecroft, a global risk research institution.

“Bangladesh, the Philippines, Myanmar, India and Viet Nam are among the ten countries with the greatest proportion of their economic output exposed to natural hazards. In addition, they also demonstrate poor capability to recover from a significant event exposing investments in those countries to risk of supply chain and market disruptions,” Maplecroft statement said.

“High exposure to natural hazards in these countries are compounded by a lack of resilience to combat the effects of a disaster should one emerge,” explains Maplecroft’s Head of Maps and Indices Helen Hodge. “Given the exposure of key financial and manufacturing centres, the occurrence of a major event would be very likely to have significant impacts on the total economic output of these countries, as well as foreign business.”

Maplecroft said that the “Philippines’ resilience to natural hazards has been tested over recent days, with severe floods affecting the northern island of Luzon, including the capital Manila. At the time of writing nearly 2.7 million people have been affected by the floods which have killed at least 66 people. Large sections of the Philippine economy are exposed to typhoons, volcanic activity, landslides, floods and storm surges; a fact reflected by the 274 recorded disasters over the last 20 years.”

An official statement from Malacanang Palace stated that “the Philippine economy grew by 5.9% in the second quarter of 2012, outpacing most of the economies in Asia. The gross domestic product growth for the second quarter was way above the Asean preliminary average growth rate of 4.7% and higher than the industry forecast of 5.4%.”

“The growing economy of the Philippines seems to be good news for everyone, however, if the whole country is exposed to natural hazards with development platforms which induce vulnerabilities of communities instead of promoting resiliency, definitely the economy which is meant to be pro-people will fall down,” said Rodne Galicha, Philippine District Manager of The Climate Reality Project (TCRP), a global movement based in Wasington, DC, with 5 million members and supporters worldwide.

“We see more coal-fired power plants planned to be opened; mountains, seas and agricultural lands being exploited for mining; land conversions giving way to large subdivisions and mono-culture plantations – all these, resulting to the depletion of natural resources and biodiversity, are hypocrisies yet to be addressed under the shadows of fake sustainability,” said Galicha.

TCRP Filipino Climate Leaders, joining climate alliance Aksyon Klima, are calling for a genuine development platform to promote disaster resilient communities in the country by adhering to the basic principles of sustainable development which the United Nations’ Brundtland Commission defines as meeting ‘the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’.

“The Philippines has been respected worldwide for pioneering sustainable development in its policies such as the Philippine Strategy for Sustainable Development and Philippine Agenda 21 but we have seen a gradual deviation of economic plans from the very essence of the agenda despite new laws like the Climate Change Act, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act and the People’s Survival Fund,” said Miguel Magalang, climate leader, Executive Director of Marinduque Council for Environmental Concerns (MACEC), and private sector representative to the Regional Development Council of MIMAROPA.

Magalang assessed that the deviation from the principles of Philippine Agenda 21 is the result of a lack of understanding of the real objectives of sustainability especially in the time of climate crisis.

“The path to development should not be governed by an economy which aggravates exposures and vulnerabilities to climate hazards and disasters – we should learn our lessons from the realities we have been experiencing – high level of precipitation, unpredictable intensities of storms, floods, landslides. Does our economic platform address all these?,” said Magalang.

The Climate Leaders also recommends that “disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation initiatives should not be standalone ones but should form integral part of an integrated and sustainable development framework. There is also a need to come up with a convergent institutional framework in the local governments that would push for the whole sustainable development platform. Local development councils from barangays to the regional level should be reoriented and reorganized as local sustainable development councils where all other councils, bodies and committees in the local governments are clustered under one umbrella. This will result in dovetailing of plans and savings in time resources because local chief executives will need only to preside in one meeting.”

“Together with Aksyon Klima, the Climate Leaders will continue to engage with the Climate Change Commission (CCC) and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to further our quest for a genuine platform which will address the needs of the present Philippines without compromising the survival of the next generations in the spirit of environmental sustainability and climate justice,” Galicha concluded.

The Climate Reality Project is bringing the facts about the climate crisis into the mainstream and engaging the public in conversation about how to solve it. We help citizens around the world discover the truth and take meaningful steps to bring about change. Founded and chaired by Al Gore, Nobel Laureate and former Vice President of the United States, The Climate Reality Project has more than 5 million members and supporters worldwide. It is guided by one simple truth: The climate crisis is real and we know how to solve it.

For more information:
Rodne Galicha, kalikasan101@gmail.com (http://presenters.climaterealityproject.org/presenter/rodne-galicha_2079)
Miguel Magalang, marinduque.macec@yahoo.com (http://www.slideshare.net/pwyp/myke-magalang-pwyp-montreal-conference-2009)

Maplecroft: http://maplecroft.com/about/news/nha_2012.html
Philippine Economy: http://president.gov.ph/daang_matuwid/philippines-improves-by-10-places-in-global-competitive-index/
The Climate Reality Project: http://climaterealityproject.org

PRESS RELEASE
September 7/8, 2012

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[Press Release] Slow second quarter growth shows economy not on path of high growth -IBON

SLOW SECOND QUARTER GROWTH SHOWS ECONOMY NOT ON PATH OF HIGH GROWTH

The slowing growth of the Philippine economy in the second quarter of the year affirms its unresolved weaknesses and the need for more out-of-the-box policy reforms. According to research group IBON, the service sector was still the main source of growth rather than the more directly productive agricultural and manufacturing sectors, which both slowed this quarter.

Gross domestic product (GDP) grew 5.9% in the second quarter, which brought first semester growth to 6.1 percent. But the persistent weakness of the economy is highlighted by how seasonally adjusted quarter-on-quarter GDP growth was only 0.2% which is the worst performance in thirteen quarters since the negative 2.4% growth in the first quarter of 2009.According to IBON, the slowdown affirms how the economy is not on any kind of high growth path.

The inclusiveness and sustainability of growth is undermined by how the important agriculture and manufacturing sectors both significantly slowed. One out of three jobs was in agriculture but the sector only grew a tepid 0.7% in the second quarter; first semester growth fell to 0.8% from 6.3% in the same period last year. Manufacturing in turn slowed to 4% in the second quarter which pulled first semester growth down to 5% from 6.9% in the first semester last year. The sector is able to generate less and less employment and accounted for less than one out of ten (8%) jobs in the economy, which is much less than in the late 1950s.

The research group noted that the services sector contributed the most to growth. The biggest part of this growth however came from the very low value-added and low-paying trade subsector, which grew more rapidly at 7.3% in the second quarter from 2.5% last year.

The apparent pessimism of the private sector meanwhile belies the hype about the supposedly dynamic impact on the economy of ‘good governance’. IBON noted that private investment is weakening. Faster second quarter 8.7% growth in durable equipment was still not enough to offset the poor first quarter performance. Moreover, first semester growth of 6.7% was still much slower than the 10.6% in the same period last year. Construction picked up to 9.2% in the second quarter, from a negative 21.5% in the same period last year, but this was wholly accounted for by the government. Private construction in the first quarter contracted by 2.6% from 10.4% growth last year, which was only compensated by a large 45.7% growth rate in public construction.

According to IBON, this pattern of growth is consistent with how the quality of the jobs created has deteriorated. While one million jobs were generated between April 2011 and April 2012, this was wholly from part-time work which grew 2.5 million because full-time jobs fell by 1.6 million. The rising number of part-time and likely low-income workers has caused part-time work to increase to 16.2 million or over four out of ten (43%) jobs in the economy. There were also still 11.7 million unemployed (4.3 million, estimated using the old unemployment definition) and underemployed (7.4 million) Filipinos in April 2012, the group noted. (end)
IBON Foundation, Inc. is an independent development institution established in 1978 that provides research, education, publications, information work and advocacy support on socioeconomic issues.

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MEDIA RELEASE / 30 August 2012
IBON Foundation · 114 Timog Avenue, Quezon City Philippines
Phone: (632) 927-6986/927-7060 to 62 · Fax: 929-2496 · media@ibon.org · http://www.ibon.org
Reference: Mr Sonny Africa (IBON executive director)

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