Tuesday, March 1, 2016

What The Next President Needs To Do

The Philippine economy rose by an average of 6.2% under President Aquino’s stewardship. The highest was in 2010 at 7.63% with a low of 3.64 % the year after.As reported by CNN the Philippine’s economic growth of 6.5% was the fourth fastest in the world in 2015 behind China’s 6.8%, Qatar at 7.1% and India at 7.5%.A hard act to follow by the next president. The favourable economic momentum we enjoy today is still not on solid ground.

A wrong decision will negate the gains for the last six years, so the next president should have the economic savvy to sustain or surpass this figure. Let us take a look what Senator Grace Poe’s, a top presidential bet, platform of government for the economic growth of the Philippines if she wins. At the center of Senator Poe’s plan for the economy are three goals; removing hindrances to foreign investment to improve the industrial sector, government support to develop the agricultural sector, and the development of the service sector by climbing the value chain. Certain impediments such as he outdated Constitution, infrastructure tailbacks, difficulty in doing business and transparency as the obstructions. The industrial sector has the greatest capacity to create jobs.

Attracting foreign direct investments (FDIs) is the key to unlocking the full potential of the industrial sector. Compared to Vietnam and India which attracted $9.042 billion and $25.685 billion, respectively; the Philippines had a mere $6.2 billion in 2014.

 The agricultural sector has been neglected, Poe plans to channel a substantial chunk of the budget towards filling supply chain gaps. Funds will be allocated to roads, irrigation, food terminals, and technology transfer. The outdated constitution prohibits foreigners from engaging foreigners in businesses relating to mass media, architecture, chemistry, medicine, education and law. This has stunned the infusion of new technology.

Poe praised the IT-BPO industry to the $21.3 billion industry to date, but lamented on the pay of $20 per day compared to India’s $45 a day. This can be done through higher technological inputs like big data analytics, animation, and engineering process outsourcing which Pilipinos are capable of. The passage of the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill and the vigilance of the citizenry is needed to curb corruption, fight crime and remove culprits in the bureaucracy. For infrastructure, Poe’s intention is to build upon the PPP programs of this administration and the many projects in the pipeline. Her intention is to expedite the projects and will allot 7% of GDP in infrastructure development.


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