By Mortz C. Ortigoza
Economic experts said the Philippines lags with South East Asian neighbours Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, and Singapore in terms of foreign direct investment (FDI).
|Filipinos breed like rabbits. PHOTO CREDIT: Rappler.com|
To cite data from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), it says our country in 2014 got U.S$ 6.2 billion foreign direct investment (FDI) only while FDI poured generously at the tune of $ 9.2 billion in Vietnam, $ 22.6 billion in Indonesia, $12.6 Thailand, and S67.5 billion in Singapore in the same year.
Philippines snared more foreign monies in South East Asia
Since we talk here about foreign monies that benefit our people, the Philippine was not a sissy, as many economics expert painted, on snaring FDI.
We are Top 2 after Singapore in the burgeoning South East Asian (SEA) economic alliance in getting foreign monies in and outside the Philippines.
Our country is a recipient of a staggering U.S $34.60 billion if we include the U.S $28.40 billion (World Bank) remittances sent by the millions of overseas foreign workers (OFWs), the ballyhooed economic saving grace of the country, in 2014.
So if Vietnam and Indonesia (second and third after the Philippines in the SEA region that send workers overseas) have U.S$21.20 billon and U.S$ 31.15 billion, respectively if we integrate the data from UNCTAD and the remittances list from the World Bank, the Philippines becomes No. 2 after Singapore by ranking who got the most foreign monies.
Despite being the Top 2, probably the first time you read from a columnist, why we are still poor versus Thailand and Singapore despite the $34.60 billion that entered the country and the 6.7 percent Gross Domestic Product last year – dubbed as one of the fastest economic growth engines in the world?
Pathetic Per Capita Income and 9.1 million unemployed
With a per capita income (PCI) of U.S $2,872.5 (World Bank, 2011-2014) versus Thailand and Singapore’s PCI of $5,977.4 and $ 56,284.6,respectively, we have 6.8 percent unemployment rate or 4, 228,852 unemployed in a labor force of 62, 189,000 according to the Philippine Statistics Office.
But the December 8, 2015 survey of the Social Weather Station said that 9.1 million Filipinos were unemployed.
PCI, by the way, is the mean money income received in the past 12 months computed for every man, woman, and child in a geographic area. It is derived by dividing the total income of all people 15 years old and over in a geographic area by the total population in that area.
This massive number of jobless, aggravated this year by the dropped of the prices of oil in the Middle East, and the runaway population explosion, where ironically the poor bear more children than the moneyed, would aggravate the economic stocks of the poor in the Philippines.
Aggressively Promote Population Control
To arrest the exploding demography, so there would be less poor Filipinos who will compete with the jobs brought by FDI, our growing manufacturing base, the jobs generated because of the remittances of the OFWs, and the business outsourcing firms, the government should aggressively promote population control by giving contraceptives to the people.
But if these dole-outs of condoms, pills, and others will smack head on with the legalities as provided by the Reproductive Health Law, the private sectors through foundations, can play a role on the promotion (just like Trust Condom promoted then on TV as advertisement) or their free distribution.
Let’s emulate Thailand how to reduce our population