May 31, 2010 in Featured
By ALDWIN QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — The independent think tank Ibon Data Foundation on its website said the 7.3% reported growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first quarter this year is not really good news.
It does not have a meaningful impact on the unemployment and poor quality of work in the country. This is in response to the claim of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA). NEDA said the 7.3% growth is the highest in 3 decades.
According to Ibon, the outgoing government of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has the dubious distinction of presiding over both the fastest economic growth and the worst unemployment since the administration of Ferdinand Marcos. Ibon added that the first quarter 2010 growth performance consolidates the Arroyo administration’s relatively rapid economic growth which had already averaged 4.5% over the period 2001-2009 or higher than during the previous administrations of Estrada which was 2.4% from 1998-2000, Ramos which was 3.8% from 1992-1997, and Aquino which was 3.9% from 1986-1991.
In the Ibon statistics, among those that recorded growths are the sector of manufacturing of oil products, electrical machinery and chemicals that are owned and operated by foreign companies. Meanwhile, Ibon said, the local manufacturing of textile and footwear that is supposedly in the position to create jobs for Filipinos is continuously dropping.
“Yet this apparently favorable growth performance has puzzlingly failed to meaningfully impact on unemployment. The Arroyo administration also has the worst record of joblessness with unemployment averaging some 11.2% annually over the period 2001-2009 compared to 10.4% under Estrada, 9.3% under Ramos, and 10.1% under Aquino,” said the Ibon.
The think tank said the so-called GDP growth is the fastest since the first quarter of 2000 but according to the survey of the National Statistics Office (NSO) on the labor force, there are at least 4 million jobless Filipinos. Ibon added that the economic growth failed to create jobs as the most dynamic sectors are mostly export-oriented that are not integrated into the local economy.
“For instance, among the fastest growing manufacturing subsectors that have driven growth are the petroleum products, electrical machinery, and chemicals which are moreover even heavily foreign-dominated. In contrast the subsectors which the underdeveloped economy is potentially in a better position to maximize such as footwear and textiles have continued to collapse. This lack of domestically-grounded industries is among the underlying factors causing record joblessness and driving millions of Filipinos abroad for work,” stated the Ibon.
Ibon said the incoming administration of President-elect Benigno “Noynoy’ Aquino III needs to know the fact that it is inheriting a poor economy where the Filipino people suffer most. “Sound socioeconomic reforms and a nationalist development agenda creating strong domestic industry and agriculture are needed. This also creates a stronger base for the country to face the inevitable next global economic shock,” Ibon concluded.# nordis.net