Sunday, May 22, 2011

Economic growth inadequate to compensate for runaway population growth in the Philippines!

Population Commission acting deputy executive director Rosalindo Marcelino went on record to state a big IF to qualify the notion that robust population growth can "contribute to economic development". According to Marcelino, population growth is a plus "only if your workforce is productive, skilled, educated and competitive."

She said the availability of jobs for workers also plays a factor in a country's growth, so the country's high unemployment rate of 7.1% in end-2010 is detrimental to its progress.

"If you do not have the capability to provide services and capacitate your population, your rising population numbers will not necessarily result in economic growth," she stressed.

And the fact remains quite stark, a truth that many Filipinos cannot handle...
The Philippines’ main export is millions of its skilled people, fleeing an economy that can’t offer enough jobs and can't provide wages high enough to compete in the world market.

Economic growth is often touted by people opposed to the passing of the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) Bill as the better initiative to focus on compared to controlling population growth. However, it's been pointed out that economic growth alone will not solve chronic impoverishment caused by overpopulation...
Supposing the Philippine government gives 100% ownership to foreign investors tomorrow and the latter came rushing in, how can these investors utilize uneducated and unskilled Filipinos? They can’t. The evidence speaks for itself. The Philippines is left behind not just because of the economic provisions but also because of a lot of factors, which include an uncontrolled population growth, which also results in a weak, spread-thin educational system.

This may sound too far-fetched but there are also some Filipinos who are worried that if we curb the population growth now, we might be faced with a scenario in the future of having a shortage of workers or laborers due to a reduced population. First of all, with a predominantly young population of 100 million (and growing fast), a shortage of labor remains a possibility too far out in the future (or just simply too far-out a scenario, to begin with). And even if, we find ourselves in that unlikely scenario of being in line with the First World’s shortage of skilled workers, then we can simply hire skilled migrants from overseas just like what First World countries are doing now. That scenario will be the sweetest revenge after being labeled OFWs for the longest time. [Full article]

Filipinos have a strong track record of exhibiting little talent for capitalising the wads of cash that have been poured into the country in the form of foreign aid and foreign investment over the last several decades. It puts the question the optimism played up by anti-RH Bill campaigners in what is supposedly the human resource "wealth" of the Philippines' 100-million strong population.

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