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Jennifer Mae C.


Mr. Val Brillo

On the Philippines Socio-Economic Condition:
The Need for Subsidiarity and Emphasis on Common Good

According to an analysis on the Philippines socio-economic outlook, the Philippines is said to have
climbed seven notches in the latest Global Competitiveness Report of the World Economic Forum. We are said
to be Asias second fastest growing economy after China, with a growing nominal gross domestic product
(GDP) and an improved global competitiveness rank as well as high economic freedom and many closed gender
gaps since 2014. We are able to uplift our economy with the help of two main drivers, notably the Business
Process Outsourcing (BPO) sectors and the multi-billion remittances from Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).
While the World Bank and United Nations Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP)
forecast a steady GDP growth, the latest report by National Statistics Coordination Board (NSC), however,
suggests that poverty rates have remained virtually unchanged since 2006. There was also another study
indicating that as much as 1 million Filipinos have joined the ranks of the unemployed in early 2013.
From these, we can say that the Philippines is booming and the countrys macroeconomic profile is at its
peak but its growth is neither significantly poverty-alleviating nor job-generating. It has confined its economic
expansion to a few sectors including retail, real estate, and BPO, none of which tend to provide quality,
permanent jobs for the majority of the working force. It can be said that the Philippines has constantly presented
its developed sectors as frontiers for global economic paradigms, yet more than its half lies on the verge of
development as it plummets for growth and sustenance. The Aquino administration was said to address the
countrys economic challenges, one of which is extreme poverty, through the expansion of the Conditional Cash
Transfer (CCT) scheme, which provides financial benefits to the lower sectors in exchange of performancebased improvements in crucial areas such as education.
Regarding the governments response to our current socio-economic condition, it is one thing to provide
financial support to the indigent sectors of our society, yet it is another thing to empower people in helping them
to help themselves sustainably and efficiently, that is by first establishing a baseline of human dignity through
work and other productive measures of growth and self-fulfillment.
Human dignity becomes an essential element in human empowerment. In citing poverty, it is not the
lack of money that predominantly causes it. It is actually the loss of human dignity which forces people to live
in declining standards with the crumbling of value systems and the domination of chaos and anarchy. The poor
lose their capacity to dream and work towards achieving their dreams as they are de-humanized and stripped of
their natural nobility.
In empowering our nation and economy, philanthropy needs to be directed towards creating possibilities
for the poor through localized projects and organizations that focus on supporting the people from within the
core of their communities. Church, labor unions, and other localized organizations should be used to help the
people obtain the means to support themselves. This is better than providing centralized projects that only aim
to address immediate concerns in compromising sustainability.
As we achieve these goals, each must work hand in hand as one nation aiming towards the betterment of
their country. Throughout time we have seen how the divisiveness of our nation has caused the proliferation of
the cycle of poverty as we work towards the path of individual gain and achievement without a conscious effort
to work for the common good. We see politics, religion, socio-economic class and ideology divide the country
as we pride on our own ambitions, self-interest, family, and material wealth in turning a blind eye towards many
others who are in need. In light of this, we need to relive more of our capacity towards nation building in
returning to our inherent culture of bayanihan as a community working for the greater good.