What on the economy did we do right?

May 2, 2019

 Let’s have something positive this time, and give a rest to ranting and mocking for a while. 


“The economy of Bicol region grew by 8.9% in 2018, faster than the 5.0% recorded in 2017. Consequently, the region surpassed all other regions nationwide in terms of economic growth,” Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Region 5 Director Cynthia Perdiz said.”  (https://pia.gov.ph)


Well, what do you know, something good is happening around these parts.  The news clip above was just confirmation of a late night news report I chanced upon a couple nights ago.  Let’s smack that in the faces of those who have made Bicol a synonym of source for domestic help and sex workers and for that time, the region was capital of incestuous rape, that time someone told me Bicol will never see progress because it is too prone to typhoons and volcanic eruptions, and recently when our barangay officials hogged the majority of the drug watch list, and that time President Duterte called Naga, “hotbed of shabu”.  Here’s to you all.  (hehehe)


Services and Agriculture, Hunting, Forestry and Fishing (AHFF) were the industries  which marked the highest growth.  (Wait a minute.  We’re big in hunting?  We have hunting here?  And it’s a top industry?  Okay, as long as it helps the people, I guess.)  


“Higher GRDP means higher domestic production. This means that more people are working to produce more products. That means more income and more opportunities to provide for their needs,” National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Region 5 Director Agnes E. Tolentino said.“  Let’s give it up for the Bicolano proletariat.  I knew all those malls are good for something grander than showing superheroes battling a mad titan with some stones on a big screen at the same time as Manila does.  Furthermore, it was noted that there has been a “substantial decrease in poverty incidence among Bicolanos to 28% in 2018 from 41.9% in 2015, along with the 94.5% employment rate in 2018.”  Alright now, let’s make some noise for the people of Bicol.  Work, work, work!


I know, I know.  You’re probably thinking, if those are all so, then why do we know of families in cramped shelters living off meager income of selling repacked chopped vegetables, and some families live all together (with the uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces and cousins) in limited spaces, with one breadwinner who has seasonal employment?  I don’t know.  News said that we had the fastest growing economy last year.  It didn’t say that Bicol has become a paradise.  Yes, there is still  a disheartening some 60%; but just take a look at the 15% that got off poverty.  Okay, yeah, right; that’s a mere quarter of the space of poverty to be filled in.  But not only can we say, “at least, we’re the fastest growing regional economy”, but we have the advantage of learning lessons from whatever it was we did right last year. 


What on earth did we do right last year? “The quality and quantity of available human resource can directly affect the growth of an economy.  The quality of human resource is dependent on its skills, creative abilities, training, and education. If the human resource of a country is well skilled and trained then the output would also be of high quality.”  That figures.  After all, services industry is considered as the highest contributor in the regional economic growth.  


“The efficient utilization or exploitation of natural resources depends on the skills and abilities of human resource, technology used and availability of funds. A country having skilled and educated workforce with rich natural resources takes the economy on the growth path.”  Perhaps we did well on this one; since agriculture, fishing and hunting was reportedly a booming industry last year.  


Capital formation which is the acquisition or production of land, building, machinery, power, transportation, and medium of communication, “increases the availability of capital per worker, which further increases capital/labor ratio. Consequently, the productivity of labor increases, which ultimately results in the increase in output and growth of the economy.”  (www.economicsdiscussion.net ) Did we do well on this one?  Have we had more buildings?  Well, I guess, business establishments seemed to have  sprung up here and there.  A few days ago, I took dinner at a spot which I recalled was a rice field back then; this after watching a movie at a large mall which used to be a massive vacant lot.  Have we gotten new machinery?  Have we acquired more power?  We just had a 12 hour power outage in our district, in the middle of summer, for crying out loud.  Do the e-trykes count?  They seem to be silently swarming all over the place.  


Whatever has it been, I hope we could continue doing it right.  


“An arrogant man stirs up strife, But he who trusts in the LORD will prosper.:”
Proverbs 28:25

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