PH Economic Growth Won’t Benefit Poor in Absence of Birth Control – UN Study

By Ronnel Domingo
Philippine Daily Inquirer First Posted 19:41:00 05/05/2011

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is seen to sustain post-crisis economic growth but this will be without development and (one) that increases poverty partly due to a large and expanding population, according to a new study from the United Nations.

Data from the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2011 show that growth of the domestic economy will ease from 7.3 percent in 2010 to a moderate 5.2 percent in 2011.

This is attributed to an expected dampening of remittances from overseas Filipinos which drive consumption in the country due to recent events in the Middle East and in Japan.

Renaud Meyer, director of the UN Development Program in the Philippines, noted that the fairly stable growth of the Philippine economy in the past 10 years has not made a significant dent in poverty.

Meyer gave keynote remarks in Thursday’s launch of the survey results held at the Astoria Plaza Hotel in Pasig City.

He said that even as income growth has not automatically translated into improvements in the welfare of the poor, the country’s growing population has become a “challenging concern”

Poverty in the Philippines may be explained in part by population growth, Meyer said. It is therefore imperative that a rational population management policy be enforced by the government immediately, despite vigorous opposition from vigorous lobby groups.

A proposed law on reproductive health remains pending in Congress amid impassioned debate between its supporters and those against it, mainly the Roman Catholic Church.

Further, Renaud said that economic growth in the past decade has not brought development and has been far from inclusive.

At worst, it is growth that increases poverty, benefiting few industries, few regions, and few sectors of society, he said.

The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, which released the study, called for economic policies that focus on creating opportunities for works in the formal and non-agricultural sectors to move into better jobs.

Considering that labor is one of the few assets of the poor, creating more and better jobs will help the poor earn their way out of poverty, the agency said.


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