Archive for the ‘Philippines Lagging’ Category

Filipino Youth Worse Off Than Peers in Asia, Africa

By Cheryl M. Arcibal ( | Updated April 4, 2014 – 4:02pm

MANILA, Philippines – The Filipino youth are worse off than their counterparts in countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Morocco, and Ghana, – countries, like the Philippines, that are also classified as “lower-middle income” – a study said.

According to the Global Youth Wellbeing Index, released by the US-based think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies, the global youth organization International Youth Fellowship, with the Hilton Worldwide, the Philippines placed 22nd among 30 countries included in the rankings.
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Philippines Lags Behind SEA Neighbors in Hunger in 2013

The Catholic Basketcase country the Philippines again was shown to be lagging behind most of its more progressive neighbors in South East Asia. The Philippines was found to be in 6th place out of 9 countries measured in the “2013 Global Hunger Index” released by the organization, “International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)”, lagging behind Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia, bettering only Cambodia, Laos and Timor Leste. Data for Myanmar was unavailable for this year, though.

Here is the Global Hunger Index (GHI) per South East Asian country:
1) Singapore = 0
2) Malaysia = 5.5
3) Thailand = 5.8
4) Vietnam = 7.7
5) Indonesia = 10.1
6) Philippines = 13.2
7) Cambodia = 16.8
8) Laos = 18.7
9) Timor Leste = 29.6
Myanmar = No data

For more information about the topic, please proceed to the official IFPRI website:

SOURCE: 2013_GHI_Data

Philippines Less Happy Than Progressive South East Asian Neighbors in 2013

The United Nations (UN) released their “World Happiness Report” for 2013[1], and one glaring fact from the list was how the Philippines was “less happy” than most of its more progressive South East Asian (SEA) neighbors, coming in at only 6th in the list. Here is the placing of SEA countries from the list:

30. Singapore
36. Thailand
56. Malaysia
63. Vietnam
76. Indonesia
92. Philippines
109. Laos
121. Myanmar
140. Cambodia

Little wonder, as in the Philippines, 1 out of 4 Filipinos is living below the Poverty Line. In fact, there is a real correlation between “Poverty Rate” and “Happiness Level” of countries in SEA as countries with less Poverty Rates are more “Happy” than countries with high Poverty Rates like ours. Here is the same SEA countries with their Poverty Rates[2]:

Singapore = 0%
Malaysia = 3.8%
Thailand = 8.1%
Indonesia = 12.5%
Vietnam = 14.5%
Laos = 26%
Philippines = 26.5%
Cambodia = 31%
Myanmar = 33%

So in effect, the Philippines is still near the bottom of countries in SEA in terms of Poverty Rate and Happiness Level, lumped with countries like Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. After such a long time, up to now the ONLY Catholic country in SEA is still, the SICK man of SEA …

[1] UN 2013 World Happiness Report,
[2] Index Mundi Country Comparison – Population below poverty line,

Ranks of Poor Workers Rising in Philippines – While Dwindling in China, Vietnam

By: Darwin G. Amojelar,
October 26, 2012 4:58 PM

Tondo squatters’ area in Manila is home to the city’s working poor. Photo by Bernard Testa

MANILA – Poor workers in other Asian countries are escaping poverty with greater success than their counterparts in the Philippines, according to the National Statistical Coordination Board.

“It is really not enough that we provide jobs to Filipinos, but more importantly, these should be quality jobs to ensure that they have enough income to eventually move out of poverty. Ang hirap naman na nagtatrabaho ka na nga, tapos mahirap ka pa rin!” said Jose Ramon G. Albert, NSCB secretary general.

According to Albert, the proportion of employed Filipinos living on less than $1 per day stood at 27.2 percent in 2006, higher than the 18.7 percent in 2003. In 1991, the country’s working poor comprised 37.1 percent of the population.

The Philippines has more poor workers than Vietnam, where 20.4 percent were considered in the same situation in 2006, down from 22.7 percent in 2004 and 71.5 percent in 1995. China’s working poor comprised 73.1 percent of the population in 1992, then went down to 18.3 percent in 2005.

“In both these countries, the share of employed persons in agriculture, forestry, and hunting has been decreasing while the share of those in manufacturing has been increasing. In other words, the poor (from agriculture) managed to exit from poverty by getting better employment,” Albert said, referring to the situations in Vietnam and China.

The Philippine manufacturing sector has suffered a declining share of total employment, with the services sector taking up the slack, Albert said.
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Hunger Plunges Everywhere in Southeast Asia, Except the Philippines

October 12, 2012, 1:28 AM SGT

By Eric Bellman

JAKARTA – The total number of chronically hungry people in Southeast Asia has plunged by close to 70 million in the last two decades thanks to economic growth and policies to feed the poor, but the number of people that regularly go to sleep with their stomachs growling in the Philippines has actually grown.

A United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization report this week showed the number of undernourished people in Southeast Asia fell a whopping 51% in the period between 1990 and this year. That was the biggest improvement of any of the regions the report surveyed.

Globally, the number of hungry people fell by only 13% during the same period, to 868 million people, according to the report, jointly published by the FAO, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Program Entitled the “State of Food Insecurity in the World 2012.”

“Among the regions, undernourishment in the past two decades decreased nearly 30% in Asia and the Pacific from 739 million to 563 million largely due to socio-economic progress,” the report said. “Despite population growth, the prevalence of undernourishment in the region decreased from 23.7% to 13.9%.”

The Philippines, however, saw the number of chronically hungry citizens rise. Back in the period between 1990 and 1992, the Philippines had around 15 million people considered undernourished. In the period between 2010 and 2012 the hungry horde had expanded 5% to 16 million. The only other Asian countries in the report that saw an increase in hungry people were Pakistan, Nepal and North Korea. The report did not include data from Myanmar.

While the percentage of hungry people in the Philippines has fallen from 24% in 1992 to 17% last year, the country’s high population growth rate has meant that even though a smaller slice of the populace doesn’t have enough food, the total number of undernourished has risen. The Philippines has more than 92 million people.
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PHL One of the Least Happy Countries in Asia, Global Study Shows

SHAIRA F. PANELA, GMA NEWS October 10, 2012 7:06pm

It’s more fun in the Philippines? A recent global study suggests otherwise, at least for people who have to live there.

The country has a reputation as a happy place with friendly people, but the 2012 World Happiness Report ranks the country among the least happy, or 103rd out of 155 surveyed countries worldwide. The report was published by Columbia University’s Earth Institute.

The rankings were based on a “life evaluation score,” which takes into account a range of factors, including good health, access to education, political freedom, quality of relationships, and trusting communities.

The top ten happiest nations, according to the study, were mostly in Northern Europe, a region with bitterly cold winters but apparently a high level of contentment, with Denmark number one, followed by Finland, Netherlands, and Norway. Canada is fifth. The United States is ranked 11th.

The happiness index refutes the common perception of an automatic correlation between contentment and level of income, asserting that is only one among a range of factors that determine a nation’s cumulative happiness. It does say that a high degree of happiness cannot be attained without minimum standards of material comfort.

The first-ever World Happiness Report issued this year follows up on suggestions from Bhutan to formulate a “Gross National Happiness” index as a measure of national progress, rather than the economy-centered Gross National Product, or GNP.

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A Tale of Two Countries: Family Planning in the Philippines and Thailand


By: Walden Bello
1:10 am | Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

Whenever students ask him if family planning is really essential in curbing population growth, Dr. Nibhon Debavalya, Thailand’s leading population expert, responds with a parable about Thailand and the Philippines. Interestingly, Meechai Viravaidya, the family planning and HIV-AIDS activist who received the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1994, answers the same question with the same story.

Same starting point, different outcomes

Essentially, the tale is how, starting from the same point in the early seventies, Thailand and the Philippines took separate routes, with contrasting results. Currently, Thailand has a much smaller population, a much bigger economy, fewer people living in poverty, and a better quality of life for the general population. What accounted for the difference? “Thailand,” says Nibhon, “took family planning seriously.”
Thailand had a slightly smaller GDP than the Philippines in 1975, but it had roughly the same population size, a high population growth rate, a high fertility rate, and a high proportion of people living under the poverty line.

Comparing the performance of Thailand and the Philippines over the last four decades, the following contrasts emerge: Thailand was able to radically reduce its population growth rate to 0.6 per cent while the Philippines inched down to 2.04 per cent in the period 1970 -2010.

During the period 1970-2008, Thailand’s GDP per capita grew by 4.4 per cent, while the Philippines’ grew by 1.4 per cent. By 2008, Thailand’s total GDP was US$273 billion while the Philippines’ was $167 billion.

By 2010, there were 93.6 million Filipinos, or over 20 million more than the 68.1 million Thais. This gap of 25.5 million is the demographic advantage enjoyed by Thailand—one that has made a vast difference in the economic performance and the quality of life of the people in the two countries. By 2008, owing partly to its demographic performance, Thailand’s GDP per capita was US$4,043 or more than twice that of the Philippines, which stood at $1,847. By 2010, only 9.6 per cent of Thais lived under the national poverty line while 26.4 per cent of Filipinos did.
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