Posts Tagged ‘Indonesia’

Population and Jobs

Details Published on Thursday, 07 June 2012 00:00

‘It is a race between ever-increasing number of people and the ability of the economy to create jobs. The economy loses the race all the time.’

PRESIDENT Aquino is now being blamed for his failure to create enough jobs. The accusation is not exactly false, as it has not been false for all past presidents, except probably during the administrations in the commonwealth period up to the presidencies of Elpidio Quirino and Ramon Magsaysay.

It is not that they were more capable than their successors. It is simply the fact that in their time, fewer people needed jobs. Farmers used antiquated methods but by and large were able to feed their families.

Life was easy. My guess is that in those times the population was probably about 30 million, maybe even less. The soil was richer. The oceans, seas and rivers were clean for marine life to thrive and be sources of livelihood.

As the years wore on, the population increased unceasingly. There was so much pressure on everything. On food, natural resources, on land, forests, rivers and seas, even wild life.

The day came when the birth rate grew to almost 2 percent a year. Because the base became much larger, this easily translated to an estimated two million babies a year. Eighteen years from this year, two million people of age and willing to work will join the labor force.

In 15 years the total population may be expected to be about 120 million.
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Learning from Success

At Large

By: Rina Jimenez-David
Philippine Daily Inquirer
9:29 pm | Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

JAKARTA—Indonesia has been called the “smiling face of Islam.” Where the religion spread through much of the Middle East through military conquest, Islam in Indonesia (and in much of Southeast Asia) was brought in by Arab traders, proselytizing even as they were establishing commercial routes.

Which is not to say that Islam in Indonesia is “less Islamic.” I remember visiting the office of a judge in a Shariah court in Pakistan with women leaders from Southeast Asia. An Indonesian delegate remonstrated with the judge about his rather harsh interpretation of a point of law, and he asked: “What country do you come from? Are you even Muslim?” “Of course I am Muslim, I come from Indonesia!” she replied. “Oh, Indonesia,” said the judge with a smirk, “you aren’t real Muslims!”

We all left in a huff, and none was more irate than our Indonesian friend. Indonesia, after all, has the world’s largest Islamic population, and while Indonesian Muslims present to the world a gentle, smiling and tolerant face of Islam, they are no less religious, observant or loyal to their faith.
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Learning from Indonesia

By: Rina Jimenez-David
Philippine Daily Inquirer
9:19 pm | Monday, June 4th, 2012

JAKARTA—The last time I was in this city was 17 years ago, taking part in a regional meeting in preparation for the 1995 International Conference on Women.

Driving in from the airport, what I did notice was a city more spread out, with even more high-rise buildings and shopping malls than I remember.

I am in this city to take part in the fourth seminar of Women’s Edition, a gathering of women journalists organized by the US-based NGO Population Reference Bureau. We meet twice a year to acquaint ourselves with issues of population and family planning. This is the first time the group is meeting in Asia. We had previously gathered in Washington, DC, in Ethiopia and in Senegal, and I am so happy we are now in “my” part of the world. While my companions from the United States, Africa and other parts of Asia (India, Pakistan, Nepal, Cambodia) had to contend with visas on arrival, not to mention a lengthy tiring trip across the world, I breezed through immigration and had a stress-free travel through Singapore.

But not having set foot in Indonesia for more than a decade (save a brief visit to Bali a few years back), I also look on this trip as a voyage of discovery, or re-discovery. We travel to another province, Surabaya, two days from now, and I look forward to discovering a bit of the Indonesian countryside.

* * *

As part of our background briefings, we were given an article discussing the development and sustainability of Indonesia’s family planning program.

The author—Elizabeth Leahy Madsen of Washington, DC’s Wilson Center—describes the article series as tracking “the process of building political commitment in countries whose governments have made strong investments in family planning.”
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Indonesian Population Program; Lessons for the Philippines

By: Walden Bello
Philippine Daily Inquirer
12:59 am | Sunday, July 31st, 2011

The facts are clear. In terms of key economic and social indicators, the Philippines was ahead of Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam 40 years ago. Today, we are behind and face the dismal prospect of falling even farther behind in the next few years. And a major part of the reason is that in contrast to the Philippines, the three carried out successful population management programs. As a result, all three are now enjoying the dividends of effective family planning: rapid economic growth, decreasing poverty and a better quality of life.

We did not take the population challenge seriously. Our neighbors did.

Causal relationship
Indonesia is perhaps the clearest case of the causal relationship of population management to economic growth and poverty reduction. As Peter Miller, a leading family planning analyst with experience in Indonesia, told me, “family planning clearly preceded economic growth in Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia, but it is in Indonesia that the case is most clearly seen.”

Miller recalls going from an assignment in Bohol to Surabaya in Indonesia in 1975. Compared with Bohol then, Surabaya was desperately poor, with “the children lining the streets showing signs of severe malnutrition.” But what he found significant was that in contrast to Bohol, family planning was widely practiced.
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Poor Filipinos on the Rise Despite Growth — ADB

CHERYL ARCIBAL, GMANEWS.TV December 10, 2009 7:10pm

The number of poor Filipinos has been increasing despite relatively steady economic growth in recent years, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said.

In a study titled ‘Poverty in the Philippines: Causes, Constraints, and Opportunities,’ the Manila-based lender said the Philippine yearly poverty reduction rate of 0.47 percent between 1990 and 2005 was slower than in Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Only in the Philippines has the overall number of poor people increased during that period, it added.

The number could further rise as a result of the global economic crisis and recent increases in the poverty incidence, the ADB warned.

“Because of the current global economic crisis and recent increases in the poverty incidence, the goal of reducing the proportion of people living in extreme poverty may not be achieved,” it said.

The poorest provinces in the country are mostly located in Mindanao. These are Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga del Norte, Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Surigao del Norte, and Misamis Occidental. The other poorest provinces are Apayao, Masbate, Northern Samar and Abra.

Poverty trap
“For the Philippines, given the main assumption of gross domestic product growth rate of 1.6 percent and considering three scenarios, the poverty incidence will still be in the range of 21.1 percent to 28.7 percent by 2020. Unless the Philippine economy is able to shift to a higher growth trajectory, it might be stuck in a poverty trap,” the ADB said.
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How Shifts To Smaller Family Sizes Contributed To The Asian Miracle

July 3, 2006

Economists credit declining fertility, from the mid-1960s to the early 1990s, as a major contributor to sustained economic growth among the Asian Tigers—the economically vibrant nations of South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and the former Hong Kong Territory. Research indicates that shifts to smaller family sizes and slower rates of population growth played a key role in the creation of an educated workforce, the accumulation of household and government savings, the rise in wages, and the impressive growth of investments in manufacturing technology.

Asian Family Planning Programs Began Early

By 1965, each of the countries that would become Asian Tigers 20 years later had established family planning programs. U.S. technical assistance and training proved instrumental in improving family planning services in several East Asian countries, especially in South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia. Fertility declined as a combined result of investments in family planning services, an increase in the level of girls’ education, an increased rate of entry of women into the work force and delayed marriage.

By 1995 couples in six out of eight of the Asian Tigers were having fewer children on average than U.S. couples. Today fertility in South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Thailand is below two children per couple (the U.S. average is 2.1). In Indonesia (2.2 children per couple) and Malaysia (2.6 children per couple) fertility has fallen rapidly with increased access to modern contraception. Where the two-child family average persists, and where migration is not a factor, countries will ultimately reach a stable population.
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