Issues and Aspects of Development, Growth, Trade and Investment
Edited by Tran Van Hoa
Chapter 6: The Philippines' economic recovert: trends, issues and strategies for balanced growth
6. The Philippines’ economic recovery: trends, issues and strategies for balanced growth Ma. Rebecca Valenzuela 1 INTRODUCTION The financial turmoil that engulfed the Asian region in 1997 is now an old tale. Three years on, the region has bounced back and, by standard measures, is once again the world’s fastest growing region (World Bank, 2000). Notwithstanding the abrupt reversal of negative economic trends, the crisis continues to leave indelible marks on the lives of people in the affected economies of the region. Trends such as depressed living standards, increased incidence of poverty and a rise in ethnic conflicts – the social legacies of the crisis – will take a while longer to reverse, in spite of the combined resources of local and international governments and assistance agencies to minimize such impacts. But getting the individual economies back on a solid growth path remains the top priority in the hope that it not only offers a strong foundation for further growth but, more importantly, the ‘trickle down’ effect will pull many out of their depressed economic state and equip them with a greater capacity to participate, once again, in a dynamic growth process. As one of the crisis-affected economies, the Philippines has come out of the malaise with relatively little damage. Certainly, capital outflow increased dramatically, unemployment levels soared and prices increased in record magnitudes, but the numbers are generally considered not as bad as elsewhere. Consequently, short-term policy responses have not been as harsh and crippling, and the social backlash has been...
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