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Will the Philippines Finally Become an Asian Tiger Economy?

We hope…but don’t hold your breath. We’ve been hearing a lot of rumblings about how great the Philippine economy is doing. Makati City skylineThe World Bank through its country director for the Philippines, Motoo Konishi stated that "The Philippines is no longer the sick man of Asia, but a rising tiger." And lately there are plenty of bright spots to point to, the most important of which is the country’s GDP (gross domestic product) growth: 6.6 percent in 2012—the highest in Southeast Asia—beating even the government’s high-end target of six percent.

Even tourist arrivals are up despite Hong Kong’s continued blacklisting of the country as a tourist destination since the 2010 Manila hostage crisis where 8 Chinese tourists were killed. And the Philippine Peso is now stronger than it has been since 2008—to the consternation of millions of OFWs who have seen the value their remittances steadily decline over time.

So are we seeing the start of the Philippines as a major economic player in the region, another Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, or maybe another Singapore? Well, as we stated earlier: don’t hold your breath because it is unlikely to happen anytime soon…probably not in our lifetime.

Why? Because sadly, Philippine society and culture leave much to be desired! Since America returned the islands back to the Filipinos almost 70 years ago there has been talk about the Philippines becoming a Southeast Asian powerhouse—and back then we were already way ahead of any of our neighbors. Instead we Filipinos dropped the ball and slowly but surely our Southeast Asian neighbors began surging ahead of us.

As a society, we need to do some honest-to-goodness soul-searching. A country does not go from first to almost last purely by accident. You almost have to make an effort to drop to the bottom the way we did. Do we, as a nation just have mediocre goals and aspirations? We seem satisfied to have our youth go abroad to work as maids or street sweepers. We are okay with the fact that millions of squatters live in stomach-turning squalor? We have slowly denuded our forests, polluted our rivers, fouled our air and we’re fine with all that. Manila, the once proud and most cosmopolitan of Southeast Asian cities is today a dirty, crowded, smelly eyesore that foreigners and even locals avoid—and even that doesn’t seem to bother us one bit. Are we indeed a society with such low expectations?

A Philippine bancaIn the mid sixties, national artist Nick Joaquin addressed the same issues we talk about here in a telling article titled: A Heritage of Smallness. In it Joaquin laments our societal and cultural predisposition towards the small or tingi as well as our preference for always taking the easy way out. Today, half a century later you can still buy cigarettes by the stick or shampoo in a tiny single-use sachet. Centuries ago other nations were already building large, ocean-going vessels, yet Filipinos have never seen the need to create anything larger than jumbo-sized bancas. Sure, we helped build Spanish galleons then, and today we’re building ships in Subic Bay, but both those instances have been foreign owned and managed endeavors.

While there are always exceptions, Filipino society can generally be described as “lazy.” Many locals who have lived in the West and return home are often appalled by the slow and casual attitude Filipinos have towards work. Have something made and it usually takes longer than it should…and when you finally get it, the quality and workmanship is often disappointing.

It is thus not surprising that Cambodia and Myanmar for the first time last year surpassed the Philippines in Foreign Direct Investments (FDI). Global investors have grown weary of the Philippines as its disadvantages are starting to significantly outweigh its advantages. According to UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Investments), FDI to the Philippines in 2012 dropped to a paltry $1.5 billion. By comparison, Singapore, a country roughly the size of Laguna de Bay in Luzon received $54.4 billion in Foreign Investments last year.

In the end, it boils down to a failure in education. Since we know what our problems are, we should have long ago devised curriculums that addressed and corrected those problems. But neither public schools nor the much-ballyhooed Catholic schools have bothered to do so. And so our problems remain.

As an example: after World War II the term “made in Japan” meant a product was cheap and substandard, a low-quality item that would likely end up in the trash.  Akio Morita, the founder of Sony Corporation early on realized that to succeed in the global marketplace, Sony’s products had to be the very best in order to overcome that negative perception. During in his years at the helm, he saw to it that Sony produced nothing but the very best. In the end, not only did he transform his small company into a global giant, he was instrumental as well in changing the global perception of what “made in Japan” meant. That is the kind of drive the Philippines needs if it is ever to become “world class.” In essence, we need to remake who we are as a people. Until then all this talk about becoming an Asian Tiger or a world-class player is nothing but a pipe dream. So don’t hold your breath, instead roll-up your sleeves and help change the culture. Published 2/9/2013

Archived Comments for this editorial

eclining quality education. But the fact remains: "Asia will continue to produce one-half of the world goods & to contain six of the eight largest economies." Moreover, Asia will continue to play a major role in global affairs.


Name: Lucas
City/State/Country: Los Angeles
IP Address: 75.85.126.21

Comments

The notion of the Philippines becoming a tiger economy has no foundation. The country is only experiencing strong growth due to dollar inflows from OFWs, Pilipinos abroad investing in real estate and the phenomenal expansion of outsourcing. The real gauge of a country becoming strong is true industrialization. We are not innovators, we don't have technical standards to follow, that's why our products are so poor in quality, we don't have research facilities to support technology or higher education facilities to support this.


Name: myrna Alcoriza
City/State/Country: canada
IP Address: 99.242.61.85

Comments

Yes if the president is still Pres. Benigno Aquino Jr.


Name: Lucas
City/State/Country: Los Angeles
IP Address: 75.85.126.21

Comments

I also personally witnessed the golden age of the Philippines as a contender for car manufacturing in the 1960's. There was the famed Delta Motors owned by the Silverio's who carried the Toyota trademarks, and the DMG owned by the Guevarra's who carried Volkswagen. They flourished as sole distributors of Toyota and Volkswagen who were the kings of the road back then. Delta motors was more successful because it was able to established its own car manufacturing plant, thru loans, complete with engine and body stamping facilities. Their first product was the mini-cruiser jeep which was produced with already 80% to 90% local content and was sold to the Philippine army as an officer vehicle.


Name: Arthur R.
City/State/Country: USA
IP Address: 173.146.72.58

Comments

Agreeing to some of your reasons of PH weaknesses, other reasons could be traced back to PH past history. Having been under Spain for 350 years and 50 years or more under the US (which was not experienced by Singapore, South Korea or Japan, & other former Tigers ), and having been exploited and/or treated as 2nd class citizens for so long, did not prepare the Filipinos well for self-rule later. In fact, in every step forward, PH has been hindered by the effects of these past colonization; the uncontrolled population growth being blocked by the Catholic church, is a good example. We can only hope that these past trials could only strengthen Filipinos more, to reach new heights of excellence..


Name: Lucas
City/State/Country: Los Angeles
IP Address: 75.85.126.21

Comments

I am not trying to monopolize any discussion here but it feels so important to disseminate the past which is full of bad decisions, unpatriotism and selfishness. The mini-cruiser was a very nice jeep you wouldn't believe it was made by Pilipinos. That was during my college days in Mapua. How excited I was to go to the exposition building at Roxas Blvd. to see a trade exposition showing all products made in the Philippines. Delta Motors had a booth displaying the mini-cruiser showing how it was made. They also had a plan to diversify into agro-industrial equipments for farm machineries such as tractors and engines for boats.


Name: mockingmaya
City/State/Country: taft avenue, manila
IP Address: 67.182.75.243

Comments

One of the diseases of the Philippine Republic is the institutionalized distortion created by a "bandit democracy": "the corrupted objectivity of mainstream media" (see the Yellow conspiracy to perpetuate injustice, poverty, & human pain). President Noynoy Aquino has still a chance to correct the distorted legacy of his family in order for him to be remembered by posterity as one of the greatest Filipino leaders. Again, Philippine democracy is in danger if majority of Filipinos are half-educated if not illiterate, or globalized well-educated maids, or modern slaves. Philippine democracy should educate the Filipino people & fight injustice.


Name: Pedro
City/State/Country: U.S.A.
IP Address: 129.253.54.31

Comments

This editorial is right smack on the money. In the 50's, we were only second to Hong Kong in terms of economic progress but now, we are second to the last if not the last. Politics have become so corrupt beyond words. It used to be lawyers and intellectuals in politics but now, actors, actresses, show biz folks and the like. Laughable, isn't it? We need to change our attitude but in the end, the people are themselves to blame for this predicament. WAKE UP AND VOTE THE RIGHT ONES AND NOT THE ONES THAT GAVE YOU THE ENVELOPS!!! Remember... "give me a fish and I will eat for a day but show me how to fish and I will eat forever."


Name: Paco Sa Cruz
City/State/Country: Vietnam
IP Address: 113.170.222.74

Comments

As long as gains made by the Philippine economy continue to trickle down to the pockets of the chosen few while the people are left with empty stomachs, then the tiger of the economy will have no claws. For a start, immediately dismantle political dynasties and stop the Pork Barrel system. If our political leaders can not even do these, then we are doomed.


Name: Javier Diaz
City/State/Country: LA cOUNTY, ca usa
IP Address: 71.165.114.106

Comments

Re : The Rising Tiger--Now before we forget and get mesmerized by this rising tiger name.. don't forget that Filipino OFWs still dominate..in big numbers..say Hong Kong. For Filipinos who have vacationed in Hong Kong the No 1 OFW in Hong Kong are Filipino maids.. There is nothing wrong with being a maid as it is an honest job.. The only thing is that it is a job which doesn't pay much for most maids.. I remember like less than a decade ago some European I believe it was a Greek who made a dictionary and defined the word "Filipino" as a maid.. There were so many protests, but still the dictionary must have sold a good number. Our government is still dominated by very selfish politicians who are re-elected by Filipino voters


Name: mockingmaya
City/State/Country: taft avenue, manila
IP Address: 67.182.75.243

Comments

I do agree with the PNL editor that "the Philippine society & culture leave much to be desired!" The success of Japan as one of "the greatest commercial empires" has something to do with the cohesiveness of its culture. Japan has invested in the education of its workforce to compete with Americans & Europeans. Japan's economy will continue to leap forward: Japanese are smarter; Japanese manufacturing companies are modern; Japan has world-class or sophisticated restaurants; Japan's literacy is 99.9% (or Japanese workers are more educated). But scholars argue that Japan must learn how to be a regional world leader: "to provide wise & mature guidance to other smaller & technically less advanced nation; to become responsible for its own national security; and so on."


Name: Gil Damasco
City/State/Country: San Diego California
IP Address: 72.199.84.206

Comments

Politicians and government workers run the country as their own cash cow. The national government collects the taxes then redistributes it back which just breeds corruption and no accountability. The media needs to do more in educating and informing the people on their government. Senators are elected nationally resulting in having only 4 of 24 are from Visayas and Mindanao. I guess what I'm saying is we have some serious structural problems that will always hurt the Filipino people.


Name: Lazarus
City/State/Country: Somewhere
IP Address: 121.54.29.164

Comments

PNL: "We are okay with the fact that millions of squatters live in stomach-turning squalor? We have slowly denuded our forests, polluted our rivers, fouled our air and we’re fine with all that."...Believe me, I'm with you, but what can we in this forum do to alleviate our country's nuisances? Our congress has just been recycling the same politicians election after election. They jump from one party list to another like chameleons so voters will not recognize them. The Filipino people are becoming helpless, desperate and hopeless. We need to have access to a complaints department if we want our voices be heard. But no man is an Island!


Name: HMS
City/State/Country: New York, NY
IP Address: 108.183.75.178

Comments

All ideas, big and small, that may bring prosperity to the Philippines is dependent on the stability of the government on a long term basis. This will be manifested by the people's choice of leaders in the coming elections, the peace and order situation, the will to enforce the law regardless and the equanimity of the Judiciary. If Filipinos can present a united front, singular in purpose and objective, it would not be hard to convince investors to take their chances in the Philippines. But if this is just another ningas kugon or a passing fad then as soon as Aquino leaves office this "tiger" economy ends. And we are back to square one.


Name: Lazarus
City/State/Country: Somewhere
IP Address: 121.54.29.164

Comments

PNL: "In the end, it boils down to a failure in education."...Indeed our school program has failed to do their job. (more funding) Looking back in my years as a young school grader, I can still vividly remember; now I wished to have belonged to this generation. The advanced computer technology has made it easier for everyone (though not all are) and they are lucky. The fact of the matter is we lack high quality educators to mentor our young kids to become the best they can be. One and foremost reason; salary/benefits the other is corruption. Adult education for poor parents should be available so they can teach their children at home as well. A well founded young generation is without a doubt be the future tiger leaders of this country and even the world. Bilibid or not!


Name: A. Poli
City/State/Country: Anywhere
IP Address: 184.148.77.247

Comments

Before it was Sony - Made in Japan products. Now it is Samsung - Made in Korea TVs, Galaxy cellphones. Rewind to the 70s (Defunct?) Radiowealth - Made in the Philippines - b/w TV. We're proudly stuck in the Jeepney technology. When do we plan to retire these air polluting inefficient vehicles?


Name: tonyo
City/State/Country: anywhere
IP Address: 182.18.209.6

Comments

The PNL editorial’s conclusion is too painful but seems to be true based on our history. It said and I quote “Until then all this talk about becoming an Asian Tiger or a world-class player is NOTHING BUT A PIPE DREAM. So don’t hold your breath, instead roll-up your sleeves and help change the culture.” The 6.6% growth of the Philippines Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as of year 2012 is nothing but “pipe dream”. i.e., that of a drug addict hallucinating. Besides, I have browsed the internet for data on Pinas’ GDP for 2011-2012 and breakdown of the 6.6% growth rate but, carramba casracoles, I got confusing details. There was even a news report that the growth rate was due to remittances made by OFWs which is EXCLUDED IN COMPUTING FOR THE GDP since it’s foreign source revenue. ANOBA TALAGA?


Name: JRH
City/State/Country: Montreal, Canada
IP Address: 70.83.179.172

Comments

A tiger or perhaps just a slow-moving carabao? Let's face it, the Phils still a country still deeply agrarian. If it's our turn to be an economic & developed powerhouse in Asia, a few more things must be accomplished. First & foremost is the total eradication of graft & corruption, a massive nation-wide infrastructure of roads, bridges, highway, airports, trains (bullet-type), & other transportation facilities, eliminate ghettos & squatters, etc. For decades MM has been neglected & massive overcrowding have choked the area. We have to demolish poverty & the dismal conditions it represents. If done gradually, perhaps the possibilities of foreign investments might be finally realized. Dream on.


Name: JRH
City/State/Country: Montreal, Canada
IP Address: 70.83.179.172

Comments

PNL pointed that Singapore; a country the size of Laguna de Bay received $54.4 billion in foreign investments in 2012. Perhaps, we can emulate their very effective system where govt officials are corruption free, 90% of households own their own homes, sidewalks are clean (no spitting, no chewing gum or peeing anywhere), no visible homeless people or squatters anywhere. How did they do it? It's a socially engineered system with draconian laws strictly imposed. Result: unemployment rate is a mere 3%, never-ending construction & consumerism. Thanks to Lee Kuan Yew who orchestrated the whole thing. We urgently need someone like him in the Phils.


Name: Josh
City/State/Country: Clark, NV
IP Address: 112.210.57.44

Comments

Businessmen in the Philippines are being squeezed to pay bribes just to get a business permit, fire clearance or any other business application from a gov't entity. Unless, we eradicate this, no foreign business would want to invest in our country and the Philippines' quest to be the next Asian tiger economy will be illusory.


Name: tonyo
City/State/Country: anywhere
IP Address: 182.18.209.5

Comments

The only way for Pinas economy succeed as a TIGER ECONOMY is to be competitive in the world market. Problem is it has no visible competitive commercial products. It must first identify these products, e.g. electronics, transportation, agriculture, services, etc. Apparently it is not competitive in any of these products. Worse, it even imports rice and destroy domestic rice producers. Imagine, it allowed farmers cooperatives to import rice to the detriment if the rice producers and is unable to stop smuggling of rice. LINK also LINK


Name: E. Tan
City/State/Country: Ongpin
IP Address: 70.160.144.157

Comments

Philippine economy is gaining a very positive outlook under Pinoy leadership. After 2016, who is going to takeover in order to continue the progress that Pinoy administration has started? I can only suggest to import someone from China with the ideology of Mao to get rid of all corrupt politicians and instill discipline on all Pilipinos.


Name: Javier Diaz
City/State/Country: LA County, CA USA
IP Address: 71.165.114.106

Comments

Re: Leadership by Example--During the GMA regime (2001 to 2010)the very bad example being shown was the President's son Mickey M. Arroyo who declared on live TV that he is not the first Congressman or Govt. official to put a house in the name of a corporation. Since the leadership was showing a very bad example.. it is an understatement to describe the regime as having rampant corruption. The Pnoy has shown a very clean leadership and has preserved the reputation of his parents. After 2016 I have serious doubts about a Binay Presidency. Look at what kind of politicians he has surrounded himself with. Erap?


Name: deo
City/State/Country: flour-flower city
IP Address: 67.244.141.29

Comments

The Philippines will never be a "tiger economy" of Asia. The Philippines don't have tigers. "Rodent (daga, ilaga) economy" maybe? Ilaga (daga) are bigger than cats (pusa) in the Philippines after all. Pusa after all are relatives of big cats such as tigers, lions, pumas, cheetahs, etc. Follow the logic? hehehe.


Name: Javier Diaz
City/State/Country: LA County, CA USA
IP Address: 71.165.114.106

Comments

Re: Asian Tiger..When the Ph has enough classrooms in the Public school system..No more than 30 students per classroom in the K to 12..When no school has to have 2 shifts to accommodate the students..When new job seekers don't have to become OFWs and work in Haiti.. That is the time I would say that the PH is an Asian Tiger..Was that 2 years ago when earthquake hit Haiti?. Well I was watching CNN and there was a building that collapsed. There was a cashier from that store who was pinned inside and of course, the cashier was a Filipina, I believe she didn't survive. Why in he__would you become an OFW and work in Haiti? Only in the PI..


Name: Reynard
City/State/Country: Jeddah,Saudi Arabia
IP Address: 212.11.170.140

Comments

Well, I wish we will become a Tiger economy in Asia, but with the graft and corruption done by some of our government officials I think it will be hard for our economy to move up. Why not punish first those who are corrupt officials so that those corrupt public officials will not do bad things anymore and become a lesson for others.


Name: JRH
City/State/Country: Montreal, Canada
IP Address: 70.83.179.172

Comments

One man, Lee Kuan Yew, transformed Singapore from a slow port city to a bristling metropolis in record time. He held power for 31 years & stepped down in 1990. Currently his son Lee Hsien is the prime minister. Question: from 1959 on, how many presidents in the Phils did we have & what was accomplished? They now call Singapore the 'Switzerland of Southeast Asia' 1/8th the size of Delaware to the envy of its Asian neighbours. The 'Singapore Model' attracted foreign investments ($54.4 billion, '12) by building communications & transportation infrastructure, made English the official language, created a superefficient gov't by paying top administrators salaries equal to those private companies & cracked down on corruption until it disappeared.


Name: anthone
City/State/Country: austin,tx
IP Address: 99.190.130.41

Comments

Before aspiring to be a 'tiny cub', let us first clean our backyard. Peace and order must be given top preference and by creating jobs can aid in its solution. As I've mentioned long ago, we must have only one army--an army loyal to the constitution and not one supported by foreign nation. Instilling discipline to all must be the true order of every moment and any violations will cause a "strike" to ones personal record. Let us begin this system and see the result in not too distant future, shall we ?


Name: Jorge Villanueva
City/State/Country: Canada
IP Address: 47.54.133.231

Comments

The Philippines has an exceptionally high probability of achieving progress in less than two decades. Whether it's going to be an " Asian Tiger" or what, is hard to say. However, it's role as an English speaking Asian country with a highly educated population smack right at the middle of China, India and Australia would be pivotal to that success. The only limiting factor is its predilection to a political system that is highly conducive to graft and corruption and makes a farce of the concept of free choice in a truly democratic society.


Name: ASTIG AKHO
City/State/Country: EMPIRE STATE
IP Address: 207.38.182.120

Comments

The 6.6 % rise in GDP is a good sign; however, it could not a very reliable indicator in making that hasty claim that the "sick man of Asia" may be after all a "sleeping tiger." PH has to sustain that growth for many years. Otherwise we could just call it a fluke or unusual luck. I would reason again that the country needs an industrial base. The country needs a structural transformation of its economy. Singapore accomplished done in a span of 20 years (1960 – 1980). Our country should not rely heavily or be very dependent on OFW remittances as economic booster or by the spending of foreign visitors that are less predictable.


Name: juan palpalatoc
City/State/Country: jolo, sulu
IP Address: 69.230.192.230

Comments

I'll make it short. It is not a rising tiger. It's a church mouse. This place has nowhere to go but down the sink hole....


Name: ASTIG AKHO
City/State/Country: EMPIRE STATE
IP Address: 207.38.182.120

Comments

continue ... What Singapore did was "increase in the share of manufacturing, transport and communication and financial and business services within the GDP at the expense of the trade." We should follow Singapore's success story and not be persuaded by the misguided philosophies or prescriptions of amateurs like some in this forum.


Name: blumntrit
City/State/Country: njusa
IP Address: 68.197.152.111

Comments

Gfj: Tourism is Philippines future. You're absolutely right - We've noticed they're doing great in promoting the Islands. There's a lot of places to explore, festivals all year round. The number one tourist to our place are the Pilipinos themselves (the balikbayans, the Ofw's, Filipino retirees & foreign born Filipinos) They shld have more cruises on some islands. Scarborough shoal someday cld be developed like Maldives. They shld Double the fun by giving travel incentives to local employees, students, families and deserving people to experience more that Philippines are truly bless with beauty. It wld be nicer if there's always some time off for them to have fun and enjoy life.


Name: deo
City/State/Country: flour-flower city
IP Address: 67.244.141.29

Comments

The race for economic supremacy may not be over yet in the region (Asia and the Pacific), but the Philippines is trailing the pack. The crumbs left by the leading economies may sustain the Philippines but is it enough? Check this out: The Philippines cannot even promote it's own brand of "poison": say, cigarettes. It's foreign owned or licensed. Mostly licensed. Electronics, cars, chips and other high techs, most if not all are just assembling industries. The Philippines has to have it's own manufacturing industries. RP has it's abundant raw materials (iron, cement, marble, timber). Of course cheap labor! These are factors that make a tiger economy.


Name: bantaybayan
City/State/Country: carson,california
IP Address: 76.169.82.80

Comments

For the Philippines to get ahead we must eliminate the possibility of corrupt people get elected in the following election. Start by campaigning in our private capacity to convince voters to do away with Jack Enrile, the Ejercitos, and Zubiri. The Enriles are the last vestiges of the corrupt Marcos-Ilocano culture of politics. Zubiri though no financial problem has been linked to him, he still enjoyed being a senator though, knowing that their party committed electoral fraud.


Name: Sam
City/State/Country: San Diego California
IP Address: 66.27.52.158

Comments

Tony0 said, The only way for Pinas economy succeed as a TIGER ECONOMY is to be competitive in the world market.... My reply: It takes more than that.. How can the Philippines become competitive when it can't even provide its own people opportunities and livelihood? The best way for the Philippines to become competitive is first, establish the road to self-reliance.. that is very important.. then, overhaul the feudal system of the Philippine way of life.. so much lands are untilled and only fewer lands are being used for production due to the unlimited ownership of the rich...


Name: Marie
City/State/Country: Batangas
IP Address: 194.24.138.211

Comments

Our country is very well known in the whole world because of Filipina beauties esp. those who won the titles in the contest - gay or not. Manny Pacquiao also contributed and many more. We're exporting bananas, baby dresses and other canned goods etc. Filipinos are well known missionaries all over the world and we have also a well known Cardinal Tagle. What more can we ask? But, we only have to pay attention to all medicinal plants that really can cure sickness. And, maybe our country can have a tallest mountain-like building with real grasses but with windows matched to the mountain design and on the top is for tourists viewing. I think that can attract the whole world. The problem, no place in Manila - too crowded. Sayang naisip ko! waste?.


Name: deo
City/State/Country: flour-flower city
IP Address: 67.244.141.29

Comments

The sad truth is Pinas can not compete any more with the rest of Asian countries who are well ahead on their way to dominate. Pinas has to re-invent itself. Those skyline of skyscrapers from Metro Manila to the Davao are not a signs of affluence. It's an illusion when the majority of its population is wallowing in poverty. When the population are working and earning decent salaries and wages only then that's a sign of progressive economy. It is still jobs, jobs and jobs that propel economic growth of Pinas industries. Who is going to buy their products if people don't have money? Taxing authorities will just have to be loyal to their responsibilities and make the businesses support the system that made it possible for them to make their billions.


Name: Javier Diaz
City/State/Country: LA County, CA USA
IP Address: 71.165.114.106

Comments

RE: Comments of JRH from Montreal Can. on Lee Kuan Yew who transformed Singapore into an ideal Island state with a $54 Billion economy.. If you come to think of it Lee Kuan Yew was the PM in Singapore when FM was President of the PI the difference is that Lee Kuan Yew was a statesman always thinking of how to improve the lives of his citizens whereas when FM was in power that was the time for him to think of how to improve the lives of the Filipinos but no, he was sending one of his Cabinet men to Hong Kong to wire $$$ to his Swiss accounts. Yew was a statesman while the Filipinos had a thief as Head of State.


Name: Arch.Lito L. Mallonga
City/State/Country: Pinas ating mahal
IP Address: 24.84.220.179

Comments

If only Pres. Ramon Magsaysay had not died during his time we would have been the most progressive country not only in ASIA but in the world. Both him and Gen. Douglas Mac Arthur at that time were moving towards the Industrialization of the Philippines. But it is not yet too late if all will work together to make it come true. STOP TOO MUCH POLITICS and maybe there is hope for our people and our future generations. That the bottom line.


Name: ASTIG AKHO
City/State/Country: EMPIRE STATE
IP Address: 207.38.182.120

Comments

To transform the country into a "tiger economy" the government must grow the economy, decelerate the population growth, and reduce the crippling effects of graft and corruption. If the government leads, the people will follow!


Name: JRH
City/State/Country: Montreal, Canada
IP Address: 70.83.179.172

Comments

Other tidbits that work: they cane people in Singapore for spray-painting cars, racial & religious disharmony not allowed, no pickpockets, chewing gum, cigarette butts, littering, spitting, drug trafficking means DEATH, the simple act of not flushing public toilets means big fines, they use corporal punishment (caning) to fight drug trade (small amounts) etc. The Singapore Model should be copied by the Phils. The 2009 military budget is $11.4 billion. Likewise, the gov't enforces mandatory savings plan. The transformation was done in just one generation thru discipline, strict rules (no exception) & punishment to those who do not follow the rules or do bad things. Simple yet very effective. You don't need to be a genius to do it.


Name: mockingmaya
City/State/Country: taft avenue, manila
IP Address: 67.182.75.243

Comments

I do believe that the economic success of Asian tigers are not permanent because of ASEAN's competing interests, mutual suspicion, jealousy, & Communist China's imposing military hegemony. I think there are many challenges or risks for the Philippines to confront in order to be a member of Asian economic tigers. And Philippines can't be an Asian economic tiger overnight without bridging the big gap between aspiration & abilities, or actual performance. The Filipino voters & leaders must constantly fight the political, economic, social, military, & national security problems. It would be folly to assume that Philippines could compete with Asian economic tigers without a strong foundation: quality education, vibrant economy, & strong AFP.


Name: ASTIG AKHO
City/State/Country: EMPIRE STATE
IP Address: 207.38.182.120

Comments

I consider the 6.6% GDP growth rate of the Philippines a matter of unusual luck. If one were to consider Singapore's experience, the Philippines must have an open and pro-business policy. Among 158 countries polled, Philippines ranked 138 as to the ease of doing business in the country. No country would have difficulty attracting foreign investment under such condition. Singapore is # 1, followed by HK. Low tax rate, stable prices and corruption free and government transparency describe Singapore. They are almost non-existent in PH.


Name: As I See It
City/State/Country: Cebu City/SD,CA
IP Address: 68.7.248.64

Comments

BEN of Texas says, "Economic tiger? Not in a million years unless Filipinos changed their attitude and show some respect, humility and most of all discipline, then we probably can turn around this country great again." I agree. And to all Noynoy fanatics this statement I think is not borne out of CRAB MENTALITY! We have to recognize first that our country is like a turtle, an Asian Turtle that has a lot of things to be done towards being progres-sive. Eradicating & terminating self-serving politi-cians through good education-infomation of voters should be one of them.


Name: Gemini
City/State/Country: Pamplona
IP Address: 121.1.11.38

Comments

JRH you reported, Re: Singapore: "Thanks to Lee Kuan Yew who orchestrated the whole thing. We urgently need someone like him in the Phils."...Padre, You are so right about this, and let me articulate on it further. In my opinion, the difference between them an us, is their ATTITUDE. If only we can UNIFY ourselves to become one nation under God then we would really NOT worry too much who becomes our leader. It will naturally emerge, bilibid or not!


Name: ASSIG AKHO
City/State/Country: EMPIRE STATE
IP Address: 207.38.182.120

Comments

The economic train for Southeast Asian countries left the station in the 60"s. Singapore was standing in the platform and boarded that train as the train stopped on the station. During the same period, Philippines was more concerned fighting the NPAs and the Moros. Economic goals were far from the minds of the government until Marcos seized the opportunity in the 70's. But the wealth management Marcos preached was only for himself but not for the country!


Name: Jorge Villanueva
City/State/Country: Canada
IP Address: 142.134.143.214

Comments

In the 50's the Philippines was a highly respected country in Asia. Graft and corruption was barely discernible amidst a decade of self government and the economy was humming with the dollar exchange in an unbelievably two to one ratio. I can watch a movie plus have an ice cream and a palm sized bread for a princely sum of 25 cents. Those were the days. They may not come back in exactly the same way but progress can still be reached if the country can get rid of its archaic political practice, a relic of the past.


Name: Paco Sa Cruz
City/State/Country: Vietnam
IP Address: 113.170.214.110

Comments

Many of my foreign co-workers asked me why despite having good people, the Philippines remains poor? My answer is - "our political system is wrong and therefore, the result is always wrong". Unqualified and immoral candidates are allowed to run and they are winning. The COMELEC's candidate screening process is a big joke. While progressive countries ensure that the people holding key government positions are the best and the brightest, this is being ignored. The playing field is controlled by political dynasties. There are many highly qualified and morally upright Filipinos but look at our politicians, most are good examples of "bad eggs" and yet, these are the people that run the country. While this continue, we will never prosper.


Name: ASTIG AKHO
City/State/Country: EMPIRE STATE
IP Address: 207.38.182.120

Comments

Everyone talks of Singapore's success but none had said a word why China was growing so fast. Here is one comment that needs to be considered: "In an effort to awaken a dormant economic giant, it (China) encouraged the formation of rural enterprises and private businesses, liberalized foreign trade and investment, relaxed state control over some prices, and invested in industrial production and the education of its workforce. " Remember China is a communist state; Singapore and PH are democratic states. PH has rudimentary manufacturing infrastructure only. We still lag in education relative to China and Singapore. We rely heavily on OFW remittances, BPOs (business process outsourcing) and tourism. Bureaucracy is killing foreign investors.


Name: Gino
City/State/Country: new jersey, usa
IP Address: 76.99.194.207

Comments

The country can be an economic tiger if - -we eliminate the self-serving corrupt politicians, and leaders - new leaders who are idealistic and honest, but pragmatic to reform our social structure, because this is really what i think is pulling us down - education, better education and best education for all - discipline, hard work, and level-playing field for all Look at the crop of Senatorial candidates. It's disgusting. Just because you have the name?!!! Someone said this - "because she is my daughter"! Terrible!


Name: antonio jr.
City/State/Country: Manila
IP Address: 112.205.60.224

Comments

Absolutely yes"...but a divisive government system will do much to delay the transformation. We must do away with political parties of old, and work together towards a common goal.


Name: Jose Elmo O. Dialing
City/State/Country: Taytay, Philippines
IP Address: 119.93.81.14

Comments

It seems to us ordinary people that behind the government's agenda, there is a real agendas that deter the growth of the nation. behind the seemingly goodwill politicians and government administrators, are crocs and corruption dwindling the treasury of the nation. Among the poor, easy money is more favorable than that of the fruit of hard labor. a kind of education that focuses on job placement rather than job creation is also a backdoor to economic growth as well as the inability of the government to support our genius minds and skills to fuel the economy of the nation due- to our perception, our leaders to be will lose their kickbacks or shares from the business world.


Name: mockingmaya
City/State/Country: taft avenue, manila
IP Address: 67.182.75.243

Comments

I do agree that competition in the global village is like a tidal wave. No one can escape. But Japan Sony's corporation has to confront the issue of shifting its production to the Third World or underdeveloped countries. The question remains, whether other Asian countries can continue to produce quality products in a highly competitive globalized market. What would be the consequences if Japan could no longer produce quality products in terms of micro-macro markets? Economists should not underestimate the dynamism of globalized cheap labor.


Name: Dragonslayer
City/State/Country: Kingsbridge
IP Address: 216.52.207.74

Comments

Deo, are you sure "Pinas can't compete with other Asians anymore........." That sounds like an "I-give-up" or a cop-out attitude. Pinas is not in any down-and-out mode yet. If, for progress at home's sake, we think we cannot compete with external economies, then I recommend each segment and sector of our own population must, instead compete each other for better performance, ideas, and end-use products and commodities to prevent backwardness and stagnation but to keep up with modern trends. We cannot just wring our hands in despair. The runner (who may have used illicit drugs) may be well ahead of the game, but even johnny-come -latelies (non-smokers with pure muscles) have something to say about the outcome. Don't give up the ship, baby!


Name: Lilian
City/State/Country: Brisbane
IP Address: 58.168.12.69

Comments

To all who make negative comments about the Philippines... I'm sorry to say that your messages does not definitely support the goal towards achieving economic sustainability in the Philippines. It's easy to put down our country with your nasty comments but why not instead constructive criticism. Suggest how our leaders can find the path towards transparent and accountable governance which are prerequisites for becoming a developed nation. At least, under this leadership, they are doing something to address the pressing issues plaguing the Philippines for a long time. Give our country a credit! Thanks to Gemini for acknowledging my contribution.


Name: Bob Wheeler
City/State/Country: Angeles City
IP Address: 111.125.112.79

Comments

One thing that comes to mind the government has to have money to do things when is there ever going to be a taxation system that makes everybody contribute not just a few more people evade taxation than participate the government has to wake up and realize how much money in going down the drain with at least 70% of people avoiding any payments of taxation out of their earning and nobody cares. Another problem proper enforcement of the road rules example MacArthur Highway a total disgusting and blatant disregard for the road rules and the police stand by and watch the carnage. Philippines will never get anywhere until the two things I have mentioned are addressed properly and then we will be able to deal with the other 24 things that are wrong with this country.


Name: antonio jr
City/State/Country: Manila
IP Address: 112.205.55.180

Comments

We are definitely getting there, but let us first maintain the progress done this far by lessening the prime cause of corruption which is so rampant that once P'Noy relaxes his hold on peace and order and disciplining of the entire PNP, things can suddenly take us back to "square one". Jail all those who are guilty and make every head of any group answerable to any crime done by his subordinates. Eliminate "tayo-tayo mentality".


Name: deo
City/State/Country: flour-flower city
IP Address: 67.244.141.29

Comments

As I said, one way that RP can be competitive is to promote it's own brand; not just a licensee. There was a time when a cigarette brand "Bataan Matamis" was marketed aimed at old people. Yes, you got it right! "Matamis" because the paper was sweet. But where is it now? Or Sarao and Bataan motors. Hyundai started in the garage of the founder; kind of a repair shop. Anong ibubuga ng Hyundai at the time against Sarao. Although as publicized, just like today, Sarao was also using recycled engines of foreign cars. But it would have been a good start for an industry. We got all the raw materials for making the components of a car. But the government did not support or give incentives. Look at it now. In the news are imported used cars (perhaps "hot"). That's the attitude of Pinoy: quick peso.


Name: Sam "The Mercenary"
City/State/Country: San Diego California
IP Address: 66.27.52.158

Comments

If the Philippines wants to be a Tiger Economy, Deo is right, she will need to re-invent herself. We are doing great right now with the 7 percent growth in the GDP, but is this going to stay permanent? Is this an economic foundation? Is this a significant pace with the other neighboring countries in terms of cost of living and the general quality of life? NO. It's only a bliss, and the next one will be a bliss too... Why? because the very source of the nations problems which is causing poverty and corruption, is still there. Feudalism.


Name: ASTIG AKHO
City/State/Country: EMPIRE STATE
IP Address: 207.38.182.120

Comments

Guiding the Philippines to the road of prosperity is not an easy task. It requires discipline and hard work. The country's leaders must have a vision for the country and less for themselves. If sailors look for a star in heaven to guide them in their journey at night, the same could be said of the country's leaders. That star to me is PATRIOTISM.


Name: Dakila K
City/State/Country: Pilipinas
IP Address: 27.33.69.203

Comments

Susundan ko ang commento ni kabayang Paco Sa Cruz, sabi ni kabayan, OUR POLITICAL SYSTEM IS WRONG, AND THEREFORE, THE RESULT IS ALWAYS WRONG, tama ka, at lalo ng hindi na angkop sa mga Pilipino ang institution ng ELECTION. Bakit hindi na angkop? Dahil halos lahat na Pilipino; politiko at simpling mamamayan ay corrupt na rin, naghihintay na bayaran ng isang kilong bigas ang boto nila. So ang out-come pagnanalo yung politikong namili ng boto na halos kulang pa sa salary nya ang katumbas na expenses nya sa election, mapipilitan syang maging corrupt.


Name: Jorge Villanueva
City/State/Country: Canada
IP Address: 142.134.180.179

Comments

A prominent international writer recently said," the centre of gravity of the world economy is undoubtedly leaving the old " Atlantic" world of Europe and North America and moving towards Asia." His statement is being echoed by every economic analyst of the world. If Asia is emerging as an economic power will the Philippines be far behind?


Name: deo
City/State/Country: flour-flower city
IP Address: 67.244.141.29

Comments

Dragonslayer: You don't expect China, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan to falter, do you? That's what I mean. For every one step forward, Pinas takes two steps backward, that's why. Whereas above countries are doing otherwise. Those countries population are enjoying a higher standard of living than Pinoys. China is not? Think again. The insect may be paid well below what Pinoys are paid but the cost of prime commodities is still cheap. Look at it this way: There was a time when the minimum wage of Pinoy was P4.00/day. But then, the price of rice (1 ganta about 3-4 kilos) was P.85 (centavos); Pork, beef P1.50/kilo; Chicken (live) P.85-1.00/kilo, pan de sal 5 pcs. for P.5 centavos. That's what life of insect is like now. Their wages still go a long way.


Name: Sam "The Mercenary"
City/State/Country: San Diego California
IP Address: 66.27.52.158

Comments

Astig Akho said, We still lag in education relative to China and Singapore. My reply: Yes. Atenean education doesn't mean a darn thing here in the West.. and that's a fact.. Thanks for finally admitting that such a degree, doesn't mean sht. Anyway, I don't buy comparing our educational system with other countries per se.. What I do want to see is to make the Philippine education, relevant to its needs, to the country's character, nature and resources.. Just like what Bruce Lee said, Use what is useful and remove what is not.. So that concept of "World Class," (appeasing the foreigners while shortchanging your fellow Filipinos) to me, is so BADUY. We rely heavily on OFW remittances, BPOs (business process outsourcing) and tourism. Bureaucracy is killing foreign investors.


Name: Dakila K
City/State/Country: Pilipinas
IP Address: 27.33.69.203

Comments

Ang mabuting i'adapt ng paghanap O pagpili O pagluklok ng isang manunungkulan sa bayan, ay tulad sa china,simpling idea effectivo,hindi na kailangan ang mga botanteng naghihintay ng bayad,ganon din mga politiko ligtas sa gastos,at higit na makakatipid NG MILLIONGIMILLIONG SALAPI ang bansa sa sunudsunod na election,NA ANG BUNGA NG ELECTION AY PARA BAGANG BULOK NA ITLOG ANG LABAS NG MGA PILITIKONG BINUTOHAN,


Name: ASTIG AKHO
City/State/Country: EMPIRE STATE
IP Address: 207.38.182.120

Comments

"How can our country follow Singapore's success when the Philippines is still promoting and maintaining feudalism of its lands and resources? " What a response from SAM. The country is moving away from an agricultural economy to manufacturing and service (and your mind is still set on agricultural estates like the Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac?) THINK!


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