Bernardo M. Villegas
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No To Trickle Down Theories

            What Typhoon Yolanda did to Eastern Visayas was a wake-up call to all of us Filipinos.  Since at least the end of the Second World War, successive generations of national leaders turned a blind eye to the extreme poverty of that hapless region that has suffered one of the highest rates of poverty incidence in the country.  The percentage of its population living below the poverty line was more than double the national average.  Even during periods of higher economic growth, the sustenance fisher folks, the small coconut farmers and the landless rural workers that comprised the vast majority of its population never participated in the economic progress the rest of the nation was enjoying.  Before Yolanda, one could have easily forecasted that even if Philippine GDP were to increase at the rates of 7 to 9 per cent for the next ten or more years, there would have been no "trickle down" to Eastern Visayas.  The poor in that region are too hungry, unschooled, unskilled, unhealthy and unhoused to even qualify to become overseas, construction, or tourism workers, or much less BPO employees, who are the ones most benefited by the engines of growth of the Philippine economy today.  Rural infrastructures have been some of the worst in the whole country.  The general neglect of countryside development that accounted for decades of failures in economic development in the country as a whole was most acute in Eastern Visayas.

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       The historical trends, empirical findings, and policy updates are discussed in detail in the essays compiled in this book. The most convincing argument that supports the thesis of the book, i.e. that population growth is a poitive factor in attaining sustainable human development, is found in the foreword to the book, which is adopted from an article written by Mr. Roberto de Ocampo, former Finance Secretary of the Philippines and multi-awarded finance official in Asia. Thanks to the continuing growth of the Philippines population, Filipinos are in more than 100 countries all over the world, contributing much-needed foreign echange and purchasing power to the Philippine economy and fostering the human and spiritual development of the most diverse of peoples and cultures on this planet.

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Inside Business: Critique on RH Bill

ANC Interview by Coco Alcuaz regarding the RH bill and the Philippine economy.