Bernardo M. Villegas
Articles
  Page last updated at 09:39 Asia/Manila, Friday, 03 November 2017 PH
Profiting from Philippine Demographic Dividend (Part 1)
           Every positive assessment of the future economic prospects of the Philippines includes a reference to a “young, growing and English-speaking population.”  There is no doubt that the demographic dividend that is still being enjoyed by the Philippines is a most important competitive advantage in the face of increasing labor shortages, not only in the developed countries of the West, but also in a good number of East Asian countries that are suffering from very low fertility rates.  As an example, a recent report from Bloomberg was headlined “Singapore faces a grim labor future as population ages.”   The report stated that while Japan had the biggest slump in its workforce in Asia over the last decade or so, Singapore has the most to fear from an ageing population over the next two decades: “The city state will face a double whammy.  A shrinking workforce and slower progress than Asian neighbors in getting more people into the labor market.  According to a new study from Oxford Economics, Singapore’s labor supply—after accounting for changes to the participation rate—will shrink by 1.7 percentage points in the 10 years through 2026 and by 2.5 percentage points in the decade after that.  That’s the worst of a dozen economies in a report by Louis Kuijs, the Hong Kong-based head of Asia Economics of Oxford.”  A similar fate is faced by South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and the whole of mainland China where, despite a huge population, the work force will shrink in relation to the growing number of senior citizens.