Bernardo M. Villegas
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Planning for the Fragile Middle

            The present Administration has the laudable objective of reducing the Philippine population below the poverty line of about 68 pesos per person per day (US $1.5) from approximately 25% this year to 16% by 2016.  They have a fighting chance if they really are able to implement an aggressive infrastructure program in the countryside (farm-to-market roads, irrigation systems, post-harvest facilities, potable water, etc); invest considerably more in improving the quality of basic education (up to the senior high school level); build more barangay health clinics, including maternity wards that are the most effective means of reducing both infant and maternal mortality (not family planning); and continue to administer efficiently and honestly the Conditional Cash Transfer program.  All these have to be focused on the rural areas where 75% of the poor live, especially in such regions as the Autonomous Region of Mindanao, CARAGA, Bicol, Eastern Visayas and Cagayan Valley. 

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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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Dr. Bernie Villegas at the Asia CEO Forum 2020

Watch Dr. Bernie Villegas tells the economic future of the nation at the Asia CEO Forum 2020!   LINK: