“The share of agriculture in the economy continues to fall and was down to 11.6% of GDP in the first quarter; manufacturing was at 22.9% of GDP in the first quarter of 2012 which is as small as its share in the 1950s. Yet manufacturing and agriculture are important sectors for creating jobs, have the greatest potential for high productivity, and should be the main drivers of economic growth. As it is, the domestic agriculture sector remains largely backward and local manufacturing still grossly underdeveloped.
“Social spending is evidently not a priority of the Aquino government which has implemented deep cuts in components of social services. In education for example, the budget of State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) was cut by Php146.6 million to Php21.9 billion for fiscal year 2012 from Php22.0 billion in 2011… In health, there was a Php80.6 million cut in the personal services of five specialty hospitals of the Department of Health (DoH) in the National Capital Region (NCR) and a Php29.2 million cut in that of 16 local hospitals nationwide…
“Outstanding National Government debt meanwhile has reached Php5.1 trillion as of April 2012 and Php2.1 trillion of this, or 41% of the total, is foreign debt. This huge debt is among the reasons why debt service is chronically the single largest expense of the government, for instance reaching Php738.6 billion in interest and principal payments in 2012.
“…Jobs creation in this period while largely in wage and saraly may be surmised as mainly part-time and unskilled work. There is also the matter of increasing numbers of unpaid family workers and those who are self-employed which may be low- or non-paying and likely with no security. The Aquino administration surpassed its target of creating one million jobs annually but the quality of jobs still leaves much to be desired.
“Even the wage increases are still not enough to meet the “living wage” that the government itself defines. IBON estimates the family living wage, which the NWPC had stopped computing in September 2008, to be at Php1,017 in May 2012 in NCR. This means that the current minimum wage covers only 44% of the family living wage. This is even worse than in 2001 under President Arroyo when the minimum wage was 52% of the family living wage.”
* Text was lifted from the Midyear 2012 Birdtalk paper titled “Exclusionary Economics, Elite Politics”. Available at the IBON Bookshop at #114 Timog Ave. To order you may also call 9277062 loc. 311 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.