The Philippines, a country blessed by an economic resurgence -- and yet afflicted still by misery.
From Bloomberg News:
So far, Benigno S. Aquino III has largely proved true to his word and given the Philippines a second life of its own in the process. Since moving into an official residence known as the House of Dreams, following his election victory in June 2010, Aquino, 53, has overseen a national resurgence beyond the reveries of most investors.
Bankrupted in the 1980s by dictator Ferdinand Marcos, the Philippines lagged far behind rival Asian economies, averaging just 3 percent annual growth from 1984 to 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Under Aquino, that figure has more than doubled. And in the first half of 2013, output surged at a 7.65 percent annual pace, surpassing that of China, the world’s fastest-growing major economy, before easing back to 7 percent in the third quarter.
In the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan, Aquino must now try to sustain that growth while rebuilding whole swaths of his country and reinforcing its defenses against future, similar disasters. The tropical storm, which struck on Nov. 8, may have caused losses of as much as between $10 and $15 billion, according to early estimates.
Still, reconstruction is within Aquino’s reach, JPMorgan said in a November 22 report. The bank forecast that while the typhoon may cut full-year 2013 GDP growth to 6.9 percent from its earlier estimate of 7.1 percent, the nationwide impact won’t be long-lasting and the 2014 estimates should rise to 6 percent from 5.6 percent due to the boost from rebuilding.
The history of comparable catastrophes shows that reconstruction can be a boost for developing nations.
In 2012, Thailand’s economy rebounded 7.1 percent, following floods that swamped thousands of factories and a vast strip of agricultural land the previous year. In 2005, the Indonesian economy grew to 5.6 percent from 5 percent the year before, when a tsunami claimed about 200,000 lives and devastated Aceh province.
Investors in the Philippines weren’t unduly scared off by Haiyan, with the Philippines Stock Exchange Index falling 2.8 percent since Nov. 8 when Haiyan hit the Philippines.
From the time Aquino took office, the index has soared 86 percent, becoming the world’s best performer out of 45 emerging and developed markets tracked by MSCI indexes. The nation’s debt, meanwhile, has been raised to investment grade by Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s.
Now, investors are awaiting full-year GDP figures to see by how much the typhoon dented the country’s China-challenging growth rate.
Aquino has achieved this transformation by pruning a record $7 billion budget deficit in 2010 to $2.3 billion in the first nine months of 2013, declaring war on rampant corruption, announcing plans to more than double state spending on public works to $19 billion -- or about 5 percent of GDP -- by 2016, and exploiting Filipinos’ English-language skills to promote industries as diverse as casinos and call centers.
2003 :Annus Horribilis ( Horrible Year)ANNUS HORRIBILIS: Horrible Year!
Annus horribilis is a Latin phrase, meaning “horrible year”. It is complementary to annus mirabilis, which means “wonderful year”; however, annus mirabilis is a traditional term, while annus horribilis is of recent coinage. From Wikipedia
WHAT A YEAR!
Even by Philippine standards, the natural and man-made disasters so far have made 2013 the most horrible year in recent history.
A very costly diversion from the pork barrel scandal!
Listed here are some of the events in year to-date:
- Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), the world's strongest typhoon hit the eastern seaboard of the Philippine archipelago on Friday and quickly barreled across its central islands before exiting into the South China Sea., packing winds of 235 kilometers per hour (147 miles per hour).
- Typhoon Haiyan exacerbated the problems faced by the residents on Bohol island struggling to recover from an earthquake that killed 222 people three weeks ago, according to the Red Cross.
- The Zamboanga war clashes caused the displacement of more than 100,000 people, the closure of the Zamboanga International Airport and the slowdown of economic activity in the city.
- Although graft is endemic in the Philippines, the sweeping scope of pork barrel has stunned even the most cynical. The scale emerged after Janet Lim Napoles was accused of laundering staggering sums of money for lawmakers.
ErapPAL(EPAL) in action!
JPE Metamorphosis:From Hero to Heel
Investment grade ratings; Finance Minister of the Year
Yet 11 million unemployed!
Even as the economy soars, almost 20 percent of the population continues to live on less than $1.20 a day -- the poorest in squalid slums or sometimes in cemeteries, where they squat in the family tombs of the wealthy. Bloomberg News
A Damaged Senate!
There is no respect left for a damaged institution. Can it still be reformed? Are going to allow the Senate to perish?
A Church in desperate need of repair!
"We need to avoid the spiritual sickness of a Church that is wrapped up in its own world: when a Church becomes like this, it grows sick. It is true that going out onto the street implies the risk of accidents happening, as they would to any ordinary man or woman. But if the Church stays wrapped up in itself, it will age. And if I had to choose between a wounded Church that goes out onto the streets and a sick withdrawn Church, I would definitely choose the first one." Pope Francis