CNN report on Philippine economy barely comes across as news

The Philippines has long had an economy propped up by consumption binges that are funded by overseas employment that sucks the substance out of the society from the inside, and outsourced work that turns the country’s brightest grads into red-eyed parrots.

It all sounds awfully familiar. And why shouldn’t it? The above paragraph may as well have been written last year — or five years ago, ten years ago even.

You then kind of wonder what would make Vanessa Ko sound as if her CNN report was anything that even remotely sound like “news”.


[Photo courtesy BBC News.]

The composition of what “drives” the Philippine economy is hardly something you’d even consider to be an interesting subject of analysis — consumption accounts for “value” contributed to the Philippine economy to the tune of 70% of output according to Credit-Suisse head of research for the Philippines Haj Narvaez. And what fuels that consumption? What else… “It is estimated that 11% of the population of 92 million work overseas. Remittances account for about 10% of the country’s GDP, which totaled $225 billion in 2011.” Add to that is that other saving grace of the Philippine economy, the call centre and business process outsourcing (BPO) industries that employ thousands of the finest Filipino university graduates; “These jobs are considered well – paid — enough for workers to afford, after several years’ employment, down payments on condominiums in Manila’s booming property market, Narvaez said.”

You don’t say.

Given that nothing much has fundamentally changed in what keeps the Philippine economy muddling along, anyone who is looking for something to spin in time for the third State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III is likely to find that there really is still nothing to work with. The CNN report evidently struggled in this department. Some of the lame things it cites includes:

(1) The sort of jobs that Filipinos tend to take overseas; “domestic workers, nurses or skilled technicians” which are, supposedly, “types of jobs that are believed to be less vulnerable during an economic slowdown.”

“You have an aging population in the West, and you have a young population here in the Philippines that is waiting to do jobs that some people in the West aren’t willing to do,” Narvaez said.

Indeed, that is quite the source of Pinoy pride that it always has been.

(2) The “well-paid” workers at call centres and BPOs who have contributed to Manila’s “booming” property market by being able to afford down payments on condominiums “after several years’ employment.”

(3) One-time windfalls like a “transfer of operations to the Philippines from Thailand by flood-disrupted businesses.”

…all of which serve as but a drumroll to the article’s punchline:

Economists also credit President Benigno Aquino for his efforts to push back corruption and undertake infrastructure projects.

“You can see evidence of construction activity in Manila,” Teather said. “You can see cranes on the horizon. You can see new roads have been put in place.”

But of course. It all makes pretty good sense now.

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Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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51 Comments on "CNN report on Philippine economy barely comes across as news"

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Robert Haighton
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Hi Benign0, Read your Blog from A to Z but didnt watch the CNN report. I think I do get your drift. But hey the report was probably not longer than 10 minutes. It needs a 30 minutes (at least) extended documentary to portray the Philippines in all assetts and all glory presented by a real Philippine connaisseur. Now if I am right you live in Australia. I dont know for how many years already but is there nothing good about the Philippines, is there nothing to be really proud of being a Filipino? Maybe for once you or one… Read more »
Miauw Ming
Guest
The “negative” criticism here only reflects the overly positive news items or attitudes in the Philippines. Even if the reality in front of them has nothing to be positive about. The problem with the Philippines is that despite the presence of English language, talent/skills, natural resources, almost paradise like place, it is still flunking hard. Once the Philippines was the nr. 2 in Asia behind Japan. Now it is being surpassed by Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand. The only solution is to face the problems in the mirror and act upon it. Filipino culture needs some serious fixing and GRP can… Read more »
scraletpro
Guest

That ancient ranking means nothing!! so what if we were #2 during that kopong-kopong time?? Why is everyone trumpeting we’ve been #2?? Even the world bank and IMF said during the 1950s that Philippines is all doing it wrong crafting laws to protect its local industries, restricting imports and foreign business ownership. So now what??? You think life before is really easy??? Mahirap na tayo noon pa!!!

BlueStreak
Guest
Negativity is indeed in the air. I do appreciate the frankness of the bloggers in this site yet I do not see the justice of “giving credit to whom it is due”. There are positive outlooks to come in this country and I have to say, let criticisms be of constructive nature. Most will not understand a good critique if it sounds like a “rant”. Keep up the blogging I say but let us put a “fair share” of positive outlooks to see in the country as a whole and the criticisms albeit in a constructive manner that will appeal… Read more »
Toinks
Guest
Try as I might, there are very few positive things to see about the Philippines. It is true that when I’m staying abroad, I miss the country but there are just so many things that are wrong with this place. The hypocritical culture, onion-skilled people, and the back-stabbing (passive-aggressiveness) are just some of the things that can grate on your nerves. The women here are also so aggressive when it comes to getting a “rich” foreigner who they see as their ticket out of poverty. I once took my boyfriend, who is white, here. Boy, was that a shocker! After… Read more »
Robert Haighton
Guest
Hi Toinks, I am that white boy too but I never had the pleasure (or privilege) of being surrounded by 3 girls/women when my partner was leaving me for a short period of time. But then again, I dont have the looks of Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio or even Robert Redford (more of my age, I guess). Anyway, serious now. Those 3 women had no scrupulous whatsoever, taking advantage of the opportunity. They must have been very desperate to hook up (seduce?, flirt?) with a “white boy”. It really must have been a turn off – for them – to… Read more »
Toinks
Guest

I would say that’s a good thing, not to be approached by these women. It is a disgrace. It irritates me that this happened in broad daylight in a mall. My partner and I have been to a lot of places in Southeast Asia including Thailand, Cambodia, and Malaysia.

While there are “red light districts” in Thailand where women would approach you – it doesn’t happen in their malls – correct me if I’m wrong?! Anyway, this is just one of the many concerns I have with living in the Philippines.

Robert Haighton
Guest
Hi Toinks, the “worst” I have experienced is people staring at me as if I was a pop star. Or maybe for them seeing a “white very tall boy” for the very first time. And it didnt happen in a town or village but just in Cebu City. Towards the end of my stay only then it became very irritating (those staring looks; it almost felt like being undressed from top to toe) My partner showed me a piece of the Cebu City “RLD” but even while sitting in a bar there nipping a glass of beer, I wasnt approached.… Read more »
david
Guest

This is true! I’m married to filipina and when in PH she won’t leave me alone for a minute. Why? She doesn’t trust other filipina. I said, but that also means you don’t trust me. Her answer is, NO, you really don’t know filipina. And it’s true even in malls foreigners are often played up to without invitation. I’ve experienced it in malls…and I’m not Brad Pitt.

Robert Haighton
Guest
Hi Gogs, Thanks for your points. I think I do understand them all. I try to talk alot with my Philipppine partner about daily things happening in the Philippine. But she gets angry at me for doing so bec she tells me I am not like them. She accusses me of stereotyping. While in fact I hardly ever say that she is like them. I only ask to try to explain me why such daily things still happen. (BTW: She doesnt like it that I make references to her here in GRP). The last incident I asked her about, was… Read more »
Gogs
Member

yeah Robert,

That’s why my themes tend to gravitate towards the ordinary and common place, like the root article we are commenting on. Things from the news tend to be exceptions. But people taking leaks liberally, morons who win elections and kamikaze bus drivers are things I find more attributable (is that a word?) to Filipino society, You question what is really there and people get pissed. They rather focus on things that have nothing to do with them and label it “pinoy” . Truly strange and bizarre. I second it.

Robert Haighton
Guest

In all my naievity, I would expect that Philippine people would “open their eyes” once they use the internet and start communicating (chatting) with foreigners (even when with same gender people). But it seems even that changes nothing in the minds of Filipino´s.

I just keep wondering how change will ever surface in the Philippines. I am sure it wont come from the government as pioneer or initiator. So it must come from within the people themselves. But when……..? And how……?

Toinks
Guest
I think it can be quite difficult to see the world from the perspective of a Filipino.. just as it is for a Filipino to see through your eyes. I can only speak from my own experience. It took me months of studying abroad and some grumbling from my partner when we talked about the country before I came to see it for what it was. That’s cause you hear the theme “the Philippines is the greatest country ever” or the “Filipino is the best race there is” repetitively on TV, print ads, your friends, etc until it becomes true… Read more »
Gogs
Member
Hi Toinks “That’s cause you hear the theme “the Philippines is the greatest country ever” or the “Filipino is the best race there is” repetitively on TV, print ads, your friends, etc until it becomes true in your mind. ” That is why mass media and social media are so grating to me because they all lack perspective and thought.Its racism really. My race is better than yours and I won’t even bother to learn about yours. Call it arrogant but filling in the blanks is why I blog. I will say this I am blue in the face. Deep… Read more »
Robert Haighton
Guest
Hi Toinks, werent you never labelled (or accused of) being “balimbing” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tampo)? You had the privilege (luxury) to be able to travel abroad and probably alsolive a broad for a certain period of time. That makes you able to compare, sense & feel things and how things are done in a foreign country. But what I understand is that the majority of the Philippine population is not that “blessed”. The Philippines dont have any neighbours. So basically (to me) the Philippines is like a jail, a prison. Within 10 minutes I am in Belgium, within 90 minutes I am in… Read more »
Toinks
Guest
You gave me the link to the “tampo” description instead of “balimbing”. I’m not accused of either of those things.. People here wouldn’t say any bad opinion of you straight to your face anyway, they resort to backstabbing. It wouldn’t surprise me if some people think I’m negative or even arrogant after hearing my opinion about things around here. Which is why I just shut up and let them live in their delusions that it is “more fun in the Philippines” – give me a break. Regarding the OFWs, I think that because most of them are far-away from home… Read more »
Robert Haighton
Guest
Hi Toinks, Me again. My partner claims and tells me she likes my country (much) more than she likes her own. But based on what? She never was here in my country. Every time I read an article in a Philippine newspaper (online) or every time I hear something, then I will inform my partner that we do things differently. And mainly its about culture but also about religion. I told her that I will never ask/demand/order her to stop being religious. Although I also told her that I will not accept everything from her if she does that with… Read more »
Gogs
Member

Key words there “based on what” . You are right to question the claim based on what I read. Red flag. Telling you what you want to hear. Trust is everything. Stick to your guns. Granted easy for me to say . From afar.

Toinks
Guest
Well, it is very hard to given an opinion of your situation since I know neither of you personally. Religion isn’t the problem, it’s how people around twist it based on their own interpretations and then force their opinion on others. I am quite religious myself but emphasis is on spirituality rather than the legalistic doctrines of the church. I’m not Catholic but consider myself a Christian. Her having no money might be a problem. But the important thing is for her to have life skills – things that can make her employable or if she has the potential to… Read more »
Robert Haighton
Guest
Hi Gogs, I tell her everything what we have in my country compared to how things done and said in the Philippines. You trigger (unrequested) me to disclose a few strange and bizarre differences. She once said (but later told me it was a joke. But I dont believe that) she wants to a) marry me to legalize f°cking b) marry out of compliance sake c) marry in a church We in the Netherlandse dont have a) Mano Po b) Delikadesa c) Tampo (childish behavior) d) Hiya (we will tell you the truth whether you like it or not) e)… Read more »
Robert Haighton
Guest
Hi Toinks, Its correct what you say. We are more individualistic oriented and less family oriented, Isolated, I dont know. If you refer to that its common to barge in then thats something we dont like you to do. Pls call first and ask us if it suits us that you want to come by. We prefer and like to plan everything. We live a fast life (its short already so why delay and do everything lazy-wise). So far I invested time, energy and money in this project. The money I dont care about that much. But the waste of… Read more »
Toinks
Guest
I wouldn’t dream of barging in on others without calling first, that would be rude. But yeah, a lot of people do that here. What I meant was generally seeing people milling around the streets. Lots of residential areas in Europe are like ghost towns during work hours. The whole educational system here definitely leaves a lot to be desired. Personally, I thought I was quite clever since I breezed through everything here until I saw how my partner “thinks”. Even people who can be considered geniuses here don’t think in that abstract, analytical, and critical way. I think you… Read more »
Robert Haighton
Guest
Correct Toinks, most neighbourhoods do look like ghost towns. Because of the climate here in Northern Europe we cant live “outside” and we do care (much) about our privacy. This is really still a hot item for me, “privacy” in reference to the Philippines. But pls dont ever confuse “privacy” with “everything that is private, should stay private”. Already pretty soon in the relationship, I started to doubt the title “university” in University San Jose – Recoletes. And I still wonder what a university in the Philippine really teaches the students. It cant be much bec so far I didnt… Read more »
F.Halogi
Guest
in reference to the earlier thread “based on what” could mean two things: 1)maybe she is not that thick after all. She might have special interest in Dutch culture as many priest in the country not so long ago were from Netherlands or info from internet helped her decide which country to like and might have helped to create a circumstance of your being acquainted. 2) Being quite desperate of dire situation in the country, any western country will do. What’s in her “person” that you like anyway? It appears that you rather like her be independent and individualistic yet… Read more »
Robert Haighton
Guest
Like the universal language of love, I would expect the title “university” is also universal. I must be mistaken looking at the Philippine educational system. I seriously doubt the quality of all school systems in the Philippine. BTW: I also doubt the universal language of love in the Philippines. No PDA, no biological knowledge whatsoever of the human body, no clue of how to behave physically. My partner once told me “to know too much can be dangerous” (later she said (again) that she was joking. But I dont believe that it was a joke). And that is exactly how… Read more »
jaye
Guest

Para tulungan ang Pilipinas, huwag ka na sana dumagdag sa negatibong balita na nilalabas ng lokal na estasyon at mga nilalathala sa mga diaryo. Bakit tagalog ang kumento ko? Dahil sa mas naiintidihan ng mga dayuhan ano ang kalagayan ng bansa ng Pilipinas. Ikaw rin ang isa sa pumapatay sa sitwasyon ng pilipinas. Dahil prinuprublema mo ang matagal na nyang prublema. Pwede ka mag focus sa pinaka importanteng bagay.I promote ang Pinas kahit alam mong maraming negatibong ginagawa ang mga mapansamantalang tao na dumudungis sa pilipinas at isa ka na rin dun,
sa pamamagitan ng pagsusulat mo.

Robert Haighton
Guest

Sorry jaye, but I dont speak Cebuano nor Tagalog. I also cant read it and I also dont understand it.

jaye
Guest

@Mr Haighton – my message was for the Author. I was pointing my thoughts in Tagalog and i am against his writings.

Daido Katsumi
Guest

TROLL.

Iyan. Yung mga sinasabi mo? Iyan ang paniniwala ng mga taong grasa sa Pilipinas na ayaw matuto.

Go figure.

Robert Haighton
Guest

Maybe there is still some hope for the Philippines (and me).

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/mixed-race-marriage-my-race-didnt-fit-7946683.html
Mixed race marriage: ‘my race didn’t fit’

Hostility to mixed-race marriage is a thing of the past, or so thought Zara Badawi. And the last place she expected to find it was within her husband’s family – and her own.

Zara Badawi Tuesday 17 July 2012

JohnF
Guest

The way I see it is that, we as Filipinos, tend to accept praise overwhelmingly, but take criticism adversely. We are afraid to accept what we see in the “mirror”, hence our attitude towards criticism. We should just take all those criticisms (specially the ones here in GRP :). Ponder upon it, think about it deeply, and try to think more about how we can change, not only as a culture, but as a country of Filipinos as a whole… Cheers!

Madrox
Guest
There are a ton of criticisms in the comments section but no solutions. So I offer this: Education. There are a fair number of observations regarding the Filipino attitude. However you have to keep in mind that many Filipinos have not finished high school. Even less have completed a college degree. Internet has not been accessible to a majority of the Philippine population for the longest time. Poverty is the reality. Does it surprise you then that attitudes of self-preservation are ingrained into the culture? It’s easy to look down on others from a position of comfort. Place yourself in… Read more »
Robert Haighton
Guest
Madrox, I fully agree with you that education is the most important thing for people to excel in later life, whether it be in a job or as a human being or both. But like everything in life also the educational system cant hide from being examined whether its doing its job good or not. What I mean is this: as long as there are schools that focus their attention more on what pupils/students do in their private lifes (St Theresa´s College, Cebu City) then something is really wrong here. They (the schools) should pay only attention to their own… Read more »
Robert Haighton
Guest
Madrox, another problem which needs to be addressed is over-population in the Philippines. The other day (Early Juli 2012) I read an article (well it were 3 articles in almost 3 consecutive days) where a 43 year and 38 year old couple “fucked in the name of god” (this happened in a town called Argao, Cebu). She became pregnant of a 4-plet while already having 3 teenage kids. And yes he may be a member of the “poorest of the poor” but in that case he is also a member of the “dumbest of the dumb”. A person with his… Read more »
IGGY
Guest

as a filipino. i am very proud of my country. what ever the westerners think of us is nothing to us. why because you have your own culture – a
very different from us. though you think we your luycky to be raise and encourage to uplift your race and so forth we also have that norms here. the think is you are all ignorant. ignorant of other culture, religion etc. so what if the philippines bares land in cnn news related to economic succeesses… we dont even care your achievement abroad… and you feel like godly images…

Algester
Guest
hmm first time poster and not much of an advent reader just stumbled here hours ago due to assignments anyway. @IGGY well I do not know exactly what to say to you but precisely this has been pointed out quite a number of posts ago we Filipinos tend to act adversely to criticism and that is what you are clearly showing if so then why are you doing it is beyond my comprehension, sure you maybe talking big because we are in the internet but know your manners my friend you are not in a certain image board here. @Robert… Read more »
Algester
Guest
@Robert Haighton and finally I’am not sure if there is a translated copy in your native language find a copy of Jose Rizal’s 2 novels called “Touch Me Not” and “The Filibuster” Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo in our native language and see if there is a parallelism in the political and social view points in the character interactions and what not other minor events in the novels, in what you are seeing “What is the Philippines in the internet” and if you can say “We Filipinos are just repeating the cycle of History” this is despite these 2… Read more »
Robert Haighton
Guest
@Algester, I have heard of the name of Rizal. Washt he the inventor of “Clara something”: the ideal Pinay how to behave, how to act? Probably the forerunner of “Delikadesa”. I will check in the city library (online) to see if his name pops up. Maybe its a little consolation but we – Dutch – were once exactly there, where you – Filipinos – are now today. Only we started to fight for our individual freedom and individual liberty. For us, it all started in the 1960s. I am just afraid that individual freedom wont work in Phili bec most… Read more »
Batubalani
Guest

Your know-all comments and condescending anecdotes show clearly how extremely arrogant you are. You try to scrutinize with miniscule experience the entire country and its people. Did you ever do the same homework with your own race? How much better your race compare to Filipino? The world is full of crap, circumstances or people(maybe like you), no one should dare ask for overall convenience without facing the reality of evil. Let me suggest that you stop coming to the Philippines to not inconvenience your behind. Take my advice as it is my amigo….

thekatling
Guest

Who says we want to be a part of the first world? What we want is just for us to have a stable economy.

As my mom would always say to me, “you can always replace a husband/boyfriend who left you, but you can never replace your family.”

Batubalani
Guest

To those who disagree with this guy “Robert Haighton”: You can tell his face that generalization is a loser’s way to be a winner. This guy, apparently, is married or hooking up with a Filipina. His comments about our race, our country and government are not permeating but rather annoying. I hope that this jerk can speak his mind in front of a throng or even an individual Filipino who can neutralize his arrogance.

thekatling
Guest

I don’t want to think that the Filipina he is hooking up with would may just want to marry a foreigner for the sake of living abroad. It is a sad truth but it happens.

And oh yeah, he is Effin’ retard for saying things about our race.

OFWman
Guest
Mr. Haighton and the other folks here held up a mirror in front of our faces and we curse them for it because we do not like what we see. Change will not come from back patting and delusion. Constructive criticism? If someone says,”Hey, you are doing this thing wrong. Then stop and look.Is it the truth?Am I doing it wrong?Is there something that I need to change? I have more to fear from people who flatter than people who criticize. You think that what he is saying is incorrect? Try going around Manila! See for yourself! Manila is not… Read more »
OFWman
Guest
Sa mga hindi nagtatali ng kanilang mga aso.. *@##* you! Punong puno ng tae ang lansangan. Ayaw nyong makarining ng kritisismo e kayo naman ang gumagawa ng problema. Simpleng itali lang e. Susmaryosep. Same sa lahat ng nag-iinuman sa lansangan, nagpapatugtog ng malakas kahit gabing gabi na, at kung saan saan umiihi at nagdudumi. At kayong mga batang nagpost dito, Hoy! Mag aral pa kayo! Kung hindi nyo kayang umingles, i tagalog nyo na lang para maintindihan ang sinasabi nyo. To Mr. Haighton, I believe your intentions are honorable. However, the difference in culture might prove to be a big… Read more »
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