Philippines: 16th largest economy by 2050? Here’s the truth!

Ugh…if I see another news headline comparing the Philippines to some kind of animal, I might just get physically sick. “Asian Tiger Economy of the World”; “The dark horse of the region”. Speaking of being sick, at least one headline referred to the Philippines as the “healthy man of Asia” as opposed to the perennial “sick man of Asia”. But seriously, all this talk of the country’s potential is nothing new.

As stated in one of the articles, there was much optimism in the air during former President Cory Aquino’s time too and this was immediately after she was installed as the head of state following the first EDSA “People Power” revolution. Back then they referred to us as “the blooming tiger economy of Asia”. Unfortunately, investor confidence quickly fizzled out. The tiger must have turned out to be just a fat cat.

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The pattern of renewed optimism can be attributed to the confidence enjoyed by every newly elected president. This was the case with former President Fidel Ramos and I’m pretty sure that after former President Gloria Arroyo was installed following the second EDSA uprising dubbed “People Power II”, the world thought the Philippines would be on the right track once more. Every new leader brings with him or her an assurance that this time around, things will be different. That is, until they actually start working and realize that they have no choice but to dance to the tune of the padrino system.

Propping up deadbeats

Luckily for the incumbent President Noynoy Aquino (PNoy), his propaganda machine in the media can keep trumpeting his so-called popularity with the people until his term ends regardless of how much a mockery he makes out of the country’s institutions and even without introducing any new economic policies. After all, the people who pushed PNoy to run for the Presidency have no choice but to keep propping him up like that lifeless character from the film Weekend at Bernie’s lest they be forced to apologize for tricking the voters into thinking that he is “The One”. But I digress…

Going back to the state of the economy, every time the topic shifts to something that deals with data, people’s eyes glaze over and boredom sets in, which is a shame because the only way to understand how the country can move forward is to look at the facts and figures. Unfortunately, only a handful of people really understand what the heck the economists are talking about. What are they talking about, really? Let’s try to analyze what the expert from CNBC had to say:

The Philippines’ “very robust and young population” presents a ready pool of talent, says Mark Matthews, Head of Research Asia at Bank Julius Baer. He expects the country’s population of 93 million, around half of whom are below 20 years old, to more than double to 190 million by 2040.

With fertility rates declining in the West and in Asian countries like Japan, Korea and China, the Philippines will increasingly become an important source of immigrant labor, he added.

While the above statement is actually bad news for advocates of the proposed Reproductive Health bill (RH bill) which seeks to curb population growth, the expert from CNBC is basically saying, however, that it is our enormous population particularly the young members of our society that can help propel our economy forward. Investors see the potential of the young as a source of skilled workers or employees in the future.

Whether they end up as employees in the country or abroad does not really matter. This is as opposed to the increasing number of elderly people in the West and other Asian countries. China might be successful in luring in foreign investors for now but everyone knows that their one child policy and Chinese couples’ preference for boys will contribute to their declining birth rate and can (if not already) create an imbalance in the sex ratio that will in turn pose a colossal challenge to their population dynamics.

Here’s the question though: do young members of the Philippine population really present a “ready pool of talent”? Not yet. They can but the problem is that before they can become skilled workers, young Filipinos need to be educated and trained first before they can be part of the pool of talent. Without the necessary education and training, they will only be good at drinking large amounts of alcohol after a day’s work as jeepney drivers or household helps. Who can educate and train the young generation? The government cannot do it without putting more into the education budget. We all know that education is the least of the government’s priorities.

“[…] And the interesting thing is 80 percent of them speak English,” Matthews said. “Most people who speak English in third world countries, they don’t want to go overseas to work in sort of manual labor. But the Filipinos have no problem doing it…and they are making three times as much as they are making back at home, and they are sending it back home.” .

Uh oh…the economic expert is praising us for our ability to speak English better than our neighbors in the ASEAN region. Unfortunately, the future generation of Filipinos might not be as fluent or well-versed in the English language because of the introduction of the “Mother Tongue-Based Multi-Lingual Education” reform program by the Department of Education (DepEd) this year. This program involves one where “any of 12 major local languages spoken in different regions of the country will be taught as a subject and used as a medium of instruction from kindergarten to Grade 3.” The 12 mother tongues for classroom use are Tagalog, Kapampangan, Pangasinense, Iloko, Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Waray, Tausug, Maguindanaoan, Maranao, and Chabacano.

Now, that new DepEd program that will give less priority to teaching the English language is obviously not going to work well with the idea of Filipinos being more desirable as employees because of the perception that our communication skills are better than others. Somebody should call the attention of the DedEd quick so they can reverse this trend.

The Philippines is already one of the world’s biggest recipients of remittances — the fourth biggest in 2010 according to the World Bank — which account for a tenth of the country’s gross national product. According to the country’s central bank, monthly remittances hit a record high of $1.7 billion in September with total remittances for the year expected at $20 billion.

What was once just a stop-gap measure to ease unemployment and foreign exchange problems introduced in 1974, sending overseas contract workers had since become a permanent fixture. In fact, the country has become too dependent on remittances from OFWs to keep its economy afloat. How exactly do the remittances help? It is premised on the idea of “a people-centered emphasis on growing levels of consumptions and a widening middle class.” In other words, corporations are looking into the spending habits of the hard-working and mostly displaced Filipinos abroad who earn foreign currencies and who do not have a habit of saving.

But like what I said in an earlier article of mine, the remittances are also dependent on the economic conditions of the countries where Filipinos seek employment. When countries like Saudi Arabia stop accepting OFWs for one reason or another, the OFWs will have no choice but to come back home and the spending fuelled by their remittances will likewise stop and adversely affect industries across the country.

In another article of mine, I wrote that perhaps venture capitalists should keep in mind three things: 1) The earning capacity of Filipinos can be volatile. Considering OFWs do not have a habit of saving, their earning capacity will become little to nil if their luck runs out in the job market. 2) Natural resources are finite, meaning there will come a point when raw materials will become so scarce, the prices of goods will skyrocket. 3) Making money does not necessarily have to mean aggressive expansion. A lot of companies have fallen victim to overexpansion. What’s the point in opening up more branches of SM Supermalls if the people have run out of money to spend?

Anyhow, the Filipino people’s spending habits must have caught the attention of a few gambling lords as evident in what of late has been a growing interest in setting up casinos. The chairman of gambling regulator Philippine Amusement & Gaming Corp (PAGCOR), Cristino Naguiat Jr is even claiming that he is up to his eyeballs “fielding calls and booking appointments to meet possible investors in a sprawling gambling and entertainment project his government hopes will rival Las Vegas in five years.”

The Philippines as another Las Vegas? That image is not going to sit too well with the country being the biggest Catholic nation in Asia. I wonder how the Catholic bishops are feeling about this proposal. This will certainly boost employment in the entertainment industry. We can say goodbye to the family friendly image some people might have wanted the country to project. But even before the plan materializes, Naguiat, a close friend of President Noynoy Aquino, is already embroiled in controversy. Naguiat is now under investigation after he was named in a US lawsuit as among those who allegedly accepted $110,000 worth of hotel accommodations and illegal payments, courtesy of Kazuo Okada, a Japanese gambling magnate who is planning a $2-billion casino in Manila. This is a situation they describe in the Filipino vernacular as tinapay na nga, naging bato pa. Here’s to hoping that PNoy will give his buddy a bit more than just a slap on the wrist to prove to foreign investors that he means business.

A follower advised me that the hashtag “2050” was trending on Twitter the other day. I presume this has something to do with the HSBC prediction that the Philippines is set to leapfrog 27 places to become the 16th largest economy by 2050. I don’t mean to burst anyone’s bubble but I think the bank’s prediction is too optimistic. They even said it themselves: in order to achieve this, the country has to grow by “8.4 percent from 2010 to 2020, by 7.3 percent from 2020 to 2030, and by 6.6 percent from 2030 to 2040, and by 5.8 percent from 2040 to 2050.” Now that growth could mean encouraging a lot of spending and consumption just to stimulate the economy. Again, they have not taken into consideration that the supply of natural resources like crude oil, which is used in manufacturing might not meet this demand in the future.

The country’s growing population can offset any growth achieved if the majority of the population is unemployable. HSBC even echoed the same sentiments regarding the talent pool in their prediction confirming that the “growing population, which, if properly educated and trained, should help the economy generate more income over the next decades” — which could also mean that if not properly educated and remain untrained, the growing population can only help pull the economy down. Like what I’ve said before, if the country’s population keeps growing, any economic growth achieved will not mean much for the additional mouths to feed.

HSBC probably gets its perception that the current government has sound “macroeconomic fundamentals and improving governance” from members of the Philippine media allied with PNoy. The truth is, PNoy’s good governance is just smoke and mirrors. Nothing has changed since he took over from the previous government.

Tiger, dark horse or whatever animal they may want to use in describing the Philippine economy, it seems it still boils down to the people performing well as humans in order to achieve their potential. Performing well does not necessarily mean we have to multiply like rabbits just to satisfy corporations’ voracious appetite for our hard-earned cash. On the contrary, performing well means managing our population to the level where the country’s domestic resources could cater to everyone’s needs.

* * *

I got this from a member of a GRP forum:

Sometime in the past, one young, representative from Laguna sponsored a bill recommending that Filipino language be used in all levels of accounting firms and banking institutions. The congressman claimed it will provide a better understanding of the business transactions for those who are inexperienced and non-English speaking citizens.

The bill received unanimous approval from the House and was presented to the President for signature to become the law of the land. But in spite of the overwhelming pressure from the members of Congress, President Gloria Arroyo vetoed the bill.

Why? She found out that when the English “business” words are translated in Tagalog, they sound very malicious and are “nakaka-hiya at nakaka-kilabot!”

Here are a few sample words:

Asset – Ari
Fixed Asset – Nakatirik na ari
Liquid Asset – Basang ari
Solid Asset – Matigas na ari
Owned Asset – Sariling pag-aari
Other Asset – Ari ng iba
False Asset – Ari-ari-an
Miscellaneous Asset – Iba-ibang klaseng ari
Asset Write off – Pinutol na pag-aari
Depreciation of Asset – Laspag na pag-aari
Fully Depreciated Asset – Laspag na laspag na pag-aari
Earning Asset – Tumutubong pag-aari
Working Asset – Ganado pa ang ari
Non-earning Asset – Baldado na ang ari
Erroneous Entry – Mali ang pagkaka-pasok
Double Entry – Dalawang beses ipinasok
Multiple Entry – Labas pasok nang labas pasok
Correcting Entry – Itinama ang pagpasok
Reversing entry – Baligtad ang pagkakapasok
Dead Asset – Patay na ang ARI

103 Replies to “Philippines: 16th largest economy by 2050? Here’s the truth!”

  1. I’ve always frowned at that “2050” thing. As opposed to the popular (and idiotic) interpretation of sucking it in and spewing out “bahala nas” for the next 38 years, I’d rather believe that we wouldn’t have to wait that long if we all got our acts together.

    1. They also forgot about the natural and man-made disasters that can easily pull any economic growth back down. Unless the government is willing to put more effort into avoiding such disasters, we’ll keep going back to the title “the sick man of Asia.”

      1. great article ms.ilda.all the articles you are write are really informative.i almost spilled my coffee when reached that part where english translation of our business words are’s so funny.

    2. I’ve been saying the exact same thing! Why wait for it when you can do something to get it done faster. It’s just like Juan Tamad waiting for the fruit to fall instead of picking it already.

      1. But its ironic that they always attack Tito Noy kht mgnda naman ang hangad nya. Tumingin muna s slamin

        1. IKAW mismo ang tumingin sa salamin. Kaya sya binoto ng tao because many, including you, are brainwashed by the Yellow Media.

          They attack you’re false god Tito Noy because all of them are VERY TRUE. Due to his incompetence and his vendetta on his enemies, his ‘daang matuwid’ is a total farce. Am I right?

        2. @Nutzi Vincenzo

          “They” always attack your Tito Noy because of all the evil things he continues to do. Maganda ba ang diktadura? Ikaw ang tumingin sa salamin.

    1. great article ms.ilda.all the articles you write are really informative.i almost spilled my coffee when reached that part where english translation of our business words are’s so funny.

  2. Ilda

    Hope you will go over this Working Paper on World Population Ageing (2009) by the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) of the United Nations–the third in a series, the first released in 2002 and the second in 2007:

    The Paper suggests that the real concern is not about a population that is exploding, but a population that is rapidly aging (count me in!) and its impact, among others, on government pension systems and what it refers to as the “potential support ratio” worldwide.

    1. Hi Domingo

      I just skimmed over it for now because the report is long. One thing I can say is that I doubt if the ageing population applies to us at all. Most reports indicate a “very robust and young population” for the Philippines. Plus, you have to question also the agenda of the people who commissioned that report. They could be capitalists 😉

      1. Ilda

        Well, frankly, I’m as surprised as you are with the data, but Secretary General Dr. Romulo A. Virola of our own NSCB confirms that, percentage wise in the Philippines, “the share of seniors to total population has been steadily increasing over time”–

        “The senior citizens account for 6.9 percent but this will increase to approximately 7.8 percent by the end of the Aquino administration! And by 2040, it is projected that out of 141.7 million Filipinos, approximately 19.6 million will be “young once”! Indeed, the share of seniors to total population has been steadily increasing over time, from 5.3 percent in 1980 to 6.0 percent in 2000 to 6.9 percent in 2011 to 13.8 percent in 2040. Likewise, the average age of the Pinoys has been increasing from 22.5 years in 1980 to 24.7 years in 2000 to 26.6 years in 2011 to 33.3 years in 2040!

        (See footnote Table 3. Estimated Total Number of Senior Citizens by Age Group and Estimated Total Population: 1980, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2016, 2017, and 2040)

        Also, I suggest you read the articles here:

        1. Hmmm…I wouldn’t worry about their claim. We are far from having an ageing population. Economic prosperity is the most effective birth control. Once you empower women, they will avoid getting pregnant because their capacity to earn gives them more independence and freedom to do whatever they want.

          At the moment we are far from achieving economic prosperity because of the problems in our society. A lot of Filipino women especially in the lower class are still falling pregnant even if they don’t want to. They just don’t know any better.

        2. Ilda

          Strangely enough, this UN report on “population ageing” flatly contradicts the “population control” policy the United Nations itself has been pushing countries to adopt. In any case, the Report highlights the added burden that nations will have to shoulder owing to the “unintended” collateral brought about by a fertility rate that is going down and a mortality rate that is rapidly decelerating as well, owing obviously to advances in medical care.

          And this situation is grimly evident in Asian countries like Singapore and Japan, aside from practically all western countries for that matte, since any correction implemented now would only be felt in at least 50 years or a lifespan later.

          Those affected are, of course, countries whose fertility rate has gone way below the replacement factor which, to demographers, is “2.1 children for the average mother, one baby to replace each parent, plus a fraction to compensate for unexpected deaths in the overall population.”

          The fertility rate in the Philippines, in fact–even without the RH Bill–is now already within or expected to continue sliding below that ideal “replacement” rate.

          Hence, based on this continuing UN Report on “population ageing,” for the Philippines to become the projected “16th largest economy” in just 50 years (or during the lifetime of those born now and even ten years earlier), planning should incorporate solutions to meet and offset the enormous problem of how to care for and fund an increasing percentage (hopefully not geometric) of the population now living longer and not dying sooner.

        3. I don’t see any sign that our fertility rate is going down. And ageing population due to access to medical care only applies to places that give easy access to medical care. A lot of Filipinos still do not have that luxury.

          The west and some advanced societies in Asia may bean having ageing population but that is not the case in the Philippines. I think the report is too alarmist.

          I do agree that planning should incorporate solutions to meet the problem of caring for the elderly. But individuals should also plan for their own future. The burden should not rest solely on the government. People should be aiming for financial independence even after retirement.

        4. Ilda

          This is the “alarmist” data:

          United Nations: Total Fertility Rate (TFR): Philippines:

          7.29 – 1950 – 1955
          7.13 – 1955 – 1960
          6.85 – 1960 – 1965
          6.50 – 1965 – 1970
          6.00 – 1970 – 1975
          5.50 – 1975 – 1980
          4.95 – 1980 – 1985
          4.55 – 1985 – 1990
          4.14 – 1990 – 1995
          3.64 – 1995 – 2000
          3.24 – 2000 – 2005
          2.79 – 2005 – 2010
          2.33 – 2010 – 2015
          2.10 – 2015 – 2020

          UNICEF Total Fertility Rate (TFR): Philippines 2010 – 3.1

          The healthcare benefits social security systems (GSIS and SSS) guarantee to retired aging members by the premiums they remit while still at work is what will be subjected to so much strain by 2050 and not the personal savings, if any, of the retirees.

          In any case, let’s just hope the downward trend levels off at the replacement TFR of 2.10[ otherwise …

        5. I don’t have the exact figures of the population of the Philippines in the 1950’s but I am sure it was lower than 100 million. How can that translate to a declining population?

        6. Ilda, I was referring to the TFR (Total Fertility Rate) that is declining and not the population growth rate or the population count.

          “The TFR of a population is “the average number of children that would be born to a woman over her lifetime … the TFR is based on the age-specific fertility rates of women in their ‘child-bearing years,’ which in conventional international statistical usage is ages 15–44 or 15-49 …
          Taken globally, the total fertility rate at replacement is 2.33 children per woman. At this rate, global population growth would trend towards zero.

          “A population that maintained a TFR of 3.8 over an extended period of time without a correspondingly high death or emigration rate would increase rapidly, whereas a population that maintained a TFR of 2.0 over a long time would decline (unless it had a large enough immigration). However, it may take several generations for a change in the total fertility rate to be reflected in birth rate, because the age distribution must reach equilibrium.”

          Thus, the Philippine population continues to rise, since the TFR has not reached the critical replacement-level of 2.01-2.33. And the country would begin to experience a decline in population when the TFR that is going down reaches that replacement-level.

          In fact, “a population that has recently dropped below replacement-level fertility will continue to grow, because the recent high fertility produced large numbers of young couples who would now be in their child-bearing years. This phenomenon carries forward for several generations and is called population momentum or population-lag effect. This time-lag effect is of great importance to the growth rates of human populations.”

          Here’s the population data for the Philippines from 1950 and projections until 2015 you requested, culled from the following sources:

          20,275,000 1950
          27,087,685 1960
          36,684,948 1970
          42,070,660 1975
          48,098,460 1980
          60,703,206 1990
          68,616,536 1995
          76,504,077 2000
          88,574,614 2007
          93,774,000 2010
          101,404,000 2015

        7. Well, that goes with progress. Women tend to delay having kids when they experience independence and become empowered. I see that as a good thing.

          Like I said, if we want economic stability, that involves more women joining the workforce. But that also means less women having kids at the ideal age.

  3. its more like animal farm with pigs in pork, monkeys who see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil!, scorpions, snakes and chameleons and the black widow spiders
    lets all go noynoying

    1. Thanks for the link. This government is such a disgrace!. They just want to keep collecting tax without spending on anything that would benefit the people. They probably want to show how much they have saved at the end of PNoy’s term.

  4. Ilda i have found your articles intriguing i like they way you tell it like it is no sugar coating Im a new reader of getrealphilippines and i can say you are my favorite writer to date. keep up the good work!

  5. A journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step. This is followed up by a well planned course of more steps. Hopefully leading to success. Is the Philippine economy under Mr. Aquino’s administration moving forward by leaps and bounds? What happened to its planning? A strategic economic plan must be in the works. Cabinet meetings should meet regularly to tune the economy. I have seen reality. I do not like it at all. The almost daily increase in fuel pump prices, LPG at almost a thousand pesos, rising tuition fees, rising transport fares and still rising prices of basic commodities. We even have to import rice from our Asian neighbors. Are we better off now then before? The genius in Malacanang seems to have forgotten all about the economy and the other factors that lead to its success or failure. The current peace and order situation is nothing to be proud of. Terrorism and criminality is still a deterrence against tourism and investors. Mr. Aquino should wake up and conduct weekly cabinet meetings on the economy. Alas, his obsession is more focused on his perceived enemies and the railroaded impeachment of CJ Corona. Gross negligence in the performance his duties, responsibilities and functions as a Head of State is also revealed as a proven fact. Is this also impeachable? The madness of his obsession cannot be cured by propaganda and surveys. He is still seen as the silent, invisible, sleeping president.

  6. Nice article. The one high-growth 2050 projection I read was from HSBC and – like the CNBC projection you cited – it predicated its conclusion on the simplistic notion that population would keep growing rapidly, so the economy would grow to match.

    Well, if that is all that transpires, we can be assured that this over-birthing madhouse will be the number one beggar-nation in the planet. A bigger beggar nation of sweaty laborers doing the world’s dirt work. (But NOT a “nation of servants”; no, I did NOT say “a nation of servants”.) And we can be further assured that the Catholic Church will accept absolutely zero responsibility for the condition of the nation and its peoples, laying the blame off on government or Satan, depending on whether or not they like the people in office.

    The “propping Up Deadbeats” photo left me ROTFLMAO. Is that Sonny Bono? He is one of the great characters of life, formerly Cher’s wife (the off-key half of the duo of Sonny and Cher) and formerly mayor of Palm Springs, California (and respected for his work); he unfortunately killed himself by skiing headlong into a pine tree.

    I look forward to a photo of Beaver of “Leave it to Beaver” in your next article.

    Your DepEd commentary was enlightening. I think the DepEd, like Customs, should be cancelled out entirely and started from scratch. The mission should be very simple: make Filipino kids competitive with American and Chinese kids in the market for global brain power. DepEd is teaching 1950’s curricula in authoritarian form, jamming 45 kids to a classroom and dumbing them down relentlessly. Their solution is as simplistic as HSBC’s economic study. They exclaim, nay, demand “a bigger budget so we can build more hollowblock buildings masquerading as schools of learning”.

    I rather like the gambling industry coming to town, though. It kind of goes with the mafia style of the nation; you know, powerful families battling for the right to raid the public’s wallet. Manila would be like Las Vegas in the 1950’s. I recently did a blog about the mafia tenor of the Philippines; “Filipinos in Italian Suits”. Maybe you caught it, as I am sure you read me religiously.

    1. The country simply does not even have the capacity to feed it’s people now let alone 193 million. The experts make it look like it’s so easy to educate and train people. It’s like, from the moment Filipino babies come out of the hospital nursery, they already start receiving training to eventually join the “ready pool of talent”. What a joke.

      I don’t think that was Sonny Bono. I only know Andrew McCarthy in that film.

      Unfortunately, I didn’t read your blog about the mafia tenor of the Philippines.

  7. That’s the translation of some of the words in English to Filipino? It’s horrifying and it’s show that some words translated in Filipino are not that pleasing to say the least.

    The importance of English-fluency is an important one when dealing internationally. Considering that it is the language between different nations and nationalities as well as day-to-day usage for international business, I can’t for really understand the myopic idea that we should prioritize Filipino which by the way is not used internationally. Am not saying we shouldn’t learn and use Filipino, but the thing we must remember is that our country is NOT the world, we are one nation among many. Basically speaking Filipino is best used among ourselves yet we must be fluent in English as well if we need to communicate to others outside our country. Simply speaking we should learn both not excluding the other in favor of the other.

    1. Right. It depends on your overall objective. If it is to compete economically with the global players, you pick English. If it is to hang onto the pride attached to history, you pick Tagalog, which is not even the primary language for much of the Philippines. I’d opt for competitiveness over pride any day. After all, you can always hang onto the old languages if people are motivated enough to learn them. Just as Latin is an important language no one really speaks.

    2. The new DepEd program means Tagalog will be used as medium of instruction from Kindy to year 3 in the Tagalog region. Other regions will use their own languages in similar time frame. The other languages are Kapampangan, Pangasinense, Iloko, Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Waray, Tausug, Maguindanaoan, Maranao, and Chabacano.

      I don’t know how it is going to work considering from year 4 and up, English will be used as a medium of instruction. If you ask me, they are just making it difficult for everyone. At the end of the day, the employers will hire the person who is more fluent in English. And that means the children from privileged backgrounds will still end up getting better opportunities because of their ability to speak English fluently compared to the rest.

      1. Also another thing there seems to a undercurrent of mocking a person who speaks or at least has a partial mastery of the language at least during my time.

        1. Interesting. Rather like mocking someone who is ambitious. I was in a bad mood one day and wrote that Filipinos (some or many I don’t know) have their brains installed in reverse. It is strange that the strengths that are important to generating wealth are the ones that are torn down by those who can’t acquire those strengths.

        2. I still experience it. Some people think one is being elitist when he or she speaks or write in English.

      2. Studies seem to show that learning Math and learning to use a foreign language at the same time make one not learn Math and not learn the language.

        You separate the learning process. Teach Math in ones native tongue.

        Teach English as a separate subject. The problem I think is the teaching of English is too formal and mechanistic. Send a child to US or Canada, let him stay there for awhile, he’d be fluent in no time. How could you replicate the same learning process here?

        1. DepEd has been citing results of scientific studies done over time. Well, I have no means to find out how scientific those studies are but between that and some opinion on the contrary, where should I go? Do we have the right technical terms to teach Math? I can see that that could be a problem indeed but Math teachers seem able to surmount that too. Leave it to the ingenuity of the teachers; it is their field after all.

          In any case,

          Who do you think has a better handle of English language between these two: one who stopped schooling and went to the US to work as bagger in a grocery store for a year or so and came back here or one average guy who has just graduated in one university here with a major in English?

        2. Who do you think has a better handle of English language between these two: one who stopped schooling and went to the US to work as bagger in a grocery store for a year or so and came back here or one average guy who has just graduated in one university here with a major in English?

          The one who uses it more. It doesn’t matter where he is as long as he uses it more often. He may be working as a bagger in a grocery store in the US but if he doesn’t talk to anyone, he’s not going to be well versed in any language. The guy who majored in English can still be better off than him as long as he practices English more often. It’s up to the individual.

        3. Send a child to US or Canada, let him stay there for awhile, he’d be fluent in no time.

          You know why there are so many K-Towns in the Philippines? That’s exactly what the South Koreans are doing!

  8. Whoever is making policies in the DepEd sure knows about what’s going on in the real world. I am one of the few people who do not believe in the patriotic or nationalistic value of emphasizing Pilipino as a beginner’s course. We have to face reality. Many foreign countries realize the value of learning the language of choice for knowledge, technology transfer and advancement in the real world of highly technical jobs and professions. English is the way to personal development and progress for many individuals. Some of our gifted people even learn other foreign languages. Being multi-lingual has its advantages in the real world.

  9. Say, Ilda,
    Aside from tiger, dark horse, hasn’t the Philippines been called a bunch of monkeys too? I know you’d rather not hear another animal comparison, but we’ve got to find something that actually fits.

    The HSBC prediction, and many others like it, was yet made into another excuse by lazy Filipinos to simply wait for the financial guava to fall from the tree. They’ll never understand that even by just planning for our future growth properly, a good part of the work is done. The kayod-kalabaw part becomes more bearable for us citizens if we learn to truly work together.

    The DepEd making bad decisions has got to change. I personally believe, though, that developing English proficiency can go hand in hand, and concurrent with preserving the local languages. It just so happens that there are Filipinos who do not take care of their national treasures and resources, and simply let them rot.

    I think the government is pitching developing casinos here simply because it’s a convenient, and easy to disguise as legal, way to launder money.

    1. You are so funny, FallenAngel.

      I think the government is pitching developing casinos here simply because it’s a convenient, and easy to disguise as legal, way to launder money.

      Oh yeah…I didn’t think about that one. There’s definitely a lot of money to be made in allowing Casinos in. But there’s a lot of money to be lost once you go in one.

  10. The one who said that Philippines will be a large economy by 2050 doesn’t know the adage: “Aanuhin mo pa ang damo, kapag patay na ang kabayo?”

    Seriously, Philippines might have self-destructed by 2050 if things today continue as it is.

  11. Now we’re talking of “aris”…si Noynoy Aquino ay patay na ang “ari”. Gusto niyang pabuhay kay Grace Lee…so much for that…
    Our country has no economic plans. We have optimism for good future; but; optimism without any working plans are just useless hopes. Cory Aquino came; Ramos came; Estrada came; Gloria Arroyo came. We stayed in the same rut. Noynoy Aquino came. We are now digging ourselves deeper into an economic hole. OFW slaves/Drug Mule Program will never solve our economic problems. Since, people are going in foreign countries to work in low manual and menial work. Most OFWs are: mistreated, paid low, abused, underpaid and overworked.
    Foreign companies don’t just employ people because, they can speak good English. They have to have the :right education, training and work experiences.
    The technical education in the Philippines is not relevant in advanced industrialized countries. The technical terms; the way they do things; and their technologies, advances from time to time. What is taught in the Philippine technical colleges and universities today, may have been obsolete already. Maybe 50 or 20 years obsolete. So, the idea of instant available technical labor provided by Filipinos is absurd…manual laborers, domestic servants can be, but technical position is not. Other third world countries like BanglaDesh are offering the same servant / laborer services to these countries, at lower wages…

    1. hahaha!…you will not believe it, that the principle of an “incandescent lamp” long obsolete in most technologically advance countries…is still being taught in Electrical engineering course in the Philippines!…

      1. Advanced industrialized countries are now dealing with LASERs, Genetic Engineering,Trigybytes (trillion in bytes in computers), anti matter, atom colliders, etc…and we are still talking of incandescent lamps technology?
        We are Wowoowee people and YellowTards, indeed…

  12. I like your articles so much but… I’m afraid I have to disagree on your stance on the Mother Tongue project of DepEd. in fact, I am a teacher and most of my co-teachers support the Mother Tongue program and many studies have already concluded that it works and effective. now if the issue is the fluency of English, the Mother Tongue DOES NOT kill English education. it is still in the curriculum. while most people advocate an English-only education then we are committing a VERY UNCONSTITUTIONAL act.

    I have also a suggestion to your opposition to the Mother Tongue program… give it a chance. if it succeed then so be it. if it fails then learn from it.

    1. All my school life was taught in English, with a subject in Tagalog masking as “Filipino”. I flunked Math a lot though.

      BUT… thanks to a mostly English education, more opportunities were opened to me at an earlier age. I may have flunked Math a lot, but at 8 I pretty much knew a lot about dinosaurs, at 10 I knew how an A-bomb worked, and at 12 I made my own AC/DC power adaptor. I doubt that the knowledge would have been available at the time if it wasn’t in English. I still doubt that the knowledge is available now in any of the Filipino languages.

      Not to be a prick, but the purpose of a formal primary education is to get learning results earlier and at a higher rate than the specialization that comes in at high school and college. And given the extremely limited resources available to children these days, might as well maximize the opportunities offered by teaching in English.

      Did it hurt my kmnowledge of anything Filipino in any way? I doubt it, since I speak Ilocano, Tagalog, and Ibaloi quite fluently, and I have a good enough knowledge of Cebuano. Compared to most people my age in Metro Manila (who can’t get beyond Tagalog unless they migrated from elsewhere), I reckon myself to be better off, Filipino language-wise.

      And the constitution can be damned and ignored when it comes to education. I seriously would rather ignore that retarded yellow document when it comes to educating the fruits of my loins. Better have all opportunity for improvement open and available, rather than be stunted by a pro-oligarch basic law.

      1. Knowledge is power! the more knowledge you have the more powerful you will become. and a good command of the english language is a good start.

        1. Our civilization is now going Global. The language of one-world civilization is English. Most of the technical terms written in technical textbooks is English…
          There is nothing wrong with being Bi-Lingual, or being Multi-Lingual…anyway, you cannot eat your nationalism. Be a realist,Trust me,your nationalism will never put food on your table…

    2. @Mike

      Thanks for the input. Good to know we have all kinds of professionals reading GRP.

      My opinion is, if we want to make it to the world stage quicker, we better hurry up and do what the rest are doing. And what the rest are doing is enrolling their kids in the English language course because they know that the world demands it. That is what the Koreans, Chinese, Indians and even Japanese are doing. We already have an advantage over these people, why do we want to reverse the trend?

      Anyway, I respect the fact that you might know something I don’t because of your experience as a teacher.

      I have also a suggestion to your opposition to the Mother Tongue program… give it a chance. if it succeed then so be it. if it fails then learn from it.

      My problem with this is that it’s not that easy to reverse something when the damage has been done. And it’s sometimes not easy to reverse a program when there is strong opposition to changing it. There are a lot of misguided patriots out there who think that patronising the mother tongue is the only way we can move forward. I just hope this program is not solely geared towards that.


      1. The reason for the global advocacy for Mother-Language Based Education is not nationalism. Even DepEd hasn’t said that, as far as I know. Studies done in many countries show that children learn foreign languages better if they learn using the language they speak at home. The simple explanation is that they don’t have to double-translate from English text to the language they think in, say, Ilokano, then back to English to answer the exam questions. Math and science concepts are easier to understand, too, without the double-translation. Math and science terms can still be in English or French or Latin, but explain it to me in my mother tongue! The Chinese, Koreans, and Japanese want to learn English now, but they were able to achieve economic development even when they weren’t speaking English, so obviously that was not a factor.

        1. The catch there is that there is not one “mother language” in the Philippines, and not one of them has any straightforward technical term. Compare that with the Koreans and Japanese, who have a homogenous language, nation, and culture. Their economic development was also because they had their best people learn a foreign language and apply the technical concepts to their own economy. And in both Japan and Korea, those with foreign language skills have a better shot at employment and expatriate deployment than those without. That is the main reason why Koreans come to the Philippines to learn English: To get ahead in the world. From that “mother tongue” policy, it can be seen that Filipinos would rather regress and steep in a “mother tongue” rather than be open to the world, not to mention the other parts of the Philippines.

          And there are of course the “mother tongues” of the old Spanish Empire: The upwardly mobile speak Spanish with great fluency as a primary language, and the poor speak it haltingly. But they speak their native languages more as a matter of retaining their culture than as a matter of economic advancement. The same holds true for India, of all places. The Indians eventually realized that their myriad languages and education based thereon merely limited the economy to several states. English eliminated the linguistic divide, and where English is rejected, the economy is stagnant.

          Stick to English as the medium for formal education; or perhaps keep mother tongue to the first three years of grade school (and eliminate that “Filipino” course altogether). Thereafter, “Mother tongue” should remain as an elective.

      2. Mother Tongue based education was studied, experimented, and well planned curriculum and it is also being used in other countries. And who are you, who didn’t even participate in this program to say what is right. Obviously, you lack knowledge about the program and wrote about it. If you do not know about the subject, save your time in writing about it. So, Ilda is now the new der fuhrer education nazi. Hail Ilda!

  13. Topic aside… A great lie is being floated by the power mad administration. They are now saying that they are not interfering in the release of pork barrel. Perceived enemies and opposition who do not abide by administration policies like Rep. Magsaysay are bypassed by the Palace and the pork “distributed” by the executive branch direct to mayors. This is confirming the creeping dictatorship. The Executive branch violated the Philippine Constitution of 1987. It cannot by its own distribute pork of a representative to mayors. There is nothing in the Constitution that allows this.

      1. They are obviously using intimidation and bullying. Thank goodness Rep Magsaysay fights back. We need more people like her. I hope she files a complaint.

  14. “Character assassination is at once easier and
    surer than physical assault; and it involves far
    less risk for the assassin. It leaves him free to
    commit the same deed over and over again, and
    may, indeed, win him the honors of a hero in
    the country of his victims.”
    alan barth

  15. noynoys – the origin of the species

    “A man who dares to waste one hour of life has not discovered the value of life” – Charles Darwin

    a man who wastes his life has not understood the meaning of life.

    noynoying – definition:

    “Laziness ( noynoying ) is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired.”
    Jules Renard (French Writer, 1864-1910)

    a day in the life of a noynoy:




    related term :
    – trying to turn a lie into a truth and/or vice versa,
    by using social media for spin/ black propaganda

    related condition: noynoyism

    elitism , sense of entitlement and lack of interaction outside of their own breed leads to a condition of noynoyism – inertia – only aroused by threatened loss of power and/or money.

  16. The continuing direct interference of Mr. BS Aquino in the Lower House of the Congress is seen as dictatorship. Perceived enemies of the dictator are singled out for committee removal, discipline and delayed PDAF. Executive branch arrogation of the representative’s PDAF directly to mayors is acting above and beyond the Constitution. Is the executive branch now selectively denying pork while it also distributes pork through mayors? The constituents of targeted representatives may not be equitably receiving the same. Is the executive branch now acting as a representative of the Congress? Delaying the PDAF is denying the constituents the right to development and other projects. The House of Representatives and the Senate should wake up and realize that all of them can be treated like mere puppets subject to the whims of the dictator. Your constituents are being denied assistance and development projects. Your co-equal branch being interfered with and the Constitution violated with impunity by Mr. Aquino. It will get worse. The dictator has tasted absolute power in controlling and manipulating our congressmen. Wake up before you and your constituents suffer the worst!

    1. The House of Representatives through proper planning and apportionment of its PDAF have the capacity to improve the economy at their level. This is true. Continued interference of the executive branch will delay development, livelihood and other projects seen as conducive to building an economy. We say no to the annoying noynoy dictatorship!

  17. This good news all started after Gloria the most hated, fake president of the Philippines stepped down, now Tito Noy is pursuing to those corrupt people and making the economy rise again as reported by Bloomberg.

    1. Ummm… does Bloomberg also stated in the first place that Noynoy Aquino is BAD for the economy. Noynoy is the TRUE, fake president and he needs to step down due to his incompetence and he, just like you, loves to throw temper tantrums.

      At least Gloria did something during her 9 years in her term despite of the controversies against her: the 7.6% GDP rate is much better compared to the current admins’ 3.5%. Sorry, you’re telling us to be lazy bums and just wait. The ‘bahala na’ attitude is another stupidity.

      Man, you’re a delusional moron. Corruption is NOT the root cause but the dysfunctional culture and all. Most of us know that and you don’t. 😛

    2. @Nutzi Vincenzo

      Speak for yourself you black propagandist! You are saying that: “Gloria the most hated, fake president of the Philippines…” This just validates that you are painting the former president as evil and guilty before trial! The truth is your tito Noy is protecting his corrupt KKKK. He still has to show us his medium term development plan for the economy. Post your links. In other words, put up or shut up! You really are a despicable scoundrel troll. Remember you said before: “pugutin and ulo ni Gloria.” Remember? That marks you and your tito as criminals.

    3. “This good news all started after Gloria the most hated, fake president of the Philippines stepped down, now Tito Noy is pursuing to those corrupt people and making the economy rise again as reported by Bloomberg.”


    4. post hoc fallacy again, Vincenzo?

      Your Tito noy is riding on the economic gains started by Gloria. The wave is dying down yet he is still out there doing his thing, you know, noynoying

  18. “We are on the road to becoming one of the
    world’s more successful economies’
    p-noy 16 mar 2012 – makati business club

    “we are on the threshold of transforming the country”
    p-noy 17 mar 2012

    delusional moron

  19. I just wish the government invests on education. A properly educated population will really help our economy. Pero parang hindi yun ang priority, so lagi na lang tayong naka-asa sa OFWs, nakakaawa ang magkakahiwalay na pamilya.

    1. i can relate to your sentiment. wala akong naiwang pamilya sa atin pero marami akong kilala nasisira ang pamilya dahil ang mag-asawa na dapat magkasama ay nagkakahiwalay bunga ng pangingibang bansa.

  20. Very informative article. I am definitely posting this in my page. Thanks Ilda! Please keep writing the truth and reality about the sad situation of this country. Hope that one day Filipinos are all gonna wake up and change their dysfunctional ways.

    1. Pag umabot na ang population natin ng 100M, magiging top supplier na ang pinas para sa Human Trafficking businesses for sexual slavery, forced labor or for the extraction of organs or tissues. Nako!, magkakapera na naman ang mga negosyanting gobyerno natin dito!

      1. hindi naman kasalanan ng presidente kung ganito man ang ating bansa. .well , i’m just a concerned citizen who happened to see your comments. .kung naghihirap man tayo ngayon, . dahil un s agawi natin. .hindi dahil sa ating gobyerno. .kung itong ipinopost niyo eh ipinagtatrabaho niyo na lang eh d sana maganda. .i can see here that you’re anti noynoy. .try niyo kayang maging presidente?? You like?? at ng malaman niyo ang hirap . .hindi tayo uunlad kung hidi tayo matututong maghanap buhay !!! Work hard so you can harvest the fruit of your labors. . Goodluck and God bless sa inyo. .hope you’ll understand. .

        1. “Try nyo maging presidente?” Ang comment ng isang talunan na hindi matanggap ang sitwasyon at katotohanan ng bansa.

          For sure binoto mo rin si Noynoy kaya ganyan ang banat mo.

        2. Lol, another typical response from a stupid noytard.
          Why am I not surprised by that kind of dumb comment coming from a dumb aquino c**ksucker.

          FYI, anyone can be a better president than Mr. Aquino so be careful of what you wish for noytard.

    2. Actually according to business producer, Kevin Voigt your country
      (or are you speaking indonesian?) will be 16th by at the most 2050

  21. more than typical comment nyo… kung walamg pagbabago sa sarili nyo mga mang2 at dukha…problema nu na yon….i asa nu buhay nu sa presidenteng di corrupt? how stupid all of you!!!

  22. Your article clearly shows the roadblock that is hindering the country from becoming developed country. You make compelling points as to why that 2050 projection by HSBC is not within arms reach. It is true it would take time to train and educate Filipinos further so we would be more competitive and develop more industries. However, I do have question for you, can you make a case as to what are the right things we’re doing right now that may help us get closer to 2050 projection?

  23. Basically Filipinos are nothing but predominantly maids and blue collar(low wage) workers. What’s worse is that some Pinoys or perhaps alot of them are also immoral. One example is that whenever you address a concern to either the staff or the management in any establishment/company, there are chances that they will just ignore you. Also think of delivery trucks who drive so recklessly. One incident happened months ago when a truck bumped and wrecked an eatery wherein a female person was about to eat there. Had she not leave the place, she will be crushed into pieces. Even the ones from the filthy richest countries are the most righteous, moral, and having fear towards God. What of the criminals amongst Filipinos? Spiritually, most of Pinoys are lets say 5th world?!

    Also, no matter how much the Philippines promises to become developed country, America and perhaps the whole of the Western Civilisation will always rule the world in terms of economy, tech, and military. Why should I care about the young Filipino population when most are incapable. Perhaps, I don’t think the Filipinos are young looking just like the Blacks, Hispanics, and even many Americans who are so obese. I think Koreans are the most young looking and so kawaii hehehe. Not only Koreans are attractive but they are amongst old civilisations. Now they are alot richer than the Philippines and also younger looking. Not sure with the ones with flat big broad nose you know what I’m talking about? That’s why Korea is developed country. What about the fact that America has the most number of guns due to its policies of allowing them to own a number and variety of firearms. Maybe they could even use tanks, Gundams hehehe. But the Philippines is also backward in terms of military, but worse is that why does the fucking govt. not allowing Philippine citizens to own guns. They even have to sign permit just to obtain one. Maybe those Yellowtards implemented that bullshit? If the Philippines wants to become a developed country, then just have a good luck. Follow Donald Trump and the Conservatives. Import white people to clean up the trash. Lastly, I also like to add that the only reason Singapore become one of the richest countries in Southeast Asia and the whole of Asia is because with the help and aid of those Brits but without them, they will be as stone age as the Philippines or maybe even Africa.

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