WB suggestions for poor to feel economic growth, misleading
Letter to the Editor | This is a reaction to the news article titled “WB suggests ways to make poor feel economic growth”, though we agree that the so-called economic growth being experienced by our country should primarily benefit the poor; the suggestions of the World Bank will mostly benefit foreign and big corporations.
Its first suggestion is to increase income-generating opportunities for the poor. This may be done by an aggressive effort to attract more businesses, which will open more jobs for the poor. It further said that enticing more investors would require improving the investment climate and spending more on infrastructure.
The other strategy is to improve human capital. Training Filipinos to meet the labor requirements of investors would help reduce unemployment and, therefore, poverty.
As can be seen, they are only paying lip service to alleviating the plight of poor Filipinos but in reality are catering to the interests of big business. A good example of this is the Bicol region which supposedly is the fastest growing economy with an 8.2% growth last year, but it is also the fourth poorest region in the country. It is also the current “tambay” capital of the Philippines, with 37% of its labor force being underemployed. Add to this the fact that as of 2006 it has a poverty incidence of 41.8% and based on initial reports also increased.
So where did all this growth go? (It went to the industry especially mining corporation) Our suggestion for real economic growth which will truly and comprehensively improve the lives of the poor to occur, genuine agrarian reform coupled with nationalist industrialization should be implemented. It is giving free land to farmers and nationalization of industries so that workers will have sure and stable jobs. These joint moves will uplift the lives of at least 90 % of our population and is definitely better than having to rely on foreign investments.
Public Information Officer
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Bikol (BAYAN-Bikol)
Brgy.17, Legazpi City, Albay
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