Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Pushing for change

I've read some (meaning 1 or half way beyond one) analyses of the effects of Obama on the Philippines.

I believe that we have to break from the concept of export-fueled growth. We have to adopt the North Korean concept of Self-Reliance. No, I'm just kidding. But the Philippines really has to step up its own production as we are a nation of 90 million people since last year. Assuming that around 70-80% is below the poverty line that still leaves you a few million to go after as domestic demand. We are primarily an agricultural country that actually imports produce, meat, dairy and other food products. Yes the Philippines is halfway between being agricultural and industrial. Industrialization has been, is and will be a mess for the Philippines while current policies on agriculture (especially the lack of subsidies) are forcing farmers to stop farming and start selling the land that they own (thanks to the horrendously inefficient and ineffective Agrarian Reform Program) back to the former land owners, who will subsequently convert these lands into non-agricultural land. This serves to remove the land from the ambit of the Agrarian Reform Program and at the same time transform the land into a potential hectare of rice or other product into a condominium unit, technopark or industrial park.

A local dairy organization has likewise said that the Philippines is importing 99% of dairy. It would be better to create more dairy farms than import dairy in the long run. But that's the problem. There is no long run in the Philippines.

In any case I hope to make a dent on our problems in the future.

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