A Struggling Economy

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Comics By: A. Lipin, Inq7.net ( January 16,2002)

You probably have heard of the slogan, "It's the economy, stupid." Among other things, that passage points to the importance of the economy in our lives.

While the economy is too big a concept to imagine or manipulate, its effects are felt in our day-to-day routines. The state of the economy often determines whether politicians can keep their jobs; whether we can get ice cream at the store; or, whether we have electricity in the villages at all.

The Philippines is one of several countries that are presently struggling to keep their economies under control in this globalized age.   Back in 1986, the world-renown EDSA Revolution brought a lot of hope to the economy, then buckling under the weight of domestic and foreign debts. Many observers thought that the moment had arrived for the country to shake off its old reputation as the 'sick man of Asia.' Hampered by  corruption, political conflicts, social instability, and economic mismanagement dating back to the independence of the Republic from the United States (1946), the Philippines was lagging  behind the newly-industrializing countries of Asia, such as South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan.

   

Many observers thought that the moment had arrived for the country to shake off its old reputation as the 'sick man of Asia.'

While their economies started to reap the gains from developing their human resources and infrastructure during the '80s, the Filipinos had just begun the task of dismantling some of the old, inefficient  arrangements, rules and policies that helped bring down the economy from being second only to Japan in economic growth rate in the 1950s to one of slowest in the world.


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But economic travails have persisted despite the rehabilitation of Philippine democracy. Just as growth rate began to accelerate under the Ramos Administration, financial crisis and recession hit Asia and the rest of the world at the close of the century. Three Presidents after Corazon Aquino and the EDSA Revolution, the giant task to rebuild the economy carries on.