Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Main Social Problems


The Republic of the Philippines suffers from widespread corruption. Means of corruption include graft, bribery, embezzlement, backdoor deals, nepotism, patronage. This one of the biggest social problem of the country.

According to a World Bank study in 2008, corruption in the Philippines is considered to be the worst among East Asia’s leading economies and the country has sunk even lower among those seen to be lagging in governance reforms. The 2009 Corruption Perceptions Index published by global watchdog Transparency International, showed that the situation in the country had improved slightly but still remained serious.

The Philippines ranked 139th among 180 countries included in the index, up from its previous 141st ranking in 2008. The nation scored 2.4 in the TI index, compared to 2.3 in 2008, which ranked it equal to Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Baltic state of Belarus.
As of 2011, the Philippines came in at 129 with a 2.6 CPI in Transparency International's list that ranks 178 countries and territories based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be.

This is better than the Philippines' 134th ranking in 2010 with a 2.4 CPI. The CPI score indicates the perceived level of public sector corruption on a scale of 0 - 10, where 0 means that a country is perceived as highly corrupt and 10 means that a country is perceived as very clean.

Transparency International-Philippines said some of the factors that contributed to the Philippines' (2.6) slight jump are the improvement in government service, and cutting red tape.

The group believes that the government's efforts to prosecute former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo may positively affect the perception on corruption as this shows the government means business.

The Philippine political arena, unlike other democracies, is mainly arranged and operated by families or alliances of families, rather than organised around the voting for political parties.



Poverty is still the most critical social problem that needs to be addressed. 

Philippines' poverty line marks individuals earning less than 16,841 Peso a year. Based on the data from the National Statistical Coordination Board, more than one-quarter (26.5%) of the population falls below the poverty line in 2009. This figure is a much lower figure as compared to the 33.1% in 1991. The decline has been slow and uneven, much slower than neighboring countries who experienced broadly similar numbers in the 1980s, such as People's Republic of China (PRC), Thailand, Indonesia (which poverty level lies at 8.5%) or Vietnam (13.5%). This shows that the incidence of poverty has remained significantly high as compared to other countries for almost a decade now. The unevenness of the decline has been attributed to a large range of income brackets across regions and sectors, and also unmanaged population growth.

The government planned to eliminate poverty as mentioned in the Philippines Development Plan (PDP). The PDP for the next six years are an annual economic growth of 7-8 % and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Under the MDGs, Philippines committed itself to halving extreme poverty from a 33.1% in 1991 to 16.6 % by 2015.

Given that the population of the Philippines is increasing at a rapid rate of 2.36% per year, it can be translated as an increase of more than 5,000 people daily in a country, which already has an increase of more than four million poor people since 1985. In 1985, the absolute number of people living in poverty was 26.5 million. This increased to 30.4 million in 2000 and from 2006 to 2009, increased by almost 970,000 Filipinos from 22.2 million to 23.1 million. As the Philippines has financially limited resources and a high poverty rate, the rapid increase in population has become a problem because there is already insufficient resources to support the population, which leaves much fewer resources to improve the economy. From 2003 to 2006, even though the Philippines experienced above-average economic growth, the poverty incidence actually increased as a result of its population growth rate.

Poverty reduction has not kept up with GDP growth rates, largely because of the high unemployment rate, high inflation rate and wide income inequality. From 2000 to 2009, the economy of Philippines grew by 3.2% on average annually, which was on par with the economic performance of its neighbors. However, this recent growth did not get more jobs. Unemployment in the Philippines has been high in comparison to its neighbors, at around 7.5% to 8.0% since 2006.

As the world’s second largest archipelago, the Philippines have faced difficulty in job creation due to its inability to attract more foreign, direct investments. Diwa Guinigundo, whom is the Central Bank Deputy Governor, mentioned that while capital flows are turning to the emerging markets, foreign, direct investments to the Philippines remain relatively low due to the weak investment climate. The Philippines have hefty business procedures, poor tax and customs administration, weak protection against expropriation and high-energy cost. This poor investment climate has limited the Philippines ability to grow and create jobs. Therefore, the poverty rate remains constant over the years.

sources:, Philippine Development Plan: Asian Development Bank (ADB), 2010; National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) *Average for the period 2001-2010