Archive for the ‘ecology’ category

FISCAL DECENTRALIZATION: SHOWCASING PHILIPPINES

February 18, 2012

FISCAL DECENTRALIZATION: SHOWCASING PHILIPPINES

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

The government decentralization that has been going on in the Philippines for the duration of the post-Martial Law/Dictatorship era (dictatorship deposed in 1986) seems to have caught the attention of urban observers worldwide.

As a gesture of interest on the Philippine experience, the United Nations recently published a book showcasing the same country’s fiscal decentralization. The series of laws (since the legislation of the local government code) and practices has come a long way since the mid-80s yet, which renders the ASEAN member state as an exemplar for global studies on urbanization, public administration, and taxation economics.

Below is the information about the said publication.

[Philippines, 07 February 2012]

Source: http://www.unhabitat.org/pmss/listItemDetails.aspx?publicationID=3262

Fiscal Decentralisation in Philippines
Global Urban Economic dialogue series (Series title)
This report examines the fiscal decentralisation experience in Philippines. Since 1991, the central government has devolved significant spending, taxing, and borrowing powers to local governments. This paper discusses fiscal decentralization in the Philippines. It reviews the tax regimes in view of the vertical and horizontal fiscal gaps. Local governments receive intergovernmental fiscal transfer or block grants called the ‘internal revenue allotment’ based on a formula that has population, land size and equal sharing as criteria. In contrast, performance-based grants seem to open pathways for instilling greater accountability on the part of local governments. To make financing more accessible and competitive to local governments, it demonstrates the need to pursue further reforms in credit markets.
Other titles in Global Urban Economic dialogue series:
• Economic Development and Housing Markets in Hong Kong and Singapore 2011
• Economic Role of Cities 2011
• Fiscal Decentralisation in Philippines 2011
• Gender and Economic Development 2011
• Impact of Global Financial Crisis on Housing Finance 2011
• Infrastructure for Poverty Reduction and Economic Development in Africa 2011
• Microfinance, Poverty Reduction and Millennium Development Goals 2011
• Organisation, Management and Evaluation of Housing Cooperatives in Kenya 2010
• Public-Private Partnership in Housing and Urban Development 2011
The Sub Prime Crisis: The Crisis of Over-Spending 2011

DOWNLOAD: (906 Kb)

ISBN Series Number: 978-92-1-132027-5
ISBN: 978-92-1-132414-3
HS Number: 129/11E
Series Title: Global Urban Economic dialogue series
Pages: 52
Year: 2012
Publisher: UN-HABITAT
Co-Publisher : – Not available –
Languages: English
Themes: Urban Finance, Urban Economy and Financing Shelter
Countries:
Branch/Office: Executive Director

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HIMALAYAS’ GREEN TECH BOOMS, WHO OWNS IT?

January 26, 2012

HIMALAYAS’ GREEN TECH BOOMS, WHO OWNS IT?

 

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

We have a gladdening news about the Himalayan region regarding the potentialities of renewable energy or RE as impetus for economic prosperity. Eight (8) countries in the Hindu-Kush Himalayan region particularly manifest high potentials for RE-driven growth.

 

The question that is now rising from the emerging green tech boom there is: who owns the said RE boom altogether? Who is in control, who pays up the greatest for the boom, what yields will there be for the peoples of the 8-country region?

 

Without such a control over the boom’s compass and yields, there is always the danger of financial predators using the RE boom to  extract the greatest profits out of their greedy pursuits, which will cancel out the people-prospering side of development.

 

Below is a report on the subject from the SciDev.net.

 

[Philippines, 27 December 2011]

 

Source: http://www.scidev.net/en/news/himalayan-countries-urged-to-own-their-green-tech-boom.html

Himalayan countries urged to own their green tech boom

Smriti Mallapaty

21 November 2011

[KATHMANDU] Himalayan countries should support and invest in green technologies if such initiatives are to succeed and bring benefits to the economy in the long term, a meeting has heard.

Eight countries in the Hindu-Kush Himalayan region are making progress in development and uptake of renewable energy technologies, which can maintain sustainable economic growth for mountain communities, a workshop in Kathmandu heard earlier this month (2–4 November).

Further investments could provide environmental, social and economic benefits to mountain communities, experts told the meeting, which was organised by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).

But it is uncertain whether poorer countries could sustain investment in green technology development without external support and this dependency on donor funding could hamper the progress made so far, experts warned.

Suresh Kumar Dhungel, senior scientist at Nepal National Academy of Science and Technology, told SciDev.Net: “The sad part is that Nepal’s efforts are not solely ours, it is all guided by funds from international donor agencies. Policymakers need to realise the importance of a green society.”

Golam Rasul, head of ICIMOD’s economic analysis division said: “The initial cost of renewable energy is high compared with fossil fuel based energy. The technology we are using now is not very cost-effective. Technologically advanced countries should support research in this field.”

Rasul said regional cooperation and transboundary energy trade could offer a way out.

“Bhutan and Nepal have huge hydropower potential but lack technical capacity and large markets, whereas India and Bangladesh are power hungry,” Rasul said.

Ghulam Mohammad Malikyar, deputy director-general of the National Environmental Protection Agency, of the Afghanistan, told SciDev.Net climatic environments may need different green technologies, appropriate for local circumstances.

Prem Pokhrel, climate and energy programme officer at the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre, Nepal, said that almost a million households in Nepal are benefiting from micro-hydro power plants, improved cooking stoves, domestic biogas plants, and solar home systems. This saves an estimated 12 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year.

Pokhrel described an ‘energy ladder’ of rising income, where households transition from wood and animal-based fuels to electricity and other clean energy, as they get richer. This also translated into better health for women and children, said Pokhrel. He added that uptake of clean energy can also help generate better income.

ICIMOD organised a conference on Green Economy and Sustainable Mountain Development: Opportunities and Challenges in View of Rio+20 in September, which produced a concept paper ‘Green Economy for Sustainable Mountain Development’.

One of the key recommendations to the national governments from the concept paper was to “adopt alternative forms of energy such as hydropower, wind power, biogas, and solar energy to reduce negative impacts from the use of fossil fuels and fuel wood”.

Link to ‘Green Economy for Sustainable Mountain Development: a concept paper for Rio+20 and beyond’

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MANAGING RISK FUELS PROSPERITY, AFRICA RE-TOOL!

October 27, 2011

MANAGING RISK FUELS PROSPERITY, AFRICA RE-TOOL!

 

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

African development stakeholders better go through a rethink of their development strategies and frameworks during the past decades. The challenge is for African experts and specialists to re-tool and configure new ‘best practices’ in aid of facilitating risk management as framework and strategy for achieving development goals.

 

The global framework is that of the Millenium Development Goal or MDG which most member countries of the UN committed to support and enact. The 2015 deadline nears, which makes it so tight a schedule to put into practice the emerging frameworks, strategies and tools. Chances are that the MDG goals may me achieved below the expected results or ‘barely passing rate’.

 

Below is a reportage about Africa’s poor nations’ chances to manage risks as a way to achieving the MDG.

 

[Philippines, 28 October 2011]

 

Support: http://www.beta.undp.org/undp/en/home/presscenter/pressreleases/2011/10/06/helping-africa-s-poor-to-manage-risks-key-to-region-s-progress-says-new-report-.html

 

Helping Africa’s poor to manage risks key to region’s progress, says new report

06 October 2011

New York — African countries should enhance the strength and resilience of their poor populations through targeted social safeguards, according to “Assessing Progress in Africa toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)”, a region-specific report released today.

This year’s annual report shows that such policies will help in the region’s steady progress on some of the MDGs, eight internationally-agreed targets to reduce poverty, hunger, maternal and child deaths, disease, gender inequality and environmental degradation by 2015.

In spite of this progress, recent food, fuel and financial crises, coupled with threats from climate change and the recent instability in North Africa are likely to affect the region’s MDG achievement.

“We urge policy-makers to recalibrate their social protection programs, so that they are perceived not as handouts but rather as measures to strengthen productive assets,” said the authors of the foreword to the report.

According to the report, national schemes, such as pensions, safety nets and school feeding programmes, can impact positively on several MDGs by addressing the immediate needs of the most vulnerable, providing them with labor market skills and safeguards against relapses into poverty.

The document lays out a number of success stories in the area of policy, including Algeria’s social protection scheme that contributed to reducing unemployment from 30 to 10 percent between 2000 and 2009, and Ethiopia’s 2005-2008 public works projects that led to construction of nearly 4,500 rural classrooms and improved food security for 7.8 million citizens.

Ghana’s National Health Insurance Scheme, covering 67 percent of the population, cut out-of-pocket expenditure for health by 50 percent. In Malawi, agricultural subsidies and outreach services resulted in an increase in the number of food-secure households, from 67 to 99 percent between 2005 and 2009.

Such schemes provide immediate protection for the poor while also making a longer term contribution to creating dynamic economies and more resilient societies, according to the report published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the African Union Commission (AUC).

Tracking MDGs

Thanks to policy innovations and social protection schemes, Africa has made steady progress on a number of targets. For example, it increased primary school enrolment rates from 65 to 83 percent between 1999 and 2008.

In addition, 80 percent of the 36 African countries that have data for 1990 to 2010 increased the number of women in parliament during that period; and HIV/AIDS prevalence rates have dropped from just under six percent in 2001 to five percent in 2009.

However, while all regions of the world made progress on reducing maternal mortality, Africa faces a formidable task on this indicator, with several countries showing averages of 1,000 deaths per 100,000.

In addition, although the population with access to safe drinking water increased from 56 to 65 percent between 1990 and 2008, the rate of progress is insufficient for the continent to reach the 2015 MDG target of reducing by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water.

Progress on some of the MDGs may have stalled or been reversed by the impact of the global economic crisis on Sub-Saharan Africa where the proportion of those earning less than US$1.25 a day decreased from 67 to 58 percent between 1998 and 2008.

More than 20 percent of young people in North Africa, for example, remained unemployed in 2008, while more than 75 percent of the labor force in Sub-Saharan Africa had vulnerable jobs in 2009.

In addition to carefully targeted and fiscally sound social safeguards, the report says more attention should be focused on designing strategies that promote job-rich growth and increase agricultural productivity.

To access the report, please visit http://www.undp.org/africa/mdg/

Contact Information

Ethiopia:

UNECA – Yinka Adeyemi, Tel: +251-11-5443537, yadeyemi@uneca.org,

AUC – Noureddine Mezni, Mobile: +251911511723

NewYork: UNDP – NicolasDouillet, +1.212.906.5937, nicolas.douillet@undp.org

Tunisia: AfDB – Pénélope Pontet deFouquières, +216 71 10 12 50, p.pontetdefouquieres@afdb.org

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POPULATION IMPACTS CROPS LARGER THAN CLIMATE CHANGE

October 19, 2011

POPULATION IMPACTS CROPS LARGER THAN CLIMATE CHANGE

 

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

I have no fondness for Malthusian bogey perspectives about population outstripping food production. And I do scorn such fear-mongering neo-Malthusians as Paul Erlich’s nauseating ‘population bomb’ thesis.

 

Albeit, there is indeed validity to the pressure exerted by burgeoning population on limited arable lands. A study done in Africa shows the demographic factor as having greater impact on crops than the much ballyhooed climate change. However, the study didn’t go to the extent of prescribing genocide and population decimation strategies in order to return the food security situation of the past, as such mad prescriptions belong more to the Malthusians and the eco-fascists hiding under the rubric of ‘environmentalists’ or ‘greens’.

 

Below is a special report on the subject coming from the SciDev.net.

 

[Philippines, 19 October 2011]

Source: http://www.scidev.net/en/agriculture-and-environment/farming-practices/news/population-has-bigger-effect-than-climate-change-on-crop-yields-study-suggests.html

Population has bigger effect than climate change on crop yields, study suggests

Bernard Appiah

4 October 2011 | EN

Climate change and population hike might mean smaller maize yields in the future

Population pressure will be as significant a factor as climate change in reducing crop yields — and thus increasing food insecurity — in West Africa, according to a modelling study.

The authors inserted different climate change, land use, and demographic change scenarios, into an internationally validated model to estimate maize yields in Benin from 2021–2050.

They found that, as the population increases, farmers frequently cultivate cropland without allowing adequate resting periods for the soil to regain its fertility — thus reducing crop yields.

Overall, they found that various land use scenarios reduced maize yields by up to 24 per cent over the period, whereas climate change scenarios reduced them by up to 18 per cent.

But beyond 2050, “climate change is most likely to be the predominant driver for crop productivity”, they concluded.

“Our main assumption [before conducting the study] was that the low-input fallow systems (which allow resting periods for ploughed, but un-seeded land) in Benin and other West African countries would not change in the near future,” said Thomas Gaiser, lead author and a researcher at the University of Bonn, Germany.

“If governments in the region introduce policies such as the promotion of the use of mineral fertilisers, then the decrease [in the amount of land left fallow] will not be as serious as that without fertilisers,” he added.

Gaiser said farmers should use mineral fertilizers or intercrop with leguminous crops to promote soil fertility and increase yields.

He added that the findings are relevant to many Sub-Saharan African countries relying on leaving land fallow for soil fertility, like Ghana, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.

“I am not surprised by the findings,” said Brian Keating, the director of Sustainable Agriculture Flagship of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), based in Australia. “It is important to look at all the factors that contribute to agricultural productivity output, and not just on climate change.”

But Keating told SciDev.Net that many farming systems in West Africa yield only 20–30 per cent of what would be possible if better practices and technologies were adopted.

Temi Ologunorisa, director of the Centre for Climate Change and Environmental Research at Osun State University, in Nigeria, said African governments should adopt climate change adaptation strategies.

“Agriculture in Africa is about 80 per cent rain-fed, and this must change given the declining amount of rainfall,” Ologunorisa said.

The study was published in the August edition of Agricultural and Forest Meteorology.

Link to abstract in Agricultural and Forest Meteorology

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HEALTH REPORT UPDATE/REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH REFLECTION

July 1, 2011

HEALTH REPORT UPDATE/REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH REFLECTION

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Good day from the boondocks west of Manila!

Below are update studies and reports done regarding health. The greater focus on the materials is reproductive health. This has great relevance for the Philippines in particular, where reproductive health has been a raging public policy issue for some time now.

There is so much mis-understanding about reproductive health on the side of church players and conservative groups who now manifestly equate reproductive health with killing babies. It is best that those stakeholders should get exposed to the research & development updates about reproductive health, and they should desist from using reproductive health to heap up hysteria aimed at a new Inquisition that will see millions of ‘heathen burnt at stake’.

[Philippines, 26 June 2011]

Source: http://www.eldis.org

Maternal, newborn, child and reproductive health

Produced by: The Global Health Council (2010)

This position paper on maternal, newborn, child and reproductive health contains detailed information about each health area, the key interventions that are needed and the Global Health Council’s positions and recommendations for making progress in these areas.

Key conclusions from this paper are:
• improved maternal, newborn and child health can enable families to break out of a cycle of ill health and poverty that may otherwise continue for generations.
• smaller family size and appropriately spaced births allow families and governments to invest more in each child’s education and health, which raises productivity and economic growth.
• poor health adversely affects family income, caregiving, and productivity.
• illness and death contribute to the impoverishment of families through medical expenditures they can ill afford, reducing funds for necessities, such as food and education.
The paper also makes the following recommendations:
• promote integrated programmes.
• focus on health systems.
• establish standard metrics and methodologies.
• conduct epidemiological assessments.
• deliver health systems in an equitable manner.
• promote national authority.
• hold stakeholders accountable for results.
• increase resources to maternal, newborn, child and reproductive health.
• increase support to country-led efforts.
• harmonise funding from all sources.
• hold governements to their international agreement commitments.
• encourage partnerships and evidence- based programming.

Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=58177

Champions for children: state of the world’s mothers 2011

Produced by: Save the Children Fund, USA (2011)

This State of the World’s Mothers report ranks 164 countries on women’s access to health care, education and opportunities. Whereas millions of children are alive today because of past investments in lifesaving programs, the authors note that 22,000 children still perish per day, mostly from preventable or treatable causes.

The authors contend that Norway is the world’s best place to be a mother. Also, eight of the 10 top-ranked countries are in Western Europe, and the remaining two are in the southern hemisphere, with Australia ranking second and New Zealand eighth. On the other hand, eight of the world’s 10 worst countries to be a mother are in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The worst place in the world to be a mother, according to the authors, is Afghanistan. The authors argue that despite ongoing conflict and rising civilian casualties, expecting mothers in Afghanistan are at least 200 times more likely to die during childbirth than from bombs or bullets. A case in point is the fact that one in 11 Afghan women die from pregnancy or childbirth complications in her lifetime and only 14 percent of mothers in the country give birth with help from any kind of skilled health worker. In Norway, by comparison, the risk of maternal mortality is only 1 in 7,600 and nearly all births are attended by skilled help.

The report notes that in many countries, vaccines, antibiotics, and care during pregnancy are hard to reach and as a result child and maternal death rates are very high.

In light of this, the authors conclude that while many countries are making progress, many are still lagging behind and thus in need of support. Finally, the authors argue that effective solutions to this challenge are affordable – even in the world’s poorest countries.

Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=58077

Good practice guide: community mobilisation through women’s groups to improve the health of mothers and babies

Produced by: Women and Children First (UK) (2011)

This good practice guide, based on the experience of a project in India and Bangladesh called Saving Mothers and Children, describes an approach that has the potential to reduce maternal and newborn deaths, and to address other health problems. The project worked through women’s groups, using a participatory learning and action cycle, to mobilise community action to improve the health of mothers and babies.

The aim of the guide is to provide a case study of good practice in working with women’s groups to address maternal and newborn health and to share lessons learned from this experience. While the guide describes an approach used in rural communities in India and Bangladesh, this can be successfully adapted to different contexts.

In India, the project resulted in a 45 per cent reduction in newborn deaths and a reduction in maternal deaths, as well as a 57 per cent reduction in moderate maternal depression. In Bangladesh, the project resulted in an increase in uptake of health services. In both India and Bangladesh, the project resulted in a significant improvement in hygienic delivery practices, including use of delivery kits, and an increase in exclusive breastfeeding.

The project was implemented by an NGO, Ekjut, in India and the PerinatalCare Project of the Diabetic Association of Bangladesh (BADAS) in Bangladesh, together with the University College London Centre for International Health and Development and Women and Children First, an international NGO based in the UK.

In India, Ekjut worked in tribal communities in West Singhbhum and Saraikela Kharswan districts of Jharkhand State and the Keonjhar district of Orissa State. In Bangladesh, BADAS worked with three rural districts, Bogra, Faridpur and Moulavibazar.

Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=58074

Saving new born lives in Nigeria: new born health in the context of the integrated maternal, newborn and child health strategy

Produced by: Federal Ministry of Health of Nigeria (2011)

This report contains new data that shows that as the death toll in Nigeria is falling, the percentage of deaths that happen in the first month of life is increasing. The authors report that newborn deaths now make up 28% of all deaths under five years compared to 24% two years ago. Also, six out of 10 mothers give birth at home without access to skilled care during childbirth and it is in the first few days of life when both women and newborns are most at risk. The authors argue that, since 241,000 babies die in the first month of life in Nigeria every year, Nigeria is the African country with the highest newborn death toll.

Key findings from the report:
• Nigeria’s mothers, newborns and children are dying in large numbers – nearly 3,000 each day.
• most of these young lives could be saved with existing interventions.
• the key interventions to save newborn lives are mostly possible through the existing health system and will prevent the deaths of mothers and older children– but coverage remains very low.
• more than a third of children’s deaths are attributed to maternal and child undernutrition.
• the policies needed to reduce newborn mortality are mostly in place and the cost is affordable.
• inadequate funding and stewardship of resources at all levels hampers the performance of the Nigerian health care system.
• the Nigerian health system is relatively rich in human resources comparedto many other African countries. However, there is inequitable distribution of staff to offer maternal, newborn and child health services.

The report calls for an increased focus on reducing newborn deaths, the vast majority of which are avoidable. The authors contend that thousands of newborn lives can be saved via simple methods, such as teaching mothers about danger signs, encouraging them to seek help early and making sure there is enough medicine and enough healthcare workers at community health centres. Whereas the policies are mostly in place and the cost is affordable, the authors argue that priority must be given to implementing these policies and making sure all families receive essential care.

Recommended actions for healthcare decision makers:
• ensure leadership, appropriate funding and accountability.
• orient policies, guidelines and services to include newborn care.
• effectively plan for and implement policies, including human resources, equipment and supplies.
• track progress and use the data to improve programmes.
• inform and communicate.

Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=57803

See our Health Resource Guide for a complete list of new additions at: http://www.eldis.org/go/topics/resource-guides/health

NAZI HEALTHCARE AGENDA RISING IN AMERICA

February 22, 2011

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

It is night time as I write this note. The easterly winds have been blowing, seemingly reminding us here of the coming hot days. While this happens, winter has been bringing storms in America, storms that accompanied the torpedoing of the new health bill, the torpedo ‘storm troopers’ being the neo-fascistic ‘Tea Party’ of the Republican Party.

 

The world is watching the unfolding events in America concerning health care. This analyst is among those keenly interested, as the matter of making health care accessible to everyone in my own country has been a mind-boggling challenge for the development experts. We have been scouting around for models of health care accessibility, and the concept of ‘universal healthcare’ that some experts are espousing in the USA is worth examining.

 

A question that arises from the unfolding events is this: is health care headed for a new summer in America, or is it moving towards a long winter? The enthused readers can go ahead and choose to discuss the matter, and generate their own opinions about it.

 

My own reflection about the matter makes me conclude preliminarily that America’s health care is heading towards a parallelism with the Nazi health care of the Hitler’s heydays in Germany. Nazi policy in health means a dichotomous delivery of access to health: make those strongest physically and mentally have access to state-sponsored health care, while close the access to those who are the weakest.

 

To reduce the cost of sustaining a state-sponsored health care program, eliminate those who are the weakest. Round up those with lingering ailments, the lame and blind, the ‘subhuman’ or below-normal intelligence, and so on, line them up on the wall and machine gun them to death.

 

My own reading of the events in America makes me see, among other things, the increasing closure of health care to the impoverished families and individuals there. Poverty now exceeds 40 Millions of Americans, with the Blacks and Latinos comprising the greatest percentage of ethnicities below poverty line.

 

It seems, as of now, that no one single political force has a monopoly of Nazi-type health policies there. True, the fascist wing of the Republicans, coming under the names of ‘Tea Party’ and ‘neo-conservatives’, have deep, elitist, condescending scorn for poor folks and colored peoples who are receiving too much state attention via welfare subsidies for health. But that is belaboring the obvious.

 

There are forces within the Democrat Party—masquerading in the mantle of liberalism—who would have none of the drift of America towards a Welfare State akin to what befell Europe. They know that America’s coffers don’t cough up enough funds for subsidies, so what they do is pretend to be pro-people by voting for bills that allocate greater state subsidies for health care.

 

Such forces are making use of political parties as Trojan Horses to wage a sadistic attack against the poor people of America. They will brook no quarters in excluding the poorer folks, including immigrants, from mainstream health care, and they commit the heinous act through rigmaroles of legislative fiats.

 

While such new Nazis, and real Nazis to stress the point, fiddle their superficial policy agenda and do backroom maneuvers that concern health care, hundreds of thousands of poor folks die yearly of every kind of ailment there. By dilly-dallying on the galvanization of the ‘universal health care’ idea alone, numerous dying folks are already being sacrificed in the altar of Evil there.

 

Let us all watch closely the events concerning health care, and see what happens after another year will elapse. If it will be so easy to forecast that more Americans are being kept out of the health care circuits, then rest assured a Nazi killer agenda is in place to satisfy the sadistic lust for blood by demoniacs in the Establishment.

 

That being so, the rest of the world, more so the emerging markets, will add another reason to their rising list of rationales for ignoring America as a recognized leading state by showing leadership through example. The year 2012 will be a clear turning point, when nations will decide whether there is still an iota of leadership that America can demonstrate.

 

Health is wealth, and a nation that closes health care access to its people is a nation without soul and conscience. Other nations should move on in life without that soul-less state to reckon with.

 

[Philippines, 17 February 2011]

 

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FILIPINOS 104 MILLION STRONG: 94 IN PH, 10 OVERSEAS

February 12, 2011

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

Magandang gabi! Good evening from PH’s suburban boondocks!

 

The Philippines just conducted a census last year, 2010, and the result shows a sum total of 94 Million heads in the archipelago. The population growth of 2 Million heads per year is also indicated, showing an increase from the 1.7 Million heads annual increase ten in the year 2000 (when the last census was conducted).

 

The 2 Million annual growth is already a total result in itself. Accordingly, about 500,000 fetuses are aborted every year in the country, a figure that has alarmed population and health experts. Never mind if the national charter bans abortion, women who commit unwanted pregnancies simply decide to go abortion.

 

94 Million Filipinos, at a time of economic boom and rising incomes, is a cause for celebration. With a rising middle class at hand—who form the demand base of consumption-led growth—we expect a steadily growing number of Filipinos who comprise the family income bracket earning U.S. $6,000-$30,000 annually. 20 Million Pinoys are in that category today, which will expectedly rise in the next couples of years.

 

Thus, PH qualifies as an ‘emerging market’. It has first of all a large population, and millions of people falling within the middle class spenders with incomes ranging from U.S. $6,000 to $30,000. Many heads working and earning well translates into economic wellness for a country, so we should welcome this development.

 

Now, let us not forget the Overseas Filipinos or OFs who comprise an estimated 10 Million heads across 200 countries more or less. These OFs earn an aggregate income of U.S. $400 Billions annually, $20+ Billions of which is remitted to the Philippines as Net Factor Income from Abroad or NFIA. Of the $20+ Billions, only around $18 entered legally established channels of remittance annually.

 

That means the OFs remit 5% of their earnings to the motherland, and that is good enough. No matter what misery-inducing policies the global elites would slap Pinoys with via the World Bank-IMF-WTO Group, the most demonic being the austerity policies of the IMF, the Philippines can survive thanks to the OF remittances. Let the evil elites shackle PH with crippling low credit ratings and low entry of ‘smart money’ and investments by them, we will still survive thanks to the remittances and our own domestic investments.

 

The signs are pretty clear that fecundity, the capacity to give birth, is high among Filipinos. This for me is a cause for celebration. Let us sustain our high birthing capacity and increase the number of middle class people by the year, and we will all the more exude our economic and social power as a people.

 

Contrast that high fecundity to the trends in Japan and Russia, where their populations are falling by the year. Russia has been alarmed a decade ago yet about falling population, and identified the phenomenon as the top national security problem. Japan just began to experience a falling population, and this early look at how alarmed and panicked the Japanese stakeholders are of the consequence of diminishing population.

 

Not so for my beloved Philippines. We will be producing 2 Million+ Filipinos annually in the archipelago and overseas for many years to come yet, and we shall use the burgeoning population as leverage in negotiating with other nations and regions. The global oligarchs can no longer be fooling us at this time, whacking us with oppressive policies that produce deplorable conditions for our poor folks.

 

Abroad, our own Kabayans are now crystallizing a consciousness as an Overseas Filipino Nation, and I do welcome this progressive development. United by culture, language, and shared experience, the OF Nation will wield the stick to leverage vis a vis governments, market players, and interest groups in their host countries. They can no longer be fooled in the negotiating tables, much more enslaved and butchered like unwanted pests by sociopathic monsters without responding in a pro-active way.

 

Clearly, the days when White Americans sang “Brown monkeys have no tails” in the archipelago, a sordid racist song they popularized upon invading the Philippines, are over. The figure of 200 Million Pinoys can be breached by 2050, at a time when PH will be a wealthy nation, huge and wealthy to lead the ASEAN Union.

 

In sum, 104 Million Filipinos should be welcomed as good news. It is the leveraging power of Pinoys in the new era of Urban Philippines, whence 68% of Pinoys are residing in urban communities here.

 

[Philippines, 11 February 2011]

 

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