The Highs and Lows of Philippines Economy

The Philippines was the second wealthiest country in Asia prior to World War 2 and stood just behind Japan in its economical achievements. It was expected that it would become a major economic power in Asia and the world after the war ended.

The Philippines economy was strong, the people spoke English, and they were an ally with America, had a strong workforce and were filled with natural resources. In the 1960s to 1980s, after gaining independence in 1946, the country was ruled by President Marcos and he ruled his homeland under martial laws.

This was followed by an economic downfall in 1984 and 1985 and the Philippines faced economic recession. The country's political system was also not strong. The demand for filipino products decreased and the rate of corruption increased consequently.

It was during the jurisdiction of Fidel Ramos, the former president of the Philippines that the country revived in 1990s. He opened the country to foreign investment in 1997. The inhabitants went abroad to countries like North America, Europe and Middle East. According to estimates 11 per cent of the Filipino population is working abroad.

Thankfully this safeguarded the country from falling again during the 1997 Asian economic recession. Even though the Philippines economy faced issues during thia asiatic crisis, it came out in better condition when compared to other Southeast Asian countries.



The Filipinos who were working abroad were remitting money into the banks and there were no external debts for the country due to which it was able to withstand this debt related recession. Yet the price hike and adverse weather condition aggravated the falling economic situation. Due to this the development fell from 5% to 0.6% in 1998 when compared to the previous year. But the country was able to rearrange the economic condition quickly to 3% in 1999.
Agriculture is the most expansive sector of the Philippines economy. The products mainly consists of sugar, banana, coconut, pork, eggs, rice and corn. They still continue to be a largely agriculturally based, but there are several other prominent sectors that have led to the rise in the economic situation. Manufacturing industries like textiles, electrical equipment, automobile parts and food processing units are becoming a strong part of the growing economy. The industries are mainly concentrated around Manila and there are several Business Process Outsourcing companies being set up in Philippines. This has also reduced the rate of unemployment.
After agriculture, mining is a prominent industry in Philippines. The country has a vast resource of nickel, chromium and copper. This has attracted heavy industries like glass production, fertilizer, steel, iron, cement and petroleum products. The Philippines have been the first to create a commercial geothermal energy station with 25% of the country's energy being provided by underground heat source. In the year 2005, the Philippines currency 'peso' was rated the best performing currency in Asia. The debt repayments have also come down in 2008 and the economy has grown to a whopping 7.8% in 2008. There are still several issues of concern in the country, but with sustained growth rate, poverty can be reduced and the economic condition improved.

Since 1997, PUVeP has implemented numerous research and social outreach projects. A summary list of these projects can be downloaded here.

PUVeP served as the main coordinator for following European Union funded projects:

GIS-based Urban Environmental Resources Management and Food Security Project
(EU AsiaUrbs Program)


Urban and Periurban Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Development for Sustainable Vegetable Production and Marketing Systems
(EU INCO_DEV Program)

1997 - 2000

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