Looking at it from a ground perspective, whenever I look around I see a lot of construction projects going on, giving a false impression that the country is prospering. However most of the construction boom are real estate projects – hotels, condominiums, house and lot, and commercial areas – malls, supermarkets, convenience stores, and so on.
But this sort of growth is unsustainable. You can only have so much real estate to meet the demand. What happens when that demand dries up? What happens when people are unable to pay their mortgages? Remittances can't remain constant forever. There would be a lot of empty houses and condos, construction will stop, the economy will contract and there'd be a lot more jobless and homeless people. This will to unrest, and at the worst, upheaval.
You don't base an entire economy that creates little and relies on remittances to fund consumer demand for goods made elsewhere. Not to mention the fact that so many people are employed in the informal sector; think fishball vendors, dispatchers, tricycle drivers, ukay-ukays etc.
If you want a sustainable economy, give these people jobs in manufacturing. Agriculture is also in such a sorry state here in the Philippines that an average farmer earns not more than Php 23,000 per annum. No wonder the former US ambassador to the Philippines regarded the Philippines a basketcase economy as revealed through diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks.
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