Economy and Politics in the Philippines by: Maria Hazel Cabalit

Every state has an economy. It is like indicating a society of how well their individuals are participating to make it progressive.But, what does economy really means? What does this have to do with our country? What are indicators of a progressive economy?

Economy refers to the process of production, distribution, and consumption of certain goods and services by individuals in the society. Economic activity involves natural resources, labor, and capital. Underlying all this are geographical location, culture, values, political organization, law, and education.

The Philippines is considered as a newly industrialized country, which has been transitioning from one based on agriculture to one based more on services and manufacturing. In 2014, the GDP by Purchasing power parity was estimated to be at $692.223 billion.The Philippine economy has been growing steadily over decades and the International Monetary Fund in 2014 reported it as the 39th largest economy in the world. However its growth has been behind that of many of its Asian neighbors, the so-called Asian Tigers, and it is not a part of the Group of 20 nations. Instead it is open grouped in a second tier of emerging markets or of newly industrialized countries. Depending upon the analyst, this second tier can go by the name the Next Eleven or the Tiger Cub Economies.In the years 2012 and 2013, the Philippines posted high GDP growth rates, reaching 6.8% in 2012 and 7.2% in 2013, the highest GDP growth rates in Asia for the first two quarters of 2013, followed by China and Indonesia. As a newly industrialized country, the Philippines is still an economy with a large agricultural sector; however, services have come to dominate the economy.Much of the industrial sector is based on processing and assembly operations in the manufacturing of electronics and other high-tech components, usually from foreign multinational corporations.Filipinos who go aboard to work–-known as Overseas Filipino Workers or OFWs—are a significant contributor to the economy but are not reflected in the below sectoral discussion of the domestic economy. OFW remittances is also credited for the Philippines’ recent economic growth resulting to investment status upgrades from credit ratings agencies such as the Fitch Group and Standard & Poor’s.In 1994, more than $2 billion USD worth of remittance from Overseas Filipinos were sent to the Philippines.In 2012, Filipino Americans sent 43% of all remittances sent to the Philippines, totaling to $10.6 billion USD.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said the Philippine economy likely picked up speed in the second quarter of the year after slowing down in the first quarter on weak global demand and lack of government spending.The Philippines recorded a 5.2 percent GDP growth in the first quarter of the year from 5.6 percent in the same quarter last year on the back of anemic spending caused by delays in the implementation of much-needed infrastructure projects.Last July, the IMF revised downwards the country’s GDP growth forecast to 6.2 percent based on the July World Economic Outlook (WEO) compared to 6.7 percent based on the April WEO as it lowered its global growth forecast amid the slow US economic recovery.The IMF slashed its global growth forecast this year to 3.3 percent instead of 3.5 percent. This year’s revised forecast was also lower compared to the 3.4 percent global growth registered last year.

Political system refers to the system of power of governance. It is often associated with economic system, cultural system, religious system, or legal system. It is constituted by members of the organization, by-laws and policies in the management and administration, and mechanism for maintaining order in and out of the organization.

To contain the fiscal crisis after Marcos dictatorship, a total of 29 tax measures were passed by Corazon Aquino administration; the introduction of 10% Value Added Tax (VAT) , an additional 20% VAT imposed on luxury goods, a unifiedtax schedule for compensation and professional income and new taxes fir franchisees. From 1986 to present,debt payment for interest alone has slashed the 25% of the national governance budget. The worsening conditions of the poor is still evident up to this day. Prices for rice rose from a range of P30-40;petroleum product and gasoline.

Learning about our economy and our politics can help on how we can improve our country. I strongly believe that politicians have great role in improving our economy. If our way of governing will not change and politicians would not change their ways of governing our country then our country economy won’t imporove. As a Filipino citizen, we have the responsibility to help it to become progressive. Our country is blessed with many abundant resources and all we have to do is make use of it and expand it. Politicians must be aware of the current state of those poor people,who up to this time are still suffering. If only politicians will not take advantage of their powers by being corrupt and use it instead to help those poor people. Corruption is a hindrance in the development of one’s economy. We can’t blame those poor people for being poor because how would they improve their lifestyle if nobody would help them. Politicians must be true to their words because some are just saying stuff to get the peoples votes but when they got the position they forgot all of those promises they made during elections.
Everyone must live by this statement “What you do has far greater impact than what you say.”

Comte, Martineau, and Marx

Aguste Comte

French philosopher Auguste Comte (1798–1857) greatly advanced the field of social science, giving it the name “sociology” and influenced many 19th-century social intellectuals. He rejected religion and royalty, focusing instead on the study of society, which he named “sociology.” He broke the subject into two categories: the forces holding society together (“social statics”) and those driving social change (“social dynamics”). Comte’s ideas and use of scientific methods greatly advanced the field.

I believe that his attempt to unify history, psychology and economics through scientific understanding of society is his one way of refining and promoting his “new world order.”

He produced is major work the six-volume Course of Positive Philosophy. In this work, Comte argued that, like the physical world, society operated under its own set of laws.

Comte also wrote the System of Positive Polity. In his formulation of a “religion of humanity,” Comte proposed a religious order based on reason and humanity, emphasizing morality as the cornerstone of human political organization.

Harriet Martineau

First Woman Sociologist

Born in 1802, Harriet Martineau is considered the first woman sociologist. In 1853, she was the first to translate August Comte’s work from French to English. It is through this translation that English-speaking scholars could begin to learn the works of Comte, who is known as the father of sociology.

Martineau had a career full of writing for various journals, newspapers and, of course, her own books. Beginning in 1831, she began writing a series of stories, called Illustrations of Political Economy. Using the utilitarian principles of gaining happiness and the teaching of Adam Smith on free trade, she hoped to teach ordinary people how to better understand things such as tariffs, taxes and the state budget.

She formulated a comparative method for studying societies and analyzed the new American culture by measuring it against carefully stated principles. Quite possibly, she wrote the first “methodological essay” ever published, How to Observe Morals and Manners. Her greatest originality was in her method.

Karl Marx

Karl Marx is credited with being a founder of communism, but Karl Marx’s economic writings were generally about capitalism and why it was doomed. It was later thinkers like Lenin who really developed the ideas of communism, so in a nutshell Marx’s principal contribution to communism was the idea that Capitalism was doomed. Marx while a communist thinker would really more accurately be described as anti-capitalist.

Marx wrote a relatively small pamphlet read by many called the Communist Manifesto, which was a call to the working classes to unite and try to bring about a revolution, but this was written as a persuasive essay really and does not really explain the economic thinking of Marx. Marx’s magnum opus in which his economic theories are laid out is Das Kapital. This book is in fact not about communism but about capitalism, which Marx thinks will collapse for a number of reasons. Probably the most important reason is the loss of excess value that is obtained from exploitation of laborers.

In an oversimplified explanation: A capitalist makes all of his profits from excess value beyond what he pays his workers and that to remain competitive, the capitalist will be required to replace workers with machines (from which he makes no extra profit). This will cut into capitalist profits and force some firms to go out of business leading to a crash in which fewer firms survive and grow larger. There would be repeated cycles of this with episodes of overproduction and subsequent crashes getting larger and larger as the firms grow larger and capitalists’ profits continue to be cut as described above.

Chelsea Pioquinto