Monday, April 8, 2013

Inclusive Economic Growth For 2013

by Bro. Eddie C. Villanueva

The new year literally opened for the Philippines with a bang. While it registered a high record of 33 percent annual growth for its stock market in 2012, as 2013 began, records were broken successively to the amazement of observers. We add the fact that the Philippine peso continues to be strong and has been recognized as the best performing currency in this part of the world.

We have many reasons to thank God for 2012. We have been exceedingly blessed. And they are the same reasons why we all need to work harder together so that the Philippines’ excellent performance last year would not falter, but instead continue in 2013. We cannot afford to lose the gains that we have painstakingly worked for as a nation through the leadership of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino.

The enormous challenge also is how to translate these positive economic figures into the actual improvement of the living standards of our citizens, especially the poor. Development must always be inclusive. In Filipino, we have two popular words for this: “Walang napag-iiwanan (No one is left behind).”

One way to make sure that no one is left behind is to create an environment that would be inviting for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Just like the small and medium enterprises’ (SMEs) significant contribution to the economy of Canada, MSMEs also significantly contribute to the Philippine economy.

Canada and the Philippines also share the same high record of employment generation through SMEs. In the Philippines, from 2011 to 2012, more than 700,000 jobs were created trough programs that assisted MSMEs, according to the Department of Trade and Industries. This is one sure way to open better opportunities with the marginalized.

If we could have more MSMEs, more Filipinos would also have access to better economic living. And with this scenario in entrepreneurship, hopefully, our citizens would be more hopeful, inspired and participative in national transformation. With this, our economy would achieve two things: To be aggressive and, at the same time, inclusive.

While we hope for the best, we remember to thank the Lord for His overflowing grace showered to our beloved country, the Philippines! We thank You, God, for all the gifts!

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of Lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (James 1:17, New King James Version)

Shalom! Shalom!

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