Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Lagging Behind

If we are to judge things by the numbers, ranking 15th of 23 is really bad.

This is actually the Philippines' standing among 23 developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region in terms of real per-capita income, or average earnings per person. This is according to a study made by the Asian Development Bank that underscored the disparities in the living standards among countries in the said region. For more information on this news item, you can visit this link from Inquirer.net.

In fairness, we're still ahead of Pakistan (17th), Vietnam (18th), and India (19th).

I don't even know if I can call this "consuelo de bobo." Imagine: during the Ramos administration in the mid 90s, the Philippines was already considered as the "Sleeping Tiger of Asia." Even earlier than that in the late 60s (I wasn't alive yet), countries like Thailand and Malaysia were sending their citizens to the Philippines to be schooled on the newest methods in agriculture and other developmental skills. These countries were waaaaay behind us at that time.

Now, Malaysia and Thailand are ranked sixth and eighth respectively in the said ADB report. That, despite the Thai baht's dramatic fall in recent time and Malaysia's economic and political problems that are much like ours.

What's even scarier is that Pakistan -- a land swept by the ravages of armed conflict and civil unrest -- is fast catching up on the Philippines.

Even Vietnam is also on its way to leap-frogging over the Philippines despite the fact that the red Communist flag is flying high over its capital.

As for India, this country is learning to tap its strongest natural resources: its people and its land. India is turning into a very busy exotic tourist destination. Moreover, with its cheap labor to rival China and our country as well as its fast-growing English proficiency, foreign investors are now looking at India as the newest investment hub.

It is also disturbing to note that Sri Lanka -- once considered as among the poorest nations in the world -- has landed on the 13th spot in the ADB report. That's two places ahead of the Philippines.

If I find out that Bangladesh outruns the Philippines in the race for economic supremacy......I'm transferring to Timbuktu.

Or I'll be praying to St. Antonio Trillanes IV for redemption.

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