If you're vacationing in the Philippines, you probably don't need to know about the Philippine economy. Instead, you'd be better off learning Tagalog! However, if you plan on moving to the country and staying there long-term, you should learn the basics of the Philippine economy (ekonomiya ng Pilipinas) and some important terms related to this topic (mga tuntunin sa ekonomiya).
Don't worry. It doesn't have to be complicated or boring! We have included all the information to get you started here in a succinct manner. That way, you're less tempted to fall asleep!
A lot of a country's economy, such as its import and export business, is based on its location. In this case, the Philippines is an island, otherwise known as an archipelagic country, located in Southeast Asia.
Although it doesn't have any land borders, it shares maritime borders with Taiwan to the north, Japan to the northeast, Palau to the east/southeast, Indonesia to the south, Malaysia to the southwest, Vietnam to the west, and China to the northwest.
Oftentimes, when talking about the economic state of a country, the term "developing country," "developing countries," "third world," "global south," or "developed countries" comes up. So, let's clear the air on what these terms mean, address a common misconception, and talk about the controversy surrounding these terms.
Officially, a "developing country" is any sovereign state (soberanong estado) that is less developed industrially and has a low Human Development Index (HDI). Some determiners of HDI include life expectancy and education level (antas ng edukasyon). The Philippines is an example of what a developing country looks like.
One common misconception surrounding the term "developing country" is that it means the same thing as "low and middle-income country." This is actually not the case. According to the World Bank, low and middle-income status is determined by gross national income (kabuuang pambansang kita).
Nowadays, several controversies have arisen around this and other related terms, for a good reason. Many feel that the term is overgeneralized and only reinforces an "us v.s. them" rhetoric.
As it stands now, some key points, largely due to history and geographic location, classify a country as "developing." Some of which include:
Of course, all of these points can and should be debated.
Increasing urbanization (urbanisasyon), an emerging middle class, and a vibrant, determined young population are what make the Philippines one of the most important economies (ekonomiya) to keep your eyes on!
In terms of poverty rates, the country saw a decline from 23.3% in 2015 to 16.6% in 2018! This kind of initiative and reform effort is making way for the country to transition from a lower-middle-income country with a gross national income of $3,430 to an upper-middle-income country with a gross national income of $4,096-$12,695.
It is also predicted that the country's average annual growth rate for 2022 will be between 7-9%. In comparison, the growth rate during 2021 was 5.7%. All in all, the country is expected to experience sustained economic growth (pag-unlad ng ekonomiya) while still undergoing economic recovery due to the pandemic.
The main industries of the Philippines are manufacturing (pagmamanupaktura) and agribusiness. Manufacturing includes mining, mineral processing, pharmaceuticals, shipbuilding, electronics, and semiconductors. This makes sense seeing as the Philippines' primary exports are semiconductors and electronic products (>40%) and various manufactured and craft products (16%).
Also, did you know that the Philippines is the fourth-largest shipping country in the world?
Currently, the Philippine services sector employs more than the agricultural (pang-agrikultura) and industrial sectors combined! At present, business process outsourcing (BPO) and tourism (turismo) are the top-performing services in terms of sector growth.
In 1980, agriculture accounted for 25% of the Philippines' GDP, but due to the country's shift from an agrarian-oriented economy to an industrial one, that percentage has dropped to 9.3%!
Nowadays, the agricultural sector covers forestry, hunting, fishing, growing crops, and livestock production. The top agricultural products are sugarcane, coconuts, rice, corn, bananas, cassava, tapioca, and pineapples.
The World Bank has shown active support for the Philippine Rural Development Project, which aims to improve rural infrastructure in recent years.
If you want to learn more about the Philippines, such as its amazing language, you should use the Ling App!
With courses in over 60 languages, Ling is an app here to help you through every step of your language learning journey. From speaking to writing to listening to reading, Ling has lessons and exercises to help you improve all four language skills. Even better, learning with Ling has never been more fun!
Besides the app, Ling has a great language blog filled with content on different languages, countries, cultures, food, and even language tips. If you ever have a question during a language lesson or want to learn more about the Philippines economy, all you have to do is go to the blog!
With Ling, possible na matuto ka ng bagong wika ("it is possible to learn a new language" in Filipino) anytime, anywhere!