By Fred Lobo
The country’s population will balloon to some 107.19 million by the end of this year, the government has announced.
Population has become a “nightmare,” President Duterte lamented.
However, the economy would remain bullish to sustain economic growth, Malacañang claimed.
Bullish economy vs population nightmare. Expect a raging ‘economic war’ in our midst.
PH’s rapidly expanding population poses a major challenge to economic growth, public safety, and public health, Duterte acknowledged.
Negative impact vs higher productivity from a growing work force.
PopCom Executive Director Juan Antonio Perez III explained that the population will increase by 1.8 million by end of 2018, growing at a rate of 1.69 percent, meaning “we will be adding 4,965 Filipinos per day, or 206 every hour in 2018.”
Are Pinoys productive at work or more productive in bed?
Duterte acknowledged the challenges posed by the population growth in a recent speech at the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) at the Manila Hotel.
“Every government desires for an economic expansion, (but) “in the Philippines, we are hitting about 110 million Filipinos and that is really a nightmare given the economic level of our country today, the income, the GDP (gross domestic product),” he said.
The President pointed out “there are four, five fundamental duties of government — to protect public interest, public health, public order, public safety, and the general welfare of the people.”
“Those are the functions which I have to perform and see to it that it’s complied with,” he vowed unfazed.
But fortunately, the government is still bullish about a sustained economic growth under Duterte’s watch, said presidential spokesman Harry Roque.
“We remain confident that the country’s economy will continue to thrive under the Duterte administration, especially with the enactment and implementation of the TRAIN (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion) and other tax packages to further improve our growth,” Roqueadded.
Roque also cited the revitalized business and consumer confidence in the country amid its “economic resurgence.”
“That optimism is backed by solid macro and micro economic indicators that make the Philippines one of the top performing countries in the world,” he claimed.
Malacanang added that the Philippine economy grew by an average of 6.7 percent in the first three quarters of 2017 and that the government aims to reach annual GDP growth of 7 to 8 percent from 2018 to 2022.
Time for a saving grace – higher economic growth and lower population growth through responsible parenthood.