National Economic Policy

Article excerpt

MANILA, Philippines - Economic Policy normally centers on these four: 1. Full employment; 2. Growth; 3. Price Stability; 4. Fair distribution. Properly accessed these targets help to bring prosperity to our people and hopefully happiness.

Full employment of human resources (FE) deserves primary attention since human resources are time sensitive. If human resources are not employed when available they are wasted. No recovery is possible once time passes. The opportunity that passed can no longer be of any economic use. The harnessing of a potential resource such as women's available time in rural areas for economic productivity is additional economic bonus almost without cost. The economic value of idle work time turns from zero to positive gain in productivity. This is what happened in the United States with WWII when woman labor was harnessed and in the less developed world with the coming of microfinance. This emphasizes how wasteful it is to have unemployed able-bodied men who want to work but find no employment. A corollary although not as important is the use of available machinery and other material resources such as commodities and minerals. Empty school houses, idle factories, minerals in the ground, fruit not harvested are all unused material resources that can improve economic productivity and human enjoyment.

Growth is the second important policy target. The country is doing well in this and will do so for the next five years. The projected 7% is acceptable but comparative economic history tells that at least 9% growth for a five-year period might be needed for a country to break out of economic doldrums. …