The Phillippines' Economy
Over the past few years, the Philippines' economy has undergone a remarkable transformation. In the late 80's and early 90's the Philippines were stuck with poor political leadership, economic growth, and slow paced economic development. Today it is recognized globally that the Filipino economy has turned around to produce a positive growth. One of their biggest accomplishments has been the GNP growth rate rise from zero in the early nineties to between 5% and 6% today.
The current president, Joseph Ejercito Estrada, is following the strong pace set by former president. Under the Ramos administration, important steps were taken towards economic liberalization. These steps included the opening of banks and telecommunications sectors, and the changing of investment laws, which created a more attractive business alliance and stronger commercial relationships with the United States. Because of these events, the United States remains to be the number one trading partner of the Philippines, and they are among the United States top 25 trading partners.
According to President Estrada's speech on January 8, 1999, thanks to the actions of former president Ramos "our country continues to enjoy positive growth despite the crisis in Asia. In the region last year, only Singapore and the Philippines posted positive growth rates." Some of the major factors concerning the economic growth during Ramos's term in office that Estrada intends to continue to give attention to are foreign relations, education, health, transportation, banking and trading.
Modern education in the Philippines is becoming a major issue in the growth and stabilization of the country's economy. During the last fifty years, education has become a major concern for this country, and it has recently been made more readily available through expansion. Despite this expansion, the quality of education was still not up to par and remains a concern today. One problem facing the education system was a thirty- percent difference in the literacy level between rural and urban areas. Also, all families below the poverty line could not afford to educate their children beyond elementary school. These and other problems like poor teacher performance, overcrowded classrooms, lack of language skills and low wages could definitely benefit from new programs aimed at improving work productivity and family income.
In 1990, over 10,000 foreign students studied in the Philippines, the majority of which were American. Until recently, most of the students attending these schools had to be taught in three languages; English, Filipino and Spanish. Now the schools primarily focus on Filipino, which will relieve much stress on students and faculty, and promote faster progress in the future. Another controversy noticed by many American students was the fact that many education policies were fluctuating constantly, and were likely to be changed before teachers...