Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ateneo Center for Economic Research and Development director keynotes Caraga's 1st regional economic briefing in Butuan City.

Dr. Cielito F. Habito was the keynote speaker in the recent regional economic briefing held in Butuan City on January 4, 2009. An economics professor, former socioeconomic planning secretary and director of the Ateneo Center for Economic Research and Development [ACERD] of the Ateneo Manila University, he talked on the global crisis, its effect on the Asian economies, and the recent key trends, outlook and imperatives of both the Philippine and Caraga economy.

His presentation was entitled: “Struggling through Global Crisis: Philippine Economic Performance & Outlook, 2009-2010 and Beyond.” In his presentation, Habito made special note of how the growth in the Philippine economy came from domestic investments mainly composed of government construction or what we may call as massive pump priming. Habito also shared how “the link between economic growth and poverty reduction has been stronger in Asia for every 1% of GDP growth... but not in the Philippines where poverty actually rose even as the economy saw a supposed record growth..."

In his consideration of the Caraga economy, the former NEDA Director General cited several positive developments such as increasing investments, tourist arrivals, mining output and tax collection among others, side by side with some disappointments [decreasing agricultural production and exports, elementary school participation rate, and high inflation rate] & challenges. He made particular mention on the challenge for the region to work for a much broader-based growth i.e. beyond mining & quarrying.

He also repeatedly emphasized the importance of good governance and the vigilance of the private sector to battle constraints to long term and sustainable economic development.

Habito was joined by NEDA Caraga Assistant Regional Director Cecilia Lopez who presented the Updated Caraga Regional Development Plan and Ms. Belinda Ato of the Father Saturnino Urios University with her talk on Caraga's Perspectives & Challenges for Peace and Development, DTI Caraga Regional Director Brielgo Pagaran who welcomed the participants and the members of the National Economic Research and Business Assistance Center or NERBAC Caraga board of advisors in the panel.

The December 7 briefing was the first economic briefing organized by NERBAC Caraga. The half-day activity as attended by more than 100 participants – officials and representatives from the government, business, academe and banking sectors.

(Source: Philippine Information Agency)

(Coming soon in the Diliman Diary: More questions regarding the University of the Philippines Foundation and the U.P. Business Research Foundation)

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