The Philippines recorded a stunning 7.8% first quarter growth for this year, outperforming economic giant, China and the rest of Asia, the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) announced Thursday. With this economic performance, the fastest-growing economy in Asia boosted its efforts to attract more foreign investments.
In the other news, the country jumped 5 notches higher in the World Competitiveness Ranking, boosting the image of Filipinos’ competitiveness in the international market.
The economic growth, which is the highest since President Aquino assumed presidency, outpaced China (7.7%), Indonesia (6%), Thailand (5.3%) and Vietnam (4.9%).
NCSB said that the strong economic growth, the second fastest since the 8.9% growth in 1Q of 2010, were driven by a strong construction and manufacturing sector, increase in government and consumer spending, and backed up by financial intermediation and trade.
The construction, manufacturing, and mining sector combined a total of 10.9%, higher than the 5.3% and 8.9 in the 1Q and 4Q of 2012. Construction increased to 32.5% from 29.9% in the 4Q in 2012, manufacturing grew at 9.7% from 6% and 5.5% in the first and last quarter of 2012, and mining grew at 17% higher than the 5.3% and 8.9%during the first and last quarter of 2012.
The services and agriculture sectors also contributed to the growth with 7 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively. Agriculture which grew by 3.3% and fisheries showed a huge increase of 5.5%.
NCSB also cited the continued inflow of remittances from OFWs.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said that the growth beat his own forecast. “Business confidence and consumer optimism fueled this growth, erasing doubts cast on the 2012 figures that they were due to base effects only. The impressive performance of these sectors prove that the country is already reaping the benefits of strengthening priority sectors that are potential growth drivers and employment generators,” he said.
Balicasan also noted the stirring growth of the construction sector, indicating that the sector has a “good positioning toward an industry-led economy.” According to him, this was led by the infrastructure spending of the government. “By the second half of 2012, private construction started to rebound,” he said.
“Due to the attractive investment opportunities, we are also at risk of receiving too much capital inflows as advanced economies implement quantitative easing. The challenge is to channel these inflows into productive investments,” he said.
With the highest 1Q growth and investment grades, competitiveness ranking of Filipino workforce also raised to 38th from 43rd last year in this year’s World Competitiveness Ranking conducted by International Institute for Management Development (IMD), an international school. Around 60 countries are covered in this survey.
The Philippines’ ranking was based on improvements in terms of its economic performance, government efficiency and business efficiency and due to the gains seen in 3 out of 4 major factors observed by the report. In the area of economic performance, the country ranked at 31st from 42nd last year. This was the result from the 6.6% economic growth last year.
For government and business efficiency, the country ranked 31st and 19th respectively.
Unfortunately, in the infrastructure area, the Philippines dropped from 55th to 57th this year. But despite of this, the increased infrastructure rollouts and improved efficiency in the PPP projects are expected to improve performance in infrastructure.
With the 7.8% 1Q economic growth, it help the momentum for the country in global competitiveness.
United States topped the list and followed by Switzerland, Hong Kong, Sweden, Singapore, Norway, Canada, United Arab Emirates, Germany and Qatar in the top 10. The countries in the bottom ten (51st to 60th) are Brazil, Slovenia, South Africa, Greece, Romania, Jordan, Bulgaria, Croatia, Argentina.
Meanwhile, Ramon C.F. Cuervo, a Professional Real Estate Appraiser and Consultant, confirmed in his previous blog the growth of real estate industry, particularly in the housing, commercial, and retail sectors. Commenting on the news article published in the front page of Business World November 7, 2012 issue- Boom, not Bubble, Mr. Cuervo advised that the Filipino professionals must try to improve in their professional education, skills, and training, so as to sustain the growth and development of the industry.
With the favorable economic growth and global competitiveness ranking, Mr. Cuervo said that it is a good news for the real estate sector, most especially the construction sector and that the global competitiveness ranking might inspire Real Estate Service Practitioners (RESP) to improve their competency.
He cited the the Sec. 2 Declaration of Policy of Republic Act 9646, also known as The Real Estate Service Act (RESA), stating that RESPs are “a corps of real estate service practitioners whose standards of practice and service shall be globally competitive and will promote the growth of the real estate industry”.
“Likewise, the proposed draft of the Code of Ethics and Responsibilities for RESPs states in the Sec. 4 of Article III, Professional Rules of Conduct and Responsibilities that the Practitioner shall willingly share, contribute, write and publish articles for the benefit of fellow practitioners and for the good of the real estate industry by imparting knowledge, technical training, experiences, studies or research without prejudice to classified or confidential information from client,” he said.
As a Board Member of the Professional Regulatory Board on Real Estate Service, he mentioned the challenge of Professional Regulation Commission Chairperson, Teresita Manzala, need for RESPs to unify and to develop, educate, train, and be internationally competent.
“She warned the Filipino Real Estate practitioners to prepare for the new Trade and Business Agreement with the ASEAN by 2015 whereby the Philippines will open its boundaries with our Southeast Asian Real Estate Professionals. With this scenario and situation, global competition will demand and call for all Filipino Real Estate practitioners be equip with International best practices, governance, and prestigious professional competence,” he said.
“I advise all Filipino RESPs to develop further and enhance their professional skills. They need better and higher standards on continuous education so as to be at par with international standards and quality. They should also have global prestige in their professional practice. To be able to meet the demands of global competitiveness, the Filipino real estate professionals must have international reputation, being well-formed, and adhere to strict Code of Ethics and Moral Principles,” he said.
He also strongly advises that the Filipino RESPs consider forming Corporations or Partnerships. As the dawn approaches, with new trade and professional agreements brought about by the integration of the ASEAN Professional practice, we in the Real Estate Service will experience a change in the road map of our profession. However, this will bring about business opportunities; due to trade agreements of APEC come this 2015,” he said.
Sec. 32 of the Real Estate Service Act (9646) provides the necessary legal guidelines and framework in the professional practice of real estate service, under a juridical personality.
The advantage of being registered with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) will enhance the personality, character and best practice compliance of real estate service.
“To better understand why we need to be competent in our professional service, let’s take the advice of Dr. Jesus Estanislao in his Manila Bulletin article,” he explained.
Dr. Estanislao mentioned the very importance of education and to the need to take it very seriously. Even after we graduate from college, we need to continue our studies because the interest in building up more knowledge never fades. We always yearn for learning to better equip us more and to keep our mind duly stocked with adequate and proper knowledge. He also said that “A sound in mind in a sound body” would serve us well.
For professional duty, he stated that “Professional service specifies our duty to acquire and continuously improve our professional expertise, which is used to serve others in a manner that uses the specialized skills, including the inter-personal, of a given profession. In the practice of our profession, we are called upon to draw from our vast stock of competence, which we deploy with due care and respect towards those who come to us with their needs.”
He ended his article with a significant message: “These manifold duties tell us that we should continuously build ourselves up. There is no let-up in our efforts to improve and develop ourselves. There is no end to taking good care of ourselves, in body, mind, spirit, and special expertise so we can serve others better and make a more positive influence in the world.”
With sources from Philippine Daily Inquirer and Philippine Star