philippines economy

A Booming Economy



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plant (2) component state of the art
airbag sensor navigation
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Jeepnies are old, remodeled jeeps. They smell and they are always packed full. They are the primary way for people in Manila to get around, mostly because they are cheap.

Public transportation may still be old-fashioned here, but Manila is striving to modernize: new buildings are springing up — and the economy is booming.

“We have a well-educated, English-speaking workforce here in the Philippines. The population is young: the average age of Filipinos is 23 years,” explains Brenda Imphang Baylon of the German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce.

“And the labor, in terms of cost, is very competitive compared to neighboring countries in the region.”

And more and more companies are discovering the advantages of doing business in the Philippines.

One of them is German auto parts supplier, Continental. It’s invested over a hundred million euros in two plants here. It delivers the state of the art components made here to car makers around the globe.

And the company’s CEO says it plans to double production here in the next two years, when it starts producing airbag sensors and navigation system components.

“We have about seventeen-hundred (1,700) workers in two plants. In principle, we operate 24-hours a day, 7 days a week,” says Detlev von Ramm, Continental Philippines General Manager.

“We’re not short of business. We’re planning substantial investments in both plants in the coming years.”

But despite the booming economy, income is very unevenly distributed in the Philippines. Around ten million people here are either unemployed or day-laborers.

But the government wants to change that by improving education and social security.

“So because there is macroeconomic growth, one part of the problem is solved already — this money flowing in,” explains Bam Aquino, Philippine Senator.

“It’s now just a matter of redistributing this to more communities and more Filipinos. And you do this by inclusive supply chains, inclusive business and social enterprises. These are exactly what we need to do to redistribute the wealth.”

This is the Manila Bay Neighborhood, long a popular meeting spot for young Filipinos. Many of these young people are now hoping for a much brighter future.


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1. Jeepnies are a kind of mini-bus or shared taxi. Yes or no?

2. Describe the economy of the Philippines.

3. Why is the economy booming? What advantages does the Philippines have?

4. The companies are only Filipino-owned. True or false?

5. Everyone is benefiting from the economy. Is this correct or wrong?

6. What are some solutions to unemployment and poverty?
A. Have you been to the Philippine? It it rich, poor, or developing?

B. Are there Filipino migrants in your city or country?

C. Is there much foreign investment in your country? Does you country invest overseas?

D. What will happen in the future?

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