Asia’s “rising tiger,” the Philippines posted significant economic gains last year. The stable investment outlook and the government’s sound fiscal management led to a historic upgrade of the country’s credit ratings. The Philippine economy, which grew 7.2 percent last year, is further bolstered by steady inflows of global remittances and recent acceleration of government spending.
This economic expansion, however, has done little to reduce poverty and income inequality in the country. The government has yet to fulfil its promise to provide 1 million jobs annually. Further, current disparities in access to opportunities and basic services provide strong indications that universal primary education and maternal health are not likely to be achieved by 2015.
Compounding the Philippines’ problems is its extreme risk to climate change. Over the past five years, the country has suffered devastating natural disasters, including Super Typhoon Haiyan, which left more than 6,000 dead and nearly $900 million in damaged properties.
As the only donor agency headquartered in the Philippines, the Asian Development Bank has been a reliable development partner of the Southeast Asian country in efforts to address its socio-economic challenges.