Good governance and adaptationCebu Daily News
In sociology, adaptation refers to the ability of a sociocultural system to change and adapt to the demands of a changing physical or social environment.
Studying adaptation may be very relevant be it in terms of adapting to climate change or in adapting to the current changes in the global socio-economic order.
When the Philippine economy registered 6.1-percent aggregate growth in the first quarter of this year, expectations naturally ran high. Well-placed praise releases on the country’s journey to being the emerging economy in Asia published in reputable international media outfits added to the excitement.
Now that figures of the second quarter economic growth showed a slowdown in our Gross Domestic Product to 5.9 percent, sending the country from second to China in the first quarter to third behind China and Indonesia, many are still pushing the spin of the country’s strong economic growth.
In fact, despite the decrease in economic growth, the National Economic Development Authority was quick to come up with comparative tables presenting our economy as performing better than Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore. Conspicuously left out in the report is Indonesia’s 6.4 percent growth.
While we are not dousing cold water to efforts of the government and the private sector to push our economy to new heights, delving on aggregate growth figures and comparing it with our neighbors could be misleading.
News of a major player in Cebu’s and the country’s manufacturing sector closing shop in 2015 because of changes in the way people handle documents from the one printed on paper to those printed in smartphones and tablets are grim reminders that sustaining economic growth is not as easy as making an advertisement.
What is to be done with the 1,100 jobs to be shed off by Lexmark International in the Mactan Export Processing Zone? What is to be done with decreasing numbers reflected in the electronics export receipts? What is to be done with stagnant, below 1 percent growth rates in agriculture? What is to be done with the impacts of severe weather events which no doubt sets back any positive economic growth?
These are some questions that require solutions.
With the habagat induced floods that recently hit Metro Manila and Central Luzon where about 60 percent of our GDP comes from, setbacks in economic growth are sure to reflect in the third quarter economic data.
Needless to say more hard work is needed and not good media-spinning make our economic turnaround more real and sustainable.
Too, good governance is an essential function of social development to make the people adaptive to changes, be it in paperless business operations or in adapting to severe weather events brought by climate change.
Otherwise, it will be the same old story of the rich getting richer and the poor sinking in torrents of muddy water and false promises.