SEC Alert: Hyper Program International

warning-sign1On May 18, the Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission issued an alert concerning the firm Hyper Program International and its affiliates, warning investors to stay clear. But what are the reasons for the worries surrounding Hyper Program International (HPI)?

It helps to know some background information about the company. The firm began in Quezon City in 2014 as a direct marketing operation selling collagen-based cosmetic products. This includes face masks that claim to revitalize the skin, collagen soap, a drug called Gluta Colla-C and Collagen Coffee.

Its founding statement promised investors that HPI would be “creating business to build people and change life and to provide infinite growth and possibilities to its members.” HPI claims to use a common direct marketing strategy to sell its products. Using social media networks on sites such as Facebook, HPI recruits investors to join its Rewards System and then claims to pay them a bonus due to their customer loyalty.

According to the SEC, this had entailed promising returns of between 35 and 40 percent within 40-45 days. As the SEC also reports, investors in HPI are paid their bonus if they then recruit other investors. Investors are also rewarded, in theory, if they recruit customers to purchase the collagen products marketed by HPI.

However, the Commission warns investors that HPI has not been issued with a securities license, making any investment potentially illegal. The SEC warning notes that the firm may be in breach of Sections 8(8.1) and 12 of the Securities Regulation Code. The penalty for participating in an unlicensed securities operation can be between P50,000 and P5,000,000 – and a 7 year prison term can also result from prosecution.

Unregulated securities scams can result in investors losing all of their capital, which is why the SEC attempt to issue licenses to officially approved firms. Because HPI has been refused a license, anyone thinking about making an investment in the firm would be advised to think twice. It seems likely that the company has an unsound business model that seeks to exploit online investors.

Direct marketing is a common source of employment in the Philippines, with around 4 million people involved in the sector across the archipelago. However, there is sometimes a small difference between a genuine marketing network where all sellers are rewarded for their work, and a pyramid scheme which only enriches a few criminals at the head of the organization.

The SEC clearly suspects that HPI has been acting as a pyramid scheme, where investors are rewarded solely for recruiting others (who pay for the privilege), instead of for their sales activity. That’s why the Philippines SEC issued its strongly worded warning to anyone thinking about making an investment in HPI which, on the surface claims to be a forward-thinking, dynamic sales operation. Anyone still considering investing or offering investment opportunities with this companies has been warned and may face prosecution if they take part.


You can view the warning of the SEC at their website or click HERE


Why Price Comparison Sites are the Future

MasterCard recently released the results of its Financial Literacy Index, a research-based report that examines levels of financial know-howwww photo in the Asia Pacific region. They found that financial literacy actually declined across the region. The Philippines was awarded 66 in the area of Basic Money Management; a score of less than 70 is considered an issue.

Improve Your Financial I.Q.

While some Filipinos understand everyday concepts like budgeting and saving, many are confused by the technicalities of finding the best car insurance or credit card deals. Personal finance comparison sites can fill in those knowledge gaps. They empower buyers to compare and make financial decisions based on their own knowledge – and that knowledge is bolstered by information and help options that can educate them on various concepts.

Saving Time & Money

The rise in popularity of these websites corresponds to the overall rise internet use. It makes sense; what used to take hours or perhaps even days to call various companies and wait to hear back with a quote can now be accomplished in minutes just by using a single price comparison website. And – people aren’t left with that nagging feeling that there was a better deal out there waiting to be had.

Growth in Southeast Asia

While the phenomenon has been noted globally, it’s perhaps in Southeast Asia that both the rise and the potential for financial comparison sites are greatest. The growth of internet use in Southeast Asia has been phenomenal, with 194 million new internet users between 2010 and 2020 between Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

Internet use is high even among low income citizens of the Philippines, typically in the form of mobile telephony and not via a stand-alone computer. Fully 90 percent of users engage with blogs and social media and internet banking use is roughly on a par with the rest of the world. As they’ve adopted the digital lifestyle, price comparison shopping for everything from dresses in the shopping mall to car insurance has been on the rise too. The market has responded with a flood of price comparison sites and start-ups over the last two years.

Peace of Mind

moneymaxAlong with getting the best price and options, visitors can be assured of the accuracy of the information they’re getting. Growing sites like offer comparison pricing for car insurance and other financial products along with options that explain financial concepts in everyday language. This helps close the gap in financial literacy with price transparency and consumer choice.

Across the globe, financial institutions and even government players are sitting up and taking notice of the enormous rise in the use of these websites. Soon, having to call individual banks and companies to find the best deal will be a practice of the past. Through these websites, Filipinos have quick access to all this information, and become empowered to make choices that are right for them.


5 Simple Ways for OFWs to Invest in the Philippines

ofw-3OFWs are generally the kind of people who leave home because they want to provide for their respective families, others still are looking to broaden their life experiences by working abroad for a time. With their time working abroad comes the idea of eventually putting the money they’ve worked hard for to good use.

Most will find themselves putting that money towards small businesses that their families can run in their stead; others will start a savings account and allow the money they deposit to incur interest. There are other ways to grow one’s hard-earned money, such as investing.

Many people find the idea of investing somewhat daunting – the most common reaction is usually “don’t you have to study the stock market to get anything done?” There is a certain amount of study that comes with investing, but there are a number of accessible investment platforms available to the average OFW, and are usually tailored to one’s Risk Profile.

A Risk Profile basically determines how aggressive someone is when it comes to making an investment, or one’s Risk Appetite. The first thing anyone wanting to start an investment portfolio is to take a client suitability assessment questionnaire, which will allow you to see exactly what kind of investment vehicle best applies.

Of course, the kind of investment vehicle you choose depends on the amount of money you choose to risk, hence the need for one to take the assessment.

There are several ways to start your investment portfolio, and here’s five:

Mutual Funds

By far, investing in a Mutual Fund appears to be the simplest of the options when it comes to investment vehicles. This type of investment takes most of the work out of your hands and places it in the very capable ones of fund managers. Their job will be to grow the money you invested, without you having to monitor it constantly.

Here’s a list of mutual fund investments that you can access online:


Stock Investments

Arguably, investing in publicly traded stocks requires a certain kind of aggression in terms of your risk appetite, and some research. Buyingofw stocks basically means becoming a shareholder in a publicly traded company. Being a shareholder means you own a part of the company, but only so far as much stock that you own in said company. The bigger your stock, the more you can participate, and the more you earn depending on the company’s performance.

Getting started requires opening an account with a broker, and here’s a list of online stock brokers accredited by the Philippine Stock Exchange:

Unit Investment Trust Fund (UITF)

This form of investment involves holding a certain amount of money in trust as part of the investment made. It shares a similar structure to mutual funds in the aspect that your money will be managed by fund managers. This is usually offered by banks, and differs from mutual funds because they revolve per unit investment, as opposed to the shares in a mutual fund.

Here’s a partial list of banks that offer UITFs:

  • Metrobank
  • BDO
  • Union Bank
  • BPI
  • PNB
  • Chinabank
  • Security Bank
  • EastWest Bank


Given the propensity of OFWs to save their money in bank accounts, an investment vehicle that may also be available to them comes in the form of Bonds. This form of investment is generally offered by large corporations and government offices (Retail Treasury Bonds) as a means of raising funds or essentially borrowing from the public. They have a fixed maturity date.

Here’s a few banks that also act as gateways to purchasing Bonds

  • PNB
  • BDO Unibank
  • BPI
  • Metrobank

Real Estate

This type of investment isn’t necessarily unusual, but leans more towards preparing for a future home, or somewhere to put up a business. This form of investment requires a higher amount of money to start with as opposed to say, mutual funds. The money invested into real estate generally means having enough to make the payments to the land that you have purchased, and the lower the interest rate, the better.

What may eventually earn money from investing in real estate is the way land use changes over the years. One can acquire property through the Register of Deeds, but make sure to check the land title for encumbrances (mortgage, debts, and the like).

These are just some of the ways that OFWs can invest in the Philippines. It mostly takes a certain amount of patience and research before you pick your investment gateway.



Mendicancy Culture among Filipinos

Mendicancy Culture among Filipinos – Is it a Bad Thing?

Poverty is one critical problem that the country continues to face. Although figures show that our economy is growing, more and more poorFilipinos still consider themselves poor, and that is not difficult to prove. Roam around the streets of Metro Manila and you will see beggars, children selling goods, unsightly shanties or families living under the bridge. With many Filipinos living below the poverty line and with very few employment or livelihood opportunities, some become desperate and resort to begging. Begging is an obvious form of mendicancy, but it is far from the only one.

What are the other signs that tell we are already developing a culture of mendicancy, and is this ever a good thing?

What is Mendicancy Culture?

Medicancy in itself is defined as “the practice of begging, as for alms”. As it applies to culture, the practice of relying on handouts or the “kindness” of people for money or other forms of help. A culture of mendicancy basically creates people who may always be waiting on handouts; expecting that others with more means will readily assist them, thereby taking away the need or the urgency to make their own way in life.

More Obvious Forms

If you are a Filipino commuter, you may find it common to see individuals riding buses, pretending to be Bible preachers and collecting money afterwards. They pass out white envelops to passengers for donations. Children who jump onto jeepneys cleaning shoes might not be new scenery to you. These street kids quickly clean passengers’ shoes by simply wiping it with a rug, then later ask for money. You may see adults carrying infants, beggars singing or playing instruments, and many others. Filipino tribes coming from different provinces asking for money in the city is also not a usual sight. There are Aetas, Badjaos, Igorots and other groups who would often travel during Christmas season to beg for alms. These are among the most obvious forms of mendicancy, and surely, you can name more when asked.

Less Obvious Forms

It is easy to name the obvious forms of begging we see in the country, but there are less obvious forms we might not even be aware of. Our country gets more than our share of typhoons a year. In fact, an average of 19 typhoons enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility annually. There is no need to ask why, because we can never control the forces of nature. Instead we need to focus on our preparedness and the ability to bounce back after a disaster.

It is a fact that we are one of the most disaster-hit nations, and this also puts us on international news. The result? Many countries offer aid in different forms. It is not a bad thing to receive help, especially if voluntarily given. However, since we lack preparedness and rehabilitation plans after a disaster, foreign countries tend to see us rather helpless and cannot help but offer their help. We, on the other hand, somehow get used to their assistance and expect help every time we are hit by a disaster. Shouldn’t we be improving our plans on how we can avoid as many people to be victims of typhoon or think of ways on how we can build stronger homes?

The number of overseas Filipino workers is constantly increasing. This still has a lot to do with poverty, but what does it have to do with mendicancy? The billions of yearly remittances help the economy, and these remittances are also what OFW families use to afford a more comfortable life. There is danger that the OFWs’ families may become dependent on them, and we can already see this in reality. There is also a tendency for the country to become overly dependent on remittances instead of pursuing better economic development plans.

A culture of mendicancy is obviously a dark phenomenon. It does reflect inability to fight poverty, unwillingness to strive harder in life, and dependency. Every individual, regardless of sex and race, has to have the drive to make him or herself better. We have to continually grow and improve not just in terms of the ability to earn money, but to improve oneself. Filipinos should not always live by others’ generosity. Surely, there are struggles and sufferings, but we must take these as challenges to strive harder in life. We all have to learn about self-fulfillment and dignity. We only have one life to live, so we better make the most of what we can.






Long term savings & inflation


The primary reason we should be investing is because we will not always have the ability to generate income. It is said that during our lifetime, we can generate income in two ways — ‘Man at Work’ or ‘Money at Work.’ When we have properly invested our money, it can begin to work for us.

The word investment is very broad—it can have many meanings and a lot of people have different views on what an investment is. Investments may pertain to many items; some are financial, some are not. For example, a business can be considered as an investment, especially those that are needed to start and operate a business enterprise.

Those that provide income, capital growth or both in the financial context can also be considered as investments. You can also invest in yourself by improving your skills to earn more or go into business. Investments can also be through securities more commonly known as investment instruments, which we will be covering in this chapter.

How you invest will ultimately dictate the quality of your future life. Are you ready to learn what investing is and how you can invest for the future?

WHAT IS AN INVESTMENT? defines investment as “a term with several closely-related meanings in business management, finance and economics, related to saving or deferring consumption. An asset is usually purchased, or equivalently a deposit is made in a bank, in hopes of getting a future return or interest from it. The word originates in the Latin ‘vestis,’ meaning garment, and refers to the act of putting things (money or other claims to resources) into others’ pockets.”

An investment is the commitment of funds made in expectation of some positive rate of return. If the investment is properly undertaken, the return will be in proportion to the risk the investor assumes.


Inflation is the loss of your money’s purchasing power. It is a hurdle every investor must keep in mind. Most, if not all, low risk investments are growing at yields lower than the inflation rate. Money’s real value is not all about the absolute peso value, but rather on its ability to buy goods and services. If the cost of goods and services increases faster than the growth of your low risk investments, you will be at a great disadvantage.

Inflation is what we finance geeks refer to as invisible risk. The common barometer we use to measure inflation is the Consumer Price Index or CPI. However, the CPI does not hold all the items we spend our money on as they only reflect basic commodities. There are many items we spend our money on which is not included in the CPI, and some of those have much higher inflationary effect such as the cost of education. Let’s say CPI today is at 3%, but you have children who go to school where the average increase in tuition fees hovers between 8 to 12%. Your effective personal inflation rate will definitely be higher than CPI’s 3%. While it is cumbersome to compute for your own personal inflation rates, I add 2 to 3% above the reported CPI as a good estimation of my inflation. If CPI today is 3%, my personal inflation then becomes 6% which is a hurdle rate I use for my investments.

The farther you are from inflation, the better it is for your investments.

Learn proper investing at the country’s biggest investment and finance event of the year — iCon 2015. Click HERE for details.




iCon2015: The biggest investment event of the year!

It’s back! The biggest finance & investment event of the year — iCon2015!

Our annual conference will be this May 30, 2015 at the SMX in Mall of Asia. Joining me in this empowering conference for this year are:



Marvin Germo – one of the most sought after stock market experts and will talk about stress-free investing in the stock market. Marvin is the author of 2 best-selling books on stock market investing and one of the most visible investment advocates.

Mike Manuel – the Chief Investment Officer of Sun Life in Asia. Mike is an accomplished fund manager for over 2 decades and his team manages one of the largest funds investment funds in the country. He will be speaking on growing trends in investments and how to properly invest for the future.

Efren Ll. Cruz – one of the fore runners of the financial advocacy in the Philippines and has 3 decades of experience in the various facets of investment and financial industry. He is a best-selling author, columnist and one of the most in demand finance trainers in the country. Efren will give us a presentation on investment management.

Chinkee Tan – Mr. Chink+ and the wealth coach of the masses! He is ann award wining media practitioner, best seller of multiple books and one of the most active personalities that encourages Filipinos to be financially empowered. Chinkee will give a talk on the value of entrepreneurship in growing your wealth.

Francis J. Kong – the country’s number one motivational speaker, multi-award winning media practitioner, best-selling author of over 10 books and truly an inspiring coach. Francis will give a powerful and life-changing talk on “beyond investing”.

Aside from our powerful platform speakers, we will have a special session during the lunch break with Dr. Alvin Ang, PhD on the impact of the ASEAN integration on investing and Jess Uy on growing trends on global investing.

I will be speaking on balancing finances and investments and will do an overview of growing trends that will affect investing.

iCon 2015, just like the earlier previous conferences is not only power-pack, informative  and insightful, it is also empowering!

For inquiries, please click HERE or send a message to [email protected] or 0917-8482974




I’m only 30, should I be saving for retirement?

QUESTION: Hi Randell, I am married with a 2-year old kid, and our household income is enough for our needs while letting us save for my daughter’s future. Should I be saving for retirement even though I’m only 30? –Paolo, asked from Facebook

retirmentANSWER: It is a downright YES for that question, Paolo. Unlike investing, which depends on a person’s financial and household situation, retirement is something that must be planned as early in life as possible.

I do not intend to make you feel regret for the past decade, but it is actually ideal to have started retirement planning during your 20s, when you still had no full-time responsibilities and had all your salary to yourself. But you are not alone. The fact is that 9 out of 10 Filipinos do not plan for retirement at all. Some of us enjoy our younger years living from paycheck to paycheck to buy and do things we want, while some might still need to help their parents and siblings especially those coming from large families. These things should not hinder us from setting aside at least a small portion of your income for your seed savings plan.

The sooner you start putting away money for your future, the more time there is for your financial portfolio to grow. Now that you’re 30, the next decade for you is crucial and you must take planning and goal-setting very seriously. If you’re not sure what specific steps to take, here’s a quick plan of action you can follow:

Identify how you want your retirement to be. Retirement is all about living a life of comfort. If you’re planning to retire at 60, you need at least 20 years of preparation, so starting now will make it easier for you in the future. List down the most realistic things you want to have by then, and identify how much it’s going to cost. It is estimated that in order to achieve a life of comfort, you need to generate at least 75 percent of your preretirement income. The key is to picture yourself 20 or 30 years from now and decide that you and your children will have a comfortable life.

Continue saving. It’s good to hear that you have already started saving up for your daughter. Carry on! The next steps for you is to increase the amount you save per month.

Learn about government services on retirement. The agency responsible for social security in the Philippines is the SSS (Social Security System) and GSIS (Government Service Insurance System) for government employees. According to the SSS website, your contributions since you started working will be transformed into a retirement benefit when you retire. A retirement benefit is “a cash benefit either in monthly pension or lump sum paid to a member who can no longer work due to old age.” The pension, is usually, no enough to provide you with a comfortable life during retirement years, and this is a problem experienced by most of our fellow Filipinos.

Consider other savings and investment opportunities. From a short survey on retirement I conducted a few years ago, I learned that most Filipinos’ top 3 retirement instruments are real estate, time deposits and savings accounts. There were few mentions of more sophisticated mediums like life insurance, mutual funds, government bonds and stocks. Take into consideration your income-expenditure plan every year, average inflation rate, and identify which investment opportunities best suit you. The amount you will have at retirement depends largely on the types of investments you commit to.

Consider learning about different types of investments and identify which ones suit you best. Reduce your risk and maximize returns by diversifying your financial portfolio. Take a look at investments like mutual funds, UITF or the stock market as these investments are generally great for capital accumulation in the long term. Here’s a tip — auto-debit arrangements that is used towards a mutual fund or a UITF is an excellent way to build funds that can come handy during retirement.

Be consistent and don’t lose momentum. From the survey I mentioned earlier, one insight came up about Filipinos’ culture of tending for our ‘extended families’. That’s one of the reasons why doing retirement planning is easier said than done. Make sure you do not touch your retirement savings earlier than planned. When you step in to your retirement years, avoid using up your finances quite early.

Start now! Paolo, your 30s is most important decade for retirement planning. At this age, you’re now focusing on providing for your small family. But as the head of the household, your family depends on you to have a long-term plan to support the kinds up until independence and retire without being a burden to them. You are still on time to start, so congratulations!


Attend the biggest investment conference of the year, iCon2015! Speaking at the conference this year will be Marvin Germ, Efren Cruz, Chinkee Tan, Mike Manuel, Jess Uy, Dr. Alvin Ang, Francis Kong and yours truly. It will be held on May 30, 2015 at SMX Mall of Asia. For inquiries, email [email protected]



The Top Life Insurance Companies of 2014 in Premiums

And the list of the Philippines’ top 10 life insurance companies in 2014 is released! Once again, Sun Life dominates the rankings for the 4th year in a row. With its increase in 2014 of a little over a billion pesos in total premiums, Sun Life proves to be among the most stable insurance companies. Apart from maintaining its prime spot, Sun Life has surpassed itself by creating a wider gap between the second top company, with a difference of little over twelve billion pesos in total premiums.

Having been in the insurance industry for over a century, Sun Life has been able to create products and services that are able to meet all the needs of people. Moreover this company is known for their relevant and significant marketing strategies, which have given them an edge in this industry, allowing the company to hold on tightly to that top spot.


While the top spot still remains the same, there has been a shift among the 2nd and 3rd spots. The year 2013 saw Philam Life and AXA Philippines at the 2nd and 3rd spot, respectively, with a difference of over a billion in total premiums. However this was not the case for 2014. AXA Philippines has bumped Philam Life off the 2nd spot and reclaimed the position they had held for many years, prior to 2013. With their aggressive and revolutionary marketing strategies, AXA Philippines proves, once more, why they deserve to be part of the top three.

Falling to the 3rd spot with just a small difference of thirty million in total premiums, the total premiums of Philam Life from America have dropped slightly from its phenomenal PhP 19 billion in 2013 to PhP 18 billion in 2014. Nonetheless, their performance is still top rate and noteworthy.

In the 4th spot is Prulife UK, which maintained its ranking of number 4. Although the total premiums of PruLife UK have decreased by PhP 3 billion from 2013, Prulife UK is still able to hold to its prime position in the rankings due to their strong marketing arm.

2014 has also seen a slight restructure in the rankings of BPI-Philam and ManuLife. Though they still performed well this year, ManuLife has fallen down a spot to the 6th ranking. With a little over a billion difference in total premiums, ManuLife is just a little behind BPI-Philam. Climbing to the 5th spot would be BPI-Philam. With its strong infrastructure and fantastic productivity, these two companies have been neck to neck, as seen in the rankings. SunLife Grepa’s performance has slightly gone down as seen in the rankings by being in the 8th spot. However the largest local insurance company improves and is seen to be going up the rankings by claiming the 7th spot.

Manulife Chinabank has also improved and is seen to have gone up the rankings to the 9th spot. However the 10th spot is now claimed by ManuLife Chinabak. Formerly held by PNB Life, the total premiums of PNB Life has gone down from its 6 billion in 2013 to 4 billion in 2014. A round of applause for ManuLife Chinabank though, for entering the top ranks.

Taking a look at the whole picture, 2014 produced premium income of P157,831,673,089. While this number is smaller than 2013’s total premium income of P170,280,660,057, it shows that there is stiff competition in the insurance industry and was brought about by lower single pay premiums. Ultimately, these numbers indicate that Filipinos are becoming smarter about their money, with more people seeing the value of setting some aside for their long-term financial security.

*Data from the Insurance Commission.

Complete rankings of all other categories (net income, net worth, assets, etc.) can be found at the Insurance Commission website or click HERE



Euro nations borrow from Philippines’ IMF fund

eu-flag1Here’s something very interesting to read: 9 EU Nations borrowed nearly over $400M from the Philippine’s IMF fund!

A recent post at the Manila Bulletin, it said that “the central bank reported that nine countries in Europe had withdrawn $439.50 million from its credit facilities with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).”

As a young elementary student in the 70’s and a high school and college student of the 80’s, I remember having to hear a lot about the International Monetary Fund and how the Philippines was so dependent on it for funding. The IMF was always mentioned as one of the main culprits why the Philippines was poor and how it was enabling the Marcos regime to enslave the nation. Wow, how things have changed from those times!

As a creditor member of the International Monetary Fund, drawing of funds from the fund is the Philippine’s participation to global financial stability. Can you imagine the Philippines contributing to provide ‘global financial stability’? There are 2 funds: IMF’s Financial Transaction Plan (FTP) and New Arrangements to Borrow (NAB). EU member nations Portugal, Ireland, and Greece were the biggest recipients from IMF’s FTP while other nations like Greece, Portugal, Tunisia, Cyprus and Ukraine was also accessed. The Philippines earns from said drawdowns by way of interest payments.

The country continues to register very strong Gross International Reserves (GIR’s) at $ 81.336 as of February 2015.

Another big change from before is our nation is not as indebted as it was before! In fact, the Philippines latest Debt to GDP ratio has improved to 37.3% as compared to 39.7% a year ago. The growth in the Philippine economy has made our debt management easier and we are outperforming many other nations. Our debt to GDP ratio is better than our ASEAN counterparts. The US’s debt to GDP ratio stands at 102.47%, Japan at 227.2%, France at 92.2%, Italy at 132.10%, Singapore at 105.5% and Thailand at 45.7%.

Admittedly, there are much more that needs to be done to ensure sustainable economic gains for the Philippines, one of which is the issue of inclusive growth. However, one cannot argue that the economic condition of the Philippines today is in a much better place than where it was decades ago. Let us continue to work hard at improving our nation, and having the faith to see real and sustainable progress in this generation… our gift for the next generation.




Ph economy to zoom past peers

We have been reading a lot of positive news about the Philippine economy. Despite the cynicism of many, our economy continues to grow and has been attracting a lot of deserved attention. For 2015, we are poised to continue to grow and not only are we expected to perform well, we are expected to outperform our peers.

In a recent article by the Business World, it stated the we are to outpace our peers. Click HERE to read the article.



Bloomberg, a leading finance media also reported that the Philippines is expected to place 2nd in terms of economic growth, just below the economic behemoth China. To read Bloomberg’s article, click HERE

world economy


Despite the bullishness, the Philippine economy is not without any threats:

  • Poverty and high un/underemployment
  • Rising inflation
  • Power deficits
  • Natural disasters
  • Logistic problems – port congestion, truck bans, etc.
  • ASEAN – more competition from foreign companies (for market share and skilled labor and professionals)
  • Political uncertainties (going into 2016 elections); continuation of economic and governance reforms

However, the economic threats are shadowed by opportunities:

  • Transiting to higher levels of economic growth
  • Sectoral and regional growth drivers)
  • Increasing GDP per capita
  • Peace dividends – expanded markets in Mindanao
  • ASEAN integration – larger market for expansion and FDI attraction
  • ASEAN – lower import prices for inputs
  • Demographic Sweet Spot (majority of population now in the working/productive age)

I grew up always hearing that there is little hope for the Philippine economy, that we are buried in debt and that we are the ‘sick man of Asia’. Today’s ‘millennial’ generation are hearing another story and I pray that they will pass on the nation to their next generation in an even better shape.

Let us continue to honor the Lord for what He has been doing to our nation…

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance.” — Psalm 33:12, NIV