08/14/2013, 00.00
PHILIPPINES
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Auxiliary Bishop of Manila: 'The government excludes the poor from economic growth'

Bishop Broderick Pabillo, president of the Justice and Peace Commission denounces policies promoted by the executive and boosted by international markets. From visits to the faithful, the bishop notes how the weakest do not benefit from "progress" in the country. The statistics do not translate into "tangible results" and exacerbates the problem of the contract system.

Manila (AsiaNews) - The economic policy promoted the Philippine government on the one hand has allowed the country to grow, as recently confirmed by a report from Standard & Poor's (S & P) that sees in Manila "the driving force of the region", however from another, it has led to a concentration of wealth "in the hands of a small part of the population." For this reason, the local Catholic Church and the bishops draw attention to the human person, because if market indexes and international financial ratings are the only factors to be considered, "an unbridgeable gap between the rich and poor" is likely to be exasperated.

According to the S & P forecasts, the Philippines will see an increase in GDP up to around 7% in 2013 to settle back down on 6/6.5% in the next two years. Numbers that indicate Manila as the driving force of economies of South-East Asia, already dubbed as the next "tiger" of the continent, thanks to the support of big business and the investment race.

However, faced with the danger of numbers and statistics, the Filipino bishops warn that the most vulnerable are paying the greatest price for this growth. Bishop Broderick Pabillo (pictured), auxiliary bishop of Manila and president of the National Secretariat of Justice and Peace Commission of the Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP-Nassa), said that the government's economic policy "contributes significantly to the enlargement of the gap" between rich and poor. "From my frequent visits to the population in different areas of the country - said the prelate - I could see how they derive very little benefit from the economic progress of the nation."

Responding to the authorities appeals for patience so that the benefits become the prerogative of all, bishop Pabillo explains that nothing will ever happen if "the government continues to ask people to wait" until the "growth announced by the statistics does not result in tangible results. " And remembering that the current administration of President Benigno Aquino III is already "in mid-term," he wonders why "the rich are getting richer while the poor get poorer."

On the subject of work, a sore point noted by the auxiliary of Manila is contracting of labor that is increasing social inequality. "The trickle down policy - as the economic policy promoted by the Aquino is defined, -ed - that claims it will improve the lives of the poor through the wealth of the rich, is not being put into practice in the country," said the prelate. Indeed, it is causing further abuse and harassment and "benefits only the rich."

 

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